Disclaimer: I do not own Robin, Impulse, Wondergirl, etc. etc. They are registered trademarks of DC comics.


YJ and the Time Portal


It was a normal night in Gotham, there wasn't much happening. Not even very much crime. But unknown to all members of the city something very strange was going on. Inside an old abandoned warehouse a portal opened and a man in his late twenties emerged.

"Where am I?" he asked himself. He looked around the room quickly. "Yes. It worked it worked. I'm in the future. I wonder what has changed. I know it's only been a year but you never know." The man quickly left the warehouse and searched his new time.

2 months later.
It was a normal yet uneventful day at YJ head quarters. Superboy was assigned on monitor duty, while Wondergirl and Impulse trained in the gym. Secret was out somewhere. She said she had wanted to explore her surroundings and was now floating around Happy Harbour.

"This is so lame." Superboy complained as he sunk into his chair. He hated monitor duty. "And boring" he continued. "I could be out on this beautiful day, scoping some beautiful chicks, but noooo. I'm stuck with monitor duty. I really gotta talk to Rob about these assignments."

Just as he was about to voice another complain to himself Secret floated in. She had discovered Happy Harbour was a lot like the rest of the world, with plenty of buildings and people but not much to do.

"Hello Superboy. Has anything happened since I left?" Secret asked.
"Not a thing" SB replied. Glad to finally have someone to talk to. "Rob hasn't even showed up yet."
"Really? Where is he?"
"Beats me. He said he was helping Batman with a case."

Just then the screen clicked on and Robin's face popped up. "Hey Rob. What's up? Got anything exciting to report?" Superboy asked, longing silently for some action.

"I can't talk long. I'm on my way over. Is everyone there?" Robin asked hurriedly. His voice was low and serious more so then usual, this was and important and Superboy could tell.
"Yeah. They're all here. Secret's with me and Bart and Cass are downstairs training. What's going on?" Superboy asked. He had been waiting for action all day and now he wanted to now what it was.
"I'll explain everything when I get there. But get ready for action, this one's a biggie. Robin out." The screen turned off.

Superboy called the others up.
"Cass, Bart it's Kon. Finish training later. Rob's on the way over with something real important. He said to...."
A red streak entered the room before he could finish.
"get ready."
"Cass will be here in a minute. What's up?" Bart asked impatiently.

Cassie flew in. "What did Rob say?"
"Not much." replied Secret "he was in a hurry to get here and didn't seem to want to tell us over the com-link."
"But he said it was real important and we should get ready for a fight." Kon added.
Impulse began to get excited at the thought of something other than borind old training.. "Oh boy. I hope we're leaving the country again. We could go to JapanorIrelandorFranceorGermanyorCanadaorEnglandortheUnitedKingdom..."
"Bart, England and the United Kingdom are the same place." Superboy told him. He was the only one who understood what he said anyway.
Bart thought for a second. "Well then that saves us a trip. I wonder where we're actually going."
"Egypt." Said a voice from across the room.

Robin had arrived. No one had heard or seen him enter, but what else was new?
"Egypt?" asked WG puzzled. " What's there?"
"Come into the conference room and I'll explain everything." Robin said as he headed down the hall. Everyone quickly followed.

Robin set up the slide projector. A face popped onto the screen.

"This is Robert Crawford." announced Robin. " He's a known criminal, but he's only known for one crime. Which Batman and I stopped him from accomplishing."
"This needs our full attention?" Superboy interrupted. "A crook who can't pull off one crime without getting caught." He was quite disappointed now.
"There's more." Robin replied. "A lot more. The reason he's known for one crime is because if he had accomplished it he would have been known as a mastermind and the greatest villain of all time. Satisfied?" Robin asked, staring at SB.
"Keep going. This could get good."

"Don't underestimate him. He is a genius. He spent years researching magic and technology and ways of combining the two. He studied the complexities of space and time and eventually after years of trying he created a space-time portal. It could bring you anywhere at anytime, past or present. It took us a month to track him down, and everything we had to stop him."
"So if you stopped him, why are we going after him again?" asked ecret.
"We didn't quite stop him. Not before he entered the portal. It took amazing amounts of energy to open the portal. Crawford had enough plutonium to blow up North America. He used it to open the portal for 5 seconds and jump through. When we checked there wasn't an ounce of energy left in the plutonium. He used it all on a 5 second jump, so we couldn't even follow him. We did blow up the portal, and destroyed every blueprint and piece of research he had." Robin finished.
"And now he's back?"
"Yes Bart. The controls said he went to the future. Namely now. We have to find him and stop him. There's reason to believe he's built another portal and he will use it. Where he is , is amazingly well guarded and if he does try to use the portal again he probably has more plutonium than last time."

The team sat in silence, thinking over the situation. They knew that if this guy used this thing it would be bad, very bad. If he did re-open the portal the world could change and they may never even exist or worse, also if he tried to use and something went wrong that much radioactive could blow a chunk outta the Earth. Robin sat down and stared at his teammates waiting for a response.Wondergirl spoke first.

"Robin, I don't mean to sound like a small timer here but maybe we should let the JLA handle this one. It's a bit more in their league."
"Yeah. I mean this could be the fate of the planet." Superboy added.
Robin stared at them with his opaque eyes being careful never to show emotion. "The JLA already know."
"Well aren't they going to do anything?" asked Impulse.

Robin looked at his teammates. A look of sadness, worry and to those who knew him fear spread across his face.
"They tried. Batman didn't want me to tell you but I feel you should know. They went to Crawford's hideout three days ago. No one has seen them since." he said grimly, lowering his head slowly. The team sat in shock allowing what Robin had said to sick in.
"The whole JLA?" Cassie asked still in shock.
"Yes, pretty much everyone. Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman, even Superman, no one's seen any of them in three days." he finished.
"What about Batman?" Secret asked, hoping at least her friend's mentor was alright.
"He's back at the cave. The joker's on the loose again so he couldn't go with them. It's all up to us now." Robin rose from his seat and headed for the super-cycle. The rest of the team followed.

Once they got in the air Superboy became curious about something. "Rob, did Batman ask you to take us to Egypt?"
"No." Robin answered. "He doesn't know we're going."
He didn't like going behind Batman's back, but he knew how he would feel if Batman had been with the JLA and now that the team knew the truth he knew they would want to go and do what they could. The rest of the team didn't reply. They understood Robin's motives. They flew in silence for as long as Impulse could stand it.

"Arewethereyet?Arewethereyet?Arewethereyet?Arewethereyet?...." Everyone wanted to smack him.
"Look Bart we get there when we get there. Now if you will sit down I'll tell you the plan." Robin told him calmly, holding back the slapping urge, unlike many of his fellow members.
"Here's what we do. We're going to fly around at a safe distance when we get there, after we get a feel for the area I'll..... make up the rest of the plan."
"What!!! The whole JLA is missing and we're gonna fly around until you think of something. Great, just great." replied Superboy sarcastically.
"Do you have a better idea?" Secret asked. "We don't even know what this place looks like."
"That's it." Robin said as he pointed toward the structure.
"You're kidding right." Asked Cassie.
Robin turned to her with a do you think I'm joking look on his face.
"But, but that's the Sphinx." Impulse exclaimed.

"I know. It's the perfect hideout. It's big to hold lots of men and equipment and who would think of looking here?" Robin pointed out.
"Well us and the JLA so it's not that great a spot." Superboy said under his breath.
Robin stopped the Supercycle about 3 miles from the Sphinx, but kept it flying. He wanted to make sure they weren't spotted and be able to get a quick getaway.
"Secret, do you think you can become a thin enough gas to not be seen or detected, in order to check out the area.?"
"Hey what about me?" Bart interrupted before Secret answered. He knew he could survey the area a lot faster than Secret.
"Bart, that's sand out there, a lot of it. You superspeed and they'll know we're here in about 3 seconds." Robin pointed out.
"Good point." Impulse answered. He knew Robin wasn't stupid and he was a great leader. He liked how Robin always talked making sure he understood but never making him feel like an idiot so he listened to him. Most of the time.
"Suzie, do you think you can do it?" Robin asked again.
"Sure Robin, no problem." With that Secret flew off towards the Sphinx.

In the Sphinx.

A man sat in a chair watching the monitors intently.
"Well Mr.Smith." he said, talking to his bodyguard. "It appears we have some young guests. Splendid. More meat for the grinder. I hope they prove more of a challenge then their currently defunked counter-parts."
It was Robert Crawford.
"How much longer do they have?" His bodyguard asked.
"They are all stronger than I ever hoped. They should last another day at this rate." The evil mastermind smiled to himself and left the room. Leaving the JLA alone and unconscious in their cells.

Meanwhile 10 minutes had passed.

"Come on Rob it's taking too long. We gotta go find her." Superboy complained.
"Kon stating the same thing over and over doesn't make it right, it just makes it annoying." Robin answered. He had been saying the same thing since she left.
Just then Secret returned. "Sorry it took so long that place is huge and we parked pretty far."
"It's okay Suzie, what did you find out?" Robin asked.
"Well I checked out the whole building and I can't find one entrance. I don't know what to tell you."
"Don't worry we'll just have to do it the hard way, right Rob?"Superboy replied knowing Robin would never go for such an unthought out plan.
"I guess we will." Robin answered.

The team stood in shock.
"Rob I was only joking. We can't just run in there without a plan."
"We can and we will. I said I would make a plan when we arrived. We're here and I haven't come up with anything so we're going in. Any objections?" Robin asked, knowing there wouldn't be. He was right, the team stood silent.
"Alright then." Robin continued as he jumped in the cycle. "We're going to strike an offensive. We'll fire that Sphinx with all we've got and do the rest ourselves."
"Kewl." Impulse answered. "Finally our leader wants to blow something up."
"Time to get serious guys. The JLA got stopped by this guy so don't underestimate him. Okay?" Robin asked.
The team nodded in understanding.

The cycle took off and was about a mile away now.
"Okay, we'll fire when we get to half a mile." Robin told the others.
But before they could reach the half mile mark...
"Rob, maybe we should fire now since there's a huge..uh..something heading right for us." Cassie yelled.
"What?" Robin answered.

Indeed there was a huge..uh..something heading right for them. Actually it was an energy dispersement field, but there was no way they could know that, even though Robin somehow figured it out.
"Oh no, it's an energy dispersement field." he yelled.
"A what?" asked Superboy.
"It scrambles and sometimes shut downs completely, anything using electricity." Robin informed them as he tried to prevent the cycle from hitting the field. It greatly resembled a wave. It was straight and high. It was clear but made all the pictures fuzzy through it.
"Like what?" asked Impulse

Just then the wave hit the cycle. The cycle spun out of control and hit the ground, taking all the members of YJ with it since none had been able to bail in time.
"Like the Supercycle." Robin said, rubbing his head. "Is everyone okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine thanks to my tac.."
"Don't say it Kon. I swear if you mention your damn power one more time I will deck you." Wondergirl told him as she emerged from the wreckage.
Impulse ran up to the others unscathed. He obviously had vibrated on impact to avoid injury.
"Robin, you're hurt." Secret pointed out as she flew closer to the boy wonder.
"Huh." Robin hadn't even noticed the gaping cut across his eyebrow. "Oh yeah. I must have hit my head on the dashboard. No biggie." Robin answered applying a bandage to his head.
"I guess we're walking." Impulse pointed out.
"You guys can, but I prefer flying."

Just as Suberboy flew into the air, the ground fell out from beneath his teammates and they all began to plummet into the ground. Superboy quickly followed them down and managed to catch Bart. Wondergirl regained her composure and flew, right before she hit the ground, as did Secret. Robin tucked into a ball before he hit and landed right on his feet. The opening in the ceiling closed immediately after all the members were in the room.
"What now fearless leader?" Superboy asked.
Before Robin could tell him to shut up another wave-like energy field swept through the room. This field was different from the last one. It swept across the room, absorbing every inch of the room...there was nowhere to go. Robin was the leader and therefore stood at the front of the group.

The energy field slowly passed over him. He didn't feel anything. No pain, no nausea, no fatigue, not even a mild headache. The field passed over him completely and he felt the same. He concluded it must have been a simple scan. He hoped it had not taken a DNA sample, but if it had there was nothing he could do.
"That was weird." Robin said, thinking aloud. "Come on guys, let's find a way out of here." Realizing no one had responded he assumed they were once again not listening. "Guys we don't have time for this we have to..."
Robin turned around and finally realized how this unknown villain, whom no one had ever heard of and who had no real outstanding villain qualities about him, was able to capture the greatest team of superheroes ever assembled.

Robin turned around to see all of Young Justice, Superboy, Wondergirl, Impulse and Secret, all lying unconscious. He ran over and checked their vitals. They all had a steady heartbeat, they were apparently just knocked out. It was obvious the field had knocked them all unconscious, but why had it not effected him, Robin wondered. He went over to Secret and noticed something odd. Even though she was out cold, she was in solid form. Robin knew she had to concentrate to become solid so shouldn't she be mist if she was unconscious? Robin concluded that the field must only effect meta-humans so he was therefore unharmed. Now he only had to figure out what to do now. Before he could even consider his possibilities the huge steel doors at the front of the room opened and in walked Robert Crawford.

He was tall and slender but in good physical shape. He had brown short hair green eyes. He smiled confidently believing he had captured Young Justice. With him was his personal bodyguard who sported a dorky looking suit and tie, and about a dozen or so robot servants/thugs.
"At last." Crawford said smugly. "The urban legend in the flesh. I was quite disappointed when The Great Batman was not with his fellow Justice League members, but I'm sure he'll arrive shortly, now that I have his young sidekick."
"You don't have me yet Crawford. You should really think these things through better. You couldn't even knock me out when you had the chance how did you plan on capturing Batman?"
"The same way I will dispose of you. Allow me to introduce you to Mr.Smith. I believe you will find him unlike your usual bodyguard. A demonstration Mr.Smith?"
"Certainly sir." Said the bodyguard obediently. The powerful servant approached Robin. Robin could tell he was well trained. His walk and manner all suggested it. He was also not a small man. He was not huge, but he did tower over Robin and was well built for his size. Robin pulled out his bostaff in preparation for the attack.

Mr.Smith threw the first punch. Robin ducked and attempted to trip him with his staff. Mr.Smith anticipated and leapt in the air, at the same time he kicked forcefully right at Robin's head. He ducked but not fast enough, the kick nicked the side of his head. He didn't fall but he stumbled. Mr.Smith did not lose this advantage, he performed another perfect kick to Robin's ribs this time contacting perfectly. Robin fell to the ground, the breath knocked out of him. He was on all fours when his assailant went for another kick to the ribs. Robin anticipated and rolled with the kick, not allowing it to hit him as he stayed a few inches away from the kick. Robin then grabbed his foot and flipped Mr.Smith in the air. He landed hard. Robin and Mr.Smith both scrambled to their feet and ended up facing each other face to face once more. Mr.Smith had the slight advantage, they had both landed attacks but he is only sore while Robin has broken 3 ribs. Mr.Smith attacked again and kicked right for Robin's jaw. Robin blocked with his staff and administers his own kick to the chops. Mr.Smith faltered and stumbled backwards, Robin ran towards him and did flying leap off his staff and smashed his opponent with a hard rib-breaking kick of his own.

Robin was about to administer the final blow to end the fight, when out of the corner of his eye he saw the robot guards heading towards his friends. The robots were attempting to move Young Justice and Robin wasn't about to let that happen. He did another flying kick off his staff straight into the robot's mechanical heart. Robin's foot smashed through the wiring leaving the robot completely thrashed. Unfortunately Robin had miscalculated the distance and strength of his kick and landed wrong, spraining his ankle at the same time.

"Uhh." Robin yelped in pain under his breath, not wanting his foes to know of his injury. Robin turned around to face his opponent once more and was greeted with a punch to the face. Robin fell back and regained his compusure in time to see Mr.Smith heading right for him, preparing to end the fight. Robin stood ready and when Mr.Smith came into range and was about to perform his move Robin grabbed him by the blazer and launched him into the nearest wall. Mr.Smith was now out cold and would have a massive headache when he woke up. Robin turned from his opponent and was about to once more check on his friends when...

A flash of light spiralled through the air and Robin fell to the ground unconscious.
"Well that takes care of that little nuisance." Crawford said to himself, while re-holstering his phaser.

*********

Superboy slowly regained consciousness and opened his eyes. He looked over his surroundings quickly and realized he didn't know where he was. He also discovered he was being held prisoner. He found himself in a large tube-like cell, that stretched from the ceiling to the floor. It wasn't cramped inside the tube but it also wasn't the largest confine he had been in. He was in a huge room, with plenty of big and dangerous looking machines. He looked beside him and saw Secret, Impulse and Wondergirl lying in tubes like his, all unconscious.

"Where's Rob?" he thought to himself. He did a quick sweep of the room and spotted Robin only a few feet away. He was not in a cell, but he was restrained. He had been strapped down with strong metal bonds to a huge steel chair.
Superboy got up and thought to himself. "What a wimpy looking cell. I'll be outta here in no time thanks to my tacticle TK."
He pulled back and punched the wall, hard. Nothing happened, other than Kon hurting his hand.
"What the heck.?" Superboy yelled in shock.
He pounded on the walls again and again in frustration, accomplishing nothing except further damage to his knuckles.
"What..the heck..is going...on?" He said as he pounded. He eventually collapsed from exhaustion.
"I can't believe I lost my powers.......again." Superboy had just gotten his powers back, losing them again so soon was quite disturbing to him. "I guess I just sit and wait." he determined. He sat and tried to remember what had happened. He remembered his friends falling into the hole and him flying down to catch them. Flying he thought, only a short while ago he was flying to save his friends, now he was useless.

"NO!" he told himself. It had to be this place or this cell that was restricting his powers. As soon as he got free he would be full strength again. However he managed that. He glanced over at Robin hoping for any sign of movement, if anyone could get out of here, he could. But Robin was still out cold. Upon closer inspection, well as close inspection as possible from a cell, he realized Robin was injured, at least there were signs of a fight. His outfit appeared to be slightly singed, his arms, where you could see, were clearly bruised and he had a cut across his forehead. Superboy then remembered that he had gotten that in the crash. Surely he hadn't gotten the other injuries there as well. He looked over at his other comrades and saw no signs of injury or even a fight.

"Weird." Superboy said to himself. Why had Robin been hurt and the others not have a scratch. He tried to remember what had happened and a memory flashed before his eyes. He had placed Bart on the ground after the roof closed and asked Rob "what now?". A wave went through the room and passed over Robin. He was okay after it went by, but then something happened he remembered. Something strange.

"That's it." he said aloud.
After the wave had passed over Rob he was still okay. But then it went over Cassie and she fell right to the ground, he remembered. It did the same thing to Suzie and Bart before it got to him, they all had passed out, but Robin had just stood there like nothing happened.
"He must have been immune." Thought Superboy. "But why him and not us. We all have powers, he's just hu..... He's human! The wave must only effect meta-humans. He probably tried to fight off whatever it was by himself...and lost."

Superboy knew there was nothing to do but wait for the others to wake up, so he sat quietly in his cell. Slowly Wondergirl, Impulse and Secret woke up, all unharmed. They had been unwilling to accept the loss of their powers at first, Impulse had even run full force into the wall several times in an attempt to vibrate through it. After realizing it was futile they all awaited Robin to wake, knowing he would have plan. He was the last to regain consciousness.

"Uhhh. What happened?" Robin asked himself, feeling the throbbing pain all over his body. His head pounded and his ribs were killing him. He placed his left foot, which he'd injured in the fight, on the ground applying slight pressure. Robin winced in pain, if he did get free he wouldn't be able to walk.
"Hey Rob. Welcome to the land of the living." A voice called.
Robin looked over to see all of Young Justice seemingly trapped in huge tube-like cells.

"You guys all right?" He asked, trying to break free of his bonds. He then realized he wasn't just being held in by the metal straps, there was a force holding the rest of his body in place. He could move his arms from the elbows down and slightly move his upper back. His legs were also stationery from the knees up.
"Yeah, we're fine." answered Wondergirl. "We were more worried about you."
"I'll be all right. Sorry about the loss of your powers, it's got to be frustrating."

The team looked at each other. Robin had once more amazed them all. He had been conscious for over a minute and was already more informed of the situation then all of them, but deep down they weren't surprised.
"What happened exactly?" Secret asked.
"That beam or whatever it was knocked you all out cold, I figured out what had happened too late. Crawford came in with his bodyguard and a bunch of robots. I took care of the bodyguard, but Crawford shot me from behind." Robin told them. His foot was hurting him a lot know.
"Are you sure you're all right." Secret asked caringly.
"Yeah. My ankle really hurts though. I sprained it."
"Will you be able to walk?" Cassie asked.
"I will once we get out of here..... and once I do something." Robin answered. With that he lifted his leg with all his might against the force holding him. If he didn't do this right he would only make it a lot worse. He slammed his leg against the side of the steel chair as hard as he could.

His teammates cringed and were silent. All that could be heard was Robin's low groan of pain and a sickening *POP* as the bone pushed back into place.

"Ow." Impulse cringed.
"Feel better Rob?" Superboy asked.
"Not really, but I will in a minute." He said, catching his breath.
"Please tell me you have a plan to get us out of here." Wondergirl said.
"It a bit of a work in progress, but we should be able to get out of here." Robin told them.
"Great. So what's the plan?" Impulse asked.

Robin's utility belt had been taken away but he managed to remove a small lockpick he kept in his glove.
"That's your plan?" Exclaimed Superboy. "A lockpick."
"Sometimes the simplest answers are the best." Robin told him. He held the lockpick in his mouth and attempted to unlock his wrists. He felt he was just about to be freed when the doors across the room opened and in walked Robert Crawford along with Mr.Smith who happened to be walking with a limp and had his arm in a cast. Robin quickly hid the lockpick under his hand and attempted to appear calm and in control, that's what Batman would do.

"Well did you all have a good rest?" Crawford asked smugly.
"Why don't you let us out of here and we'll show you how rested we are." Superboy replied.
"I can't do that, but it wouldn't do you any good anyway, in or out of those cells you won't get your powers back. Oh and by the way I do not tolerate escape attempts." Crawford said as he took the lockpick from underneath Robin's hand. "You think you would have learned your lesson after the beating you took earlier." Crawford said. Robin only glared at him, his face frozen and showing no emotion.
"From the look of your bodyguard I'd say Rob's not the only one that took a pounding." Wondergirl told him, standing up for their leader.
"Has anyone ever told any of you that you all talk too much."
"Yeah we've been told that but we usually tell those people to screw off." Superboy said, a smile slowly spreading across his face.
"Well you won't be smiling or talking once I'm through with you." Crawford replied while heading toward a huge machine in the room.

Robin did not like the looks of the machine at all. The others couldn't tell because of their cells, but the tubes they were in were attached to the immense equipment and it didn't look good for the other members of Young Justice. Robin didn't know what the machine did but he knew he didn't want to find out.
"Where's the JLA?" Impulse demanded.
"Oh your older counter parts. They're in this establishment as well."
"If they're not okay you are so gonna wish you had travelled a lot farther into the future." Superboy's voice was stern and you could tell he meant it.
"They're quite alive..... for the time being." Crawford said once more facing the group. "You see I wanted and needed the JLA and you for my plan to work. You are quite an important part of my scheme."
"We're not going to help you to do anything." Secret piped in.
"Ah, but that's where you're wrong. You see you don't have a choice in the matter. As you probably know my time portal takes immense amounts of power to function, even all the plutonium in the world could keep it open for a matter of minutes. But one day I had a revelation, you see superheroes such as yourselves and the JLA have amazing energy reserves. Why Superman's powers alone could keep my portal running for at least a month. So I created a machine that not only harnesses the energy of your powers but also suppresses them so you are unable to use them."

"Wait a minute. You mean we still have our powers, we just can't use them?" Wondergirl asked.
"You're not as dumb as you look." Crawford told her. "Yes that is the essence of your situation. You see with this machine I will drain you of every last ounce of your energy, just as I am doing with the Justice League of America. Mr.Smith show them they're mentors."
"Yes Mr.Crawford."

A monitor was turned on and there was the entire JLA in tube-cells such as the ones Young Justice were in now. They were all unconscious but seemed to be alive, but there was no way of knowing how much longer they would last.

"Their powers are greater than I ever imagined. It has already taken twice as long as I estimated to drain their powers, but they shouldn't last much longer." Crawford said nonchalantly. "You on the other hand shouldn't take nearly as long. According to my research your powers aren't near the strength of the Justice League, except perhaps for the speedster."
"I'm honored." Impulse said crossing his arms.
"You're really sick, you know that?"
"You know insulting me will get you nowhere my dear." Crawford responded as Wondergirl just glared at him.

"What about him?" Mr.Smith asked, indicating he meant Robin, who had not said a word the entire time. "Shall I kill him?"
"No not right now." Crawford said. "You know I was very disappointed when Batman did not accompany his fellow members to my lab. But I'm sure he'll come now that I have his young protege."

Robin really hated the idea of being used as bait and he had no intention of letting Crawford use him to get to Batman. Besides Robin thought Batman doesn't even know where I am, although he could figure it out pretty quick.

"But in the meantime" Crawford continued. "You can have the honor of watching your friends die... slowly." Just then Crawford pulled the switch on the machine that was attached to Young Justice's cells. An engine could be heard starting up and suddenly all of Robin's team mates collapsed and fell to the ground.

"NO!" Robin yelled, desperately pulling at his bonds.
"I thought this might make you talk finally, but don't worry they are only fatigued for the time being. The initial shock of the machine can be quite overwhelming but it will now slowly drain their energy. You see if I were to take all their energy at once my equipment would undoubtedly overload" Crawford was mocking Robin. Big mistake. Crawford leaned in and got right in the Boy Wonder's face. "I hope you enjoy watching your friends die." Just as he finished Robin leaned back as much as he could and headbutted Crawford. If you were listening closely you could hear the "crack."

"Ahh!!" Crawford yelled out in pain, but he quickly regained his composure. "I believe you have broken my nose. That was not very smart. Mr.Smith teach him some manners."

Mr.Smith approached Robin and punched him across the face,hard. Robin's lip busted open, but Robin didn't make a sound, determined not to give him the satisfaction of pain. "That was for Mr.Crawford's nose. And this is for the broken arm." Mr.Smith smirked as he punched Robin forcefully, this time in the ribs knowing he had injured them in their fight. This time the pain was too great and Robin had the breath knocked as he uttered a low groan of pain. "That should teach you not to interfere in Mr.Crawford's plans again. Not that you'll get the chance."

Superboy had become somewhat accustomed to the energy loss and felt the urge to beat the tar out of both these guys, but he was forced to to use a verbal assault.
"Yeah it takes a big, tough guy to pound on someone who can't fight back. You should be real proud." Superboy said weakly.

An enraged Mr.Smith was about to proceed to crank up the energy drain on Superboy's cell when Crawford stopped him.
"No. We don't want to overload the systems. He'll pay soon enough."
With that they both left to allow Young Justice to die slowly.
"Die well." He yelled just before the door slammed behind him.

Robin lifted his head slowly as to not inflict any more pain on himself and to catch his breath. He watched as Crawford left and stared at him hatefully. His fellow YJ members had never seen such anger in his eyes, they could see it even through the mask. It was surprising he didn't burn a hole through Crawford's back.

Impulse timidly spoke up. "Uh... Rob are you.."
"I'm fine. I'm more angry than hurt. You guys alright?" he asked for the second time that day.
"Just a little weak. I think we'll be okay." Secret gave a weak smile.

But they weren't really okay. They were amazed at the amount of energy they had already lost and could feel their lifeforce draining.
"Any more ideas?" Asked Cassie hopefully.
"No." Robin looked at the ground thinking but also avoiding the hopeful eyes of his comrades. They looked to him for leadership and he couldn't even free himself let alone them. He had let them down.
"It's okay Rob. We'll think of something." Secret attempted to lift her friend's spirits.

Robin would have to free himself before he did anything, he was useless tied up. The bonds on his wrists were pretty tight but he could still move his arm slightly. He could free himself from handcuffs but these were tighter. Robin was no fool though, although he began to think Crawford may have been. His gloves made up a least a centimeter more room on the bonds then if his bare wrists had been tied. He struggled for a minute and eventually managed to remove his glove, the strap was now quite loose and Robin easily slid his arms through. He was free in minutes.

"Way to go Rob!" Impulse exclaimed.
"I guess the simplest answers are the best."
Robin began to head to the machinery his friends were attached to. "Thanks kid. I knew I would teach you something some day."
"How about getting us out of here." Wondergirl remarked.
"Hold your horses." Robin answered. No one said anything else when they saw Robin's noticeable limp. He was hurt worse than they thought.

Robin fidgeted with the equipment, unsure how to proceed. "What's wrong Robin?"
"Well Secret, I'm not quite sure how this stuff works."
Superboy couldn't believe this. "They're gonna be here any second. Just start pushing buttons and see what happens."
Robin rolled his eyes. "It's not that simple. One wrong button and I could fry you all or blow up this whole place."
"Well that wouldn't be good. On second thought take your time." Superboy retorted.

Robin began hitting buttons furiously.
"What are you doing? I thought you couldn't work this thing?" Wondergirl yelled.
"I can't. I'm locking the doors. It'll hopefully save us enough time to get out of here. There. Now how the heck does this thing work?"Robin began to hit the controllers carefully. So far there was no effect which was just as bad as good.
"Damn! The thing's encrypted."

Suddenly sounds of confusion could be heard outside the door.
"What do you mean you can't open the door?!"
"Bust it down then!"
"I know it's reinforced steel, just knock it down."

Robin became desperate. They would be in here in a matter of moments. He began to tap keys furiously, suddenly his team mates collapsed from a large energy drain.
"No!" Robin yelled, as he quickly reversed what he had done. His friends quickly regained their strength.
"Rob, this isn't gonna work." Superboy said weakly.
Robin was determined to save his friends. "Yes it will. I just need a few minutes." Robin had begun to sweat.
"No it won't." Secret's voice was stern and confident, with a hint of fear. Not fear of dying, she'd been there done that, she was more afraid of her best friend dying because he refused to let them go. "You should get out of here while you still can."
"I can't just leave you!" Robin screamed. He could bear to lose anyone else, yet alone four of his best friends.

The sound outside was getting louder, they would be here soon.
"Look Rob just get out of here. We should be okay for awhile. You can come back with some help and a plan." Wondergirl was pleading.
Robin stared at his friends for what seemed like a lifetime and turned to escape through an airshaft.
"I'll be back." Robin said in a voice so much like Batman's it was scary.

Robin jumped through the vent and recovered the opening just as the door crashed down. He took one last look at his friends and tried to find his way out of the maze of turns.

************************************************************************************************************

"How did he get out?!" Crawford was at the end of his rope. He was mere hours away from the greatest achievement in history and now one of his prisoners, who knew his entire plan, had escaped. He never thought one human could be so much trouble. He had managed to capture the greatest hero's on earth, both young and old but this one annoyance now threatened his plans, had injured his bodyguard and broken his nose. Why couldn't anything ever go right?

Crawford approached the remaining members of Young Justice still in their cells. "Well where did he go?" Crawford demanded. All of YJ remain quiet and wouldn't even look in Crawford's direction.
"Fine. No matter, he'll be back. He would never leave his friends. Guards!" A half dozen guards or so entered the room. "Stay here and watch them. If their young friend does return......shoot him. Mr.Smith I also want a full search of this whole compound, if he's still here I want found." After positioning the guards Crawford left the room.

"Impulse, do you think Robin got away?"
"Sure Suzie. I mean he's Robin, how could he not."

************************************************************************************************************

Meanwhile Robin was finding it more and more difficult to get around. He'd been crawling through the air shafts for almost half an hour and was still unable to find any way out. In reality he had no intention of leaving the complex, he knew he would never get back in. But his injuries were beginning to slow him down. He finally found another opening and peaked through the grating.

It appeared to be a living quarters, it had a bed and kitchen area with furniture and decorations.
"Must be Crawford's room." he thought to himself.
Then he spotted it, on the table just below him was his utility belt. Robin scanned the room as best he could from his vantage point and listened carefully for signs of life, when he was confident the room was empty he undid the grate. He jumped into the room using the stealth skills he had been taught, he landed with most of his weight on his right foot but his left ankle still throbbed from the jump.
He grabbed his belt and reattached it, he then pulled out his grappling hook and shot it at the ceiling in order to return to the air shaft. He was in and out in 30 seconds. Robin took a small communicator out of his belt.

"Testing testing one two. Testing testing." There was no answer for a few moments and he was about to try again when he got an answer. VROOM. Robin smiled.

************************************************************************************************************

The rest of Young Justice however was not smiling. It had been almost an hour since Robin left and they were fading fast, even Impulse began to feel the effects.
"Man, I've never been this tired." Bart complained.
"Why don't you take a nap?" Secret suggested in her innocent tone of voice.
"I can't." he replied sheepishly. "What if I don't wake up." The rest of the team was quiet and scared to answer.
Wondergirl felt she should be the eternal optimist. "Don't worry Bart. I'm sure Rob will be back real soon."

************************************************************************************************************

Actually Robin was now trying to find his way back to the main room where he had left his friends. He had taken so many twists and turns he wasn't quite sure where he was. He finally made to an airway, he looked down to see he had finally found it, it just wasn't the right vent. He had found his friends again but he had left through an airshaft on the floor and he now found himself about 100 feet above the floor.
Oh well. I'll just have to tweak my plan a bit. Robin thought to himself. Just as he was about to instigate his plan and had taken out his communicator once more, the doors opened and in walked Crawford.
Perfect. Just the man I wanted to see.

************************************************************************************************************

Meanwhile in their cells Young Justice was on the verge of unconsciousness when Crawford entered and snapped them back into reality. Crawford immediately headed for his beloved energy drain device before even acknowledging Young Justice's presence.

"Well I have some good news and some great news." Crawford exclaimed. "Well good for me, bad for you. The good news is you will not last much longer, well maybe that is good news on your part. The great news is" Crawford paused and reached over to a button on the computer console. "We found you're friend." Crawford pressed the button.

*************************************************************************************************************

Robin had been listening to Crawford from his vantage point and was waiting for his opportunity to attack. He was being sickened by Crawford's little speech.

"....maybe that is good news on your part."

Robin was ready to go.

"The great news is..."

One more second and.....

"We found your friend."

HUH? WHOA!

*************************************************************************************************************

Just as Crawford pressed the button Robin was hit with a gust of air, going at least 90 miles per hour, pushing him against the grating causing it to fling open and making Robin fall from his hiding place.

"Robin!"Secret yelled in fear.

But Robin's reflexes were right on the money and he managed to grab the ledge of the shaft and avoid the deadly drop. Robin hung there helplessly.

"Glad you could drop by." Crawford mocked.
Rob wasn't about to be made a laughingstock. "Yeah, well I was on my way out the door when this whole global domination thing kept nagging away at me." Robin was desperately attempting to hold on.
Crawford took out his phaser and aimed at the defenceless Boy Wonder. "You know, you've been annoying since I first met you. Any last words?"

Robin was still clutching his communicator in one hand, he quickly hit the send button. "Yeah one. PHWEEEEEEET!!!"
Crawford looked confused not knowing the meaning of the whistle blow and decided to dismiss it and fired upon Robin. He had aimed to take out the ledge deciding he would rather see Robin plummet to his doom than shoot him from afar. All of Young Justice covered their eyes and held their breath, to scared to see what might happen. Robin braced himself for the fall best he could but it was impossible from this height. Just when it seemed all hope was gone.....

The "Supercycle" sped into the room, breaking down the wall. He flew and caught Robin at about 50 feet. The Boy Wonder quickly earned his name taking control of the bike and firing on all guards and blowing up all major equipment. The room was quickly left in shambles.

"Back up as much as you can guys." Robin's friends quickly complied. He easily freed all of them and helped them onto the "Supercycle" in their weakened conditions.

A weakened Superboy just had to ask something. "Man Rob, how do you do it?"
"It comes with the job."
"No seriously." SB answered really wanting to know.
"I found my utility belt while I was crawling through the vents and my communicator was inside. I knew the cycle would have completed self repairs by then so I called it up. I made somewhat of a plan which didn't originally include hanging from the ceiling and told the cycle to come in when he heard the whistle. I knew we could handle it from there." Robin told them very matter-of-factly
Robin did a quick sweep of the room and realized Crawford and Mr.Smith had both gotten away.

"All right, you guys go and find the JLA and get them out of here. This place is gonna blow in about 10 minutes." Robin was formulating another plan.
"Gonna blow? Why? How?" Impulse asked.
"Because I'm gonna set the self destruct sequence. Now go you've got 10 minutes."
"Okay Rob, be careful though."
"You got it Cass."
With that Young Justice sped off in the cycle. Weakened but now energized by their adrenaline rush, they went out to search for the JLA leaving their leader behind.

*************************************************************************************************************

The Supercycle raced through the hallways of the huge establishment, plowing down guards and busting through walls. Secret was somewhat glad to now be in solid form, she knew at this speed she would've had to fight to stay solid or be blown away on the ride. The cycle plowed through room after room following it's own flight plan even though Superboy was feebily attempting to gain control. But it was no use, the cycle would respond to Robin only and they all knew that. So Secret, Superboy, Impulse, and Wondergirl sat down and attempted to enjoy the ride the best they could.

Suddenly a computer voice came over an intercom system. "Warning:Self Destruct Sequence Initiated. 10 Minute Countdown Progressing. Have a nice day."

"Looks like Rob got the self destruct working. We better find the JLA."
"You're right Cass. But there's not much we can do about it." Superboy pointed out.
"Hey I can search this place in no time. I'll be right......I'll be right here since I can't superspeed anymore." Bart lowered his head glumly.
Secret, the eternal innocent such as Impulse chimed in. "Oh Bart don't worry. We'll all get our powers back soon. I hope." She added under her breath.

Suddenly Cassie thought she spotted something. "Guys, I think I just saw a room with a machine like the one we were hooked up to." Before anyone could say anything else the Supercycle changed direction and headed towards the room.

************************************************************************************************************

Meanwhile Robin was in the control room and finally managed to activate the self destruct.
"Warning:Self Destruct Sequence Initiated. 10 Minute Countdown Progressing. Have A Nice Day."

"There's one thing taken care of." Robin thought to himself. Robin got up quickly from the computer console and immediately fell back down to his seat in pain. He had forgotten about his ankle, he rubbed it for a few moments until the pain subsided. He would have to be more careful. He hadn't wanted to worry the others with his injuries, but now he was really hurting. His head was pounding making it hard to think, his ribs were assuredly broken by now and his ankle made even standing a task. But he was Robin, it was his job to stop this guy and that's what he was going to do, even if he was injured. Robin's eyes narrowed and he became more focused.

"Run Crawford Run." Robin's voice was low and mocking. He ran out of the room in search of Crawford.

*************************************************************************************************************

The "Supercycle" burst through the doors of the room and quickly blasted or plowed down all of the guards. The room was an exact duplicate of the one they had been in, apart from the different occupants. The JLA was still in their cells, they looked worse than Young Justice had only minutes earlier. All of The Justice League was pale and noticeably exhausted, even in sleep. Somehow Superman must have realized the difference in surroundings and struggled to open his eyes. What he saw filled him with a shock and excitement he had not felt in a long time.

It was the smiling face of Impulse waving intensely. "We'll have you out in a minute." he called.
Wondergirl was attempting to work the controls. "Now how did Rob work this thing?" she asked herself. Just then she heard a loud crash and boom behind her. She spun around and saw Impulse and Superboy sitting on the cycle grinning, they had blasted the cell doors off.
"Oh yeah, he did that. Oh well whatever works." And she went to help the JLA into the "Supercycle".

*************************************************************************************************************

Robin had gone out the only other door leading out of the room in a pursuit of his adversary. He ran down the hall for a few moments and quickly came to an even bigger room than the last one. It was immense, with neverending ceilings and was at least the size of half of Bruce's mansion. The equipment in the room was huge, with great turbines powering up. Robin scanned the room and spooted Crawford and Mr.Smith in the far corner. Robin's eyes widened and he knew he had to stop them right now. They were standing in front of the time portal.

They were not yet preparing to enter, Robin knew it must take extensive programming to run this type of machinery and he was sure not about to let them do so. He ran across the room as silently as possible although it didn't really matter thanks to the noise of the engines. He couldn't believe neither of them had turned around, they seemed quite intrigued by their machine. He snuck up next to them and observed their movements for only a moment. He took out his bostaff and made the attack.

************************************************************************************************************

Meanwhile the whole JlA was almost ready to go. It had taken a lot longer to move them then they thought it would, because they had no powers and were weakened themselves. Secret was attempting to move Green Lantern and was doing an admiral job when she suddenly almost dropped him, luckily Superboy was close by and helped her.
"Easy Suzie. Hey what's wrong."
"I'm turning back into mist." Secret looked at her hand which was apparently returning to it's mist state.
"That's great." Superboy called out. "Hey guys Suzie's going misty again we should get our powers back."
"All right." Impulse exclaimed running over to Secret at a little more than regular speed.
"Hey Bart you're getting quicker already."
"Thanks Cass." Impulse returned his attention to the JLA in the cycle all unconscious. "Uh guys maybe we should uh..." Impulse indicated to the cycle.
"Yeah you're right, we better get out of here." Just as Wondergirl said this the voice came back.

"Warning:Destruct Sequence Activated. 5 Minute Countdown."

"Just in time, let's jet."

*************************************************************************************************************

"Mr.Smith lock down the power converters. Mr.Smith? Mr.Smi....."
"I'm a bit occupied sir."
Mr.Smith had noticed Robin's presence and they were currently battling. Crawford decided to keep trying to work the portal and locked down the power inverters himself.

"I beat you last time, what makes you think you can win?" Robin asked flipping over the bodyguard and kicking him from behind.
"As I recall you were the one who ended up with the defeat on that fight." Mr.Smith took a swing at Robin's head but hit only air when the Boy Wonder ducked.
"We both know what really happened come Smithy." Robin taunted as he nimbly avoided the punch and hit Mr.Smith with an uppercut. "Be a man."
Mr.Smith rubbed his hurt jaw and adjusted his tie. "I am a man. And a man has to do what a man has to do." Just then Mr.Smith jumped through the air with an amazing burst of speed and landed behind Robin after removing his tie he began to choke Robin with the neckpiece. Robin struggled but Mr.Smith was too strong and only tightened his grip. Robin's face began to turn different shades of blue and red.

"Looks like you won't be going with us."
"Warning: Self Destruct Sequence Initiated. 1 Minute Countdown."
Robin's body suddenly went limp and his hands dropped to his sides. "That's my cue to leave." Mr.Smith released Robin and he slumped to the floor. After replacing his tie Mr.Smith was about to get around to those power inverters when a hand reached out and grabbed his leg.

*************************************************************************************************************

The Supercycle flew down the halls throwing it's occupants from side side. In the cycle Superboy, Wondergirl, Impulse and Secret were desperately trying to keep the JLA from falling off around those tight turns. It was becoming increasingly easier to keep everything straight thanks to the slow return of their powers. The only problem now was the fact that they couldn't seem to find their way out.
"Warning: Self Destruct Sequence Initiated. 1 Minute Countdown."

Superboy had enough of this. "This is ridiculous. Cycle I want you to fire a hole in that wall and see if you can break down the next coupla rooms after it. We're gonna make a hole right through." The Supercycle immediately launched all weapons and busted a hole through the wall and another wall and another wall etc. etc. It took eight rooms of blowing up but they finally spotted the outside world.
"Superboy are you CRAZY! What if Robin had been in one of those rooms?"
Superboy was now riding high in the driver's seat. He could see why Rob always sat up here."Chill Cass. Robin's smart enough to stay out of my way. Especially when I've got the cycle under control." Just then Superboy was flipped into the back seat landing on his head.
"Ow."
"You were saying."
"Shut up Bart. Okay, just shut up." It was apparent that no one sat in Robin's seat.

Both teams and the Supercycle had made it out with about 45 seconds to spare. All of Young Justice looked about the desert in search of their leader.
"Where's Robin?" Secret asked.
"He must still be inside." Wondergirl realized.
"No way, he said he was getting out. He must be around here somewhere."
"Imp look around you. We're in a desert. If he were out here don't you think we'd see him." Superboy lost patience.
"Maybe he's on the other side." Impulse added. It was possible that he had come out of the other side of the building/sphinx but the others doubted it.
"That's it." Superboy had had it. "I'm going in for him." Superboy flew up unsteadily, unsure if he had his full flight capabilities.
"Superboy wait you can......."
Secret's words were cut off when the sphinx exploded.

***********************************************************************************************************

Mr.Smith flung around to see Robin's hand around his foot. "Huh?" Robin smiled smugly and pulled his foot away tripping him. The Boy Wonder jumped up quickly and bashed Mr.Smith unconscious with his bo-staff.

Crawford turned around, shocked to see the "Bat brat" had defeated his bodyguard once more.
"You know it's amazing how many people will believe that you're dead when you hold your breath for a few seconds and just allow your body to go limp." Robin approached Crawford. "Give it up Crawford. I'm not gonna let you use that portal and you aren't gonna try."
"That's where you're wrong." Crawford flicked the switch and was about to jump through. He had everything planned and now it was all back to this little annoyance. "Man I hate kids." he thought. Just before he was able to complete his jump the portal closed and he heard a clang. He saw Robin's bo staff fall from where it had hit the off switch.

Crawford began to run from the platform and sprinted across the room to escape capture. Robin was about to pursue when he heard the voice.

"Warning: Self Destruct Sequence Initiated. 10 second countdown."

"Crawford." Robin yelled.

"9"

"You'll never make it."

"8"

It was too late, Crawford ran out the door.

"7"

Robin ran to the computer console and began to hit keys.

"6"

He desperately tried to remember the exact keys he had seen Crawford hit.

"5"

Then he remembered Mr.Smith. He couldn't just let him blow up.

"4"

He ran to where he had left him to find him gone.

"3"

Robin ran back to the console as fast as he could with his injuries.

"2"

Just a few more keys.

"1"

"NOW!"

"0"

KABOOM!!!!!

*************************************************************************************************************
To be continued.