The League's Hunt…
Alexnandru Van Gordon
I need a break from my usual Robin vs. Slade battle stories, that and A) my laptop blew up; B) I wrote a seventeen page long chapter for Not Again and another one for Blast but….both were not saved properly on the disk. Sometimes I could kill technology…even though it's not "technically" alive.
SUMMARY: What if the Justice League ever wondered if the Titans were really capable of crime fighting on their own?
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Not now, not then, not ever…
CHAPTER ONE: Let the hunt begin
Do you ever get the feeling that there is something that just has to get done when there really isn't anything important happening currently? When the world is safe and crime is at its ultimate low, the final peace and harmony of the world seems all too good to be true. The sky is too blue and the clouds above California seem to be swirling into something of what only an over-protective person would call a hurricane. In reality, it's just the wind, but all the way up in outer-space you're just a little too edgy to calm down and realize the world is perfectly safe for once.
When you're a hero sitting up in the Justice League's Watch Tower, you can't help but fall victim to the never-ending stress pondering against your temples in each heart beat. There's something you know you have time to get too but you can't quit put your finger on it. Then, as though heaven had fated it to happen, you remember what it was in a simple sentence.
"How old are the Titans?"
It was quiet until Flash broke the silence, but he was a kid at heart and he was always the one to break it. Staring innocently out a window at the small sphere of earth he voiced the question just as it popped into his mind. Usually he said the dumb funny stuff, but today (or tonight) he said something that was on everyone's mind.
Jo'nn, staring at the keyboard, turned and looked to Batman, the only one who knew the age of at least one member. "How old is Robin?"
Flash, grinning, zipped to his side and crossed his arms. "What? You—the least forgetful person I know—forgot you're own kid's age?"
Batman muttered something along the lines of 'leave me alone' and walked away to the other side of the room, the other League members lost in thought.
"Why do you ask, Flash?" Jo'nn asked, returning to his work. "They are older teenagers."
"I don't know…How old were you when you started crime fighting with a mark and all those gadgets, Bats?"
He hated being called 'Bats', but he answered all the same. "Twenties, why?"
"And you?" He pushed at Superman.
Clark, actually considering something the kid-like member asked, shrugged. "I did what I could when I was younger, but I didn't get into anything big with a name of my own until I was at least a responsible adult."
"What are you getting at?"
Flash looked to Bruce. "Well…how come we left a bunch of kids on their own with crime fighting? I know they're good and all that but…what happens when they get something serious and we're not around?"
He shrugged and stared out the window again. "I mean…what are their villains like? They've got a magician that shoots bunnies at them out of his hat and a screwed up Englishman that wants to Britain-nize the U.S. What happens if they get a guy with a gun who plants a doom's day bomb under their city?"
Good…question. For one of the few times in Wally West's life, the team stood quietly as they began to think.
Wonder Woman was the first to break the silence. "What do we suggest we do? Disband the Titans?"
"No…" Batman stood forward into the center of the group. "Maybe we should test them?"
"How did you test Robin before he became your partner?"
A grin almost grew on his lips. Flash swore he saw the slightest evidence of one, but Batman would have denied it as he answered the question. "Evade capture from dusk until dawn."
Five o'clock in the afternoon and it had just begun to rain outside in a small drizzle as the Titans returned home, both Beast Boy and Raven covered from head to toe in ice cream. Shaking, Raven closed her cape tightly around her body while BB tried his best to shake off the cold, melting substance in the form of a dog.
Long story. No time to explain.
"Why did it have to be an ice cream truck?" BB whined, trudging down the hallway toward his room behind Raven. "There was a pillow truck right next to it…"
Raven, snarling in a small way as she headed toward the washroom, rolled her eyes at his comment. "Quit complaining. Just be grateful it wasn't the wet cement laid down on the road beside them both."
"What a positive outlook on life." He muttered, but no further complaint came as they split up in the hallway. "And hurry with the shower. This stuff is sticky."
Starfire, Cyborg and Robin, clean, headed toward the main room. Neither said anything for the longest of times as they flopped down onto the couch and stared at the main computer in silence.
It was the little beeping red dot on the computer screen that caught their attention.
"What is it?"
Cyborg shrugged. "Don't know. It says that something broke the lock on the roof door, but none of the other alarms are going off…"
It was an odd thing indeed, but it wasn't the first time that such happened. The only time it did happen was when someone went out onto the roof to watch the sunrise but forgot to turn off the alarm before they opened the door. Raven was in the shower, BB in his room, and the rest were in the main room resting. What was it then?
"Perhaps the wind?" Starfire suggested in a small voice, sinking into the couch at the red-faced look Cyborg gave her.
"The wind! Man—that's the insult of all insults! My alarm system isn't that crummy…is it?"
"Um…I believe that is true, friend Cyborg. You have a most excellent al-arm system."
"Alarm." Robin corrected, standing and heading for the hallway. "I'll check it out. I'll call back if it's nothing."
"You're not too smart, are you?
Flash wrinkled his nose at the comment in the ear communicator but ignored the Lantern as he zipped down the hallway and peeked around the corner. It was the last digit in the code that he forgot to type in, moving too fast for the computer to registered that he had indeed pushed the "7" button. Oh well…it wasn't like the Tin man's alarm system was that good—and why would they check the door if only one measly alarm was set off? There were ten more that would have gone off had it not been for his speed.
Seeing that the coast was clear, he sped down the next length of the hallway and turned the corner, zipping back the way he came when he saw Robin's shadow near the next turn. Pressing the button on his ear communicator, he winced at his own carelessness.
"Robin's on his way to the door. Where do I go?"
There was an annoyed sigh from the Green Lantern, but John kept his cool. "Where are you in the building?"
"Peeking around the corner of the third hallway from the roof door."
"Look up. There should be a ventilation system above you on the wall."
"Shouldn't I just grab him?"
"Everyone has their own to catch. Robin's not yours so just hide until he passes."
He rolled his eyes behind his mask but did as he was told. Stretching his arms upward as he turned to face the wall, he pushed the small cage like door to the ventilation system open and scrambled inside. In the blink of the eye he had it closed behind him, staring down into the hall as Robin strolled by casually. His cape fell over his shoulders and hid his upper body like Batman's cape sometimes did for him, a serious look to his posture. Sometimes it made Flash wonder why the kid ever wanted to be the man's sidekick. Must have been hell to practice with him…
Finding the door, he found that it was left pretty much untouched…but instinct told him better. He pressed a couple of buttons on the alarm system and checked the record of codes typed in. Just a couple of minutes ago, one was—a number less of what was needed to slip inside quietly.
Taking his communicator from his utility belt, he sighed and clicked it on. "Cy, someone is in the Tower."
"Just give me a sec…" Typing in something else, a name popped up on the screen instead of numbers. He expected the system to spot a villain coming in, but WALLY WEST was what he got.
Rolling his eyes, he clicked his communicator back on again. "Flash."
"Flash—from the League—he's here."
"Um…Doesn't the Leagues usually keep him occupied so he doesn't bug anyone on earth?"
"Unless he's with someone."
"Unless he's with…Hey! What's that supposed to mean?"
"That he's not alone. Someone else from the League, but I don't know how many…"
"And why are they here?"
"Don't know…" He set the small door back on the alarm system and cautiously stepped back into the building. Door closing behind him, he took one last glance at the setting sun before it disappeared entirely below the horizon. "Suspicious?"
"Yes! What do we do?"
"Sit tight and keep our eyes wide open. The League just doesn't pop up for no apparent reason, and if it was matters on saving the world I doubted they would have entered through the back door."
"So…they're trying to catch us off guard?"
"So we just wait and find out?"
"Yep." He started back down the hall.
"You sound like you've had this happen to you before."
He frowned at the memory. "Yes…but at least then I was given a head start…"
He levitated outside the window, waiting for the sign from Batman who was hidden up on the roof with the Green Lantern. Jo'nn was with him and they waited together in mid-air as the sun finally set.
"He's inside now." Bruce answered. "And their time for preparation is up. Enter when you feel you're ready."
"What do I do if one of them screams?" He didn't want to scare the kids even if scaring them would be a little fun. They weren't going to hurt them, just catch them and tie them up until dawn. If at least one of them evaded capture by dawn then the League wouldn't bother the team again. But still…if one of them cried out for help the whole element of surprise would be ruined.
"Just be careful." Was the only advice Batman gave and then the line hummed with silence.
Jo'nn placed a reassuring hand on Clark's shoulder, a small grin on the Martian's face. "It's all in good fun. We mean them no harm and they know that They're kids. They should enjoy the game too."
Let the hunt begin…
Hope you liked it.
Alexnandru Van Gordon