There is one person Robin hates more than anyone in the world. He hates this man even more than he hates Slade. And when he is seen in Jump City Robin will stop at nothing to find him. Who knew a trip to the circus would lead to a murder investigation?
"Hey guys! Guys! I found something cool we could go see later!" Beast Boy shouted.
"What'd you find B.B.?" Cyborg asked. He walked in from shining the T Car.
"Cy, you won't believe it, Haley Circus is coming here!" He waved the newspaper around, shoving it in Cyborg's face.
"Isn't that the big one from Gotham City?" Cyborg asked. "I thought they just stayed around there."
"No, Dude, they travel around a lot. But they've never been here before," Beast Boy said. "Besides, we need a break, we've been working our butts off lately and we should let off some steam."
"What is this Haley Circus you speak of?" Starfire asked.
"A circus is a place where people go to have fun, see strange sights and be entertained by animals, acrobats and clowns," Robin said, walking into the room, carrying breakfast. "Now what's all this about a circus, huh?"
"Dude, Haley Circus is coming here!" Beast Boy said excitedly. "I've never gotten to go to this one and I've heard it's the best one around."
"You've never been to a circus Beast Boy?" Robin asked.
"I've been to the circus, but not Haley's," Beast Boy said. "Why so interested?"
"Because…I was just curious, that's all," Robin said. His true reasons for asking however were much more than mere curiosity. He had connections to Haley Circus, very personal connections.
"When are they going to be here?" Robin asked.
"Tomorrow," Beast Boy replied. "Let's just hope the criminals will leave us alone so we can enjoy ourselves."
"Good, we'll leave as soon as possible tomorrow, so you all can look around," Robin said in a normal voice, but inside, he was a mixture of joy, grief, hatred and sorrow. Haley Circus had been his home 'til he was nine years old, now he would go back, now he would remember what had taken place there six long years ago.
He sat down and ate breakfast without another word. Raven walked into the room and looked at the newspaper. "Haley Circus, hmm?" she frowned a little, "I thought they didn't come to small cities like this one."
"There coming tomorrow, I thought you didn't like the circus Raven," Cyborg said.
"The only reason I've heard of Haley Circus is because of the Flying Graysons murder case." Raven frowned when she saw Robin suddenly choke on his eggs and bacon.
"The Flying Graysons?" Starfire asked. "Who were these Flying Graysons?"
"They were an acrobatic troupe who were murdered six years ago. I forgot who did it but they never found him. I heard their son got adopted, by Bruce Wayne I think, but I'm not sure."
"That is so sad, I wonder what happened to the boy, the one who was adopted by Bruce Wayne," Starfire said quietly.
"Well, I guess we'll never know will we?" Beast Boy said. "It's too bad they never caught who did it."
"One day they might," Raven said. "You never know."
"Robin, you are not hungry? You do not seek nourishment?" Starfire asked. She noticed that Robin had stopped eating.
"I'm fine, Star, I'm just not hungry," Robin replied. The discussion about the Flying Graysons' murder made him lose his appetite, not because he wasn't hungry. It was because it made him angry. He knew exactly who had done it and he knew why.
Robin, Richard "Dick" Grayson was a material witness to the murder of the Flying Graysons. They were his parents, and for six long years, Tony Zucco remained free; six years that his parents remained unavenged. He secretly hoped that if he could go back to Haley Circus, he could find out what had happened to Zucco.
He got up and went straight to his room. On the walls were pictures and news articles about Slade. His room was literally plastered with anything about Slade. But that wasn't the only thing he was obsessed with. There was only one, only one person Robin held more hatred for than the criminal mastermind psychopath, and that was Tony Zucco.
He was an extortionist, a wannabe mobster who made a living selling "accident insurance" to businesses. He had threatened Mr. Haley, the owner of the circus when he refused to buy his insurance policy. The result had been that the Flying Graysons, his parents, John and Mary Grayson; had been brutally murdered in the most horrifying way: they had plunged to their deaths while performing their flying trapeze act.
He bent down to beneath the desk where he kept all his items on Slade and removed a floorboard. Hidden inside was a box, he pulled it out and opened it. Within the small box were articles, clippings, anything and everything that he had on Tony Zucco. It was even larger than his news articles on Slade, for there was far more information on Zucco. Everything he did, supposed sightings of the murderer. This was his first great obsession that he had had.
This was why he was Robin and this was why he would go back home to Haley Circus, to avenge his parents and give them the justice they deserved. He sighed, beneath the box, sealed in a plastic bag was a bright red and white uniform that no longer fit. It was his circus outfit, when he was one of the Flying Graysons in what seemed like another lifetime.
He felt the fabric in his hand, remembering the days when he had constantly donned the uniform, entertaining the masses with aerial acrobatics that he had learned from his parents. He remembered the adrenaline rush and the joy of almost being able to fly, the feeling he got when he was up on the trapeze bar, the joy of being with his parents. The Flying Graysons act had always been a family affair, even their training was a "family secret" which they refused to tell anyone.
Robin smiled, but it wasn't a happy smile at all, it was one of hidden grief and stored up sadness. Perhaps returning to the place he had called home for nine years would brighten his spirits. A visit to Haley's would cheer him up; perhaps he would see some old friends.
He had had many friends at the circus, and he was well loved by everyone. A woman had once said of him, "That Dick Grayson's a real boy wonder." Little did she know that was true, for that was what he had been in Gotham City: Robin, the Boy Wonder, Batman's sidekick.
He smiled at the thought of seeing old friends, perhaps if he got the chance; maybe he'd see Pop Haley, the owner and ringmaster of the circus again.
Suddenly, an alarm began blaring. Robin snapped out of his reverie and ran into the living room. "What's the trouble?" he asked.
Beast Boy looked at him, "The strangest trouble call we've ever gotten. I guess Haley Circus arrived a day early to set up and one of their elephants got loose."
"That is the weirdest call we've ever gotten," Robin muttered. "Where is it?"
"Downtown, and its acting kinda weird," Beast Boy said, "People say it trumpets and runs around in crazy circles."
"Well, Titans, Go!" he ordered and they ran out of the Tower.
"I can't believe we're asked to catch an elephant!" Cyborg asked. "We have no experience with circus animals!"
That's what you think, Cyborg, Robin thought. He on the other hand, did have plenty of experience with circus animals. They drove to downtown, where an elephant ran crazily about in the streets, trumpeting loudly and smashing random things in the street. People ran away, trying to avoid it.
Suddenly, Cyborg's alarm on his arm rang. "It's Mumbo; he's been spotted at the bank. What should we do?"
"You guys go after Mumbo, I'll handle the elephant," Robin ordered.
"Dude, you can handle a giant elephant?" Beast Boy asked. "If there was anyone who could handle an elephant, it should be me."
"Please, go, Mumbo's more of a threat than this elephant, I'll join you as soon as I can!" Robin began to run towards one of the stores.
"Where are you going?" Raven shouted.
"To buy some peanuts!" Robin shouted back.
"Peanuts?" Starfire asked. "Why should Robin go to the store of groceries to buy these peanuts?"
"I have no idea Star, but you heard the man, we've got to stop Mumbo!" Cyborg said. The rest of the Titans flew off to find Mumbo.
Meanwhile, Robin burst into the nearest grocery store and grabbed two large bags of peanuts. "Here's the money. I need these, fast!"
"Thanks Robin, come back anytime!" the man shouted as he ran out.
The elephant was running through the street as Robin stepped out in front of him, the elephant was frightened by him and began running faster. Robin leapt up and landed on top of the enormous creature, using grapple hook to try and stop the animal. He shot it out so it shot around the animal's mouth, forming a makeshift bridle.
"Easy, big guy, easy! You just need to calm down a bit, boy. That's it, good boy!" he encouraged soothingly as the elephant began to slow down. Its loud trumpeting became quieter as it realized that whoever was on top of him was able to control him. The large mammal finally came to a halt.
"Good boy, that's it. Just relax now, you're okay," Robin said quietly as he dismounted. He kept a hold of his makeshift bridle and pulled out the bag of peanuts. "You probably like these, huh?" he asked as he let the elephant have some peanuts.
Suddenly, without warning, the trunk reached down and yanked the mask off his eyes. "Hey! Stop that, you! Give me that back!" Robin said as the elephant continued to tease him. He hoped that all the people had gone away, but to his dread, a crowd was beginning to gather around the large mammal.
It suddenly hit him like a load of bricks that there was only one elephant from Haley Circus who would pull such pranks on him. "Sitka?" he asked. The elephant seemed to stop as its large ears seemed to perk. "Sitka, be a good boy and give me that back. You remember me right?" The elephant who Robin had called "Sitka" became all at once very happy, its fears of its strange surroundings forgotten. It wrapped its trunk around Robin's torso, picking him up. His mask slipped from the animal's grasp and he grabbed it and placed it on his face before the crowd could catch a glimpse of his eyes. The crowd laughed.
"Hey now, we don't have time for this boy. I've got to get you back to Mr. Haley," he laughed as his long lost friend put him down. He leapt onto the elephant's back. The crowd cheered. "Come on, boy, we gotta go!" He began leading the elephant towards the bank. He might come in handy for stopping Mumbo.
"Do you think Robin can stop that elephant?" Beast Boy asked. "I mean, it was really going crazy."
"If Robin says he can handle it; then he can handle it," Cyborg said, "Besides, we have to worry about Mumbo." Cyborg said, looking ahead. "There he is!" The Amazing Mumbo was at the bank using his magic tricks to steal all the cash.
"Yo Mumbo!" Cyborg shouted. "Don't you know the show's long past over?"
"Oh, but the show's just beginning Titans. Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!" Mumbo removed his hat, turning it towards them.
"Oh no, not the hat!" Beast Boy groaned. Morphing into an eagle he tried to dodge the swarm of rabbits that flew from Mumbo's hat.
"Not this time, Mumbo. Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos!" Raven shouted. She used her powers to block the swarm of rabbits that streamed endlessly from his hat. Starfire used her Starbolts, blasting them at him. He managed to jump out of the way.
Cyborg aimed a blast at Mumbo as he tried to attack him quickly. Mumbo suddenly pulled a huge colorful rope from inside his sleeve and lassoed him with it. Pulling the rope tightly, he stopped Cyborg's attack dead in his tracks.
Beast Boy transformed into a bull and charged him. "Sorry kid," Mumbo chuckled. "But you can't catch me this time!" Beast Boy was caught in the folds of the magician's bright red cloak and smashed into a wall. With a groan, he hit the ground.
"For this next trick, I'll require a lovely assistant," he said. He used his long cane to grab Starfire out of the air and placed her into a long box. "It's only fair to warn you, I have no idea what I'm doing."
"Not that trick again!" Raven growled. She used her powers to smash the box into pieces, freeing Starfire from her situation. She whirled around and beamed him with lasers from her eyes.
"Robin where are you?" Cyborg growled into the communicator on his arm as best as he could.
"Right here," Robin said as he leapt seemingly from out of nowhere. "Sorry Mumbo, but your performance has been canceled." Robin unsheathed his retractable Bo Staff.
"Abracadabra!" Mumbo shouted as Robin's staff transformed into a poisonous snake. Robin was not surprised however, and threw it straight at Mumbo, who on the other hand, was very surprised. "AAAHAAAHAA!" he shouted as he danced out of the way.
Robin launched himself straight at Mumbo, he knew there were two ways of disarming the magician, taking away his wand or taking away his hat. He was relieved that the other Titans hadn't been sucked into his hat like the last time they had encountered him.
He attempted to grab the wand but it was always out of arm's reach. He managed to grasp it only for a few seconds before Mumbo grabbed it way. "So sorry, Boy Wonder, but today, the audience loves the Amazing Mumbo. Ta, ta!" he said gleefully, preparing to make his escape. He was suddenly knocked off his feet by Starbolts and flew down the street.
The Titans gaped as Mumbo collided with something very large. It was the elephant they had seen rampaging through the streets earlier that day. It was contentedly munching on two large bags of peanuts. Disturbed from its eating, the large mammal turned its head to look at the source. It suddenly spit some peanuts out of its mouth, sending well aimed smashed up peanuts into the villain's face.
"Robin, why are we not capturing the Mumbo?" she asked. Robin held her back.
"Let's just see what happens," he whispered.
"Well Titans, I guess this is where I make my getaway," Mumbo said, bumping into the elephant. "Oh!" He stared at the elephant in shocked surprise.
"What a lovely view," Raven said sarcastically. "An elephant's butt, how pleasant it must be for Mumbo." Beast Boy and Cyborg snickered as they walked over.
"What are we waiting for?" Cyborg asked. "He's going to get away."
"Just wait a little longer," Robin said. The elephant became very annoyed with Mumbo who was trying to come up with a clever way of going around him. It suddenly raised its leg, and peed, sending a large stream straight back a Mumbo.
"Told you he wouldn't get away," Robin said through bursts of laughter. "Let's get Mumbo to the Police—"
"Dude, we're not touching him!" Beast Boy protested. "Besides, he stinks man! How could you let that elephant pee on him? Gah! He reeks like nothing I've ever smelled!"
"I thought you thought it was funny," Robin said.
"It was funny until the smell kicked in!" Beast Boy held his nose while glaring at him.
"Raven, can you use your power to get him?" Robin asked.
"Yeah, but I'm staying as far away from him as possible," Raven said dryly, she picked up Mumbo with her powers, but kept him as far away from them as she could. "What are we going to do with the elephant?"
"Take him back to Haley's Circus, of course," Robin said, the other Titans began walking away while Robin walked up to the elephant. "You're a good boy Sitka, did you know that? You just took down the Amazing Mumbo."
He petted the giant animal's large face and scratched his head. Sitka let out a happy sound and wrapped its trunk around Robin's waist, picking him up. "Yeah, yeah, you're a good boy. I bet you want more peanuts huh?" the animal set him down so he could be fed.
He began leading the elephant back to the Titans. "Come on guys, let's go, we don't have all day!" he said in a much louder voice.
As Starfire turned to go, she thought for a moment she had heard a strange name "Sitka". She wondered if that was the animal's name. And she had to wonder how Robin knew the strange animal, and why it seemed to like him so much.