Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans.
Author's Note: Not much I can say at the moment, beyond I saw another latter fourth season Twilight Zone recently and I thought this particular one would make for a wonderful shortie for me. I could make this longer actually but truthfully, I don't have the time to tackle the various problems of the episode at the moment as I have a larger piece that deserves attention first.
Timeline: Some time in the fifth season.
Beta: H.Moth and her orchestra. (Her orchestra of egotistical AWESOMENESS—H.M.)
Dedication: To the brilliant John Anderson and Albert Salmi for bring this small drama to my attention and just simply out acting the current generation with their quirks and deadpans and entertaining for generations to come.
The elevator sounded off as it reached the occupant's floor. The doors opened with a whoosh, a different sound than what the occupant had in mind, as he marched from the elevator into a long corridor, his boots clacking on the metal floor. His eye surveyed the corridor as he ended to his destination. He saw several ordinary teenagers either welding panels in place or others of the superhuman variety in discussion of operations, reports and the simple bureaucratic busywork of the business; but they all stopped their tasks to stare, frozen in fear as they stared at one of the messengers of death itself, or at least the cousin of his former employer.
"I have an appointment with Brother Blood." He said in a cold, slithering voice as he approached the end of the corridor in front of two bronze doors, to a girl who had just come from an Ultraman costume convention with two small, feathered wings sticking out from her shoulders.
"Oh, yes, Mr. Wilson. He's been expecting you, sir. Right this way." The girl sounded rushed, as she wanted the angel of death to leave her corridor before he could claim her next. She opened the door and he entered the sanctum. She closed the door and had a forlorn expression on her face.
"Oh, wow." One of the teenagers said.
"I could just see him now. That big, happy grin on his face just before he draws the blood, pun not intended. 'Have a brandy, Slade, before I rip you to pieces—I must have my little fun first.'" Another teenager said in a near perfect imitation of Blood.
"I don't know, Slade is tough as they come, I think he'd be doing the tearing myself." The angel finally spoke.
"Have a brandy, Slade." Brother Blood offered a glass and poured some brandy as Slade sat down on a chair in front of his new desk.
"Thank you, no, Brother Blood. You asked me to come here at 2:00; it is now 2:00. What did you have on your mind?" Slade observed the office as a touch of elegance, and a contrast to the outside corridor he'd just been in.
"Well, then, more for me." He poured off the glass and sipped, sitting down in his chair by the desk opposite Slade. "Care for my office, do you? Forgive the humbleness of my abode; I am currently resurrecting my H.I.V.E. Academy with a new batch of students and I need to rebuild, restart, and be reborn."
Slade just rolled his eye at Blood's dramatics. "I cannot speak for your base, but your office appears to take a page from "Gone from the Wind", but whether I care for your office or not is not an issue, Blood, but the extent of time you keep me here is, on the other hand, of considerable import. I'm a busy man, let's get on with it."
"I've read much of you, as I'm sure you've read much of me before you came in. I hope I proved a fascination for you." Blood swished the brandy.
"Jim Jones and his kool-aid is the only thing that springs to mind when I read of you, Blood, although your original appearance would no doubt have the Society of Shadows and their leader, Ra's al Ghul quite angry at you for likeness infringement."
"Ah, well, I don't have that problem anymore, now do I?" The manipulator gestured at his new cybernetic body.
"No, instead you have further problems as per your quest to be a refuge from a "Wizard of Oz" production. I would say you're a tin horn dictator but tin man seems more applicable now." Slade narrowed his eye.
"I never knew you were for acerbic barbs."
"When you have a death experience, you attempt all sorts of things. Including ways to suppress parlor tricks, like hypnosis." The saboteur said threateningly.
"Oh please, even if I could, I can sense that you have a strong will anyway and might even, God forbid, block my new cyber-enhanced powers, with either sheer will or a memento from your former employer, the 8th demon, and quite frankly, I don't want to insult you with such an obvious stunt. I have no desire to control you."
"Thank heaven for small favors, now back to the point."
"Indeed. We've come to some pretty far routes, haven't we? The two of us."
"So, it's odd that our lives never seemed to have crisscrossed, as is given two men using the underground and underworld to get what they want. We both are criminals, major criminals of major reputation, yet we've never interacted. I thought about that while rotting in the finer correction facility of Steel City. It was one of many thoughts as I was planning the…great escape as it were.
"I owe you a great deal, Slade, I really do. Your contract with the H.I.V.E. had many a tongue talking in our circles and hearing how the solo Slade Wilson needed help and support from the H.I.V.E., showed me how powerful the H.I.V.E. really is and with the nifty feature of giving me a platform to launch a campaign and get out of Zandir."
"The H.I.V.E. served its function, like all good organizations. I was rather…disappointed of hearing its current status from reports of your takeover and the Titans' dismantling of the revamped organization. But then that speaks of your fine leadership skills, doesn't it?" Slade nearly purred.
Blood chuckled as he sipped some more brandy. "That jab would make me irate and lose control, but I know better than to lose my composure around such a man about town; who knows how to exploit emotion for a living. Yet two of your errand boys and girls have betrayed you, what does that say about you?"
Slade sighed. "Touché."
"You don't like me, do you?"
The saboteur sucked in a breath, and, after a moment, finally spoke. "I wouldn't say that, Blood, particularly as this is our first encounter, but I will say that I do dislike you and detest you with great cordiality based on what I see. I have surmised from my research of you and your past exploits to find you to be a predatory, grasping, conniving…I suppose I can say mincing, melodramatic certainly, and acquisitive animal of a man. Without heart, although with the new body that fact is more obvious; without conscience, without…any ethics, and without even a subtle hint of the common decencies. Now I can see why you choose the jackal as your personal insignia. Shall we go on from there?"
The manipulator snorted as he narrowed his eyes. "I certainly give you this, Slade; you are not one to toady around with phony euphemisms. You speak your mind."
"And from what I've read of you and now have witnessed firsthand, mark you, this is perhaps the singular compliment I can dredge up: you appear to be a man to speak yours, eventually. So why don't you?"
He finished off the brandy. "All right, then. I'll do precisely that." He got up and walked behind Slade, to a diagram overlying a map of the United States. Slade kept his eye on his rival's every move.
"This…will soon be my new empire, my new academy, Slade, mass media, political maneuvers, forgery, grand larceny, manufacturing, Cybernetics, computer hackers, the re-educating of former criminals back into the light, and of course, terrorism, among other things. My goal of my new academy? To finally uniform the power vacuums, potential students, rogue outfits and control the chaos that has and will be coming, thanks to the current political climate to which that is our bread and butter—but to put in simpler terms, I want to be the only game in town, that my way is the only way to accomplish such tasks. It is and will be a step-by-step, piece-by-piece building up of an industrial complex that I take pardonable pride in. But there are…two pieces missing.
"I'm working on the one, involving that dastardly Brotherhood of Evil that is trying to rival my plans but I shall deal with that in time while the other piece…, is no longer missing. Your operations in Jump City, with its cutting edge in robotics and political maneuvering with your connections. A good and substantial organization in operations for at least 20 years. Not always perfectly managed but…adequately."
"Sufficiently well-managed to make many in our business move heaven and earth to try to buy me and my clients out on the first Monday of each month. Thank heaven I won't have to live to see the day you stick your greasy fingers into it." Slade finally spoke. Blood laughed mirthlessly and walked back to his desk.
"You call it "well-managed." You're speaking comparatively, of course. I'm speaking of that little matter of your current financial problems as you're like me—working on resurrecting your operation as well. I happen to know for a fact that you secured a loan for $75 million…a loan payable on demand." He whipped out a sheet of a paper with a check on a paperclip attached and held it out for Slade to see.
"Here is the note. I bought up that note, Slade. I paid an exorbitant amount of money for it and not to mention, wasted many of my lingering resources via my past connections and students, which I don't quite have as much anymore. It was far more than it was worth but it was, well, shall I say, an excellent opportunity—an opportunity for our lives to finally crisscross in a way that two men that exploit emotions and opportunities for a living would appreciate. Particularly this way as we do bend the system for our needs, and, until society changes, have use of the system to function in our endeavors.
"So, to the point; it reads, "Payable on demand." So, Mr. Wilson, on demand, it is. I'm calling in this note. I want it paid…$75 million. Not tomorrow, not this evening around suppertime…now, Slade, this moment." Blood said with rising intensity with a sneer to match. Slade simply focused on the paper in the cyborg's hand. "I want your personal check in that amount, and I don't want one of your dummy names or corporations on that check or I'll have to send a few sign painters out to your little bases wherever they are and have them cross out that tacky S insignia!"
He waved the paper tauntingly. "Now, you could try to rip up this note, but do you think that will stop me? My powers are enough to restrain you and I have enough copies to make my point," he said, with a taunt in his voice, and his synthetic eye glowing.
Slade finally eyed Blood with a chilling glare before staring at the note forlornly.
"Let's test that theory then." He leaped forward, trying to grab the note, when Blood teleported out of the way to the other side of the office.
"Missed me." The cyborg grinned like a schoolboy.
Slade whipped out something from his pockets and flung three discs at the manipulator. Blood ably dodged every one.
"You have poor aim."
"Says you." He pulled out a remote detonator and activated the discs embedded in the door. They exploded in a flurry of splinters, and Slade lunged out—as Blood was distracted by the explosion.
"Oh please." The cyborg teleported out of the punch's way. "What kind of psychic am I if I didn't see that coming?"
"I could quote Oedipus to tell you the effective rate of soothsayers." The Terminator unleashed a deluge of punches.
"Yes but they came true in the end. All your punches can't stop me and you know it. I am a machine now; I cannot tire, but you on the other hand, well, unless of course you're still an emporium for worms and can go on for ad infinitum." He sneered as he observed Slade at a distance.
"Blood…if you call that note…you'll bankrupt me. But I ask you this; do you want me as your enemy? It hasn't worked for the Titans or my former employer since you addressed that."
"I'll be quite fine. Besides if I didn't do this, then you wouldn't appreciate the irony here—as you just exude your money in your industrial endeavors and operations and I have done what Robin and his Titans could not do—put an end to you. What an ignominious fate for one of the world's most infamous hit men. A pity I couldn't find your son, or that butler of yours instead to bend you to submission. Besides, you seemed to cut off ties long ago. So I figured, why not use the only thing left that you care about?" Blood said with his traditional dramatic posing.
Slade refused to show how deep Blood's words wounded. "I only have $5 million currently, $25 million with stocks."
"Well, you know they say: "In for a penny, in for a pound." I'm sure you'll find something, like your lovely operation. I could ask you to join me but I know your pride would forbid such a thing, although I'm sure you were fast in joining with Trigon as he gave you an offer you couldn't refuse?" he further taunted.
The saboteur suppressed his time as the angel of death and Trigon's errand boy. "That…was different."
"Oh, I'm sure. At least you walk away with your life here."
"You know I can't say the same for you." Slade resumed his cold stare at Blood.
"I know, but I'm not without certain defenses. Care to try again or shall we see how further you are out of shape?"
Slade sucked in another breath. "I'll forward my check tomorrow, and speaking of which, you'll need them." Slade said nothing more as he gave one more glance at the cyborg before he walked to the now gaping hole where the door was.
"I'm sure, for I'll look forward to see you again." The manipulator gave off a disturbing smile; Slade said nothing and left the office. As he walked down to the other end of the corridor, everyone with faces still in shock had their H.I.V.E. Communicator chirped. As everyone activated theirs, Blood's visage appeared on the various screens and he began to laugh heartily. His laughter became louder and eventually jeering as Slade reached the end of the corridor.
This was based from the teaser from the episode "Of Late I think of Cliffordville" from the pen of Rod Serling which in turn was based from the short story "Blind Alley" by Malcolm Jameson. I thought the dialogue in the teaser fit two proper adversaries hence why I thought of Slade and Blood with it and given the two's current status in the series, thought it was a nice way to address some of those issues. If demand meets it, I might extend it but I doubt it.
Leave a review if you wish, see you in the funny papers.