AUTHOR'S NOTE: This doesn't take place in the same storyline as my "Forced Base" and "Fractured Heart" stories, so forget those when you're reading this. Also, about Sanza/Red X: When he's wearing the mask, he's Red X. When he's not, he's Sanza. Simple as that.
SECOND AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a sequel to "The Life and Times of Red X", which is in my profile. Read that before you read this. Also, this fic COMPLETELY IGNORES the events of the fifth season (with the exception of "Go"). For the purposes of this fic, "Things Change" NEVER HAPPENED.
The outside of Sedaris' desert bunker was completely devoid of human life, save for the group of six teenage superheroes who had gathered around the rusty, metallic door at its entrance. The bunker was bathed in the light of the setting sun, light that was supplemented by the distant glow of the Jump City skyline off to the west.
The Titans had no way of knowing whether or not they were being led into a trap, but the desert bunker was their only lead, and the risk to the city was far too great to let any stone go unturned. Sedaris was planning something... the Titans knew that for sure.
"I'm gonna wait five more minutes, then we go in," said Robin, his arms crossed over his chest as he stood in front of the bunker's entrance. He, like the other members of his team, was waiting for Red X, the thief turned part-time hero, whom Robin had contacted thirty-five minutes earlier. He'd told the thief to arrive in a half-hour, and now he was five minutes late, and trying the patience of everyone on the team... everyone except for Beast Boy.
"I'm sure he's gonna be here... I mean-"
"There he is!" shouted Starfire, pointing toward a small, but rapidly growing dust cloud off in the distance. The Titans turned toward the cloud, at the center of which was a shining red convertible quickly making its way toward them. In the driver's seat was Red X, who steered the car right up to the side of the bunker and leapt out without even bothering to open the driver's-side door.
"You're late," said Robin, prompting X to shrug his shoulders and continue toward the bunker's entrance. "Did you hear me? I said-"
"Are we gonna do this thing, or what? I've got shows to watch tonight, and as much as I hate Sedaris, I hate missing Carlos Mencia's opening monologue even more. Let's go."
The thief placed his handle on the door leading into the bunker and began tugging as hard as he could. After a few seconds, the door opened with a loud, high-pitched creak, and the Titans entered, followed by X himself, who closed the door behind him.
"This... is actually pretty close to what I expected," quipped Raven.
The Titans and X now found themselves in a long, dirty hallway, lit only by a few swinging lamps placed every couple dozen feet or so. Occasionally, one of the bulbs would flicker, temporarily shrouding a small segment of the corridor in total darkness. The inside of the bunker was cooled only by an ancient air-conditioning system that circulated air with a dull grinding that could be heard through the ceilings and walls.
This slightly creepy atmosphere added to the sense of foreboding that the group began to feel as they continued down the hallway, none of them having any idea whether or not Sedaris was leading the Teen Titans right where he wanted them.
"So... out of curiosity," said Terra, looking over at Red X, who was now standing just to her right, "why were you late, exactly?"
"That's my mom's car," replied X, not looking at Terra but instead staring straight out into the darkness of the hallway. "It took her a little while to convince her to let me borrow it."
"It... is a nice car," said Terra, looking down at the floor with her hands in her pockets. "Must be nice to have a mom, too..."
As X and the Titans continued to walk, they noticed that the hallway had been built as a gradual incline, leading the team deeper and deeper into the earth... and once they passed a certain point, the walls no longer possessed the metallic qualities that they had near the entrance, but were instead comprised entirely of stone. Sedaris' bunker was, in actuality, a cave... and Terra smiled to herself, knowing that she was now completely in her element... just so long as she didn't cause a cave-in.
"Okay, this isn't good," said Cyborg, looking to his left and then to his right. The long hallway that the Titans had been traveling down continued, but now, the cave had branched off with passages leading to the left and to the right, and the group was now faced with three distinct ways that they could go, each of them giving no hints about what exactly lay beyond the threshold. "Looks like we got a decision to make..."
The Titans had been faced with splitting up before, but in a mission like this, where the enemy that they could potentially face was so dangerous, a division of force did not seem like a comfortable battle strategy. Sedaris had easily been able to beat Robin and Starfire in one-on-one confrontations, and may well be able to defeat two or more Titans at once. Should any of the split-up groups encounter him, they would be in no position to stop whatever terrible deed he was planning.
"We're going to have to split up," said Robin, reluctance clearly evident in his voice. He turned to Starfire. "Star, you and I will head down the path to the left... Raven and Terra, you go to the right."
The empath and the geomancer looked at one another, both of them immediately recalling their checkered past... as Teen Titans, they'd both worked together and had fought against one another... when they used their powers in harmony, they were a force to be reckoned with, but when they clashed, they put both themselves and others at great risk.
Beast Boy too was wary of Raven and Terra being placed together, though he was a bit relieved to get away from the two of them, knowing that he still faced the horrific dilemma of being in love with both of them and not being able to tell either about the conundrum. He let out a sigh and turned to Cyborg, who he would obviously be paired up with next.
"And Cyborg and Beast Boy-"
"Already got it," said Cyborg. "Straight ahead... I bet it'll be easy goings for the both of us. C'mon, Beast Boy."
Beast Boy nodded, then turned to Raven and Terra, who were already standing together at the mouth of the tunnel leading to the right.
"Both of you... be careful," said Beast Boy, walking over to Terra and wrapping his arms around her. "I know you guys might have had a lot of bad mojo in the past, but-"
"We'll be just fine," said Raven, watching as Beast Boy slowly released Terra from the embrace, then turned to her and attempted to do the same. "I don't think so."
Letting out another sigh, Beast Boy turned away from Raven and began walking back toward Cyborg, stopped only when Terra reached over and placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Hey..." said Terra, smiling and leaning in to give Beast Boy a kiss on the cheek. "You be careful too..."
"Everyone should be careful," said Robin, "and if you see Sedaris or any sort of large machine, use your T-Com to get a hold of the others. I don't want any of the groups to engage Sedaris on their own... that even goes for me and Starfire."
Red X, who had been watching the proceedings for the past couple of minutes, was surprised that Robin hadn't given him any orders yet... and began to realize that the Titans' leader might actually be respecting his autonomy... which gave him cause to smile.
"I guess I get to pick which couple I want to go with," said Red X, and Robin immediately replied with a nod.
"You're not a Teen Titan, so you can do whatever you want," replied Robin, though he did speak with a hint of contempt, letting the thief know that he didn't appreciate the fact that Red X still didn't respect him. "My only standing order to you is to be careful."
"I can take care of myself," said Red X, "and right now, I think Beast Boy and Cyborg need a little taking care of, so... I'll go with them."
X's remarks managed to tweak one of Cyborg's nerves, and he gave the thief a frown as he walked over toward the center of the tunnel. By now, Raven and Terra had already begun making their way down the right-hand tunnel, and Robin and Starfire had stayed only to see Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Red X off.
"Remember, if you see any sign of Sedaris, call the others," said Robin, before he and Starfire turned and began walking down the left-hand tunnel, leaving the thief and the two Titans alone in the hallway.
"Well, you heard Robin," said Cyborg, gesturing for the other two to follow him down the center of the tunnel. "We got a bad guy to catch, so let's move out!"
Perturbed about the fact that Cyborg had taken on the role of de facto leader of the group, Red X lagged behind for a couple of seconds, then followed behind Beast Boy and Cyborg from a few feet away, intently watching for any guards that might happen to leap out of the shadows. The three began to pass several metallic doors built into the cave walls, but upon a quick inspection, found that the rooms merely contained supplies such as canned food and first-aid equipment, supplied that would come in handy following the nuclear attack that the bunker had been built in preparation for.
The trio passed by several more such rooms before reaching a small, circular room that upon first glance appeared to be a dead-end. Only when Cyborg walked over to the back of the room and lifted up a small, metallic disc built into the floor did he find that there was a small ladder leading further down into the bunker.
"It looks kinda spooky in there," said Beast Boy, a bit reluctant to go down into the dark, narrow hole. Red X quickly pushed past him, crawling down into the hole and slowly climbing the rusted rungs built into the stone wall. "Hey, I said it looked spooky, not that you could-"
"It's just fine down here," X yelled up, prompting Cyborg to squeeze in after him. Letting out a sigh, Beast Boy threw up his hands and climbed down into the hole, attempting to comfort himself by thinking of one of his memories of Terra... a memory clouded by the fact that she may not even be first in his heart.
"I wonder how Raven and Terra are doing... I hope they're getting along okay..."
The passageway that Raven and Terra had gone down was much shorter than the one that Beast Boy's group had taken, and the two girls found themselves at a dead-end much, much sooner. They'd entered a small, empty room through a metallic door, and now found themselves with no idea where they were supposed to be going... the room was comprised entirely of stone, with the exception of its solid metal floor.
"This can't be a dead-end," said Raven, closing her eyes and touching one of the walls of the room. "I can sense something just outside these walls."
As Raven attempted to discern exactly what that something was, Terra leaned up against the opposite wall of the room and watched the cloaked girl, her mind replaying memories of every single encounter that the two of them had had. More guilt began pouring into Terra's mind, and she briefly shut her eyes to block out the feelings, inadvertently transmitting an emotional signal that Raven picked up immediately.
"The best way to make yourself feel better is to help me figure out what kind of a room we're in," said Raven, still attempting to sense objects through the walls.
"I'm not sure I can..." said Terra quietly. "A space like this... if I screw up, I could cause a cave-in, and then we'd both be-"
"Slade taught you to control your powers, you're not going to screw up. Just help me."
Raven's remark brought even more painful memories back to Terra, and she gritted her teeth, roughly grabbing Raven by the shoulder and turning her around.
"Don't ever bring that name up again! I screwed up, but you don't need to constantly be rubbing it in my face, okay? Especially after everything you and I have been through!"
Raven, surprised by Terra's sudden burst of emotion, took a step back and attempted to refocus on her work, only to have Terra continue her rant.
"You saw that I'm still not in total control yet... at that baseball stadium, remember? I caused an earthquake and I couldn't stop it! If I cause one in here, who knows what might-" As Terra was speaking, one of her arms had come to rest on the wall of the chamber, just to the right of the door. Suddenly, a loud, metallic clanging could be heard, and the room that the two girls were in began to jerk back, then slowly move downward, a motion which made Terra immediately think the worst and bow her head fearfully. "Oh my gosh, what did I... what's happening?"
"I think you just loosened this old elevator from the rocks," said Raven, glancing over at the door as the room came to a stop. "It must've jammed because of all the rust that built up on the cables... but I guess it's fine now."
Terra let out a sigh of relief, walking over to the door and opening it up, wanting only to forget the emotional outburst she'd just had and to get on with saving the city... but as she started to leave, Raven gently grabbed her arm, causing Terra to look back.
"Look... if we're going to work together, you can't be like this... ever," said Raven, walking around Terra and exiting the elevator, continuing to speak to her as she made her way down another stony hallway, this one reinforced with large, steel buttresses built into the walls. "This is an important mission, and you can't spend your time thinking about the past... I'm willing to trust you, but only if you keep your emotions under control. Got it?"
"...I got it," said Terra, timidly following Raven through the tunnel, while at the same time thinking about what the cloaked girl had just told her... "I thought keeping emotions under control was your problem, Rae..."
"Robin... I know that you fought against Sedaris today, but... how much did he... did he hurt you?"
Starfire still remembered vividly her fight with Sedaris, and how it had almost cost her her life... parts of her body still ached, two days removed from the fight inside a catering room and broom closet at the Jump City theater. Just thinking about having a gallon of cleaning solution poured into her eyes made both of them sting a little, and she'd even had a nightmare about the fight, but had neglected to tell Robin for fear that it might make him worry.
"I'm fine, Starfire," said Robin, his right shoulder still sore after he'd had to pop it back into place after the fight. "I've had lots worse... remember when my arm was broken?"
"Oh... yes..." Starfire still could not help worrying about Robin, and she knew that he still worried greatly about her. The relationship between the two of them was still one of few words, and the words that did emerge were mostly from Starfire's end... though Robin had admitted his feelings to Starfire several months before, he still rarely spoke about the bond between the two of them, and Starfire accepted, reluctantly, that Robin would still be very closed and private about his feelings. "I am just glad that you are mostly undamaged... I cannot express enough how dismayed I felt when I heard that you had engaged Sedaris by yourself..."
"I wasn't going to let him get away with what he did to you, Starfire... I couldn't, not after seeing you like you were two nights ago..." The two of them were now passing through several storerooms, most of them filled with long racks of assorted weaponry, ranging from melee weapons such as clubs and knives, to weapons such as assault rifles and grenades, obviously intended to repel a land invasion by Soviet invaders after the first bombs were dropped. "But we will get Sedaris... we'll get him together, and we'll make sure he'll never hurt anyone again. I promise."
Starfire smiled, gently reaching over to take Robin's hand as the two exited the last of the storerooms. Just before her fingers could reach his, and before the two had entirely exited the room, someone grabbed Starfire from behind and tossed her into one of the weapon racks, eliciting a loud scream from the stunned Tamaranian.
"STARFIRE!" shouted Robin, turning around only to be leapt upon from behind by a tall man in a camoflauge jumpsuit, taking an assault rifle and pressing it across Robin's neck to cut off his oxygen. As he attempted to fight off the man behind him, two more came, repeatedly punching and kicking at the trapped Boy Wonder, now pinned against a metallic door. He continued to try and fight off the men, while at the same time gazing across the room for any sign of Starfire. "God dammit... if they've taken her..."
Summoning up an incredible amount of strength and dexterity, Robin managed to propel himself into the air, pressing his feet against the chests of the two men in front of them and pushing them both backwards. At the same time, this exerted a force on the man behind Robin, knocking him back into the door and causing him to drop the rifle that he'd placed across Robin's neck. This allowed Robin to elbow the man in the stomach. He then whipped himself around, extending his bo staff and smacking it hard across the man's chest. He let out a loud, pained gasp and slumped unconscious against the door.
"Stay down," said Robin, before then turning around again and swinging his staff across the faces of the two men he'd knocked back. They too cried out in pain, falling backward and passing out as soon as they hit the ground. His attackers now defeated, Robin could once again look around the room for Starfire, hoping that the people who'd grabbed her weren't already long gone by now. "Starfire? STARFIRE! Please... please be safe..."
Four men suddenly flew out of the shadows of the room, all of them unconscious, landing on top of the three men that Robin had knocked out earlier. A dim, green light appeared in the darkness, and soon after appeared Starfire, a wide smile on her face as she caught sight of her friend.
"Robin!" called Starfire happily, floating over and wrapping her arms around his back. "I am glad that you are safe..."
"I'm glad too," replied Robin, concealing most of his relief. "We need to hurry... I just hope that the others are doing well..."
Raven and Terra continued down the long, dark tunnel, most of its swinging lamps having already burned out, causing the two of them to spend most of their time in darkness. Though the darkness gave Raven little discomfort, it only added to the growing uneasiness within Terra, whose grudge toward Raven had begun to resurface.
"How do you even know where we're going?" asked Terra, as Raven continued forward through the cavern, not stopping even for a second to check for alternate passages hidden in the shadows. "There are times when I can barely see my hand in front of my face, how can you-"
"I just know," replied Raven, peering through the darkness and seeing an opening at the end of the tunnel, leading to what appeared to be an enormous, light-filled room. "You need to calm down."
"I need to calm down?" thought Terra, her legs beginning to tremble as she and Raven continued walking. "Look, I'm just... I'm just worried about Sedaris."
"No, you're not," said Raven, stopping in front of the entrance to the large room and turning to face Terra, the contrast between the dark tunnel and the light room causing Raven's body to appear as a silhouette in the shadows. "You're worried about losing control of your powers again. You're worried about me not trusting you. You're worried about Beast Boy being worried, and essentially, you're worried about everything except Sedaris."
Raven's tolerance with Terra's constant self-depreciation was being strained to the breaking point, but the cloaked empath had mostly chalked it up to lingering guilt. Now it was clear that Terra's guilty conscience was starting to take its toll on the entire team, including Beast Boy.
"If we're going to work together, then you need to get over yourself, and-"
"Get over myself?" shouted Terra, walking toward Raven and clenching her fists. "All I've been thinking about these past few days is the team, Raven! If I was thinking only of myself, I never even would've come back to the Tower! I've been through a lot, so don't blame me for how I feel! All I've been feeling this past week is guilt, guilt about hurting Beast Boy, guilt about hurting you! You were my friend, Rae..."
Raven said nothing, turning away from Terra and walking into the open room, the bunker's meeting area, where all of the people inside could gather. It was an enormous open area, with enough floor space for several thousand people. Near the edges of the room stood several stone pillars that supported a large, balcony-like platform that spanned half the room's perimeter, and past the pillars on the other side of the room lay an area concealed by shadow, quite possibly leading to more of the bunker's many rooms.
"She's just going to ignore me..." said Terra quietly to herself as Raven slowly walked toward the center of the room. "I was telling her something important, but it was like she didn't even care... she still must hate me for..."
But Raven wasn't ignoring Terra out of hatred or spite... she simply wanted Terra to focus on the mission at hand, which was preventing Sedaris from being able to execute the destruction of the city. It wasn't the time for personal matters... those could be dealt with after Sedaris was defeated.
"There's nothing in here, we need to continue forward," said Raven, walking toward the shadowy area past the stony pillars. As she began to walk, she noticed out of the corner of her eye that something was moving on the balcony above... and a step back and a look up confirmed her suspicions. Standing on the balcony were twenty men, each wearing identical camouflage jumpsuits and each of them armed to the teeth. Terra had already seen the men, and was crouched into a fighting position at the center of the room.
Even Terra now knew that she would have to shelve her personal demons, at least temporarily... she and Raven had twenty guards to fight. They leapt down from the balcony and charged the two female Titans, who immediately went into the air, Raven levitating herself with her powers, and Terra floating on a large, flat rock.
The girls had no idea of knowing that the twenty men were only the first of many to come...
The area that Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Red X had descended into was built like the area near the entrance to the bunker... its walls made of metal and concrete, with fluorescent lamps built into the ceiling that provided a great deal of light for anyone who might be wandering the hallways.
The three had made their way into the bunker's war room, a room with a large wooden table in the center and hundreds of papers and books strewn about. While Cyborg and Beast Boy were attempting to find the room's exit, Red X had picked up one of the stacks of paper and had begun flipping through it, curious of its top-secret contents.
"Official emergency recovery plan for San Francisco, Oakland, and Jump City... in case of nuclear attack on the Bay Area, all rations will be distributed as follows... sixty percent to San Francisco, thirty percent to Jump City, ten percent to... heh, Oakland's getting hosed, I know some people this'll really piss off..."
Red X jammed the papers under his suit into one of the pockets of his jeans, looking around the room for more literature to peruse.
"I know this stuff might be interesting to you, but we're here to look for Sedaris!" said Cyborg, walking past the table and peering around a shelf where more books were stacked. "Here, I found the-"
"That's the door we came in," said Red X, pointing over his shoulder at another door that led out into the hallway. "That's the way out... I was gonna say something but I wanted to read some of these documents first."
As Cyborg stormed toward the door that Red X had indicated, Beast Boy emerged from a large stack of papers, holding up a blue sheet.
"This says that comic books lead to communism!" shouted Beast Boy indignantly. "Can you believe that?"
"Guys, we gotta go," said Cyborg, standing in front of the open door. "With every second we spend in here, Sedaris could be-"
"One of the generals really liked Playboy," said Red X, holding up a crinkled magazine that he'd retrieved from under one of the chairs. Cyborg's eyes went wide, and he ran over to snatch the magazine away, only to have X shred it to pieces with one of his wrist blades right in front of his eyes. "But you're right, we do need to go."
As Red X and Beast Boy walked toward the door, Cyborg stood stunned in a mist of erotic confetti, his mouth agape.
"That is seriously not cool, man!" shouted Cyborg, turning around and following X and Beast Boy out into the hall. "Maybe I oughta shred that document you just took, how would you like-"
The thief and the changeling had stopped, and Cyborg bumped into the backs of both of them, nearly toppling them over. They had stopped because they were now faced with the same dilemma that the entire group had faced near the bunker's entrance... there were three separate paths, as a hallway intersected the one that the three were currently in, and now they were faced with the choice of going left, right, or forward.
"We're not splitting up again," said Cyborg, walking straight past Beast Boy and Red X and heading down the hallway. Within a few seconds, he was faced with another intersecting corridor, and could see several doors lining each side of both paths. "Hmm..."
"This must be the living area." Red X walked up next to Cyborg and peered to the left, then to the right. "The doors probably lead to bedrooms... a lot of people would be living down here if there had been a nuclear attack."
"Well, that's just great," said Beast Boy, raising his hands in frustration. "If there are this many rooms, how are we supposed to know where Sedaris is-"
"He's not going to be conducting his operations from somebody's bedroom," said Cyborg. "That's why we need to keep going forward... we're in the wrong place, he wouldn't be in the living area. I'm not picking up any signs of life from anywhere near here anyway..."
Beast Boy let out a sigh and slumped against the wall, realizing that he, Cyborg, and X were most likely far away from Sedaris... and that two of the other Titans were headed his way instead. He could only hope that it wasn't Terra and Raven... as powerful as they were, Sedaris was still dangerous to any of the Titans... his fight with Starfire had proven that.
"I guess we should do what the big robot says," said Red X, "because I'm fresh out of-"
The thief found himself immediately knocked to the ground, hit across the chest by a mighty clothesline that took him down in an instant. When Beast Boy and Cyborg turned to see who had knocked Red X down, they found themselves staring straight at a tall, faceless humanoid figure painted entirely black, its body sleek and shining.
"What... is that thing?" gasped Beast Boy, watching in awe as two glowing red eyes appeared on the figure's head. The figure lifted its arms from its sides, positioning them across its chest and forming an X where the wrists met.
"I am one-half of Gemini Delta, a humanoid robot created by Nicholas Jarvin and reprogrammed by Alex Sedaris. You should all prepare to die."
"This thing belongs to Sedaris?" groaned Red X, standing up and clutching his chest. "Shit... what does it mean by one-half, anyway?"
"I don't care who it belongs to... whatever it is, it's going down!" shouted Cyborg, pointing his sonic cannon at the robot's face and firing a single shot. The being leapt into the air, then seemingly disappeared, causing Cyborg's blast to slam harmlessly into a nearby wall, creating a large explosion. The robotic being then appeared next to Cyborg and swung its leg around, kicking him in the side and knocking him away. "Aaaaaah!"
Cyborg impacted the wall immediately to his left, throwing a large amount of debris into the hallway and creating a cloud of dust that blinded both X and Beast Boy. Beast Boy quickly turned into a bat and peered through the dust, only to be struck directly by a punch from Gemini Delta and knocked nearly a hundred feet down the hallway, his tiny mass jettisoned far by the immense force that the punch exerted on his body.
"Guess it's up to me then," said Red X, narrowing his eyes and extending both of his wrist blades. "This guy's fast, but I'm way faster... or at least way smarter."
Robin and Starfire had entered a room that had a large opening at the other side of the entrance, an opening through which they could clearly see some sort of circular structure made entirely of glass. From the appearance of the lights and circuitry positioned around the structure, Robin quickly postulated that the object in the next room was an elevator.
"It'll probably take us right down to Sedaris," said Robin, narrowing his eyes and beginning his trek across the room that he and Starfire had just entered.
"How can you tell?" asked Starfire, gently grabbing Robin by the wrist and holding him back from walking through the opening. Robin pointed at the inside of the next room, which, unlike all the other rooms that the two had been through, was filled with an array of monitors and technological equipment that couldn't have been built back when the bunker was designed.
"The technology around the elevator is far too recent to be from the 1950s... that area of the bunker must've just been built," said Robin, "obviously as part of one of Dullahan's machines. Now Sedaris is going to use it to destroy the city... so-"
"So we cannot let him do that," Starfire replied, walking up next to Robin and smiling at him. She knew that once the two stepped into the elevator, they would probably be just minutes away from an encounter with Sedaris, whom she knew was a dangerous and intelligent foe. But as long as she was with Robin, she knew that she was safe... Sedaris couldn't defeat the two of them together. Starfire knew in her heart that he couldn't. "Let us go and kick the butt!"
Robin nodded, returning Starfire's smile and walking with her toward the opening. Suddenly, a large metallic gate slid up from the floor and completely cut the two off from the elevator in the next room. When the two turned toward the back of the room, they found that the opening through which they'd entered was now sealed with a metal gate as well. Robin and Starfire were trapped.
"Sedaris doesn't want you anywhere near that elevator..." came a voice from directly above the center of the room. When the two Titans looked up, they saw a sleek, humanoid robot, its frame painted completely white, looking down at both of them with glowing blue eyes. "I am one-half of Gemini Delta, created by Nicholas Jarvin and programmed by Alex Sedaris... and you're not leaving this room alive!"
The men who attempted to shoot at Terra found themselves pelted by a constant hail of rocks, rendering them stunned and bruised and keeping them a good distance away from the blonde geomancer.
"I'm not going to let any of you near me," said Terra, raising up a large rock from the ground and dropping it on the entire group of guards, who quickly scattered before the rock came down on them. As Terra continued fighting off the men coming after her, Raven had used her powers to rip the guns from the hands of her own attackers, while countering their blows with her own moves when they came to attack her directly.
"I've had just about enough of beating you back today..." said Raven, lifting her hands and causing several of the men to become swept up in a pillar of dark energy, sending them high into the air before dropping them back down to the ground, dazing them but not knocking them out. As she raised her hands to fire off another energy blast, several more men got up behind her, grabbing her arms and legs and attempting to wrestle her to the ground. She briefly struggled in their grasp, her eyes turning solid black as she again gathered up a small amount of energy. "Azarath, metreon-"
One of the men put his hand over Raven's mouth, and she let out a muffled yell, just before blasting everyone around her backwards with a huge, spherical energy ball, sending nearly a dozen men flying into the air. They landed on the ground and got up almost immediately, running toward the two girls, who found themselves standing back to back as the guards quickly surrounded them.
"These guys are persistent..." said Raven quietly, just as several of the men peeled off from the group and leapt toward her. She raised her arms to attack, only to realize that she didn't need to, watching as small rocks slammed into the foreheads of each of the men, knocking them all to the ground.
"Looked like you needed a hand," said Terra, smiling as Raven turned toward her. "Maybe now you won't be so ticked off at me, huh?"
Raven simply maintained a solemn glare, before seeing eight of the men dive upon Terra at once, burying her in a massive dogpile and using their weight to press the girl into the rocky ground. Letting out a gasp, Raven tried to concentrate her powers to get the men away from Terra, only to be punched in the stomach and grabbed from behind a second time.
"No!" thought Raven, her eyes widening as she fought within the men's grasp, watching as one of Terra's hands weakly reached out from underneath the pile of men, clawing into the ground before being roughly yanked back and disappearing into the pile. "Azarath, metreon, ZINTHOS!"
Another powerful energy wave, much more intense than the first that Raven had used to clear the men away from her, blasted outward from the half-demoness' body, not only hitting the men immediately around Raven and knocking them away, but blasting away the men on top of Terra, causing them all to land around the edge of the room, all but a few of them unconscious. Terra lay face-down on the ground, groaning weakly and slowly attempting to get to her feet. She made it to one knee before seeing that Raven had walked over and extended a hand to help her up.
"It's fine," said Terra, pushing Raven's hand away and standing up. She brushed herself off and turned away from Raven, using her powers to knock out the last few soldiers by bashing rocks over their heads. She then turned back toward Raven, giving her a neutral look. She wasn't mad at Raven, but she certainly didn't look happy to receive Raven's help... and Raven got the message before Terra could even say anything.
"We'd better go," said Raven, turning away from Terra and walking toward the shadowy area at the back of the room.
"I agree," Terra said, placing one of her hands in her pockets as she followed Raven toward the shadows. "She doesn't even care how I'm feeling... I told her that I wanted to be her friend, and she just... she just... dammit, this is my fault anyway... all of this is my..."
Raven had stopped just before reaching the first stone pillar, letting out a gasp of shock as she watched dozens of men begin to emerge from the back of the room, then looking up to see dozens more walking out onto the balcony. She and Terra both stumbled back toward the center of the room, watching in horror as more and more guards came their way... more than two hundred in all, Sedaris' entire contingent of men, all of them with one goal in mind... to exterminate the Teen Titans.
And right now, they had two of them completely surrounded... the men filed out, quickly encircling the girls, taking up the entire perimeter of the room. Raven and Terra once more stood back to back, looking around and realizing the terrible truth... the two of them were massively outnumbered.
Red X repeatedly swung his blades at Black Gemini Delta, but each of the attacks were countered, as the robot swung its armored forearms into the path of each slash that the thief took. X leapt back and came at the robot again, this time with faster and more powerful blows, but again found himself hopelessly countered... and then a boot to the face knocked him flat on his back.
"If I keep getting knocked down like this, I'm not going to be able to get back up," thought Red X, barely rolling out of the way as the robot stomped one of its feet down at his chest. He threw two exploding Xs at Black Gemini Delta's legs, but the robot simply somersaulted out of the way, and the thief was caught up in his own explosion, crying out in pain as rocks and dirt bombarded his body.
"You ain't takin' me down twice!" shouted Cyborg, grabbing the robot from behind and placing it in a tight headlock, twisting back its neck and rendering it unable to break free. As it twisted and thrashed in Cyborg's grasp, it kicked back one of its legs, attempting to hit Cyborg in the knee. Cyborg simply crouched down, lowering his base of gravity and keeping his arm firmly around the robot's slender neck, intending to rip its head right from its shoulders. "C'mon... only one robot here is the man, and I don't see how someone like you possibly qualifies as man material!"
"That may be the single... worst example... of trash talk... I've ever heard," groaned Red X, crawling to his feet and pointing the palm of his hand at Black Gemini Delta's chest. "Keep holding him, I'll-"
Lifting both of its legs into the air, the robot wrapped its ankles around X's neck and threw him backward into Cyborg, sending both of them to the ground and freeing the much weaker robot from Cyborg's powerful headlock. It then turned around and formed glowing energy blades in both of its hands, swinging them repeatedly at its two downed opponents.
"If you hadn't given that thing a chance, I woulda been able to rip its head off!" shouted Cyborg, pushing Red X off of him and climbing up just as Black Gemini Delta's powerful energy sword came slicing his way. The sword made a slight cut across Cyborg's chest, and sparks began emerging from the wound, accompanied by a yelp of pain from the afflicted Titan. "Yowch!"
Another of the swords came down at Red X, who phased into a nearby room and avoided the slash completely, leaving Cyborg alone to deal with a constant barrage of sword swings. Unable to risk being sliced in two by standing up, Cyborg crawled backwards along the ground to avoid the slashes, gaining a brief respite when Beast Boy, having transformed into a tiger, leaped out of the shadows and tackled the sleek robot to the ground. The swords in its hands disappeared, and it had to use its fists to fend off the roaring, snarling Beast Boy.
"Well, all right!" shouted Cyborg, standing up and readying his energy cannon. "Now just hold him still, and-"
With a powerful burst of strength, the robot tossed tiger Beast Boy off of its body, causing the two Titans to collide and be thrown to the floor.
"NOT AGAIN!" came Cyborg's frustrated shout as Beast Boy detransformed on his chest. "Get up off me!"
As the two downed Titans attempted to stand, Red X emerged from the small room that he'd phased into and watched Beast Boy and Cyborg resume their fight with Black Gemini Delta.
"I'm pretty sure the two of you can handle this..." thought Red X, "and I'm in no mood to deal with these fucking zodiac robots anymore... I've got way bigger fish to fry, and I can't be wasting my energy on fighting this thing... I'll catch the two of you later."
Beast Boy and Cyborg were too caught up in their own battle to see Red X turn and run in the other direction down the hallway. The thief wasn't running because of cowardice... he simply wanted his rematch with Sedaris. He didn't care if the Titans saw it differently... in Red X's eyes, the only person he had to answer to was himself.
Starfire could keep White Gemini Delta back with Starbolts and eye lasers, but her powerful blasts seemed to do little damage to the robot's thick armor, and she quickly realized that if it couldn't attack her, it simply decided to go after Robin instead.
"Starfire, keep hitting it with your Starbolts, I know you'll get through sooner or later!" shouted Robin, while using his bo staff to parry the robot's numerous blows. After keeping this up for nearly half a minute, Robin tried hitting the robot in the head, prompting it to leap back and form energy swords in each of its hands. As Robin came forward with his staff again, the robot sliced the metallic pole to pieces. "No!"
Starfire rushed forward and swung her fist at White Gemini Delta, only to have it dodge to the side and drive a knee into her stomach. It thrust one of its laser swords at her throat, but was yanked back by Robin's grappling cable at the last second and thrown into the left-side wall of the room, sending a shower of rocks tumbling forward.
"Starfire, are you okay?"
"I am more worried about your staff..." said Starfire, bending down to pick up the pieces of Robin's destroyed weapon.
"I can build another staff, I just-"
A powerful kick to the back of the head sent Robin flying across the room. He slammed face-first into the opposite wall, triggering an explosion of rage from Starfire, who repeatedly bombarded the robot with powerful Starbolts that it couldn't dodge or knock away. When the smoke cleared, the robot's swords were gone, and it was stumbling about the room as if having sustained a severe malfunction.
Starfire seized on the opportunity, flying at the robot and slamming both of her feet into its back. It was knocked forward again, slamming into the metallic wall that blocked the entrance to the elevator in the next room and taking down the wall in an instant, sending both it and White Gemini Delta crashing to the floor.
"And if you hurt Robin again, you will have it twice as bad!" shouted Starfire, standing over the downed robot as Robin slowly walked toward her, wiping a droplet of blood from his nose.
"Robin!" Starfire quickly turned toward him, not seeing that the robot was once again standing up and was now towering behind her, its hands poised to grab her by the neck. Robin tried to warn his fellow Titan, but only made it worse. Starfire turned back around, right into the robot's powerful choke, its hands immediately tightening around Starfire's throat and putting an immense strain on her windpipe. She screamed, but nothing came out except a loud, choked gasp.
"Death Choke activated," said the robot, holding the rapidly choking Starfire high in the air. "Any attempt to extricate victim will lead to immediate self-destruction."
"Robin..." thought Starfire, looking fearfully at him as White Gemini Delta's powerful hands tightened around her throat. "Please... do something..."
Though outnumbered by a factor of more than a hundred, Raven and Terra fought valiantly, Raven using powerful dark energy blasts to keep the men away, while Terra created a small earthquake that knocked a large portion of them off their feet.
"We need to get higher!" shouted Terra, closing her eyes and raising up the section of ground beneath herself and Raven, lifting them both nearly twenty feet off the floor and well out of reach of any of the men coming for them. This merely delayed the attackers, who raised their guns and began firing upon the two girls on the platform. Raven repelled the bullets by raising an energy shield, but watched in horror as the men began climbing on one another to reach the top of the platform.
"Higher isn't helping!" shouted Raven, leaping off the platform and extending her arms outward from her body. "Azarath, metreon, zinthos!"
Another powerful wave of energy blasted outward from Raven's body, slamming into the men below and knocking them away, while also tearing down the platform that Terra was standing on and sending her plummeting toward the ground. In a panic, Terra was able to levitate a small rock into each of her hands, which she used to keep herself off the ground, flying upward and over to Raven.
"Rae, that almost got me killed!" shouted Terra, just as a bullet grazed her arm. She dropped both the rocks that she was holding and fell to the ground, right into the outstretched arms of nearly a dozen of Sedaris' men. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"
"TERRA!" Raven attempted to blast the men away from Terra, but was suddenly hit by a powerful tackle from behind, as several of the men had formed a human pyramid in order to reach her. She was knocked face-first to the ground and immediately surrounded, the men diving on her before she was able to stand.
Terra kicked and punched at the soldiers gathered around her, while at the same time bombarding them with rocks. With every few she managed to knock unconscious or push away, several more took their place, and Terra's eyes widened in pure horror when she realized how desperate her situation was.
"Get away from me! Stop it! Go! You bastards... get away!"
With every second, Terra's voice became more and more desperate. Her arms were now completely immobilized, being held in place by five men, while her legs weren't doing her much good, even if she kicked as hard as she could muster. She tried creating another earthquake, but in her panic found herself unable to concentrate her energy. When she managed to catch a glimpse of Raven, she saw the pale-skinned girl fighting just as hard as she was, her cloak having been torn off in her struggles. Just as it seemed that Raven was beginning to get free, the butt of a rifle slammed into the back of her skull, and she immediately went unconscious.
Seeing Raven get knocked out sent Terra into a panic mode, and she began screaming, her body wildly thrashing as she attempted to send more and more rocks at the men holding her in place.
"Let's see how you like getting hit by rocks, bitch."
One of the men smashed a large rock right into Terra's face, knocking her unconscious and causing a small stream of blood to emerge from her nose. The men dropped her unconscious body to the ground and began dragging her over to Raven, laying the two helpless Titans next to one another.
"Very nice work..."
Every single one of the nearly three-hundred men in the room looked up toward the balcony, where Sedaris was standing, his hands behind his back. His gaze remained fixated on Terra and Raven, knowing that in their weakened, unconscious state, the two Titans were completely at his mercy.
"Sir," said one of the men, pointing at Terra and Raven as several of the men leveled their guns at the Titans' lifeless bodies. "Do you want us to kill them?"
Sedaris pondered the man's question for several seconds, a smile slowly forming on his face. His mind was working rapidly, and as an idea appeared in his head, he gestured to the men to lower their guns.
"Keep them both alive... there's something that I always wanted to try... take them to the containment chambers."
As the men lifted Terra and Raven up and carried them past the stony pillars holding up the balcony and into the shadows, Sedaris' smile grew larger and larger... and a slight chuckle escaped his lips.
"This is working out better than I'd hoped..."
A roaring green grizzly bear towered over Black Gemini Delta, swiping its claws down repeatedly at the robot's head. Several large scratches were made by the claws as they came down, and the robot somersaulted over the bear's head, attempting to strike it in the back with a forceful punch. The bear simply went down on its four legs and turned around, charging into the robot and knocking it to the floor.
"This'll be a piece of cake," thought Beast Boy, raising his claw to strike again. The robot sat up and slammed its head into Beast Boy's snout, triggering a cry of pain from Beast Boy and causing him to detransform, holding his nose in pain. "Aaaaaaagggh... I totally wasn't expecting that!"
Black Gemini Delta stood up and kicked Beast Boy away, just as Cyborg came in with another of his powerful punches. The robot turned around and grabbed Cyborg by the arms, flinging him backward and causing him to slam into Beast Boy just as he stood up.
"Everything we throw at this thing just seems to make it madder and madder!" shouted Beast Boy, attempting to crawl out from underneath Cyborg. "Hey... where's Red X, wasn't he helping us fight this thing?"
"I guess Red X decided not to be so helpful anymore," said Cyborg, standing up and leveling his sonic cannon at Black Gemini Delta's head.
"You gotta be kidding me..." thought Beast Boy, rubbing the small of his back and trying to figure out just why Red X would bail in the middle of a fight, then remembering that X wasn't a member of the Titans... he was a rogue thief, out for himself and only helping the Titans take down Sedaris because he had a grudge against the people that abducted Cleo. "We can't worry about that loser, we gotta deal with this guy first!"
"That's exactly what I was thinkin'," said Cyborg, blasting Black Gemini Delta in the face at point-blank range and watching as the robot stumbled back, sparks and smoke pouring from its body. "BOOYAH! Right on the money!"
"I'll finish him off," said Beast Boy, transforming into a gorilla and charging past Cyborg. "The Titans never needed Red X before, and they don't need him now!"
Beast Boy leaped into the air and prepared to strike the robot's damaged head with his powerful gorilla fist... only to wind up staring straight into the business end of a massive energy cannon. Black Gemini Delta had reconfigured both of its arms into a cannon, which it held out and was now pointing right at Beast Boy's chest. In less than a second, the huge green gorilla was sent flying across the hallway, eventually disappearing into the shadows, a smoke trail still floating outward from his body.
"BEAST BOY, NO!" shouted Cyborg, turning around and watching in dismay as his friend disappeared from view. He then turned back toward Black Gemini Delta, which was once again recharging its powerful energy cannon. "All right, you big piece of robotic crap, you just tweaked Cyborg's biggest nerve, and now you're gonna pay like nobody's ever paid before. Time for you to die!"
Cyborg placed both of his arms out in front of his own body, and they too began to reconfigure into a massive energy cannon, his hands disappearing and the machinery of both arms merging together as the cannon raised itself toward the mouth of Black Gemini Delta's cannon and began charging up for its own energy blast. The two cannons discharged at the same time, their blasts meeting in the middle and vying for position. Cyborg, sweat already running down the human side of his face, was immediately pushed back several feet, then held his ground, narrowing his eyes as he attempted to push his blue-colored blast toward Black Gemini Delta's red-colored beam.
"I guess I never told you before, but I'm tellin' you now," said Cyborg through gritted teeth, "nobody messes with my friends, and you're about to learn the hard way!"
Slowly but surely, Cyborg's beam pushed back the red beam of his opponent, and Black Gemini Delta found itself pushed back as Cyborg began walking forward. Cyborg's beam moved as well, until the other energy beam completely disappeared.
An enormous explosion engulfed Black Gemini Delta, immediately blasting the robot into scrap and showering Cyborg with smoke and large hunks of metal. The coughing Cyborg waved off the smoke and looked around at the hallway, seeing that there was nothing left of Sedaris' powerful robot except a few pieces of scrap metal and a large crater that spanned the width of the hallway. Exhausted, Cyborg slumped against the wall and stared up at the ceiling, taking a few seconds to recover before remembering that Beast Boy had disappeared in the battle.
"Beast Boy?" Cyborg called out, slowly walking down the hall in the direction that he'd seen Beast Boy get blasted. "I really hope the little guy's okay..."
There was no doubt that Starfire wasn't okay... White Gemini Delta was choking the life out of her body, and as she gasped for breath, Robin's mind began racing as he searched for some way to save Starfire without touching the robot and risking its self-destruction.
"Robin... do not worry about me... you must go and find Sedaris, I will escape the grasp of this machine somehow..." But even Starfire wasn't sure that she would escape, and her repeated attempts to pry the robot's fingers from her neck were completely futile.
"Starfire, I promise I'll get you out of that thing!" Looking down at his utility belt, Robin realized that he did have something that might be able to free Starfire without him touching the robot... but it would be a delicate operation. He reached down and took out a large bar magnet, black at one end and red at the other. He pointed the red end at the robot and pressed a button on the magnet's tip, generating an incredibly strong magnetic force that begin loosening the grip of the robot's fingers. Once the grip had loosened enough for Starfire to breathe, she let out a loud gasp, swinging her heel back into the robot's chest and knocking it backward. This completely freed her neck, and she collapsed to the ground, clutching her throat and gasping for breath. Robin deactivated the magnet and rushed to Starfire's side, falling to his knees and taking her gently into his arms.
"Starfire... are you-"
The robot lunged forward and slammed its fist into Robin's face, knocking him away from Starfire and causing the Tamaranian to go into a violent rage. She stood up and fired her eye lasers straight into White Gemini Delta's chest, which previously would have been ineffective. In this case, powered by all of Starfire's righteous fury, the lasers had more than enough energy to pierce the robot's power core, and it was destroyed in a violent explosion that knocked both Titans back into the room, landing on their faces a short distance away from each other.
Robin was the first to stand, followed by Starfire, who had exerted much of her strength in the fight and was still trying to recover from having been choked. The two met in the center of the room.
"Robin, are you-"
"Starfire, are you-"
Their words came at the same time, and both of them blushed and looked away from one another. Quickly, Robin's seriousness returned, and he looked past Starfire to the elevator in the next room, the path to it now laying wide open in front of the two Titans.
"We should probably go..."
"Yes... yes, we should..." said Starfire, her legs slowly carrying her toward the elevator, though she clearly had something else on her mind, and as the two entered the next room, she stopped before reaching the elevator and turned to Robin... who apparently had the same idea, since he had turned toward her as well. "I just... I just want to say that... I am thankful to you for saving-"
"You saved me first, Star..." replied Robin, remembering how it had been Starfire who'd knocked the robot away once his staff had been destroyed. He reached over and took her hands in his own, lifting them up just past the level of his waist. "So... thanks."
A smile slowly crossed Robin's face, matching the smile that Starfire was already wearing. Without saying anything, the two leaned into one another, their lips touching for a brief moment... a moment that became several seconds before the two finally pulled away. Both of them were still smiling.
"Now we can go and defeat Sedaris," said Starfire, walking into the center of the circular elevator. Robin walked in next to her, and together, the two began their descent into the depths of the bunker.
The disoriented Beast Boy had stumbled completely out of the living area before realizing that he was nowhere near Cyborg or Gemini Delta. When he finally did manage to figure out what he was doing, he realized something else... that he was completely lost.
"Cyborg's gonna kill me," said Beast Boy, sadly shaking his head and continuing to walk forward, barely noticing that he'd entered the large, expansive atrium, where a massive fight had taken place just a short time before. "If he's not already dead first..."
It was then that Beast Boy tripped over a rock and fell face-first to the floor, his forehead impacting hard on the ground. He let out a shriek and climbed to his feet, looking around with awe at the open room, and how much abuse it had recently taken. Huge piles of rock lay strewn about, the floor was cracked in several places, and massive, still-smoldering craters had been carved out everywhere. Shell casings and hundreds of bullets littered the debris, and it didn't take Beast Boy long to figure out what had happened.
"Somebody here got their butt kicked," said Beast Boy, his eyes widening. "I wonder who-"
Beast Boy let out a gasp, almost falling again. When he looked down to see what had tripped him up, his eyes widened in dismay. He reached down and picked up a blue cloak, its edges slightly singed. Lying nearby was a pair of goggles, one of the lenses broken.
"Raven and Terra..." thought Beast Boy, falling on one knee to the ground. "They... they must've been ambushed..."
Beast Boy could already feel the sting of tears in his eyes... he reached up to brush one away, only to have another fall down the opposite cheek. Raven and Terra had been attacked, and were most likely in serious danger... the fact that there were no bodies in the room meant that either every single one of their attackers had been vaporized, highly unlikely since the Titans almost never killed a foe, or that Raven and Terra had been... had been...
"Someone took them..."
Raven awoke with a splitting pain in her head and a lingering ache in both of her arms... when she attempted to touch her forehead, she found that she couldn't move her arms at all, and she looked up to see that they were chained above her head, immobilized with shackles that were fixed to the top of a metallic structure. Her wrists were encased in the thick shackles and held in place, and her ankles were held in similar fashion, forcing Raven to stand on tiptoe.
A loud, muffled cry nearly drew Raven's attention to her left, where she could see a tall, cylindrical structure, metal on top and on bottom that held in place a glass-walled structure. Behind the glass walls, Raven could see Terra, shackled in a similar fashion, her wrists fixed above her head and her ankles below. Terra had also been gagged with duct tape, and as the blonde girl attempted to cry out, Raven could see in her wide, blue eyes an intense fear, mixed with other negative emotions... sadness, guilt... Terra was attempting to speak with her eyes an apology that her tongue was currently unable to form.
When Raven looked forward again, she could see several of the men who had taken her milling about. One of them was standing right in front of her, at a distance of several feet away.
"What do you want with us?" shouted Raven, who, unlike Terra, had not yet been gagged. "You have nothing to gain by using us as hostages..."
"You're not hostages," said the man, who held a roll of duct tape in his hands. He peeled off a long strip and leaned forward to place the tape over Raven's mouth. "Sedaris wants you for something else. That's all I know."
"You tell Sedaris he can kiss my ass!" shouted Raven, showing a rare display of emotion, both in an attempt to intimidate her captor and to gather the energy that she would need to escape. "Our friends will come, and Sedaris will- mph! MMM!"
The tape was placed over Raven's mouth, and as the man stepped back, glass walls were raised around her as well. Then, the few men in the room exited, and the empty room was completely shrouded in darkness, leaving both of the helpless heroines trapped inside their cylindrical prisons.
Beast Boy had exited the atrium by passing through the pillars underneath the balcony and heading into the shadows, going through the first door that he could see and running down a long, straight hallway. As he ran, he continued to think about how he'd seen Raven's cloak and Terra's goggles... and that both girls were in serious danger.
"I have to find them... I have to save them..."
Beast Boy pushed through another set of doors, emerging into a brightly-lit hallway, similar to the one he'd seen in the living area, but completely devoid of doors. He no longer cared about Red X, no longer cared about finding Sedaris... he just wanted to find Raven and Terra, and desperately hoped that they were unharmed.
"If anyone's hurt either of you, I swear, I'll-"
Beast Boy pushed through one last set of double doors, emerging into another large room, larger even than the atrium, and darker than any room in the bunker. There wasn't a single light to show Beast Boy the way.
"Damn... I'll need to transform into a bat again..."
But before he could, half the room was suddenly lit up, as the system of lights on Beast Boy's side of the room activated and allowed him to see everything but the very back of the room, still concealed by shadows. He began walking forward, only to hear a voice and to see a single figure emerge... the imposing figure of Sedaris, slowly coming toward him.
"You're the first," said Sedaris, slowly closing the gap between Beast Boy and himself. The changeling crouched down into a fighting stance, narrowing his eyes at Sedaris. He began to tremble, but quickly stopped himself, not wanting to show any sign of fear. "I didn't think you'd be the first."
"I know you're trying to destroy the city," said Beast Boy, clenching his fists and walking toward Sedaris at the same speed at which Sedaris was coming toward him. "And I'm not gonna let you do that... I'll fight you..."
"But I don't want to fight, Beast Boy... what gave you the idea that I wanted to fight? I just want to talk... you like talking, right?"
"No talking!" Beast Boy, now standing near the center of the room, stopped in place and clenched his fists, waiting for Sedaris to come to him. "This guy probably knows where Terra and Raven are... I wanted to find them BEFORE I fought Sedaris!"
Sedaris stopped about thirty feet away from Beast Boy, his arms crossed over his chest.
"I've been watching you... I got one of Jarvin's old surveillance devices inside the main room of your tower... placed it on Starfire during my fight with her, and when it got inside it flew right up into the corner. I've had my eye on you for two days."
"Just... just shut up!" shouted Beast Boy, surprised that Sedaris had managed to get such a device into the tower, and worried about what he might've seen... but right now, the changeling was far too angry about his friends in danger to worry about anything else. "Are we gonna fight, or-"
"Seriously, I don't want to fight you... actually, I was planning to conduct a psychological experiment." A smile was etched on Sedaris' face, and he was speaking to Beast Boy as casually as someone like Red X would... almost as a friend. "In my twenty-four years, I've studied many things... and I've become an admirer of one culture in particular. I've become an admirer of the Nazis. Not of their bigotry, but of the efficiency and of their ingenuity... they were some of the most brilliant people in history, and some of their experiments were quite interesting."
Beast Boy, no longer able to speak, just listened to Sedaris and wondered what he could possibly be leading up to... and had no idea of the horrific dilemma he was about to be presented with.
"One of them in particular... think of a mother being forced to choose between her own children," said Sedaris, his words taking on a chilling undertone. "It must be fascinating to study the mind of a person subjected to such a terrible decision..."
"What are you getting at?" shouted Beast Boy, having completely failed to put two-and-two together.
Sedaris was about to bring his entire world crashing down around him.
"This, Beast Boy."
The lights of the other half of the room suddenly flashed on, and there, at the very back of the room, Beast Boy saw two glass capsules. The capsule to the left contained Raven, and the capsule to the right contained Terra. Both girls had their arms tightly shackled in place above their heads, and were on their tiptoes, their ankles shackled in place beneath them. Both were gagged with a single strip of duct tape, and both were staring fearfully at Beast Boy, able to hear exactly what Sedaris was saying.
"LET THEM GO, YOU SON OF A BITCH!"
Beast Boy lunged forward at Sedaris, who immediately produced a small remote control in his left hand. He held it out, his finger touching a red button at the very top.
"Make another move and I kill them both... the shackles in their arms and legs contain explosive devices powerful enough to completely vaporize either of them."
Beast Boy, his eyes widening in shock and horror, stopped just two feet away from Sedaris. His knees buckled beneath him, and he fell to the ground, staring hopelessly across the room at the two girls whom he loved.
"But you can choose to save one, Beast Boy... say the word and I'll let either one of them go, and you can walk out the door with that girl, completely unharmed. Of course, I will kill the other one, but... you love them both, so what does it matter? It's time to make a decision, Beast Boy..."
Once again, Beast Boy could feel tears sliding down the sides of his face. His lip trembled, and he let out a quiet sob.
"Just think of yourself as a modern Sophie Zawistowska."
Only three more chapters to go, but will all the Titans survive to see them? Now, I do NOT want to see my review section suicide-bombed by BBxTerrarists, or ravaged by BBxRaepists. I want to see positive reviews or constructive criticism, or I'll have Sedaris kill them both! Mwahahaha!