Well, well, well, here we are – the sixth and final chapter of Monsters in the Closet. And what a crazy lil' ride it's been. I would like to thank each and every one of you who has joined me in the revealing of this mad little tale, whether you just read or read and reviewed. Hopefully you have enjoyed it! If nothing else, it is at least something different…
…And I haven't had one bad review at all for it, so… yay!
Thankyou to; Narroch06 (well, this chapter has the most "action" in it… and yeah, he wasn't "pregnant". He was an incubator, basically…); Depths of Passion (Chang's reactions are right down below for you. I am glad you have enjoyed this – although I should have known…); Nightlark (thanks for the compliments on the writing! Hope you like how it ends!); iRebel (oh, I see… it's iPod, not I, Robot… in fact, I think I spelt I, Robot wrong last time…I think I spelt it like iPod… "iRobot"… oh, well… I am glad you have enjoyed this, anyhow!); Crazy Insomniac (c'mon, Robin has a laser gun and… well, he's Robin! You know he's gonna make out just fine! And yeah, gotta love that Terminator line…); Beanrox (loved how articulately you summed up this fic: "One kid with a laser gun against ninety-or-so… mutant fish…"; Perfectly put!And the Titans are back this chapter); Kazuni (of course this fic is gross; and yeah, I think we'd all scream… But Robin, he's a bit stubborn, no? Heh heh… "Mommy-Robin to the Rescue!"; that made me laugh… And you'll get to see Chang getting his ass busted this chapter!); Crazy Girl Person (well, you gotta keep an eye on Star and BB, right? With that Silkie thing… glad you liked the Terminator line too!); RavenWriter89 (uh, well, he probably would have notice, but he was busy those last few days trying to catch Chang, so…); Coolteenzz ("Hasta la vista" is definitely Spanish and I think it means "goodbye"… Narroch06 would be able to confirm that one… "Hasta la vista, babies" is a play on the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger line from Terminator); and Natalie Stiles (it wasn't over last chapter, but it is now!).
Enjoy the last chapter, guys (including you, Quinn, wherever you are…)!
Monsters in the Closet – VI
"You reckon he did this himself?" Beast Boy asked, looking around the demolished sick bay. "Busted out and ran for it?"
"Why would he?" Raven asked drolly. "Robin wants those things out of him, and Cyborg is the only one who can do it. Besides, even if he did make a sudden dash for it, he wouldn't get very far; he's been injected with a sedative."
"Ray's right," Cyborg agreed grimly. "Why would he run? Running isn't going to get them out of him… and anyway, he knows he's in good hands."
"Then where has he gone?" Starfire demanded shrilly. "We must locate him! He is in no fit state to…" She trailed off, not knowing how to finish that sentence.
"Gotta agree with the lady," Cyborg said gravely. "Sooner we find him, the better."
"It looks to me like he was kidnapped," Raven pointed out.
"I think we're all thinking the same thing, Ray," Cyborg replied. "And if Professor Chang put those things into Robin, then I'm guessing that's where we should start looking…"
"But how are we to locate him?" Starfire questioned worriedly. "Robin, Raven and I attempted to find and apprehend the Professor Chang only a few days ago, only to find that he had quite escaped our reach."
"Starfire is right," Raven stated. "He's disappeared, moved to a new location. We couldn't find him. As Robin said, it could be weeks before—"
"Ah-ah-ah, not so fast!" Cyborg reprimanded the empath for the second time in two days. "Who said we were looking for Chang…?"
"If you mean that we should attempt to find Robin instead, I still don't understand how you plan to do it," Raven said icily. "He isn't wearing his belt for obvious reasons, and so his tracking device is useless to us, as is his communicator…"
Cyborg actually grinned faintly as he held up the bio-plasmic tracking device.
"As long as he has those "babies" inside of him, we can get a lock on him. They aren't very big, but there are so many of them, the reading is extremely high…"
"And if they aren't still inside him?"
"This will lead us to them rather than to him." Cyborg frowned worriedly at her. "Do you sense something, Ray? What makes you think…?"
"I do not sense anything, Cyborg," Raven said quietly, pulling up her hood. "I just have a bad feeling…"
The other three Teen Titans all looked at each other warily; finally Cyborg flipped on the tracking device.
"I think we'd better get moving…"
Still treading water, Robin first trained the laser beam on the glass walls of his watery prison; receiving for his pains the beam ricocheting off the surface instead of burning a hole through it as he had hoped. It bounced up, hit the ceiling, angled down, hit the opposite wall and then finally made its way down to the water, frying one of the babies to a crisp.
He smiled icily at the sight of its tiny smoking body floating on the surface of the water and immediately turned the weapon on the rest of them when he realized it wasn't going to be able to get him out of the tank.
He had already received a few bites from some of them; and also, he had had them inside him and it had not been at all pleasant.
He felt no remorse as he turned them into fried fishsticks. No remorse at all.
He had around 30 smoking little carcasses floating around him on the water's surface before Chang idly glanced up from his desk and discovered what the Boy Wonder was doing to his precious creations; and the Boy Wonder in question was just noting to himself that these vile creatures were as dumb as they were ugly – no matter how many he fried, the rest of them kept attacking heedlessly, as though they couldn't seem to link the laser weapon in his hand with the crispy corpses of their siblings.
"No, NO!" Chang screamed, scrambling from his desk. "You're supposed to die, boy!"
Robin chucked one of the burnt carcasses at the glass; it thudded against the hard surface and slid down, and Robin smiled as Chang made a strangled sound at the sight of it.
"I'm not really one for sushi, Chang," he said, his voice laced with venom. "I don't know about you, but I prefer my fish cooked…"
He scorched another two for good measure while Chang watched and shrieked.
"No! My creations!" The little professor wailed. "My human-birthed creations! My research!"
Robin fried one that was trying to bite his hand without even looking at it; his gaze was fixed on Chang.
"You've got a choice, Chang," he said smoothly. "You can let me out now and you'll still have some left, or you can leave me in here with them and I'll kill every last one of them."
"Oh, you think so, good boy?" A grin cracked across Chang's wizened face.
There was something about his tone and that crooked grin that Robin didn't like, but he picked up one of the scorched baby monsters and dangled it like a pendulum by its tail to show that he meant business.
"If you think I'm gonna pull some kind of maternal shtick any second now and cradle them to my chest, you're gonna be bitterly disappointed," he snapped. "They're slimy, they're hideous, they bite and most importantly, they're monsters." He angrily threw the dead creature aside. "You've got another thing coming if you think I'm gonna start naming them…"
"I don't expect anything else from you, boy," Chang replied bitterly. "Only to feed your hungry little babies…"
"They are not my babies!" Robin yelled at him. "They're monsters that have no place in this world! You have no right to tamper with nature's laws like this! These things should not exist!"
"But they do, and you may not have "conceived" them in the way that a female conceives a child, but it was your body that gave them life – the temperature that allowed them to develop, hatch and grow. You feel no kind of bond with them at all?"
"There's definitely a bond between them and the laser gun," Robin replied pleasantly, keeping his boiling rage under the surface of his icy-cool façade. "And I'm going to keep on enforcing that bond unless you let me out. You want them all dead, you keep at it, because I'm not stopping…"
"I think you will…" Chang was at the wall and flipping another switch.
"What…?" Robin heard a sudden mechanical grinding sound and looked around wildly; even the babies stooped attacking him to look around curiously.
The source of the noise became clear as he saw, below the water's surface at either side of the tank, metal vents, their panels sliding back.
He had another of those sinking (terrible, terrible pun) feelings…
There was another sound – this one sounding like an explosive gushing, and then—
The volume of the water in the tank suddenly began to rise as more water was forced in from outside through the vents, pushing him, the remaining alive babies and the dead ones too higher and higher.
He remembered that the top of the tank was closed off.
And realized that Chang wasn't going to wait around for either the baby monsters to kill him or vice versa – he was simply going to drown him.
Chang rubbed his gloved hands together gleefully as he watched the Boy Wonder begin to panic.
"…You see, good boy… you and your pointy-eared friend are not the only ones who keep aces up their sleeves…"
"You think this is it?" Beast Boy asked, his green eyes wide.
"Well, the tracking device is going absolutely crazy," Cyborg replied pointedly. "It can't even record the bio-plasmic levels this place is giving off… So either someone else is playing Dr Frankenstein too, or we've found Chang's lab."
"I'd say we've found Chang's lab," Raven intoned drolly. "This place just gives off that whole "mad scientist's lab" vibe…"
"Good call," was all Beast Boy could say in reply, his pointed green ears dipping in awe as he looked up at the building again.
She was right; the place practically screamed "Mad Scientist's Laboratory" – a big neon sign with an accompanying flashing arrow couldn't have made it any clearer.
It looked as though it was another abandoned building, although in much better nick than the run-down building in the middle of Jump City – it did, however, look pretty precarious with its placement. It was part of an old water turbine – the big metal wheel was churning now, whirling water fiercely around and around even though – since it was out of use – there was no need for it to be. The lab itself was located at the very top of a rather rickety-looking building that was attached and reached much higher than the turbine in its big vat. It was altogether an unusual combination – a laboratory and a water turbine attached to each other.
But then, Professor Chang was an unusual little man. Seriously, who impregnated a teenaged boy with baby killer sea monsters?
And most importantly, it did give off that whole "mad scientist's lab" vibe.
"I am in agreement with Beast Boy and Raven also," Starfire said finally, taking to the air. "Come, let us venture forth and rescue our friend!"
"You got it, Star," Cyborg replied, putting the tracking device away and busting out his proton cannon. "But I think we should make our big entrance through the front door."
"Does it really matter?" Raven asked, rolling her eyes.
"Absolutely." Cyborg grinned. "Storming a place always looks so much more impressive if you bust the front door down…"
"Yeah, Raven," Beast Boy added dryly. "Duh…"
The clear glass roof of the tank was getting nearer and nearer – and Robin knew that his air supply was getting shorter and shorter with it. He ignored the baby monsters now – even as they still bit and tore at his skin and clothes – firing the laser weapon upwards towards the corners of the tank, hoping to melt through the joints. So far he wasn't getting anywhere, and the top was just getting nearer still.
He thought back to that time when he, Raven and Starfire had been stuck inside a flooding closed-off room inside Brother Blood's second Hive Academy building. The situation had been exceedingly similar – but then he had had both Raven and Starfire with him, not to mention his utility belt.
They had simply blown their way out.
That wasn't an option this time around – he was alone and dressed in a sweater and jeans that were both too big for him. The heavy loose material of both garments was dragging him under the water as he struggled to tread it – it had been a lot easier to keep afloat when wearing his skintight lightweight uniform.
As for the belt… it was something else he had had to forgo temporarily because of his growing belly. Had he realized that he was going to be kidnapped, he would have kept it with him anyway, but you just couldn't predict these things…
So he was gadgetless, weaponless and hopeless. The laser weapon wasn't doing a thing, and the clothes, the painful stitches in his stomach and the monsters attacking him weren't doing him any favors. He went under a few times and kept struggling back up to the surface, only to find that the ceiling of the tank was that little bit closer than it had been before.
Professor Chang sat in his chair at his metal desk, with his gloved hands pressed together, enjoying the show; every now and then he would offer a gleeful little chuckle.
Ignoring him, Robin found that he was being pushed right up against the ceiling; he pressed his hands against it, pushing with all of his strength, but of course it didn't budge at all.
He wasn't Superman.
But Superman wouldn't be in this situation anyway – he would have punched his way out of the tank a long time ago.
There was hardly any air left at all now – he took one last deep desperate breath before the water completely filled the tank, the pressure pushing him under.
Knowing he was going to die, he figured it couldn't hurt to kill a few more of his "babies" before he completely drowned, and turned the laser on them. He shot a few, killing them instantly, and then the rest of them seemed to wise up and scattered. He didn't get any further in chasing them, not noticing that the tank had begun to crack under the pressure of the water that hadn't stopped flowing into it—
The entire doorway blew open, making the whole laboratory shake and shudder with the impact. Before the smoke had even cleared Starfire had come arcing through it, her eyes and hands blazing fiery jade; Raven and Beast Boy in hawk form weren't far behind, and Cyborg brought up the rear, his proton cannon blistering too.
"Teen Titans, go!" Cyborg ordered, even though it was not a necessary instruction.
Starfire, searching for Robin, soon found him flailing in the tank, beginning to lose consciousness; she fired up a starbolt between both hands and tore it through the tank—
"NO!" Professor Chang screamed; as soon as the starbolt touched the tank the entire thing exploded outwards under both the radiation of her alien power and the water pressure.
The entire lab shuddered again as the wave crashed into the far wall, the sheer weight and power of it smashing all of the tanks and tubes lined up there. Water, monsters and bio-plasmic fluids combined in a tsunami which burst a hole in the wall of the lab. The macabre cocktail of all three began to pour out of the hole, which widened and widened under the increasing pressure until finally the entire wall gave way and the floor cracked in half—
Robin plunged screaming over the edge of the drop with shards of glass, his remaining "babies" and all that water; until Starfire swept down and grasped hold of him, flying back up with him. He looked down and saw the turbine whirring below, towards which everything was falling – water, bio-residue and monsters alike.
He looked away, as did Starfire, as the whole lot hit the turbine and everything – living, dead or object – was instantly shredded to pieces.
All of Chang's creations, destroyed in moments.
They heard Chang's forlorn and angry scream of utter despair from somewhere behind them; Starfire flew right the way back up into the shaking laboratory – or lack of, considering that all of the experiments and research had just become one big smoothie.
"Wretched interfering children!" Chang shrieked, near-hysterical; he was twisting in Cyborg's grip. "All of my creations! Look what you've done!"
"I'm looking," Beast Boy said cheerfully, reverting back to his human form. And indeed, he did look around; there was water all over the floor, a huge crack where part of the floor itself had fallen away, and an entire wall missing. Half of the glass tank remained intact – the other half had been pretty much turned back into sand by the turbine below.
Most importantly, there was not a monster in sight.
"And I don't see any mutated fishsticks," he went on, scratching the tip of one of his pointy ears. "Which, dude, is totally a good thing."
Starfire landed, putting Robin down; the soaked Boy Wonder pushed his hair right back out of his eyes and hitched up his massive jeans, which were falling right the way down with the weight of the water. He looked utterly pathetic – the size of the garments on his small frame was especially apparent now that they were wet and hung on him, and his ebony hair was flat and shapeless and plastered to his skull.
Starfire needn't have bothered putting him down, as she swept him into a tight hug as soon as he was back on his feet anyway.
"You are unharmed!" She cried happily. "And you are thin again!"
Beast Boy pushed her aside on hearing that, wrenching up Robin's sweatshirt and being met with Robin's perfectly flat stomach, adorned by a line of blue stitches.
"Hey, where are your bouncing bundles of joy?" The shape-shifter asked, prodding the stitches.
"Ow!" Robin smacked him away. "They're in about fifty pieces each… which, I have to say, is a good look for them."
"Ugly little monsters, huh?"
"Ugly doesn't even come close…"
Robin heaved a sigh, not sure whether he should be pleased by how things had turned out or not. On one hand, all of the monsters had been dealt with – destroyed, every last one of them, which was a good thing. But on the other hand… they didn't have any evidence against Chang now. Everything was gone and Cyborg and Beast Boy had disposed of the one in the marina too. And if they had no evidence to link him with the monster in the marina, the authorities wouldn't be able to hold him.
Professor Chang would walk free.
"Great work over there, Star," Cyborg complimented the alien princess weakly. "You destroyed the entire lab all by yourself within the space of about twenty seconds…"
Starfire smiled prettily.
"Although the unfortunate creatures met rather a gruesome end, I believe it was for the best?"
Raven shrugged, taking her hood down.
"At least there aren't any left for Beast Boy to keep as a pet…"
"Robin, you okay?" Cyborg asked. Robin nodded and smiled.
"I'll live." His turned his gaze on Professor Chang, who was now simply dangling limply in Cyborg's grip. "We should take him down anyway, even though we don't have anything on him…"
"This isn't over, good little boy!" Chang screeched, coming back to life again.
"Maybe not," Robin agreed, twirling the laser gun – which he had managed to cling onto – around his finger. "But it's close enough. If you want to play Dr Frankenstein, Chang, you'll have to start over…"
"…And believe me when I say that the Titans aren't going to make it easy for you…"
He nodded to Cyborg, who turned and dragged Chang from the laboratory; Raven and Beast Boy followed, and he and Starfire started after them.
Robin socked one fist into his other palm in frustration.
"I can't believe we didn't get any evidence," he muttered.
"What exactly do you mean by "evidence"?" Starfire asked curiously.
"Oh, you know… a few of his specimens or bio-plasmic samples… What I have back at the Tower isn't adequate enough to have him put down for very long…"
"Yeah, you know, one of his creations…"
"Such as the one that is clinging to your sweatshirt?"
He blinked and stopped dead.
"Here." Starfire reached out and plucked it off, holding it out.
It was one of his "babies".
It writhed and flailed in her hand and he recoiled from it instinctively.
"Y-yeah, like that…" He didn't know whether to be relieved or not.
He decided that it was a good thing that one had survived – but he still didn't want to touch it.
Starfire didn't seem to mind its aggressive demeanor or repulsive appearance, and so he used it to his advantage.
"Hold onto it for me, Star, until we get back to the Tower."
"Alright." Starfire giggled at it. "Actually, I think it is rather cute. After we have used it to lock up the Professor Chang, might I be allowed to-?"
Robin glared at her, the look alone cutting her off sharply.
Alone in the Evidence Room of Titans Tower, Robin shut the lid of the glass case in which he had displayed the laser gun, the sheet of notes from Chang's original laboratory and the dissection tool. The first creature had been incinerated as it was beginning to rot, and the second – his "baby"…
Well, it was in the hands of the authorities now. It had been handed over in a water-filled plastic tub to the police station, along with Chang, who was sporting Cyborg's new design of electronic handcuffs.
And quite frankly, Robin was glad to see the backs of the pair of them. He was really starting to detest Professor Chang and had already vowed never to underestimate him again; even the Zinothium cannon had not fazed him as much as the events of the past few days had.
He shuddered. Mad scientists. Between Professor Chang, one-time botanist Pamela Isley (now Poison Ivy) and Professor Jonathon Crane (now the Scarecrow), he had to admit that he did not want for their kind at all.
Back in his uniform, he thought that it was safe to admit that everything was pretty much back to normal. He was slim again, Raven had removed the stitches from his belly earlier that day and had healed him up herself, and Cyborg had checked him over with the bio-plasmic tracking device.
It didn't register a thing.
Just as it should.
"I'm guessing you aren't going to be putting in a subscription to Mother and Baby, then?"
Robin turned to find Cyborg entering the Evidence Room behind him.
He smiled faintly.
"No, I guess I can cancel it now…"
Cyborg grinned; but then his grin faded.
"Robin, man… I'm sorry about… what he did to you…"
"There was nothing you could have done to stop it."
"I know, but… well, I just… think that you handled it really well… It would have freaked me out."
"It freaked me out too, Cy." He shivered at the memory of it. "I don't understand how women do it willingly."
"It's not the same. Their bodies are designed for it, they have a maternal instinct built into them, and…"
"…They're carrying a human child," Robin finished. "Yeah, not freaking monsters…"
"How many were there, exactly?" Cyborg pressed. "You said there were a lot when Beast Boy asked earlier, but you were kinda… vague…"
"Ninety-odd, apparently. Too many to count, anyway…"
"Ni- what?" Cyborg sounded aghast. "Ninety?"
"Something like that…"
"You had ninety of those… things… like the one we gave in to the police… you had ninety of them inside you?"
"Afraid so." Robin was becoming rapidly bored with the conversation.
Cyborg looked at his friend, admiring the ice-like façade he always managed to front.
"Yeez, and you're not in shock?" Cyborg shook his head. "You're one weird little guy, you know, but I guess there's a reason they call you the Boy Wonder. Anyone else would be rocking in the corner…"
"Cy, if I went into shock that easily I'd have been put into an insane asylum years ago. You think you know "crazy"? Try a week out on patrol with Batman in Gotham and you'll know what crazy is…"
"You've been through crazier things than being impregnated with ninety baby monsters?"
"That was a different kind of crazy…"
"What, you have some kind of scale?"
"Something like that…" He yawned. "Jeez, I'm tired. I think I'm gonna hit the sack…"
"It's only 9:00pm."
"Hey, I've had a hard day. Gimme a break…"
His communicator went off at that very second; Robin pulled it curiously, flipping it open.
"Or give you a break-in," Cyborg commented, leaning over his shoulder.
Robin sighed unhappily; totally what he didn't need, not right now when all he wanted to do was fall into bed and go to sleep.
"Trouble," he said wearily. "Don't I get maternity leave or something?"
"Clearly not," Cyborg replied. "C'mon, we'd better get the others…"
Robin snapped his communicator shut and ran out of the Evidence Room after Cyborg.
Cyborg trailed off as he looked over at Robin; the two of them were taking refuge behind a bus, while Starfire and Raven were ducked underneath a shop window and Beast Boy was hiding under a rock in beetle form.
All to avoid the projectiles of mayonnaise and custard that were being fired all over the street by an army of wind-up gerbils, stuffed pandas and rubber chickens, all animated by the wacky magic of the Amazing Mumbo.
Not the most desirable way to spend your Friday night.
But Cyborg grinned.
"…Exactly where does this rate on your "Crazy Scale"?…"
Well, once again, huge thanks to everyone who read and reviewed; I hope you all enjoyed it! Big thankyou to all reviewers, both those who have reviewed; and a thankyou in advance to those of you who now review this, the last chapter of Monsters in the Closet!
It's been fun (for us, anyway; not for Robin…)!
Look, the guy has been around for 66 years; and here's to many more years of torturing him!
- RobinRocks xXx