Disclaimer: No, for if I did, I'd get a doseful of laser fire from those drones of Slade's. Why did he have those anyway?

Author's Note: Just an exercise to see if my action scenes have improved at all. After the mermaid piece, I think I can give action/adventure scenes a shot. That and I want to play with Slade to make up for his paucity of lines in Titan Rising and see if I can still write him.

Beta: My beta has life to deal with, so patience.

Timeline: Right before the elevator scene in Titan Rising.

Ready Go!


"Robin! Hang on!" the wannabe Titan Terra exclaims as she and Raven dash off to assist the beleaguered Robin, who is now facing against the Terminator himself: Slade Wilson, in a cavern underneath Titans Tower.

"Forget about me! Shut down the drill!" he cries out as Slade ushers him to an errand elevator shaft.

"Good, Robin. Now I have you all to myself," the Terminator slithers as he slams a button down and a waist high gate emerges. As the elevator lifts off, the one-eyed assassin lunges at Robin. The Teen Wonder snarls as he dodges the lunge and launches several Birdarangs in Slade's direction. The mastermind darts his way out of each one.

"No toys, Robin. It wouldn't be fair, now would it?" Slade wags his finger.

The leader of the Titans growls as he adopts a defensive position. His opponent scans him with his singular eye.

"This is our first encounter since you betrayed me with your…little friends, surely you could dredge up a few words for me," Slade purred.

The teenager's face shifts to a slack-jawed one. "Betrayed? You're the one that blackmailed me into working for you."

He waves his hand dismissively. "Minor details."

Robin grits his teeth as he charges forth, fists at the ready. Slade sighs as he leapfrogs the younger male and places a solid kick on his adversary's backside.

"Ahh!" Robin grunts as he collapses on the floor. He tumbles away before the older antagonist could stomp his metal boot down on his head. He leaps for his foe but Slade captures him in time and chucks him against the wall.

"You're so predictable, Robin. And I suppose I should have predicted the strength of your bonds with those various genetic misfits." The one-eyed manipulator clenches his fists and unleashes volley upon volley of punches. Robin evades all but the final few as they connect with deadly accuracy on his stomach.

"A mistake I won't make again," Slade sneers, as his former apprentice is on his knees, clutching his stomach.

The mature challenger folds his arms and surveys his fallen rival. "Tell me, Robin, which one of your friends gave you the impetus to separate yourself from me back then? The half machine, Cyborg and your strong friendship? Your romantic entanglements with the alien, Starfire? Or your chances to compensate for the indifferent relationship you have the empath, Raven and the changeling, Beast Boy?"

"How do you know so much about them?" Robin gasps out a breath. He bides his time, waiting for the old man to approach.

Slade narrows his eye. "Since they were the reason my master plan was foiled, I thought it would be prudent to analyze them as to discover how deep your attachments are before I initiate my next long-term operation. I see you have a new recruit among you—a blonde girl. Tell me, Robin, do you have any designs on her?"

"You leave her alone," Robin barks as he springs to action, toppling the Terminator with a well-placed uppercut. He sustains his melee with unrelenting pummeling, just as he did in his third confrontation with Slade. His punching bag simply chuckles in between blows.

"What is so funny?" he screeched as he shoved Slade back.

"I was going to say your attempt at playing the innocent but instead I'll say your protection towards her. I've noticed your overprotection towards your teammates, but one day, you have to learn that you can't protect everyone—from themselves or the truth, right, my Red X?" The aged one of the pair dribbles out some blood as he stands on his feet.

"I am not like that, not anymore." Robin gesticulates with his hands as he maintains his distance.

"Are you? Sometimes you just can't be the hero, Robin. And even when you are, not everyone will be grateful. I know that lesson rather well, actually."

"When were you a hero?" the teen scoffed.

"A long time ago. There is much you don't know about me. Even after what we've been through, you still don't know an iota about me. However, I will tell you this: I'm weary of the game and I want to move on.

"All this time, I wanted to know how your mediocre team endures despite what I've done and how could I shatter your team's heart since I failed to capture its brain. Meeting you again has confirmed just how to do it. You won't even see it coming; your obliviousness amuses at times. I'm moving on from you, Robin," Slade declares in his monologue, with his patented cryptic tone.

"You have to get past me first."

Slade offers no retort as he sprints to the young male. The fight resumes back and forth in silence until the Terminator knocks him back to another wall. The elevator jolts sharply and jostles him onto the floor. He cranes his head upward and observes that they have arrived to the ceiling, with the peculiar mechanical worms levitating above.

"The Tower!" Robin shouts.

The worms pass along, with ruby lasers cutting into the solid rock. The weakened sediment starts to fracture due to the Tower's weight.

"Going down," Slade affirms ominously.

Before Robin could react, the industrial saboteur nimbly hurdles over the gate and into the open space below. The Teen Wonder scuttles to the gate and discerns only the rotating worms—Slade's notorious disappearing trick strikes again. He soars out of the elevator car before it collides to the ceiling. Firing a grappling hook, it latches onto a set of guide rails, and he perches safely on one of the horizontal I-beams.

"I wonder what Slade meant by 'shatter our team's heart.' It doesn't matter now; I'll think about it later. I got my Tower to save," Robin muses as he proceeds to climb down.


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