Disclaimer: I don't own them.

Author's Note: I recently watched a re-airing of "Things Change" and I remembered what I said in my initial review about how could Slade possibly have known to plant a robot decoy at the amusement park, just so Beast Boy could find it. This is my take on it, and the second of Wolfram's plotholes I'm explaining. Lord knows which one I'll cover next: the reason behind Terra's flipflop? Who knows?

Beta: My beta has life to deal with, you know the drill.

Timeline: prior to "Things Change".

Ready Go!

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The machine and its concepts never cease to amaze Slade Wilson. Descartes clearly had his finger on the pulse of Europe's turnover when he devised the phrase "cogito ergo sum" — "I am thinking, therefore I exist." His eye wafts to one minuscule rusted cog of his backup power generator. The appliance supplants the cog with a fresh one and swiftly resumes its function. Given a certain upcoming task ahead for the Terminator, the metaphor is rather apt.

With a sigh, he surveys the reconstruction of his original base, his drones laboring overtime on renovations. Now revitalized with his own flesh and blood, it is time to revolutionize himself along with his empire — first off, no apprentices. They are far too incommodious to train, plus that nasty habit of betrayal, so they're out. However, that doesn't mean he cannot espy on both former and potential ones now and then.

His first one, Robin, currently has his hands full with the Brotherhood of Evil, which employs his departed manservant, Wintergreen, as it now occurs to the one-eyed manipulator. He rather desires Wintergreen's presence now — he could use the insight and assistance. Alas, William reached his decision to leave long ago. Slade surprisingly bared no animosities for his exodus; the mercenary's only friend on this world deserves only the best. Veering the pondering back to the Teen Wonder, there is still a fondness for the young one-man army, but there are other priorities to consider first and conspiracies for another day.

The next in progression is Terra, the blonde madcap to whom Slade lost his life. He had an unspeakable rage with her before, yet in his time as Trigon's errand boy, the assassin learned to place a proper perceptive on things. In a recent evening of morbid curiosity, he decided to scrutinize the statue of his former apprentice in a bout of reflective brooding and then discerned its bizarre disappearance. Some swift hacking and he uncovered her as a teenager at Murakami School, a high school within Jump City.

After a few nights of observation, he concluded that either it was a normal double or it was his geomancer, though amnesiac. It did not matter: the man had his fill of her and since her powers appear to be dominant, he had no purpose for her. No, let her live her life of anonymity, although, there is one person who would challenge to drag her back if he were to convene with her. Naturally, it would be the only one closest to defeating Slade (never mind the closeness to his apprentice) — the Teen Titan known as Beast Boy.

While it was established that the schemer was attentive to the other Titans, he clearly had no utilization for the second stringers as he focused on specific ones: Robin, for his familial feelings to his own sons, Terra, for her powers and an apprentice with no emotional ties, and Raven, because of her father. Nonetheless, his confrontations with the emerald changeling on the night of his apprentice's perfidy to the Titans and the day of his death evoke at least some pause and cogitation. No doubt, eventually the reformatted earthmover and Beast Boy will congregate, and the saboteur will be prepared.

Since retreating to the underground, Slade has been a busy bee with his monitoring enemies for complacency, blackmailing for resources, waiting for the perfect moment to storm the scene. After noting the approaches of the upstarts Sebastian Blood and the Brain, the modernized instigator had the epiphany of being needed more than ever. His investigation of the Brotherhood's recent global activities, presents the ideal opportunity of witnessing Beast Boy's curious evolution, which under the right stimuli, could modify the metamorphic teenager into quite the Robin type. If the ex-Doom Patrol member had not possessed an annoying personality, he could be quite the apprentice.

Given the proper inducement, the Robin traits could easily emerge — say an encounter with one amnesiac flaxen haired schoolgirl — and the mechanistic exploiter would perform his renowned quality of distorting and influencing the situation. Using the Titan leader's paradigm of obsessive pursuits of anyone pertinent, Beast Boy no doubt would check out the old haunts of his lady fair: including the amusement park where the grand revelation was sited. All it would take is an effortless planting of an android decoy and linger for the proper moment. An unexplained turning the screws for the animalistic Titan while conveying the message of Slade's eye being everywhere. The gothic industrialist then revisits the apparatus he analyzed from before and palms the discarded gear.

Batman's one time protégé and the illegitimate daughter of Markovia's monarch will have to wait — this time, Slade Wilson, the superior of all engineers, is after the greatest (but peculiar) game: a viridian skinned court jester with a penchant for Tofu.

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