Chapter 5: Dead City
Disclaimer: I don't own teen Titans.
Grimm rose. He hadn't been sleeping, exactly, but that was as close as mortals could understand it. He smiled slightly to himself. Placing his glasses on his face, he stepped into the hallway. "Good evening gentlemen."
Johhny Rancid, Gizmo, and Doctor Light simply stood there shocked; hidden behind Gizmo's newest invention, stealth fields. There was no way he could've known where they were; was there?
the question was answered for them as the teenaged terror calmly reached out and snapped Rancid's neck in one hand. Gizmo and Professor Light retreated down the stairs, calling for support.
Grimm hummed a tune to himself as he turned, unhurried, up the stairs and towards the roof. He opened the stairwell door and stepped into the cloudless night. He breathed deeply, taking in the crisp night air. he leaned his head to the side, as if he was thinking on something, and the laser barely passed him, less than an inch from his head. He stood, illuminated by the moonlight, facing off with Killer Moth and his daughter, who wore some kind of power armor. The laser mounted on her arm was still smoking. He blurred for an instant, moving unbbelievably fast. Father and daughter coughed, spitting blood onto the rooftop. First one, then the other looked at their chests, registering a moment of shock at the arm that was inserted into their chests. Grimm pulled his arms out of their bodies, and they fell to the ground.
He stepped off of the rooftop, landing on his feet in front of a door. It opened a second later, but there was no one on the inside to see. Gizmo and Doctor Light froze when they saw who was standing in the way. They began slowly sneaking back into the hotel when he disappeared.
Gizmo heard metal being torn, then felt droplets of something wet hit the side of his face. He looked over, moving only his eyes, and saw one of his robotic legs shoved through Light's head. His keen mind was already working on a problem. I need all four of my legs to stand. If one of my legs is torn off, what's holding me... oh-no. He turned his head hesitantly, already knowing what he would see.
Grimm smiled at him, one arm bearing the weight the sundered leg should have been supporting. He patted Gizmo on the head, smiling like an approving older brother. Gizmo went slack, and Grimm let him fall to the floor.Looking at the floor, he took a step back glancing at his wrist as if he was checking a watch.
the floor exploded upward, and several robots jumped out, searching for their target. In the tunnel created by Fixit's robots, Mammoth, Jinx, and Fixit waited on the machines to move. Jinx turned as she heard the sound of something hitting the floor. Behind her, Grimm stood smiling, holding Fixit's head in one hand. Jinx grabbed Mammoth's arm, throwing hex-bolts in a circle around her. She and Mammoth scrambled over the rubble to reach the street. Jinx faced the building, hurling dozens of hex bolts at the hotel, collapsing it onto the teenage nightmare. then she grabbed Mammoth's arm and they ran into the abandoned streets of jump City.
The Teen Titans sat hunched over the console, staring at a bank of computer moniters, observing the city through electronic eyes. "What is wrong? Why are not the people doing things?" Starfire asked the question that haunted the minds of all of the Titans. Robin shook his head. "I don't know, Star. Something's not right. We need to be there, we need to make sure the citry is okay." He turned to the others.
"Alright. Star, we're going to make a sweep of the city, find out what's going on, then report back here." He looked at Cyborg. "Cy, you need to stay here with Raven. Keep her safe, and activate the Tower's automate defenses if something happens." Cyborg nodded, clasping robin's arm. "Be careful." He hugged Starfire before saying the same to her. Together, the two made their way to the hangar, making ready to leave for the city.
At the same time, in the rubble of a destroyed hotel, something stirred. A hand, scraped and bleeding, pushed itself out of the concrete and plaster that had been the building. The single arm lifted a large piece of concrete, throwing it off of the pile and across the street, revealing a mildly injured and extremely pissed off Grimm. "Another pair of sunglasses gone." The blue fireballs that sat in his eye sockets flickered malevolently.
"This town is beginnig to irritate me." He looked toward the sky, and clouds rolled across the sky, swift and dark, blotting out the sun.
The day darkened, until it was as dark as an eclipse. Lightning rumbled through the sky, threatening with it's presence, yet not falling to the earth. the flames in Grimm's eyes glowed brightly, and there was a blinding flash of light.
Robin and Starfire covered their eyes as a flash of blue light swept over the city, just as they had landed on the docks. Robin threw himself in Starfire's direction, riding her to the ground. A tingling sensation swept over the two. they stood after a moment, trying to adjust their eyes.
"Robin, what was that?" Robin shook his head mutely, rubbing his eyes. Together they marched into the city, keeping close together. Overhead, raindrops began to fall.
Mammoth and Jinx sat huddled in a newspaper stand. They had decided to take refuge here shortly after the rain had started. At first they had attempted to push onward, but the raindrops had cut through their clothes like icy knives, the rain being almost like minute hailstones cutting into their skin.
So they sat there, burning some of the papers in an attempt to drive of the chill.
They had both cast off the stealth units given to them by Gizmo, the unit having shorted out in the rain.
Jinx had suggested keeping them in the hopes that they could be repaired, but Mammoth had argued against it.
"It'll just slow you down, and it's not like they were any help anyway." That had ended the discussion.
A couple of hours later, with the rain showing no sign of abating, Jinx began to feel restless. "I don't like this, I feel like we're being watched." Mammoth nodded. "I know. I can almost smell something, but the rain is washing away the scent before I can figure it out." jinx hugged her legs to her chest. "I wish that-" she paused, looking at Mammoth sideways, not wanting to finish.
"You wish he were here?" He gave her a lopsided grin. "I know about you and the Titan. I saw you and him at the dance back at the Hive." He ruffled her hair. "Kid, I'll always look at you as my sister. You were about the only one besides Gizmo who didn't make fun of me." Jinx nodded, remembering simpler times. "I think maybe we should look for the Titans," she said hesitantly. "there's no way that they would throw us out, they're the good guys." Mammoth nodded. "Good idea. Maybe they have somethin' to eat, too." Jinx grinned for the first time in days at the sound of her friend's stomach rumbling. "How can you think of food at a time like this?"
He shrugged."I can't run for my life on an empty stomach."
A cold voice came from outside the newspaper stand. "Then maybe you can just sit there while I kill you."
Grimm stepped from the back of the stand, his footsteps silent as a ghost's. "You and all your friends had no reason to attempt to end my life, though I must admit, it was a daring gambit." He shook his head. "Did no one explain to you that you cannot defeat an aspect of creation at their own purpose? You can no more end my life than I can create it."
Mammoth wasted no words. He grabbed Jinx, holding her to his massive chest, then shouldered through the side of the stand, breaking out onto the street. He took off, setting her next to him on the ground. Jinx never missed a beat, her feet already in motion when she struck pavement. They sprinted down the street, turning the corner and fleeing into the apartments and condos that lined the side of the street. "C'mon," Jinx shouted over the rain. "We'll lose him in here."
Only a block away, Robin and Starfire heard the sound of wood breaking and a girl's voice shouting a short distance away. robin touched Starfire's shoulder and she nodded. Together they moved down the sidewalk towards the voice.
Grimm was enjoying himself. Since discovering that these so-called 'meta-humans' were tools of his cousin Fate, beyond his ability to pass to their hereafter, he had to kill them the old fashioned way. He would really have to speak to the High One about that at the next turn of the millenium, he decided. Meanwhile, he was still enjoying his sport.
Robin and Starfire moved silently through the halls of the dingy apartment building, searching for any sign of who had yelled earlier. Starfire looked at Robin. "Perhaps we should search some of the rooms here," suggested Starfire. "Maybe who we seek is hiding in one of them." Robin nodded. "Not a bad idea." He turned and opened the door nearest him. "Hello? Is there anyone the-"
Robin stopped mid-sentence. Starfire stepped into the room and gasped. The bodies of two adults and a child were laying on the floor. It didn't look as though they had been murdered, but as if they had simply laid down to sleep where they had stood. Behind them, a table with breakfast still on it sat waiting, untouched. Starfire began to cry, and robin held her as they stood, helpless to help the city they had sworn to protect.
Suddenly, Robin saw a shadow move on the wall of the hallway. He spun Starfire around, and she wiped her eyes, a starbolt appearing in her fist. A teenage girl walked around the corner, her eyes wary as she surveyed them. "What are you doing in my house?" They were suprised to hear that her voice was scratchy, like someone who had been yelling for hours. "We're here to find out what's going on. Who are you?"
The girl gave a swift grunt, one that might have been a chuckle in a less damaged voice. "It's pretty obvious what's 'going on' around here." She waved her hand vaguely in the direction of the family; her family, Robin supposed. "Everywhere is like this. No reason, no explanation. Just dead." She smiled humorlessly. "So, what can you do?" they looked at her quizically.
She sighed, a not altogether pleasant sound. "Surely you've noticed. the only ones who survive are the ones who can do something. Something special." She leaned against the doorjam. "You're the Teen titans, right?" She nodded before they could speak. "You have to be, you're the only ones who wear costumes that would have been outside the blast."
"What blast?" Robin was slightly on edge now. "you mean that flash of light?" She nodded,then pointed at Robin. "I know what she does, but no one has ever seen you show a power before. What is it?" Robin shrugged. "I don't have a power." She shook her head. "You felt the tingle, right? that was his power washing over you. Only weird people survived that." She shrugged again. "We'll ask Nancy, but first I've got to find the others."
"What others?" She didn't answer, the girl simply brushed by them and headed out of the apartment and down the hall, opening the door. they noticed that she had a small duffel bag over one shoulder.
As they started to follow, they heard a crash and the sound of splintering wood. running into the room, they saw none other than Mammoth and Jinx, and Mammoth was laying on the floor with a broken baseball bat next to him. Jinx looked ready to kill the girl from earlier, who was clamly pulling another bat from her duffel bag. Jinx did a double take when they stepped through the door.
"First time in my life have I been glad to see enforcers of the law." She looked down at the floor, and Robin could have sworn she was blushing. "Is Cyborg alright?" She let out an audible breath when he said yes. "Let's get outta here. He's right on our tail." The girl looked at her sharply. "You mean to tell me you led him straight to us?!" Swiftly, she used the bat to smash out a window overlooking the fire escape, and she frantically began stuffing food and anything that could have been used as a weapon into her bag. In a couple of minutes she threw the bag through he window, and followed it a second later. She stuck her head into the window.
"Do what you want, but don't let him touch you. I'll light a candle for you tonight." And with that, she was gone.