Tor The Superior, falling in!!
Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans.
Chapter 8 1/2: Crash
Alec yawned, stretching as he left the roof (more like 'personal stage' for the last three days), headache finally fading more and more as he descended into the darkness where peace awaited him. Hopefully. Maybe. Most likely... not.
"It's called strain you idiot. How did you ever think you could pull this off?" Honestly, the question didn't matter to him as much as getting something to drink did. What with finally getting some of his little army posted at various rally points across the city, and doing what he could with the remainder...
At the moment, definite victory was a tiny blip on the horizon. Especially so because, according to recent reports from certain connections he had in the system, the influence of The Man was shifting faster than he had anticipated.
Well, no, initial reports out east had said something about the local militia groups getting real restless-like. The first time he read it over again, it said that the underworld in general was in a state of panic. Rereading the report again, it went something like this:
"In other news, OMIGOD IT'S CHUCK NORRIS!! (squeal) ME LURV YOU SO MUCH~! What's that? You're going to California? TAKE ME WITH YOU~!!"
Alec shook his head, disturbed by such images. Of course, the interpreted message was rather clear: "Run for your lives you hopeless idiots... or I kill you...!" Whoever had actually dictated the message had certainly done their job well... although it was pretty pointless. Neither he nor his followers would ever back down from a challenge like this!!
Well, no, he wasn't too sure about some of his following. After all, with every die-hard group there were bound to be some skittish ones... then again, he could assume that most of those had abandoned ship when he started yelling about blood and glory a few days ago. Wherever the remainder was, they would be weeded out... sooner or later. Or they could make good distractions...
No! Alec shook his head, eyes closed (and unknowingly almost hitting a door in the process). That's the kind of thinking that got us into this mess in the first place! The Man went uber-commando and got everyone thinkin' he was the good guy! So no!
"No what?" The half-demon jumped back, this time succeeding in hitting a wall, at the question before looking up, realizing that he had somehow gotten into the common room. Either that or... something.
Over by the window where the television used to be before somebody broke it again, the relatively human-looking persona of Gar's Beast-mode was spinning around, trying to get a look at something around his neck. Near him, on the couch, Robin was scratching his arms, his chest, his back and his head. Over by the Titan mainframe, Starfire was giggling at something every now and then, glancing between Robin and the kitchen.
In said kitchen, some other green guy that called himself Logan was sitting at the table, eating something that used to be pizza, staring across the table intently. Directly across from him was Raven, mirroring his expression. And directly between them, sitting awkwardly on the table, was Cyborg, tapping at something on his arm and glancing up at the two every now and then.
And right here in his face was Gar, waving a hand in his face and asking if... oh wait, "Is your brain still in your head or has it turned to mush that fast?"
Yeah... good stuff. He'd almost forgotten that, besides almost dying and getting Beast Boy (himself?) split into four completely different people, there was still, oh, just this this entire situation as a whole to explain to all these somewhat psychotic people. Which he had neglected to do over the past week, believing that they should have been able to make sense of the painfully obvious battle plans he had been shouting from the roof... which they obviously couldn't make sense of...
Unless they had actually gone ahead and sound-proofed the roof... which would actually make more sense, if they could be trusted with doing that without him noticing.
Altogether? Doubtful. He finally decided to answer.
"No, you can't harvest my organs for the black market when I die..." Gar made no attempt to hide his disappointment.
"Dammit... but wait, you'll be dead! How the hell will you stop me?!" Deciding not to answer that, Alec moved on to more pressing matters. He pointed in the general direction of the table while Gar sulked.
"You guys still keeping them apart, right?"
"Working on it," the metal man grunted, tapping furiously... er. If that was possible. Which it seemed to be. The masked half-demon blinked, staring at Gar for elaboration... who had apparently been waiting for this.
"At the moment, we're in the early stages of Plan 312, a revise... something, of number 5, which you missed out on two days ago. It involves pornographic a-something shocky thingys."
"Proximity alert shock collars," Cyborg growled.
"That's what I said. They get closer than they are now and..." Here he scratched his head. "Well, they're supposed to get shocked, but when Big and Scary over there tested it out yesterday, well, we had to restart his heart... a few times... and now we can't get his collar off." Alec stared from Cyborg, to Beast, and back to Cyborg.
"This is why I just said 'working on it.' If you people don't want to know, don't freakin' ask."
"It's a very distressing situation we have here. So, what's up with you?" He kept staring for a second before turning around, intent on giving up before he even started. They'd gone this long without knowing and... well, he couldn't say they were just fine. What were the chances that the whole thing would be over before they knew it, and that they wouldn't know what the hell happened...?
Very high. He nodded to himself, satisfied with the answer his mind came up with before looking around again.
"Uh, nothing." Dammit, I answered too fast... or did I take too long to think that over? "Weeeell, if that's all, I'll just be going... out... of this room... to take a nap... If any of you want to try to kill me while I sleep... make sure my eyes are open. Okay?"
Simultaneously, all persons who this question was directed at (re: everyone in the room) said something akin to "What the fuck ever, get out." Yes, even Robin.
Deciding put a real meaning to it, he was just about to do that. However, before he made it out of the room, a series of random clicks and whistles made itself known to him... in the form of something outside the window. Turning towards said window, he saw it crack, and the next thing he knew he was flying through the air and hitting that place where the wall meets the ceiling... at a very awkward angle.
He almost had enough time to think how not-ironic this situation was before he blacked out. Henceforth, the common room sat in boring, non-shocked silence for a minute. Then...
"SON OF A BITCH!!"
A few minutes before...
Over on a roof across the bay from Titans Tower, three figures wearing strange body armor stared together at their target. Well, no, correction; one glared at the target through the sights of a sniper rifle while the other two hung around impatiently. And even then that's an understatement.
"Move over you fucking cockbite, I wanna see!" The orange-ish one whined, not at all helping the situation.
"Um, no. Only one person can use this fucking thing at a time, so get your own if you can't wait. Anyway, you had your chance yesterday, and I had to keep watch this morning. So I reiterate; no." The white one deadpanned, shooting the idea down in midair.
"Well now it's midnight, so if you wanna get technical about it, it's my turn now. So gimme," the black one growled.
"No way, Sam, you already told us your HUD is always flashing 12:00. You still haven't set it."
"Besides, you've got a hangover from drinking all day, which still doesn't make sense... plus you've got that crazy AI in your head. Remember, this is supposed to be an evaluation, not a massacre."
"What's the difference?"
"She said it."
"Did anyone ask you, Jordy?"
"No, but I'm the one with the big-ass gun right now. So shut it, Lars."
"Yeah, shut it Lars. Which reminds me, I'm the commander, and I'm commanding you to gimme!" 'Jordy'(the white one) sighed, turning as she stepped away from the gun.
"Fine. Just don't shoot anybody." Lars(the orange one) raised her hand.
"Why don't you just take the ammo out?" Kind of late to ask now since Sam(the black one) already had the rifle.
"Well, for one thing, they're not bullets, they're some kind of new-age glowy-things. Second of all, I have no freakin' clue how to get them out. Anyway, even if I did, do you trust Sam with an empty gun?" Lars thought about this... for a second.
"I don't trust her with bubble wrap... so no."
"See? Knew you'd see it my way sooner or later. Just in case, though, I left the safety on." Lars gave her a look... or at least, tried to. The visors that covered each of their faces kind of prevented that. In doing so, however, she missed seeing the three shots Sam fired in the background, or a red light start blinking on the gun.
"That thing had a safety on it? I didn't see it when I had it... and the manual didn't say anything about it."
"You read a manual? Wait, no, that thing has a manual?!" Obviously Jordy was surprised.
"Yeah... what, you didn't read it? I did something right for once while Little Miss Perfect didn't? ... I'm very disturbed by that."
"Great... but before that, how about you get back to the part where there's no safety on the sniper rifle?!"
"Command decided a while back, thanks to Wes, that safeties were for wusses and from then on only produced guns without safeties. Due to operatives in Blood Gulch Beta being taken hostage so much by accident, all firearms were instead equipped with self-destruct functions... why the hell do I know that?"
"Attention, dirtbags!" The two turned around, pistols drawn, recognizing the arrogant voice of the long aforementioned AI(Wes)... only to see the business end of a gun pointed between them. "Got your attention? Great. Could one of you tell me why the damn gun is ticking?"
Lars looked at Jordy. Jordy looked at Sam. Sam took aim at the ground.
Then the gun exploded.
A few minutes earlier...
Terrance blinked, yawning as he untangled himself from the arms around him. He looked around sleepily, slapping himself in the face a few times before trusting his legs to hold him up.
Short story even shorter, his legs failed, and he ended up face-down on the floor. The cold, hard, unforgiving floor.
"Ow... that's it, next time we do it and I wake up first, I'm gonna kick something before I try that... even if it gets me killed..." Saying so, he sniffed as he stalked his way into the kitchen, not expecting to find anybody there. As such, hw was kind of surprised to actually not find anybody there.
He thought on this as he gulped down cold coffee, straight from the pot, figuring that was his best chance for actually staying awake.
For the past couple of weeks, admittedly strange and weird in their own ways, he'd had the constant feeling that he was being watched... and yes, for once it had almost nothing to do with the fact that, just last year he'd been a rookie, up-and-coming rock star (pun very much intended). Then... well, he still had no fucking clue what had happened.
It was like, the second he'd stepped into this city, there was this gut feeling... as if someone out there was laughing at him. And it wasn't like the normal way, where he felt like he was being watched and laughed at for no reason, no. The laughter only came when he did something even he considered stupid. Of course, it had stopped for the past couple of days, but...
Wait. That Slade guy, he'd had some kind of name for it... what had he said?
"Acute paranoia. It's kind of like performance anxiety, except nobody's been able to prove anything about it yet. Believe me, it happens to even the best of us."
"What about time moving so weird here? Feels like it's been a year since I got here, but the newspaper says it's only been three months! What the hell, man?!"
"Yeeeeaaah," here the mercenary scratched the back of his mask. "Uh, well, that's kind of... my fault..."
"... Wanna talk about it?"
Terrance then realised that some of the coffee was going up his nose, and that he hadn't taken a breath yet.
Roughly two minutes later, he stepped out of the (conveniently placed) bathroom, having taken the time to relieve himself while he was there.
"Not my most cool moment..." He glanced at the clock and groaned. "So not the way to start the day..."
That being said, he got dressed to take a walk outside, seeing as going out in what barely passed for shorts (the rips kind of helped the breeze) was still not legal around here. Why leave the base in the first place?
Well, for one thing, it just wasn't healthy to stick around one's pad for days on end, screwing the same three girls (now girlfriends(damn kids these days move fast))... at the same time... very nice, not to mention pleasurable (exploration of new methods and styles was well underway)... but with a known killer and teen-hero stalker -and Slade- somewhere in the same place, at the same time, doing something akin to the same thing?
Right, not healthy. Besides, it was about time to go shopping for more supplies anyway. There would be too many cranky people by nightfall if he didn't. Namely, people that controlled the fate of his 'boys.'
Off-handedly,Terrance thought as he neared the exit, it's a miracle that I can still walk. So I'm gonna milk it -- no, squeeze it -- no, uh, take advantage of -- dammit, hmm.... use it? No. Claim it? No. Fuck it? ... Hell no. Do it? Screw this!! Son of a bitch!! I'm gonna walk my ass off while I still can, dammit!!
It was with these tempting-and-yet-also-arousingly-disturbed thoughts in his mind that he yanked open one of the 'secret' main doors.
He was not to know that, if he had proceeded with his 'walk' the second he'd left the second set of doors (which happened to lead to the back alley of a weapons shop, how ironic), he would have soon been hit by a bus full of strange people (no doubt followers of AL, not that he'd find out) which was headed... somewhere. Somewhere that has no purpose in this eulogy, which shall just be written off as The Marriott.
Surviving this encounter, he would have kept going and become the victim of the crazy dog lady (cats are so overrated) that hung out on the corner near the store. Barely escaping, he would have finally made it into said store... only to be later crushed by half a ton of fertilizer in said store.
Yes, apparently anvils are overrated too.
He was never to suspect a thing. However, nature has a way with screwing up other people's destinies.
Terrance took a deep breath of what should have been fresh air, coughing instead at how totally un-fresh it was.
"Who the hell put a dumpster here," he hacked, stumbling his way down the alley.
Destiny rerouted. Calculating course... Course calculated. Former destiny back on track. Operation 'The Sky Is Falling', Activated.
The former would-be rock star blanched, looked around. What the hell...? He didn't see anything; everything looked like it did moments before... mostly because he couldn't see much. Then he looked up... and saw something falling through the air in his general direction.
"SON OF A BITCH!!"
Wes calculated the odds that she could jump ship before crashing. Seeing as the radio links were (most likely) temporarily shorted out by the blast, and that the nearest operating-and-reachable wavelength was that of a country music station... the odds were zero percent.
What? We had to get something out there... don't be a bitch about it.
Tor The Superior, breakin' rank!!