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Beast Boy sleepily sat up from the deep blue satin sheets of their bed, scratching his side as he yawned loudly. The smell of incense and candles made it hard to wake up as fast as he used to, mostly because the fragrances were quite relaxing and soothing. In his old room, the pungent aroma of spoiled tofu pizza and rancid socks always served as a powerful alarm clock. No such luck since moving in with Raven, as just the concept of leaving his dirty boxers on the floor was enough to send her into a fit.
"Bad guys need to learn when it's nap time, dude." he said, lazily fumbling around in his closet for a spare Doom Patrol uniform.
"Evil never sleeps." she replied.
"Yeah, and neither do we." he retorted, licking his fingers to smoosh down his messy green hair. He yawned one more time, before stretching his arms above his head, smacking his lips loudly in the process. "Well, don't wanna be late. Remember what happened last time we were late for a team meeting?"
Raven sighed, remembering Cyborg's accusations. Truth be told, Beast Boy had simply misplaced his left boot and could not locate it, but the metal Titan insisted that the reason for their delay was of a more erotic nature.
"I remember, Gar. And unless you want to hear Cyborg's jokes about you "getting lucky" I suggest we head to OPs immediately."
Beast Boy nodded as he zipped up the front of his uniform, ready to face whatever threat that had caused the alarm to sound.
"Sounds good to me, Rae. Nothing like a good butt kickin' to wake me up, ya know?" he said. They left the door to their room together, with Beast Boy planting a quick peck on her cheek before heading down the hallway. Though she tried to fight it, Raven felt her cheeks get hot from blushing.
"You coming or what, babe?" he said. Raven regained her composure, cocking a steadfast eyebrow.
"No babe, nor hun, nor sweetie. My name is Raven. You're lucky I even let you call me Rae."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Beast Boy said dismissively. "I know deep down inside you like it. Now c'mon, dude, I don't wanna hear Cyborg's jokes again." Raven nodded in agreement and floated side by side with her green beau, greeting the rest of the team as the doors to OPs slid open.
Robin stood tensely in front of the master computer, his gloved fingers furiously clicking over the keyboard. Cyborg and Starfire were already there, though both Titans seemed to be just as tired as Beast Boy.
"Man, this had better be good." Cyborg said. "I was having the best dream ever and I had just gotten Halle Berry into the hot tub when that alarm went off. I hope this ain't another pick pocket or something."
Robin ignored the comment and focused on satellite footage of what appeared to be the Jump City docks. He turned to face the team, his face tense and focused. With another click of the button, the satellite zoomed into a roof top shot of a Friendly Fish Distributors, a nation wide fishery with its headquarters in Gotham.
"There has been a break in." Robin said plainly. An awkward silence hung over the Titans, as they were all confused over why such a solemn attitude over fish. Raven was the first one to speak what everyone was thinking.
"But why fish?" she said.
"Yeah!" Beast Boy chimed in. "Why so serious?"
"Because it's a front." Robin said. "There is no Friendly Fish Distributors warehouse on the docks, but rather, it is a secret black ops lab for WayneTech."
"Whoa, whoa…slow down." said Cyborg. "If that is a front for WayneTech, how do you know that?"
"Let's just say I have connections in the upper echelons of the company." Robin said, his gaze never breaking. "Regardless, someone has figured out the truth and broken in and we don't have much time. I've been following the police calls and they have Warp pinned down inside."
Starfire gasped, as the memories of her encounter with Warp were still fresh in her mind.
"I do not wish to repeat the unfortunate events from our previous encounter." she said quietly.
"Tell me about it." added Beast Boy. "I can't believe I wound up all fat and bald."
This earned him a light smack on the back of the head from Raven.
"The cops have Warp pinned down, though I'm not sure how much longer they can hold him." Robin said. "I'm going to take my motorcycle because I can get there quicker than the T-Car. Starfire? I want you to fly and carry Cyborg there and Raven and Beast Boy can fly by themselves. We have no time to waste."
Robin grimly marched past the team into the hallway and towards the garage. The rest of the group sat there in a quiet moment of silence, surprised at the briefness of the meeting and Robin's urgency to protect WayneTech property.
"I wonder who that connection is?" Cyborg asked to no one in particular.
"Dunno, dude…probably a janitor or something or some guy who waxes Bruce Wayne's car." Beast Boy added, walking to the window ledge. He looked out to the Jump City sky and saw that it was clear as crystal, with a slight breeze coming in. This meant perfect weather for flying, as he hated fighting gusts that only wore his arms/wings out. He was joined at his side by Raven, the empath basking in the cool night air as well.
"Shall we voyage to the roof?" Starfire cheerfully asked Cyborg.
"Yeah, might as well, Star. Your dude is gonna get cranky if we ain't there on time."
Starfire giggled adorably, before hovering through the OPs doors and into the main hallway. Raven quietly floated out on her own, with a bright green falcon perched on her shoulder. From her vantage point, it was easy to see the location of the incident, with the bright flood lights and flashing cop cars pulled together like a wagon circle.
"You would think by now that villains would understand who we are and what we do." she said quietly. Beast Boy nodded his head, keeping an eye open for any possible attacks through the air. Granted, Warp usually acted alone, but some of Robin's training had sunk in, and Beast Boy was following the guidance of the Boy Wonder. "Still," Raven added "at least this keeps life interesting. Without it, you'd probably just want to have sex and play video games all day." Beast Boy squawked in approval, causing the empath to roll her eyes slightly at the very notion of spending such a day with him. "Don't get your hopes, Gar. I'd rather sit down to a buffet cooked by Starfire then spend all day with sex and video games."
Cyborg hung down from Starfire's dainty arms, his cybernetic eye having switched to night vision to better asses the situation. Starfire showed no signs of being fatigued or struggling with the cybernetic Titan in any way, and in fact was happily humming a jingle she seen on TV for her favorite brand of mustard. Cyborg switched from night vision to infrared once they became closer to the warehouse/lab. He could see the bright red blob that was Warp inside, as well as the slightly orange-ish silhouettes of the employees caught by the time traveling bandit.
"Looks like he's by himself, Star." Cyborg said. "Though bad news is, he's got hostages. I count at least three."
Starfire's emerald eyes became a solid glowing green, as she could feel the righteous anger bubbling in her alien blood.
"He is a very bad man, Cyborg. I shall not let him escape this time."
Robin's motorcycle spun into a perfect parked position, as the Boy Wonder placed his helmet on one of the handles. Like clockwork, Starfire and Cyborg touched down, quickly followed by Raven, with Beast Boy jumping off her shoulder and morphing back to himself in mid-air.
The squadron of Jump City's finest had formed a sort of a wall of cars around the premises, a complete circle of metal and rubber and glass, offering the faint hope it might stop Warp from trying to escape. The chief of police looked tired and burned out, his face still fuzzy with stubble, his uniform hastily buttoned together.
"Titans, glad you're here. The situation has oddly been under control, which has me worried. Warp hasn't tried to escape once, so the only conclusion I can get is that he's planning something." he said, taking a sip from his tall cup of black coffee. "And besides, I don't get what he'd want with a bunch of stinky fish."
"Maybe he just wanted to rob the place for the halibut?" Beast Boy cracked, laughing hysterically at his own terrible pun. Cold stares from the rest of the Titans sobered him quickly, as he stood at full attention, hoping Raven wouldn't smack him in the back of the head again.
"There's a bit more than you think." Cyborg said. "But we ain't got time to discuss it now."
"Indeed." Starfire added. "But if you wish, we would happy to inform you of the Warp's activities once he is in jail."
"No more time to waste." Robin said. "Titans, GO!"
Cyborg kicked the moldy wooden door with a size thirteen boot, reducing it to splinters. The inside of the warehouse contained high tech machinery and various computer terminals, some of which seemed to have diagrams or blue prints of some sort. There seemed to be little signs of struggle, except for the occasional over turned desk or smashed computer screen. Scientists and technicians in lab coats were scattered along the floor, tied up and gagged. A brown haired woman with cracked glasses almost immediately began to squirm and beg for help, but Robin motioned for her to be quiet.
"We know you're here, Warp. Show yourself so we can send you back to prison. This time you're going to Arkham." Robin said, pounding one gloved fist into another open gloved hand. He was greeted with silence. Cyborg scanned for any life signs, but only found the hostages and no signs of Warp.
"Maybe he left?" Beast Boy asked quietly. Robin shook his head no.
Suddenly, without warning, a bright blue electrical field appeared under the feet of Raven. The Titan hardly had any time to react, before Warp sprung forth from this portal, grabbing the Azarathian by the ankles and yanking her into where he came from. Just as quickly as he appeared, he was gone, having taken Raven with him.
"NO!" Beast Boy shouted and ran to the spot where his beloved once stood. In a fury his hands became that of a gorilla, smashing the wood floor to reveal nothing but solid metal underneath.
"I'm sure they make Hallmark cards for such a thing." Warp taunted, now having appeared from a portal in the ceiling. Beast Boy morphed into the savage Beast, and lunged for Warp, intending to tear him apart. Warp casually floated into the portal above him and disappeared, before quickly appearing on the other side of the room.
"Nice try, Titans, but I've made a few upgrades to my armor since we last met. I now posses control over ALL of space and time, and you will find it quite difficult to even lay a finger on me."
"Where's Raven!?" Robin yelled, bo staff in hand. Warp merely laughed, cruelly enjoying the moment.
"Someplace where you will never find her, a place devoid of any time or structure, a place where a concept like time has no meaning. She's neither here nor there, nor in the future or the past. She's gone."
Once again the Beast lunged for Warp, only for the bandit to suck the angry green animal in one portal, and spit him out on top of Cyborg from the other. Now filled with rage, Robin flung several exploding discs at Warp with the intent of creating a distraction. While Warp attempted to remove the minor nuisance of the discs, a barrage of starbolts managed to connect, sending the armored foe crashing into a nearby super computer.
"Is that all?" Warp sneered, standing up from the wreckage. "Really, you didn't even manage to scratch my armor. I have to say, I'm quite disappointed. I waited all this time to try my new portal system out, which was so kindly donated to me by the good folks at WayneTech, and yet I feel like I'm fighting a group of cranky toddlers."
Beast Boy sprung up from Cyborg, morphing back into himself. His eyes were still burning with hatred and rage, his adrenaline pumping non-stop through his body. He wanted to hurt Warp and hurt him badly.
"Cyborg, I have an idea. I'm gonna morph into a gerbil and when I do, I want you to throw me at Warp as hard as you can. Got it?" he said. Cyborg just looked at him confused, but shrugged, figuring Beast Boy's plan at least made sense to him.
"Gotcha, grass stain. One Fastball Special, comin' right up!"
With an arm that would make a major league pitcher's jaw drop, Cyborg hurled the green fuzz ball at a breathtaking speed. When he was nearly at Warp, the changeling morphed into a large gorilla, connecting with a double legged mid-air kick that sent the villain flying into a filing cabinet, causing a flurry of manila folders and classified documents.
"Either tell me how to get my girlfriend back or I'll beat it out of you!" he growled, his animal side bubbling to the surface.
"You are more than welcome to join her!" Warp shouted, firing a blast of crackling blue energy from a wrist mounted cannon. Beast Boy, morphing into a chimpanzee, jumped out of the way, before changing again into a cock roach to make himself smaller to hit. As Warp tried to track the small green insect, the dainty, yet powerful fist of Starfire connected from behind causing a loud thud to echo across the lab. Warp went flying across the room, but in a panic fired a blast ahead of himself, his portal opening to swallow him whole.
"By chance, did anyone see where he went?" Starfire asked. She was answered almost immediately when the portal opened behind her, sending the alien princess reeling from a vicious right hook that caused her to crash through several support beams.
"I'm afraid you're still no match, Titans. I have you outclassed in almost every way possible. My armor is made of vibranium, which in case you didn't know, is unbreakable once it has cooled from its liquid state. Try as you might, you simply can't win."
"Maybe…" Robin said, retracting his staff and attaching it back to his belt. "I just have to know one thing, Warp."
"Oh? And pray tell, what's that?"
"Are you afraid of the dark?"
"HA! Me, the mighty Warp, afraid of the dark? Why don't ma-"
He never finished his sentence, as black, swirling tentacles sprung up from a black hole in the ground, pulling the villain deep into its inky black depths. Several moments passed by, before the hole spit him back up, whimpering and hugging his knees, as Raven stood over him.
"RAVEN! You're alive!" Beast Boy shouted, hugging his love tightly. "Dude, how'd you get free?"
"Simple, Garfield. I made my own portal and escaped. Magic beats science every time." she said, smirking ever so slightly.
"And what has happened to Warp?" Starfire asked, floating curiously.
"It's…probably best you don't ask." Raven said. "He's seen things that would make Trigon sleep with a night light."
Once Warp had been stripped of his armor and handcuffed, he was locked in the back of a police truck and hauled off to Arkham in Gotham. Meanwhile, the Titans returned to their Tower for some much needed sleep. Beast Boy barely had time to slide out of his Doom Patrol uniform, before crashing to the bed in a heap.
Meanwhile, back at the warehouse lab, all seemed well as the employees were freed and sent back to their respective houses. Except all was not actually well, as Raven's portal suddenly burst open again, with one slender, pale hand climbing out…