"Um…anyone wanna place bets?" - Beast Boy
Robots, Robots, Robots!
The Tech District of Jump City was a dark, lonely place when night fell. The workers all went home, the streets emptied and the lights in the office buildings and company headquarters clicked off one by one. All save for Gemini Industries. Gemini was a lord among giants, towering even over the skyscrapers around it. Its walls weren't made of glass like its brethren and instead incased itself in plain, dependable stone and concrete. In many ways, it was like a fort in the middle of the district. Its defense technologies were state of the art and armored, robotic security guards roamed the corridors.
Slade's black, orange-faced robots weren't intimidated. They stood on a roof adjoining the building and spun grappling hooks at their sides. As one man, they tossed the hooks and they dug into Gemini's roof. The hooks triggered a motion sensor and a buzzing light flashed on downstairs. The drone on duty saw it immediately and ordered a security guardsman upstairs to check it out. But by the time the guard arrived, Slade's robots had already infiltrated the building. The guard saw the discarded hooks embedded in the edge of the roof and sounded an alert. The main alarm wailed and flashed on every floor. Guardsmen picked up their blasters and secured their armor as they stomped down hallways and heavy, reinforced doors slammed shut throughout the building. The alarm signal traveled through the grid to the police station, and then through another to Titans Tower.
Ten minutes later, the Teen Titans were on the scene. The T-Car and R-Cycle were parked outside and the Titans themselves looked at the giant sheet of metal that had once been the entrance to the main lobby.
"Soooo not cool!" Beast Boy waved his arms. "Who invites you to a party and then locks the door?"
"Doors have never stopped us before." Robin said. He looked over his shoulder. "Think you can take care of it, Cyborg?"
Cyborg smiled. He stepped forward, cracking his neck and knuckles.
"I thought you'd never ask, man! Stand back while I do my thing!"
Cyborg took several measured steps backwards and squared his shoulders. Then, like a track runner snapping forward at the sound of a pistol, he lurched forward faster than his size would have led one to believe possible. He stompedstompedstomped across the front court, his metal boots leaving debits in the concrete. He lowered his head, shouted and slammed his shoulder into the door as hard as he could.
Cyborg bounced off the door, reverberating from head to toe. He tried to step back to catch himself, lost his footing and fell on his rear.
"…whoa…" Raven said from the recess of her hood.
"Whoa is right!" Beast Boy agreed. He walked up to the reinforced door that had held fast and ran his hands along the long, dented crease Cyborg's charge had left.
"Friend Cyborg!" Starfire said with concern evident in her voice. "Are you hurt?"
"Ugh…" Cyborg slowly sat up, rubbing his head. "J-just my pride."
He stood up, took a moment to steady himself and examined the door. "There's no way this is steel. I would have been able to break through it." He typed into his forearm sensor. "No way! It's diasteel!"
Starfire, Raven and Beast Boy stared blankly at him.
"Diasteel was created a few years ago by Star Labs when they were contracted to make better holding cells for metahumans" Robin explained. "The inventors won a Nobel Prize last year. They found a way to give steel the hardened properties of diamonds. It's nearly indestructible and just as expensive."
"Only you would know that." Beast Boy rolled his eyes.
"I've never seen a solid piece of diasteel this big before." Cyborg said. "It's usually used for small safes and lockboxes. Do you have any idea how much this cost to make?"
"Right now, I don't care." Robin said. "We're getting inside. This might be the hardest substance in the world, but it can't go on forever. Starfire, see if you and Cyborg can find the edge where it connects to the concrete. Maybe we can pull it out."
Stafire and Cyborg went to work. They found the edge of the sheet of diasteel and worked their fingers inside.
"Pull on three." Cyborg said. "One…two…THREE!"
Cyborg and Starfire heaved. Nothing happened at first, but then the concrete adjacent to the sheet of high-class metal cracked and gave way. The diasteel, no longer held in place, swung out like a huge door.
"Good job." Robin congratulated them.
"People can say what they want about us." Beast Boy said. "But do we know how to make an entrance or what?"
The superpowered teens ran and stomped and flew into the building.
"Raven," Robin said. "Any idea what floor the commotion is on?"
Raven brought her hands to her temples. The Titans held their breath as she searched with her mind.
"I sense three or four people, but their minds don't seem to be active." She finally said. "I don't think they're involved in this."
"Probably just some janitors hiding in a closer. Which means the trouble must be robots." Robin surmised. "Cyborg?"
"Way ahead of you." The metal titan said. He typed into his forearm sensor again. "There's a bunch of them all throughout the building. They seem to be concentrated on the thirty third floor, though."
"Of course they are!" Beast Boy groaned. "I swear, it's never…I dunno…the SECOND floor. Ever!"
"If being a hero was easy, everyone would do it." Robin told him. "Titans, go!"
They charged deeper into the building and up a staircase that infinitely doubled back on itself, taking them higher and higher. They had only made it to the tenth floor when they heard a cavalcade of footfalls coming down at them. A dozen or more helmeted guardsman in light blue armor blocked their path. On their chest were the half-circle logo of Gemini Industries.
"Halt!" The lead guardsman ordered them electronically. Then, without waiting for compliance, each guard raised their rifle blasters and fired.
ZAP! ZAP! ZAP! ZAP! ZAP!
Raven conjured a black, domed shield of telekinesis over them, protecting them from the energy blasts.
"Who the heck are these guys?" Beast Boy wanted to know.
"I think they're security for the building." Robin said."Great. Mind telling them that we're the good guys?"
"I can't hold this forever…" Raven hummed.
Robin pointed at the door behind them within the dome that lead to the current floor.
Beast Boy tried the knob, but it wouldn't move.
"It's locked!" He said."Then unlock it!" Robin told him.
Starfire shoved the door with an open palm, knocking the door off its hinges and sending it sliding fifty feet into the hallway beyond. The Titans retreated and ran down the tiled, white-walled hallway with doors on either side and long lights above. Beast Boy lagged behind and waited for Raven, the last of them, to take down her shield and follow the rest of the group. He changed into a giant green gorilla, picked up a nearby bench and shoved it into the staircase doorway to slow down the pursuit.
He changed back to his green humanoid form and turned to follow the others when something caught his eye. Through a long window in the nearby wall he saw a medical lab, filled with blinking electronic equipment and a long, flat cot. And then he could have sworn he saw a young girl sitting in the corner with her knees huddles up to her chest. Her eyes were so very blue…
One of the guardsmen shot through an opening between the doorway and the crunched bench. The laser blast ricocheted off the floor near Beast Boy's feet.
"Ack!" He changed into a cheetah, turned and loped off after his friends amidst more laser fire. By the time he caught up, another group of guardsmen had blocked their way.
"They're just robots!" Robin shouted. "Cut through and get to the thirty third floor!" He took out three birdarangs from his belt and formed them together into a short sword. He leapt at the nearest guardsman and cleaved through his the shoulder of his gun arm. Both the limb and the blaster clattered sparking to the floor. He vaulted off the shoulders of the next robot, jumped over the rest of the group and cut down the last one in line before landing and continuing down the hallway.
The guardsmen might have turned to follow, but they had four more Titans to deal with. Starfire flew through them, knocking down two of them as she went by. Cyborg came barreling through next. He palmed two electronic skulls like basketballs and smashed them together. As Raven levitated past, one the of guardsmen aimed with his laser blaster. The gun was suddenly covered with black telekinesis. The weapon floated out of the robot's grasp, spun and shot him point blank in the chest. And Beast Boy…
…ran past the dismembered, sparking parts.
"Aw, man!" He complained as he ran. "Leave some for me next time, will ya!?"
They found another stairway and ascended again. More robots blocked their way, but they fought through and continued upwards.
When they arrived, the thirty third floor of the Gemini Building was a war zone. The light blue Gemini guardsmen fought with Slade's black and orange henchmen. The Titans watched unnoticed from the stairway door.
Beast Boy blinked at the scene.
"Um…anyone wanna place bets?"
"I bet on us." Robin said. "There's no telling how much damage they'll do if we just let them fight it out."
"So what?" Cyborg asked. "We just go wild on any robot that's not me?"
The slits of Robin's eye mask narrowed as he thought.
"Focus on Slade's minions." He said. "Once they're down and we leave, the Gemini robots should go back to normal. Titans, go!"
The thirty third floor of the Gemini Building was a lot different than the tenth floor. It was a wide, open area lined with towering generators and storage lockers and electronic equipment. The opposing robots took cover and took potshots at each other. Laser energy burned through the air.
Starfire flew into the room, throwing glowing green star bolts. One of Slade's robots blasted her from behind and she crash landed to the floor. The robot jumped on her downed form, but Starfire caught him and flung him into a sparking computer server.
Beast Boy grew into a giant stegosaurus and strode ponderously across the room. Cyborg trailed behind him, shooting his sonic cannon and using the dinosaur's armored scales as cover. One of Slade's robots, bolder than the rest, charged up Beast Boy's tail, up his back and stood between his shoulder blades. He took out his laser blaster and aimed for Beast Boy's vulnerable head.
"Beast Boy!" Cyborg shouted. He hastily blasted the robot with a blue sonic cannon blast. Beast Boy, who looked over his shoulder at the warning, spied a pair of Gemini guardsmen flanking Cyborg. He flicked his barbed tail at them, nearly tearing them in half as he batted them away.
Raven had disarmed another of Slade's robots, but the minion rushed her with a series of punches and kicks. Raven back stepped, waving black shields into existence to block. She ducked a wide, hooking punch and unleashed a surge of telekinesis into its face. She turned away to find two more robots rushing her. Her eyes glowed gray and wavy blackness covered one of them from head to toe. The black covered robot, against his will, turned and attacked his partner. His partner defended himself and Raven played puppet master as the two of them exchanged punches and kicks.
Robin tossed his sword at two of Slade's robots double-teaming a Gemini Guardsmen. The sword disassembled in midair and three separate birdarangs pinned each one to the wall. More robots targeted him with their energy blasters.
ZAP! ZAP! ZAP! ZAP! ZAP!
Robin took out his staff from his belt, extended it with a flourish and spun in a blurring gray circle, deflecting the lasers back and forcing the robots to take cover. Another pair of Slade robots joined together to send a heavy piece of electronic equipment sliding across the floor to flatten the Boy Wonder. Robin peeked over his shoulder at the impending doom and then lifted his staff over his head. Starfire swooped by, grabbed the horizontal weapon and carried him to safety.
One by one they took out Slade's henchmen, trying their best to avoid the Gemini guardsmen. But with no more henchmen to fight, the light blue robots turned on the Titans. They retreated step by step together, under the safety of one of Raven's domed telekinesis shields and found themselves backed into a corner.
"Now what?" Raven growled under the strain of keeping the shield up to deflect the laser fire.
"I know you don't want to trash these things, man!" Cyborg said to Robin. "But they're not giving us much choice, ya know?"
"Fine," he said. "Titans-""Enough!" The voice came from out of nowhere. A tall woman with rich gold glasses and an elegant blue suit clapped her hands. "Geminibots! Offline now!"
The Gemini Guardsmen, who a moment ago were bent on destroying anything they saw, lowered their weapons. The yellow glow from beneath their visored helmets faded and disappeared and the robots stood stock still. Raven allowed her shield to dissipate.
"What happened here?" The suited woman demanded of the Titans.
Robin stepped forward with a question of his own.
"Who are you?"
The woman sniffed as if she expected her identity to be universal knowledge.
"I am Maryse Gemini, owner of Gemini Industries." She said obviously. "This is my building and I want to know what's going on!"
"We're not sure ourselves." Robin said. "A group of Slade's robots broke into your building. You've heard of him, right?"
"Of course. He and that wretched girl took over the city some years ago. I lost months of labor."
"We came to take care of them." Robin decided not to comment on that. "But your robots here attacked us."
Maryse Gemini paused to think.
"Perhaps it was an oversight on my part." She pursed her lips. "When they are in guard mode, they are programmed to attack anyone inside the building. I assumed only corporate criminals would be here uninvited."
"Bet that makes working as a janitor here exciting." Beast Boy quipped.
"The building is empty at night." Miss Gemini told him. "Cleaning is done electronically." She turned back to Robin. "I thank you for your help, but I assure you the Gemini Building is equipped to defend itself."
"Do you have any idea what Slade might have wanted here?" Robin asked.
"None whatsoever. However, if it will put your mind at ease, I will take stock of the building in the morning and file a police report. I assume you have access."
"Then I bid you adieu." She turned and walked away from them not waiting for a response. "Geminbots 243 and 244, see them out."
Outside, as the Titans walked back to the parked vehicles and the two Geminibots watched soullessly from the front entrance, Cyborg rubbed his head.
"Is it just me, or did we just get kicked out?"
"Miss Gemini did not seem very grateful for our help." Starfire agreed.
"She's lying." Raven stated then. "I sensed people inside the building. She said it was deserted."
"Can you sense them now?" Robin asked.
Raven took a moment to concentrate, but then she shook her head.
"No…something's wrong. It's like…it's like the entire building doesn't even register to my mental senses."
Beast Boy, who had let himself trail behind, turned to look up at the giant building.
"I'm not sure." He said slowly. "But…I think I saw someone in there. A girl in one of the labs."
"What would a young girl be doing there at night?" Starfire asked.
Robin folded his arms and looked down in thought.
"A lot of things aren't adding up." He said. "But now isn't the time to worry about it. We can talk about it more in the morning when we get the police report. Until then, we should get a good night's sleep."
Robin started up the R-Cycle and Cyborg pulled away in the T-Car. Raven and Starfire took to the air, but
Beast Boy lingered to gaze up at the Gemini Building. He stared as if expecting to see something, but then he shook his head, changed into a green owl and flew away.