March 4th, 23:04 EDT
"How pathetic. You all flock to her as if she was yours."
"You will release her," the leader of the Young Justice demanded despite his exhausted status. "Because she is ours."
A man wearing a orange and black mask split down the center laughed a hollow and uncaring chuckle. His gaze was only one red, sharp and deadly eye peering through the slit of his cover, staring down Aqualad as if he could see right through him. It made the Atlantean shiver under that lonesome gaze. Kaldur knew that their opponent wasn't one to throw demeaning insults and witty puns at. He was a different type of enemy all together.
The man was a superior fighter. Despite his colorful taste in attire, a deep blueish-black and orange set of heavily layered armor to match his mask, he had an arsenal equipped to kill any one of them at any second, and not to mention, the man could stop any attack the team threw at him. It was almost as if he could read their minds, knew before hand what they were going to do. But, instead of simply finishing them off, he was toying with his young prey, enjoying the dilemma he had faced them with. He stood proud and cocky on the battlefield now, the shadows of his smiling lips barely visible under his mask, watching as he ripped the Justice League's children in half.
Batman and Robin had introduced the team to this illusive and dangerous man months ago on a what was supposed to be a simple 'observe and report' mission. Batman hadn't anticipated this man to show up and in the end, came to free the Young Justice from the enemy's deadly grip. Aqualad felt that the word deadly was an understatement.
The man called himself Deathstroke the Terminator. And being deadly was only part of his name.
According to Robin, who seemed to have a personal vendetta against the creep, he was a dangerous assassin for hire. It had made Aqualad feel slightly inadequate when the youngest member of their team had given a brief over-view of their new player all that time ago. But now, the Atlantean felt less vulnerable this time around since the team was now educated on at least a few finer points of their villain. Dealing with Deathstroke over these past few months had been a learning experience for Aqualad; not every super villain made it obvious about their employment. He had to plan out several different scenarios and prepare not only his team, but himself for the worse.
The worse certainly seemed to be present.
Casually, Deathstroke swung his heavy sword over his shoulder admiring his damage done to Aqualad and his team. "Yours? As her father, I have to step in. I know what's best for her. But," his slow and deadly tenor voice cawed. "If you're willing to die over family disciplinary disputes, then at least I'll have a good laugh out of the day." Deathstroke narrowed his cold gaze as if he was scolding the group. "Come on, boy, use your head. You don't stand a chance. Walk away, crawl back to your mentors and I'll let you live."
Aqualad inhaled sharply, the large gash in armor revealing a scarlet splash on his chest causing him a great amount of pain. He did his best to not wavier. "We do not bargain with assassins and murderers."
The enemy shrugged, his weapon now sheathed by his side as he took a few bored steps forward near a younger and much shorter female. She wore a similar costume fabricated of more blue and blacks than orange, and she too had a piercing orange and black mask with a startling red eye glaring back. Aqualad held his breath watching the man's orange glove rest gently upon her shoulder. That mere gesture made the merman flounder with inner anger. With out reaction, the girl glared forward, a dead set expression hovering over her features.
Carefully, Deathstroke stroked her cheek. "Then I'll simply have to finish you off. Better yet," Deathstroke paused, clapping the young woman on the back. "I'll have her finish you off. Go on then," Deathstroke said like a boss who was encouraging his employee to work a bit harder. "Show 'em what you're made of, Ravager."
Slowly, the Ravager took a step forward unsheathing her two swords resting on holsters on her back. She pulled it out in an almost zombie-like obedience, her rosy red lips barley parting as she nodded in agreement to her father's command. For a brief second, there seemed to be a bit of hesitance in her step, almost as if she didn't want to continue her new task. It was brief however, soon replaced by imprinted focus. Aqualad inhaled nervously widening his stance slightly. That small conflict the teenager had in those brief seconds let Kaldur know their friend was still in there... inside whatever drug induced spell Deathstroke had placed upon her.
Maybe he could use it to his advantage.
"Ravager," the Atlantean began. "You need to listen to me. We do not want to fight you. Stop this. We are your teammates... your friends. Rose..."
The leader of the Young Justice used every ounce of courage he could to remain tall, his body shielding Kid Flash and Miss Martian from any further harm. The speedster laid crumpled in pain on the ground behind the merman, his yellow suit stained with deep crimson splotches around his left leg and shoulder. He shivered and shook in place, saliva and tears dribbling down his face as he begged the pain to stop.
He was fast, one of the fastest beings alive, but that didn't make him invulnerable from Deathstroke's bullets.
Megan was at his side, her features far less earthly and more extraterrestrial and thin due to the heavy amount of stress she was under. Her emerald face was flat; the nose no longer puckered out and had been replaced by two, snake-like slits and her eyes were completely white. She carefully applied pressure to her fallen teammate's wounds hoping to heed off any further pain. Kaldur had only seen Megan in this form twice; when one of Superman's greatest foes, Lex Luthor, threatened to kill Superboy and today after Deathstroke had ambushed them.
"Get up, Wally! C'mon!" Miss Martian cried at the speedster as her bright eyes grew wide. It almost looked as if her face lost some of it's green shade as she looked up at Ravager getting closer. "Kaldur, we can't fight her! There has to be another way!"
For the first time since he had taken up the role as leader, Kaldur felt severe fear as Deathstroke clapped on for his own daughter to "finish them off". In less than a minute, his entire team had been picked apart like a child's collection of blocks. In less than a minute, Deathstroke had taken months of training, years for some, and turned it in nothing.
Aqualad could only imagine what Ravager would do.
She had been trained to do what her father did; to kill. And before Robin had taken her away from Deathstroke's grasp, she had been very good at what her father assigned. And now, pumped up with whatever venom Deathstroke created, she was numb to any form of reasoning. Those blades she kept on her back looked hungry as she flashed them Kaldur's way.
Aqualad remained rooted in place holding his energy rods as they cackled. The mystical tattoos on his battered arms began to glow. "M'gann, take Wally and contact the League. This... this is more than we can handle."
The alien certainly agreed, but she still protested watching the merman take a battle stance. "But what about you? I can't leave you here! And Superboy! And Artemis! And Rob—"
Ravager raised her swords in an offensive stance, eyes narrowing upon her prey.
Aqualad's energy rods shot out two long beams of fluid water, almost mimicking a whip, and he slapped them against the ground preparing to fight one of his own. A young and lost girl he and his team had taken in to give a second chance, a young girl he had failed to keep safe. "Kaldur!" He ignored Megan's inquiries about his own safety. He knew what he had signed up for, he just hoped it wouldn't have gone down quite like this.
"Kaldur!" Megan screamed out again. Kid Flash looked up at the Atlantean with painful and frightful eyes.
"M'GANN! NOW!" Aqualad commanded bringing his arms up and thrusting the water whips at the girl. 'I'm sorry my friend, but I must perform my duties.'
Megan took off in a bolt of speed, carrying Wally gently in her arms allowing the leader the freedom he needed for this battle. Kaldur raised his arm back and inhaled sharply preparing to disarm Ravager. The merman's mystical weapons never hit, and instead were drawn back fearfully and suddenly when a small figure darted in front of him.
At first, Aqualad thought it had been Megan or Wally, attempting to have him flee with them, but instead Kaldur grimly stared back at the boy before him: Robin.
Robin flipped in between the pair, interrupting their soon to be battle. His skinny frame shook from the fatigue he'd been facing previously during battle. "Just don't!" He held up his pair of eskrima sticks defensively, his masked hues sticking right to Ravager's ridged frame. He looked back at her with widened eyes, his stance prepared to fight only if he had to, which Aqualad knew he wouldn't want to. Kaldur lowered his weapons slightly, his ocean glazed eyes focused on Ravager as Robin tried to reason with her.
"Rose!" he practically begged when he said her name, his thin lips drawn out in a desperate frown. "Don't! Don't let him take hold of you again. Don't let him use you! You have to remember!"
The Boy Wonder carefully kept himself placed directly between Ravager and Aqualad. The leader muttered quietly behind Robin: "She has no control. The only way to help her, is to subdue her. It is for our own and her safety."
Either Robin didn't hear the merman or simply ignored him. He dashed up to the black and blue clad teenager, his tired little legs nearly failing under his stress. Aqualad made to reach out and grab their youngest team member back from Deathstroke's daughter, but he missed by inches as the Boy Wonder strolled up to her hoping to get a response. He slipped his eskrima sticks back onto the holders underneath his cape.
Kaldur's eyes sprung open. He wasn't about to walk up to her simply unarmed?
"Robin!" the Atlantean growled.
"This isn't you! Not you at all!" the acrobat told the young teenager, watching her hesitantly keep her battle stance. "If you really were a killer, like Slade wanted you to be, you wouldn't have asked for help in the first place. But you're not," Robin stated firmly, ignoring Aqualad who slowly crept up behind him. Behind Rose, her father also took a few slow steps, not keen on letting Batman's protégé convince his daughter to leave him again.
"You're your own person! You're not his slave! You're only doing this for him!" Robin, despite seeing Deathstroke slithering up near Ravager, kept speaking in hopes that Rose would get over the venom. She had done it once before, she could do it again. Robin was determined to help her. "Do want you want to. C'mon, Rose."
"R-Robin..?" Ravager slowly mumbled, her skinny arms lowering her duel wielding blades to the ground. She clutched her head, fingers digging into the mask's fabric tightly. Her vision felt blurred as her uncovered eye tried to focus on the Boy Wonder bravely defying not only his team, but her father's commanding presence behind her.
The youngest Young Justice member smiled, glad that Rose was still inside the monster the Terminator had changed her into. He went to make more progress before Kaldur's hand shot out from behind the acrobat and yanked him back fiercely and sloppily right as Deathstroke jumped over his daughter's crippling form in hopes to teach Batman's brat a lesson. A small and sharp dagger resided in his hands, dangling where Robin had been only moments before Aqualad's timely rescue.
"I've heard just about enough out of you, boy." Deathstroke's voice was like ice, causing the Atlantean and the acrobat to freeze in place, their chests tightening with dread. "Haven't you brought enough disaster to my family? Maybe I should repay Batman with killing his son and his fishy friend."
Robin was ready to engage in battle seconds after Deathstroke put himself in between him and Rose. Behind him, Kaldur charged his energy rods, the fluid cackle of his weapons creating music for Robin's ears. "Disaster? Me? Ha!" Robin mocked the villain, despite Aqualad's low whispers for him to remain silent. "You're the definition of disaster, heavy on the dis. Attacking me doesn't just bring Batman knocking to your doorstep, genius, it brings the League too."
"The League?" the assassin began to circle the two boys, his daughter gritting her teeth silently behind him. Aqualad watched her carefully. For now, she seemed tamed, slowly emerging from her drugged sleep as it were. But she was still a loose cannon, and even though Robin wouldn't say it aloud, Kaldur had to weigh Rose's potential actions into their odds.
"The League can be broken just as easily as you were. They're nothing more than a bunch of adults crying over every injustice in the world, trying to right the world in their own way. Trying to mold their children to do their dirty work. Think about it, Robin; have I done anything different from what Batman did to you? Is Batman even a hero when you think about it?" the older man inquired, a smirk trailing across his masked features.
Kaldur spoke before the Boy Wonder. He had heard enough of the man's sly tongue. "Yes, he is. Batman knows the difference between slavery and free will. You do not."
"Stupid children. You'll never learn."
Deathstroke lunged at the pair, who split up instantly, grabbing their weapons and preparing for a fight. Kaldur went on the offensive, while Robin went for a more defensive approach. He grabbed three smoke pellets from his back satchel pocket, and hurling them towards the Terminator's feet, intending to gain advantage over the situation. Right on cue, Aqualad created two fierce swords with his rods, thrusting them into the smoke and planning on injuring their target.
"Too slow," the experienced villain chimed, ducking below Aqualad's weapons and emerging out of the smoke right on top of the gilled teenager. Deathstroke threw his knee up into the Atlantean's gut, enjoying the gushing sound of air being spat out from the teen. The sheer force of the blow sent Kaldur onto the ground, clutching his mid section and attempting to get over a strange sense of paralysis. "Most people vomit when you hit them there just right. But you, maybe you Atlanteans are different. Maybe you have two stomachs instead of one. Maybe I'll have to try a little harder next time. But, I'll take your lack luster performance just the same."
A swift kick to the head, a Kaldur found his world temporarily black before he even had a chance to fight back.
"RAGH!" Robin came for Deathstroke from the back, yelling a fierce battle cry bracing himself for the impact he was about to experience. Unfortunately, Robin had been hoping the impact would be from his own force not the Terminator turning around quickly to not only block his attack, but catch the young teenager as well. In a one swift motion, the older man dropped his weapon to the ground to catch Robin's wrists as he had brought them down in hopes of hitting Deathstroke on the back. His heavy, steel fingers wrapped tightly around the bird's wrists, causing an extreme amount of discomfort. Robin wanted to yelp out at the pain, but he refused.
It was then that Slade gave a crushing jerk on the kid's bones. "You think because Batman has authority in the underworld that I will simply bend to you? That she will simply bend to you?" Deathstroke's cold, booming laugh made Robin shutter. He struggled under the mad man's vice like grip, his tiny feet kicking and squirming to free himself. He needed some sort of leverage. Deathstroke twisted the boy's wrists upwards in an awkward gesture, hardly satisfied with the youth's painful cry. "You are far from Batman. Tell me boy, does he enjoy making his child suffer? Does he enjoy sending you out into this world unprepared for the real dangers in the shadows?"
Robin held back the bile that piled up, fidgeting to find a weak spot in Deathstroke's heavy and crushing grip. He had dropped his sticks by this point, his body jerking and twisting to find relief in the pain the man held over him. "Psh! And you're father of the stinking year!" he snapped back, ignoring the crushing pressure the villain pushed down on him. "Drugging your own daughter and taking away her free will! She can't even think right because of you! You're pathetic! A loser! At least Batman gives me a choi—"
Robin found himself sharing the same fate Aqualad still hadn't recovered from. A strong and massive knee was thrust into lower abdomen followed by the irresistible urge to vomit. Robin dangled limply in Deathstroke's grasp, ashamed to have been caught off guard by such a common technique as the remnants of his dinner resurfaced with a vengeance. The older villain took advantage of his prey's weakened state.
Deathstroke hoisted Robin up like a fisherman admiring his catch, one of his hands releasing the kid's wrist to find a home on the teenager's face, yanking the boy back to look at his paled and sweaty expression. To his left stood his daughter, Rose, shaking in place trying to put two and two together. Slade knew he'd have to up the dosage of her shots if he didn't want her fading in and out of his control. Ignoring Robin's strangled gasps for air, Deathstroke began to speak to Batman's partner with intense distaste.
"Haven't figured it out have you, boy? There is no Batman to come and save the day, not this time. Just you... and me." Robin could practically hear the smile in his voice. He was in for it now.
And then, time sped up.
The Boy Wonder was thrown back first onto the ground, Deathstroke's powerful body pinning himself over top of his tiny target. The resident hacker raised a brow in confusion as both of Deathstroke's hands went from his wrists and to face, not to reveal his identity, but to smoother his nose and in take of air. "You and your little friends have been nothing but trouble, Bird Boy. Well, it ends today."
Robin's gasping breaths and struggles went unnoticed by Aqualad, who resided only a few feet away and remained unconscious. The youngest Young Justice member flinched at the sight, his hands flying up towards Deathstroke's wrists in attempts to pry them off his face. He wanted to call out for Aqualad, have his leader suddenly awaken and free him from his fate.
But Robin was a realist. That wasn't going to happen anytime soon. "G-Get off!" Robin slurred through a tight batch of fingers trying to limit his air. Two firmly placed feet jabbed themselves into the Terminator's gut, earning a grimace from the man, but nothing more.
The man cooed at the Boy Wonder's struggles. "Burn all you energy. That's right, make this whole process go faster. After all, it is your funeral."
Standing off on her own, Ravager finally managed to focus on her former friend's desperate cries. "R-Robin..?" Rose weakly muttered, her narrow eye bending with her compassion as she slowly began to assess the situation. She took a staggered step over towards her father before her vision became clear. Aqualad was curled on the ground not too far off, his expression that of pain. And Deathstroke was crouching over a struggling teenager. No, crouching over her friend! Crouching over Robin! "Daddy, stop! What are you doing?" she demanded, scooping one of her fallen swords from the ground. Angrily she marched over, blade raised high. "Get off of him! Now!"
For a split second, Robin felt a wave of joy wash over his trembling form hearing Rose speak for herself.
Obviously, Deathstroke didn't share in the joy. Bitterly, he reached back, his hand swatting away at his daughter. They were only inches apart, Ravager's sword shaking as she held it. "You're confused, Rose. He's not here to help you. He was trying to kill you."
At first, Rose seemed unsure of what to believe. Ultimately, she knew the truth. "N-No... no you're lying! You're just trying to control me! Miss Martian showed me my visions! She showed me how you use me! I'm tired of being con—"
"Stupid girl!" The Terminator bellowed, his free hand ripping into his daughter's small ones and removing her sword nearly effortlessly from her grasp. She screamed at the gesture, making to attack until the weapon was flashed her way. Slowly, Deathstroke spoke to her, still pinning down Robin with little effort. "One move and it will be this blade going through you instead of him."
His lone eye darted from Ravager to Robin, a gleam of excitement shinning in it.
'No, no, no...' Robin begged in his mind seeing the shine of the weapon reflecting his terrified form. He didn't want to die. He couldn't die. Not like this. Not with his team scattered across the field or with out Batman's aid. Though the weapon was pointed towards Rose, the Terminator suddenly turned it towards the bird.
'No! No! No!'
"No! Daddy, don't!"
The sound of a bat-a-rang clashing against metal was the last sound Robin registered.
Four Months Prior, Mount Justice:
November 13th, 14:32 EDT
"I need food!" came Wally West's pathetic cries and demands as he zipped back and forth from the sparkling clean kitchen to the sitting room filled with most of his teammates. The speedster darted in distress. "Someone pick something to eat! What about Japanese? Chinese? Something from France? I'll pick up if you pay! C'mon, guys! I'm dying here!" the red head dramatically flailed about before falling back first onto the floor in front of the television that Miss Martian and Superboy were watching. "I'm in need of fast food!"
The clone narrowed his blue eyes in irritation, while Megan, offered a more polite and friendly solution. "There's plenty of food, Wally. You could cook something."
The speedster opened his eyes in a flash (no pun intended) and rolled over onto his stomach resting his head against propped up hands. He dreamily looked back at the alien. "Yea, but there's my problem. Terrible with that stuff. Maybe you could show me?" he asked hopefully, emerald hues shinning with glee.
Megan gave a small, shy smile. "I'm not very good myself. I still burn the cookies every now and—"
Within seconds Wally was in front of the green girl, a wide grin plastered on his face. "I'm perfectly fine with burned. Gives the food flavor!" he added with a wink.
Superboy raised a brow from across the couch clearly annoyed with Kid Flash's constant attempts of trying to win Megan's affection. In response he grabbed the remote to the television and turned up the volume a few notches despite his already excellent hearing.
But, unlike the Kryptonian clone, Batman's protégé never resisted the chance to chime in. "Flavor?" Robin laughed from across the room. Peeking out from behind his laptop screen, the acrobat offered a piece of his mind, a sly grin creeping on his face. "Burnt food is the opposite of flavor. It lacks flavor."
"Dude!" Wally snapped, his expression sour as the youngest once again mocked his crush over Megan. One day he'd put tape over that bird's yap.
Slightly uncomfortable to what was transpiring on around her, Megan shrugged in uncertainty. "If you're okay with burned... I guess I'd be the perfect teacher for you then."
"Perfect in every way," Wally insisted extending his hand to help the martian beauty from her seat.
As the two left for the kitchen, Wally presented Megan with a love-stricken smile as they rounded the corner. Robin gave a nasally chuckle before willing himself to return to his work.
"He never stops," Superboy grunted.
Aqualad, who finished reading a recently borrowed book from Robin, gave a light smile from across the room towards the Boy of Steel. "At least he's consistent."
"More like hopeless," chirped Robin as he typed furiously on his laptop.
"So are we just going to sit here all day? I thought Canary was stopping by for training," Superboy quickly grumbled out moments after their previous conversation had stopped. He pushed himself up off the couch, looking over at Kaldur and Robin waiting for an answer.
Robin answered first with out looking up from his monitor. "She had to cancel. League business."
"We could do our own training session," Aqualad suggested suddenly with a light touch of excitement lingering in his voice. "I am sure we could learn a thing or two from each other. I know Artemis has been preparing for training all morning."
The typing from the youngest stopped followed by the clone tilting his head in possible thoughts. Robin, once again, was the first to respond.
"I'm all for it." Robin shut the top of his computer delicately, smiling back up at his teammates.
"Hope you're not afraid of getting annihilated, Robin." The boys all spun around, their gazes set upon the emerald archer would made her grand entrance behind them. Artemis flipped a large chunk of her golden hair over her shoulder before cracking her knuckles playfully. "I've been training all morning."
"Annihilated? Me? Not a chance!" the Boy Wonder grinned back setting his computer aside. In a fluid gesture, he propped himself off the couch and onto the floor, before giving a light chuckle. "Besides, you can't annihilate anyone in practice, Artemis. Only hilate."
"Hilate?" the Atlantean inquired, unsure of the term. Artemis and Superboy both had raised brows, which made Kaldur feel less awkward about the word.
Robin, excited by his team's confusion, happily explained the word on their way to the training room. "Dude! The opposite of annihilate! Annihilate means to destroy and conqueror. So, that would naturally make hilate to preserve and establish. Which is the purpose of training when you think about it. I mean, we train to establish our skills and to establish those, we have to preserve them with practice and—"
"What does Batman have you do in Gotham?" Artemis sneered, opening the gym door eagerly. "Assign you to butcher preexisting words with your own twisted ones?"
Robin gave a crooked grin, glancing up at the taller female with eagerness. " You're just— woa. Canary! You made it!" The hacker stopped his explanation on his own dialogue at the sight of their battle trainer, Black Canary. She stood in the center ring, her back turned towards the young heroes as she talked with the Dark Knight via the large television screen off to the side. Batman broke their conversation off as soon as his masked eyes spotted his team.
"It seems they were willing to take on training with out your guidance today," Gotham's Caped Crusader solemnly noted causing Canary to let a sly smile grace her lips.
"Everyone except KF," Robin explained looking back up at his mentor mischievously. "He's currently training on the art of cooking."
Kaldur did his best to remain professional seeing that fine and irritated line brush across the Batman's face.
"So, we'll be doing training today?" Superboy asked hopefully.
Batman spoke before Canary. "Not today. There's something I want you six to investigate instead."
"This day keeps getting better and better," Artemis grinned, excited that she wouldn't be copped up in the gym all day and instead using her training out in the field. Gripping her bow tightly, she titled her head up towards the Bat. "When do we start?"
"When the rest of your team arrives."
It didn't take long for the four members to locate and happily explain to Wally and Megan that training was being replaced with a (potentially) cool mission. Kid Flash changed into his trademark yellow and red costume in seconds, zipping off to the sparring room ecstatically while Megan allowed her casual pink sweater and skirt combo to transform into her Earthly costume. Once the Young Justice team was fully assembled, Canary took her place besides the television screen, her hues glancing up at Batman who casually began to explain the team's newest assignment.
"As you all know from your mission in Santa Prisca, you encountered a dangerous, strength enhancing and illegal steroid known as venom, and uncovered Cobra's much more deadly and permanent version of the drug. Though the factory was destroyed, there have been reports of venom factories staggering across the United States. The League suspects that the man you encountered called Bane, is behind these factories."
"He broke out of custody?" Superboy asked bluntly. Batman continued to stare forward, unphased by the roughness in the Kryptonian clone's voice.
"Yes. The League will be taking care of Bane. You six, will be deployed to a near by unit suspected to be operating as a venom factory." The group of teenagers tightened up hearing their new assignment. Another recon mission. Another observe and report and if you happen to interfere, another long lecture from the Bat himself. Though they all knew the purpose of their team was to be a covert, small operation group for the League, they couldn't help but sometimes feel bullied into doing simple minded chores the League simply didn't feel like dealing with.
Batman seemed to read their animosity even from so far away. "The idea of this mission is to observe and report, and," he put a slightly heavy pronunciation on the word 'and', gain attention from the group within seconds, "to see who is ordering the venom."
The teenagers shot glances to each other.
"I thought it was Bane who was getting the venom?" Megan interrupted, rubbing her arm sheepishly and praying Batman wouldn't scold her for it. The Dark Knight seemed to think nothing of her inquiry.
"Bane is suspected of putting the factories in place, but each location has been strategically picked. In each city where one of these factories arises, the League had noticed several patterns of theft and strange activity."
Robin crossed his arms. "Strange activity that the League will be handling, right? Cobra activity?" he asked shortly, knowing very well that his mentor would be try and avoid the topic of 'strange activity'.
As the acrobat predicted, Batman lightly brushed off the question. "You're objective is to observe the factory assigned to you and report your findings, not to engage in combat with unknown certainties. You are to identify the buyer or buyers, and see what they plan on using the venom for. There so far, has been no connection made to Cobra; these venom factories have not been producing enhanced venom, but rather, the original formula."
"But why?" Aqualad queried. Robin agreed.
"You'd think most super baddies would want the better stuff."
Batman made his presence known once more. "This is the point of your mission. Cobra venom or not, it is still an illegal substance and someone is having it made as discreetly and quickly as possible across the country. Your objectives are to find out who and why. If League assistance is required, you are to contact either Red Tornado or myself immediately. I do not want a repeat of Santa Prisca." He paused, his voice lower and more darker than most of the young superheroes were used to hearing. "Have I made myself clear?"
"Yes, sir. Crystal!" Wally barked out, slightly intimidated by the Bat's narrow and cold glare. Robin snickered at his friend's nervousness to the situation, earning an irritated scowl from Wally.
"You will be departing in six hours. I suggest you use your time wisely."
November 13th, 20:17 EDT
"Who woulda thought that illegal drug deals were going down in Metropolis?" Kid Flash chuckled, his feet propped up on the dashboard of Miss Martian's bio-ship. He kept pressing the Flash logo on his uniform, switching his costume from stealth and normal colors every few seconds. Artemis was quickly growing annoyed with his behavior. "You'd think Superman would be on this."
Behind him, Superboy let out a frustrated grunt, his cool blue eyes scanning over the bridge the Superman had ignored him on only months prior. The stinging hatred of being reminded of that day made the clone clench his fists tightly and his jaw tighten. The Boy Wonder, who sat in front of him, peered over the top of his seat offering a concerned glance to the older teenager almost knowing that as soon as Superman's forbidden name was spoken, that the clone would begin to rage. Superboy began to calm himself down, not wanting Robin to say anything about his almost outburst.
Megan broke the tension. "We're coming up on the warehouse. Putting the bio-ship in camouflage mode."
A strange vibrating was felt through out the whole ship as she, and the occupants inside, seemed to turn invisible to the outside world. Artemis shivered in her seat. "What's wrong, blondie?" Kid asked childishly. "Nervous?"
Sneering, the female archer replied back: "You wish, Baywatch."
"You should be," Wally explained to her, looking over his shoulder with a wide grin on his face. "You missed out on our exciting adventure last time. Just wait til you get a glance at ole El Luchador."
Artemis rolled her eyes, picking up her quiver and slipping it over her head and chest. "Aqualad filled me in. So did Robin. Apparently, you blew their cover first chance you got," she mocked, her smile flashing deviously Wally's way. "Not that I'm surprised."
Robin, again, snickered at his friend's plight, earning a irritated: "Dude!" and huff from Kid Flash.
"Putting the ship in neutral." Slowly, the emerald alien's ship got slower before it hovered silently over the Young Justice's current stakeout spot. Standing up, Megan already suited in her stealth suit, waved her hand up towards the ceiling which allowed for jump line cables to ascend down. Snatching his quickly, Kid Flash fastened it to his belt winking Miss Martian's way.
"Ready when you are, beautiful."
Angrily, Artemis equipped her own buckle as Kaldur began to issue out commands. Clipping his drop hook on, he turned towards his team before speaking.
"We will descend slowly. Robin and Artemis will go in first and enter in through the skylight. Once on the catwalk, they will secure the area. Superboy and Miss Martian will maintain watch on the roof. Kid Flash and I will go in by ground level and enter once we have received word from Robin or Artemis. We will continue this mission through radio silence. M'gann, could you link us up?" Kaldur asked politely once he finished he brief overview of their plan.
"No problem," Megan responded. Her eyes flashed a bright white before she continued her speech via thoughts. 'All ready to go!'
'Thank you,' Aqualad told the martian. He did a quick scan of his team making sure they were all secure. 'Once inside, well will continue. Robin, Artemis.' He nodded towards the two non-powered members signaling them it was time to begin.
Miss Martian waved her hand once again, a small circle appearing below Artemis and Robin which allowed the duo to begin their descent. With a quirky grin, Robin gave one final glance up at his team before he returned his focus towards the building's skylight. He bent his knees slightly, his boots silently landing on top of the building next to Artemis. They both didn't bother to un-clip themselves from the ship; Megan had retracted the organic fall lines as soon as the pair had landed.
The mission had now begun.
Note: So my first multi-chapter Young Justice story. I'm sure there are some mistakes in here; I didn't have anyone look it over so, shame on me. And yes, I went there by bringing in Deathstroke and Ravager. What can I say? I think these two characters will fit in this universe nicely. It is more of a Robin based story but, since I really enjoy Artemis too, she plays a pretty important part in the story as well. Her and Ravager have some background. You'll see Sportsmaster, Cheshire, Red Arrow. Ra's Al Ghul and someone special from the Batman comic books. Maybe even two someone specials if I can work it out just right. And, it might have been a bit corny to start the story off midway through the final battle, but... I was feeling creative and different tonight so I went ahead and added that. Please tell me what you think! And let me know if it's interesting enough to continue.