This story will, ultimately, focus on Robin the most. However, in order to set up a few pivotal things to the story line, Robin isn't the central focus.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Young Justice.
I don't know how it happened. Well, technically I know how it happened, but it seems unreal. Too quick. A blur.
Yet, here I am - forced to betray everyone I love and everything I stand for. In my defense, I never wanted to hurt anyone. I don't have a choice. I had, and have, good intentions.
On the other hand they say 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions.'
Perhaps I'll rot there.
CHAPTER 1 ~ Cruel Intentions
19:56 hours. December 2nd. Kitchen. Mount Justice.
"Okay, who drank the last of the orange juice?" Wally asked, a hand on his hip indignantly, waving the empty carton around for dramatic effect while scanning the occupants of the room for the culprit.
First Superboy, who simply glared at him. Next Kaldur, who shook his head in the negative. Then Artemis, who rolled her eyes. Robin threw his hands up and exclaimed, "Don't look at me. I don't live here!". At this point everyone, with the exception of Artemis who'd left the kitchen in a huff of annoyance, looked at Miss Martian.
Megan scratched the back of her neck, looking up from under her eyelashes guiltily. "I couldn't sleep, so I came in to bake some cupcakes. The recipe called for a cup of milk, but we were out of milk. So, I used orange juice." She paused, flashing a hopeful smile. "If you want try them they're in the oven. They're good. Kind of...citrusy."
Before the teens could make a flimsy excuse to save themselves from the orange juice cupcakes, Batman strolled into the room - his countenance demanding attention and respect, per usual.
"Follow me. Now." The Dark Knight said curtly, as he exited the kitchen and immediately entered the mission room.
Once the team was gathered, he began.
"I have intel from a source stating that an unknown entity will be pulling a heist from a Luthor Corp biochemical facility. Tonight. Usually the league would handle this, but the source we obtained the information from is disreputable, therefore we can not be certain of the accuracy of the intel. Though the intel is precarious and vague at best, it's implications are significant. Usually, Red Tornado and I dissuade you from contacting the League. However, this is not a mission where you should be hesitant to call for backup, if so needed. Your mission is to stand guard, covertly, outside and inside the laboratory. Observe keenly for anything that strikes you as odd and/or seems out of place. You leave for Metropolis, by motorcycle, at 1600 hours."
23:00 hours. December 2nd. Luthor Corp BioChem Lab. Metropolis.
The team had been, 'covertly', in position for hours now. Artemis and Aqualad were positioned on the roof. Miss Martian was in camouflage mode, patrolling the inner grounds. Kid Flash was walking along the gate surrounding the facility. Superboy's post was in the east wing of the laboratory, while Robin guarded the west wing.
Wally finished what seemed like his millionth lap of the perimeter, having detected nothing unusual. The only noticeably loud sound being a persistent locust. "Hey, it's KF. All clear out here."
Kid Flash turned to begin his 1,000,001 lap when he was struck on the back of the head with something extraordinarily hard, very hard - like steel. The last thing he felt before the darkness consumed him was an acute pain in his shoulder...
23:01 hours. December 2nd. Luthor Corp BioChem Lab - Roof. Metropolis.
All had been quiet. Normal. Nothing suspicious whatsoever. The team's attentiveness was waning to the point that Artemis almost missed the shadow that scurried across the lot, swiftly ducking behind a wall before she even had a chance to consider aiming at it.
"Kal!" The archer said urgently in a hushed tone.
"Yes?" Aqualad asked lowly, but evenly - all business.
"We need to warn the team! I think I just saw-" Artemis didn't get to finish her sentence, as an explosion rocked the building they were perched on - effectively throwing her off the roof.
Kaldur dove to the edge of the roof in an attempt to grab her hand, but all he was met with was black smoke and no archer...
23:01 hours. December 2nd. Luthor Corp BioChem Lab - East Wing. Metropolis.
Superboy had been aimlessly counting the tiles on the ceiling when the bomb was detonated. As it blew out a section of the south wall of the krypronian's wing, Conner braced himself in front of the opening, preparing for the intruders that were sure to come.
In charged what looked like malevolent circus performers: clowns, gaudy acrobats, etc. A figure emerged in front of the eerie assortment of jesters; a woman, who's stance indicated her as the leader of the peculiar horde.
She wore an emerald green leotard, green fishnets, and, in keeping with the theme, green over the knee boots. Scarlet hair billowed around her oddly pale face, obscuring one of her jade green eyes as wicked smile tugged at the corners of her lips.
"You must be Superboy..." She spoke with an enticing, almost hypnotic lilt to her voice.
Conner found himself internally scrambling to collect his thoughts as she casually strolled towards him.
"I am. Who are you?" Superboy questioned trying, and failing, to have an authoritative tone.
"Poison Ivy." She replied with an endearing smile while putting her hand on his chest.
Partially out of surprise, he hadn't realized she had gotten so close, but mostly because he couldn't seem to make his muscles move. Moreover, he couldn't seem to truly want to move.
Poison Ivy's presence was intoxicating. As her face grew closer to his, he mentally tried to will himself to move, to say something, to do anything - but, it was too late. He was under her spell...
23:01 hours. December 2nd. Luthor Corp BioChem Lab - West Wing. Metropolis.
By time Robin registered the familiar boom of an explosion, he was immediately inundated was a second blast coming from the wall opposite him.
The Boy Wonder shielded himself from the storm of debris hurled in his direction. He lowered his arms enough to see a group of circus freaks, obviously the Joker's henchman, swarm the lab.
Accustomed to the lackey's of the Joker, he began combating his attackers with the ease of familiarity...
23:02 hours. December 2nd. Luthor Corp BioChem Lab. Metropolis.
When Miss Martian heard the bomb detonate from the area she had been patrolling, she quickly to the facility - remaining in camouflage mode.
Megan held her breath as best she could as she navigated through the dense haze in search of her fellow teammates. She instantly heard violent coughing and found Artemis.
She was lying on the ground, her left leg turned out at an unnatural angle, her right leg had blood trickling from a minor wound, and she was choking on the acrid smog encompassing her.
"Oh my god!" the Martian exclaimed, racing to her friend; panic written plainly across her features.
"Be-behind y-you." Artemis warned through her coughing.
Miss Martian turned to see a girl abruptly emerge from the smoke. Her hair ebony hair, worn in pigtails, was streaked with crimson and she wore an outfit reminiscent of a jester. Which was bizarre, certainly, but what called for attention the most was the giant, harlequin patterned mace she wielded.
"Pop goes the the Weasel!" the jester girl exclaimed gleefully, as she coiled the lethal looking mace to swing...
23:02 hours. December 2nd. Luthor Corp BioChem Lab. Metropolis.
After Artemis' fall, Aqualad urgently dashed for the fire escape - silently praying the archer was alright. The atlantean moved from the rung to rung on the ladder so hastily that it almost appeared as if he was falling, albeit gracefully. As soon as his feet hit the ground he went to sprint in the direction of Artemis' fall.
However, as he whipped around he noticed he was not alone. Scratch that, he was surrounded by masked and unmasked figures that glowed menacingly as they materialized from the fog.
Kaldur darted behind a dumpster as the figures began to fire an eclectic mix of weapons at him; primarily what looked like playing cards and sinister children's toys. His shoulder was clipped by gosh knows what, but only barely - a harmless flesh wound.
He activated the 'SOS' button on his utility belt. "Reinforcements will be there in five minutes." came J'onn's sage reply from Watchtower.
Glancing out at the veritable army that encircled him, Aqualad wasn't sure he had five minutes...
23:07 hours. December 2nd. Luthor Corp BioChem Lab. Metropolis.
The Dark Knight dismounted from the Batplane, swinging on to the roof. He surveyed his surroundings and found a dense smog encircling the partially destroyed facility. Eventually, he discerned two girls lying unconscious on the ground below him - instantly identifying them as Miss Martian and Artemis.
After sending a grappling hook to a massive, neighboring tree, he landed silently on the ground. Hovering over the two girls, he took an inventory of their injuries. Artemis: a possible broken leg, probable concussion, and a minor flesh wound to her other leg. Miss Martian: a cut on her cheek, a, nonlethal, gash to her shoulder, and minor scrapes along her arms.
Batman sensed her before he heard her. He swung around and away, not quite missing the mace entirely but only suffering a small cut along his jaw.
In the blink of an eye, the Dark Knight whipped a batarang at her wrist, knocking the mace from her grasp before she could strike again.
Harley Quinn gazed down at her weaponless hands. Eyes widening comically, she gazed back up at the Caped Crusader and said, "Wuh oh..."
23:07 hours. December 2nd. Luthor Corp BioChem Lab. Metropolis.
The Flash spotted Aqualad sparring with ten freaky jester dudes and quickly joined the fight. Due to his super-speed, he managed to incapacitate four of the wackos before they even realized he was there.
Unfortunately, he was too busy with those four to notice a fifth - who, with a swift flick of his wrist, lodged a playing card, emblazoned with a joker, into the Scarlet Speedster's lower arm. Flash recovered almost immediately, charging at the clown before he had the opportunity to unleash a second card...
23:08 hours. December 2nd. Luthor Corp BioChem Lab - West Wing. Metropolis.
Robin had knocked out an unprecedented amount of henchman, but after he took out a pack of them, another throng came through the makeshift doorway made by the explosion.
Worry was beginning to permeate his thoughts, when a luminescent, green hammer smacked two jesters square in the face. The acrobat glanced up to see John Smith AKA Green Lantern, land on an overturned bookcase and join the fight...
23:08 hours. December 2nd. Luthor Corp BioChem Lab - East Wing. Metropolis.
Black Canary stepped soundlessly over the crumbled remains of the what used to be a wall of the east wing, sweeping her surroundings with a shrewd eye. Therefore, it didn't surprise her when the Joker's goons came rushing out of the rooms along the hall, armed to attack.
There were about five of them.
A masked woman, about 5'7'', leapt at her. Black Canary executed a perfect round house kick to the woman's temple, knocking her unconscious for the time being.
Next, a man wearing a charcoal and vermillion clown costume came at her from the right. He swung, aiming for her face. She caught his fist in her hand. Unfortunately, he was wearing spiked knuckles and the metal dug into her palm.
She quickly dispatched her opponent with a punch to the face, with the hand that wasn't being used to restrain his fist, and delivered a sweep kick, efficiently knocking his feet out from under him.
She turned to face the remaining three adversaries. "Who's next?" she asked with a confident smile...
23:08 hours. December 2nd. Luthor Corp BioChem Lab. Metropolis.
Wonder Woman found Kid Flash's unconscious form on the outer perimeter. Hastily, she surveyed the young speedster's injuries. He'd possibly have a concussion. He also had a gash to his shoulder, a joker card stuck from the shallow wound. Diana pulled it out, figuring it best to have it out now before Wally woke up and had to deal with the pain of having it removed.
"Oh," Wonder Woman said in surprise, glancing down at her index finger and she saw the cut there. She shook her head.
01:37 hours. December 3rd. Mission Room. Mount Justice.
Robin mentally reviewed the mission's rather instantaneous conclusion.
Ultimately, Poison Ivy escaped. Aside from her, however, all the other villains were defeated and carted off by Metropolis PD. And, thankfully, nothing was stolen from the laboratory
Black Canary found Superboy - he was fine. Hypnotized, but fine. After snapping out of his trance and returning to Mount Justice, he stalked off, grumbling, "...first g-nomes, now plant lady...".
Artemis, luckily, did not have a broken leg. In stead, she had a sprained knee and ankle - so, she'd be out of commission for a week or so.
Robin was exhausted from the long day. He hastily changed into his civvies and sunglasses - despite the fact that it was past midnight. After saying a quick "Goodnight." to the remaining teammates in Mount Justice, he went to the garage to retrieve his motorcycle.
Robin always took backroads and side streets home to Gotham. Mainly because there was hardly any traffic; therefore, less people wonder about the thirteen year old on the motorcycle. Particularly, the thirteen year old on the motorcycle at nearly 2 am.
He's taken this route home so many times that it's second nature - he usually spends his time lost in his thoughts.
He was pulled from his reverie when he noticed something odd. Very odd.
A black SUV was parked sideways, blocking the entire one lane road. Robin slowed his bike casually, taking in the situation. He watched as a man appeared from the shadows. He couldn't see his face in the poor lighting, but he could discern the man's formidable height, wide shoulders, and perfectly centered stance that comes solely from athleticism.
Robin decided to play it off as if he didn't detect anything unusual. "Hey? Is everything okay? You're kind of blocking the road?"
"I am. Purposefully might I add, Robin." said the man in a crisp, formal voice. He took a step forward; the light from the moon illuminating his face. Or rather, the mask covering his face. Half of the mask was a burnt orange color, the other a stark black. Only one eye was visible through the mask.
"That's hardly fair. You know my name, but I don't know yours." Robin stated confidently, squaring his shoulders.
Robin thought he caught an amused glint in the masked man's eye. "Life is hardly fair. Regardless, I'll indulge you. My name is Slade. Some people call me Deathstroke."
Though the his face wasn't familiar, the name Deathstroke was. There's a file on him in the Batcave; he's an exceptionally dangerous villain. A master of martial arts and weaponry. A technology expert. Moreover, he has access to 90% of his brain capacity due to a botched military experiment.
Not someone you want to meet in a dark alley.
Or a deserted backroad in the middle of the night.
"What is it exactly that you want, Slade? Assuming, I'm the reason you've barricaded the road. If I'm not, I'll happily be on my way." Robin spoke in polite, emotionless voice.
"You assume correctly. I want to give you some...information." Slade said, as he pulled a high tech tablet in front of him.
On the tablet were familiar names: Kid Flash, Miss Martian, Artemis, Aqualad, The Flash, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Black Canary. Next to each name, were vitals.
"What is this?" Robin demanded, his careful composure slipping slightly.
"Do you remember The Fog?" Slade didn't wait for his answer before continuing. "The Fog is comprised of millions of microscopic nanotech infiltrators. They are capable of destroying anything in their path. Including flesh and bone."
Slade's gaze moved up from the tablet, looking Robin directly in the eye. "I've obtained The Fog and weaponized it in a more...biological manner. I've made microscopic capsules of the nanotech infiltrators. When these capsules are entered into the blood stream, they are harmless. Until activated, that is. Once activated, it kills whomever has the misfortune of having the capsule in their body. However, it only kills the person whose blood stream it was entered into. They don't go after anyone or anything else. Very specific. Localized, if you will."
Slade raised the tablet and inch or so higher, drawing Robin's eye back to it.
"The names on this list," Slade began. "have capsules of The Fog in their blood stream. For the time being, they're safe. However, at any time I can trigger a remote detonator that will activate the capsule, or capsules, ending their lives."
Unable to form words, Robin stared at Slade; horror written plainly in the lines of his face.
After what seemed like an eternity, but was probably just a couple of minutes, Robin regained the use of his mouth.
"How?" Robin asked, still perplexed by the unexpected turn of events.
"Tonight's mission." Slade said simply, as if discussing the weather.
Robin was about to ask him elaborate, when it dawned on him what Slade meant.
When Kid Flash was cut with the playing card. When Artemis, Miss Martian, and Batman were hit with Harley's mace. When Aqualad was nicked in the shoulder. When The Flash's arm was lacerated by the playing card. When Green Lantern's leg was struck with a clown's pointed cane. When Black Canary's palm was pierced by the spikes of the knuckles the jester wore. When Wonder Woman's finger was cut by the Joker card in Wally's back.
All injuries with blood.
All injuries that made it easy to enter something microscopic into the blood stream.
It was never about biochemicals - It was about drawing the team and members of the Justice League into the open in a way that gave Slade ample opportunity to infect his quarry.
Slade interrupted his mental revelation. "I will not harm them. As long as you do what I want, that is."
Robin began to say the typical 'Fuck no'. After all, one of Batman's major lessons was to never give into their demands. The bad guys should never get what they want.
Though, rationally, he knew that was exactly what he should do, the images that flooded through his minds said otherwise.
Wally's cringe-worthy, shameless flirting. Kaldur's brotherly advice. Barry's corny jokes. Miss M's sweet disposition and abominable cooking. Artemis' snarky commentary and perpetual tough attitude. Diana's endearingly oblivious 'man's world' inquiries. Green Lantern's all around awesomeness. Black Canary's caring and guidance.
Robin couldn't fathom a world without them.
And finally, Bruce. Though Batman wasn't his biological father, Robin loved him and respected as if he were.
And Robin had already lost one father, he couldn't stand to lose another.
With determined resignation to do whatever it took to keep them alive, he met Slade's eye.
"Anything you want."
Please Read and Review! My first story. Any input in completely welcome!