Here we are again, this time for Titans South! An episode with a completely original plot. How cool is that?
Disclaimer: If you think I own TT, I think you're stupid.
Cyborg stepped into the common room, a big smile on his face.
"Hey, y'all," he said. "Miss me?"
Beast Boy's head spun around almost 180 degrees to see his best friend. "Cy! You're back!" Raven looked up from her book and almost smiled at the Titans technical expert as sat down on the couch.
"Hey, Cy," said Robin.
Cyborg's grin got even wider, if that was at all possible. "How you doin', kid?" asked Cyborg as he ruffled the Teen Wonder's gelled up hair.
Robin tried to bat away Cyborg's hand. "Hey, knock it off," he said, laughing. Starfire giggled as Robin whacked his hand against Cyborg's steel arm.
"Ow," moaned Robin.
"That's what you get for trying to hit me," said Cyborg. He stopped messing up Robin's hair and started fiddling with a few gadgets in his arm. "Seriously, though, how are you? Reckon you'll be back on the streets soon?"
"I hope so," said Robin. "I hate sitting around, doing nothing. I feel so useless."
Cyborg nodded. "I know what you mean." He glanced at Starfire. "How 'bout you, Star? Your arm any better?"
Starfire nodded. "Raven believes that my arm will be fully healed within a few days."
"That's great, Star," said Cyborg. "Now, if you'll excuse me for a sec, I'm gonna see if the Titans North Tower's comm system is working." He tapped a few buttons on the console built into the table, and a large screen dropped down in front of the window. Static filled the screen, eventually clearing to reveal a common room, not dissimilar to the one the Titans currently occupied. The major difference is that the one on the screen was currently filled with various mechanical parts.
Red Star crawled out from under the table and wiped grease off his face with an oily rag.
"Just making a few adjustments to the system," he said.
Cyborg nodded. "Yeah, some of the components take a few days to sort themselves out. Having any big problems?"
"No, everything seems to be...wait a minute," said Red Star, as the image started to dissolve into static. There was a banging noise, some muffled Russian cursing, and someone yelled the motto of mechanics everywhere: "C'mon, get in there, you little piece of —!"(1) A thunk signified that whatever mechanical doodah had attracted Red Star's attention was now behaving, and the static cleared up.
"Sorry about that," he said.
"No problem," said Cyborg. "Everyone settling in all right?"
Red Star nodded. "There have been no problems so far."
"That's good," said Cyborg. "Let me know if there are any major issues and I'll go over there and sort them out for you."
"I will keep that in mind. Red Star out." The screen went black, and Cyborg pressed a button, causing the screen to rise back into its hiding place.
"You know," said Robin. "I've been thinking—"
"Oh, no," said Beast Boy, earning glares from both Robin and Raven.
"I've been thinking that maybe there should be another team. A Titans South."
"That sounds like a good idea," said Raven. "Any ideas who you want in it?"
Robin considered the question for a few seconds. "I was thinking...maybe Hot Spot or Argent," said Robin. "Possibly the Herald and Jericho as well."
"Jericho will want his sister on the team as well," said Starfire. Robin nodded. He trusted Jericho, even though he was the son of Slade, because he'd saved Robin's life, but Robin wasn't sure about Ravager. She'd only recently gotten released from prison, and was currently staying in Titans Tower until she decided what she wanted to do.
"I think it would be a good idea if she was part of Titans South," said Raven. "She's not sure what she wants, but I do know she wants to stay with her brother."
"You sure this is a good idea?" asked Cyborg.
"I hope so," said Robin. "I hope so."
When there's trouble, you know who to call. TEEN TITANS!
From their tower they can see it all. TEEN TITANS!
When there's evil on the attack,
You can rest knowing they've got your back,
'Cause when the world needs heroes on patrol,
Teen Titans, GO!
With their superpowers they unite. TEEN TITANS!
Never met a villain that they liked. TEEN TITANS!
They've got the bad guys on the run,
They never stop till the job gets done,
'Cause when the world is losing all control,
Teen Titans, GO!
One, two, three, four, GO! Teen Titans!
Ravager was lying on top of her bed when Jericho entered her room. Technically, it wasn't her room; there were several guest rooms in the Tower, which had been installed as more superheroes had joined the Teen Titans. Ravager was staring at the ceiling, as if she was seeking some divine message that had been hidden in the construction. She turned her head to look at Jericho as he came in.
Hey, he signed. Are you all right?
Ravager sighed and looked back at the ceiling. "I..." her voice trailed off. "I don't know how I feel, to be honest."
Jericho was silent. Then again, he was always silent; it was one of the side effects of being mute.
"I feel like...everything I believed in, everything I thought was right, is gone," she continued. "I have nothing left to believe in. I feel...hollow. But..." she trailed off again. She looked back at Jericho. Her brother raised one of his eyebrows. "I feel...almost as if I had a giant weight on my shoulders, and it's gone now. For the first time in my life, I can do whatever I want to do, but I have no idea what I want to do."
What about your mother? asked Jericho.
Ravager squeezed her eyes shut, but not before a few tears managed to escape. "She's dead," she whispered.
Jericho rested one of his hands on hers. It was such a simple gesture, but for some reason, it managed to lift her incredibly low spirits. "What about you?" she asked. "Where's your mom?"
Jericho studied the floor in embarrassment. I haven't seen her in a while.
The siblings were silent for a while, but the silence spoke volumes.
"Hey," said Ravager, sitting up. "I never asked before...what's your name? I mean your real name."
Jericho swallowed the lump that had risen in his throat.
"You don't have to tell me," said Ravager quickly. "I understand."
No, its okay, signed Jericho. It'll be good to finally tell someone. He sighed. Joseph. My name's Joseph. But my friends call me Joey.
Ravager nodded. "I'm Rose," she said. Joey met her eyes, and she smiled faintly. He started to smile as well. She held out her arms for a hug, and he obliged her. As the siblings embraced, Rose whispered into Joey's ear, "You're the only family I've got now. I won't leave you."(2)
The young woman glanced up at Titans Tower. She'd been there before, but that had been several months ago, after the defeat of the Brotherhood of Evil. She hadn't done much in the fight; she was one of the last to receive a communicator and was the first to be taken down. Argent shivered as she recalled when she had been frozen by the Brain and his goons. That had been a pretty bad day, but not quite as bad as her thirteenth birthday. She shook her head to clear away the bad memories and placed her hand on the reader by the front door. A green light scanned it, and a machine whirred for a few seconds.
"Access granted," said a computerized voice. "Welcome, Argent." The door clicked and slid open. She flew inside, her crimson red eyes looking around. She hadn't had a proper look when she had first come here. Very cosy, she thought. She made her way to the top floor. Robin had told her to meet there, but the text she had received on her new communicator hadn't been very detailed. (3) The common room door opened, and she spied a very familiar face.
"Hot Spot!" She flew over and gave the human flamethrower a massive hug, much to his embarrassment.
"Hey, Argent," he groaned. "Um, you're crushing me."
"Oh, sorry." She relinquished her hold on him. Seated on the couch, Jericho was shaking with silent laughter as the Herald wolf-whistled. Hot Spot made a rather obscene hand gesture, which seemed to be very amusing to the Herald, who was laughing so hard he fell off the couch. Hot Spot started to get very angry, which would soon lead to him scorching a certain somebody.
Jericho tapped the Herald on the shoulder. It might be a good idea not to piss off Hot Spot.
The Herald looked at Hot Spot, and noticed two things: one being his expression, the other was the heatwaves rolling out of Hot Spot's body.
"I think you're right," said the Herald weakly.
Argent rolled her eyes and sat down next to the only other girl in the room. Argent guessed she was about seventeen or eighteen. The woman had long blonde, almost white hair, and eyes that were a dark grey.
"I take you two know each other?" asked the woman.
Argent nodded. "Yeah, we're old friends." She held out her hand. "I'm Argent, by the way."
"Ravager," said the other woman, shaking her hand.
Argent raised her eyebrow. "Interesting name for a hero," she said.
Ravager blushed. "Don't remind me."
At the front, Robin was trying to get everyone's attention, but it didn't seem to be working. He sighed and pulled out his bo staff, smashing it into the table with a loud bang! Everyone jumped, and the room fell silent.
"Thank you," said Robin. "Now that I have your attention, I'd like to get this meeting started." He collapsed the staff and slipped it back into his belt. "I know the message I sent you was pretty cryptic, and I'm sorry about that. I guess I'm still a little paranoid after our communications network was compromised by the Brotherhood."
"Hey, that's not my fault!" said Hot Spot. His communicator was the one that had been stolen. "Madame Rouge is a tough old lady."
Robin smiled. "I know that; she kicked my butt, too. Anyway, I called you here because I wanted to ask you something. I wanted to ask if you five," he gestured towards the assembled superheroes, "would like to form another team of Titans. I want you guys to be the Titans South."
The Titans looked at each other, sizing up their future teammates. Hot Spot was the first to speak.
"I'll join," he said.
Argent was the next one to speak. "You can count me in."
Robin looked at the Herald. "Might as well."
Jericho was the next to fall under Robin's gaze. He glanced over at Ravager, and caught her miniscule nod. We're both in, he signed.
Robin smiled. "Glad that's sorted." He pressed a button and the screen dropped down, and a map of the United States popped up. "You'll be stationed here," the map zoomed in on a city in Southern USA. "Obsidian City. The Herald and Jericho both know their way around the place, so you won't have too much trouble finding the nearest pizza parlour." Everyone laughed at this; it was well-known that the Teen Titans were fighting for "Truth, Justice and Pizza."(4)
The image on the screen changed. Instead of a street map, there was now an image of a lake in the middle of the city.
"This is Lake Sapphire. It's in the centre of the city, and the Tower has been built in the middle of the lake. In fact, Titans Tower South has been built almost completely underwater." This statement received a lot of positive comment. A little icon started flashing in the bottom left corner; the icon was in the shape of one of the communicators that each Titan received. Robin pressed a button, and the screen changed to an image of Cyborg, standing in another common room.
"Titans Tower South is ready for business," he said. "And in record time, too."
"How long did it take you?" asked Hot Spot.
"Less than a day," said Cyborg.
Robin laughed at Hot Spot's stunned expression. "Beast Boy bet him twenty bucks he couldn't finish the Tower in a day."
The Herald punched the air in triumph. "Hah! He bet me fifty bucks he could win a bet against Cyborg."
Argent raised her eyebrows. "Does Beast Boy always lose his bets?"
"Usually," said Robin and Cyborg.
"And how often does he win?" she asked.
Robin and Cyborg looked at each other. "Did he win that one when...?"
"No, no, I won that bet hands down. What about that time when—"
"No, he lost that one too, I'm pretty sure. How about the one where—"
"No, I won that one too. Um," said Cyborg. "I don't think he's won any bets. At least, not with me," he added hurriedly.
"So , basically, you're saying that if I want to make some money quickly, I just have to make a bet with Beast Boy?" asked Argent.
"We aren't promoting gambling here," said Robin.
"But you still bet with him anyway?" said Argent, a smug look on her face.
Robin looked at her with a surly expression. "No comment." He cleared his throat. "There's still one thing we need to sort out; who's going to be the leader."
"Dibs not!" said the Herald instantly.
"We didn't want you in charge, anyway," said Hot Spot.
The Herald affected a hurt expression, and touched a hand to his chest. "You wound me with your harsh words."
"Really? Good," said Hot Spot, to general laughter.
I think Argent should lead, signed Jericho.
"Why?" asked Robin.
Jericho shrugged. I just think it's a good idea.
"So how about it, Argent? Do you want to lead Titans South?"
Argent thought about it for a few seconds. "Weeell, if you guys are okay with it..." she looked at her new teammates, and they all nodded, "then I guess I'll give it a go."
"That's good," said Robin. "And don't expect to be a wonderful leader straight away. Even the best of us," he pointed to himself, "make mistakes."
Argent nodded. "I'll keep that in mind." She looked at the Herald. "Herald, do your thing already! A portal to Titans Tower South, toot-sweet!"
"Yes, ma'am," said the Herald, jumping up and saluting.
Argent glared at him dangerously. "Are you making fun of me?" she asked.
"No," he whimpered. "Why?"
"Oh, no reason," said Argent calmly. "Now hurry up with that portal."
The Herald sighed, and put his Gabriel Horn to his lips. He blew a single, clear note, and a blue ringed portal opened up inside the Titans South Tower. The five heroes stepped through and gazed at their new home.
"Whaddaya think?" asked Cyborg. "Pretty cool, huh?"
The Herald glanced out the window. The common room was just above the water level, so they had an unrivalled view of the streets of Obsidian City.
"You have outdone yourself, my friend," he said. "How did you pay for all this?"
Cyborg smiled. "I didn't. The mayor was quite willing to have a team of Titans in town, and the Tower itself was funded by Loren Jupiter."
"Wait wait wait," said Argent. "This Tower was funded by the Loren Jupiter? The millionaire?"(5)
"Actually, I'm pretty sure he's close to being a billionaire, but yeah, it's that guy."
Hot Spot whistled, looking impressed. "How'd you get him to fund this?" He waved his arms around to encompass the Tower.
Cyborg shrugged. "You'll have to ask Mr. Jupiter himself. For now, though," he started to walk through the portal, "I'll let you guys explore the place, work out what's where, okay? Just don't break anything."
Argent laughed. "We won't, I promise."
Cyborg walked through the portal, and it closed behind him. Argent looked back at her teammates.
"So," she said. "Where shall we start?"
Hot Spot shoved the last of his possessions into his closet. He never had that much with him; spare uniforms, a few days worth of civvies, and a few framed photos of him with his family and his old friends. He looked at the photos, before he decided to put them up on the shelf on the opposite wall. Something in the window caught his attention. He found himself staring at an incredibly large, rather stupid-looking fish.
"What are you looking at?" said Hot Spot. The fish kept staring at him blankly. Annoyed, he grabbed the curtains and pulled them shut.
"Who the hell are you talking to?"
He glanced behind him, and saw the Herald leaning against the doorframe.
Hot Spot pointed a thumb at the window. "Stupid fish was giving me funny looks."
The Herald grinned at him. "I getcha. They look like they've never seen people before."
"They look like they're stupid to me."
"What have you got against fish, anyway?" asked the Herald.
"Nothing," said Hot Spot defensively.
The Herald looked at him quizzically, before understanding dawned. "It's because of your powers, right? You hate water because you're the human flamethrower."
Hot Spot shot the Herald a nasty look, but didn't comment.
"Anywho, Argent wants us up at the common room," continued the Herald. "She wants to talk to us all."
"All right, then," said Hot Spot. "Let's go."
The two heroes left Hot Spot's room and started to walk down the corridor.
"So, I take it you and Argent are old friends?" said the Herald, a little too innocently in Hot Spot's opinion.
"Yeah, we are old friends," said Hot Spot. "And that's all we are. There is absolutely nothing romantic going on between us."
"Yet," said the Herald.
Hot Spot started to fume, but managed to reign in his temper. "We met when we got our powers," he said. "I was with her for three, maybe four weeks. I haven't seen her since all the Titans got together in the Tower after we beat the Brotherhood and Dr Light."
The Herald held his hands up in a 'Whoa Nellie' gesture. "Hey, just asking."
"I know, I know," said Hot Spot. He sighed. "I guess my powers aren't the only reason people call me the human flamethrower."
The Herald smiled. "Guess so."
The two heroes entered the common room, and were assaulted by the smell of freshly cooked pizza. Several boxes of pizza, freshly made from the local pizza parlour, had been laid on the table.
"I was wondering when you two would get here," said Argent. She already had a slice of pizza in her hand. "We were going to start without you."
"Why didn't you say food was coming?" asked the Herald. "I wouldn't have taken so long."
"Yeah, well, if the pizza went cold, I'm sure Hot Spot could reheat it," said Ravager. Jericho grinned at this, and Argent giggled. The Herald started to chuckle as Hot Spot rolled his eyes.
"Ha, ha, ha," said Hot Spot, grabbing a slice. "Very funny."
"Oh, shut up and eat," said Argent. The rest of the Titans South grabbed a piece of pizza, and ate in silence for a few minutes.
"Hey, Ravager?" asked Argent.
"I was wondering; do you actually have superpowers? Or are you just well trained?"
Ravager sighed. "Actually, I do have a superpower," she said. "But it only really works when I'm in a fight. I have precognitive abilities?"
"You mean, you can see into the future?" asked the Herald. She nodded. "Can you tell me next week's lottery numbers?"
"Four, eighteen, thirty-two, fifty-five," she said, perfectly deadpan.
"No," said Ravager, much to the Herald's disappointment. "I can only see a few seconds into the future. Basically, I know how an opponent is going to attack before the attack begins, so I can get out of the way in time. It's not perfect though."
"Is that true?" asked Argent.
Ravager stood up. "Try me."
Argent got to her feet and charged up her hands. Her hands were surrounded by an eerie red glow. A solid red fist appeared in the air, and Argent swung it at Ravager. Ravager had started to dive just before the fist began to move, and the plasma construct flew harmlessly overhead. Argent walked over and offered Ravager her hand. She took it, and pulled herself up.
"Not bad," said Argent.
"Well, since you two are done showing off," said Hot Spot, "do you mind if we get back to our pizza?"
"Right," said Argent. "Sorry."
The two heroines sat down and picked up a piece of pizza each.
"So," said Hot Spot, looking at Ravager. "Are you really Slade's daughter?"
Ravager met his gaze. "Yes, I'm Slade's daughter. And I'm not proud of what I did in his name, but I'm not ashamed of who I am." Her hand had instinctively strayed towards her belt, reaching for one of the several daggers she had kept in her belt. Jericho reached out and stayed her hand. She glanced at him, and he shook his head minutely.
Hot Spot watched this with interest. That was when the Herald spoke up.
"Jericho is Ravager's little brother," he said. "I'm not sure how, but Jericho convinced her that what she was doing was wrong."
Argent looked over at the blonde-haired young man. "So Slade was your father too?"
Jericho nodded, looking shamefaced.
Hot Spot opened his mouth to speak, and then shut it again. Finally, he said, "Well, that sucks."
Jericho smiled. Yeah, it isn't the sort of thing you mention to people on the street, he signed.
"It's probably nothing compared to being kidnapped by aliens," said the Herald with a laugh.
Argent bit her lip, and glanced over at Hot Spot. Their eyes met, and she could see the suppressed pain in his eyes, the same pain, she knew, that was in hers.
I think you may have said the wrong thing, signed Jericho. Since he had to communicate non-verbally, he'd gotten very good at reading the body language and gestures of other people.
"I'm just going out on a limb here," said the Ravager, "but I'm guessing you two have actually been kidnapped by aliens?"
Argent looked down at her feet, and Hot Spot sighed. "Yeah," he said. "It was on our thirteenth birthday."
"We were born on the same day," said Argent. "June 21st. Our mothers were," she swallowed, "impregnated by aliens called the H'san Natall."
"Our powers kicked in on our thirteenth birthday," continued Hot Spot. "When we were captured, we were trained by the H'san Natall in how to use our powers. After about three weeks, they told us the reason why we'd been given our powers."
"We were supposed to be sleeper units," said Argent. "We had been born specifically to take down Earth's superheroes and clear the way for the H'san Natall invasion. We fought them and escaped."
"After that, T—Argent and I went our separate ways," finished Hot Spot. "I didn't know Argent had become a Titan until during the battle against the Brotherhood."
"Whoa," said the Herald. "I had no idea."
"Not many people do," said Hot Spot. "It's not exactly the kind of thing you shout out in the middle of the city."
Ravager nodded. "So, what happened after you escaped?"
Argent sighed. "Well, I went back to my dad, but he...he disowned me." Her gaze fell to the floor. "He said he never wanted to see me again. I went over to New Zealand, which is where my mum had moved to, 'cause my parents had divorced years ago."
"Well, that would explain the accent," muttered the Herald. Argent glared at him.
"What about you, Hot Spot?" asked Ravager.
"I went back to my parents, and they seemed to be okay about it. I mean, it was pretty upsetting, but my parents didn't get into any fights with each other or anything. I see them every now and then, but most of the time I've just been wandering across the globe, fighting crime and beating bad guys."(6)
"Huh," said the Herald. He picked up another piece of pizza and was about to take a bite when Hot Spot asked, "So what have you been doing with your life?"
The Herald lowered the slice. "Well, I had a fairly normal childhood; right up to the point when I found this," he said, spinning the Gabriel Horn around his finger. "After that, I did a lot of travelling, explored a few other dimensions, and basically fell in and out of trouble." He shrugged. "Nothing too exciting."
"Yeah, whatever," said Argent.
A siren started to blare, and red lights flashed throughout the common room. Argent ran over to the console and started tapping keys as the screen dropped out of hiding.
"Trouble down in West Side," said Argent. A street map appeared, with a flashing red light indicating the location. "Someone's busting into the museum." She pressed a few more buttons, before she growled in frustration. "I can't get access to the security cams!"
"Give me a go," said Ravager. Argent stood up, and Ravager started to fiddle with the controls. Several windows opened up on the screen, with lines of text and numbers scrolling past faster than the eye could see. After several seconds of frantic tapping, the screen cleared, to be replaced with several boxes, each one displaying a view from one of the many security cameras in the Obsidian City Museum.
"Not bad," said Argent. "Let me guess, you were taught that by daddy dear?"
"You got a problem with that?" growled Ravager.
"Not at all," replied Argent. "It's always good to have someone who knows their way around government security."
"Yeah, well, the protection was fairly basic," said Ravager.
"So? You never know whose files you're going to hack."(7) Argent's crimson eyes scanned the different views. "Wait, zoom in on that one," she said, pointing to one of the images in the bottom right. Ravager enlarged it, and the camera view filled the screen. The image was grainy, but it was clear enough. Argent watched as the thief attacked the guards, beating them up with his bare hands. His face was unmasked, and his robe appeared to be some sort of dark red colour. Ravager took a snapshot, and ran the image against all the known criminals in the database.
"Got a match," she said. A criminal profile appeared on the screen, and had a picture of a man of Asian descent wearing the dark red robe.
"Katarou," said Ravager. "He's a martial arts expert, and was first seen stealing a golden staff from an antiques shop from Jump City's Chinatown. He beat Robin in a fair fight, but Robin beat him after spending a few weeks with the True Master." She scrolled down further and continued reading. "He took on Bushido and won when the Brotherhood was trying to take you guys down."(8)
"I missed most of that," said Hot Spot, "on account of being frozen already."
"Anyway, when you guys took the fight to the Brotherhood, Bushido knocked out Katarou during the fight, and he was frozen with the rest of them. He must've been released when everyone else was."
"So what is in the museum that would interest him?" asked the Herald. Ravager opened up the museum website and clicked on the link to the "Latest Exhibits" page.
"They've recently received a big collection of Chinese weaponry," said Ravager, her voice dropping to a whisper, "including a sword made out of metal from a meteor."
Hot Spot whistled. "That would be a pretty nasty weapon."
Argent nodded. "And it's probably what Katarou's after." She glanced over to the Herald. He nodded, and blew a single note on his horn, opening a route to the museum.
"Titans South," yelled Argent, "GO!"
Katarou picked up one of the guard's dropped guns, and smashed it against the glass case. The glass shattered, and he reached through the hole and pulled out the sword. It was a jian, a sharp, straight Chinese sword. The hilt was painted gold, and the blade was as black as night. He swung the blade experimentally, and found the weapon to be perfectly balanced. He turned as a pair of footsteps echoed behind him. There was the rasp of metal on leather as his opponent pulled a pair of katanas from behind her back.
"Who are you?" asked Katarou.
"Why do you want to know?" asked the woman, flicking her long blonde hair out of her eyes.
"So I know who I will be defeating," said Katarou, pointing the jian at her.
"My name is Ravager, and I'm part of the Titans South," she said, readying her swords. "And I am the one who'll win this fight."
Katarou started to circle Ravager. "Your overconfidence will be your downfall," he said, taking a quick step forward.
Ravager retreated the same distance, not willing to let Katarou get within range. "Your faith in your friends will be yours," she said. (9)
Katarou smiled. "Ah, but I have no friends."
"No, a man like you would only use hired help," said Ravager. "Like, say, the thugs you have surrounding the place?"
Katarou's smile wavered slightly. "You are very well informed," he said, his voice betraying nothing. "But your knowledge will not save you from defeat!" He leapt at Ravager, swinging the stolen jian at her neck. She blocked the blow, and kicked Katarou in the stomach. He fell back, wheezing, and started to circle her as he got his breath back. He attacked again, swinging a blow to her midsection. Ravager jumped back, the sword missing her by millimetres. Katarou thrust with the blade, and she knocked his blade aside, punching him as he went past. Katarou swung the jian in an overhead chop, and Ravager caught the blade between her katanas. Ravager tried to push Katarou back, but he wouldn't budge. The martial arts expert forced Ravager into retreat, pushing hard to the left, causing her to drop one of her katanas. Katarou yelled as he swung the sword again, and the jian sliced through Ravager's remaining sword with ease. She yelped, and dropped the useless blade. She reached into her belt and pulled out a dagger, throwing it at Katarou with deadly accuracy. He knocked the dagger out of the air with his stolen sword. Ravager pulled out two more daggers, and launched herself at Katarou.
A man was on the rooftop of the museum. No-one he knew used his name; everyone called him Rookie, even though he was one of the most experienced members in the band of mercenaries Katarou had hired. He scanned the rooftops through the scope of his RC-8015 laser sniper rifle (10); he neglected to check behind him. Hot Spot hauled the man up, and slammed him into the rooftop. The human flamethrower then threw a massive punch, snapping his head back. The thug collapsed with a groan. Hot Spot pulled out his communicator and spoke into it.
"I got this one," he said. "How many more are left?"
"I've rounded up three, and Herald and Jericho have got two each," said Argent. "I think there's about two more."
"Jericho and I will get the one on the corner of Fifth and Elm streets," said the Herald. "You two get the one by Garham Court."
"On it." Hot Spot slipped the communicator back into his belt, and powered up. His skin burst into flame, and he leapt off the edge of the building. He fired a stream of fire from his hands straight down, flipping up and over onto the next rooftop. He saw the remaining mercenary raise his rifle at the rapidly growing dot in the sky. Hot Spot fired a burst of flames at the mercenary, superheating the ground in front of the criminal. The thug spun and aimed at Hot Spot, and was smacked in the back of the head by a giant red fist. Argent landed next to the criminal, and was soon joined by Hot Spot.
"He's alive," she said. "But he'll have a helluva headache when he wakes up."
"Good," said Hot Spot. "Now we'd better find Jericho and Herald."
Argent took off, scanning the rooftops and streets for any sign of her teammates. Hot Spot fired two jets of fire straight down, forcing him up onto the rooftops. He leapt onto another building, firing a burst of fire as he jumped for a little extra lift. Argent landed, pulling out her communicator to check on the position of Jericho and the Herald. Behind her, the thug known as Rookie got back to his feet, and took aim at Argent.
"Argent, look out!" yelled Hot Spot. The human flamethrower fired a jet of flame at Rookie. The shock of the blast jostled Rookie, and he fired. The laser blast hit the rooftop near Argent, knocking her over. She screamed as she started to fall off the roof—
—and was caught by Hot Spot, who had powered down to avoid burning Argent.
"You okay?" he asked.
Argent nodded. "You do remember I can fly, right?"
Hot Spot pulled her back up onto the rooftop. "Guess I forgot," he mumbled. Argent's eyes went wide, and she tackled Hot Spot, launching a red energy fist at the thug taking aim at him. The fist hit Rookie square between the eyes, knocking him out. Hot Spot looked up into Argent's eyes.
"I guess we're even, then," he said.
"Guess so," she replied.
"So, uhm," he cleared his throat. "Can you, y'know, get off me, please?" said Hot Spot, blushing.
Argent giggled. "I was just getting comfy," she said, before she leaned in and kissed him. Hot Spot's brain seemed to shut down as she kissed him, and he sank into peaceful oblivion as the kiss deepened. They broke apart when someone, namely, the Herald, cleared his throat. Argent and Hot Spot both got to their feet, blushing furiously, while the Herald smiled knowingly and nodded.
"Once you two lovebirds are done making out," he said, "We need to get back into the museum and give Ravager a hand." He opened a portal, and the three heroes stepped through.
Ravager blocked another blow from Katarou's stolen jian, but the force of the blow knocked the dagger out of her hand. He kicked her in the stomach, and she fell onto her back. Katarou held the point of the jian to her throat.
"Surrender, and I will be merciful," said Katarou. Ravager smiled as she saw her brother sneak up behind the martial arts expert.
"I think you should be the one begging for mercy," she said. Katarou turned to look behind him as Jericho threw his best uppercut, smacking Katarou in the chin. Katarou blinked a few times, then his eyes rolled up and he collapsed. Jericho mouthed a rather vile swearword, and tried to massage the blood back into his hand.
"Cutting it kind of close there, huh, little brother?" said Ravager, as she sheathed her katana. She picked up the two halves of the broken one, and saw that the blade had bent and snapped, not sliced cleanly through as she had first thought.
"Well," she said, looking at the two badly bent halves. "That could be a problem."
I'm sure you could get another one, signed Jericho.
She sighed. "Yeah, probably." She dropped the useless weapon, and turned to see the rest of the Titans South run in, followed by a member of the Obsidian City Police Department and the museum curator.
"What kept you?" deadpanned Ravager.
"We ran into some old friends," said Argent with a shrug. "You two okay?"
"I'm fine," said Ravager. "Not sure about this guy, though," she said as she nudged Katarou with her boot.
"Who hit him?" asked Hot Spot.
Jericho held up his hand. That would be me, he signed.
The Herald whistled. "Not bad, little buddy." He held out his fist, and Jericho bumped it.
The cop slapped a pair of handcuffs onto Katarou, and hauled him to his feet roughly. "You, my friend, are coming to the precinct with me," he said. "And if you try any funny business, remember that I'm the one with the gun, and I'm quite willing to use it."
As the cop escorted the martial arts expert out of the building, the curator was shaking Ravager's hand.
"Thank you so much, young lady," he said.
Ravager looked down in embarrassment. "Just doing my job," she mumbled.
"Nevertheless, I am very grateful for your help." The curator bent down and picked up the jian and presented it to her. "I would be honoured if you took this," he said. "I'm sure you'll put it to good use."
Ravager accepted the sword, and held it loosely by her side. "Thanks."
She turned back to the Titans South, smiling. "You know," she said, "I think I could get used to this hero-ing business."
Argent smiled. "Good to have you on the team," she said. "C'mon, let's go home."
1. Red Star actually did say "—," which is actually very difficult.
2. D'awwww. :D
3. Texting via the communicator is something I made up, but it's probably necessary, especially for Jericho.
4. I am not making this up.
5. Back in the Nineties comics, Loren Jupiter actually did fund the Titans. And the team he funded had Hot Spot and Argent in it. True facts.
6. I don't think that I contradicted anything I said in Titans Reunited Chapter 7, but I could be wrong.
7. For those of you wondering why she didn't hack the computer Wintergreen had, the butler was right there, and all she had to do was ask. Hacking takes too long, anyways.
8. For those of you wondering, yes, this is the same Katarou from "The Quest."
9. Yay, more Star Wars (mis)quotes, this time from Episode VI.
10. RC-8015 is Fi's designation in the Republic Commando books. He's the Omega Squad sniper, so his number has been used for a sniper rifle.
My next episode is Vanishing Act, starring Titans East and Cheshire. Chaos (and Speedshire) will ensue, I can guarantee it. Until then, though, later folks!