Life is as tedious as twice-told tale, vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.

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Batman Beyond Season 4

Episode 68: Out of the Cave

Author James the Lesser

I do no own the Characters, names, villains, so forth

A/N This takes place after Batman Beyond Return of the Joker so yes that movie happens in this timeline/series

Flash is in the city in civilian clothing. He had just checked on Max who had recently gotten her bandages removed.

He sits down at an outdoor cafe when he hears screaming. "Come on just one weekend off is all I ask for." He quickly leaves the cafe and changes in a blur.

When he nears the screaming he realizes he is near the main Cadmus building. "Now what fresh hell did they make?" As he gets closer he notices a green glow.

Terri is at home doing the dishes when his phone rings. "Hello?"

"The not so jolly green giant is attacking Cadmus."

"Blight?!"

"No the other not so jolly one. Yes Blight! Get here as soon as you can."

"It, it is daylight."

"Unless you're a vampire that shouldn't stop you." Flash cuts the connection.

News vans show up as Blight stumbles towards the front entrance. "Please! Help me!" Energy shoots out from his back and hits a car. It explodes in a fiery nova sending people running. "Help me!"

Guards come out and raise their weapons. "Stop!"

"Help me!" Energy expands out from Blight disintegrating every thing it touches. "Now!" The energy dissipates. "I can't control it any more!"

Flash stays a few feet away from Blight. "How are they going to help you?"

"They can make me a lead suit! I had one before but I need another! I burnt through it!" Energy escapes from Blight and shoots off in to the sky.

"Not before you melt half the city." Flash looks around. "Old timey shops I need one."

"What?!"

"Antique store. Got it." Flash disappears.

Blight gets closer to the front entrance and the guards fire. Their attack does nothing as Blight glows brighter and hotter.

Flash goes inside the nearest antique store. "I'm about to hurt the resale value of a lot of stuff." He spins around the shop damaging the majority of the items.

Batman is about to land on the roof of a building across from Cadmus when he sees a rainbow whirlwind. "What is that?" The rainbow whirlwind slams in to Blight.

Flash is a blur as he goes up the side of the building and stops next to Batman. "He said he needed a lead suit."

Batman is still confused. Blight was covered in dozens of different colors.

Flash rolls his eyes. "Old stuff has lead paint on it. You can't use it today cause it kills you but back then they didn't know any better. I found an old timey shop and stripped all the lead paint off of the items."

Blight is covered from head to toe but the energy was no longer shooting out randomly. "What did you do to me?"

Flash runs up stopping just behind Blight. "I'm pretty sure I just saved your life. Enjoy the technicolor dreamcoat and hope Cadmus can make you a lead suit soon."

"It won't matter." Redhood appears from thin air, or so it seemed, to Flash and Blight. "My buddy Terri is a little down after what happened to his girlfriend."

Batman activates his rockets and flies down at Redhood. Redhood dodges his attack easily. "Calm down I'm doing you a favor."

"And what would that be?" Batman gets two batarangs out.

"Calm down Terri I got this." Redhood pulls out a sawed off shotgun from his coat and aims it at Blight's head.

"Terri? Not Terri McGinnis? It can't be! You said I killed your father and that didn't narrow it down for me but Terri?"

"Yes, it can be. Although for you it doesn't matter any more does it?" Redhood pulls the trigger and Blight's head explodes.

"No!" Flash grabs the gun from Redhood. "What did you do?"

"I killed another monster. As a favor for Terri. He'd never do it since the Old Man wouldn't allow it.

"He was asking for help. He wasn't a threat." Flash dismantles the shotgun.

"Not now. How long after Cadmus made him a new suit would he be back out killing innocent people? What if I had done that before he killed Terri's father?"

"It doesn't matter! You can't kill unless it is in self defense."

"It was. In defense of all the people he would have killed in the future."

"You're not getting away this time Jason." Flash is about to attack Redhood when Batman puts a hand on his shoulder.

"Yes he is. Or you'll be fighting both of us."

"You can't be serious."

"Try me." Batman squeezes Flash's shoulder as hard as he can. With the suits modified strength it was enough to bring Flash to his knees. "Go, now, Jason."

"I'll take this as thanks." Redhood turns and runs away.

Bruce is horrified. He had witnessed every thing through Terri's cowl. "Terri you shouldn't have let him go."

"Why not Bruce?"

"He has killed."

"He has protected the city better than I ever could."

"He's a murderer! I want you to come here now and take that suit off."

"Go to hell Old Man. You played God with me and my father. You let horrors go free because of some set of rules that got hundreds killed. Thousands. I'm Batman now and I think it is time for a change." Terri activates the rockets and takes off in the air.

"Uh Bruce should I go after him?"

"I'll track him and send you after him when he's had a chance to cool off." Bruce watches the screen and follows Terri's movements.

Cadmus sends people out to clean up the mess left by Blight's body. "Very interesting. The way the body melded with the energy is amazing. Bring in as much as you can so we can study it." Archer watches the clean up operation from her office window.

Redhood turns and pulls out a pistol as Batman lands behind him. "What do you think you're doing? Just because I killed Blight for you doesn't mean I'm the," Terri cuts Jason off.

"I'm done." Terri rips the cowl off. "I'm done with this." He throws the cowl at Jason's feet. "I was stuck doing what Bruce wanted. I would have helped Blight and when he was able he would kill more."

Jasons starts laughing. "Listen kid you don't know what it takes to do what I do. I didn't until after I died."

"I wanted Blight dead but I couldn't do it. But there is some one out there who is worse." Jason simply nods showing he knew exactly who Terri meant. "Some one I, I can, I know I can."

Jason shakes his head. "No you can't. But I can. With your help."

"I want that monster dead."

"But you couldn't do it. If the time came you held his life in your hands you'd stop." Jason puts a hand on Terri's arm. "Because you aren't a monster." Jason hugs Terri. "Welcome to the family."

Flash is stunned. Redhood had mentioned he was working on recruiting some one. He thought it would be Max. Yet some how Jason got Terri to join him. "Bruce what do I do?"

"You can't fight both of them at the same time. Wait for Terri to go home. He'll take the suit off then." Bruce hangs his head in shame. He had tried to make a new Batman and instead seemed to make another Redhood. He had failed the only child who shared his DNA. He had several sons but this one was special. This one actually shared his DNA. And now...

Max sits up in bed when some one comes through the window. "Terri?"

"No." Redhood steps forward with a syringe. "Time for another injection."

"What is it? I feel, different, every time you inject me."

"An experimental serum that should give you metahuman powers."

"What?!" Max moves back on the bed as much as she can.

"Nothing dangerous I assure you. Your healing is proof of that. You should still be a mummy." He plunges the needle in to Max's arm and injects the serum in to her. "Soon you'll be released better than before."

Max rubs her arm where she had been injected. She watches silently as Redhood leaves through the window. "What does he want? He hasn't asked for any thing. He can't think I'll join him after what he did to me."

Terri leans back on his bed when there is a rush of air. His eyes open as Flash hits him with a stun gun. He goes to shout in pain but Flash slaps duct tape over his mouth. Terri struggles but Flash is too fast as he tapes Terri's wrists and ankles together. "Sorry man but we gotta do this." Flash picks Terri up and runs out of the apartment before Terri's family has any idea what had happened.

The Joker sees on the news what happened at Cadmus. "Redhood was a bad boy but the Batfake didn't stop him. What is he planning? Why would he let Redhood go? It doesn't make any sense. It is crazy." Joker stops laughing. "And that means a lot coming from some one like me!" He starts laughing again.

Flash drops Terri at Bruce's feet. "What do you think you're doing Terri? Just because you had Max remove the failsafe from the suit doesn't mean I can't stop you." Bruce leans down and takes the tape off of Terri's mouth.

"None of your business Old Man." Terri all but spits the response at Bruce.

"I see." Bruce taps Terri with the end of his cane. "You have a plan. If I figured it out then Jason figured it out."

"You don't know what you're talking about." Terri struggles against his bindings. "I'm sick and tired of doing things your way. Your way got Melanie and thousands of others killed." Terri rolls over onto his back as he frees his hands.

"Stop him." Before Terri can finish freeing himself Flash stomps on his chest. "What is your plan Terri?"

"I don't have one!"

"That is a lie. If your plan was to leave me and join Jason you would say that. But you are planning some thing else. What it is I haven't figured it out yet but you are planning some thing big." Bruce taps Flash on the leg with his cane. "I'll be keeping an eye on you."

"Go to hell."

"Been there, twice, fought Cerberus and won." Bruce leans back in the chair as Terri undoes the tape around his ankles. "If I'm wrong and you have joined Jason I will have you stopped."

"Just try it." Terri gets off the floor and runs for the stairs.

Flash watches and after Terri is gone turns to Bruce. "What if you are wrong?"

"I'm not."

"What if you are? I could take him again but not when Jason is around."

"If on the slight chance I am wrong then Terri will be punished." Bruce turns the chair back to the computer.

Redhood watches as Terri walks out of the batcave. "They're letting him go? I don't think so." Redhood follows Terri for a couple of miles before confronting him.

Terri had heard some one following him and was ready when he was attacked. Redhood was faster and better. "So little boy what is the Old Man's plan?"

"He doesn't have one."

Redhood slams his forehead in to Terri's face. "He always has one." He puts a hand around Terri's throat. "What is his plan and I won't kill you."

"I don't know what his plan is I'm not his lap dog any more." Terri spits in Redhood's face. "He threw me out thinking I was planning some thing."

"And?"

"My only plan is to stop letting Gotham's monsters live. If he had the guts to kill Joker decades ago Melanie would still be alive!" Terri shifts his weight catching Redhood off guard and rolls Redhood on to his back pinning him. "You wouldn't have died."

Redhood chuckles lightly. "The first time you mean." Redhood presses a gun against Terri's stomach. "Now help me up pretty boy."

Terri gets up but doesn't offer Redhood a hand. "I'm not pretty boy or kid or any thing else. I'm Batman."

"I would love to believe that but I don't." Redhood puts the gun away. "Just like Max isn't Batgirl. Though she is just as smart as Barbara was back in the day she isn't as skilled."

"She hasn't been trained like Barbara was."

Redhood shakes his head. "No, she wasn't. And you haven't been trained like I have. If you had then maybe, just maybe, you might have a chance to beat me."

"We haven't had a fair fight. You always attack from the shadows."

"And that is why I can't believe you're Batman. The shadows are where he strikes from. Where he taught me to strike from." Redhood takes a few steps back. "Where I was reborn from." He takes a couple more steps back and disappears.

Terri closes his eyes and listens. He turns quickly and punches just as Redhood was coming out from the shadows. Redhood is fast enough to catch Terri's fist with his right hand. "Not bad. But you need more training." He lets Terri's fist go.

"And you'll do that?"

"No. I'll give you a short cut." Redhood pulls back his coat and reveals a syringe. "Your friend Max might be dead if it weren't for this." Redhood flicks the end of the syringe.

"What is it?"

"A metahuman agent that Cadmus had been working on. Super healing is one of the major side effects."

"And?"

"Speed, agility, strength, all five senses, and a few other enhancements. I've been injecting Max on a nightly basis."

"She said she hadn't seen you."

"Of course she said that. You and my former friend might have tried to stop me if you knew of our nightly visits." Redhood laughs lightly. "I've been taking them as well."

"I don't do drugs."

"They aren't drugs. They are serums that will make you better than training ever could. Who knows maybe you'll get lucky and get flight or super speed."

"What do you mean?"

"Cadmus tested it on prisoners. The side effects were random. Yes they all gained the super healing and enhanced strength or speed but some gained laser vision. Others gained flight or the ability to breath underwater." Redhood pulls a vial out. "So would you like to see what you gain?"

"I, no, I can't."

"Why not? It isn't like venom or steroids. This stuff has no side effects."

"Bull. Every drug has side effects."

"But it isn't a drug it is a serum. Probably helped me from going insane after being brought back from the dead, again." Redhood tosses the vial to Batman. "Take it Terri. Prove you want to be good enough to protect Gotham the way it needs to be protected."

Terri looks down at the vial. A small needle is at one end. "Do it Terri."

"I, am," Terri jams the needle in to his neck.

Max wakes up from a dream. "Batman." She shakes her head. "No, not Batman." She looks at the window and sees her reflection. "Batwoman." She feels a rush of energy move through her body. She sees the woods, a flash of red, and anger. "I must still be dreaming."

Batman collapses on the ground. "What did you give me?!"

"Serum." Redhood injects Batman with another syringe. "It is quite the rush the first few injections but then your body gets used to it." Redhood injects Batman again. "I've never done three in a row like this but you're behind the program." Redhood starts walking away. "Max is coming along pretty well. I hope she is ready soon." He continues walking as Batman convulses on the ground.

A/N Been a long time since I updated any of my stories. I got really busy at work and other things taking up my time. So forced myself to sit down and punch at least one story out. So not it is 2:30 in the morning. I am tired and going to bed as soon as I upload this. I wonder what will happen next. What powers will Terri gain? Max? What has Redhood gained? We must wait to find out. Oh, and the title, Out of the Cave, is about Terri leaving Bruce. Or has he? Again we must wait to find out!