Welcome back. Now, first of all, a word of warning. This episode is pretty dark towards the end, and is the darkest thing I've ever written...so far. There is a very good reason why this episode is rated T, but if I reveal why, it would be spoilers. Oh, and I apologize for all the swearing in this story in advance. There is a (mostly) good reason for it to be there, though. But I digress. Anyway, as the summary suggests, this story is about Killowat, aka the guy who was taken out by Puppet King and Control Freak in Calling All Titans. He's from another dimension, and now, he wants to go home. Of course, this being Teen Titans, things go wrong almost instantly, and it gets worse from there, trust me.
Disclaimer: I really should come up with a standard disclaimer, shouldn't I? Or maybe not.
Robin was holding Starfire's hand as the Titans walked out of the cinema. It had been Beast Boy's idea, but for once, Robin was glad that the green-skinned teen had made the suggestion. Morale had been dropping lately, especially Starfire's, after what had happened in the last two weeks. Going to the movies had seemed like a good idea. Of course, the movie they had decided to watch was absolutely terrible, but that was all right; the Titans had been the only ones in the theatre, so they'd spent the time making sarcastic comments and joking around. Robin didn't regret it; it was good to finally see Starfire smiling again...
The cinema behind them exploded, and the Titans whirled around, slipping into battle poses.
"Betcha twenty bucks its Control Freak," said Cyborg, raising his sonic cannon.
"No takers," replied Robin as he yanked out his bo staff.
On the giant advertisement screens that adorned the skyscrapers, static flickered, until an unfortunately familiar face appeared on them.
"Greetings, Titans! Your Number One nemesis, Control Freak, has—"
Raven interrupted his tirade with a yawn. "If this got any more boring, I might fall asleep," she said in her characteristic monotone.
"Wh-what?" yelled Control Freak. There was a bright flash, and Control Freak was suddenly there in front of them.
"How dare you—yeow!" Control Freak yelped as a jolt of electricity lanced out and blasted the remote out of his hand. Robin spun around, trying to find the source of the blast, spotting a familiar face that he hadn't expected to see here.
The hero in question had electricity crackling around his hands as he advanced in Control Freak's direction. Control Freak's face fell when he recognized Killowat, and he started to backpedal rapidly.
"What's the matter? No Puppet King to help you this time?" taunted Killowat.
"I-I'm not sc-scared of you," stammered Control Freak.
Killowat raised his eyebrows. "Oh, really? Then why are you running?"
Control Freak screamed (like a little girl, to the surprise of absolutely no one) and started running as fast as he could away from Killowat. The hero calmly fired a bolt of electricity at the ground in front of Control Freak, and the geeky villain skidded to a stop. Killowat grabbed a nearby street lamp, and sparks started to fly across his skin. There was a loud crack as Killowat disappeared, converting his body into electricity and travelling through the live wires until he was closer to Control Freak, where he popped out of another street lamp in front of the villain. Control Freak tried to run, but Killowat launched a hard punch at Control Freak's head, stunning him. The other Titans made it to the fight, and Robin tripped up Control Freak and locked a pair of hand-cuffs around Control Freak's wrists.
"So, Killowat," said Robin casually as he locked the cuffs. "What brings you to Jump City?"
"I need Raven's help," said Killowat. "I want to go home."
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!
Wrong Place, Wrong Time
Battalion grabbed one of the dropped pistols that littered the floor and tossed it to Mirage. She caught it and blasted one of the robots heading towards us. Nightrider grabbed one of the robots and ripped its arm off, and started smashing the advancing robots with it. Flamebird swooped down on her grappling line, throwing a bunch of explosive discs at Deathstroke's robots. Battalion slammed the butt of his rifle into the head of a robot, cracking its head open. Once the broken robot had collapsed, he fired a spray of bullets at the oncoming horde. I grabbed a robot by the head and pumped electricity into it, short-circuiting it. I fired a blast of electricity at another group of robots, and the electrical overload caused them to explode. But we were fighting a losing battle; for every one of Deathstroke's robots we destroyed, another one would take its place.
"We have to get out of here!" yelled Battalion, blasting away at the robots. Flamebird dropped down beside him, rolling as she landed, and tossed a smoke bomb to cover our retreat. I ran after them, but a stray laser blast from one of the robot's caught me on the leg. I yelped and stumbled, hitting the ground hard.
"Charlie! Are you all right?" Mirage was kneeling beside me.
"My leg's hurt," I said, rolling over onto my back and glancing at the angry red burn on my calf. Mirage helped me to my feet, and we tried to head after the others. I glanced behind us, and saw that the smoke cloud was dissipating, not that it had done much to slow them down anyway.
"Get out of here, Miri," I said. "I'll hold them off."
"What? No!" replied Mirage. "I'm not leaving you here—"
"I'm injured; I'll just slow you down," I said. "Besides, I don't want Deathstroke to catch you; remember what happened to Terra?"
I tried—unsuccessfully—not to think about how Deathstroke had tortured poor Terra, twisting the young geomancer into a hollow shell of her former self, using her to fight his battles via the neural suit he'd forced her to wear.
Mirage swallowed. "I hope you know what you're doing," she whispered, before she kissed me on the cheek. She ran off, leaving me on my own. I knew they wouldn't find her; she could easily use one of her illusions to disguise herself.
I sighed, steeling myself for the upcoming fight. I heard the rhythmic clanking of robotic feet marching in step getting louder as Deathstroke's army approached. I saw silhouettes in the smoke, and started firing electricity at them. Robots started to collapse and explode as I blasted them. The robots continued to advance, and some of them started to pull out laser pistols and fire at me. I blasted the gun out of one robot's hand, but another hit me in the shoulder. I gasped and clutched my shoulder. One of them struck me across the back, and I fell to the floor. I struggled to my hands and knees as the robots surrounded me.
I smiled. Big mistake on their part, I thought.
Sparks arced across my skin, and I fired off the biggest blast I could ever remember firing. Electricity shot off in all directions, shorting all of Deathstroke's robots in the area. After a few seconds, they started to explode, spewing dust and debris everywhere. I started to cough as dust was kicked into my mouth. Once the smoke cleared, I got a good look at my handiwork. Pieces of Deathstroke's robots littered the ground in all directions.
I covered the burn in my shoulder with my hand, and headed off to follow my teammates, dragging my injured leg. I felt unsteady and couldn't stop shaking. Wait, I'm not the one shaking...
Something smashed into my back, knocking me forward. I turned to face my attacker, and I saw a young girl, floating on a chunk of rock.
"Terra," I whispered. I couldn't win against her without help; with Deathstroke in control of her powers, she was almost unstoppable. Another lump of dirt struck me in the ribs, knocking me down. Terra stood over me, using her powers to lift up a rock and sharpen it to a point.
Tears were streaming down her face. "I-I'm so-sorry, Killo-w-wat," she stuttered, struggling against Deathstroke's control. The rock came crashing down—
–and the world vanished, and I fell through some sort of dark void. There was a bright flash, and I landed on something hard. I landed on my sore shoulder, which caused me to scream in pain. I felt someone brush their hand against me, and I lashed out instinctively with my elbow. Whoever had touched me managed to block my blow.
"Easy," someone said. "I'm a friend." I glanced up, into the eyes of a young woman, about my age, I guessed, with pale skin, and violet hair and eyes. She had a red jewel in the centre of her forehead. She rested a hand against my shoulder, and a blue glow covered the burn, and it started to heal.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"Raven," she said. "I'm a member of the Teen Titans. And you are?"
"Killowat," I replied. I guess that somehow, she'd teleported me here for some reason. The burn on my shoulder had healed, and she moved her hands down to the burn on my leg.
"Where am I?" I asked.
"Titans Tower, Jump City," said Raven.
That didn't make any sense. I was from Jump City, and there was no place called Titans Tower that I knew of. Once Raven finished healing my leg, I got up and looked out the nearest window. I stared out at the skyline from my vantage point above the ocean, and I didn't recognize any of it. If this was Jump City, then it was either a very bad imitation, a very, very weird or coincident, or—
"You're in a parallel universe," said Raven.
That hadn't occurred to me. "A parallel universe?" I said. "That's..." I trailed off as I thought about it. Considering I could create electricity, one of my teammates could create mental illusions; another was some weird vampire-demon-human-hybrid thing, and the fact that we were fighting a maniac called Deathstroke...
"Highly likely?" finished Raven. I nodded weakly.
"Now that I think about it, it's probably par for the course," I said. "Mind you, it's better than getting killed. Thanks."
Raven smiled slightly. "You're welcome," she said flatly. She started to walk out of the room and I followed her.
"My friends are probably going to be curious about what that noise was," she said. "You'd better come with me."
"You just don't want to have to explain things on your own, is that it?" (1)
Killowat blinked, and shook his head to rid himself of the strangely vivid flashback. He'd had to explain everything to the Titans then, of course, but he didn't mind. He'd actually enjoyed it here, or at least, he had until the Brotherhood had attacked. He was still kind of embarrassed that he'd been taken out by Control Freak and the Puppet King. Now that things had calmed down though, he'd started to feel homesick, and he realized that his friends probably thought he was dead. Of course, in all the time he'd been away, they themselves might be dead...or worse.
There was a black flash of light, and a portal started to open in front of Raven.
"Are you sure this is going to work?" Killowat asked.
"I don't know," replied Raven. "Maybe?"
"That doesn't fill me with confidence," muttered Killowat.
"I'll be maintaining an empathic link between us," said Raven. "If something goes wrong, I'll know, and I'll do my best to help."
"We'll do our best to help," Robin corrected her. "Titans don't abandon each other."
Killowat smiled. "Thanks, Robin," he said. He turned to face the portal rippling in the air.
"Well," he said to no one in particular. "Here goes nothing."
Killowat stepped forward, disappearing into a black void. He felt a familiar falling sensation, and he was ready this time when there was a bright flash, rolling as he hit the ground. He came up with electricity arcing across his skin, ready to fight. But the streets were strangely abandoned. No civilians were walking around, living their ordinary lives. Nor were there any of Deathstroke's robots patrolling the streets in the hunt for his team. He knew something was wrong, but he had absolutely no idea what...
Something hit his back, and Killowat stumbled forward. He spun around and fired a blast of electricity, and was rewarded with the sight of his attacker collapsing, paralysed. His opponent hit the ground with a loud metallic clunk, but Killowat had no time to celebrate his victory. A rain of red energy blasts started hitting the ground around him. Killowat dove to his right, rolling and firing a jolt of electricity up at his opponent. He missed, but his opponent flew off, most likely getting ready to attack again. Something leapt onto his back, and he was brought to the ground by its weight, its claws digging into his skin. Killowat sent sparks charging across his body, shocking the animal on his back. It yelped in pain, and Killowat shoved it off, getting up and running. The ground beside him exploded, causing him to stumble. His body was enveloped in some sort of red energy, and he was hurled across the street, smashing into the side of a building. The red energy dissipated, and Killowat dropped to the ground. He tried to get up, but someone planted a boot in between his shoulders and forced him back down. Something was slammed into the side of his head, and he was knocked unconscious.
Red Hood stepped off of his captive as the other four Teen Tyrants caught up.
"How's Gadget?" he asked.
"Assessment: Several systems are not functioning," Gadget droned. Its shoulder sparked, and more of the circuits lost their red glow. "Amendment: More have been lost."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," said Red Hood hurriedly. Blackfire landed next to him. Red Robin's eyes strayed down to the Jewel of Charta she wore around her neck...and her other assets.
"Hey," said Blackfire, gently lifting her boyfriend's head up. "You can stare when we're done, all right?"
Red Hood huffed in mock annoyance. "Spoilsport," he muttered.
"Ugh," groaned Beast, his ears twitching in annoyance. "Enough with the flirting already." He scooped up the unconscious Killowat and slung him over his shoulder. "Let's just get this deadbeat to the Tower so we can torture him."
"That's probably the best idea you've had all day," said Rage.
Red Hood held his hands up in surrender. "All right, all right, don't lose your temper."
Rage nodded and raised her hands.
"Hezberek, Necronom, Mortix!" A red glow surrounded the Tyrants, and a giant red bird formed, heading towards Tyrants Tower. (2)
Killowat groaned. He opened his eyes, wincing in the harsh light. He tried to move, but found his hands and feet were restrained against the wall. He smiled, and started to send electricity coursing through his body. As he did so, he was assaulted by a wave of noise, loud penetrating sirens that prevented him from concentrating. Once the sparks he'd created died down, so did the noise.
"The sensors are monitoring things like your brain activity and your bioelectricity levels," said a soft voice, and Killowat noticed the various leads attached to his skin. "When they reach certain levels, it'll trigger the speakers."
Killowat looked up, and saw a young woman wearing a red hood walk in. "You've thought of everything, haven't you?" he asked.
As she got closer, Killowat saw that her eyes were glowing red, all four of them. She pulled back her hood, and Killowat gasped.
"What's the matter?" she asked. "Do I look like someone you know?"
Killowat didn't say anything. She looked like—
"Raven," said the woman. "Funny how people all look the same, even in different dimensions, huh?"
The woman smirked. "I can read minds, and I've got no problems with going through your memories, Charlie."
The use of his real name cut him deep, but he managed to keep a brave face. "If you already know everything about me, why are you keeping me?"
"Because I wanted a new pet," the woman whispered, "And torturing people is just so much fun." She walked over to the rack on the wall beside him, and started browsing the tools lovingly.
"How should I start?" she mused. "A little jab here and there; maybe a little application of brute force? Ooh, I know," she turned back to Killowat with a smile starting to spread across her face. "How about I mess with your mind? A little psychological torture? Make you live through all your worst fears, one by one? Yes, I think that's a good idea."
"You bastard," said Killowat, spitting at her. His saliva hit her on the cheek, but she just calmly wiped it away with the corner of her cloak.
"Why, yes," she said. "I am a bastard. What gave me away?"
Beast gnawed on a leg of ham, his sharp teeth ripping out huge chunks of meat. He was slouching on the couch when Gadget came in.
"Fix yourself up?" he asked.
Gadget nodded. "Assessment: All systems working at one hundred percent efficiency."
"Uh-huh," said Beast, not really paying attention.
A tortured scream rang out, and neither villain reacted.
"Assumption: Rage is torturing our captive," droned Gadget.
Beast nodded. "She reckons he'll break in thirty minutes, forty-five minutes tops," said the changeling around a mouthful of ham.
"Observation: Rage's methods of mental torture are very effective on our victims," said Gadget in its mechanical monotone.
"Yup," replied Beast. "Remember what he did to that spying bitch Terra? I bet she still hasn't recovered from that." Beast smiled as he remembered the little girl's tortured screams, and the expression of pure anguish that had been on her face.
Gadget was silent. Beast used the opportunity to finish all the meat, and then started gnawing at the bone out of sheer boredom as more screams rang out.
"Query: Where are Red Hood and Blackfire?" asked Gadget.
"Hood's room," answered Beast.
"Assumption: Satisfying primal urges," droned Gadget.
"Whuh?" asked Beast, confused.
Gadget's face was solid metal and couldn't move; even so, it somehow managed to convey its annoyance at its younger teammate. "Clarification: Getting laid," said Gadget.
"Oh," said Beast. He shrugged. "Yeah, probably."
"Statement: I will never understand you organics anymore," said Gadget.
"That's because your cybernetics ate your soul, Gadget," said Beast, tossing the bone in the general direction of the bin.
Gadget just stared at him. "Insult: Stupid meatbag," he said eventually.
"Whatevs, Gadge," said Beast. "I'm gonna go rob a bank or two; you coming?"
Gadget shook his head. "Refusal: Not right now. I am still recharging."
Beast shrugged. "Suit yourself," he said. "I'm not sharing the loot, though."
The black portal dissipated after Raven leapt through it.
Robin looked around. "You sure this is where Killowat ended up?" asked Robin.
Raven nodded. "Absolutely," she replied.
"All right then," said Robin. "Titans, split up and search, but don't drift too far apart; we have no idea what might—"
A yellow beam lanced out at the Titans, striking the ground in front of them. Robin whipped out a bo staff and the other Titans got ready for battle. Once the smoke from the initial blast had cleared, Robin got a clear look at their strangely familiar attacker.
Starfire gasped. "Doctor Light?"
Robin gritted his teeth. "Titans, GO!"
Robin charged at Doctor Light, dodging the barrage of beams of light flying towards him. He swung his staff, but Doctor Light created a shield around his arm and blocked the blow, then smashed the solid light construct into his chin. The blow slammed Robin's mouth shut, causing him to bite the inside of his lip, and he staggered backwards. Starfire fired a flurry of starbolts at him, but Doctor Light dodged the attacks and fired a light-beam at her, knocking the Tamaranean out of the air.
"When did Light-bulb get kinda competent?" asked Cyborg, firing his sonic cannon at the Doctor.
Raven shielded herself from one of the Doctor's light-beams, and then used her powers to hurl a chunk of debris at him. "Alternate universe, remember? Things are different here."
"Oh. Yeah," said Cyborg. He fired a missile from his shoulder at Doctor Light. Light had been distracted by destroying the debris that Raven had thrown at him, and didn't see the missile until too late. The missile knocked him down, and the Titans approached warily.
Robin felt something wrap itself around his waist. "Wha—?" was all he managed before he was yanked backwards and slammed into a wall. He was pinned there as Doctor Light jumped to his feet and blasted Cyborg, taking down the cybernetic teen and holding him down with a blade made from light. Someone snuck up behind Raven and covered her mouth with one hand, and held a sword to her throat with the other. Starfire was also pinned down by whatever had grabbed Robin, and Beast Boy was unconscious, knocked out at the start of the fight, with someone standing over him.
"Stand down, Titans!" Robin yelled. The other Titans looked at him in shock. "Stand down," he repeated, softer. "I don't want you to get hurt."
The person holding Raven captive let her go, and Raven backed away quickly. Robin and Starfire were also released, and when Doctor Light let Cyborg up, he picked up Beast Boy and carried him over to the others.
"Who are you?" asked one of them. It was a man's voice, and one that was dreadfully familiar...
Robin swallowed. "We're the Teen Titans," he said. "I'm Robin, and this is Starfire, Raven, Cyborg and Beast Boy," he pointed to each of the Titans in turn as he spoke.
"What are you doing here?" their interrogator asked.
"We're looking for a friend of ours," Robin explained. "Killowat. He was teleported here, and something happened to him. We don't know what, though."
"The Tyrants?" asked a woman.
The enemy spokesman nodded. "Most likely," he said.
"We've answered your questions, now answer some of mine!" Robin yelled. "Who are you?"
The man who had been asking questions stepped into the sunlight, and Robin finally got a good look at him. He had grey hair, which had been cut short, and there was a patch over his left eye, which did little to disguise the scar running across the left side of his face, and he was walking with the assistance of a cane, which undoubtedly hid the sword he had been using earlier.
"My name is Slade Wilson," he said. (3)
Robin gasped slightly, and then realized that in an alternate dimension, Slade didn't have to be a complete nut-job.
"I'm fighting against the Teen Tyrants, a group of teenaged criminals who have taken this city hostage," Slade continued. "They frequently raid banks and jewellery stores, and they control all crime in the city. They are also quite willing to kill anyone who gets in their way. They are most likely holding your friend hostage."
"So, what can you tell us about the members of the Tyrants?" Robin asked.
"Red Hood is the leader. He was trained in hand-to-hand combat by Owlman (4) in Gotham City. He's very aggressive and quite strong for someone his age. Blackfire is a princess from the planet of Tamaran, and more interested in material wealth than the others. She stole the Jewel of Charta before she arrived on Earth, and it's enhanced her powers. Beast can transform into any animal, and recently gained the ability to transform into a very powerful and aggressive werewolf-like form, sometimes at the cost of higher cognitive skills; when in his were-form, he's been known to occasionally eat his victims. Gadget is obsessed with enhancing himself, and has literally replaced his entire body with cybernetics and weapons. Consequently, he has absolutely no empathy for any living being, existing only to steal and kill, a hollow shell of the man he once was. But possibly the most dangerous of them all is Rage. She is the daughter of the demon Trigon, is borderline psychotic, and, like her name would suggest, her powers increase exponentially when she's angry. She also has no morals when it comes to using her telepathy, and will forcibly invade someone's mind, and can even drive people insane by dredging up their worst fears." Slade shuddered.
"You've seen her handiwork," said Raven. Slade knew it wasn't a question.
"Yes," was Slade's simple reply. He didn't elaborate.
"So, who are your teammates?" Robin asked, nodding at the three others standing behind Slade.
"My team consists of my son, Grant, and two members of the Brotherhood of Justice, Gemini and Doctor Light," said Slade, gesturing to the heroes in question. "I've trained Grant in both melee and ranged combat. Gemini is a shapeshifter, and can stretch and manipulate any part of her body. Doctor Light, as you've seen, can fire blasts of light from his suit, and can create solid constructs, including shields, blades and whips." (5)
"Is that it?" asked Cyborg.
"We do have...one other member," said Slade slowly. "Terra. She's a young geomancer from Markovia but, well..." Slade trailed off, his face pained. "You'd better see for yourselves."
The Titans followed as Slade led them to an abandoned warehouse on the docks.
"As you can see, the high level of crime is detrimental to the city," said Slade as they made their way through the docks. "The police, the H.I.V.E. Hero Academy and I have done what we can to combat the Tyrants hold, but we haven't been very successful."
He opened the door to one of the warehouses. "She's in here," he said softly. The Titans entered. Surprisingly, the room was well lit, and the place had been outfitted as a sort of outpost, with several beds, a presumably well-stocked kitchen, even a bathroom. One of the beds was occupied. A lanky young girl with blonde hair was sitting on the bed, her knees pressed to her chest, angry red scars visible beneath the bandages on her face and arms, hugging herself as she rocked back and forth, whimpering with her eyes squeezed shut.
"Oh, X'Hal," gasped Starfire.
"Who did this to her?" asked Robin.
"Rage," said Slade angrily. "Terra had volunteered to spy on the Tyrants. I tried to talk her out of it, but she insisted. I let her go anyway, and told her that if she was discovered, not to engage the Tyrants, that she was supposed to run. Needless to say, Rage caught her and...well, you can see what happened. Once she was done with her, Rage left her in the streets like this, and Grant found her." He sighed. "I should never have let her go. I should have done it; then this would never—"
"Slade," said Robin. "You can't blame yourself for this. Trust me; I've done it too. Terra made her own choices, and it what happened to her wasn't her fault or yours. It was Rage's."
Robin needed no help in seeing the irony of giving his most hated enemy this sort of advice; especially about something he himself was prone to doing.
Slade nodded. "You're right, but that doesn't make it any easier seeing her like this."
"I...might be able to help her," said Raven softly.
"Really?" asked Slade, the slightest hint of optimism in his voice.
"I can go into her mind, and I might be able to repair some of the damage," explained Raven.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" asked Robin. "I mean, you were the one hurt the most by—"
"I have to at least try," Raven interrupted. "Please."
Raven's expression had barely changed as she'd spoken, but Robin knew her well enough to know from that slight twitch that she was practically begging him for a chance.
"All right," said Robin. "But be careful. And good luck."
Robin turned around and ushered them outside. "This could take some time," he said. "And Raven will want some privacy."
Rage yelped in pain as Killowat shocked her, and her concentration was further ruined by the sirens blaring at full volume. Killowat slumped in exhaustion as the noise died down, worn out from standing up to Rage's mental assault.
"You're tougher than I thought you were," said Rage with a hint of admiration.
"Not tougher," panted Killowat. "Smarter."
"I doubt it," said Rage.
"I'll prove it," said Killowat.
"All right then," said Rage. "Tell me something I don't know."
"The plastic tips at the end of shoelaces are called 'aglets'," said Killowat. "Their true purpose is sinister." (6)
Killowat's head was slammed back into the wall when Rage punched him in the jaw. "Sorry, but I already knew that," she growled, punching him again.
Blood trickled out of the corner of his mouth, and Killowat spat bloody saliva at Rage. "You need to learn how to punch," he groaned. "That was nothing."
Rage growled, and red energy formed around her hand. She blasted him in the chest, and he grunted in pain. Killowat braced himself for the next blow, but nothing happened.
"What's the matter?" he asked. "Aren't you going to kill me?"
"Oh, no," whispered Rage, dragging out the last word. "I can't torture you if you're dead."
She turned around and opened the door. "I'll be back tomorrow, sweetie."
"What sort of sick bitch are you?" Killowat asked as she walked out the door.
She paused, turning to face him. "The worst kind," she said, a twisted smile playing at the corners of her mouth. "One who enjoys her work."
Beast Boy groaned, and sat up, clutching his sore head.
"Well, it's about time you woke up," said Cyborg.
"Huh? Oh, hey, Cyborg," said Beast Boy. "What happened?"
"You were knocked out," explained Cyborg.
"Again?" asked Beast Boy.
Cyborg smiled slightly. "Yup."
"Oh." Beast Boy was silent for a few seconds. "So, what sort of universe are we in?"
"A really messed up one," said Cyborg.
"How messed up?" Beast Boy asked.
"Well, around here, we're the bad guys and Slade is the hero."
Beast Boy blinked. "Yeah, that's about an eleven on the Weirdness Scale." Beast Boy looked around. "Where are we?"
"The docks," said Starfire. "We've joined forces with the local equivalents of Slade, Doctor Light, Madame Rouge and Slade's son, Grant. Robin and Slade are talking to each other about the differences between our universes."
Beast Boy nodded. "Where's Raven?"
Robin pointed at one of the warehouses. "She's in there, trying to heal this universe's Terra."
"Why, what happened to her?" Beast Boy asked.
"She was captured and tortured by the Teen Tyrants, our evil counterparts," said Cyborg. "I don't know what they did to her, but she's pretty messed up."
"How badly?" Beast Boy asked quietly.
"Very," said Starfire. "Raven has been in there for half an hour already, but I fear Terra may never fully heal after what she has been through."
You watch as images move around you as you travel through Terra's mind. The images are her memories; her parents being shot, adoption by Slade, discovering her powers; brief snippets of a life that isn't yours. The images shatter and collide randomly, a side effect of Rage's torture. Everything is tinted with red, and much of the colour has drained away.
"Terra!" you call, trying to find what was left of the young girl's soul. "Terra, where are you?"
You hear sobbing, and you float around in the direction of the noise. A door appears in front of you, and you press your ear to it. The sobbing is coming from inside.
"Terra?" you call out gently. "Terra, are you in there?" You try the handle, but it's locked. Terra must have retreated here while she was being tortured, the only safe place she had left.
"Go away," Terra moans. "Please. Just leave me alone."
"Terra, I'm..." you swallow the lump that has risen in your throat. You never thought you'd say this again, but... "I'm a friend," you finish. "I'm here to help you."
"You can't help me," Terra whispers. "No one can." She starts to sob again. "I'm all alone. No one can help me."
"Terra, that's not true," You say. "You're not alone; you have your friends. They need you."
"No they don't," Terra says. "If they did, they would have saved me from Rage."
"They do, Terra, you know that," you reply, tears starting to form in your eyes. "Your friends haven't abandoned you; they never did."
You sigh. "Listen to me. You can't keep yourself locked up in here. If you do, you'll die, and then Rage will have won. You don't want that, do you?"
There is a click, and you try the door handle again. This time, it turns, and you open the door, finding Terra curled up on the floor.
"Can...can you really help me?" she asks softly, lifting her tear-stained face to look at you.
You nod, and hold out your hand. Tentatively, Terra reaches out to take it. She pauses, her hand hovering over yours, her eyes flicking back and forth between her hand and your face.
"Trust me," you say gently, as tears start to fall from your eyes. "Please."
Terra grabs your hand with a surprisingly strong grip, and you help her to her feet.
"Now, come on," you say, dragging Terra out of the room and back out the way you came. "I'm getting you out of here." (7)
Raven opened her eyes, and watched as Terra slowly opened hers.
"Hey," said Raven softly. "You okay?"
Terra didn't say anything; she just hugged Raven and started to cry, surprising Raven. Raven surprised herself when she found herself hugging Terra back.
"I-It's okay, Terra," Raven whispered soothingly, as a tear or two started to roll down her own face. "It's okay."
"We have to rescue Killowat as soon as possible," said Raven. "If he's going through the same things Terra went through..." Raven trailed off, shuddering. "Hopefully, she hasn't broken him yet."
"Well, you are an empath, right?" Grant asked, and Raven nodded. "Why don't you just reach out with your powers and get try to sense him?"
"I tried that," said Raven. "But I couldn't find his emotional signature over the fear coming from the locals. I'll be able to sense him when he's nearby, though."
"Oh," said Grant. "Well, so much for that plan."
"If the Tyrants have your friend, they'll keep him in Tyrants Tower," said Gemini. "That Tower has the most advanced security system in all of Jump City."
"Just like back home," Robin deadpanned.
Cyborg smirked. "Reckon I could try hacking in and shutting it down?"
"It's worth a shot," said Robin. "Raven can teleport us in and then she can find and rescue Killowat."
"That's a...rather simple plan," said Slade, slightly worried.
Robin shrugged. "Less things that can go wrong. Of course, the hard part will be fighting our Tyrants counterparts."
Starfire nodded. "Blackfire has the Jewel of Charta in this world, yes?" At Slade's nod, she continued. "If the Jewel of Charta is destroyed, that will reduce her power down to normal levels."
"And if my counterpart Gadget is completely robotic, he can take more of a beating than I can," said Cyborg. "But, he'll also suffer more if he's hit with, say, an electromagnetic pulse?" Cyborg looked at Doctor Light as he spoke.
"I do have an EMP generator, yes," said Doctor Light. "But it's only good for one shot, and it'll render my suit inoperable, which will make me an easy target. And wouldn't it stop you, too?"
Cyborg shrugged. "It'll slow me down, yeah, but it won't stop me completely; after all, I've still got some parts left that aren't robotic."
"We'll have to let Slade and his team defeat the Tyrants," said Robin. "If we beat them, it'll be meaningless; we'll disappear once we've rescued Killowat, and they'll have free reign again. If the Tyrants are beaten by Slade's team though..."
"The Tyrants defeat will have more meaning," finished Slade. "The people of our world will know that they can stand up to their oppression, and they won't have to fear the Tyrants any more. The Tyrants will also know that they can be beaten, and we'll still be around to beat them again if they try anything funny."
"Exactly," said Robin. "So, is everyone good to go?"
"Wait," said Gemini. "We're attacking now?"
Robin nodded. "We don't want them to find out that we're here," he said, waving his arms to encompass himself and the Titans. "If we stay too long, they'll find out and we'll lose the advantage of surprise." Robin smirked. "I doubt they'd expect a direct assault on their home anyway."
Gemini nodded. "I understand. I'm ready."
Robin glanced at his teammates.
"We are ready," said Starfire.
Robin smiled and nodded, before turning his attention back to Slade and his team. Doctor Light fiddled with a few things on his suit, before he was apparently satisfied and nodded. Grant checked all the weapons on his bandolier, and adjusted a few of the knives he kept there. Slade had taken his cane, and had unsheathed the sabre hidden inside. Slade glanced at Grant, and his son nodded.
"We're ready," he said.
"All right, then," said Robin. "Raven, get us over there."
She nodded. "Azarath, Metrion—"
Terra raced out of the abandoned warehouse, now dressed in a black long sleeved t-shirt, shorts, combat boots and leather gloves.
"I'm going with you," she said as she reached the group, looking up at Slade for approval.
"No," said Slade. "Terra, you haven't finished recovering yet. Besides, it's too dangerous for you; I don't want you to get hurt."
"But you'll need my help," said Terra. "And you know it. And I'm strong enough to fight."
Slade bit his lip, trying to make the right choice.
"Dad, please," Terra begged.
"...What," said Robin flatly.
"Dad adopted her a few years ago," Grant explained. "That wasn't long after Mom died."
"Oh," said Robin as understanding dawned. "Okay, thanks."
Terra locked eyes with her adoptive father, her gaze not flinching. Eventually, Slade sighed.
"All right, you can come," Slade said. "But you have to help Raven rescue her friend and stay out of danger."
"I will, Dad," Terra promised.
"Very well, then," said Slade. He turned back to Robin. "Now we're ready," he said.
"Okay," said the Teen Wonder. "Raven?"
"Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos!" Raven chanted, and a black dome surrounded them. Once the dome disappeared, they were gone.
Tyrants Tower was at least twice the size of Titans Tower, but the Tyrants had used the same basic shape: a giant capital letter T.
"Some things just never change," muttered Robin. Raven had teleported them to the base of the Tower to give him the opportunity to scout out the Tower. The Teen Wonder jumped over another one of the lasers sweeping over the rocky island that served as the base for the Tower. Unlike the lasers back home, which would just set of an alarm, the lasers the Tyrants had used were lethal, but wouldn't set of an alarm. Robin knew this because the edge of his cape had gotten caught in one of the beams, resulting in a small piece being burnt off. He made it back to where his allies were waiting in preparation without further incident.
"Easiest way in would be through the roof," he said. "But they've probably got an alarm or code for the door."
"We're attacking, right?" said Beast Boy. "What's the point of subtlety? We should just blow a hole in the window into the living area or something."
Robin and Slade looked at each other, and Slade shrugged. "If anything, it's simple," he said.
Robin nodded. "It's worth a shot."
"I'll get us up there," said Terra. She closed her eyes, concentrating. The ground beneath them started to rise up, and a massive pillar of earth lifted them up, stopping when they were level with the giant window at the top of the Tower. Robin pulled out his strongest explosive disc, and hurled it at the glass with all his strength. The disc exploded on impact, setting off alarms deep inside the Tower. Once the smoke cleared, Robin saw that the glass was cracked, but not completely shattered. Cyborg and Starfire stepped out to the front of the group. Cyborg aimed his sonic cannon, and Starfire raised her hand, forming an orb of starbolt energy around it. They fired at the same time, and the glass shattered inwards under the pressure from the concentrated sonic and starbolt energy. The Titans jumped in through the shattered window, followed by Slade and his team.
"Raven, Terra, find Killowat," yelled Robin. "We'll distract the Tyrants."
Raven nodded, and she enveloped herself and Terra in black energy, forming a giant raven and swooping down through the floor.
Doors hissed open, and four people, three male and one female, burst into the room. The first male was dressed similar to Robin, but his uniform was red with black markings, rather than the cheery traffic-light colours the Teen Wonder himself wore. He also wore a red mask that completely covered his face; the red hood he had named himself after. The woman was Tamaranean, and looked eerily similar to the Blackfire from Robin's own universe. The only difference was that in this world, Blackfire's outfit was dark red, and she wore a small red jewel around her collar; the Jewel of Charta. The second male looked like a feral version of Beast Boy; his green hair was knotted and matted, his skin was a sickly pale green, all his teeth were sharp and pointed, and his fingers ended in quite obvious claws. The fourth figure could only be called male because that was what it was based on; a bulky humanoid robot, with glowing red circuitry set against plain grey steel, with two glowing red eyes and a slit for a mouth.
"What the hell?" yelled Red Hood as he yanked two bird-a-rangs out of his belt and combined them to form a sword.
"Statement: Evidence suggests—"
"That was a rhetorical question, Gadget," said Red Hood. "Shut up." Red Hood took a few steps forward, circling around. Robin started to circle in the opposite direction to Red Hood, and pulled out his bo staff as he did so.
"Let me guess," said Red Hood theatrically. "You're here to rescue Killowat, aintcha?"
Robin didn't say anything.
"And you made some friends," continued Red Hood, waving his arm at Slade's team. They continued circling until Robin had his back to the Tyrants, and Red Hood was backed up against the Titans and their allies.
"Stand down now and I'll kill you quickly," Red Hood said.
Robin smirked. "Titans, GO!" he yelled. Beast morphed a wolf and tried to pounce on Robin, but the Teen Wonder spun around and smacked the green animal out of the air with his bo staff. Starfire fired a starbolt at Red Hood, but the leader of the Tyrants dived to his left, throwing a knife at Grant. Cyborg blocked the knife with his left hand, and it stuck in his hand. Grant pulled it out and tossed it at Gadget, but the robot shot the knife out of the air with its sonic cannon, only to be knocked down by a blast from Doctor Light. Still on the ground, Gadget pressed a button on his arm, and several hatches in the walls opened up. Spider-like drones swarmed out of about half of the hatches; the remaining hatches revealed turrets that started to fire at the intruders. Cyborg grabbed two of the drones and smashed them together, before ramming his fist through one of the turrets. Blackfire unleashed a hail of starbolts at Starfire, and Grant threw one of his daggers at Blackfire, and the knife grazed her cheek, drawing blood. Beast Boy morphed a tiger and bit a spider-drone in half, and then slashed another one. Beast morphed a gorilla and grabbed Beast Boy around the ribs, trying to crush him. Gemini grabbed Beast and pulled backwards as Beast Boy morphed a snake and slipped out of Beast's grasp. Red Hood attacked Slade, using an aggressive hack-and-slash style, contrasting the old man's more defensive stabbing style. Robin tossed an explosive disc at one of the turrets, before sweeping away several drones with his staff. He knew something was wrong, and he surveyed the battlefield, trying to figure out what it was.
Robin swore and yanked out his communicator.
Raven ripped the door out with her powers, and ran through into the torture room. Outside, Terra froze in panic and started to hyperventilate.
"Easy, Terra," said Raven soothingly. "Just wait outside for a few minutes while I rescue Killowat."
Terra nodded, backing up a few steps, trying to regain her composure.
"Killowat!" Raven called out.
"Over here," was the weak-sounding reply. Raven turned and raced towards the source of the noise, and saw Killowat strapped to the wall, his arms and legs held apart.
"About time you showed up," said Killowat, sounding like he was about to faint.
"Hold on," said Raven as she started to rip the leads off of him. "I'll get you out of here—"
Raven was interrupted by her communicator beeping. She reached down to answer it.
"Raven, be careful," warned Robin. "Rage isn't up here; she might try to stop you from rescuing Killowat."
"Gotcha," replied Raven. "I'll—"
A red blast of energy knocked the communicator out of her hand, and the device shattered. Raven spun around, spotting her evil counterpart walking towards her, an evil grin on Rage's face. Raven looked behind her, trying to find Terra—
"She's still alive," said Rage, reaching into her mind. "For now."
"Get out of my head!" yelled Raven, forcing back Rage's mental assault and firing off a wave of black energy. Rage levitated herself up and to the right, and Raven shot past her, looking for Terra. She saw the young girl curled up in the corner, eyes squeezed shut in pain.
"Poor girl collapsed as soon as she saw me," said Rage cheerfully. "You didn't do a very good job of fixing her, did you?"
Raven struggled to remain calm. "Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos!" she yelled, firing a stream of dark energy at Rage.
Rage's four red eyes narrowed. "Hezberek, Necronom, Mortix!" chanted Rage in retaliation, firing her own blast of red energy.
Robin tossed his last explosive disc, scrapping another turret. He smashed his staff through a spider-drone, and swept his staff across the floor, wiping out more. The scrapped drones were piling high, and there was no relief in sight. Blackfire fired off red starbolts at Cyborg, but she missed, and Cyborg fired his shoulder missiles as she flew past. The missiles struck the roof, bringing a chunk of it down on Beast. Beast morphed a cockroach and crawled out, then morphed a triceratops and charged at Slade. Slade leapt to the side at the last second, and Beast's momentum carried him out the window. Beast morphed an eagle and soared back up, but was struck by a starbolt from Starfire. Red Hood tossed a knife at Starfire, but his throw was slightly off. Even so, the hilt delivered a glancing blow, bruising her arm. Grant punched Red Hood, and Red Hood smashed his elbow into Grant's face, breaking his nose. Doctor Light fired a blast at Red Hood, but Gadget fired its sonic cannon, knocking the blast off course. Gemini grabbed Gadget's arm and pulled, ripping its arm out of its socket. Gadget calmly turned to face her and fired the sonic cannon in his other arm at her. Beast Boy returned to human form and tackled Gemini, knocking her out of the way of the sonic blast.
Doctor Light pressed a switch on his arm, activating his EMP generator. He pumped all the remaining power his suit had into the generator. The blast he could create would knock out the entire Tower and everything in it, as well as anything electrical within a two hundred metre radius. Cyborg fired his sonic cannon at the last turret, reducing it to a smoking pile of scrap, before picking up and tossing a spider-drone out the window.
"I'm going to activate the EMP," said Doctor Light.
Cyborg nodded. "Do it!"
Doctor Light flipped another switch, and cursed. Battle damage was preventing the EMP generator from releasing its charge.
"The generator is damaged!" yelled the Doctor.
Cyborg muttered something under his breath and ran behind to the Doctor, pulling out a few tools and wires as he did so. Doctor Light fired light-beams at the encroaching spider-drones, and took a few shots at Gadget, distracting him until Robin knocked the robot over with an explosive disc.
"Got it!" said Cyborg triumphantly. Doctor Light flipped the switch again, and this time, the generator fired. The blue blast radiated outwards, engulfing the entire Tower and beyond. Sparks travelled along the wires, blowing panels off the walls. Gadget collapsed as electricity crackled across its surface, its eyes and circuits growing dim. Lights throughout the Tower exploded, plunging the Tower into darkness.
Raven was struck in the head, and collapsed. Chunks of steel, concrete and cinderblock littered the torture room, ripped out by Raven and Rage during their struggle. Rage lifted one of the smaller pieces up, and used it to pin Raven in place. Killowat struggled against his bonds. He wasn't sure if Raven had gotten all the leads off, so he wasn't using his powers to escape. He was using only brute strength, cutting himself against the sharp steel that held him in place. The lights in the room started to explode, and the room dimmed, lit only by the glow from Rage's eyes.
Killowat seized his chance. He pumped electricity through his body, releasing the electronic locks that held him in place. He collapsed, and instantly converted his body into electricity, flowing through wires in the floor, reappearing and slamming his fist into Rage's chin. The torturer staggered back from the strength of the blow, and Killowat fired off a jolt of electricity at her. She created a shield and blocked the blow, and Killowat kept up the blast, not letting his assault up. Rage maintained her shield, and the fight turned into one of endurance. Killowat, after several long hours of lack of sleep, hunger, thirst and mental torture, was the first to start to lose strength. He struggled to maintain the electrical attack, but his jolt kept getting weaker and weaker. Behind her red shield, Rage smiled. She lifted up a steel rod that had been ripped up earlier and whacked Killowat in the back of the head with it. Killowat collapsed and the jolt died off, allowing Rage to end her shield. Killowat lay on his hands and knees, gasping for breath as Rage approached.
Raven groaned, and tried to get back up. She saw Killowat go down, and watched helplessly as Rage approached him. She started to push against the debris holding her down, still too groggy to use her powers properly.
"I'm afraid I'll have to kill you now," Rage whispered to Killowat. "It's too bad; you would have made a wonderful pet."
Raven struggled harder, trying to get free so she could save Killowat. She gasped as she saw a several chunks of concrete rise into the air and got crushed into a single, sharp rock spear. Rage turned to look behind her as the spear smashed into her chest. The spear punctured her body and carried her across the room, pinning her to the wall. Rage tried to fire a blast, but the red energy was weak and unfocused. She coughed, and crimson blood flowed out of her mouth, joining the blood soaking her robes around the spear.
"You...stupid...little...bitch," coughed Rage. Her breath came out in one last ragged gasp, and her head sagged.
Raven finally managed to get rid of the debris, and stood up. Terra stood in the doorway, her arm raised, her eyes and hands still glowing yellow. Her hand drooped, and the glow faded from her eyes. She sunk to her knees as tears started to flow down her face. Raven walked over to her and hugged her gently for the second time that day.
"There, there," she whispered. "It's okay, Terra. It's okay."
Beast leapt at Doctor Light, but Gemini swung her arm, knocking Beast out of the air. She grabbed his head and slammed it into the floor, and Beast went back to human form, unconscious.
Starfire fired a starbolt at Blackfire, striking her on the collar. Blackfire retaliated by firing a starbolt of her own, and gasped in shock as a purple starbolt emerged from her hand. Blackfire checked her collar, finding the Jewel of Charta had been vaporised by Starfire's starbolt. Grant tossed a knife at Blackfire, and the blade stuck into her shoulder, prompting a scream of pain from the Tamaranean. Grant threw another knife, hitting her on the thigh, and Blackfire collapsed. Grant walked up to her and threw his best punch at her temple, knocking her out in one blow.
Red Hood slashed at Slade, but the old man dodged the blow, and stabbed at Red Hood. Red Hood blocked the attack, and tried to stab Slade. Slade sidestepped quickly, and Red Hood's momentum carried him past Slade. Slade slashed his cheek on the way past, and Red Hood spun around with a scream of rage, and swung a blow in an attempt to decapitate Slade. Slade ducked and stabbed Red Hood in the shoulder. Red Hood screamed and dropped his sword as Slade removed the blade, clutching his injured shoulder. Slade smashed the hilt of the sword between Red Hood's eyes, taking him down. Slade turned and surveyed the field. Starfire was hovering near Doctor Light, and Gemini was examining Grant's broken nose. Beast Boy had rolled Cyborg onto his back, and was trying to reactivate his friend. The blue circuits started to glow, and Beast Boy closed the panel he had opened and helped his best friend back to his feet.
"Where's Robin?" Slade asked.
"He went to find Raven," Starfire replied as she moved towards one of the doors. "He lost contact with her earlier. I'm going after him."
"I'm going with you," said Slade, running after her.
Robin entered the torture room at a run, and skidded to a halt. He looked around, trying to take in the scene in front of him. Killowat was staggering to his feet in the centre of the room, swaying uncertainly. Terra was a few metres in front of him, kneeling and sobbing while Raven tried to comfort her.
Robin gasped when he saw Rage. She had been impaled through the chest by a giant spear made out of rock, and the spear had buried itself into the wall, pinning her there. Blood had poured from her mouth and out of her chest, soaking into her red robes. Her four eyes had lost their glow, and her eyes had misted over, staring unseeingly at the floor.
Killowat staggered towards him, and Robin caught him when he fell.
"Killowat? What happened here?" Robin asked.
"Terra...she killed Rage," said Killowat, panting. "She had...spent most of the fight...outside, scared...but she recovered...enough to...kill Rage...in the end."
What Killowat said made sense. Terra was still recovering from what Rage had done to her, and must have had a relapse when she'd seen Rage. During the fight, Killowat and Raven must have been losing; Terra had recovered just enough to kill Rage, breaking down again when it was all over. Or maybe her killing Rage had been the final breaking point, and now she would never recover from the mental trauma she'd suffered.
Slade and Starfire came in, and stopped short, staring in shock. Thankfully, they didn't ask any questions. Starfire helped Robin carry Killowat, and Slade knelt down next to Raven. Their eyes met for a brief second, and Slade scooped up Terra and carried his adoptive daughter out of the room.
"You coming, Raven?" asked Robin as he and Starfire helped Killowat out of the room.
"Y-you go ahead," said Raven softly. "I'll be along in a minute."
Robin nodded, and the three of them left, giving Raven some much needed privacy. Tears started to trickle down her face, but after a few minutes meditation, she managed to gain control of her emotions. She stood up, and walked over to Rage's corpse. She looked at the young woman, so similar to Raven herself. Raven sighed, and brushed a hand over Rage's face, closing her eyes for the last time.
"Thank you for all your help," said Slade, shaking Robin's hand. It had been two days since the Tyrants had been defeated. The Tyrants Tower had been demolished, and Rage's body had been buried on the island in a simple ceremony. Raven had buried the body herself, marking the grave with a simple tombstone. She'd spent the rest of the time at the local mental hospital, helping Terra recover from the mental trauma she'd been forced to endure. The other Titans had been recovering from the ordeal as well, and now everyone was ready to travel.
"You're welcome, Slade," replied Robin. Starfire slipped her hand through his free hand, and he gave his girlfriend a quick smile. The Titans had met with Slade at the mental hospital where Terra was recovering, while Raven finished her last healing session with Terra.
Slade glanced over at his adopted daughter worriedly. "I hope she recovers," said Slade.
"She has a family here to look after her," said Robin. "You'd be surprised what love and friendship can do."
Slade smiled slightly. "I'll keep that in mind."
Beside Terra, Raven opened her eyes and stood up. "That's all I can do," she said. "The rest is up to you, Slade."
"Will she..." Slade trailed off.
Raven nodded. "She will this time," she said. Raven sighed. "I tried to heal her too quickly last time. I rushed, and she was nowhere near fully recovered. She was still highly unstable, which is why she relapsed when she saw Rage." Raven blinked, and Robin was surprised to see a tear in the corner of her eye. Raven wiped it away quickly. "But she'll recover fully this time."
"Thank you," said Slade. "And...goodbye."
"Goodbye, Slade," said Robin. As Robin, Starfire and Raven walked out, Robin glanced back once, and saw Slade sit down next to Terra and take his daughter's hand.
"She's lucky," said Robin quietly as he started to smile. Starfire glanced at him, then at Terra and Slade, and she smiled too.
"Come on," she said. "Let's go."
Robin and Starfire followed Raven outside.
"You okay, Raven?" asked Beast Boy.
"I'm fine," said Raven, a little more forcefully than she intended.
Beast Boy didn't notice, or he chose not to notice. "You sure?" he insisted.
"Beast Boy, I..." she trailed off. She cleared her throat and tried again. "I'm okay," she said. "I just want to get out of here."
This time, Beast Boy got the message. "Okay, but if you want to talk..."
"Thanks," said Raven, smiling slightly. She sighed and focused herself.
"Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos!" she chanted. With a white flash, she reopened the portal, and the Titans stepped through, ready for anything.
Mirage took another shot at an advancing robot, blowing its head off. Flamebird stood back-to-back with her, and threw another explosive disc.
"I think this is it," said Battalion as he reloaded his rifle.
Nightrider cracked his knuckles. "They're not taking me without a fight."
Flamebird nodded, and held out her hand. "For Killowat," she said.
"For Killowat!" echoed Nightrider and Battalion, placing their hands on Flamebird's.
Mirage was the last to hold out her hand. "For Charlie," she whispered.
There was a loud cracking noise above their heads, and the Team Titans looked up at the black swirling thing above their heads. A blast of electricity leapt out of the portal, frying one of Deathstroke's robots, followed by—
"Charlie!" shrieked Mirage in joy, hugging Killowat as he emerged from the portal.
"Hey, Miri," he said. "I missed you, sweetheart."
"I missed you too," replied Mirage.
"Hey, kid," said Battalion, ruffling his hair. "Where you been all this time?"
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," said Killowat. "So I'll let my friends do the talking."
As he spoke, Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven and Cyborg leapt out of the portal.
"Later, Killowat," said Robin. "Right now, we've got a job to do. Titans, GO!"
1. In the mainstream universe, Killowat and his team are from a bad future, not an alternate dimension, and when his team fixed the future they disappeared. In TTG, he came from an alternate dimension though, so I decided I'd run with that, because that's more interesting. Besides, there was already a bad future episode in the show, so why go over ground that's already been covered?
2. The Teen Tyrants are not actually evil versions of the Titans; they are different people with the same powers. That's why they all have different names, and I might expand on it more in the future if I feel like it.
3. The idea of a hero Slade has been done before; I'm borrowing the idea from Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths.
4. Owlman is the evil counterpart of Batman in the Crime Syndicate of America, the Crime Syndicate being the evil version of the Justice League.
5. Slade is actually still Slade, just as a hero. I haven't used Grant yet in the Titansverse, so I took the chance to use him. Doctor Light in this world is a different person to the Doctor Light from the Titansverse, and Gemini is also a different person to Madame Rouge.
6. Killowat is quoting the Question, from the Justice League Unlimited episode Question Authority. Knowing the Question, he was probably serious. And as the show proved, he might just be right...I don't trust my shoelaces anymore.
7. My first attempt in writing in second person. I tried it to try and make this scene more surreal, but your mileage might vary on how successful I was.
Like I said up top, this is one of the darkest (and longest) things I've written to date. If I upset some of you while you were reading this, then I apologize. Even I am a little upset that I found myself able to write some of this. Even so, I still have standards; I didn't write any of the nitty-gritty of the torture scenes, for example, and I never will write a detailed torture scene, because I will probably end up vomiting all over my keyboard. Which is bad.
But enough about me. My next episode is will be called "To Catch a Thief", and will star Red X as the main character. Yay! It'll also be a lot lighter than this story (hopefully), but I won't be writing that right now, because I have my first semester exams coming up, and I really need to study. D: