Disclaimer: This is a fan work created at no profit and for entertainment purposes only. The author acknowledges that Teen Titans and related characters are property of Warner Entertainment.
A/N: Mayhem in Mexico City follows my previous fic, What Grows in Deception, but my intent is to write it in such a way that you don't have to read or reread that story to enjoy this one. Everything you need to know will come up in the narrative. Enjoy!
Teen Titans: Menace in Mexico City
Chapter 0 – Prologue: Midnight in Mexico
The dark of the night always made her feel oddly at home. Maybe it shouldn't have been surprising, since she'd been raised from a tender age to be an assassin, but her memories of her childhood were anything but happy or comforting.
But still, there was something about moving freely, unseen and unheard, that made her feel safer than any home or hearth she'd ever been offered.
Cassandra Cain was Batgirl. Not the first to hold that nom de guerre and probably not the last, but it was an identity she was proud of, one that she felt fit her better than the one she was born into. That was probably why she got on so well with Batman; in her short time under his tutelage, it was clear to her that he felt the same way about his dual identities. Tim said it wasn't healthy. He didn't understand. He said he did, but he couldn't.
Tonight she was on Bat-family business and far from home. Not just far from home, but illegally on the other side of the US border in a town called Altar in the Mexican state of Sonora. Someone had been stealing from WayneTech warehouses on either side of the border and best intel said the one she was approaching would be next.
Batman himself would be here; he saw WayneTech's dangerous toys as his personal responsibility, but the word on Gotham's streets was that the Scarecrow was working with Two-Face on something big. They were all hands on deck in the scramble to derail the plot before it could be set in motion and Cassandra volunteered to go check out the thefts and report her findings.
So far, it was simple and straightforward: after watching the guards' routines, she jumped the fence near the south entrance of the warehouse lot and hid between cargo containers until the guards came and passed again.
From her hiding place, she watched them intently. Her father hadn't raised her to be anything but a killing machine. One of the side effects of this was that instead of learning to speak or write, she learned to read body language. And she was very, very good at it.
Even at a distance and peeking from around a corner, she could read the slump of their shoulders, the restless weaving in their strides. These men had been working this shift for far longer than they should have been and it was taking a toll on their morale and attentiveness. All they cared about was that shift was almost over and then they would be able to go home, get their aching feet out of those shoes and rest.
In their current state, someone with a quarter of Cassandra's skill could have gotten past them. Good thing someone else was watching the warehouse that night.
Detaching from the cover of the container, she made for the wall of the warehouse. Normally, she eschewed all of the gadgets Batman insisted they carry, but the sheer face of the warehouse offered no handholds at all, so she fished out a long-range batarang and sufficient cord to reach the roof. The standard issue grappling pistol was so noisy that she cringed at the very idea of using it in anything but an emergency. She might as well cover herself with bells to get the same effect.
It took two tosses of the batarang to get a solid hold of something on the roof and after that, she climbed up as quickly as possible.
Once there, however, she instantly knew something was wrong. The night was warm and breezy, and yet, on the roof, the air felt still, dead. Like something was blocking the wind despite the roof being almost perfectly flat except for the skylights.
She looked up. It was hard to see against the backdrop of the night sky, by the former assassin was nothing if not observant. In a patch of sky in front of and above her, the starts were blurred, their twinkling slow and out of synch.
It wasn't the first time she'd come into contact with cloaking technology before; even the Batwing had a limited cloak, but this was extraordinarily good. Better than she knew existed on Earth.
There was a quiet hum and a compartment appeared in the air, right in the center of the thing's underside. Faint red light spilled out before a body interposed itself between Cassandra's sight and the opening. The figure was a green girl in some sort of schoolgirl costume. So very likely, whatever it was floating up there wasn't from Earth at all.
The green girl levitated out of the hole in the air, which closed behind her. With her back to Cassandra, she started toward the skylight.
Cassandra had heard of the Martian Manhunter and knew he worked with Batman and the Justice League. As far as she'd heard though, he was the last of his people, the Green Martians. Still, that would explain the technology on display.
Whoever it was, the fact that they had powers made her extra cautious. Silently, she crept the rest of the way onto the roof and stalked toward the green girl's exposed back. If she was a Martian, she might be telepathic like the Manhunter, and that meant surprise was more important than ever.
Closer and closer. She moved with more grace than a jungle cat, her muscles and reflexes working in tandem to make sure that every step fell perfectly so as not to make a sound. Ahead of her, the would-be thief leaned over the skylight, surveying the layout of the floor below.
At the last minute, the girl gasped and whirled to face Cassandra, eyes glowing emerald.
The action made Cassandra stagger. What had she done wrong? How had she been detected? There was no time to figure it out now; she had a fight on her hand. Wordlessly, she launched herself at the criminal, seeking to end the fight with a single, swift blow to the head.
"!," she gaped as the possible Martian turned aside, allowing the punch to sail right past. She only telegraphed the move less than a second before doing it. It took a second swing and a second miss to realize what was happening: First, the Martian wasn't physically moving her body, but levitating herself out of the way, severely limiting the number of muscle groups whose movement would allow Cassandra's special skill to predict what she would do. And second and more disturbing, she was reading her mind.
As with everything, Batman had a set of advice for when it came time to physically engage psychics: rely on instinct instead of thought. Not as simple to do as it was to recall, but no one became a member of the Batman's inner circle by quitting when things got difficult. She let go of her highly analytical fighting style and did the first thing that came to mind, lashing out with a forward snap kick.
The Martian saw it coming, but almost not fast enough. She retreated straight backward, forgetting that the skylight was there. The edge of it clipped her knees and she fell back, sprawling against the glass.
Cassandra was on her instantly, fist raised to end the fight. Except looking down, she read the girl's body language and faltered. "..."
Blinding agony hit her from behind, an electrical jolt that ran through her entire body and made her last few moments of consciousness a blur of pain and confusion. Hen she passed out on top of the Martian.
"Whoa." Said a voice from above. A male figure in a suit of form-fitting blue and black carapace came to land near the two prone women. A set of translucent, blue dragonfly wings fluttered on his back and a pair of slick, black horns rose from his shoulders. On his right hand was a thick gauntlet that extended out over his hand in two black prongs that still emitted the occasional spark and puff of ozone. "I hope you didn't over do it, bug-suit."
A voice replied in a bizarre, alien dialect from the suit itself.
"Yeah, well she better be." the young man inside the suit said. "You okay, M'gnn?"
The Martian, actually M'gnn M'orzz; AKA Miss Martian, levitated the unconscious girl off her, laying her gently on hr back nearby. "Just a few bruises. Thanks, Jamie... er, Blue Beetle. Remember, we're supposed to use codenames while we're out."
But Jamie Reyes, the third bearer of the name Blue Beetle wasn't paying attention. His focus was entirely on the person lying on the roof. "Um.. Meg? We got a problem here. Do you have any idea who we just zapped?" He didn't wait for her reply. "Batgirl. THE Batgirl. Okay, okay a Batgirl, the one with the weird mask with the mouth stitched closed, but still! We are in so much trouble now! Like, 'if I was someone else, I wouldn't even want to stand near us' kind of trouble."
Miss Martian quickly got up and put a finger to his lips. "Jaime? Jaime. You need to clam down." Her mental powers went to work on him, smoothing out the fear and panic. He relaxed, almost leaning into her. "That's better. How about I take her to the bioship to make sure she's okay and you go get what we came for?"
Beetle frowned, but nodded. "Alright. Be right back." He went to the skylight and had the suit extrude the equipment he needed to hack the security system.
Meanwhile, Miss Martian walked over to Batgirl and gave her a sullen frown. "You were supposed to be Batman. Or Superman. Or any member of the League." She heaved a sigh, then brightened, bringing her hand up to lightly slap herself on the forehead. "Hello, Megan! If this is Batgirl, she has to have been trained by Batman. She'll probably be just useful as he would have been!"
Humming softly to herself, she levitated the still unconscious Batgirl back toward her waiting, cloaked ship.
A/N: And so it begins. As promised, this fic will include TT versions of Miss Martian, Blue Beetle and Batgirl IV. M'gnn's characterization is drawn from the Young Justice series and reworked for her role in this story. Blue Beetle's character is an amalgam of his comic persona, his appearances on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and his voice actor from that series, Will Fredle's other voice roles, namely Terry from Batman Beyond and Ron Stoppable. Finally, Batgirl IV, Cassie Cain, hasn't had any animated appearances where she actually did anything, so she's mostly based on her early comics and my impressions of the Bat-clan in the TT universe.
Now on to the next chapter, published back to back as a bonus!