DC Infinity Presents
"Grounded in Failure"
"Rise and shine, Boomerbutt!"
Owen Mercer jerked awake as freezing cold water splashed across his body. The former Rogue scrambled out of bed, but his foot was caught in his blanket and he did nothing more than crash to the floor.
Splayed out on the ground helplessly, Owen looked up to see Roy Harper, Red Arrow, holding a bucket.
"I told you to be up by eight," Roy Harper tossed the bucket aside, "it's eight ten."
"On a Saturday!"
"And?" Roy put his hands on his hips, and Owen realized no excuse would be good enough, "get dressed. Bette's making breakfast. We got a full day ahead of us, Captain Boomerang, and it starts by you getting your ass in gear."
Red Arrow breathed out, slightly annoyed that he was already behind schedule this early in the morning. He was running through a list of creative punishments to inflict on Captain Boomerang, when he heard his daughter screaming.
Roy's body was ready to break into a dead run, but his mind was calm. Roy Harper knew his daughter well, and the screaming was mixed with far too much laughter to be of too much concern.
So when Roy rounded the corner and saw Ravager holding his daughter under one arm like a sack of wheat, he instantly have her his best 'I know you did something' look.
"Dadddyyyy!" Lian whined, "save me! Rose is pickin' on me!"
"Hush up, you," The Daughter of Deathstroke poked Lian in the side, eliciting a fit of laughter.
"So what did my little terrorist do?" Roy asked, with a roll of his eyes.
"She was playing light sabers with my swords," Rose replied and then gave Lian a dirty look, "those aren't for kids."
"They were in the holders!" Lian defended.
"Lian, we've talked about this," Roy knelt down so that he was eye to eye with his young daughter, "what are the rules about handling dangerous weapons?"
"Only do it when you or Aunt Dinah are around," Lian pouted.
"That's right. Alright Rose, you can release your prisoner, and you both ought to get some breakfast."
Rose let Lian down, and the six year old sulked as she went down the hall.
"She can be a little terror, huh?" Roy smiled with pride.
"Runs in the family," Rose countered, with a note of annoyance, "just remember, I'm not her babysitter anymore."
"I know," Roy felt a tinge of sadness, that Rose felt the need to declare that. Despite her parentage, she had once been a kind young woman (albeit one with a temper). But after everything she'd been through, with her father and Nightwing, Rose seemed to have a knee jerk reaction to assert her independence and strength, no matter how small the issue.
And if she did it here and now, Roy wondered what she might do in the field, where split second decisions meant life or death.
"Believe me, I know," Roy said, trying to keep the weariness from his voice.
With one burst of super-speed, Owen was making his way down the hall, in full combat gear. With one belt and a bandolier of boomerangs.
Most of the team were already waiting in the kitchen, dressed in full costume/uniform. Aqualad, Damage, Ravager, Steel (with her faceplate resting on the table) and Miss Martian, forming the oddest group Owen had ever seen together at one breakfast table yet, while Flamebird was wearing her costume, arms rolled up, cooking breakfast.
"Good of you to join us," Flamebird grabbed a plate, and dropped a few scrambled eggs with bacon onto it, and gave it to Owen.
"Ya know, I can get by on just cereal," Owen commented, and then took a bite of bacon.
"Trust me, you'll need a lot more energy today than that," Flamebird gave Damage a plate of pancakes.
Damage looked at the food, then to Flamebird.
Damage then took his plate, a handful of silverware, and left.
"…what's his problem?" asked Steel.
"Grant doesn't wear that mask to look bad ass," Ravager explained as she entered the room. She went into the fridge, "his old team, the Freedom Fighters, were ambushed by the Society. They killed almost all of his teammates, and Zoom messed up Grant's face pretty bad before leaving him in a coma."
"Hmmph!" Aqualad snorted, "he should bear his scars proudly, like a true warrior."
Ravager closed the fridge and looked towards Aqualad.
"How about I cut your face up, and you see how photographic you feel then?"
"Rose, no threats of maiming before lunch," Flamebird chided, "I have to get something real quick. Hold down the fort, okay guys?"
"We're not children," Rose muttered.
"Hey, where's Mikey?" asked Owen.
"Who gives a damn?" Rose countered.
"He's probably still sleeping," M'gann suggested.
Owen nearly jumped out of his skin. The martian was so quite, he'd completely forgotten she was sitting right next to him.
"Well, someone needs to get his ass up!" Owen protested, "why should he get to sleep in and we don't?"
"Miss Martian, why don't you go grab the kid?" Steel suggested.
"I…I really shouldn't," Miss Martian said with as much authority as she could muster, which was to say, none at all, "I don't…want to be rude…"
"Oh, just wake his ass up, tell him we have pancakes, the end," Rose didn't even look up from her meal, "you can do it the fastest. Just do it already."
"Oh…okay," Miss Martian bit her lip, and then phased through the floors. She missed the returning Flamebird by only a minute.
"…where's M'gann?" Flamebird felt a chill shoot down her spine.
"She went to wake up Kid Vulcan," Steel replied.
"What?! Are you insane?!"
Miss Martian passed through several layers of reinforced steel and stone, coming up out in the island's courtyard. It was filled with statues of past Titans, an open field, swimming pool and tennis court.
Floating several feet in the air, near the edge of the courtyard was a silver metal globe, known as The Forge. It was the earth bound connection to Vulcan's extra-dimensional fortress, based in the 'Still Zone'.
Miss Martian felt intimidated just looking at it.
The line of Vulcan was the boogeyman of White Martian culture, the implacable warrior of flame and blade. Vulcans had warred with her people for thousands of years, killed hundreds of scout, never negotiated and never took a single prisoner.
Miss Martian began to tremble as she approached the globe. She was about to enter the home of her people's greatest enemy, a line of meta-humans who had dispatched hundreds of powerful Martians warriors, every single one of them worth ten of her, an implacable legacy that stopped all her people's encroachment on earth singlehandedly, all by herself.
She wanted nothing more than to fly halfway around the world, but the thought of defying her teammate's request was inconceivable to her. What right did something like her have to refuse them anything?
"Umm, hello?" Miss Martian tapped on the globe, "Vulcan? Are you there? Breakfast…"
An energy burst slammed into Miss Martian, and sent her crashing into the courtyard, destroying the tennis courts.
Miss Martian's vision was swimming, but she managed to see a woman in a short shirt, white shirt and tie looking down at her with utter contempt and a rage unlike anything the young martian had ever seen before. More than that, she had four missile launchers protruding from her wrists.
"You dare try to violate the sanctity of the Forge?" demanded the Android named Pandora, "I knew your kind was not to be trusted!"
"I just wanted to tell Vulcan about the pancakes!" M'gann pleaded.
Pandora was apparently unconvinced, as she unleashed all eight missiles at the young Titan. The missiles burned white hot, and there was no doubt in her mind that they were filled with napalm. Miss Martian could have shot into the air, stopped them with her telekinesis or phased into the earth, but she had neither the will or courage to save herself as she faced certain death. She caught sight of her teammates out of the corner of her eye, rushing towards her, and all M'gann could think was how she was a terrible person for making them witness her death.
M'gann squeezed her eyes shut, she felt the earth rumble and heard the missiles explode with a deafening roar. But when M'gann felt the heat but none of the fire, she opened her eyes and gasped.
Red Star stood in front of her, like an unbreakable wall between the Martian and the Android. White flames licked across his body, but he didn't even seem to notice. In fact, with a calming breath, he absorbed the energy of the flames, snuffing the napalm out as if it were a birthday candle. Smoke drifted off his body, but he didn't have a single scorch mark on him.
"Mr. Red Star, I'm s...sorry, I…" Miss Martian began, but Red Star raised a finger motioning for silence. The entire team had gathered now, but no one could find anything to say.
"Do not apologize," Red Star said simply. The android Pandora had retracted her weapons, and stood there anxiously now that the entire team had gathered.
"Damn straight!" Steel snapped, "she just attacked a Titan! Why ain't we taking her apart?"
"Because what happened was a simple mistake," said Red Star.
Pandora said nothing.
"After hundreds of years of fighting white Martians, it's easy to make a mistake when the peaceful one approaches your home," explained Red Star. He began to step forward, crushing the stone beneath his feet.
"People make mistakes, and people can be forgiven for that," Red Star was now only an inch away from Pandora, and the two met with a hard stare, "but when things…things like computers, like cars, when they malfunction and threaten people, they are destroyed. Ripped apart, melted down, crushed into dust, and then, because it is just a machine, just a thing…then you get really mean."
Red Star clenched his fist loud enough to be heard, and Pandora broke the stare.
"It was just a mistake," muttered the Android.
"Good," Red Star looked over his shoulder, "Miss Martian, please go inside the Forge, and retrieve Vulcan. Now."
Miss Martian nodded pitifully, and phased into the Forge before Flamebird could stop her.
Miguel Devante, Son of Vulcan, tried his best not to look at anyone as he walked down the busy city street, but it was damn near impossible as everyone was looking at him. Seeing through him, seeing his weakness, seeing his mistakes. The once unimportant orphan knew he was the center of attention of the entire world, and he could feel the weight crushing hi. Each breath was like someone was sitting on his chest, and there was nowhere he could look where someone wasn't looking back at him.
When he cast his eyes down, he saw the dead bodies of aliens he instinctively knew were Durlean, shapeshifters who'd made their way to earth to study its culture, to find a more peaceful home.
Every last one died at the end of his blade.
"All you ever do is take."
Vulcan couldn't bring himself to turn around, but when he saw the shadow that had fallen over him, there was no mistaking who it was.
Wonder Woman. One of the greatest heroes in the world. Honored and respected in a dozen worlds.
And he'd killed her.
Awake, weakling! Our ancient enemy is upon us!
Miguel opened his eyes, and saw Miss Martian hovering over him.
"Ahhh!" Miguel and M'Gann shouted at the same time. They scrambled away from one another in a panic. Miguel fell out of bed, while M'gann backed herself into the farthest corner of the room.
"What…?" Miguel's brain was only barely beginning to come on-line.
"Pancakes!" M'gann blurted out, before she was in the air and phasing out of the Forge as quickly as her powers would carry her.
"What?" Miguel was no less confused, "…Dios…"
She was spying on The Forge. She and all her kind are to be eliminated, said a second voice in Vulcan's mind.
"Shut up, Praetor," Vulcan shook his head and squeezed his eyes, not in the mood to deal with his 'passenger'. It wasn't enough that his superhero career was destroyed before it had even started, he had to deal with the thing responsible living inside his own head, "it's too early for your racist attitude."
Miss Martian shot out of The Forge like a bullet, but Red Star was still quick enough to catch her by the cape.
"Any issues inside?" Red Star asked.
Miss Martian couldn't bring herself to raise her head to look him in the eyes.
"N…n…no," Miss Martian stammered.
"And there won't be," Red Star gave Pandora a hard, ugly look, "will there?"
"…of course not," Pandora replied
"Some high freakin' drama over breakfast," observed Steel.
"Our teammate was attacked," Aqualad growled, "why are we not defending her honor?"
"Defending whose honor?"
Red Arrow walked up, hand in hand with his young daughter Lian. He nodded towards the gathered team, and then looked at Flamebird.
"Is this something I need to be concerned about?"
Flamebird said something in reply, but it was drowned out by the roar of a jet engine. The gathered heroes, plus one android, looked to the sky and saw a black plane with a very familiar design.
"Those bats love to make an entrance," Red Arrow said over the roar.
"Those they were supposed to all God damn ninja!" Ravager shouted back, "screw this, I'm going inside."
The Batplane sent down in the court yard, and Batgirl leapt out. She took a moment to access the situation, then crooked her head towards Red Arrow.
"We have a hangar."
"Looked…tense out here," Batgirl replied, "is…something wrong?"
Red Arrow looked towards Red Star and Flamebird.
"No, we're good for now," Bette replied.
"Good. Bette, make sure everyone's had something to eat, and then we need to meet in the briefing room," Red Arrow ordered, "I've got to meet someone in a few minutes."
Amanda Byrne held a firm grip on her daughter's hand as they skimmed across the water in a multi-million dollar hover-platform. It was square, with a plastic shield at the front and a guard rail, and it moved seamlessly across the water, because it floated several feet above it.
Amanda found it all just a little unsettling. She could handle boats just fine, but this thing was new technology, likely untested, unregulated, and her mind went through a dozen different scenarios in which this simple craft could catastrophically malfunction, from sinking like a rock to exploding like a hand grenade.
Naturally, her young daughter didn't give any of that a second thought. She leaned against the plastic and stared out at the water rushing by. Being so close was a thrill to the little girl who had barely seen the ocean until now. Amanda couldn't help but hold onto one hand, in case the worse happened.
The DEO agent breathed a sigh of relief when the craft docked on Titan island, and the door opened automatically.
"Welcome to Titans Tower," Roy smiled as the DEO agent stepped down.
"This is so cool!" Amy brushed past her mom, looked at Red Arrow, then to Titans Tower and then back to Red Arrow again, "this is the best thing ever!"
"Hey! Wanna go inside?" Lian grabbed Amy by the wrist, and began pulling her towards the Tower, "we have every game ever! And you have got to see my room! And…!"
Roy Harper and Amanda Byrne watched as the two most important people in their lives ran off, having completely and utterly forgotten about them.
"Well, at least they hit it off," Roy observed.
"Thanks again for letting me bring her," Amanda said, "I know you said it'd be fine to bring her, but I didn't want it to be today, but my babysitter got sick, and…"
Roy waved a hand dismissively, "Believe me, I know the adventures in babysitting. Don't sweat it. I'd rather focus on what we got planned for later today."
The day had started off on the wrong foot, but Roy felt a small bit of pride when he saw his team assembled around the conference table, in full costume and patiently waiting. The team was in their chairs, while Red star and Flamebird stood in front of the main mission monitor.
"Okay guys, let's get this Titans mission officially started," Roy clapped his hands together, "first, everyone, this is our DEO liaison, Amanda Byrne. Everyone say hey."
"Well met!" Aqualad said. Damage and Ravager just grunted. Vulcan and Miss Martian squeaked a 'hello', Steel shrugged, Captain Boomerang tried to sink into his seat, while Batgirl scowled.
"And we have a liaison because…?" Ravager asked.
"This team is something of an experiment," Roy explained. Batgirl made note of how Red Arrow's eyes swept over Ravager, Captain Boomerang, Vulcan and Miss Martian, "the DEO has a large caseload, as do the JSA and JLA. So we get what falls through the cracks."
"So we get scraps," Ravager groused.
"We do good," Damage countered, "grow up, Rose."
"I actually thought we'd wait around until we got attacked," said Captain Boomerang.
"Well, this is different," Red Arrow said, "and we're the perfect team for it. We're a team of Asian, African-American, Hispanic, Russian and alien to whup Nazi ass."
Aqualad raised his hand.
"Please forgive my ignorance, but I am curious. Who here is African American again?"
"And why are Nazis so bad?" asked Miss Martian in a shy voice.
"Oh, for Christ's sake," Rose muttered, shaking her head.
"Rose, enough," Roy tried not to let it show in his face, but the team was absolutely killing the buzz he had for this mission, "Nazis are evil bastards who hate everyone they deem as inferior, which is everyone but them."
"I don't understand what's so wrong about hating those that are inferior," said Miss Martian.
"It is when you hurt people," Roy said, and made a quick slashing motion across his neck, "Anyways, we're going to take down a cell of Shadowspire."
"Oh really?" Damage sat up, and cracked his knuckles.
"Yeah. A Mossad agent stumbled across their compound in West Virginia while investigating weapons smuggling," Amanda Byrne began, "he was smart enough to high tail it after getting some pictures. There were some heavy weight racists seen at the compound, Axis America to be exact, and that's where we come in."
Roy typed a few commands into the monitor and brought up the mug shots of several villains.
"Baroness Blitzkrieg, superspeedster. White Dragon, power armor. Ubermensch, super strength. Gundra, his wife and real Valkyrie, same. Their twin children known as the Terror Twins, Terence and Theresa, flight and strength. Heatmonger, flame throwing cybernetics, and Golden Eagle, cyber suit with wings."
"That's a lot of muscle," Rose observed.
"Nothing we can't handle," Red Arrow replied.
"Who's their leader?" asked Damage.
Red Arrow hesitated, knowing how his teammate would react to the news.
"What!?" Damage shot up and slammed his fist into the table, denting the steel frame,"that scum bag's dead! He was blown apart in the Battle of Metropolis!"
"Geez, calm down," Rose snapped, "villains come back to life all the damn time. What does it matter if he's back?"
"Because this one is a damn war criminal!" Damage growled, "he's also pure scum. He kidnapped the baby of a friend of mine and did God only knows what! If he's alive…he won't be for long."
"That's enough of that talk," Roy said, "if he's back, we take him down and that's where it ends. If you have a problem with that, Grant, you know where the door is."
Roy didn't feel reassured when Damage sat back down without a word of protest. Was he agreeing, or biding his time?
"Also, we're going to approach this a little different than we did on our last mission," Roy continued, "Shadowspire is suspected of weapons smuggling, so Batgirl is going to take a look at their compound before we go charging in. Last thing we want to do is blow up the mountain. Red Star and Damage will take point when we engage, and Miss Martian will bring up the rear."
"Umm, where will I be?" Vulcan asked.
"Sorry kid, but you're going to sit this one out," Roy said.
Roy would have to be blind miss how disappointed Vulcan was to miss out on the mission. The kid already had no shortage of self esteem issues, and being left behind like this wouldn't help anything. But some things can't be helped.
"The compound is in a heavily wooded area and it's a dry season," Roy explained, "we can't risk burning down the mountain, so you and Flamebird will be our reserve."
"Oh," Vulcan understood the logic, but slumped in his chair as yet another chance to prove himself slipped through his fingers yet again.
"They also serve who only stand and wait, my friend," Kaldur placed a reassuring hand on his friend's shoulder, "your time will come, I'm certain."
"I just got one question," Steel said.
"Is it wrong that I'm looking forward to beating these jerks up?"
"If it's wrong, I don't want to be right."
Batgirl moved through the woods of West Virginia as if they were her second home. She slipped past the motion detectors, stayed down wind of the dogs and barely gave any mind to the security cameras. The city was where she had made her home, but in her short life Cassandra Cain had found herself forced to survive in nearly every environment on the planet. There was nowhere on earth where she couldn't be invisible.
Batgirl found the compound was relatively unimpressive. A Main house where business was conducted, barracks, a firing range, a garage, nothing that seemed too suspicious. Not counting the armed patrols, of course.
The only thing that seemed out of the ordinary, or at least unusual for a criminal enterprise, was a tool shed covered in a camo-tarp in the middle of a field. The camo-tarp would prevent it from being seen from the air, while the open field would make any day time approach difficult.
But what really peaked Batgirl's interest was when the patrol walked by. Both men, heavily armed, made a point to keep their distance from the 'shed'. There was a cautious fear in every step.
The more she thought about it, the more Batgirl realized she had to have a look at that shed. And in the bright light of the day and superhuman muscle around, she needed a distraction.
Batgirl tapped her radio, "Red Arrow, position?"
"Two miles north at a friendly farm," Red Arrow answered.
Batgirl reached into her belt, "Approach and stay one hundred yards out. Will…draw them out. Hit hard and fast."
"Understood?" Ravager growled, "why the hell does she get special treatment?"
"Because she's got experience," Red Arrow replied, "you're still green, Rose. When you accept that, you might actually get better."
Ravager rolled her eye, and walked away grumbling.
"Where's Miss Martian?" Roy asked, "we need her to make a silent approach."
"She's off talking to the cows," Captain Boomerang replied.
The war criminal known as Übermensch looked out the window, watching as his children wrestled one another. The two twins were the very image of Aryan perfection, just like their mother, but their gifts were also their burden.
Born able to crush a car from the first moment they took a breath, they were often isolated from other children. With no other playmates, they turned to one another. Even as they grew older, they were inseparable.
"I'ma break your neck!" Theresa shouted. She had Terence in a headlock as the boy laughed madly. He leaned his weight to the side, and they crashed into a tree, turning it into splinters.
"You worry too much."
Übermensch didn't turn around as his wife approached. As a warrior Goddess of Asgard, she was as every bit as beautiful as the first day they met. He felt a little sorry for, being shackled to an old man like him. His powers had preserved his body for decades, but he could slowly feel his strength fade away year after year. He didn't know how much longer he had, but it wasn't enough. Not when his lover was immortal.
"They will never grow up in a society where they will be treated as they should be," Ubermensch sighed wistfully, "nor can they live in the world as it is. They are born of science and magic. The world would call them freaks and treat them as lab rats. And even if that never came to pass…society would never forgive them for their parents."
"And do you regret bringing them into this world?" Gunda looked towards her ancient weapons. She loved her husband, but even after decades with him she didn't always understand him. The constant conflict, the wars and battles, were as natural as breathing to her. After all this time, after all the blood they had spilled together, she didn't understand why it wasn't the same with him.
Meanwhile, several miles away, the Bat-plane received a series of instructions. A panel on the side opened, fired once, and then after one minute, fired three more times.
"I don't, my love," Übermensch said, "but I regret the life I've given them. I regret…"
The aged Nazi's next words were drowned out as an explosion rocked the compound.
The two Warriors rushed outside, and were quickly joined by their children, and their newest recruit Baroness Blitzkrieg and Heatmonger.
"Pa, is this a raid?" Theresa asked.
"Unlikely.I'vesweptthecompound," Baroness Blitzkrieg reported, "foundnoone."
"We're under attack!" White Dragon hissed as he and Golden Eagle flew towards their teammates, "why are you just standing about!"
"Because where are they!" Übermensch swept his hand outward, "I see no one! Our attacker clearly means to divide us! No, we will…!"
Once again Übermensch found himself interrupted as several large smoke bombs detonated all around them.
"Damn it!" Übermensch cursed.
High above the chaos, levitated by Miss Martian's telekinetic powers, Red Arrow smirked.
"Bats always know how to make a mess," Red Arrow observed, "okay Grant, you ready to go?"
Miss Martian released her telekinetic hold on Damage, and he belly-flopped back to earth, just behind Axis America. Damage picked himself up, and casually brushed himself off, as he became the center of attention of a half dozen sociopaths.
"Who are you supposed to be?" Terence cracked his knuckles.
"Damage," Grant replied, and then began to glow orange, "and here's why."
"Ohno," Baroness Blitzkrieg grabbed Heatmonger, while White Dragon and Golden Eagle took to the air, but the gathered family of Nazis simply weren't quick enough to escape as energy exploded out of Damage and swept over them like a tsunami.
"I knew we shouldn't have gotten involved with him," White Dragon muttered as he looked down, "our benefactor's enemies have become ours."
"Man, there's a lot of stuff you shouldnae done. First thing you shoulda' done was look up."
White Dragon did just that, and was greeted by Steel's hammer. She struck him like a baseball, and sent him colliding back to earth.
Golden Eagle saw this happen, but before he could even think of an action to take, what felt like a tank came down on him.
"The real Golden Eagle is a traitor and slacker," Red Star grabbed the man's exoskeleton, and tore it apart as if it were tinfoil. Golden Eagle felt like a stone, flapping his hands manically as he fell, "and he's still twice the man you will ever be."
Golden Eagle shrieked as he fell, and he was a hair's breathe from being pan-caked by the earth when he stopped suddenly.
"You shouldn't hurt people," Miss Martian said, her eyes glowing with power.
"Kill her!" Golden Eagle shouted.
Miss Martian turned her head, and saw a half dozen men with automatic weapons pointed at her. Without any hesitation, they unleashed a hail of bullets that harmlessly bounced off her skin. Golden Eagle crawled away on his belly, all the while praying none of the ricochets hit him.
Miss Martain stumbled back, the ratta-tat-tat of the bullets kept her from concentrating, from thinking of a way to extract herself from this situation. That she wasn't in any real danger didn't exactly register in her mind.
Aqualad saw what was happening, and took it upon himself to resolve the situation.
"That is enough!" Aqualad shouted. He reached out with his powers and felt a large body of water nearby. He raced towards the gunman, drawing the water out of the earth as he ran. They had only begun to turned when Aqualad was upon them, with a wave of water just behind.
The young hero leapt over them, but allowed the wave to hit them in full force. When he landed, Aqualad knelt down and unleashed an electrical burst. The water carried it to every gunman, who seized and then fell unconscious.
"Thank you," Miss Martian brushed some of her hair out of her face, but looked downward.
"So where did you find all that water?" Ravager strolled towards the two, nose pinched.
"From the ground. But it did not feel pure," Aqualad admitted, "why were keeping unclean about?"
Ravager couldn't keep from laughing, "You hit them with water from the septic system?"
"I don't understand, did I do wrong?"
"No, not at all. Not in the least."
Damage blasted Übermensch in the gut, and followed up with a right cross when the aged villain fell to his knees. He fell over stunned, and Damage slammed his boot into the war criminal's face, shattering rock.
"Stay down, old man," Damage hissed.
"Leave my Pa alone!"
Damage saw Terence flying towards his, his eyes full of rage.
Damage took a step back, and then punted Übermensch at his son like a football. Father and son collided violently, and before Terence could untangle himself from his beloved father, Damage leapt upon them, hands crackling with power and began pummeling them both.
"Ya'll ain't so tough!" Theresa slammed into Red Star full force. The Russian hero skidded backwards, but managed to hold his ground.
"I disagree," Red Star grabbed Theresa by the wrists, and activated his flame powers. Almost instantly his hands became white hot.
"Cheater!" Theresa kicked Red Star away, only this time he tripped and ended up on his backside, stunned. Theresa rose into the air, and then shot towards the Titan like a bullet.
Red Star braced himself for the hit as Theresa became nothing more than a blond blur, but at the last second a green and white streak appeared.
Miss Martian and Theresa just barely missed Red Star as they crashed. Both girls were on their feet almost instantly.
"Alien trash!" Theresa spat as she swung a fist at the Martian.
M'gann phased through it effortlessly, and delivered an upper-cut that made the Terror Twin see stars, before slamming her with a telekinetic burst.
"You shouldn't hurt people," Miss Martian growled, and punched Theresa across the face.
Red Star watched the fight from a distance. Miss Martian was more than holding her own, whereas before she struggled to defend herself. What was so different now?
Gunda hefted her war axe, made from the bones of her first giant kill and standing five feet from top to bottom, and swung it at Red Arrow.
Red Arrow deftly leapt backwards as he notched an arrow.
"Lady, you give a whole new shine to overcompensation."
Roy let the explosive arrow fly, and the Asgardian was thrown back by the explosion.
"You okay over there?" Roy called out.
"Just fine!" Captain Boomerang let fly two explosive weapons of his own, that Baroness Blitzkrieg just barely avoided, "fighting speedsters is in my blood!"
"Showme!" Baroness Blitzkrieg charged at the former Rogue, and Owen panicked. He plucked a boomerang from his belt and let it fly, realizing only at the last minute that it wasn't the blunt boomerang he intended to grab, but an edged boomerang.
Baroness Blitzkrieg turned, but wasn't quick enough and it slashed across her stomach, cutting deep. She stumbled and fell, clutching her bleeding stomach.
"Oh crap! Roy! I need help!" Owen rushed to her side, trying to wrack his brain for any half remembered medical training slash advise.
Captain Boomerang had just begun to take his jacket off, to apply pressure to her wound, when the Baroness grabbed him by the throat and hissed something in German.
But before she could spill any blood, a blunt tipped arrow smacked upside her head.
Captain Boomerang grabbed a weapon from his belt, and threw it with all the speed her could muster. The weapon went flying at Red Arrow, coming within an inch of his ear before flying past and smashing Gunda upside the head with enough strength to knock her for a loop.
"Alright, enough playing around," Damage grabbed Terence by the hair and pulled him up, while keeping his feet pressed on the young man's ankles. The Terror Twin was bleeding from the mouth, and was barely conscious after the beating Damage had given him, "where's Baron Blitkrieg?"
"Go to hell, I… ain't no snitch."
Damage, still holding Terence by the hair, released a burst of energy from his hand. Terence's head was pitched forward like a cannonball, and he smashed face first into the ground, breaking solid rock with his skull.
Terence, his head spinning, felt a flood of fear wash over him when Damage leaned down, and this time grabbed his head with both hands.
"How about now?"
"Now, his Baron rescues him."
A light exploded behind Damage's eyes. Stumbling, the young hero felt another blow to his stomach, and two powerful blows that came down on his shoulders.
"On your knees, dog, as it should be."
Damage's vision was swimming, but even so he was baffled why he couldn't see anyone.
"Confused? Allow me to show you who has brought you so low."
A man appeared out of nowhere. Damage recognized the old yellow costume and iron cross that was worn by Baron Blitzkrieg. But there was no iron mask, only a face. A familiar face, the face of a friend, a mentor.
Damage struggled to think, to understand what he saw before him. It couldn't be, but it was…
"Arn? Arn Munro?"
Batgirl bypassed the electronic lock on the 'shed' effortless. She listened for anyone inside, and when she heard nothing, she leapt down the metal staircase she'd found behind the door.
She found three things that, combined, filled the young heroine with more fear than she had ever felt before in her entire life.
First, the shed was used to conceal what she recognized as a level five bio-hazard lab. Batman and Oracle had long since taught her to recognize the difference between a facility meant to contain an outbreak, and one meant to cause one. The clues were subtle, but if you knew what to look for, there was no mistaking the two.
Second, it had been used. There was no dust to be found, and Batgirl could see where several beakers were still drying, and blood on the floor that couldn't have been two days old.
And most terrifying it all, it was now empty.
It all added up to an unknown bio-weapon that by now, could be anywhere.
Next issue: Titans East vs. the new Baron Blitzkrieg, as an unknown threat lurks in the shadows! With countless lives in the balance, one of the most insecure Titans may have to save them all!
For my readers and Son of Vulcan, an explanation:
As I've stated elsewhere, Titans east is part of a group fanfiction site, and that's where I draw my continuity, regardless of how active or inactive it is at the moment. Hence why Batman runs Checkmate in my Batgirl series.
Well, some other writers did a big crossover and in it, Vulcan killed a (mind controlled) Wonder Woman. I didn't write it, but at the same time I can't ignore it. I gotta deal with it, and I will. Hopefully there won't be any questions when I'm done, and there are, include them in the review!