"What do I have to do?" Complained the boy wonder, "What do I have to do to prove that I'm not a little kid anymore?"
Batman listened to Robin, but only barely. He heard the same old complaint every day of every week for the past year. Robin's persistence was almost at the point where Batman might consider it annoying.
"I refuse to have this conversation again. I simply cannot allow you to do something so reckless. Please, think it over." Batman cleared his throat and tried to change the subject. "There's a vial of non-ionized positrons that I want to play, eh hem, work with in the lab. You are welcome to join me if you wish to do so. If not, I ask of you to leave me alone."
Robin would not let his mentor off so easily.
"Oh sure, dodging the situation. That's real mature."
The only response he got was having the lab door slammed in his face. Robin grabbed the door handle then stopped himself. Following Batman into the lab would mean putting on a radiation suit. It was already hard enough to talk to Batman about this and wearing that sound-muffling spacesuit was not going to do him any favors. Nah, he might as well just bring it up another time, again. For now, he just wanted a little time to be on his own. Robin trudged through the Batcave towards the exit. He was old enough to take the Batmobile out for a spin, but he wanted to stay on Batman's good side as much as possible. Besides, it was nice out and Robin enjoyed taking evening strolls. He had already left the Batcave when it occurred to him that civilian clothes would have been less conspicuous.
"Oh well," its not as though many people will see him.
Robin took a look around. The secret Batcave entrance left him near the highway in the middle of nowhere. There wasn't a car or human in sight. All in all, it was the perfect place to take a walk. He turned right and headed down the highway. Robin walked for hours. He didn't think about his argument. Didn't think about anything at all. Instead, he just let his mind wander.
Hours later, Robin felt his stomach grumbling and saw that the sun was beginning to set, so the boy wonder decided it was time to start heading back.
It was then that it happened. Robin felt all the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. He spun around and saw him. Robin couldn't see much detail in the fading light, but he was certain that there was indeed someone standing there among the trees. It was a man, completely hidden behind a dark, black robe. The man's face was covered by the auspicious hood he wore, so Robin could not tell whether or not the man's lips actually moved. All he knew is that he heard a unearthly, disembodied voice cut through surrounding air. It was only by supposition that Robin attributed the voice to the man.
"You are Robin? The superhero?" The peculiar voice spoke the questions rather than asked them. It was as if the robed man was confirming things he already knew.
"Perhaps I have some information that you will find useful. Deep in space there is an gathering army. It's a great tragedy, but if this army isn't defeated, earth will be doomed. Would you like to hear more?"
Robin had no interest at all in hearing what the lunatic had to say, but there was something in the unearthly voice that refused him the ability to say no. He could feel his head nodding up and down against his will.
"You were chosen by my master to stop this tragedy. Are you willing to shoulder that responsibility? Heh, of course you are. Head north through these woods. You will find a way to the hostile planet there. Worry not, the prophesies of war tell of your victory."
Robin regained his bearings. Was he really stupid enough to take on an alien army? And that was assuming he could trust the advice of the cloaked hobo he found in the woods. He looked south to the Batcave, then north through the woods. The robed man had already gone, but Robin could still sense that someone was still there. He looked all around him. Then, like it was being pulled up by a fishing line, Robin's gaze was lifted toward the heavens. There was some light leftover from the setting sun, yet a few stars could already be seen in the sky. One of them stood out amongst the others. It was shining brightly, but that's not the only reason why it seemed out of place. There was something else... Robin found himself drawn to this strange star as if it were calling to him; urging him northward. He knew that he would find the alien army on that splotch of light. He went north.
Robin's hike through the woods was rocky to say the least. He got surrounded by wolves when he stopped to take in his surroundings. Came face to face with a masked raccoon which was surprisingly vicious. Narrowly escaped a bear attack when he was going through a ravine. And nearly wet himself when had to cross a raging river. Once he finally reached the forest's edge. His spirits sunk as he saw that he could have just taken the highway. Grudgingly, he picked himself up and walked onto the elevated road. It looked like he was still a mile or two away from the nearest town. He also saw a man several paces ahead of him on the highway. Normally, Robin would have made a fuss about a guy who seemed to be half robot, but frankly he was too tired to care. All he wanted was a silent walk into town then maybe a nice bed to sleep in to recover from his wilderness trek. Fittingly, Cyborg slowed down so that the two could talk.
"Hey buddy. What's up? I thought I heard something behind me, so looked and there you were. So I said to myself, I should slow down and walk with him." Cyborg clearly could not tell that Robin wasn't in the mood for conversing, so Robin tried dropping a hint.
He mumbled something incoherently. It sounded like "God, when will he stop talking?"
Of course, Cyborg heard. "Good, then we can start talking!" Cyborg was glad to imagine hearing this.
"Boo yeah! I was hoping I wouldn't have to walk alone. You see, my car broke down a while back. Which isn't much of a problem I have tons of cars. Old fashioned cars, new age designs. Eco-friendly cars, Eco-killing cars, cars that are on the fence about ecology. It's great. I'm also a mechanic, but why bother fixing a car when you just use a new one, you know? Anyways, um, what was I talking about?"
Robin rubbed his eyes sleepily, "Sounds like you got quite the car collection there."
Cyborg got ready to begin another lengthy discourse. It seemed as though Cyborg was very interested in this subject.
"Not just cars. I've got all kinds of vehicles. Subs, boats, motorcycles, jet planes. All that good stuff."
Robin did his best to show some interest. He couldn't though, so he instead looked for a way to turn the conversation to be about him.
"Yeah, but I bet you don't have any spaceships."
Robin's smile soon faded when he heard Cyborg's response.
"Actually, I do. Those are the most fun to build. I have all kinds of replicas, not to mention some of my own designs."
Robin managed to cut Cyborg off before he could say more. "Yeah, but I bet none of them could actually make it into deep space. Speaking of which..."
"No, no, they can! Come with me I'll show you." Before Robin could object, Cyborg grabbed his hand and escorted him off the highway and towards some sort of high tech bunker. The highway was so deserted, and the bunker so secluded, that it probably laid dormant for hundreds of years before Cyborg stumbled upon it. They were still a short walk away from it when Cyborg said "Be prepared to see the coolest technology ever!"
"I really should be getting to the town. I'm on an important mission to find..."
Before Robin could finish, they marched through the bunker's doors. Robin was speechless. He wasn't much of a fan of jet engines and the like, but he had to admit. This stuff could blow him away. Polished chrome was everywhere. The different types of fancy looking vehicles were lined up in a perfect pattern that stretched as far as the eyes could see. The detailing in the chrome couldn't have been done better by Da Vinci himself. And that was just the wallpaper.
The machines themselves defied imagination. Wars have been started over lesser modes of transportation. Cyborg crossed his arms smugly while he waited for Robin's reaction.
"Well, what do you think?"
Robin didn't know how to respond. These automobiles made Batman's technologies look like child's toys. It was like he had spent all of his life eating food raw and then some fellow caveman comes along and casually says 'Oh hey, there's this great new thing called a microwave oven. You should check it out.' He couldn't believe it. There was everything. Even a particularly eye catching spaceship that seemed to have more roots from Mars than Earth. He was trembling in awe before the technologies. It was uncanny. Nothing ever caused him to be act this way, yet while he stood with the beautiful craftsmanship; he was shaken to the very core. It wasn't until the roof caved in that Robin realized an earthquake was happening. By then, it was far too late.
Cyborg had been aware of the shaking far before Robin. He had never experienced an earthquake before, but he still knew the safest in a collapsing building.
Hiding under a door frame. Cyborg crouched down and prayed that he'd survive the disaster.
Robin did not have such a head-start on the unnatural disaster. Debris was already falling all around him when he started his sprint for the exit. Just as he was about to leave the building he ran into a huge obstacle.
If he left then everything in the bunker would be destroyed. Including the spaceship that he was hoping to 'borrow'. Was it worth escaping with his life if it meant that he couldn't go and destroy the army that threatened Earth? Such was the obstacle that Robin faced when he tried to leave. Also, for some reason Cyborg was crouching in the doorway and was blocking the path.
"Move! You two ton heap of-"
Cyborg was too wrapped up with self pity to hear Robin. He rained tears upon the ground and bellowed pleas to the fates.
"God! How could you do this to me? I'm special, don't let me die here!"
"Do not worry, you frightful mortals," Sang a light, airy voice. "I will not allow the earthquake to harm you."
Robin looked about the area for the speaker, but could only see a cloud of dust.
"Who are you?" asked he.
A jovial laughter echoed throughout the building. Robin spun his head around, but could not pinpoint its source. He would have searched for it through the rubble, but a frightened Cyborg was still clinging to his leg.
"I am the goddess of planet Earth. You may address me as Terra. I am always on your side. You may ask me anything."
Robin looked forward. He saw a girl who radiated kindness step forward. Robin's muscles relaxed and he looked down to see Cyborg loosening his death grip. With a wavering voice, and a bowed head, Cyborg addressed the self-proclaimed goddess.
"Thanks dudette, but why did you bother saving us? You should have preserved the technology! They were far more important than us! I cannot even bear to look at all this car-nage. My beautiful vehicles!"
Cyborg went on in further detail about the various cars that he loved most and the special names he gave to them. Nobody cared much about his plight and it is not even worth relaying word for word in this account.
However, his lengthy discourse did allow Robin to get a better look at the supposed goddess. She had golden yellow hair reaching down to her shoulder blades and sky blue eyes. This, coupled with the stern visage on her face, gave Robin more of an impression of the Russian alpha human than a deity representing earth. But Robin was sure that she had been wearing a smile before Cyborg started speaking. Furthermore, there was just something about her which reeked of the supernatural. For the same strange reason that Robin believed in the cloaked figure in the woods, he also believed in this 'goddess'. She may have looked completely human, but Robin would now see her as a deity. He wasn't sure how she convinced him so easily. Perhaps it was her heavenly tone. Perhaps it was because she was standing on a flying rock. Regardless, when Terra responded; Robin knew he was hearing the voice of a supreme being.
"Poor, poor humans. I am sorry. It is precisely because of the technology that I had to cause the earthquake."
"So," said Robin, "You didn't save us. You spared us." Though Robin was questioning how good this 'goddess' really was, Cyborg was more concerned about something else.
"Why!" He cried out "Why would you destroy such beautiful automotives? Why?"
Terra raised a hand and used it to silence the mortals.
"Perhaps that was a bit cruel of me. But I could think of no other way."
"No other way of doing what?" challenged Robin.
"No other way of making sure you stay on Earth where you belong." Answered Terra, her cheerful countenance no longer anywhere to be seen.