A/N: Okay, so like, after FOREVER of procrastinating and dealing with other things/hobbies/distractions, I had enough spurts of creativity put together to get another chunk of story out. I originally wanted to do this whole big chapter with a nice reveal at the end, but finally decided that it was better just to put out what I have right now. I hope it is to your satisfaction.
For the few of you who are following me, I thank you sincerely. It always makes me smile to see those alerts in my email inbox. I try to message each of you to tell you just that.
Without further ado, here's the next chapter. As always, I do not own Teen Titans, DC Comics does, in particular Marv Wolfman and George Perez.
It seemed to follow that just as superheroes passed on the legacy of justice and defending the peace, so too would the villains pass on their traits to the next generation of miscreants and ne'er-do-wells. Such had been the case with Plasmus, who had gifted a young man with the amorphous destructive capabilities he once possessed through a cruel instance of "wrong place, wrong time." It certainly wasn't the young lad's fault that he was cursed with mindless rage whenever Plasmus would take over, and it definitely didn't help matters that he had fallen in with organized crime as well. Mix the two together, and you have what Gene referred to as a "terribad" situation.
The Titans double-timed it to meet up with Raven and Changeling a block away from the bank, so as not to tip off their presence to the criminals. The sounds of chaos were easily discerned from this distance, and so could the tell-tale garbled roar of Plasmus' blind fury. Gene had flown there (as a raven, naturally) along with Marcus on a plasma-constructed disc, Scott had arrived a good five minutes before the others to do recon, and Kitrina had made it there on her speedbike. The teens rendezvoused with Gene's parents, who were parked away from the action in their black sedan. Exiting the vehicle, brief greetings were passed around as the planning began.
Garfield's uniform hadn't changed much, still keeping with the purple and black suit of his old days, but now in the body of an imposing, broad-shouldered man. His sideburns were still as prominent as ever, and his eyes still twinkled, but this time with the light of battle, the Beast within always willing and able to go a round (or twelve). It was with Raven where changes were evident in her wardrobe. Gone was the leotard and hooded cape. She now sported black leather pants, calf-length boots, a black wrap for a top that crossed over her torso, and elbow length fingerless black gloves. More noticeable was the ankle-length black short-sleeved trenchcoat she now wore, complete with a deep hood. A more modern, adult look for a person who had gone through much to get where she was today—mother, wife, and JLA member. The teens were in their usual battle dress. Gene's outfit was similar to Garfield's, but was accented with green and dark blue tiger stripes running along his sides and shoulders instead of the old purple and black. Scott had on a likewise typical Flash family outfit, with neon green accenting a cobalt blue jumpsuit, accessorized with rose colored goggles. At full tilt, he resembled a Vegas billboard strapped to a rocket. Marcus took his cue from Argent's wardrobe while keeping it simple, contrasting his black pants with his white trenchcoat embroidered with black on the sleeves and tail end, and a silver shirt on top. As for Kitrina, her ensemble closely resembled her mentors' black and grey body suit with accompanying face-mask, with her own personalization in the form of hot pink accenting along the legs, torso and arms, with the material covering her legs seemed to have been clawed into slits intentionally; Kitty was a bit more theatrical with her style than the boys.
Despite the impending crisis, Gene took a few seconds to greet his parents with a hug for both, and a peck on the cheek for his mother on top of that.
"I promise this isn't our surprise birthday present for you, kiddo," Garfield quipped.
"Well, like Uncle Dick always says, 'Bad guys don't take holidays.'"
Quick pleasantries over with, the group's mood shifted into "work mode." Everyone looked to Gene, his parents included, for the gameplan. Gene neve specifically asked to be the team leader, every one of them was capable of developing strategy, but the fact remained that the others would still look to him for guidance during the battle.
"What's the play, bro?," Scott asked while keeping limber and on his toes.
Gene took a moment to survey the crime scene. Plasmus was creating havoc outside the bank, thrashing about his amorphous limbs, a motorcycle in one fist and a light pole in another. The police who were first to arrive had set up a perimeter with their patrol cars while they concentrated their largely ineffective fire of pistols, shotguns, and carbine rifles on the massive brute. As it was, it was impossible to get past the slimy leviathan without risking serious harm. The real crisis lay within the bank proper, where the criminals had an unknown number of civilians hostage.
Nightwing's tutelage raced through Gene's mind, and a plan was formulated. Adjusting for the unexpected, his confidence was solid.
"Marcus, you and Dad get Plasmus' attention and keep it, but keep him within the perimeter; I don't want this mess expanding to a whole city block." Garfield and Marcus nodded seriously, Marcus' hands already aglow with silver energy.
"Now, for the next part…" Gene looked to Raven with a raised brow. "Would you mind, Mom?"
Raven took the hint, and serenely closed her eyes. After a second, everyone heard her voice in their head. "I apologize for the intrusion. I promise it'll only be temporary." The teens onlyl slightly flinched at the new addition to their consciousness, but otherwise remained focused: Gene acted like it was no grand ordeal, naturally.
"Okay, Kitty and Scott, Mom's gonna take you guys inside to a concealed position, an when I give the signal, disarm them as quickly as possible. Scott, I'm timing you; if you beat your last time, I might let you have the first slice of cake tonight." Scott smirked at the challenge, and place his goggles over his eyes in preparation. Kitty pressed a button on her gloves, and a decidedly electrical whirr resounded from them, a stray arc of lightning running from one fingertip at the startup.
"I'll pop into the building to see what's on our plate. All clear?" Nods were his answer, and Gene responded in kind. "Be safe, guys." And with that, Gene took a deep breath, and exclaimed, "Titans, GO!"
The team split (and in one case, warped away in a shadow) to their assignments, with Gene transforming into a bumblebee, a broken window of the bank his destination. After reaching the sill, he morphed into a spider, crawled inside, and moved to a high corner of the wall for his recon spot.
"All right, I'm in position. How's things outside, you two?" Gene's answer was a loud thud followed by the bubbly roar of Plasmus. An elephant's trumpeting cry echoed Plasmus, and Marcus responded. "Seems Plasmus ate his Wheaties this morning. Even so, we'll holler if he gets out of control. Do yo' thing, man."
Marcus watched as Changeling rammed his tusks into Plasmus' torso, causing it to begin to topple over. Recgonizing the setup, Marcus materialized a comically oversized silver hammer, reared back, and connected with Plasmus' backside in a swing that could have scored Marcus an MLB contract had any scouts been around to witness it. "Bang, bang…" was Marcus' satisfied taunt as Plasmus was sent back in the direction he fell from head over heels to land with a thunderous crash, where he did not rise. Marcus shifted his hammer into a cage and surrounded the unconscious behemoth, and it dissipated down into nothing, leaving only an out-cold young man in its place.
Changeling shifted back into human form, and scanned over the kid. "All's clear out here, kiddo. We'll assist the cops out here while you clean up inside."
"Gotcha, Dad. You guys ready?," Gene asked.
"Give the word, boss man." Scott was a little antsy at this point—being still during a mission wasn't something he was comfortable with. Kitty was as still as stone, but her eyes were flitting around the room, marking each of the seven men who wielded automatic weapons. The dozen hostages were grouped in the middle of the lobby, and Kitty noted with not a little disgust that a seven-year-old girl was among them (wearing a Wonder Woman t-shirt, to top it off). Raven had taken up position behind cover on the opposite end of the room, awaiting Gene's signal as well.
"Ok guys…get ready to move." Gene left his perch on the corner wall and morphed into a wasp, making his way down to the lookout man near the front entrance. Landing on his shoulder, he crawled upwards to his neck, and before the criminal had time to notice, nailed him with his stinger and took off.
"AAAAAUGH!", the hoodlum reacted instantly, slapping his hand to his neck in agony. The next few moments happened fast.
A blue blur streaked about the room, and startled gunmen were shocked to find themselves sans firearms, with magazines at their feet. They didn't have much time to be surprised, for soon the odd sound of a bell heralded Kitty's grand entrance. Bounding over a countertop, she flew feet-first into one man, sending him to the ground as two bolas flew from her hands, ensnaring two more. With no movement wasted, Kitty tumbled in between two other crooks, and twisted her body upon her torso like a breakdancer, her legs connecting with the diaphragms of both, sending them to the ground. Finishing the display of acrobatics, she sent two quick thrusts to their chests, her gauntlets shocking both men into incapacitation. One of the men who was fortunate enough to be outside the range of Kitty's limbs tried to scramble for the door. He didn't make it far. Kitty unhooked her whip from her belt (a must-have tool for the protégé of Catwoman) and with a flick of her wrist, the whip unfurled towards the fleeing criminal, ensnaring him over his shoulder and under his arm. The man snapped back on his sudden leash, and landed hard on his back. Kitty pressed a button on the whip's handle, and electric current ran through the line, leaving the robber in the same state as his other two comrades.
The entire confrontation lasted no longer than seven seconds.
Scott appeared next to Kitty, having deposited the criminals' weaponry with the police outside. Before he could compliment her though, a scream pierced the air. The two whirled around to see the final crook with his arm around a woman's neck (most likely one of the bank clerks) , and a grenade of all things in his other hand, the pin already pulled.
Everyone froze, eyes on the explosive. Gene had shifted back next to his colleagues, and even Raven had moved out of cover where the hostage-taker could see her, where she had previously been ready to intercept any other reinforcements.
"You don't want to do that, pal," Gene cautioned.
"The man simply began backing out of the entrance, woman in tow. "Then you're gonna let me get my ride and leave, unless you wanna play a game of "hot potato."
The trio followed him outside, where Marcus and Garfield had likewise stood down after getting the update from Raven. The cops had their guns trained on the man, but quickly lowered them after seeing the grenade. It was the perfect Mexican standoff.
The situation was ripe for conflict. But it came in a form no one expected…
A/N: To see where I got my idea for Raven's outfit, take a look at the Halestorm music video "I Get Off" on Youtube. And while you're there, just go listen to some Halestorm...they're kinda awesome.
Let me know what you think. I'm thinking I need to work more on combat scenes, but I kinda intended for this story to be more person-focused and less action-focused in the first place #lameexcuse