Hello One and all! Welcome to chapter 9! Starting things off, replies to reviews received for the last chapter! (If your review wasn't anonymous then you should have received a personal PM as a reply)
Weirdo: Ember, Spectra and (REALLY?) Jazz are not available unfortunately. Sorry
Guest: First, come on man, can you at least change the name? Second, I like the idea of competing relationships. I'll keep it in mind
The Virus: Thanks for giving me the go
The Hybred: Dora huh? Never even considered her but I will now.
Warlord: Pandora…another ghost I didn't even think about. Guess she can be in the running.
Nabiyah: Ok…Thanks for your opinion
Sparxthehedgehog: What do you mean 'dark shipping'?
Heather: I'll try, no promises though
Guest: Are you the same guest as before? Second, you bring up an interesting idea. Bring more Marvel in…I'll think about it
Coldblue: You got that right…Blackfire is extremely unlikely though, just sayin
Coldblue: Same person again? Don't spam if you can help it
Weirdo: See above
Unknown: They might get a look at how Danny's head works…
Warlord: See response to Weirdo above
Weirdo: Come on dude, three times? I shamelessly love reviews but three for one chapter is a little much. Can you please show some restraint and try to keep all your thoughts for a chapter in one review? I would absolutely hate to have to start moderating and removing unsigned reviews. Same goes for everybody.
Second, the poll winner: Skulker! Guess he really is a fan favorite. It'll be long in coming but Skulker will be the ghost that Danny fights (Hint: Won't be the first to appear though)
I've received a lot of feedback regarding the harem idea, some for, some against. So, by the time that this chapter is up there will be a poll up on my profile page regarding the harem idea. (Tried and failed to keep track of the votes for and against so this is my solution ) Please vote in it to let me know where you stand. That being said…
On with the Show!
Earlier, with Cyborg and Beastboy
They were having a blast. Apparently, after the accident that ended in him becoming a cyborg but before meeting up with the other Titans, Cyborg made a killing as a loader and heavy lifter. And he kept all the money he made in a compartment in his chest. ("Why the hell should I put it in an account when I have somewhere ten times safer to put it?") Add in the fact had a built in computer, in which he had downloaded a complete map of Jump City, complete with building layouts and had his and the other Titans locations on it pinged, and he knew the fastest route through the city that would take them past all the arcades and major video game stores, the money to visit all of them and still have some left over, avoiding Robin the entire while, seeing that he was the only one of them that would care that much that they were hitting video game stores instead of patrolling and 'getting to know the city'.
Currently, they were taking turns playing Pac Man trying to see who could get the high score (He currently had the highest score and it was still going up) when he, with his enhanced electronic hearing, began to pick up sounds that, after doing a quick auditory search over the internet, matched up with gunfire. Specifically, gunfire associated with a high end pistols. Letting go of the controls to the video game in front of him, allowing Pac Man to be eaten by one of the ghosts which elicited a triumphant shout from the changeling in front of him. He was barely paying attention however as his cybernetic mind was working at a thousand miles a minute as he gained access to the 911 service and checked it for incoming calls. There were three calls coming in at the moment. One was originating from way out on the northern side of the city that was about a group that was robbing a jewelry store, just a few city blocks away from where Robin and Starfire were. The next one was about a robbery in an electronic store on the far southern side of the city, again just a few blocks away from Raven and Orpheus. The last one was probably from the gunfire he had heard. It was about a robbery at a grocery store, just a few blocks away from himself and Beastboy. What caught his attention was the fact that the police dispatcher didn't send the police to the sites, nor was there any sort of response from the police at all regarding the near simultaneous robberies.
Filing that information away for later thought, he quickly activated the communicator built in his arm; ignoring the bewildered look that Beastboy was shooting him in the process. Robin's questioning face appeared on the screen, right next to Starfire's curious one. "Yes Cyborg?" Robin asked with an edge of irritation in his voice.
Cyborg frowned at the tone but ignored it. "Just intercepted a 911 call; Robin, Starfire, there is a robbery in progress at a jewelry store near your location." Robin brow creased in a frown. "Gotcha, send the coordinates to our communicators and let the police know that we are taking care of it so they need to steer clear." Robin replied, then the screen went blank.
Cyborg was a little annoyed at his rudeness before he got over it and remembered the other two robberies. Quickly calling up Orpheus and Raven in the same fashion, he said the same thing to them. "Thanks for the heads up. Send me the coordinates and we'll get right on it." He then turned to look at Raven. "Ok then, love to talk all night but I guess it's time to go to work."
Cyborg turned off the communicator to see Beastboy glaring at him, annoyed. Apparently the green teen had been trying to get his attention for the last few minutes. "Dude, what the hell is going on?" Cyborg was already walking out the door, calling over his shoulder to Beastboy. "Come on man, we got a robbery going on to take care of." "But what about our game?" Beastboy protested.
"We'll have to come back to it; we have more important stuff to do right now."
*A few minutes later, at the grocery store*
Cyborg was looking over the glass pane front of the store, reviewing over the situation. There were three robbers, each wearing ski masks, black leather jackets, holding metal batons, and had pistols holstered at their sides. He sighed in relief when he realized they had just fired into the ceiling to get attention. Dealing with any casualties wasn't something he had mentally prepared himself for when he had decided to be a hero. On that note, the store employee's and unfortunate shoppers were all tied up at the back of the store
"Ok, here's what we're going to do-"Cyborg started only to see that Beastboy was no longer right beside him on the roof opposite the store. He snapped his head back to the store so fast he got whiplash. The robbers were standing around. One was in the process of circling the store, one was empting the cash register carefully into a duffle bag, and the last was watching the hostages. 'Where the hell is Beastboy? He was right behind me-There!' Cyborg watched in a mixture of horror and apprehension as a green rat crawled out of a vent and across the floor, knocking over a box on a nearby shelf in the process. When Guard Robber turned around to investigate, all he saw was a fly and no cause for the box falling over. Turning back around, he could've sworn he saw a green rat tail disappear into the group of hostages. Writing it off as his imagination, he turned back around to monitor the store.
Beastboy, still in rat form, sighed in relief when he turned around. And at the fact that none of the hostages had freaked at the sight of a green rat. Focusing on the task at hand, he started chewing on the ropes that were binding the hostages, freeing them one at a time.
Cyborg couldn't see Beastboy from where he was kneeling and they would definitely see him if he got any closer. He was getting nervous as minutes passed and Beastboy still didn't reappear. 'Longer this situation drags out the better a chance it has to go completely to hell. If Beastboy doesn't show back up soon I'll have to do something myself.'
He sighed in relief when a green fly flew out of the group of hostages and up a vent on the ceiling. Not fifteen seconds later Beastboy appeared beside him, grinning. Cyborg grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him. "Dude, what the hell is wrong with you!? You don't take off like that without a plan, backup, or at the very least TELLING ME WHERE THE HELL YOU ARE GOING!"
Inside the store, one of the robbers looked up. "What the hell was that?"
Beastboy instantly got defensive, snaking, literally, out of his grasp and crossing his arms over his chest. "Dude, what the hell's wrong with you!? Don't you know that one of the first steps in a hostage situation is FREEING THE HOSTAGES?! SEE AS HOW YOUR BIG CLANKEN ASS ISN'T GOING TO SNEAK UP ON THEM, IT FELL TO ME TO DO IT!"
The robber circling the store looked around. "There it is again. What the hell is that?"
"STILL DOESN'T TELL ME WHY THE HELL YOU DIDN'T THINK TO AT LEAST TELL ME ABOUT IT GRASS STAIN!"
"Sounds like yelling, lets hurry things up. No reason to give our employer any reason to yell at us."
Beastboy visibly shrank in on himself at that, making Cyborg wonder if maybe he had gone a little too far. "I didn't…Stop being a hero just because I left the Doom Patrol. I learned out on the road the hard way that there is a certain order you do these things to best handle them. I…got used to handling things by myself. Sorry, I'm not exactly…used to the idea of being on a team yet."
Cyborg just sighed. "Its fine, I guess, as long as you don't let it happen again. It's just that-"
Cyborg glared. "What?" "DUCK!" Beastboy yelled as he dove down. Cyborg looked to see that the robbers had come outside to see what the yelling was. Upon spotting them standing there on the street, Cyborg managed to hit the ground just as they opened fire.
Earlier, with Robin and Starfire
Things had started out easy enough, in Robin's opinion. They were just walking down the street, talking. Robin was telling Starfire the more important points of earth culture, while Starfire did her best to remember it all and at the same time telling Robin a few things about Tameranian (Spelling?) culture as a comparison. Of course, Starfire didn't notice all the stares given by the teenage male population of Jump City. But Robin did. Similarly, Robin didn't notice the stares courtesy of the teenage female population of Jump City. Starfire did but wisely choose to not comment.
Robin discovered that the alien's former attitude was a complete mask of her true self, built by her in an attempt to shield herself from getting hurt anymore, as apparently the circumstances that lead to the Gordanians getting a hold of her were rather…traumatic. Apparently, after they helped her, she thought that she could trust them well enough to let that mask fall. Of course, she didn't outright say any of this, but Robin was trained in the art of observation.
Starfire was enjoying herself. 'Earth is a most strange place. On Tameran it is acceptable for one to walk around in any state of dress. On Earth, what I am wearing is seen as teetering on the edge of unacceptable. Most strange.'
Culture shock was putting it lightly.
As Robin continued to educate her, he became increasingly aware of the small following he was gaining, composed of people of all ages and both genders. He sighed. In his haste, he had taken the street and completely forgotten about the bane of all super heroes'. Fans. Bad thing was that it was 'unethical' to attack them as well as very bad for one's public image. He would just disappear and wait for them to disperse but that wasn't an option, seeing as they would more than likely just assault Starfire with questions for being associated with him.
"Starfire." He said quietly, getting the Tameranian's attention. "When I go, fly up into the air and follow me at a distance. When I stop, come down to me. Ok?"
"Friend Robin, what are you saying? I do not understand." Starfire said, thoroughly confused at this sudden change in behavior. Robin turned his head ever so slightly to the side, meeting her gaze and at the same time surveying the growing group following them. 'Any minute now, they'll pounce. Gotta move fast.' His heart pounding fear of over enthusiastic/crazed fans was completely founded. They were the one enemy that could only be evaded but never confronted. If they got their hands on him in an uncontrolled encounter there was no telling what would happen.
One time, when he was caught in a mob by while he was on patrol with Batman, they kidnapped him. Batman did eventually find him two weeks later. They kept him drugged deeply so, while he wasn't conscious for any of it, they apparently "did everything imaginable to him and more, except removing his mask". Unfortunately, the perpetuators set it up where they could never be found or proven guilty, despite the combined efforts of both Batman and Robin. Forensic evidence taken from himself afterward gave him a pretty good idea of exactly what "everything imaginable" entailed and he was grateful that the kidnappers had the good sense to drug him before hand.
Even though that was a onetime event, they all seem to have perfected the art of taking his socks and boxers without removing his pants or boots while at the same time slipping various objects, things that would usually be of a personal nature to their former owners, such as underwear, into his pockets and utility belt compartments.
He was dead tired of being in the middle of a fight and reaching for where he kept his bird-a-rangs only to find some girl's underwear in there instead, with her name written on the waist band and her phone number written… somewhere else on it.
"Just trust me on this ok? Keep walking, don't show any sign of alarm. And most of all, don't look back."
Starfire frowned. "Why? Who is back there?" And then she did exactly what he told her not to do. She looked back. Robin found out the hard way that his fans knew their best chance at catching him was sneaking up on him so if they knew that he knew they were there they would dead rush him.
All at once, as soon as Starfire made eye contact with one of the blonds' in the group, they let out a shrill shriek and charged. Starfire, thoroughly startled, gave a shriek of her own and flew backwards and up, her arm hitting Robin in the process with enough force to knock him to the ground. Getting up and shaking his head, he had just enough time to look up before the group overcame him. Robin could feel various hands canvassing the length of his body, poking here or there but what scared the shit out of him was when he saw a hand approaching his face that was covered by a wet rag.
Starfire looked back, hearing a panicked scream coming from the boy-wonder's mouth and green gloved hand reaching toward heaven for help. Worried, she flew back down and grabbed it, which instantly went into a death grip on her hand. Flying up, she managed to use her super strength to pull him free, but only just. Never under estimate the power of crazed fandom.
Starfire pulled him along by one arm to a nearby rooftop, setting him down as gently as he could. The boy-wonder's once spiked hair was messed up and his face held an expression of terror. "T-h-a-nks Starfire." He said shakily.
"Oh, anytime dear friend!" Starfire said enthusiastically, giving him a bone crushing hug. Robin smiled weakly as he tried to catch his breath. Then their communicators rang and Robin gave exhausted sigh as he caught his breath and straightened his hair as well as his uniform. Turing on his communicator, Cyborg's face popped up on the screen.
"Just intercepted a 911 call; Robin, Starfire, there is a robbery in progress at a jewelry store near your location." Robin brow creased in a frown. "Gotcha, send the coordinates to our communicators and let the police know that we are taking care of it so they need to steer clear."
Turning off the communicator, he turned to Starfire. "Let's go."
A few minutes later, at the jewelry store
When they arrived, they found that all the hostages were tied up in the back of the store. There were three robbers. (Same appearance as the last three.) One was picking out jewelry, one was walking around the store, and the last one was guarding the hostages
Robin observed the situation silently as he crouched on the rooftop opposite the store, Starfire crouching next to him. For a second, he was lost in thought. 'I can't see any angle at where I can get at free the hostages without them seeing me. What can I do?' Robin stared at the scene unfolding in front of him, and then he got an idea. It was extremely risky and borderline insane. But the best plans always were. Quickly whispering the plan into Starfire's ear, she got a mischievous grin and nodded.
In the store
Things were progressing smoothly. Hostages tied up, money being collected, and best of all: no police repercussions. 'Guess boss wasn't lying when he said he was paid up with the right people.' Where the thoughts of one of the robbers. Then the lights went out. "Hey, what the hell happened to all the lights?" He asked, picking up the nearest hostage by his shirt and growled out "If any of you have anything to do with this, speak up now, or this kid dies!" He declared, putting the gun to the kid's head. "Dude, where the fuck is your head at? How would any of these pieces of shit be even able to cut the power?"
"He's right man." Said the third as he forced the first to put the kid down, then grabbed the robber and pulled him close and said in a whisper. "Besides man, we're not allowed to harm non-meta's without due cause, you know that. Boss's main rule, remember?"
As this was going on, none of them noticed at figure drop down from a vent on the ceiling, then hang there, suspended in the air. In the darkness, all that could be seen was a vaguely female humanoid figure and a pair of brightly glowing green eyes.
The figure let out a shrill screech, gaining the attention of all the inhabitants of the store. However, after the scream, the glow died out and with it the only light in the store, the figure becoming an unnoticeable shadow on the wall.
"W-ha-t t-h-e fuck was t-that?" Robber 1, formerly guarding the hostages. He was so distracted that he began backing up as if to get away from it, effectively getting next to the far back corner in the store, where a shadow dropped out on top of him, knocking him to the ground near silently.
"What the hell was that?" Asked Robber 2, formerly circling the store. He turned around when he heard a sound, only seeing a flash of green hit his chest before he too went flying back, groaning. Robber 3 decided to bolt and made it as far as the front door before a bird-a-rang came out of nowhere and hit his leg, tripping him.
Robin smirked, stepping out of the shadows of the store as Starfire flew down from the dark corner she had been hiding in. Heading over to the hostages, he pulled out a pocket knife, using it to cut the hostages free. "Are you all alright?" Robin called out in a commanding tone that prompted nods. Robin let a small smile show as Starfire beamed. "Head on home, we'll wrap things up here." At his word, they rushed out the door. Pulling out a pair of handcuffs, he cuffed the robber that he had taken out. Pulling out another pair, he headed to the robber that Starfire had knocked out only to find…nothing. "What?"
Looking outside to the robber that he tripped with a bird-a-rang, he again found…nothing.
Robin sighed when he felt the cold barrel of a gun against the back of his neck. He had been in this situation so many times it failed to faze him anymore "And here I thought this was going to be easy."
With Orpheus and Raven, picking up from the last chapter
Orpheus crouched; about to instinctively go intangible when a black shield suddenly materialized between him and the robbers, the bullets bouncing off it.
"You can't handle a few robbers with guns?" Said Raven as she walked up behind, eyes glowing white. Orpheus snorted, getting to his feet as he did so. "Look closer. They've got some kind of body armor on. I didn't expect that so I didn't hit hard enough." He eyed how the bullets ricocheted off the shield, still carrying enough power to bury themselves in the road and nearby buildings. Thankfully the street was abandoned. "I'm going to guess that those pistols aren't anything to laugh at either. I don't even want to know what those baton things would do to me."
Raven just sighed. "Typical." The firing suddenly stopped and Orpheus decided it was time to mount an offense. Jumping high over Raven's shield, he let out two one handed ghost fangs, aiming them for two of the robbers as he prepared to land on the chest of the third. Things didn't go as planned however, as two of the robbers dodged to the side easily and the last swung his baton in front of him, electricity dancing along its length. It hit him in the chest, hard, and the electricity coursed through him, causing his muscled to freeze up as he hit the ground, sparks still coming off him. Still recovering, he was unable to dodge the kick to the chest that sent him flying back and hit a wall hard enough to crack it. 'That kick felt like it would've broken the ribs of a normal human and that was through body armor. These guys…aren't normal."
Raven, seeing how easily he had been downed, was getting worried and, mumbling her mantra the whole time, picked up a nearby newsstand and sent it flying at them at high speeds. It hit the one in straight on but only sent him reeling as the others just dodged again. The other two robbers ran at her, brandishing their batons before them. Robber 1 swung at her, the air whistling with the amount of force behind the baton. She managed to dodge but just by a hair. The other robber followed up with another swing, this one was blocked by a small horizontal black shield. Raven encased her fist in black energy and buried it into the gut of Robber 2. It only created a small dent in his armor but it did send him stumbling back. She then shot the energy out in a black bolt that hit the chest of Robber 1 and again made a small dent in the armor but sent him stumbling back as well.
By this time Orpheus was back up and sent a ghost ray at the back of Robber 3, only this one had twice the power of the last one. It both created a large dent in the armor on Robber 3's back as well as sending him flying, hitting the wall face first. When he fell back, the red visor of his helmet had been cracked.
Running forward, Orpheus did a back flip, kicking Robber 2 in the chin and sending him flying as Robber 1 got hit with another, stronger, bolt of black energy, this time it hit him straight in the face, sending him flying as well and cracking his visor as well.
Each and every one of the robber got back up, cracking their neck's as they did so. Orpheus sighed. "You guys just don't know when to stay down, do ya?" He questioned. These guys had been thrown around like rag dolls. Regular robbers would've been down and out after the first hit. 'Brute force doesn't seem to be working with these guys. What else have I got?'
The robbers let out a growl as a response and, as one, charged forward. He responded with a two handed horizontal ghost fang but they just jumped over it. Orpheus jumped back as their batons slammed into the spot where he was just standing. A nearby car was engulfed in black energy and thrown at them. Orpheus got an idea and hit where he guessed the fuel tank would be with a ghost ray when the car was just inches from hitting the ground, causing it to explode. Fragments were blown everywhere but thankfully Orpheus managed to grab part of Raven's cloak and turned them both intangible.
Raven stared at the fire and pillar of black smoke that was in the middle of the street. "Don't you think that you went just a little bit too far?"
Orpheus just rolled his eyes, an act that was hidden by his goggles. Then frowned when he saw three figures rising in the smoke. "I'm thinking not far enough." Orpheus replied as he pointed to them.
Their armor was cracked in multiple places and was glowing red all over. For a second he wondered how they didn't get burned. Then he got an idea. 'If their armor can handle the heat so good' His eyes and hands lit up blue. 'Then let's see how it handles the cold!'
Summoning as much cryoplasm to his hands as he could in one go, he put his hands together and let loose a beam of frosty blue energy directly at the duo, sweeping it up and down, side to side, to ensure maximum coverage. At first, steam erupted where the beam hit. Then ice covered it. In a matter of moments, the robbers, and their surroundings, were covered by a thick sheet of ice.
Orpheus slumped, going on one knee and punching the ground in exhaustion, head bowed. 'Haven't pushed my ice powers so hard since I last fought Undergrowth and that was easier because I could go ghost. Not anymore.'
Raven glanced at the Titan. Slightly worried for his condition, although her face didn't show a thing. Then she heard a cracking sound. Turning, she saw cracks spreading along them until it broke, leaving no ice on them except a layer of frost spread evenly along them.
The robbers were a little discerned when they saw a smirk spread across the normally emotionless face of the girl meta-human. Why was she smirking you might ask? Well, she just remembered what happens to metal if you heat it rapidly, and then cool it just as fast. It gets really brittle.
Raven shot three bolts of black energy out, each hitting home in their chest, shattering the chest piece and sending them flying, the rest of the armor shattering into a thousand pieces as well on impact with the ground.
"Good job!" Orpheus said as he walked up behind her, fully recovered from before.
Raven eyed him before raising her black energy covered hands, causing multiple pieces of metal from the car to be engulfed in black energy and fly up into the air, and then it went toward the robbers, the pieces coming together to form a pair of handcuffs, the cracks sealing up as she finished.
Orpheus raised an eyebrow at the display but didn't comment. Walking forward, he grabbed the nearest one by the collar of the undershirt he had on under the armor and picked him up, slamming him against the wall. "Where did you get your stuff?"
The robber glared at him, struggling to get free from the makeshift handcuffs before spitting in his face. A faint green glow showing underneath his goggles, he smirked at the robber. "Have it your way." Turning intangible, he gave the robber a grim smile before diving into his body.
Raven stood there, motionless as she watched the three robbers, the one that Orpheus possessed having glowing green eyes. When the other two began yelling curses at her she ripped off a piece of their shirts and gagged them. About a minute after he possessed him Orpheus phased out of the robber, a disturbed look on his face. Before she could say anything he turned and phased into the second robber without a word. Coming back out not half a minute later, he phased into the last robber, again without a word and an increasingly disturbed look on his face.
When he came out not twenty seconds later, he looked at her, a disturbed borderline scared expression on his face. "What? What did you find?" She asked, wondering what could make a usually confident, if childish, person scared like that.
He looked at her, then past her as he walked forward, pausing to dial 911 on a nearby pay phone to get the police to pick up the robbers. "Robin's going to want to know about this."
Later, back at the hotel room
A battered Robin sat at the table, beside Cyborg, and opposite Orpheus. The boy-wonder's uniform was messed up, having a few cuts here and there, a smudge of dirt on one cheek and a small cut on the other. Cyborg was busy getting bullet sized dings out of the metal on his chest. Other than those two, everybody else looked normal. Beastboy was dozing on the couch; Starfire was playing with lipstick and fingernail polish, trying to figure out how to use the earthly beauty products while Raven was floating in a corner near the table, eyes closed in mediation. With the TV going on the news channel, Robin sighed, rubbing his forehead. "Ok, what do we know?"
"Whoever they are, there backed by people with a very large amount of power, money, and resources, not to mention very smart. I searched about every database out there, couldn't find any record of them whatsoever." Cyborg began. "Their technology was cutting edge. Those batons were designed to deliver a payload of a certain amount of electricity directly into the nervous system of the target to paralysis them. The guns were modified to have larger clips, better accuracy, and have more stopping power with less recoil. Neither of these are really that special. What really stands out is the armor. The armor itself was designed to protect them from almost anything, blunt force especially, not to mention the fact that it gave them a boost in strength and speed. The helmet had some sort of sensor neural uplink thing, boosting their reaction time. Fortunately, a human's brain isn't built to handle that sort of thing unless it's given to it the old fashioned way, through rigorous physical and mental training, so it only could do it in short bursts that would've done less and less as the fight went on."
"They were trained, regardless. From fighting them I could tell that much about them." Robin stated. "Orpheus, what did you get from inside their heads?"
Orpheus gave a frustrated groan before replying. "Just about as much as Cyborg did. Each one was just some petty low-life in random cities in America till a stranger wearing a black hoodie with the hood up, face mask, and sunglasses approaches them. Stranger gives them promises of grandeur and making it big in robbery and crime if they go along with him. When they agree they get knocked out by a hit to the head from behind. When they wake up there all together in a room somewhere. They never leave that room. They sleep, eat, and get trained in this one room. Guy wearing armor identical to theirs trains them in hand to hand combat, use of those batons and their guns, some strategy, and teamwork. There's no clock, calendar, or any other means of keeping time in the room so no way of saying how long they were in there. I estimated at least four or five months though. Then one day they go to sleep in the room and wake up and there in an abandoned with the stranger from before. He splits the nine of them up into teams of three and gives each team the armor, batons, guns, and a cell phone with instructions to use the baton to fry the phone first then smash it right before they start the robbery. He leaves. They don't leave the warehouse until he texts them the address of the place to rob. They go there. They wait ten minutes. He gives them the go. They fry them phones, then proceed to take over the stores and try to rob them. Then one of the hostages in each place manages to call 911. They take the phone and fire off a few rounds into the ceiling to show that their serious. And last we show up and stop them." Orpheus paused. "Almost seems like it was planned for them to be caught doesn't it?"
"How can you go in their heads and not get their names? Or anything on that symbol for that matter?" Robin questioned, frowning.
"Memory wise, there is only so far I can go into someone's memories. Everyone's mind works differently so how far back I can go in someone's memories varies person to person on how deeply their mind buries their memories. Some people I can go as far back as the first thing they saw or heard. Other people I can only see so far as what happened to them within the hour that I possessed them. With these nine I could only see as far back as a few moments before the stranger approached them. The stranger never asked for their names and told them to forget their names if they accepted, which they all obviously did and never asked, said, or gave their names after that point so I don't know their names. As for the symbol, they did ask about it. All the stranger would tell them was that it represented that they were a representative of "The Order"All they were told about it was that the Order was started a long time ago and recently it has found itself lacking the funds that it once had. From the stranger's exact wording he used it sounds like they just recently turned to criminal activities in order to 'regain their lost power' or something like that."
"Aw, man. Don't tell me that we just pissed off some big and powerful order that was trying to make some money on our first day as a team." Cyborg lamented. Robin frowned. "I don't think so."
"Why's that?" Cyborg asked. Robin frown deepened. "Think about it. They assault three different stores at the same time. Each one has a hostage call 911 but the police never respond, despite there being absolutely nothing else right now to have their attention. Each one just happens to be in the direct vicinity of where one of us just happened to be patrolling. From how much effort they put into making sure that they didn't know anything and that we don't have anything one them they wanted to make sure that if they were somehow taken into custody they wouldn't have anything that would cause any damage, which doesn't make sense seeing as a complete lack of a police response until we showed up at police headquarters indicates that there paid up with the right people."
"Or they could've been sent to fail." Orpheus said, gaining looks in the process. "Think about it. If the Order has the money to supply them and pay off the police then they could have the power to tap into cameras on the street, out of store's, anywhere in the city. That many cameras could track us anywhere in the city. And with the number of stores in the city, why choose the three that are closest to where two of us are? Their obviously well connected so they would've known about us and our deal with the mayor. If their intention was to make money, wouldn't they have made sure to rob places well away from any of us? Even if they wanted to confront us, the fight with the Gordanians more than proved that two of us were more than capable to take one three of them. Hell, forget that, wouldn't they have tried to go after something that would get them more money, like a bank? The combined money they would've gotten from all three robberies if they were successful wouldn't have covered how much they spent on equipping a single three man team, let alone all three teams of three."
"Your right." Robin said when Orpheus stopped for a breath. "Question is, why?"
"Maybe somebody in the Order lives in Jump City and wanted a better demonstration of just how capable we were so they made sure to set up some of their men for failure." Cyborg pondered.
"Maybe…" Orpheus mumbled. Robin shook his head "Either way, nothing we can do about it now." Robin growled, suddenly very angry.
"Why's that?" Orpheus asked. Robin pointed to the TV screen, where a plain looking guy with brown hair and a moustache was talking. "In other news, nine robbers that were caught by the city's newest protectors, the Teen Titans, earlier today have disappeared from their respective jail cells. Currently, the police have confessed to having no idea where they have gone. The chief of police saying "They just disappeared without a trace. We will investigate it, of course, but with nothing but DNA, fingerprints, and a face, all of which are turning up no records anywhere, as well as so little forensic evidence in the cells themselves it is very doubtful that any investigation will go anywhere and frankly, we have more important things to investigate anyway." In other news…" The news reporter began talking about the stock market which prompted Beastboy to wake up and turn it to a cartoon, instantly getting transfixed on the flat screen, earning simultaneous sweat drops from Cyborg, Robin, and Orpheus in the process.
"I guess I'll go by later and see what I can dig up from the scene…" Grumbled Robin as he pulled out his cell phone to call the police and get an update on the situation at the prison.
In a dark room, unknown location
A shadowed figure was looking at a TV above the far door, listening to the news report on the escaped robbers. He was sitting at a wooden desk with various papers scattered around on it and a silver colored laptop. Behind him was a grey colored wall, bare except for a large version of the symbol for the Order. The side walls were all covered by book cases.
Suddenly, the door opened and a black robed figure with the symbol for the Order on his back walked in, stopping before the desk and settling into a kneeling position. "My lord, we have successfully extracted the test subjects from the jail, leaving no evidence behind, just as you commanded."
"I am aware of that. How did they perform?" The shadowed asked, clicking a button on the desk to turn the TV off.
"Which group sir, the test subjects, or the Teen Titans?" The shadowed figure sighed at the question. "Both."
"The test subjects performed almost at the level that we expected, if a little under. Weaknesses were exposed in the armor. They are vulnerable at becoming brittle through intense heating then cooling. Also, as the alien and the cyborg have shown, a sufficient amount of force can be used to overwhelm the blunt force trauma absorbers built into the suit. Batman's apprentice has proved that overtime the reaction time enhancers fade in effectiveness, opening them up to weaknesses that can be exploited."
"And the Titans?" "The Titans themselves are a very diverse group. Together, they cover their most obvious weaknesses very well. Batman's apprentice is, as expected, very agile and can garner a surprising amount of force. He is very versatile and uses strategy and the environment more than brute force to overcome his opponents, making him a very intelligent and smart opponent. The cyborg is different. He lacks the agility and speed that the apprentice has but makes up for it with brute force that at is max is shown to be able to lift several tons. He has cannons in his arms as well as a multitude of other gadgets as well.
The alien is similar to that. She can fly at a fast enough speed to be a nuisance. Those 'starbolts' are shown to have considerable amount of force behind them and her strength is just above that of the cyborg. The changeling is rather unremarkable, able to change into any animal, dead or alive, at will. He has the potential to be a big threat but lacks the mental fortitude necessary to use his powers as effectively as possible in order to reach that level. The sorceress, in comparison to the others, is a bit of a black sheep. She, unlike the others, seems to prefer long range combat. She uses telekinesis, the limit of which is unknown, to attack from afar as well as bolts that are similar in nature to the aliens 'starbolts' and, although she seems to have little skill in hand to hand combat, she does seem to have considerable amount of strength, a little above that of a trained human at least.
And last is the one that calls himself 'Orpheus'. Out of all of them he seems to be the one that is the biggest threat as he has the ability to possess our men and extract memories from them. He can become untouchable, invisible, fire 'ghost rays' in a myriad of forms as well as cyrokinesis. Not to mention that his physical abilities are well above that of a trained human and, while not nearly as proficient as the apprentice, he has some hand to hand skill as well as considerable amount of strategy put into his fighting style, he seems to be holding back somewhat on his true powers.
All in all, together as a group, they cover each other's weaknesses and extenuate each other's strengths. The only thing they lack at this point is better teamwork and they would be near unstoppable sir."
"Hmm…" The shadowed figure mused. The black robed figure spoke up again. "Do you want us to make the necessary adjustments to the armor and commence with phase two sir?"
The shadowed figure shook his head. "No. Adjust the armor to compensate for the exposed weaknesses and begin work for the specialized units but do not move forward at all until I give the order to."
"Sir?" The black cloaked figure asked, confused. The shadowed figure turned to look at him, leaning forward to reveal a pair of smiling lips, marred only by a vertical scar on the left side.
"You forget that we are not the only players out on this field of ours. I would prefer to remain as ambiguous as possible. Besides, it's chess. We've made our move. It's only fair to give our opponents a chance to counter otherwise there's no fun in playing." The figure leaned back, once again getting shrouded in shadow. "At any point, I believe in giving a person a good chance at surviving. Let them live…for now. Let them take root and grow. After all, if the Titans are above the gods, then it means that whoever takes them down will powerful beyond understanding."
The black cloaked figure bowed deeply. "Yes, my lord. My deepest sincerest apologies for questioning you my lord."
He waved off his concerns. "It's fine. Questions are the best route to understanding and understanding is something I wish all would have." The shadowed figure gestured for the cloaked figure to leave. The cloaked figure got up and began to leave when the shadowed figure called for him to wait. "How is our newest inductee?"
"He is well, my lord. He is still having trouble getting used to not having a right eye or a right ear and rehabilitation with his right arm is going badly. At this rate he is going to need implants of some kind to be of any use to us at all. He didn't take the news well when we told him sir."
"He'll get used to the idea. If it comes down to it, do it or put him somewhere where he can be useful to our cause."
The cloaked figure nodded and bowed deeply. "Yes my lord."
Things are getting serious, it looks like… (You can tell when it's a serious chapter because I'm not having fun with the line breaks like I usually do)
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