The world was in a panic. On all the TVs were the Teen Titans, trapped in a satellite doomed to explode, destroying everything and everyone inside. There were people in tears, there were people in shock, and just about everyone was in fear.
Ophelia was in downtown Evergreen, looking for a woman who impersonated Robin, when she saw the announcement made by the Brain. She didn't know what to make of it. In her world, a troop from one of the space programs would be up there by now and have everyone back on Earth before the bomb went off. But this is not her world. This is a world where super villains try to kill super heroes and somehow make law enforcers unable to stop them. They must have cloaked the satellite and jammed the frequency of any tracker that could locate the satellite. They are doomed unless Ophelia can somehow manage to track it down herself and diffuse the bomb.
Deep in her thought and slightly in shock of this whole situation, she did not notice a black-gloved arm wrap around her like a snake until it forcefully pulled her into an alley. She still hadn't gathered all of her wits until she was pinned to the wall and Madame Rouge's face was two inches away from hers.
"Those poor children," She said with a smile. "Up there all by themselves about to die. You can go join them if you like."
"You won't get away with this," Ophelia said, already regretting the cliché. "The whole world will be after you. Every law enforcement will make it their first priority to take the Brotherhood down."
"You poor, naïve thing. Don't you think we've already thought of that? The bomb and the satellite had been designed and positioned so as the shrapnel will take out every capital around the world. Once it goes off, the entire planet will fall into chaos, and the Brotherhood shall have free reign."
"What about the other superheroes? There must be heroes other than the Titans that are more than willing to foil your plan."
"We took care of them before the Titans. They are safely stashed away in their headquarters, awaiting to be obliterated by hot metal. You are the only meta-human left that we haven't taken care of... yet."
She shaped her free hand into a large, sharp spike, and stabbed at Ophelia's chest... or tried to. Instead she smashed a hole into the wall behind her. Ophelia's eyes were blazing green with rage and grabbed the arm stuck in the wall. With a forceful yank, she flung Madame Rouge to the wall where she painfully smashed through. The hand that gripped Ophelia trailed after it, her body phased through to let it go without her pulling it back. Ophelia landed catlike on the ground and turned towards the hole that Madame Rouge went through.
"Here's what's going to happen, Madame Russe." Ophelia said, her eyes illuminating the whole alleyway in a furious green. "You are going to tell me where the satellite is so I can go over there to save my friends, then you are going to jail where I may or may not leave a good word for you so you can get a chance for parole."
An arm sprang from the wall and grabbed at Ophelia. Instead, Ophelia stepped aside and caught the arms by the wrist. Her eyes momentarily turned blue as she froze the arm all the way up to the elbow. She threw the arm down and let it shattered to pieces on the ground.
"No more of this funny business, tell me where my friends are."
"And what if I tell you?" Madame Rouge said from a fire escape above Ophelia's head. She jumped down, letting the pieces of her arm crawl into her body to be absorbed. Her arm slowly re-grew as she continued.
"The detonator is with the Brain at our headquarters. The moment he sees you on that monitor or picks up your heats signature on the scanner, he'll activate the bomb before you have a chance to reach the Titans."
"Alright, then take me the headquarters. I'll take down the Brain myself and destroy the detonator."
Madame Rouge had finished growing her arm and had now started to chuckle menacingly.
"What's so funny?" Ophelia demanded.
"The whole of the Brotherhood of Evil will be there. Insignificant little you against all of them, even you must see the hilarity of it. It's hilarious that you think that you can beat me for that matter."
Madame Rouge swung a punch at Ophelia, but she disappeared on the spot. She looked around until a green electric shock knocked her unconscious. She hit the ground with Ophelia standing over her.
"I can try." she said to the unconscious rubber woman.
Just then she heard a muffled noise coming from Madame Rouge's ear. Ophelia bent down and pulled out her communication earpiece. She held it to her ear to listen in.
"Monsieur Mallah to Madame Rouge, what's taking so long?"
In a panic, Ophelia answered.
"Madame Rouge to Monsieur Mallah," She mimicried with perfection. "I have just dealt with the little brat."
"What did you do?"
"Let's just say that the ghost girl has joined her kin."
"You weren't suppose to kill the girl, Rouge, that was not the orders."
"She saw through my disguise and refused to go. I had to... improvise and had a little too much fun."
"Well now you have to bring over the body, Brain wants a full head count. We can't just assume that they're dead and write them off, that's what happened last time."
"Where should I take her then?"
"Head quarters, of course. The coordinates are in your locater in case you got yourself carried all the way to Bancock. Report immediately or you'll miss the show. Over and out."
The transmission ended. Immediately, something at Madame Rouge's hip started blinking. Carefully, Ophelia reached into her pocket and pulled out the device mentioned. On the tiny screen, a red light blinked on a location in the heart of Rome. Never been to Rome before, not even my Rome.
Ophelia went by the Tower to grab her lucky goggles. While there she checked the database to see just whom she was up against. A lot of the information she already knew from skimming it over and talking with the other Titans. The organization was highly dangerous and its goal was to destroy the world (or at least, that's the Brain's goal), they had their own militia of mercenaries and androids under the command of General Immortus, they had bases, estimated to be hundreds, theorized to be hidden all over the globe, and they had a genius leader and head scientist, the Brain.
That didn't really scare Ophelia, what she did find daunting is the number of known members. Madame Rouge had said that everyone was going to be at the headquarters, every malicious meta-human, evil genius inventor, every criminal mastermind, every cold-hearted professional killer, and she will have to face them all. Maybe I'll need a little help.
She tried to open up communications with the parents at home. The Tower's communication, apparently, was the same as the Titan's portable communicators, as they both were jammed.
"Okay," She said aloud, "I think I really need my lucky goggles now."
She went straight over to her room and grabbed her goggles. She shifted to her Ghost Zone form and analyzed herself in the mirror. She was wearing a long cable-knit sweater, leggings, and ugg boots. It was torn to shreds from her fight with Madame Rouge.
"Whoa, look at that scary girl. That fight must have been a lot tougher than I thought, and that was just one of them."
She looked closely at the mirror and saw that there was a box on her bed. She opened it and looked inside. She shrugged.
"If I'm going to have to save this world on my own, then I might as well look the part. Maybe this will get trashed in the fight too."
At the Brotherhood Headquarters in Rome, all the villains were watching the big screen awaiting the Titan's demise. On a platform below the screen stood the detonator, ready to activate as soon as the timer on the screen hit zero. Right at its side was the Brain, flanked by Monsieur Mallah and General Immortus. They were watching the Titan's struggle in their restraints to no avail. They were quite pleased with themselves and their accomplishment. The Titans had been a thorn in their sides since they rescued the Doom Patrol and foiled their plot of destroying the world with a black hole generator; Even more so when they failed to destroy them in Paris. But now, the Titans have no way of escaping this time, no way of gathering outside help. Everything was well planned out. They had been able to take out all the other superhero alliances that might try to help them, especially that loathe-some Doom Patrol. They have shut down all the systems of every bureau, department, and security in defending the Earth, leaving them to sit at their bases helplessly. And the remaining Titans, or Titan as the case may be, has been carefully dealt with. Everyone and everything on the side of justice has been safely stowed away for their impending doom. They hardly seemed to notice the roar of the crowd below they were so proud.
Finally the Brain spoke.
"Have you spoken with Madame Rouge?" he spoke in his cold mechanical voice to Mallah.
"I have master, she is on her way with the body as we speak. She shouldn't take long."
"Excellent, as the last of their knights fall, we have cleared the board to our triumph. I am quite interested in seeing this one in the flesh. From have been said about her, it would be an quite intriguing to examine a specimen like her, piece by piece."
"You may be right, Master."
Just as they said that the massive doors swung open and a young girl entered. She had white hair and amethyst eyes, her skin was slightly tan, or at least it appeared so compared to her hair. She was wearing a full body suit with a black torso and limbs, a square white collar with a v-neckline and a white choker. She had white gloves that went up to her elbow and white boots that go up to the knee. The suit was completed with a whit pleated skirt and a pair of goggles with red cracked lenses sitting on her head. She looked fragile like a china doll, but her glowing eyes looked threatening.
"I would like to speak with the Brain." She demanded.
"I am here," he responded, the crowd parting to let her see, "What do you wish to speak with me about?"
"I think you know why I'm here, I want you to shut down this whole operation and let my friends go."
At that everyone, excluding the Brain and his colleagues on the platform, started bursting out laughing.
"She has got to be kidding," Immortus murmured to Brain and Mallah. "She is out of her league."
"Foolish child," The Brain said to the girl. "Do you really think you're at a position to demand anything of me?"
"If you refuse to comply willingly," She said without faltering, "than I'm afraid I'll have to use force."
More laughter ensued, louder and harsher than before.
"Are you implying that you have a chance at beating all of us on your own?"
"If I have to, then I will. I'll ask you one more time: let my friends go."
At once, Adonis stepped forward and attacked the girl. He swung a hard punch, but she caught and seemed t be holding it back with ease.
"Fool's rush in." She said.
She grabbed the other arm and pulled to two apart, cracking the suit open and letting the scrawny Adonis hit the ground. With a sidekick, she knocked the boy unconscious and flung the two halves of the suit towards the crowd, knocking out a good amount of the crowd.
She put on her goggles in preparation.
After that it was a blur, they were all rushing in to fight her. She couldn't remember any of it, nor would she want to in retrospect. All the different people and things coming at her at once made her mind swirl with sensory overload as she had to take them down while sensing surprise attacks. She would have gotten a headache when looking back at one second of the battle. She did remember one thing, however, she remembered the added strain of holding back. They were super villains after all, trained and bent to use a hero's powers against them. If they saw her at her full potential, well, doomsday devices could be made on a lot less. In her mind, the less they saw the better. So she fought with less.
One by one they hit the ground without any chance of getting up any time soon. Eventually, all of the Brotherhood, save for the three in the platform, were defeated. Leaving the girl to be the only one standing. Her suit was torn and her body bruised and scraped (the wounds already closing up and healing), she was even out of breath. She stood there with her threatening gaze on the three remaining members, glowing by whatever remaining energy she had left.
"So," She said while trying to catch her breath. "Are you going to let the Titans go, or not?"
"Any excellent performance, if I do say so myself." Said General Immortus to his colleagues.
"Yes, quite a show of endurance." Agreed Monsieur Mallah.
"But alas, all in vain," said the Brain, turning his "body" to the screen. The timer now had ten seconds left in counting. She wasn't going to get to it in time.
"Like the Titans, you fight alone and face defeat. Where you won in your little victory over our members, in saving your friends you fail."
The timer ticked the last few seconds away. Ophelia buckled to her knees and her head sank to let the tears flow.
Suddenly, the timer stopped before it could hit zero. The detonator spat out purple sparks before it collapsed into pieces and died. Immortus and Mallah were in utter shock. If the Brain had a face, than shock and rage would spread across it.
"What just happened?" Mallah replied.
Ophelia laughed, her head pulled up to show her smiling.
"Do you guys really think I would just come in here without a better plan than beating you to a pulp?"
Out of nowhere, another Ophelia appeared by the ruined detonator. She flew past the three men and went up to the original to be absorbed.
"For someone who has nothing to do but think, you didn't think this whole 'destroy the Titans' thing out so thoroughly. It was pretty close, the closest I've ever seen to success of something of this scale. But alas, being close doesn't really cut it, does it? Now, do you wish to surrender now and save us both the energy, or do you want to do this the hard way."
As a response, Monsieur Mallah jumped down from the platform and prepared to fight her. He pounced, and as he did Ophelia materialized a rope and lassoed the intelligent gorilla. She swung him round until she let go and he went flying to the Brain in the hands of the fleeing General Immortus.
Ophelia floated up to the platform and went over to a control panel below the screen. She hit a few keys until she figured out how the program worked. On the screen, the forcefield around the Titans was being shut off and they were released from their restraints.
"Show's over." said Ophelia and with a push of the button, she switched off the screen and turned off the control panel. The ordeal was over. She had won.
Without another word, she collapsed into the ground unconscious.
Ophelia woke up with an all over body ache. When she tried to turn to her side, she felt like she was weighed down by huge rocks. She had a headache, one of those headaches that made you feel dizzy rather than sore. Piece by piece, she gathered information about her surroundings. It was North Tower. She was laying the bed of the room they gave her. It was daytime, as there was no other light than the sun through the large window that made up the fourth wall. There was a blonde boy with green eyes sitting at a chair by her bedside.
"…Joey….?" She said groggily. Jericho smiled and nodded his head.
Good morning, Sleepy Head. He signed.
"…what…what happened?" Against her body's fervent protest, she tried to prop herself up in her bed. An overwhelming wave of vertigo came over her and she started to slink back down. Jericho sprung from his seat to help her up to a sitting position, realigning all the pillows behind her to make it more comfortable for her. Ophelia grabbed the side of her and winced.
"Man, it feels like I got run over by a car."
You shouldn't exert yourself too much, that fight took a lot out of you.
You took down the entire Brotherhood of Evil single-handedly. We found you out cold by the control panel. You saved the world, Phé. More importantly, you saved us.
Ophelia lost whatever color she had when she saw what he said. She remembered, not a lot of it, but she remembered.
"Nobody saw that, right?"
No, nobody saw it. We had to use your communicator to find where you were.
Ophelia fell back into her pillows with a sigh of relief.
"Thank god, that would've been a nightmare. How long have I been out for?"
Couple of days.
"Feels like it."
Jericho gave her a sympathetic pat on the head.
Just get some rest, you'll feel better in the morning.
Ophelia smiled weakly.
"You're a good friend, Joey. I'm glad I know you."
The next day, Ophelia woke up to an empty Tower. Out the window she saw a glare coming from somewhere by the shore of the lake, from sunlight reflecting off glass. She didn't bother changing the human way and the white rings crawled up and down her body, changing her pajamas into a tank top and a denim skirt. She phased through the window and flew towards where she saw the glare. She was at the shore of the lake, her bare feet in the water. She turned on her senses and felt the presence of a lot of people just down the shore. She followed it and found, to her surprise, all the Titans, North, West, East, etc., awaiting her for a beach party. There were tables with food, and games, and gifts, and balloons, a large banner hung between two trees the said "Thank You, Ophelia" in big red letters.
"What's all this?" She said in surprise.
Robin went up to Ophelia and handed her a gift.
"We just wanted to show you how much we appreciate having you around as a Titan."
"Everyone called in wanting to thank you for saving their lives," Jinx said "so we thought we'd invite them over to tell, or rather show, you themselves."
Ophelia looked on wide-eyed, her white cheeks flushed.
"I don't know what to say... "
"Think nothing of it friend," Starfire said as she flew over to give Ophelia one of her death hugs. "on my planet we celebrate for occasions like these all the time."
"Right, Blorthsetch, the festival of thankfulness. I think told me about that once. Wait, that doesn't mean I'm going to have to wear that necklace made out of alien teeth, does it?"
Starfire nodded and flew off to retrieve it. Jericho approached Ophelia and offered her a gift. She took it out of his hands so he could speak.
You were amazing out there. I don't think It's humanly possible to take down the whole Brotherhood like that.
"Thanks, I don't believe it's possible either. That took a lot out of me, I never want to do that again."
Hopefully you'll never have to. Open you gift, I spent a whole day looking for it.
Ophelia opened the box and found a pendant inside. It had an emerald stone of one side, and an amethyst on the other. They were smooth on the outside with facets on the inside, letting the stones twinkle like a starry night. Both stone's were set in pure silver with a silver chain.
They reminded me of your eyes.
"Joey, this is beautiful."
Ophelia looked around the side of the pendant and read the engraving.
To Ophelia, the most amazing girl I've ever met. -Joseph
"Oh, Joey, this must have cost you a fortune."
Two stones set in metal is worth a lot less than saving a human life. And you saved a whole planet. This is the very least I can do to show you my thanks.
Ophelia blushed, she put on the pendant, amethyst side up. She hugged Jericho, which made him blush in return.
"You're welcome, I-"
"Jericho, there you are."
From the crowded chaos of the party emerged a girl no taller than Ophelia herself. She wore a dress with long sleeves and a short skirt and boots that went up to her knees, designed in a pattern similar to crystals. She had honey colored skin that brought out the blue of her eyes and the unnaturally bright pink of her hair, which stuck out like two antennae on her head. She couldn't be no older than Ophelia, no possible way. People thought she looked young, but this girl could be twelve on the dot!
This girl went straight up to Jericho and looped her arm around his. She got up to her tippy toes to give him a kiss on the cheek. A flash went across Ophelia's wide eyes when she saw the kiss, fortunately no one noticed. The girl turned and smiled at Ophelia, innocent as a baby doll. Jericho looked back at Ophelia with a smile, letting the girl's hands slide up his arm to give him freedom to communicate.
Phé, this is Kole. He signed, She's my girlfriend. We've been dating long distance for…
He turned to Kole.
What has it been now, a year?
"A year exactly by next week." She answered cheerfully. She snuggled up to Jericho's arm as if it were her long lost teddy bear.
And of course, you already know about Ophelia. He signed to Kole.
"It's nice to met you in the flesh, Ophelia." Kole said, extending a hand for her to shake. "I don't know where to begin to thank you for saving our lives."
She pulled the most happy and convincing smile she could muster as she shook Kole's dainty little hands.
"It's okay… guy," she said in a strained voice. "Anything for my friends…and their…girlfriends."
Kole took notice of the pendent around Ophelia neck and gazed at it curiously, like a little bird would.
"My goodness, Ophelia, that is such a beautiful necklace you have there."
Ophelia looked at it for a moment before she registered what was just said.
"Um, thank you, Joe- I mean Jericho gave it too me." Ophelia's eyes went pale for a moment, "You know, I mean, as a 'thanks for saving the world' kind of gift you give to your buddy…who just saved the world."
Kole giggled as she reached out to inspect Ophelia's pendent, oblivious to the ghost girl's discomfort.
"It's really pretty," she said, "and it goes well with your eyes. My Jericho always picks the best gifts, even if he never gives me any jewelry."
Why would I give a jewel to the most beautiful diamond in the world. He signed. He gave her a kiss on her head before resting his on hers.
"Oh you," Kole giggled.
Oh gag! Ophelia thought.
"Well, I guess I should just leave you two alone." Ophelia said as she backed away slowly. "This must be the few times you ever get to see each other, after all. And I have a lot of people to meet and everything."
They seemed to have forgotten she saw there, as they made no effort to show that they heard her.
"Okay, I'll just go now bye." Ophelia said hastily before she left.
She stopped for a moment and looked down at the pendent, seeing the many purple reflections of herself in the jewel.
"He has a girlfriend." She whispered to herself. "So what? You've got plenty of friends in relationships, no big deal."
Despite all her reasoning, she couldn't help but feel something in her shatter.
The numerous screens played over and over various parts of the girl's fight with the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood didn't notice their hideout was bugged, courtesy of a few of his informants and employees within the organization. He had seen the footage too many times to keep count and still could not believe it. That one scrawny little girl managed to take down a whole organization of ruthless criminals single-handedly. He was utterly taken back and rather impressed. She would definitely be a challenge. It would be a reflection of his skill, being able to manipulate, beat down, and finally destroy the girl in the slowest and most painful way imaginable. He could just tell he was going to enjoy it.
An instant message came up on the center screen. It was anonymous but he already knew who it was. He opened it and read the message.
You watching her take down the Brotherhood of Evil?
His eye widened in surprise.
You're not the only one with resources to illegally spy on other people.
He shrugged. He truly wasn't, he was just the only one who could do it without the subject ever being aware of it.
I have to admit, she's one of the best I've ever seen.
I've seen her in combat before, she was holding back.
She must have been afraid of showing too much of her power. Poor girl has always been afraid to live up to her potential.
He read this while at the same time looking at the other screens displaying the fight. If this wasn't her full out, than what was? Destroying her would be the highlight of his career as a criminal mastermind.
The partnership you offered
What about it?
What's exactly the trade?
You devise the plan and design the machinery. I share my information about her and fund the operation.
What's in it for me exactly?
You get to make her suffer, and I watch as I kill her when the time comes .
This made him smile under his mask. This man was so willing to see this girl destroyed, he didn't know who she would end up with to do it. That worked perfectly well for him.
You have yourself a deal.
Excellent, I'll send you her stats and bio data immediately so you can get started.
The chat ended, he continued to watch the fight unfold. Now that he looks at it, there did seem to be a lot of restraint in her techniques. He could imagine the amount of physical strain it took to keep up that restraint in a fight so long. She was good, but she has a lot to learn. He sat there and watched the white haired girl while devising plans to destroy her, every one more sinister, more painful, and more satisfying than the last.