ALL STAR TEEN TITANS
CHAPTER ONE: ORIGINS, PART I
Blüdhaven…not exactly the happiest place on Earth. Like Gotham City, it's sister city, it was overrun with crime of the worst kind. In a city like this, one should abandon all hope. If you were robbed, blackmailed, bribed or anything else, there's no one to count on, not even the police. There is only one you could count on, but even he can't make a change of such a large scale…but it doesn't prevent him from trying either.
"Hurry it up, the boss wants the goods by tonight!" a masked crook told his compatriots as they were loading stuff in the van. They could go unnoticed, or at least unbothered because their boss had a high position somewhere, so the police couldn't touch them.
"You know I'm actually glad to be on this job tonight…my mother in law came for a visit. No way I'll be hearing her nagging. You know, I'd rid myself of her in the worst way possible but I love my wife too much." One of the other crooks said.
"I'm single all my life and I'm living the happy life. I'm not one to be tied down, I just want to have fun you know. Of course if your wife makes you happy, your problem. But me, I love freedom, baby, freedom!" a third crook said.
"Are you mooks done making out? These electronics ain't gonny carry themselves!" the first crook said again.
"Don't get your panties in a twist, Mugsy. You remember we're in Blüdhaven, who's going to stop us? The police?" the second crook laughed again.
"But I will!" a voice said, and something flew through the air, hits one of the crooks in between the eyes and he drops the crate he was carrying.
"Oh, you fraggin'…who's the guy with a death wish?" the crook growled. They saw a silhouette in the shadows…all they could make out were two white shapes, which came from his eyes. "Oh no, not better be the Bat, I ran from Gotham to avoid him." The crook said. But as he saw the silhouette walk into the light, he looked relieved. "Oh, it's just the Bat's brat!"
"The name is Robin!" the figure said. He was in his teenage years; he was around sixteen or so. He had black messy, spiky hair, his eyes obscured by a black domino mask. He wore a red shirt with short green sleeves, it had a huge 'R' symbol on his chest, he wore long green tight pants, black boots with steel tips on the nose of the boots, green gloves and a short yellow cape.
"Listen kid, you better scram before we plant a bullet in your head. I don't like shooting kids, but I don't like getting stuff tossed at my face either. And since you dress up as a traffic light it all makes you one huge target for us!" the crook said as he aimed his gun.
The boy pressed the 'R' on his chest and in an odd liquid-like effect his outfit turns in shade of black. "Try to hit this!" He disappeared in the shadows, now invisible.
"Ok…that's a clever trick. But you're still not invulnerable!" the crook said as he aimed his gun around frantically. He tried to spy the kid, but to no avail. The last thing the crook felt was a pain in the back of his head, courtesy of Robin's foot hitting him there. The crook was down immediately.
The other crooks opened fire on the shadows near where their comrade had fallen, but their bullets hit nothing. But out of the shadows came some boomerang-like objects, which shot in their direction. One of them was hit in the hand and he dropped his gun, the other got hit in the face and was knocked out. The last crook groaned.
Robin moved from the shadows, right towards the crook. The crook tried to punch Robin, but Robin was faster, more agile and had better combat training as he ducked under it, uppercuts the chin of the crook and finished it up by kicking him in a wall. Robin then grabbed a gun-like device, but it didn't fire bullets. It fired metal wires with hooks, which embedded in the walls and tied the crook to it. "Lemme go you little frag-face!"
Robin in the meantime had cuffed the other two, unconscious crooks. He moved towards the crook on the wall. "First you tell me for who you are collecting those parts! They aren't just black market goods that bring a lot of money, these parts are used to weaponize! Someone is building a weapon of great power and you're going to tell me who." Robin growled.
"You ain't goin' to hear it from me! My boss is too big, so you can't scare me, you can't make me talk and you won't keep me in jail, I'll be back on the streets in one, maybe two weeks! Face it bird-boy, you don't scare a fly!" the crook mocked him.
Robin punched the wall beside him, leaving an imprint in it. The crook slightly shook, but returned to his smug smile soon enough. "TELL WHO YOU ARE WORKING FOR!" he screamed.
"You are supposed to be trained by the bat, you'd say he'd learn you to be intimidating, guess you skipped that class. You ain't going to hear it from me Birdboy, no crook will talk in this town! Our bosses control the city, and they will keep on doing that! You alone ain't going to make a change and papa Bat has his hands full with Gotham. Face it, you've got nuthin'!" the crook said.
Robin growled in anger as he turned around. "Fine, I don't need any info from you anyway!" he blended back in the shadows, waiting for the cops to show up, though they probably will let them go once their boss bailed them out. But Robin knew the crook was right…he couldn't scare anyone, and he couldn't handle Blüdhaven on his own, not at this point, but admitting is something he would never do. "I'll show them, I'll let them all see Robin is not to be taken lightly." He not only had the image of the crook of his mind, but that of his mentor as well, the image as clear as the day he left his side. "They'll see…"
On the other side of town, two other figures looked around in Blüdhaven. They had only arrived shortly, but they already felt unwelcome. "Why did we go to a place like this? It's a dump! And it's full of scum…I start to miss Africa already." The smaller of the two whined.
"My dad has a second lab here, from the time he worked with Wayne Enterprises. He hid it rather well so no bad guy can get their grubby hands on it. We can stay there for a while until we know where we'll go to." The bigger figure said.
"This city is full of crime, why is nobody doing anything?" the little person asked.
"This is the city that belongs to crime, even the police are no better. Even the two of us wouldn't be able to make as much of a dent in the crime organizations." The big figure replied.
"That blows! I am serious when I said I miss Africa. In that tribe village everyone knew everyone, everyone liked everyone, everyone helped everyone…" the little figure said sadly. "Even my foster family, despite their flaws tried to help."
"I'm afraid not every place can be like Africa. Now, let's go make ourselves comfortable at our temporary home. And find a place we can perhaps make a difference." The big fella said. They were somewhere on the outskirts of town. Not in an abandoned warehouse district or anything, those are where crime has pulled up secret bases. No it was somewhere near the forest. Yes, surprisingly Blüdhaven, the industrial city had a forest. Why it has been unbothered for so long was anyone's guess.
The big guy stopped near a rock wall in the forest, searching for something. He found a particular shaped rock, and pressed it. The wall opened up and a corridor was shown. "Dude, that's awesome! Your dad has his own Bat-Cave or something!" the little guy said excited.
"I suspect my dad helped in the design of the actual Bat-Cave…but he's sworn to secrecy so I can't really confirm that. But hey, we got a home for now." The big guy said as they got in through the tunnels as the door closed behind them. They entered a room and turned on the lights. It looked like a normal living quarters. But now we could finally take a good look at them.
The big guy was an African-American, somewhere in his early twenties. He was very tall and looked muscular. For now he had a grey hoodie (where he found one big enough is anyone's guess) and long pants. But the hands and feet that stuck out from the close didn't look like shoes or gloves or organic at all. They were mechanical, white with silvery and black accents, light blue circuits visible. He dropped his hood to reveal his face was also partially mechanical. He had a red optic for a left eye, half his cranium was blue circuitry, left part of his face and chin were tipped with metal.
The little guy, who was younger, around fifteen or sixteen, had a purple and black uniform of sorts. He had grey sneakers and gloves. But his most notable feature is that his skin was green, and his hair as well. He had green eyes too, not that it was abnormal, and he also had pointed, elf-like ears and he had a fang protruding from his lower jaw. He rubbed his stomach. "Dude, got any snacks? Meatless ones?"
"I think dad left some dried food and jerkey. I think there are some dried fruits and veggies, so you can help yourself.," the big guy said. "But I might try to get out and get some proper food later on, we're not only surviving on dried food. I really haven't made my triple meat pasta sauce in a while."
"Not for me Cyborg, whatever three types of meat there are in there, I'm sure I've been every of those animals at one point!" the green teen said to his comrade, whom he appropriately called Cyborg.
"I thought animals ate one another out in the wild, Beast Boy." Cyborg said. He and his pal were close, but they always found time to discuss around food habits.
"You better make me a pan of sauce with only veggies and mushrooms, otherwise I'd rather eat dry pasta!" Beastboy said, having grabbed a bag of dried snacks and sat down in the couch. They knew that in Blüdhaven they wouldn't get any rest for long, but how little they knew how short the rest would last.
On another part of time, still remote from the city but nowhere near where the two buds were staying, someone else arrives, but not through walking in or any vehicle, no. A portal had opened, a breach in between dimensions. From it came a form completely draped in a blue cloak with hood. The portal closed and the form landed on the ground. "This is Earth…" a female gravelly monotone voice said as she then looked at a sign that said 'Welcome to Blüdhaven. "Blüdhaven…what a dump!" she noted.
She removed her hood…underneath we could see a teenaged girl, who would have looked human if her skin wasn't grey. Her hair was short and reached her neck, and was purple, just like her eyes. She also had a red tiny gemstone on her forehead…or rather in, as it appeared it was fused in her head. The girl has closed her eyes like she was sensing something. "Dread…fear…greed…I can sense it clearly. This is supposed to be what Earth's like? This planet's doomed." She noted.
She floated a few inches of the ground and floated away. "I sense some good intentions…but they are afraid…powerless…" she noted. "I sense three particular strong minds that stand out…turmoil, but they have potential…but how do I approach them. My people skills are not exactly up to snuff." She thought to herself. "I need an excuse…" she thought.
As if on cue she saw something in the night sky, first a twinkle in the sky but it grew in size as it came closer. It was like a meteor was about to impact or something. But it' wasn't normal, she could sense there was a mind in it…an alien? She barely had enough time to get used to Earth as she was met with her first emergency. The huge green flaming falling star or whatever it was disappeared in the distance, somewhere in the city itself. The impact was visible, but the damage wasn't really severe. "That'll do!" she noted in a dull monotone.
From the crater that had been caused in the middle of Blüdhaven a form could now be made out. It was tall for sure, but it also looked very young…and feminine. Orange tan-like skin, reddish hair that reached her lower back, her eyebrows were only very small plucks of hair above her eyes…who were green, though the Scylla were a lighter shade of green. She also wore some kind of battle armor that covered most of her body, the parts around the chest lower legs and arms, and pelvis was purple. She had a collar and gauntlets with green orb-like gems encrusted in them. She looked alien, but she looked also positively stunning.
She looked around curiously. The people who saw her crash looked up in surprise. They were stunned. "Arasa ker?" she asked herself in an unknown Alien language. She probably wondered what place she had ended up here. She just walked forward, looking from left to right to study this strange new place. She walked up right up in the middle of a street, in traffic. A car headed towards her. The car barely avoided her and crashed into a nearby wall.
The driver, who didn't look too friendly, walked out. "Watch where you're going, you wench!" he said. The alien girl looked at him in confusion. "On second thought you could make a good hostage against the police." He said as he pulled out a gun. The alien girl's eyes glowed and the gun was evaporated in an instant. The crook turned pale and gulped.
"Khlorbag!" she noted as she lifted the wreckage of the car from the wall, and then in a matter of seconds, had crushed the remains of the car in a ball. The guy screeched like a little girl as he ran away. The alien girl shook her head. These species of humanoids was apparently not used to see a display of strength like this. Which meant the humans were vastly inferior in terms of strength.
The police, who had caught up to go after the robber (even if he would be bailed out later, they still had to keep up façade), stopped, stepped out and aimed their guns at her. "You are under arrest, surrender!" the officer said. The girl didn't understand them and just tilted her head slightly. "Surrender now, freak!" the girl recognized it was a threat.
She waved her hands and mattered in her alien language that she didn't want to fight but they didn't seem to understand her, and they probably wouldn't want to stand down either way. They opened fire on her. She covered herself with her arms as the bullets bounced of her armor harmlessly.
She kept screaming she didn't want to fight but they wouldn't budge. A few officers came along with gas grenades. They removed the pins and tossed them at her, smoke coming from it. But oddly enough it didn't affect her. She was alien after all, so she must react differently to Earth substances. She picked up the grenades and tossed them back, now the gas enveloping some officers. But that drew the final straw. "Get the missiles!"
Why the police had carried missiles while at first chasing a mere robber was anyone's guess but they weren't going easy. The alien girl braced herself for what might have come, but it didn't come. Two shapes flew through the air and embedded themselves in the missile launchers, a shock going through them and disabling the weapons, like it was EMP. She looked around and saw someone from the shadows. It was Robin. He made a gesture to follow him…she didn't know the kid but he made an effort at saving her so she decided to trust him for now. Better then to deal with these violent enforcers. Though they were no match for her, she didn't want any unwanted attention, certainly on a world she didn't know very well.
She aimed her head for the ground and let out more of the same laser eyes she used to fry the crook's gun, the blast creating a smokescreen as a cover for herself. The chief of the police squad growled in frustration. "All troops, look out for an odd-looking female with super strength, she has attacked us without provocation, she is dangerous, shoots laser, just get me a small army!"
"Chief, she wasn't attacking without provocation, we shot first…" one officer said.
"But she threatened that guy." The Chief attempted to justify himself.
"Actually that guy threatened him first, she just reacted. You think we aren't jumping the gun here?" the officer asked again.
"I don't have time for this, I shouldn't be listening to a rookie! Now get your butt in gear and find that girl!" the Chief growled.
Robin has led the alien girl somewhere out of town, near the parts where the city ends and forest begins. He didn't know how he had made it without being seen, but he was glad he did. He breathed heavily from the entire way running. Robin immediately has recognized the new girl as an alien, and has seen how the trigger-happy squad opened fire on her just because she was an alien. But to communicate would be a different job. "Who are you?" he asked. She didn't reply. She didn't understand it. "Who-are-you?" he said as he pointed at her. She just looked down to where Robin pointed, to see if there wasn't a stain on her armor.
Robin slapped his forehead. The alien girl did the same after a second. "No, don't repeat everything I do!" he said as he waved his hands as he wanted her to stop, but she waved her hands in return. He knew he had to change his approach. "Ro-bin!" he said pointing at himself, exclamation each syllable.
The alien girl nodded, as she finally understood. She pointed at him and asked: "Robin?" she asked. Robin nodded, glad she finally understood. "Ko-ri-an-d'r!" she introduced herself, doing the same as Robin.
"Koriand'r…nice name." He said. But he saw it clearly that she didn't understand the second part of the sentence. "There has to be a better way to communicate." Robin muttered. Apparently Koriand'r agreed with Robin that it was a difficult situation. She then widened her eyes like an idea just struck her, and then she smacked her own head like she should have done that sooner. She puts her hands on Robin's shoulders…and moved closer. "What are you doing?" Robin asked.
Somewhere else in the city, someone else was meeting with the Mayor. You'd think that personally meeting the mayor would be a great thing, a honour. It wasn't. To the public the Mayor appeared as a caring man, but our guest knew, amongst anyone else in the criminal circuit that it wasn't. "Mayor Roark likes to speak with you know!" the secretary said as he guided the man in.
The man was led in, over to his seat, where he sat down. The secretary left. The mayor had his back turned, you could only see the chair. "Ah, Arthur, it's nice of you to join me!" the mayor said in a sweet tone, but that was when you had to dread him the most. "I wanted to talk about your project…how is it coming along?"
"Oh, rather well…though Robin's interference with the robberies is bothersome. Of course you have the police at your disposal, you could snatch it away without trouble, but all the paperwork and delays that could work with it are…" the guy called Arthur said nervously.
"But is it operational?" the mayor asked, still in that sweet dangerous tone.
"It should work, but I couldn't make a field test with it yet…" Arthur said as he tugged at his own collar nervously.
"I'm afraid that it'll have to be operational now, you see my friends amongst the police force told me of a girl with unnatural abilities wreaking havoc…shooting lasers, turning a car into a cube…I think your invention might be just the thing to do so. If it works out, we might have a 'hero' to boost the morale of the people. Making them believe they're safe while I can do personal matters undisturbed." The Mayor replied.
"But that…would be highly risky, there is no telling what the untested proto-armor could do…we didn't even find a test pilot, and who would be foolish enough to try such an unstable invention?" Arthur asked.
"You created it, you can handle it!" the Mayor stated.
"Me? But…against an alien who can lift tons and shoots lasers, with an unstable armor?" Arthur said.
"Everyone has to take risks once in a while, how do you think I got on top? But if you have any doubts, I'm sure Mojo would like to deprive you of them…he's really good at soothing people." The mayor said as he gestured at the bodyguard next to him. He was very tall and muscular. He had a moustache and beard and was bald. Mojo was the mayor's personal bodyguard, and he was one of the main reasons Roark had a hold over so many. Mojo had been playing billiards with himself in the corner, though still keeping an eye on the guest. He took a billiard ball in his hand, which he crushed without effort.
Arthur gulped, he didn't want to know what Mojo would do to his skull… "On second thought, I wouldn't be a good scientist if I doubted my own invention, I'm sure I can make it work!"
"Excellent, I'm so glad we could come to an understanding!" Mayor Roark said as he turned to finally face Arthur. At first sight nothing would suggest the mayor was dangerous, he was a very small and aged man, nearly bald, wearing glasses having a sweet smile. But looks deceive.
The ones called Cyborg and Beast Boy had heard about the crash, it could be heard even from where they had been and gone out to check it. But then Beast Boy's ears twitched. He heard something but he couldn't quite make it out. So he made true to his name and transformed into a dog…yes the green kid was a changeling. With his new dog senses he could hear the distant cries better: "Hey, what are you doing? Stop!"
Beastboy turned to normal. "Someone's in trouble!" he said as he morphed into a hawk and flew off!
"Wait for me, grass stain! With these parts I can't really run fast!" Cyborg said as he tried to catch up with the green hawk.
They rushed towards where it came from, in the sky and on land. When Beast Boy heard that, he didn't hesitate, he heard a cry for help and he wasn't going to ignore it. But he could be really rash and he should have bothered to listen a little longer. Then he wouldn't have run on the awkward image of the alien girl Koriand'r planting a big kiss on Robin's lips.
"Whoa, are we interrupting something?" Cyborg asked surprised.
Koriand'r's lips parted with Robin's, who once it was over, dropped down on the floor in…not sure if it was shock or euphoria but it was clear the lights were on, but nobody was home. The alien girl then turned to the new visitors. Then, she spoke up, but this time, she spoke in perfect English: "Greetings, I am Korian'dr of planet Tameran…in your language, my name would mean something like 'Starfire'."
"Hi, I'm Raven!" a voice said from beside the baffled Cyborg and Beast Boy, who turned to the source: the grey haired empathic girl.
"Where did she come from?" Beast Boy asked.
"I come from Azarath." The girl called Raven responded. They looked baffled at her. "Interdimensional magical dimension." She explained.
"It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Raven of Azarath. Now can anyone tell me on which planet I am currently on?" Koriand'r asked.
"You're on planet Earth…that reminds me, I'm Beast Boy, and the big guy is Cyborg!" Beast Boy introduced.
"Nice meeting you…but why did you kiss that guy?" Cyborg asked?
"You mean the lip contact? That's how my species learn other languages." Koriand'r responded.
"Really? How does that work?" Beast Boy asked.
"Well, through our lips the electric neuro-pulses of our nerve systems make contact with the nervous system of the other so that these impulses can travel up the vertebrae up to the language centre of the brain, basically downloading the information instantaneously in our own language brain center, but as a side effect it kind of leaves the person we have lip contact with in a state of temporary shock due to the electric impulses travelling up his brain interfering with the equilibrium of the said person." Koriand'r responded.
"I didn't understand a word you said…" Beast Boy said as he scratched his head.
"So who is the lucky guy you kissed?" Cyborg said as he moved closer to Robin. "Holy crud, that's Robin, Batman's sidekick!"
"Really? Dude!" Beast Boy said.
"No, Cyborg said his name was Robin!" Koriand'r said.
"No, that's Earth slang…never mind. I think he's in shock, we better get him somewhere where he can recover." Cyborg said.
"Can I please come with you? I am alone on this world and…I got into the city and I was immediately attacked by this local law enforcement but I do not know what I did wrong…I am not aware of your planet's laws…that and the masked boy you call Robin was the only one to come to my aid." She asked.
"Certainly you can come along Miss Koriand'r…" Cyborg assured.
"Glorious. I promise I'll make sure you won't even notice I'm there, I'll keep low until I can learn more about this odd planet!" she assured them.
"Say, you coming too, Raven?" Beast Boy asked. Raven looked at him funny. "Well, you also got mixed up in this bizarre situation so it seems only logical I'd ask. Besides, you're alien too to this world, so we can give you a tour later as well." Beast Boy said.
"I don't understand, I'm a total stranger, and you are warming up to me so quickly…not to mention that I'm grey?" Raven asked.
"Look at me, I'm green and I got pointy ears and fangs. I'm not sure if you know, but for earthlings that's not common. If you must know, I've seen a lot of weird stuff. Besides, I can't leave a pretty girl not alone in the cold, can I?" Beast Boy said.
"Pretty?" Raven asked confused as she touched her face.
"Will you two stop making out and come?" Cyborg said as he carries the unconscious Robin along.
"What were you and Beast Boy making, Raven of Azarath?" Koriand'r asked.
"I'll explain later!" Raven said blushing as the departed.
TO BE CONTINUED