Thursday, May 25, 2017

Chapter Four: Cadmus and Bad Girls

Chapter Four: Cadmus and Bad Girls

"Sleep cycle complete." the computer monitor announced.

Cyborg's electronic eye began to turn on as his natural eye opened. It was too early. Just too early. But then again, he was fully recharged and there was no point in re-charging nothing and letting his charger get too hot. Sighing, Cyborg got up and went over to his computer. Not much on his schedule today. There was mostly just practice and kicking BB's butt on the GameStation. A bell rung and he walked over to get his breakfast.

Grabbing the sunny-side up egg and bacon strips, Cyborg ate slowly, wondering if any of the others were up. They probably weren't. The past week had put everyone back into their normal routine. Beast Boy was probably still drooling allover his pillow, the sheets dirty and in need of a good wash. Robin was most likely dead asleep (the guy probably sleep-walked into bed). The girls were most likely still asleep, but would wake up sooner or later. They, unlike the guys, had an easier time getting up due to their extraordinary ability to somehow plan time to sleep when necessary. Starfire claimed it was because of Tamaran's odd rotations and Raven said that it was because she often had to get up at night and meditate anyways.

A yawn escaped from him. Cyborg walked over to grab his basketball. Maybe he could shoot some hoops before practice today. He would just have to drop off his dish first. The hallways were deserted. He found himself trying to make his footsteps softer, but that was nearly impossible since his feet were big, metal, and in all honesty, loud. Once he reached the main room, he let out a sigh of relief and walked into the kitchen. He put his dish in the sink and was about to turn around to go to the roof when someone spoke.

"Shooting hoops?"

Cyborg turned to see Raven. He hadn't noticed her when he had come in. She was levitating in the air by the couch, her back facing him. Even though he hadn't seen her yet, he could tell that her eyes were closed. She was focusing on something, or maybe trying to and failing.

"Um, yeah, Rae. Hey, why are you up this early?" Cyborg asked.

"Nightmares," she answered, "I decided to come out here to try to calm myself down."

Cyborg nodded. They all knew what Raven's nightmares could do. Her powers had once creeped them all out to the point that it felt like they were in a horror movie, getting picked off one at a time by her monstrous creations. It wasn't intentional, but they had all learned from that experience that when she had a nightmare, admitting it was, by far, the best solution. She never went into them, and Cyborg understood why. Being the daughter of Trigon could possibly make such things worse since she knew of the demons that lurked below and what their intentions were. It was by her own courage that she didn't tell them about her nightmares. She retained a lot of that sort of thing to keep everyone else's lives simple. She never thought of it that way, but they did.

"Sorry 'bout that," he answered, walking over and around the couch so that he could see her.

Sure enough, her eyes were closed "It's not your fault."

"Anyone else up?" he asked.

"No," she answered. Raven opened her eyes and let out a breath, "I was going to make some tea. Want any?"

"Huh? Oh, no, I'm good, but you know, if it's herbal, BB might be up for it," Cyborg told her.

"He won't be up for a couple of hours," Raven replied.

It was true and they both held in a silent laugh. Cyborg walked over to the kitchen where Raven was making her tea. Sometimes this would happen, he'd wake up and there would be a Titan in the main room to talk to. A couple days ago, Starfire had been in the main room, looking through something on a computer. So it wasn't unnatural and often times, he'd just stick around to chat and see what was going on with the others.

"Anything you're planning on doing today?" He asked.

Raven filled a cup with warm water and placed it in the silver microwave, "Poetry reading tonight at Midnight's Dawn Cafe. That's about it."

He nodded. "Yeah, pretty laid back this week, huh?"

"I suppose so," she responded.

The timer buzzed and she opened the microwave and pulled out the cup. She put in the tea bag and began to stir it gently, letting the flavor take precedence. Blowing on it thoughtfully, she took a sip. Cyborg watched her for a moment and then bounced his ball once. As it came up, he felt a sudden longing to be able to feel all of the bumps that made up the exterior of the ball. A simple wish, but not a realistic dream come true.

"Do you know what any of the others are doing?" he asked.

Raven placed her spoon on the counter and replied, "Robin's probably still catching up on file work. You know that Mad Mod case is still bugging him."

"The dude is crazy," Cyborg replied shaking his head. "Wish Robin could just accept that."

Raven smirked, but sighed, "Frankly, I don't think it's that simple either, Cyborg... I know that Starfire was going to go downtown to look at some new shops, but other than that I..."

Their attention turned over to the clear plasma screen window when it randomly made a noise and, for some reason, flickered to life. Cyborg looked at Raven and she wrinkled her forehead in confusion. They both walked over where the main computer screen in the front was also turning on as well. The screen was black, but finally words came up on the screen in white:

"Incoming Video Communications Signal"

"Please turn on the volume and any microphones required."

"Signal from: Project Cadmus"

"Who's Cadmus?" Raven asked, looking at Cyborg, who's brow was now furrowed.

Cyborg turned on the volume and the mics, but then before he pressed enter, he turned to answer her, "I think I know who they are, but I just don't know why they're calling..."

Raven raised a brow as Cyborg hit enter. The screen fully flickered on the plasma screen to reveal a lab with a man with brown hair and a suit on. He was an older man with a few wrinkles, but he was somewhat young because of his obvious zeal. Cyborg's eye narrowed.

"Can I help you at seven in the morning?" he asked.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot about the time difference. My name is Dr. Westfield," the man answered back.

"Well, Dr. Westfield, what're you calling for?" Cyborg asked.

Raven looked at him. Normally Cyborg wasn't this... rude.

"We've been presented with a new project that requires the use of sonic technology," Westfield told them, "We've witnessed your... prowess with your sonic cannons, Cyborg, and well, it's just plain impressive. We were wondering about whether or not you would allow us the... opportunity to see some of your designs."

Cyborg's eyes narrowed. He didn't like this guy and, apparently, neither did Raven. She huddled her form slightly and stared at Westfield, her eyes narrowed in a sort of concentration. This guy, Westfield, he didn't, well, it was hard to explain. She could almost sense there was something... he was... cheap. Raven walked over inconspicuously to the side and closed her eyes.

Within the rooms of each of the remaining Titans, each of the Titans started to stir as though they suddenly wanted to get up. Robin's eyes twitched for a moment while he continued to lie in bed until almost a yell from inside his head woke him up. The main room. That's all he thought, but he got the message from Raven loud and clear. For the others, they weren't as certain or even aware of Raven's physic messages. Robin only could tell because of the mind bond that Raven had created in a life or death circumstance. Starfire was the next to get up and she went out to the main room, only stopped to quickly brush her hair. Beast Boy... He ended up being the hardest to wake up and only woke up when Raven created the illusion of the smell of fresh tofu waffles. Even then, he was only able to slowly drag himself out the door.

"You know, Dr. Westfield, I'm pretty sure that your company would know that that decision is not entirely up to me. STAR labs own my designs. It's a joint agreement," Cyborg said.

Robin walked around the corner to meet Starfire in the hallway. They stopped when they heard Westfield talking, "What is going on?"

"Not sure, some guy named Westfield's calling," he answered.

"Well, I'm sure, but Cyborg, if we can get your consent, STAR shouldn't be a problem to persuade," Westfield told him.

"So last night, Galifore sent me what is the equivalent of an email to tell me how Tamaran is..." Starfire said as she and Robin entered the room.

Both of them stopped and Robin walked up to the screen, "I'm guessing I missed a call?"

"Nope, it's for me," Cyborg said and returned his attention to Westfield. More witnesses, good, "Westfield, I don't think you get it. I know that you and STAR labs aren't friends or are even friendly. Why should I just hand over my designs?"

"What are you planning to use them for, anyway?" Robin questioned.

"Oh, just research in sound waves and such," Westfield said, his face a bit tighter, but still composed.

"Why?" Starfire asked, coming into the conversation.

Westfield's eyes narrowed. "That is classified."

"Well then maybe you should UN-classify it. I'm not giving over any of my designs till I know what they're going to be used for," Cyborg answered.

"Yeah..." The four Titans and Westfield looked over to see Beast Boy (finally awake) enter the room, "The last time his designs got into the wrong hands, a tsunami could have wiped out half of Jump."

"I assure you it is nothing dangerous," Dr. Westfield told them.

"Prove it!" Cyborg challenged.

Westfield's irritation finally manifested itself. "Look, we're asking for a favor. We'd pay for it too, so it's not even a favor. Cadmus could replicate your sonic technology in a matter of weeks, but the fact is, we don't want to waste that kind of time."

"Well, too bad, it looks like you're going to have to. Nice talking to ya," Cyborg answered before disconnecting the line.

"Sorry about waking you," Raven said, " I just... was getting bad vibes from him, if you know what I mean."

"It's no problem," Robin answered, before Beast Boy could complain.

"Um, friend Cyborg, I wish to inquire, what is it that this Cadmus did to make you so alert?" Starfire asked.

Cyborg sighed as the others watched him lean over the computer. Eventually, he turned around and crossed his arms as he leaned against the walls, "Well, it's complicated. My Dad, his name was Dr. Stone. He worked for STAR labs, so I heard all about that sort of company competition and stuff. I wasn't really interested, but I remember my old man just ranting sometimes about Cadmus."

Robin stepped in. "I think I've heard of Project Cadmus. Don't they work in the area of biology?"

"Yeah." Cyborg told them, "When Cadmus and STAR would clash it was mostly when Cadmus was working on some sort of research with technology and its effects on the body."

"Where is Cadmus?" Raven asked.

"Don't know," Cyborg answered, "They've been all over the place. I think some of their stuff might be illegal or something, too. I've even heard of them being stationed in Hawaii, but they never stay in one place for too long as far as I know."

"So you just wanted to bring us in here to keep big old bad Cadmus from trying to convince Cyborg to give up his stupid designs?!" Beast Boy asked, "Man! I need my beauty sleep!"

"I just thought the backup would be nice, yeah," Raven answered cynically.

"If Cadmus is under the radar, I don't like going into shady areas without backup anyway; so thanks," Cyborg told them.

"Well, it's fine. We get it," Robin answered.

"Easy for you to sleep, Mr. Insomniac." Beast Boy muttered "Ow!"

Raven had elbowed the changeling in the gut and given him a glare, "Shut it."

"Fine," Beast Boy answered.

"Do you want me to look into this Cyborg?" Robin asked.

Behind him, Starfire waved her hands back and forth while mouthing 'No!' Robin looked behind him and she instantly smiled, her hands behind her back.

"Aw, no Robin, I think as long as Cadmus doesn't have my designs we're fine. 'Sides, if Cadmus was going to try anything here, they wouldn't be stupid enough to put us on alert by calling us up." Cyborg answered.

"Alright," Robin nodded.

He'd let it go for now. They all knew that. It would just take them about three or four days of pulling Robin away from his work to make him forget about it. That was going to be fun. Luckily, they could take shifts doing so.

Starfire sighed and commented, "Well then, friends, now that we are awake, why do we not partake of the breaking of the fast?"

"Huh?" Beast Boy asked.

"Breakfast, BB," Robin told him.

"Alright, tofu eggs and waffles on me!" he announced, pulling himself over to the kitchen as the others followed

"We already ate," Raven said, ready to stalk on back to her room.

"I'll just have a protein shake, B," Robin added.

"A protein shake! Why?" he asked.

"Because they're good for you."

"Tofu's good for you, maybe better," Beast Boy answered back.

"Alright, I'll have a waffle, but just one..."

The alarm blared. Starfire floated over to the computer as Cyborg and Raven turned (reluctantly) back to the screen. Robin jumped over the couch and watched as Starfire pulled up the city sector map. Unlike most occasions, instead of the flashing red, the five Titans saw a blinking brown crossing over several areas of the city.

"It's below the city, on a path to..."

There was only one other Titan that knew that path that was being created on screen as well as Robin did. Beast Boy had joined them in their trance, "Terra... Okay, who in their right mind is going down there?"

His tone had changed from being laid back to a sudden severity and sarcastic note as he continued, "It's not like anyone can leave it alone anyway."

Robin went on and continued to type, trying to hack a security camera, "It's... Blackfire?"

Starfire suddenly looked over at the screen with more alertness and attention, "What is she doing here and down there of all places?"

"Don't know, but I think we better find out," Robin said, "Titans!"

They didn't need to be told twice. Cyborg and Robin went down to the garage while Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy went on a direct flight path to the cavern's entrance. While driving, Robin could feel the earth beneath him rumble as he drove and Cyborg began to count the Geiger size of the tremors. They were getting even more severe and noticeable as they got closer and as time passed. Finally they reached the entrance, Robin grabbing a lift from Starfire and Cyborg getting a lift from Raven to fly down there faster. As they traveled, the lights began to rapidly blink on an off. Since Slade's downfall at Terra's hands, the city made a pathway down to what had once been a petrified statue of Terra. The pathway didn't look all that great, though. The ceiling shook and rocks were falling. As they got closer they could hear laughter.

As soon as they got to the entrance of the large area of the cavern, Starfire and Raven released the two boys and Beast Boy changed back into a human, his posture and expression stiff and angry. Floating in the air was another teenager. In appearance, she looked like a darker duplicate of their own Tamaranian, but a bit older and with dark hair and purple eyes. She seemed to glory in a stellar black and silver outfit similar to Starfire's. In her hand, she held a purple Starbolt, her smile reflecting her utter delight at the Titans' arrival.

"Sister, dear, you've come," Blackfire announced, flying closer to the five Titans and in particular, Starfire, "I was afraid I'd cause a cave-in before you got here."

"Oh don't worry about that," Beast Boy remarked, drawing Blackfire's attention away from Starfire for a moment.

Starfire took the opportunity to address her sister, "What is it that you are doing, sister? This is just random destruction."

She motioned to the cave, which had in fact, suffered damage. The path that lead up to Terra's monument, which had been recreated in the wake of it's (or her) disappearance, was littered with rocks, the handrails broken. The surviving glass on some of the walls had been shattered and the ground had become uneven. This didn't faze Blackfire in the slightest, though.

"Exactly, Starfire," she said, sweetly.

"So you're not here to put Starfire up on the market again?" Robin started.

Cyborg finished, pulling out his sonic cannon. "You're just here to pick a fight!"

Blackfire laughed, "Well, duh."

"Titans! Go!"

Raven was the first to react, "Azarath Metrion Zinthos!"

The rocks from the ground began to levitate and suddenly, with a burst of speed, aimed directly at the fugitive. Blackfire dodged them and sent starlazers at Cyborg's circuits which he barely missed. Beast Boy attacked without hesitation. He attempted to claw at her from the air, but he was so absorbed with trying to hit her, he didn't pay attention to his own safety. He was knocked down with a couple starbolts, although that proved to be a good distraction. Starfire flew up with Robin, who grabbed Blackfire around the neck from behind. She choked and attempted to throw him off but he refused to let go.

"Hate me that much, Robin? I hope you're still not holding a grudge against me for making Starfire leave for Tamaran," she managed to say.

Robin didn't reply, but his grip loosened for just a second at the shock of the comment, which allowed Blackfire to throw him off. Raven caught him with a cloud of energy and then looked over at Cyborg who got her message. A disk appeared for Cyborg to ride on while she suddenly released a massive Raven-shaped energy literally from her body, her soul self. It flew straight at Blackfire and engulfed her in it and then in a moment was gone. Blackfire looked around, but was not too out of it to realize that Cyborg was coming right at her on the disk.

She flew out of the way and sent a starbolt into one of his sonic cannons, effectively sending sparks up his arm and postponing his re-emergence into the fight. Robin sent up a couple smoke bombs into the air while Starfire sent a barrage of starbolts into the cloud. As the smoke dispersed, they waited, holding their breath tightly in their chests. Where was... Blackfire flew straight from the cloud and directly at Robin. She lifted him up and carried him by the front end of his shirt towards the top of the cavern near the ceiling. He really was starting to hate it when this happened.

"Hate me that much, Blackfire?" he asked her in mock imitation.

She didn't get a chance to reply. Something latched on and clawed at her stomach where the fabric tore and one could see smallscratches. Something green. No, no, no... Robin felt Blackfire use one hand to find Beast Boy in the shape of a mouse and throw him off. Angry, she began to fly forward, Robin right in front. She slammed him into a wall and let go. That hurt, that really, no that hurt. Falling to the ground hurt. Starfire watched as a tremor went up the wall from Robin's original impact sending rocks falling down onto their leader. Most hit him on the back and missed his head fortunately, but it left him out of the fight for the moment.

"Robin!" Starfire whirled around to see Blackfire blinding Cyborg's visual system with her starbolts while simultaneously throwing Beast Boy once again off and into Raven, "No!"

There were losing and her friends were being hurt by her own blood. Starfire let out a vicious and enraged yell. Her normal smile was gone and her eyes glowed an emerald green.

Never again! "Blackfire!"

The banished Tamaranian looked over and for a moment, her smile faded as she saw Starfire come forward and grab her shoulders to push her forward.

"You dare!" she screamed at Blackfire as she sent them both flying into the ground in the canyon below, "You dare hurt them and I'll..."

Blackfire seized Star's hands and pushed her to the ground instead, "You'll what? You'll banish me? Doesn't work that way here now does it?"

"You will go to jail!" Starfire yelled, he starlazers effectively sending Blackfire into the ceiling above.

The fight between the two raged. Robin slowly managed to open his eyes. His communicator began to vibrate and ring. Something was wrong. He barely was able to move his arm to reach back behind to his belt to get it. A break-in was in progress by... Cheshire? They had to split up. He got to his knees and looked at the others' and their current conditions. Who was best to send off to fight Cheshire?

"Raven! Beast Boy! There's a break in at Cook's Electronics; Cheshire's behind it," Robin ordered, "Stop her!"

Blackfire looked over momentarily, but Starfire landed a kick to her shoulder and brought her back into the fight. Raven went without hesitating until she saw Beast Boy looking over at Blackfire, still angry. He was about to argue, but Robin cut him off after getting up.

"No! Go! You're too attached to do any good here!" he told him, "Go!"

Beast Boy took this as a slight offense, but followed Raven anyway. They could still hear Starfire and Blackfire fighting as they traveled along the cave tunnel. At every hit and evey tremor that they felt, Beast Boy got slower and kept looking back. He shouldn't be going after Cheshire. Cyborg or Robin should be, or well, at least Cyborg. Not him. He should be down there protecting Terra's...

"Don't even think about it," Raven said in a monotone.

"Oh, and why not?" Beast Boy asked turning back into a human to let Raven lecture him while getting a ride out of it. At least it meant that he didn't have to run or fly.

Raven didn't look at him, "You know you were making it worse. Robin was right, in your attempts to get Blackfire out of there, you were reckless."

"Hey, Starfire's being reckless," he shot back.

"No, she's not. She's coordinating her attacks so that she doesn't risk harming others," Raven told him and after a moment added, "You're too emotionally attached to that place."

Beast Boy looked down from the flying disk at the road that they were passing and almost in a whisper replied, "You would be, too."

Raven stiffened for a moment and turned her gaze away. Yeah, she would. She couldn't deny it. She had her share of hurt, too. But she wouldn't say it.

Raven let it go for a moment as she thought up an appropriate answer, "Beast Boy... just, focus on Cheshire."

Beast Boy nodded. He knew that she was trying to be nice. He knew that she hadn't entirely liked Terra. Raven had felt just as betrayed by Terra as he did in some ways. Not by a broken heart, but by a broken trust. He thought in some ways that she felt partially responsible. They all did. Robin felt like he should have spoken out more about how dangerous Slade was. Starfire wished that she had not been so oblivious to Terra's odd behavior. Cyborg kicked himself for showing her his designs of the building. Raven felt that she should have never let Terra gain her trust in the first place.

Everything worked out in the end. Or rather, almost everything worked out. Terra redeemed herself in their eyes, but at the cost of her own life. They were humbled by her sacrifice. It left them with a permanent reminder that when one chooses to do what's right, they don't always get to keep what they save for other people for themselves: Life. Terra was a hero. She was a Teen Titan. She left a memory and a heart breaking one at that.

Looking back, Beast Boy felt like he had just let himself be blind. The hard reality of it was that he knew that he had cared for and had liked Terra. It was harsh and had made it tough to always keep a smile on and joke around during that time. But he did because it was all that he really knew how to do.

They followed their locators on their communicators until they reached the computer store. The glass was broken and there was a small fire going. Nobody was here, or at least, it seemed that way. Beast Boy turned into a bloodhound and started to sniff around. He caught a whiff of french perfume. He nodded over to Raven as he sniffed to the back of the store, where it was pitch dark, save for the blue glow of the computer screens that were still intact. Soon, he stopped and stayed crouched on the floor.

"Rae, the scent's gone," he said.

She could hear the slight worry in his voice. Beast Boy knew that scents and tracks didn't just disappear, or at least, intentionally disappear. Raven went ahead, squinting her eyes and keeping a tight hold on her cloak. She looked over at Beast Boy who was watching her hesitantly. It was still dark. Raven bent down and touched the floor.

"Raven? What are you...?" Beast Boy started, but then he saw the white glow that emanated from Raven's eyes.

Raven pressed her hand down onto the ground. Instantly, the blue glow from the computers melted down as Raven's telepathic energy reached over all of the walls and the objects in the room. It was almost like every solid object was being turned into a fine, black crystal barely shining. Yes, crystal. It was something that had never occurred to him. While cold and dark later, the first manifestations of it seemed to be bright like an icy crystal. Beast Boy watched as he and Raven remained untouched by the energy. He turned swiftly to continue watching the energy wave when suddenly a face emerged from what had once been shadows.

Leaping as soon as their eyes met, Cheshire attacked.

"Woah!" Beast Boy leaped out of the way as Raven whipped around to see Cheshire attack from behind.

Raven teleported out of the way, but barely. Yet this allowed for Cheshire to focus on Beast Boy, who unfortunately, was not used to fighting someone like Cheshire. Turning into a snake, Beast Boy slithered off, attempting to hide. Cheshire looked either way. She wasn't looking for a fight, just a quick escape. To her advantage, Beast Boy came out of nowhere in an attempt to bite her leg, but at the same moment Raven came out at the same time. Beast Boy saw and turned into a human, yet it made for the two Titans colliding into each other for the second time that day, Raven's hood falling off in the process.

"Don't let her..." Raven started, but she was too late.

She saw a doorway of light and Cheshire's shadow, which she followed up to see Cheshire herself. The mask smiled as always as she shut the door. Raven got up and ran to the doorway. She wrenched the door open as Beast Boy followed her outside. The bright light hit her eyes. Gone, nothing, no one.

No Cheshire. No... reason?

Deep below the Earth, the two Tamaranians' battle was in dire need of an end. If they didn't stop fighting soon, they'd end up bringing the whole cavern down with them. Cyborg had finally gotten up and had attempted to hit Blackfire with his cannon. However, Starfire, being so close in range to her sister, made it increasingly difficult for him to aim until he finally gave up altogether and turned his focus to Robin to make sure that he was alright. It wasn't that big a deal, but still, Robin was human. He may be incredibly resistant to pain due to crime fighting for so long, but falling rocks can do a number on a person. Starfire knew how dangerous this was becoming and she knew her sister did as well.

Throwing a couple punches, Starfire managed to ask, "Why, must you, do this?"

"Look, sister dear, if I go down, at least you do..." Blackfire yelled as Starfire rammed her with her starlazers into the ceiling causing the oddly deformed stalactites to detach and hit her in the back and the head.

That was enough to knock her out with the sudden pain. It was nothing life threatening to a Tamaranian, though. Starfire flew up and caught her sister as she fell. Blackfire looked up at her sister passively before passing out entirely. Starfire sighed as she brought Blackfire to the ground. She didn't like fighting her sister and she never quite understood what she could have done to make her sister hate her so much. But what concerned her more now was if Robin was alright or not.

"Cyborg, you must apprehend my sister," she called to him.

Cyborg had just finished making a quick check over Robin after pulling him out of the rubble. Robin nodded to him and Cyborg walked over to hand-cuff Tamaran's former princess. Starfire ran over to Robin who was leaning up against the rock wall. Just as she knelt down next to him, the communicator rang. He flipped it open to see Raven and Beast Boy on the screen.

"Robin, Cheshire got away, but all she did was damage to the Cook's store by the looks of it. The place is a mess," Raven told him.

"She didn't do anything?" Robin asked.

"Nothing but damage, really," Raven answered.

"Yeah," Beast Boy piped in, "It was like she was just picking a fight."

"Or..." Raven hesitated and then answered, "No."

"What?" Robin asked.

"She didn't want to fight. She escaped as soon as we showed up," Raven answered.

The four Titans watched their leader's brow wrinkle in thought. They all knew that the gears inside his head were turning at an alarmingly fast rate. It worried them a bit whenever he did this just because whenever he did, he'd become irritable and would beat on himself for not coming up with an answer right away. Hesitantly, Starfire dared to pull him out of his trance.

"Robin?" She said.

After a moment, he said, "Let's get back to the Tower."

Raven nodded on the com-link and turned it off. She motioned over to Beast Boy to head back to the tower and the two flew off to wait for the others' return. Cyborg picked Blackfire up ready to bring her to cop cars that were sure to be up at the cave entrance as soon as they got up there. Robin attempted to stand, but grunted. His back was stiff, his muscles tight from the impact.

"Robin? Are you..." Starfire trailed off.

Robin smiled a bit grimly up at her. Starfire slung his arm around her shoulders and helped him walk to the T-Car. Their steady rate would have been even slower if Starfire hadn't been partially flying to help Robin support himself.

"You're riding in the T-Car man," Cyborg told him, "Starfire can get your bike."

Robin said, wincing as he took a couple steps, "I'll be fine guys, really. I just need to relax for the night. With Raven's healing powers I should be better by morning."

Cyborg nodded and turned his attention over to Starfire reassuringly, "What about you? Are you alright?"

"Hm? Oh, I am fine, thank you," Starfire said, turning her eyes downward.

She didn't want to think about the fight that had just been insinuated. She looked over at her sister who lay limply in Cyborg's arms. For everything that she had ever done to Starfire, she was still her sister. They all knew that and it was always thought as something remarkable at how Starfire handled this. Never making excuses. Never wanting to get revenge. She held her head up high, her eyes looking down low. Was she sad? Yes. Did she wish that it could be different? Yes. But almost like a diplomat, Starfire handled the situation with a strong resolved belief of the outcome that would befall Blackfire was in the name of justice. She could forgive her on her own terms outside of the law, but somehow, Starfire knew that forgiveness was not what Blackfire was looking for.

They handed Blackfire, still out of it, over to the cops. They said nothing about the earlier robbery this week, seeing Robin's condition. High above them, there was someone watching. Her long black hair flowed with the silk green arms of her costume in the wind. She shook her head and turned. It would be dangerous, foolish, and stupid. That's what they had said. And maybe it had been, but now as much as it could have been thanks to her... negotiations. She had been promised fun and it had been.

But it was time to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment