Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Chapter Twenty-Four: Disconnecting

Chapter Twenty Four: Disconnecting

Dick sat on the couch in the lounge. That's what he had gotten used to doing for the past three days. Staying in the lounge all day and doing something mundane with his time. This time, he had the TV muted as he tried to figure out a mind bender game.

The first two days he had mostly stayed inside of his room, trying to work when he could. Ultimately, he got hardly any work done. Despite the fact that Wilson supposedly worked during the day, the guy took an awful lot of breaks and, in Dick's opinion, he had taken the chance every time to check in on him. This made it extremely difficult to do any work at all. However, he somehow managed, via texting, to tell the Titans what was going on. They had all rather disliked the idea of Dick living with some stranger, as he had, but even more than he had, it seemed. Dick felt pretty self sufficient himself, making him less worried than they were.

So because of that one difference of opinion, Dick, after several hundred text messages, finally decided to complete this 'conversation' with a phone call as soon as he could get out of the house. That had proved to be more than a challenge. Dick quickly realized that Wilson tended to stay up late every night and that he had an annoying habit of sitting right by the stairs and front door, too. After the second night, he eventually figured that if he was going to get out, he'd have to work on that during the day before hand. So on the third day, when Wilson slipped out of the house to do whatever (Dick didn't really care what), he had taken the opportunity to climb the fire escape outside to look at the window to his room from the outside.

His first impression was that he had been right and that the wood had grown together, but he soon found the problem. The window had been sealed from the outside. He couldn't say that he was surprised. The window didn't have any bars on it and people did take precautions in cities. Using a sharp edge of a birdarang from his utility belt (that was hidden under his long T-shirt) Dick slowly managed to cut through the sealer. It made him grateful that he had waited to do this. The seal made it impossible for anyone to break in without making a sound.

As he finally rounded the edge of the window, Dick flipped the birdarang back in place and began to shove and wiggle the window's edge. The sealer had done it's job well, getting into the crevices, but that didn't mean that Dick couldn't get it. After all, with what he could bench press, this was easy. With a slam, the window finally came free and hit the top of the window's edge. Dick bit his lip and looked around. No one. Good.

Taking out a piece of sandpaper, he quickly rubbed at the sealer and removed what he could of it. He was about to get to the top and bottom of the window when he heard a car drive up down below and the car door open and close. Dick gulped and quickly slid inside the window, shutting it quickly and throwing his belt back with his other stuff that he had shoved into the corner of his closet, hidden by empty suitcases, just as Wilson entered and began walking up the stairs.

He remembered snagging his laptop and flipping it open as he heard a knock on his door. Wilson checked in with him about dinner before leaving without a word to get back to work. Piece of cake. By the third night, Dick managed to sneak out without making a sound. He had locked his door and was pretty sure that Wilson had gone to bed by then. It had been so refreshing to get out. So liberating. He had been feeling so cooped up and to just free fall a few times from a couple skyscrapers, well, it could do a person wonders. Dick glanced over at Wilson for a moment, who was in the library. He thought back to last night and his brief escape from this place. There wasn't a single word to describe it, not a single word...

Robin ran downtown, shooting grapples to cross sometimes a half block at a time. He'd release and land on the edge of building only to leap down to the next one. Sweat dripped down his neck, but the cold air froze it before it could go too far. The ice built on him, but he was still hot, his heart beating like mad, pumping blood through his veins to give the rest of his body the energy to merge with the city. The livid skyline grew shorter as he leaped across to the southern edge of midtown. And in his ear, he could hear Raven and the others protesting.

"Robin are you at least the slightest bit worried that Ms. Kane goes missing just weeks after Bruce died?" Raven asked.

"Of course I am, but I think it's probably related to her job, Raven," Robin told her, "She worked as security personnel. She could have known something."

"So you're not worried at all about this Wilson guy?" Cyborg asked.

An alarm was blaring.

"Hold that thought," Robin told them.

Four men were outside, a window shattered and a door wide open when the sign clearly read 'closed'. It was so natural, so easy. They carried out items one at a time to the truck. They didn't want to leave anything behind. After all, the cash they could get for this would be priceless. On the floor, an old woman lay unconscious. The place couldn't be seen, it wasn't by any lamp post. And better yet, The Batman hadn't shown up and word was that he wasn't going to be around for a while. Working with the Justice League or something. Whatever it was, he wasn't here. And he wouldn't be stopping them.

So when the sound of metal hitting a jaw bone was heard, no one knew what to expect. It was hard enough to see. One of them yelped loudly and suddenly another one had been smashed into the back shelves. The two remaining gulped, finally pulling guns from the holsters. But one dropped his at the sound of the laughter. Robin dropped from the ceiling, kicking out the last gun from the one guy's hand, before nailing a good punch to other's jaw. The shadows gave him power. Spinning around, he landed a kick at the other's gut, before head butting him. All four were unconscious. Robin walked over to the old woman and checked her pulse. Good, she was alive. He hadn't been too late. This time.

Robin picked her up carefully and found a few pillows that had been for displaying jewelery. Kicking them gently to the ground, he placed her on them before walking over to the phone. 911 rang and when someone answered, he anonymously tipped them off to come down here before hanging back up. He tied up the thugs and debated leaving a note for Gordon, but decided against it. Better let them think that the Batman had done this. It would put them more at the ease they should already be at.

"Sorry, Cyborg," Robin said, shooting out a grapple, "But no, I'm not really worried about Wilson."

"Why not?" Beast Boy questioned back, "And what on earth did we just hear over the T-Communicator?"

"I took out a couple thugs," Robin told them, "And the reason that I'm not worried is because if Ms. Kane knew something, the fact that I was there was probably irrelevant."

"But, Robin, could that not have been the point?" Starfire asked.

Robin took a moment to breath in and out before answering, "No one cares about Dick Grayson, guys. The only thing he represents is the Wayne fortune at this point, and if this guy's really the elite hacker that he is, I highly doubt that would be a motive. He could just transfer the records as he pleases."

"What do you mean 'no one cares about Dick Grayson'?" Starfire asked back, almost sounding insulted, thought Robin couldn't figure out why.

"Star, it's just from a motive stand point, that's all," Robin explained.

"Well, you do well to remember that," Raven scolded him.

"Yes, Mother," Robin answered sarcastically, "But guys, with the two murders at Wayne Tower, I'd bet anything Ms. Kane found something that she wasn't supposed to."

"So you're going to work on figuring that out?" Cyborg asked.

"Pretty much," Robin told them, "In the mean time, I'll just deal with Wilson."

"Deal?" Beast Boy asked, "I thought you said you weren't worried about the guy."

"I'm not," Robin replied, "He's just really annoying. He's home like all day and he hardly ever goes out, plus he makes a habit of staying up late."

"Don't we all?" Raven asked, the inside joke enough to make the other three Titans find the need to stifle a hint of laughter.

"Ha ha, very funny," Robin told them, "Look, I got to go, I'll talk to you guys when I can. I doubt that I'll be out every night."

"Alright, peace out, man," Cyborg said and the transmission ended.

At least now the Titans seemed somewhat content. Or rather, Robin decided to let himself believe that. The Titans... not so much. None of them had liked Gotham very much and they could tell that the longer Robin was there, the more distant he seemed. They didn't doubt his reasonings, his conclusions, any of that. They just doubted that they wanted to let him do this on his own. Robin continued to work through out the night. He was pleased when he was able to stop several thugs that night, but otherwise, it was pretty quiet. As he rose from one fight, he felt his communicator buzz, telling him to call it a night. The steam from pipes underneath the city continued to leak out as Robin once again parted from the lights of the street lamps.

He opted not to use the R-Cycle tonight. He didn't want to risk waking anyone in the area up either way, it would just be a waste of gas since he could be back in fifteen minutes. Actually, it took fourteen minutes, but it didn't make that much of difference. Wilson didn't come in to check on him and, after changing, Dick went straight to bed without the slightest hesitation. What he needed was a good night's sleep now. And despite the adrenaline still pumping madly through his body, he somehow managed to fall sleep.

He had slept in till about ten when he was woken to the smell of breakfast. That was another thing, Wilson didn't know the meaning of small meals. And when he had suggested having just a protein shake, Wilson almost laughed. Apparently, that was hardly good for a growing body and that nothing could replace a well rounded meal. Or whatever. Dick really wasn't paying too much attention. So, sitting on the couch in the late afternoon, he finished the game before messing it up again. He had done this about nine times thus far. And he wasn't really watching the weather channel, either. Most of the day had been quiet.

So when Wilson slammed a book shut in the opposite room loudly, Dick jumped and nearly fell off the couch. Actually he did. As he looked up from the ground, he saw Wilson coming into the room, surprised as to why Dick was now on the ground.

"Dick, you haven't gone out in three days, why don't you take a stroll?" Wilson asked.

Dick fumed, the jerk, "Because I don't want to."

"Nonsense, it's a nice day outside," Wilson told him.

Dick looked at the channel, "And it's like fifty degrees out there, I'm not going out there."

With that, Dick got up and began to walk towards the stairs. Wilson, however, wasn't finished.

"Dick, I'd like you to take a walk," Wilson said firmly.

Dick spun around, almost surprised that Wilson wasn't letting this slip, "What?"

"Do I have to repeat it a third time?" Wilson asked, "Now come on."

"I'm not taking a walk. You take a walk!" Dick told him, angrily.

But Slade wasn't going to. Instead, Wilson walked forward and Dick took a few steps backwards as Wilson continued, "Don't be ridiculous, Dick, I have to work."

For some reason, this whole walk thing was beginning to bug Dick. But as he turned to go towards the stairs, Wilson took the opportunity, to push him towards the door.

"Hey, hey! What gives! Wilson!" Dick began yelling, but before he knew it, Wilson had opened the door and he was outside, stumbling down the steps to the sidewalk.

Dick turned back to see Wilson looking back down at him, "Go on, have fun."

And with that he slammed the door shut and locked it. At that point, Dick stood there for a moment, stunned, but then the wind blew and he felt goosebumps raise over his skin. He looked down and saw his feet bare.

"Wilson!" He yelled, hugging his arms, "You jerk! I don't even have any shoes on!"

With that, Dick found his shoes, a pair of socks, and a small red jacket being tossed out the door at him. The door slammed shut and was relocked. Dick looked at the door like it was some sort of foreign object... Did Wilson just kick him out of the house? Fuming, Dick angrily grabbed the jacket and pulled on his shoes. Fine, if Wilson wanted him to take a walk, he'll take a walk. It was better than being around him any day.

As Dick sulked off down the street, Wilson watched him disappear. That had been fun, for him anyway. Oh yes, he knew that Dick had been out last night. He had checked the window frame and just as he had suspected, Dick had pried it open when he had gone out. He couldn't keep Dick from going out now, save for if he kept checking in on him, which he knew he couldn't since there was no good excuse or reason. But... if he could get the kid to spend up most of his energy during the day, it would make it much less likely that Dick would go out at all. And he was sure Dick could do that.

Dick didn't see it that way. There was nothing to do out here. Their were townhouses on his left and townhouses on his right. Oh wait, no, there were apartment buildings now. What a change in scenery. There were no stores, no arcades, no restaurants; there was little see and even less to do. No one was out either. There were no cars passing by on the street, no one walking down the sidewalks. It was basically deserted. It figured too, this was a residential area and everyone was probably out working.

Dick rounded a corner when he finally heard something. Yelling from down the street, but it sounded more like a bunch of people, like there was something going on. As he passed two apartment buildings, he came to an open lot and finally saw what all the commotion was about. A group of teenagers were playing baseball in the lot and kept cheering loudly as someone made a hit. Dick went back to looking at the sidewalk, thinking that maybe now Wilson would let him back into the house.

He had almost passed the lot when he heard someone yell, "Heads Up!"

Dick heard a ball bounce off the ground and felt it hit his shoe. He bent down and picked up the ball as he saw a guy run over to him.

"Hey man, sorry 'bout that," He said, "Ellie's got a mean arm, but when she hits a foul, it's hard to get sometimes."

Dick looked over to see a girl (Ellie presumably) with blue streaks in her hair still up at bat, waving at him, "No problem. Here you go."

The guy took the ball before taking a good look at Dick, "You live around here?"

"Uh, yeah, a couple blocks that way," Dick told him, "I just moved in a few days ago."

"Oh, cool, are you going to school around here?" The guy asked.

"Um, I don't know yet," Dick answered, "Depends on how things work out."

"Alright, well, that's cool that you're going to be living around here... I'm Omar, by the way and this is my team," He told him.

"I'm Dick, nice to meet you," Dick said.

Omar tossed the ball before asking, "Hey, we're a man short out here, do you want to play?"

"Uh... sure?" Dick answered, surprised at himself.

"Great, come on, I'll introduce you to everyone, but first, do you mind throwing the ball at that kid, Sean, over there? I just want to see how good your arm is," Omar told him.

Dick shrugged and took the ball. He pulled his arm back and threw the ball straight at Sean, who caught it - barely. And afterwards, he had to take his glove off. That had hurt. Dick tensed, but Omar laughed.

"Dude, have you played before?" He asked.

"Uh, no, I just do sports, that's all," Dick said.

"Whatever you do to get that, don't stop," Omar told him as they walked over to the small row of benches.

Omar whistled and everyone listened up, "We got a new player!"

"We've got a new what?" A brown haired girl asked, walking over.

"A new player, Rain. This is Dick everyone! He's on my team today!" Omar yelled.

The two went to the benches where Omar began to explain what they were doing, "Rain and I are co-captains of the team. We generally just split the team for practice and mix it up every day. But there's other teams that we play from all over uptown, that we know from school."

"Oh," Dick said, all of this very new to him and pretty shocking at the same time.

"But yeah, today we've got Spencer, Carry, Ellie, Patrick, Daniel, Mina, Nomin, and you," Omar told him.

"Spencer and Ellie are out on the field right now, and that's Mina up at bat. Carry's up next," Omar explained, "I gotta go talk to Patrick, but yeah, feel free to sit wherever and watch."

Dick nodded as Omar went over to Patrick. Looking around, Dick took a spot to the left of a guy that he thought was Daniel. Dick gripped his hands and watched. What was he doing? He barely knew anything about baseball. He didn't even know these people. But at least it was something to do. Dick sighed as he heard the crack of wood against the ball. Carry ran off to first while Spencer and Ellie ran right to home. Spencer went over to talk to Daniel while Ellie walked over to her backpack nearby him.

She grabbed her cap and put it on backwards before turning to him, "Hi, I'm Ellie. Sorry about the stray ball; it happens sometimes, so are you new here? Where'd you move from? Japan, Canada, Europe? Do you like baseball?"

Dick sat there, trying to remember all of her questions and when he finally managed, he answered, "Uh, I lived in California, but I moved back home recently. I, actually have never played baseball before."

Ellie was in mid-stretch when she stopped and looked at him, "You've never played baseball before? Where'd you get that arm then?"

"Uh... I did gymnastics," Dick told her.

"Oh cool!" She said, "Well, baseball's not hard, it's just throwing a ball around."

"I wouldn't say that!" Ellie looked up to see a younger teen come forward with a broken arm, "It's a matter of trajectory, skill, as well as speed. Those one the field are trying to get..."

"Yeah, yeah, we get it Ryan," Ellie interrupted, "He's been our water boy since he broke his arm, but he acts more like an adviser to Omar. Gosh, I want to stab that kid."

"You want to stab everyone," Spencer commented a few feet away.

"Well, what can I say, I'm handy with a knife," Ellie replied.

Ellie sat down and pulled her backpack front and center. Spencer came around to grab a water bottle from Ryan. Dick watched as she unzipped the rest of the bag. His eyes widened as he saw how much stuff she had actually managed to cram into that thing. Several baseball bats were still rammed in there along with a lot of other random stuff. Finally she got to the bottom and pulled out two gloves.

"Hey Omar!" She called, "What's he playing as?"

"Outfield for now," Omar called back

Spencer took Dick's hand and measured it, "Man, do you think he can even fit the outfielder's glove?"

"Nope," Ellie said, "Here you go."

She handed him a glove, the difference not apparent to Dick, but he took it anyway as he heard Rain whistle and saw everyone coming in. Ryan started handing out water bottles while people started talking. It was obvious to Dick that even though they split up for every game, they were all good friends. It reminded him of the Titans.

"Hey, here you go," Ryan said, handing him a water bottle.

"Oh, thanks," Dick said.

The bottle was cold, but since Dick hadn't been running around he was still freezing. A couple people came over to talk to Ellie while Spencer and Daniel moved to talk to another kid who had been playing in the outfield. That's when the other co-captain, Rain, came over to him.

"So, Dick, to what extent have you played baseball?" She asked.

And once again, he repeated, "None, really. I mean, I've watched it before and I know the basics of it, but I've never played it. "

"Oh, alright, cool. And don't worry, next time, I'll pick you to be on my team," She assured him.

Dick looked over and saw Omar coming their way, "The only reason I'm letting you have him next time is because he's new."

"Omar, we both need to know all of our teammates strengths and weaknesss," Rain argued.

"Yeah, and we've got to choose players based off of how much of a challenge they'll give the other player," Omar said back.

They began to argue with one another, but most people went on as normal. So that left Dick to assume that it was. As he watched, a shadow came up to cover him and he looked up at it's owner.

"Dick, right?" The guy said, who he recognized as the one he had thrown the ball to.

Dick stood up and held out a hand, "Yeah, just moved here."

The kid took it quickly, but continued, "I'm Sean, but don't worry, I'll take it easy on you."

"Oh, whatever, Omar! Come on, guys, break's over!" Rain yelled.

To his surprise, Dick didn't hear anyone complaining. The teams switched sides and Dick found himself being directed to the outfield to the right, near the street, by Omar. Putting on the glove, Dick saw Ellie on third base. She pounded on the base until she caught site of Dick and waved at him madly.

"Good luck, Dick!" She called.

Dick nodded, a little uneasily, and saw they were about to start. The guy tapped the bat against the plate and waited as Omar threw the pitch. At the second strike the guy struck the ball towards the center of the field and ran to first, where he landed safe.

"Nice job, Kevin!" Rain yelled.

Sean was up next. He looked confident, sort of cocky. But Dick guessed that he should be as everyone else was watching him and tensing. He had to be a good player and Sean knew it. Omar took a breath and threw the pitch again. With another crack, the ball went flying, heading right over their heads and towards Dick. Dick felt his heart race again. He ran towards the ball and leaped up to catch it when he felt the ball snugly land in his glove.

Dick opened his eyes and looked around as he landed. Sean, almost at first, looked at Dick in shock while the rest of his team started cheering. Spencer and Daniel whistled, while Ellie looked like she was having some sort of convulsion. Meanwhile, Omar clapped a few times and hollered.

"Now that's how it's done!" He yelled.

Dick slowly smiled and threw the ball back to Omar. Their first out. And that had been, well, kind of fun. They kept playing and before Dick realized it, it was dark outside and they were playing by the street light and their own flashlights. They just kept playing and playing, Ryan making several water trips back to his house to refill the multiple water bottles. At the end, they had a pretty even game, but Omar's team came out slightly in the lead. The players grabbed their things and parted ways, most heading off in small groups in opposite directions. When asked, Dick had shrugged and said he'd be glad to come the next day.

He grabbed his jacket, which he had tossed aside after two innings, and headed back to Wilson's. If it hadn't been for the fact that Dick had practically memorized a map of Gotham, he might have gotten lost for the dark and generic look of the streets. As he got to the steps, he sighed, and decided he might as well see if that was a long enough walk. He knocked on the door and after a moment, Wilson came to the door.

"Was that long enough?" Dick asked.

Wilson chuckled, "I suppose."

Dick walked inside and kicked off his shoes, which were covered in dirt. Wilson shut the door and watched as Dick slumped inside and headed for the kitchen counter. Following the teen inside, Slade leaned against the opposite counter as Dick grabbed a glass and pulled out a bottle of orange juice.

"Might I ask where you were?" He asked.

Dick poured himself a glass and looked over, "I, there was baseball team, and they were short a player."

"Ah, they play in an open lot near by?" Wilson asked.

"Yeah," Dick said, "Just a few blocks away."

"You have fun?" Wilson asked, grabbing a glass himself.

"I guess, yeah," Dick said, shrugging, "It was different, you know."

Wilson nodded. He swished the contents of his glass around, not really intent on drinking it. He wasn't thirsty. Dick, however, drank in large gulps, still slightly out of breath. Wilson was also pleased to see that Dick had worked up a sweat and he could still see significant heaves in the boy's chest as he breathed. Dick would hardly be productive tonight.

"Well, it was good that you went out," Slade said.

Dick looked over at him, slightly annoyed, "Like I had much of a choice."

"It was better than sitting in the house all day," Wilson told him.

Dick couldn't really argue with that, so he decided to shut his mouth... for now. He finished the orange juice and went straight for his room.

"Take a shower, you're filthy," Wilson called up to him.

Dick didn't care to comment, but either way, Slade didn't much care. After tossing his glass, Slade sat down in the front room. All he heard for the rest of the night, was the sound of water running once and footsteps from and to Dick's room. Around twelve, he went up to check on Dick who, as he had suspected, had practically passed out on his bed. He stayed up till about three that night, just to be sure, before going to bed himself to get one or two hours of sleep. He had to admit, he was satisfied with the outcome. While he hadn't particularly been counting on the boy finding a baseball team to play on, he couldn't complain about it. If this kept up, Slade could see a pattern of Robin's absence. Good.

That was all good.


The long cave entrance was dark and cold, colder than normal. It was also a little damp. It had rained the past few days and had left the air muggy and the sky dark. He walked down, though, like he did every time. However he did have some difficulty, considering the pathway had been destroyed since Blackfire's... intrusion. Upon entering the hollow and tall room at the bottom, Beast Boy paused, but didn't look around much. He knew he'd just get angry if he did.

He walked up to the centerpiece of the room, the statue, her. He bit his lip and looked up at the stone image. It bothered him that it never moved. Mostly, because at one time, Terra had moved. The shimmering silver figure seemed so much more like a piece of rock than a monument, a person. It made him sad that she stood there frozen without relief. She had been able to animate the earth, but now she was bound to it. The silence unnerved him, so he often just talked to her, told her what was going on.

"Hey," He said, "Um, I'm sorry I haven't visited lately."

The rock said nothing, so he continued, "I was in Gotham City, with the others... Man, a lot's been going on."

He watched her and then said, "I, uh, I brought your favorites. The yellow daylilies."

He bent down and placed the bouquet of flowers on the monument, "Robin, he, um, Batman's... gone now. Everyone's taking it pretty hard."

"I didn't know him too well, but Robin's going nuts or something. He's barely talking to us anymore," He continued, "I guess I get why. I mean, I took it hard when you... yeah. Starfire's also having a hard time, since he's not talking. No one's talking really, come to think of it."

"No one?" Beast Boy spun around to see Raven walking in, "You are."

Beast Boy looked down, "Well, what are we supposed to do? Sit around and wait for Robin to call us?"

She was quiet when Beast Boy finally continued, "What are you doing here, anyway?"

"Didn't know where you were," Raven said.

"What, are you guys my babysitters?" Beast Boy asked.

Raven frowned, but pulled her hood down, "It's a mess down here."

"So, what?" Beast Boy said.

Raven pursed her lips, but said nothing and instead held out her hand, which glowed in an aura. Beast Boy watched as Raven moved the debris into the canyon and smoothed the ground. When she was done, she walked up to the statue. They stood there for a few minutes, just staring at Terra's statue. But finally, the silence took in and Beast Boy looked away.

"It was so easy to talk to her, Rae," He muttered.

Raven gave a small nod, "I can see that... I'm sorry about the Titans. I'm... frustrated too."

"You are?" Beast Boy asked.

"We all are," Raven said, "I know how you feel."

Beast Boy eyed her, not knowing where she was going with this, "Starfire's so worried and Cyborg's overwhelmed with leading the team. And..."

He watched as Raven bent her head down, "We're all not sure as to what is going to happen either..."

"What are you saying, Raven?" Beast Boy asked.

Raven closed her eyes for a moment, as though to breathe, "I don't know what's going on with Robin or Gotham or any of this. But the Titans... we've got to be ready."

"Raven?" Beast Boy questioned, "Have you been seeing something?"

Raven thought it out for a second before answering, "I'm just... when we were in Gotham, I felt like, like the evil there... It's so overwhelming... It's not like Jump City where we can easily vanquish it. It's rooted in the ground..."

"You think Robin's going to be okay?" Beast Boy asked.

"If I did, I wouldn't still be thinking about it," Raven said, "And I don't think any of us would be either."

Beast Boy took a step back, rocking on his feet, unsure as to what to say, "Well, at least we know it's not the Joker or Two-Face, right?"

Raven glanced over at him surprised by the humorous comment, "Why the sudden change in tone?"

Beast Boy shrugged, "You're just... good at talking."

Raven rolled her eyes, "Sure I am."

They heard the loud pounding of metal against solid rock and turned to see Cyborg coming in.

"Guys!" He yelled.

"Hey Cyborg," Raven said.

"We've got a problem," Cyborg told them.

"What problem?" Beast Boy asked.

"Remember the hacker, from way back when?" Cyborg told them, motioning for them to follow.

"Yeah, so what about it?" Beast Boy asked, seeing the obvious irritation in Cyborg's face.

Cyborg marched them right up to the T-Car, "They copied my files."

"They what?" Raven asked.

"They copied my files," Cyborg repeated, "I don't know which one they wanted, but whatever they took, we've got to do a total security reboot."

"Does that include..." Raven started.

"Yeah, the Tower, I know," Cyborg answered, "That means no electricity for maybe a few days."

"WHAT?!" Beast Boy yelled.

"Yeah, I know, it bites," Cyborg said, "But unless we want another major break in, we can't risk it."

"Who would want your files?" Raven interjected.

"I'd say Brother Blood, but he's already got the basics of how my systems work. Besides, he's in Steel City. Ways a way from Gotham," Cyborg said.

"Hey, what about that guy a few months back?" Beast Boy asked, "Eastwood or something?"

Raven and Cyborg glanced at each other and Raven answered, "I'll check into Westfield, but I don't see any connection between him and Gotham."

"We can ask Robin when our systems get back online," Cyborg said, "Actually, that whole process will probably have to wait until Titans Tower gets back online."

"So... what you're saying is that we're going without any electricity, working day in and day out to get the tower up and running, and we've got to protect the Tower itself?" Beast Boy asked.

"Basically, yes," Cyborg answered.

If it was possible, Beast Boy got greener, "This is so not fair."

"Well, it could be worse..." Cyborg shrugged.

"How?" Beast Boy snapped.

Cyborg thought and answered, "Well, Red X could be here."

"True," Beast Boy said, nodding.

"You've told Starfire about this?" Raven asked.

"Yep, she seemed fine with it," Cyborg said.

Raven continued, "What about Robin?"

"I left him a message; you know how he is right now," Cyborg told her.

"All too well," Raven said, still irritated about the all too annoying phone conversations.

"We're just gonna have to sit and deal with it," Cyborg said.

They got to the car and started to drive back to the tower. With all that was happening, this was just another headache for them all. And Robin was probably going to go ballistic on them when he found out - something none of them were very excited about. Within hours, the Tower had begun it's reboot. The electronics off, the lights down, the security systems offline. Titans Tower had shut down its presence from the rest of the world. Off the radar. Gone.

It made Slade smile.

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