Return with a Bang!
Return with a Bang!
Twenty six minutes.
That was how long it had been since Slade and Phantom both disappeared after a fight at an old weapons facility. Neither had showed their faces since then and Robin was beginning to get antsy at the continued silence.
The Boy Wonder and once side kick to the famed Batman had become obsessed as of late with the latest of duo villains that the Titans had to handle, even if neither one of them actually caused as much damage as what Robin thought they did.
In fact Slade had taken out a huge bad guy that had several crimes on his file that had gone unproven and left as cold cases. Vlad Masters had turned out to be one of the most corrupt and most dangerous men in the country. He had several kidnapping and murder charges on his records, not to mention extortion, robbery, child abuse, and illegal experimentation on a human being.
Robin had to admit that Slade’s clever plan on taking Vlad out without taking the blame had been brilliant. Even though he was loath to admit it out loud. Now though he just wanted to capture Slade and Phantom both and put them behind bars for good.
It didn’t help that none of the other Titans seemed worried at the moment. Cyborg was busy playing a video game, trying to beat BB’s score from earlier. BB was sitting next to him, watching with baited breath to see if his friend could beat his score. Raven was reading a book on the couch while Starfire sat next to her reading a book that she herself had gotten. Everyone was at peace with just waiting for the two’s return and dealing with whatever villain showed up on a daily basis.
Robin sighed as he looked out the window of the Titans’ tower watching the sitting and the sky and the sea for anything suspicious that was happening, finding himself actually hoping for something to happen. It was actually calm in Jump City that day and the day before that, even the villains were calming down for some reason and not actually doing anything against the law or anything!
That was the main reason that Robin was antsy though, because nothing of major consequences or proportions had happened with the months that Slade and Phantom had disappeared off the face of the planets. It was just too quiet and Robin felt like it was just before a massive storm.
That was when the alarm went off, flashing red lights on and off in a steady rhythm while a loud wail sounded in the tower. “Trouble! Titans Go!” Robin yelled as he took off for his motorcycle down in the garage, Cyborg, Raven, and BB right behind him while Starfire took to the skies.
‘I have a feeling that the calm had finally broken.’ Robin thought as he hopped onto his bike. ‘Now to see what kind of trouble we’re about to get into now.’ With that he zoomed out of the garage and towards the place that the coordinates of the trouble.
He watched with glowing emerald eyes at the building that he was planning on infiltrating within the next few moments. Three other forms behind him itching to break in along with him, though none of the three knew why they were breaking into this particular building.
“So what exactly is it that we’re getting here?” The pink haired girl asked as her pink slit eyes stared at the building in curiosity. “It’s only a technology experimentation facility, what possibly could be there that you want?” She turned to look at their leader for that mission.
She admitted that the teen that Slade had sent with them was fairly handsome, more so than the last time she had seen him, but knew that he had taken after Slade with a cold hard attitude that forced the other three hive academy students back. She also knew nothing more than that he was smart, powerful, and cunning, all the things that Slade was looking for in an apprentice.
The boy glanced at her with his cold emerald eyes before turning back towards the building. “This building holds impressive computer equipment that I need for a project that I’m working on and normally I’d go in solo but Master has decided that I need to learn to lead a team….again.” He stated as he crossed his arms over his chest. “The equipment is vital to my project and Master has allowed me to retrieve it.”
“Whatever this technology you need is must be high tech!” The little boy with a bald head replied, moving his goggles over his eyes in preparation of his part of the plan. “This company has always been the leading company of new technology.” He explained to his comrades. “I’ve wanted to get my hands on some of it for a long time now.”
The tallest and most muscular looking just scratched at his head, finishing off his foot long sandwich as he did. “I don’t see why you can’t just get the equipment from a less guarded facility though. This looks like a lot of hard work.” He stated but then shivered in fear as emerald eyes glared at him.
“Weren’t you listening to Gizmo?” He
asked the giant oaf. “They’re the leading company of the newest and most
advanced technology out there.” He stated coldly. “That and all of their
creations are built to last through a nuclear war level bomb, so I know that
the things I need just won’t disintegrate halfway through the project under the
stress.” He finished. “Gizmo, its time, start hacking into their systems.”
Gizmo nodded his head as he instantly pulled out his portable computer tablet and began pressing into it heatedly, ignoring anything else that was going on around him. The other three waited no longer than three minutes before Gizmo shouted in victory. “Those snot for brains had advance firewalls but nothing I couldn’t handle!” He exclaimed smugly
“Good, Jinx, your turn.” He stated as he motioned for the only girl on the team to go ahead.
She nodded her head and instantly jumped off of the four story building where she used a nearby lamppost to jump onto the ground without injuring herself. She waved her hands at the doors of the building with a pink wave of energy that caused the hinges to rust and the doors to fall to the ground. She went even further and hit the security guard station just inside the front doors and caused the ceiling to fall down onto the startled guards inside. No alarms from them would be going off anytime soon.
Once Jinx signaled that it was good to go did the other three come towards the entrance and met up with her. “Mammoth, stay here and make sure no one gets into the building if they come to investigate. Don’t let anyone see you though, stay hidden and take them out silently. Jinx you are to stay here with him while Gizmo and I go get what I need.” The emerald eyes assailant ordered quickly and then disappeared with the little techno-intelligent teen, leaving the other two behind.
Jinx sighed as she placed a hand on her hip and watched the other two disappear down the hall. “Why can’t I ever work with someone who is hot and nice?” She asked herself as she turned to look at her teammate just in time to see him pick his nose. “Ugh how disgusting!” She exclaimed. Mammoth just looked at her and shrugged.
“Lock down all of the rooms here Gizmo and make it fast, I don’t want to be dealing with anymore interruptions.” Emerald eyes stared at the bald teen that quickly did as told, waiting a moment for his leader for the moment to throw a couple of unconscious bodies into a room before sending the command to lock all doors down. They had only just left Jinx and mammoth behind when they had ran into some of the scientists there. “Good, now let’s go, I doubt we have much time until someone sends out the alarm.”
Gizmo scowled but followed behind the older boy as fast as his mechanical legs would allow. “Do you know where the equipment is?” Gizmo asked as he looked down at his tablet, locating the room with ease but he wanted to know if the other knew what exactly he was doing.
The teen scoffed at the question and turned down a hall. “Of course I do, I wouldn’t have bothered with this if I didn’t have all of the information I needed otherwise. Now shut up and stop questioning me before I decide to just knock you out and leave you for the Titans to find.” He threatened, turning down another corridor.
Gizmo frowned at that before deciding to listen for the time being, he didn’t want to get caught by those butt sniffers because he decided just to mouth off.
It was several minutes later when they finally arrived at the room they needed and Gizmo quickly unlocked the room and the two walked in to find three scientists huddled together in the corner of the room, scared looks on their faces. “Gizmo, watch them while I get what I need.”
Gizmo nodded and smirked evilly at the scientists. “Move even an inch and I’ll make sure you won’t be able to research anything ever again.” He threatened and all the scientists nodded their heads at the threat.
The other teen rolled his eyes as he walked over to the section he needed and smirked down at all the technology. “Great, everything is right here.” He muttered as he quickly pulled open a pouch on his belt and began placing all of the small pieces of equipment into it carefully. He hadn’t gotten everything yet when the alarm finally sound. “Damn, guess I’ll be meeting with the Titans soon than I thought I would.” He muttered as he hurried his movements.
“What now Goo-puss! Those butt sniffers are going to be here any minute!” Gizmo shouted as he looked over at the other teen.
He growled low in his throat as he stopped for a second to look at the bald headed teen. “Go and meet up with Jinx and Mammoth, help them stall the Titans for as long as possible. Once I have everything I’ll come and help.” He ordered and turned back to the equipment that was so very important to him at the moment.
Gizmo nodded and left the room quickly, knowing that the Titans would show up any minute and that they had to make sure they stalled long enough for the other to get everything. Otherwise they’d have to face Slade with another failure on their record. A shiver ran down Gizmo’s spine at the thought of another fight against Slade. “I don’t want that to happen, took me a month to get any of my systems back to somewhat normal.” He muttered to himself as he finally came onto the entrance of the building where Jinx and Mammoth were standing, waiting for the Titans to arrive.
“Is this looking Déjà vu again?” Beast Boy asked as he came to stand in front of the building that had its doors on the ground instead of standing up like they should’ve been.
Robin furrowed his eyebrows before he looked closely at Beast Boy, who he quickly realized was shaking like a leaf in the wind. “Beast Boy, is it who I think it is? Raven can you sense inside?” He quickly asked the two most sensitive ones on the team.
BB nodded his head shakily as he looked at the dark hold that was the entrance to the building. “Yeah, it’s that same sense the last time he made an appearance, but for some reason it’s even stronger than before. It feels like his presence is everywhere now.” Beast Boy explained as he went to stand next to Cyborg and slightly behind him at the same time.
Robin turned to Raven next, who nodded her head in agreement. “Beast Boy is right. His presence seems to encompass the entire building, to the point where I can’t pinpoint where in the building he’s at.” She commented.
“Cyborg, check the security footage, we should be able to find him that way.” Robin said through gritted teeth, yet he couldn’t help but shake, shake in what he knew to be excitement at facing the other again. Someone who had challenged him in a fight without fail and someone who he knew was good at heart but being led around by someone evil. Robin was intent on not losing but also on brining the other to their side.
Cyborg quickly typed away at his computer placed in his arm but frowned a moment later. “We have a slight problem Robin.” Cyborg said as he brought everyone’s attention onto him. “Our boy isn’t alone. Looks like he brought in some help for this robbery.” He explained as he typed something else onto his arm before scowling and showing his arms to the others.
They all stared at the animated picture of Gizmo sticking his tongue at them with a large caption below proclaiming, ‘Not a chance Butt Sniffers!’
“So he brought the Hive graduates with him.” Raven stated for everyone as she turned to the door. “Looks like he really wanted whatever he came for.”
Robin nodded his head as he turned to his team again. “Alright team, we’ll head in and face them but be prepared for anything. I don’t want any of you getting hurt so avoid to that if you can.” Robin ordered as he turned to the building. “Alright Titans, head out!”
With that the five of them all moved towards the entrance, only to come to a stop as a pink wave of energy shot out at them, hitting the concrete in front of them and causing it to crumble into the sewer system a moment later. “I think not.” Jinx said as she stepped out of the shadow of the building, a smirk playing her lips and hands on her hips. “That’s as far as you are going.”
“Hehe, so the butt sniffers did show up. Nice to know that you’re still as brainless as ever.” Gizmo spat out as his robotic legs raised him as high as Mammoth.
“Now I get to beat some butts.” Mammoth stated as he slammed a fist into an open palm. “I don’t even have to hold back with these ones either.”
“Ha! Like you could even lay a finger on me you villain wannabe!” Beast Boy shot back as he glared at the much larger evil doer.
“Beast Boy and Cyborg, you have Mammoth. Raven you have Gizmo! Starfire you have Jinx! I’m going after the big fish! Titans go!” Robin shouted as he pulled out his pole staff and used it to pole vault over the three Hive Graduates easily as the others attacked.
Jinx scowled and went to go after Robin, only to be stopped as the red headed girl landed in front of her with her hands lit up with green energy. “You are not going anywhere.” Starfire said and shot energy at the other girl.
Jinx quickly dodged the attack with a backflip somersault and landed gracefully and sent her own pink energy towards the alien, only for the Tamaranian to dodge the attack. “Hold still!” Jinx yelled as she shot more energy at her enemy, only for Starfire to dodge it expertly and easily.
“I do not think I will do as you say.” Starfire stated. “I do not wish to be hit like a shuckle tied down.” Starfire replied, only to have to dodge another shot to her head.
“I don’t even know what that is!” Jinx shouted back, finally having to move from her place as Starfire shot at her with a might roar and almost plowed right into her. “What are you trying to be, a freight train?” Jinx asked as she shot her power at a fire hydrant that Starfire was hovering over and made it explode upwards at the green eyed girl.
Starfire screamed in surprise and fright before she was able to pull herself out of the water and glared at Jinx. “You will not get away with that!” Starfire shouted as she shot back into battle with the bad luck girl.
“Like you can do anything to make me pay for it!” Jinx shouted as she shot energy at the other girl, only for it to be met by Starfire’s own.
The energy pushed against each other before Jinx’s was slowly pushed back towards her and then finally slammed into her, sending her flying backwards and into the ground…hard. She didn’t get back up.
Starfire smiled at her accomplish meant and turned to look for her teammates and see how they were doing.
Cyborg was currently in a strength hold against Mammoth, both pushing against each other to make the other give or push them backwards to get the upper hand. Neither were budging at the moment, but that didn’t mean another couldn’t interfere.
Beast Boy quickly flew between the two as a small fruit bat and latched onto Mammoth, who quickly squealed in terror at the little creature suddenly clinging to him. The Hive Grad started to shake his head back and forth, unable to pull his hands back to get rid of the pest and lost his concentration and the power struggle he was in the middle of. “Strike One.” Cyborg comment smugly.
The bat gave Cyborg the edge he needed, smirking as he easily lifted Mammoth up into the air, Cyborg sent the strong teen flying into a building where Mammoth smashed through a wall and disappeared. “Strike two!” Cyborg yelled out in excitement and victory.
“Man that was insane!” Beast Boy said as he landed next to his robotic friend. “I just barely got off of him in time!” He exclaimed just as Mammoth stumbled out of the building.
“Looks like he’s not done just yet.” Cyborg stated as he slammed a fist into an open palm. “Come on B, let’s take this jerk down.”
Beast Boy grinned evilly and nodded his head. “Heck yes! Time for a fast ball!” Beast Boy yelled as he turned into an Armadillo and curled up into a ball. Cyborg picked him and prepared to throw at the charging Mammoth.
“Time to pitch the winning strike!” Cyborg yelled with a smirk on his face and threw the green armadillo as fast and hard as he possibly could.
Mammoth didn’t even try to dodge the green ball, believing that it wouldn’t even have an effect on him. That was until that green ball suddenly changed from a soccer ball size to a T-Rex that slammed its full weight onto the strength oriented teen and slamming him into the ground painfully. “Strike three and you’re out!” Beast Boy yelled with a victory sign and a huge grin.
“Boo Ya! That’s how it’s done! Great job BB.” Cyborg said as he high fived his little green friend.
“You too Cy! We better check on the others though!” Beast boy said as he turned to see how his other teammates were fairing.
Raven stared blankly at the little bald headed boy in front of her, already feeling annoyed by the twerp that was sticking his tongue at her and saying many a rude things. “There’s no way you’re going to defeat me you butt sniffer! Ain’t no goody two shoes wannabe hero ever gonna take me in!” He stated as he threw down little robot spiders that made their way towards Raven.
Raven easily avoided them by raising into the air and with power flashing in her eyes quickly destroyed them without a moment’s notice. Gizmo growled at that before he pulled out a hand held controller from his pack and grinned evilly. “Time to send in the rockets then.” He stated as he hit a button then released several rockets from his pack and sent it straight at Raven.
Raven didn’t even bother with dodging them and instead summoned a shield that caused the rockets to explode on impact. The aftershock sent her sliding backwards a little but she had no damage. “Are you done yet?” She asked before she raised her hands up into the air and power began to radiate from her. “Azarath Metrione Zinthos!” Black energy soon encompassed Gizmo’s pack and ripped it off of the little tech’s back, dumping him onto the ground.
“Hey! No fair!” Gizmo whined as he stood up and went to press a button on his controller, only to have that ripped from him and smashed just as his pack was smashed as well.
“Nothing is fair in life.” Raven replied as she had her energy wrap around the little boy and dragged him along with her to the other two of his group. “Has Robin returned yet?” Raven asked as she looked at her teammates, noticing small scratches here and there but nothing to worry about.
Everyone shook their heads. “No, he must still be looking for the leader of this little group inside of the building.” Cyborg said as he turned to the entrance. “We should head in and back him up. After all that guy is still one of the strongest foes we’ve ever faced.”
The others nodded and went to head inside but was stopped when a green light flashed from the entrance and then only seconds later a body landed in front of them with a thump.
It had taken several more moments for him to get what he needed but he had collected everything and had soon left the room and ran down the hallway, but stopped at the corner when he almost ran head first into someone. “So it is you!”
He smirked at that familiar voice just as he was forced to leap backwards to avoid a punch to the face. “Well if it isn’t the Boy Wonder himself, how nice to see you.” He said as he stood up straight with hands on his hips and a cocky smirk on his face.
Robin growled at the other as he looked him over. The boy had changed in the months that Robin had last seen him and he wasn’t sure if the change was a bad thing or not. “Phantom, so you’ve returned.” Robin stated angrily as he swung his pole staff around to point at the raven haired boy.
Phantom smirk only got wider as he stared at his rival and nodded his head. “I thought you were getting a little bored and decided to give you some entertainment.” He stated as he lent his head to the side and back a little to avoid the jab of the staff. “Can’t have you getting rusty on me after all.”
“I’m anything but rusty and ready to throw you in jail.” Robin stated as he dodged a kick to his stomach.
Phantom’s smirk didn’t leave his face as he stood up straight again once he had enough room to do so. “What, didn’t miss me did you?” He asked as he bolted towards Robin, who was startled by the movement and unable to move out of the way as Phantom wrapped his arms around the others waist and then began to run forward as fast as he could.
Robin braced for impact with the wall that he knew was right behind them. He shivered a second later and watched in awe as he literally passed through the wall and another and another until they were back at the front entrance where Phantom through him towards the doorway. Robin quickly rolled with the toss and was back on his feet in an instant, staff held at his side and a hand in front of him ready to attack again. “What did you just do?” Robin asked with curious eyes.
Phantom just smirked as he raised a hand and green energy gathered there. “I did what I wanted to do, that’s what.” He stated as he released the green energy. Robin was able to block it with his staff but the metal melted and soon his staff was useless. “Well look at that, you stopped my attack, congratulations.” Phantom said sarcastically.
Robin growled as he tossed the staff to the side and got into a fighting stance. “This isn’t over just yet.” Robin stated as he leapt forward at the other boy, only to have his fist blocked and a punch land in his stomach viciously. Robin gasped as all the air left his system, leaving him gaping to get any breath in.
“I think it’s over.” Phantom whispered as he powered up another ecto-blast in his hand and fired it straight into Robin’s stomach, sending the leader of the Titans flying through the doorway and landing right outside.
Phantom walked outside only a moment later to see how the Three Hive Grads were doing, only to scowl in disappointment.
All four of the Titans gasped at Robin, who was clutching his stomach tightly and looked like he could breathe for some reason. “Robin!” Starfire cried as she landed next to him and helped him sit up, which helped him breathe a little easier. “Are you okay?” She asked with concern lacing her voice.
Robin nodded his head and stood up shakily and looked at the entrance where he could now see Phantom standing with a scowl on his face. “I’m fine, but we have bigger problems.” Robin said as he looked Phantom over again, a little closer this time.
The other four Titans did the same, all taking in the differences that this Phantom had to the old one they had faced before.
The most obvious change was that Phantom’s hair had been cut and was now standing up in spikes with a little tuff hanging stubbornly in front of his forehead, he seemed to have gotten taller as well and much more muscular too, with tanner skin and a little sharper features to his face. The difference that caught their attention when they looked him over was his eyes.
They had once been a dull and dark blue color, no life could have been seen in the before the boy had disappeared or been kidnapped by Vlad Masters.
Now his eyes were now a bright emerald that shined and glittered in the sun, a fire seeming to have been lit deep in their depths, giving a powerful confident aura to the teen all around.
Something had changed with his disappearance the last few months, but what that change was the Titans did not know and they did not think that it would go in their favor either.
“It looks like the three of you were useless once again.” Phantom said as he walked down the steps of the facility he had just robbed. “I’m not even going to help you out, the Titans can have you.” He stated to the protesting cries of the three criminals.
“Why would you abandon comrades like that?” Starfire asked with a fierce scowl on her face and hands raised. She would never understand how evil doers could just abandon their friends like nothing more than useless dirt. Tamaranians were taught to always appreciate family, friends, and comrades no matter what and not to just betray one another. They were a fiercely loyal race after all.
Phantom smirked at that as he looked back at the Titans. “That’s because they are not my comrades nor are they my friends.” He replied as he came to a stop in front of them and the captured Hive Grads. “They were merely pawns that were to do my bidding, nothing more.” He said as he looked from one Titan to the next. “Having friends and comrades before has done nothing but caused me pain and cost me…” He stopped talking as his eyes darkened and his face paled a little bit. “No, I refuse to have anything to do with friends or comrades.”
“What about Slade?” Robin asked suddenly, wondering what had caused the other to suddenly become depressed, for that’s what had happened. Phantom had become depressed out of nowhere.
Phantom looked up at that with a small smile on his face. “Master is Master and he is different than a comrade or friend.” He stated as he looked back at the three tied up on the ground. “Now then, I have what I came for and I think it’s time to go.” He said as he suddenly disappeared into thin air.
“Cyborg! Can you find him before he escapes?” Robin asked he turned to his friend, only to see him on the ground and passed out, along with Beast Boy, Raven, and Starfire. “What!” Robin shouted in surprise before he felt something hard and metal slam into the back of his head.
“It was a pleasure seeing you again Robin, but Master is waiting and I can’t let him wait too long now can I.” Robin heard before he totally blacked out.
“Master, my mission was a success.” Phantom said as he kneeled in front of the man he had come to look up to and appreciate within the recent years of being with him.
Slade appeared out of the shadows and a smirk was surly underneath his mask, one side orange and the other side black. His outfit was almost the same as his apprentice’s with a few more adjustments that would give him a better edge in battle. “Good, how about your team? Did you lead them accordingly?” He asked with his hands behind his back.
Phantom scowled at the mention of the three and looked over his shoulder to see the beat up and exhausted Hive Grads. “I led them Master, but I prefer working alone still.” He admitted as he stood up to look at the three. “They were defeated by the Titans easily and if I had not finished with the collection of the needed parts, they would have been carted off to the detention facility.”
Slade looked at the three as well before shaking his head. “They have not improved since they had last worked for me, I shall not call upon them again.” Slade stated, causing the three to look at him in disbelief. “Leave and do not return unless you wish to die a slow and painful death by our hands.” Slade stated and both Master and Apprentice watched with dispassionate eyes as the Hive Grads scrambled to run away.
Phantom sighed as he relaxed in the company of his Master only. “Man, I thought those idiots would cost me the mission. They were tied up and surrounded by the Titans. I should’ve just left them there.” He sneered at the place his three temporary comrades had sat.
Slade nodded his head. “Next time, do not bother with useless trash that only weighs you down.” Only relaxing himself when Phantom nodded at the command. “Now, I’m sure you can finish this little project of yours now, correct?” Slade asked as he began walking off to a door that blended into the wall almost perfectly.
“Yes Master, it will be finished tonight and I’ll be able to activate it just as soon.” He stated confidently, pulling the pouch that held all of the items he needed to finish his project. One such item being a long cylindrical tube that glowed within its confines. “Soon I’ll have what I need so desperately.” Phantom stated with his brows furrowed with a frown.
Slade nodded his head as he opened the hidden door and walked into the well lit room. Phantom walked in right behind him and instantly walked towards a huge hexagonal opening in the wall and walked inside. Sounds of tinkering could be heard inside seconds later.