Worst Case Scenario

Downhill Spiral

"Now what?" asked Rocket, a hint of panic in her voice. Robin really couldn't blame her.

A mechanical chittering echoed through the air. It sounded kind of like laughter. Robin's heart sank. He knew that sound.

Glowing green dots appeared in the darkness behind the glass panels. The chittering got louder.

"What's that?" asked Red Arrow.

"Move!" shouted Robin, leaping towards the table with the weapons as the glass panels retracted.

And the swarm of MONQIs attacked.

The black C-5 Galaxy taxied to the end of the runway and prepared for takeoff.

Cheshire and Tigress sat in the cargo hold in silence.

"It's a shame we couldn't stay and play some more" said Cheshire, finally. "You did a great job dropping it as hard on them as possible."

"Thanks, sis" said Tigress, not really paying attention. No matter how hard she tried to avoid it, her eyes kept returning to a pair of black coffin-sized containers. Both were marked "Asset Transfer. Do Not Open" with symbols for low temperature hazards.

"Oh come on! Don't give me that! I'm your sister, remember?"

"Yeah. I know, Jade."

Cheshire put her hand on Artemis's shoulder.

"This is where you belong. There's nothing left for you back there."

Tigress said nothing, but simply stared at the metal floor as the plane took off into the sky.

"Robot monkeys!?" Rocket shouted. "You have GOT to be kidding me!"

Robin ignored her and flipped over the table, tossing Red Arrow his bow and snatching the utility belt without actually touching the table or the floor around it, assuming it was booby-trapped.

The archer caught the bow, but lacking arrows, simply swung it like a bat and smashed open one of the MONQI's head.

"Whoa!" Rocket ducked as two explosive disks from Robin took out a group of the robots behind her.

Reattaching his utility belt to his waist, Robin made another run at the table, grabbing the archer's quiver and Rocket's belt.

Red Arrow threw one MONQI off his shoulder and stomped two more into the ground before catching the quiver, notching an arrow and blowing away a whole group.

Rocket checked her belt, and was not happy with the result. "It's still not working!" she shouted.

"Pull back!" ordered Robin. Red Arrow nodded, firing another arrow to cover their retreat.

Rocket ran past the table, only for the hallway to branch in three directions.

"Left, right, or middle?" she shouted.

Robin threw another pair of batarangs. "Go left! We need to double back around, find Aqualad!"

Rocket dashed into the next hall, followed a moment later by her two teammates, followed a moment after that by a good dozen robot monkeys.

"You know" said Robin "This is kind of like a dream I had once."

"Too much information, Rob" replied Red Arrow, sending his last explosive arrow into the swarm of MONQIs.

Suddenly, Rocket screamed and fell to her knees, clutching her head. "Rocket!" cried out Robin.

"I got her!" shouted RA, firing a polyurethane foam arrow in a failing attempt to slow down the robots. "Cover me!"

Robin responded by throwing another set of batarangs into the fray. At this rate, even with the Bat-family's legendary utility belt packing skills, he was going to be out of ammo soon.

They passed a pair of small, almost inconspicuous metal rails, one on each side of the hall. It took Robin just a second to know what they were used for.

"I've got an idea!" he shouted.

"Do it!" cried the archer, grabbing Rocket, who hadn't moved, and hurling her over his shoulder.

Robin took a second to aim, slowing counting off to himself before he hurled an electric batarang into one of the rails. It sparked briefly before ejecting a blue force field, like the one that had separated them from Aqualad.

The MONQIs crashed straight into it, sizzling and sparking as high-voltage electricity burned out their circuits.

Robin smiled at his handiwork for about two seconds before another security barrier activated behind him, separating him from the others.

Uh oh.

"Robin!" cried out Red Arrow, putting Rocket down and notching an arrow to shoot out the rail projecting the field.

Rocket kicked his legs out from under him, sending him to the ground.

"What..." the archer began, but was cut off as Rocket grabbed his shirt and threw him into the security barrier.

Roy was barely able to scream as thousands of volts poured into him. Robin threw his last explosive disk into the railing, cutting off the electricity.

In less than a second, the Boy Wonder was on top of Rocket, pinning her to the ground.

Red Arrow wasn't moving.

"Wha-what did I just do?" asked Rocket, horror on her face.

"Why my dear..." came a sickeningly familiar voice from the end of the hallway as a wave of nausea struck Robin and he lost his balance.

A figure appeared, wearing brown robes and a hood, which he pulled back to reveal a pale face, yellow eyes and disturbingly transparent skull.

"...don't feel bad" said the man. "After all, you only did as Psimon said."

Robin swore.

So not astrous.

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