Worst Case Scenario

Empirical Methods

Robin was not ready for Round 2. You can only take so many psychic beatings before you give in.

Fortunately, he wasn't completely spent yet and threw up some more mental defenses.

Psimon struck at him again and Robin quickly began trying to name every country in the world as fast as he could.

"I suppose..." said Psimon, his voice calmer now "that I should have expected resistance. Your mentor undoubtedly learned such techniques to defend himself and passed them onto you."

Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay...

"You do have an impressively strong mind" continued the psychic, walking slowly towards Robin. "I suppose that shouldn't be a total surprise. My... employers did warn me not to attempt direct control of you, as I did with your friend here." He waved a hand towards Rocket.

Robin started backing up, still naming countries. He couldn't let Psimon distract him.

Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia...

"For you, I had to create a special set of... unorthodox controls."

"You won't beat me" muttered Robin, who was feeling the inexplicable superhero urge to say something cool in the face of danger.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qurac, Bialya, Afghanistan...

"But my dear Robin" said Psimon. "I already have. You've been under my influence all night."


Robin's concentration broke, and Psimon took advantage of it.

"Did it occur to you that you have been making a very poor set of decisions tonight? Suggesting your leader, the Atlantean go off alone? Failing to order radio silence until it was too late? Sending your teammates into the wilderness one by one, to be picked off? Abandoning an injured and a powerless comrade unable to defend themselves?"

No... It can't be true...

"I have been inside your subconscious the entire time! Not far enough to learn any secrets or obtain direct control, but enough to provide a tiny voice spewing bad decisions."

Psimon's presence entered his mind, and suddenly Robin couldn't see the real world anymore. He felt as though he was floating in an abyss, with purple light everywhere.

Psimon's face appeared, massive, floating in the void. He smiled.

"I could destroy you now in an instant, now, but what fun would that be? I have some time, after all. So let's see what makes the Boy Wonder tick."

Robin made a last-ditch effort to blank his mind completely. Quickly, he stuffed everything involving the Team, the Justice League or Batman into a little mental vault as far back in his head as possible.

But there was one memory he didn't hide in time. Normally, it wouldn't even have been out of his subconscious, but their recent trip to Europe had brought it back to the forefront of his mind.

"Hmm. What's this?" asked Psimon, and Robin didn't have any more choice.

For a second, everything was black and quiet, and Robin could hope, even for a second, that he was dead, and he wouldn't have to remember it.

Then the memory began.

The cheer of the crowd. The smell of cheap popcorn and cotton candy.

One voice amplified by a megaphone.

"And for our next act, I give you the world famous... Flying Graysons!"

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