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Mens rea

By dark_austral

Other / Drama


A mix matched group of teenagers stood like frozen statues in the open, wooden room of a Japanese hotel room with the light setting fixed at a dusky glow. A fallen, dark-haired figure swallowed by their long shadows shook with fright, not daring to look upon the epic heroes. With only a small floor mattress off in the corner, a small TV propped on a wall and another door leading to the small bathroom, the sound of water trickling in the background from the small garden. The room was a place to break away from the craziness of life, a sanctuary for peace. But the Titans did not see the room, did not bother to try and find their inner sanctuary. Instead, they wanted to do the opposite.

The tall, bulked up dark-shinned boy with half his body encased in electronic hardware wanted to yank the boy by his hair and demand answers. His partner in crime, a skinny pointy-ear green skinned boy in a purple outfit had his mouth still forming mute words from a broken record, as if his mind was saying something but his body prevented it from being heard. The other two were females, beautiful in their own way. The tan, bright green-eyed girl with flowing red-hair slowly let her trembling hand make its' way down to the fallen figure, her motherly concerns overcoming her shock. The other female hid behind the comfort of a deep black purple cloak, her pale face hidden behind the shadows of her hood, but her companions could feel that her mind was spinning around to try and find the right way to word the unspoken question.

The Titans stared at the young black haired boy. He wore a costume of green, yellow and red uniform with a black cape flowing over his shaking shoulders. The once spiky hair was now dangling over unmasked eyes. Black almond shaped eyes set upon a pale oval face shone their fright to the world. A white mask lay on the ground between the teenagers, a testament to the one of the biggest mistakes in the world.

It was nighttime and the Titans had finished fighting the paint creatures that had attacked each one. It was only an hour before that they heard the news about their leader being thrown in jail for committing murder. Demonstrating their loyalty to Robin, the Titans confronted the police commissioner to plead their leader's innocence. But the old man stood firm and said he had witnessed the whole thing. Knowing that the negotiations failed, the Titans decided to take matters into their own hands.

It was ten minutes pass midnight when an armed police truck drove out of the station. Inside its' interior holding, was their precious leader handcuffed and treated like any other criminal. Beastboy and Starfire swooped down from the sky while Cyborg and Raven charged for the ground assault. But just as the foursome moved in to rescue their leader, the truck exploded sending debris flying into the air. Beastboy squeaked and morphed into a hawk as he dodged the metal. Starfire sent green bolts flying, blasting the debris into oblivion. Raven muttered her mystical chant creating a dark globe to protect her and Cyborg.

As the fire cleared, Cyborg yelled, pointing to a small figure emerging from the rubble. The figure wore the bright colors of their leader. The traffic light colors eased away the fear that for a moment their fragile, mortal leader had died. Starfire screamed Robin's name but the boy yelped in surprise and took off at lighting speed. But it was nothing compared to Raven's powers, which sent a metal sheet flying, knocking the boy off his feet. Cyborg ran and caught up to the rising form and tackled him down. Robin kicked and yelled in incomprehensible words before the blood from a nasty gash on his forehead caused him to slump forward, out cold.

Without delay, the Titans regrouped and sought refugee in the small hotel room, waiting for their leader to gain consciousness. And gain consciousness he did, cursing in Japanese like no other, ripping off his mask and shaking with fatigue, fear and desperation, the young boy fell to his knees crying his eyes out.

"Dude…I think we found Robin's long lost twin," whispered Beastboy as he gaped at the boy. And he was right. The teenager they thought was Robin was just a regular Japanese teenager, but the dark hair, masked eyes and costume was enough to temporarily fool the Titans.

"Alright mister, we can do this the hard way or the easy way or the hard way. Tell us where Robin is," questioned Cyborg with a stern voice.

The young man sent a scared glance over to Starfire, "Don't hurt me please!" the boy pleaded in his broken english.

Starfire's hand finally reached its' destination and patted the man on the shoulder, "Do not worry, friend, we are not going to hurt you. Why would you think of such things?"

The man gulped, some of his tension easing as he felt concern radiate off Starfire. "I was told that if I put on the costume then I would be let go. They told me if I was to have any interaction with the Titans…they said you were dangerous people…you would torture me."

Raven moved to stand near the door, letting the soothing sound of water calm her nerves. "I am not sensing anything. He is telling the truth."

Cyborg sighed, "Who told you that we would hurt you?"

The impersonator licked his lips, "The Commissioner. Lo-look, can I go now. I…I'm so-sorry I don't know where your friend is…"

Cyborg nodded, "Sorry for the mix-up."

The teenager nodded before standing up and slowly walked out of the room. As the door shut behind him, Raven pulled her cloak closer to her, "I have a feeling that the Commissioner does not want our help or to interfere in the investigation of Robin's crime."

"Couldn't agree with you more," muttered Cyborg.

"But why would the Commissioner not want to help us?" questioned Starfire.

"More importantly, why would the police go through so much trouble in hiring a decoy," pondered Raven out loud.

Starfire widened her eyes with hope, "Are you saying that there is more to Robin's arrest?"

The dark clad woman nodded, "Maybe, the police or someone in the police might be trying to cover up something…a link to the case we've been going after. And Robin provided the perfect cover-up."

Cyborg grinned, "Makes perfect sense to me. Ok, team here's the deal, we split up in pairs. Raven, Beastboy you guys go and question the Commissioner. Starfire and I will check out that creepy tower again. Robin felt something was up with that tower and maybe he was right."

The Titans each gave a nod of determination. Gathering the few items they had, the Titans were about to leave when Beastboy sighed and rolled his eyes.

"Dude, I still can't believe Robin got thrown into jail. You leave the guy alone for a few hours and look at the trouble he gets into. I thought we were on vacation!" Beastboy threw his arms in the air. "The man is like a two year old!"

"Beastboy!" screamed all three Titans.

"Sorry," muttered the Changeling sheepishly. "But it's true."

The glares were enough to force Beastboy to morph into a mouse. As the glares backed up, Beastboy morphed back into normal. "Come on guys, it's not like you didn't think the same thing. I mean come on, Robin like attracts trouble. They're a pair, like, like, ketchup and mustard, Oreos and milk, cheese and pizza, TV and video games…Wait, I can think of another one…really!"

The other three Titans couldn't help but sag their shoulders and sweat drop. It was going to be a long night.

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