Mens rea

Welcoming Committee

A redhead deathly hollow doctor peered over his old computer that was on the verge of being absolute. The screen displayed rows of data from old prisoners who were once regarded 'special.' As interesting as those numbers were, his wispy green eyes which held a dying light, took in two muscular guards and a small petite teenage boy with a swollen nose.

"What do you two dumb idiots think you are doing?" hissed the doctor. He was in no mood to listening petty excuses. He just finished cleaning the tiny, four walled ex-cell that was called the medical ward. It was big enough to fit a desk, one operating table and two selves, not to mention boxes stacked full of medical supplies with barely enough room to move about.

Carl rolled his eyes and pushed Robin forward. "We're delivering you a special case. He got into a bit of a fight."

The rolling metal chair slammed backwards, crashing into a concrete wall. Green eyes were blazing with interest. "Really?" The two guards could taste the excitement rolling off of him. He was like a little kid who set his eyes on new toy.

Without even thinking, Robin's body automatically took a step back but was prevented to go any further thanks to the bone-crushing grip of the guard with the cigar on his shoulder. It was like facing Joker's twin, but somehow Robin felt that even the Joker seemed a bit less…scary than this guy. With the Joker, the criminal Clown of Prince had his crazy purple outfit, the white face and the theatrics. But, the doctor here had nothing of the sort. Simple man in a simple lab coat but the green eyes were nothing but simple. The dying of boredom embers they held when the threesome approached the cell had been blazed away with renewed vigor.

Carl fiddled with his cigar and sighed, "Yep. Fresh from the van, but you'd better do something fast, Doc. If ya get my drift."

The doctor whipped around his desk, banging his knee in the table. He yelped in pain, clutching his knee in pain. A curse was about to escape his lips when he halted by the sound of a young voice.

"Excuse me sir, but-"

Quickly, the other guard slammed the butt of his shotgun in the back of Robin's head. Robin couldn't help but grunt in pain and fall forwards. He heard the doctor yell out in anger and couldn't help but think that his nose was going to hurt even more as he slammed into the concrete floor unconscious.

How much time passed, Robin didn't know but it must have been very little because when he regained consciousness again, he was still in the 'medical ward' lying on the operating table. Hearing voices off to his right, Robin gazed off towards the door.

The hyper doctor was standing outside the cell, glaring at the two guards in front of him "That stupid commissioner never giving us a heads up! I swear, when did this brat get in Custer and Burnt."

The man with the cigar snarled, "Our names are Carl and Ben, Doc."

"I don't care!" The doctor waved his hands in the air "Ah well, go tell the Boss what's happened. And if it's true that masked boy over there is not just special but special, special."

The guards nodded and began their mundane march down to the ground floor. The doctor nibbled on his lower lip as he walked back into his own cell, locking the door behind him. Sliding the keys into the back pocket of his coat, Robin made a mental check and quickly closed his eyes.

Soft steps signaled the doctor's approach, his mumbling becoming clear. "Yes, syringe. I better take a blood sample."

Robin fought to keep his body still. He just needed to get the man closer and he could jump and get out this place. Then, all he had to do was find the Titans, regroup them, finish the case and get out of the island.

"You know, you are one bad actor."

Robin's eyes snapped open when he heard the doctor's voice whisper from above him. Not wasting time, Robin flung his fist forward towards the man's chest. With a swipe of white cloth, a hand grabbed his wrist sending his arm flying backwards to slam onto the metal table, bending the arm at an almost ninety-degree angle. Gritting his teeth to prevent any painful screams from erupting from his throat due to the over-exerted muscles and bone grinding on bone, Robin moved his legs to kick at the man's stomach, but the doctor was quick and pounced on top of Robin before sending his free hand to slap Robin's cheek red. The whip like sound echoed in the small room. Tears sprung up at the edge of Robin's eyes. The pain from the slap flooded his face and roared through his sensitive, broken nose.

"Now, be a good brat and stay still or I might break that nose further so that it will never be the same again."

Robin glared up at the doctor, expecting to see anger in the man's face, anger that was evident in his tone. Yet, the doctor's face was emotionless except for those green eyes once more, beaming with more joy than before.

"Fine."

"Good."

Sliding off the boy, the doctor released his hold on Robin's arm. Robin grabbed his arm and rubbed his shoulder, his masked eyes regarding the man. The doctor-who was now preparing a syringe-had almost popped his arm out of his socket. Who the heck was this guy?

"Well, if I can't get out, might as well get answers," muttered Robin's mind but aloud he spoke with certainty, masking the pain in his voice. "Where am I?"

The doctor peered over to his patient, sending a smirk his way. "Dante's Hell."

Robin raised an eyebrow; confusion laced in his tone "What?"

"Figures," the doctor shook his head, flicking the needle head, "Young kids nowadays don't read the classics. Instead they just sit in the front of the TV and play stupid, mindless videogames."

Despite his nose being a flower of pain once again, Robin wrinkled, as best he could, his nose in anger, "I know who-ow!" Glaring at the doctor, Robin watched as the empty syringe that was stuck in his arm begin to fill with his blood.

"Wow, a one in a million who knows who Dante was. I'm lucky. There." Drawing out the full syringe, the doctor placed the syringe gently on the tool table.

"What no bandage or something?"

The doctor sighed in exasperation, Robin's irritated voice getting to him. "You'll be fine." With his back to the boy, the doctor labeled the syringe, noting that it would a week or two before the tests would come in. They needed a clean specimen, not one tampered with drugs of any sort.

Robin licked his lips and cautiously began to rise, his arm stretching out to take the keys from the man's pocket. His small fingers brushed cloth when a hand lowered itself down, clamping hard on Robin's wrist. Still eying the syringe as if it could reveal something to him, the doctor continued, "You are healthy and no better way to become immune to the bugs in this joint then to get exposed to them right away. And what did I say about staying still." With that the doctor's clammy hand grabbed a hold of Robin's middle and ring finger on his left hand, yanking them quickly. The crunch pierced the air and a second later a scream erupted from the boy's mouth. "Ooops, that was suppose to be your nose. Oh well."

Robin yanked his arm free and drew his body into a pounce position before launching himself at the doctor. Yet the doctor must have had eyes on the back of his head because next thing the Boy Wonder knew was the man grabbing him in mid-air, slamming a fist that was lined with a knuckle bracer deep into his midsection. Coughing, Robin felt the fist dig itself deeper into his stomach and almost under his sternum, knocking the air right out of him. Black dots danced before his eyes

"Hm." Withdrawing his fist, the doctor watched as Robin collapsed onto his knees on top to the table, bent over, masked eyes dropped in pain. Slipping off the knuckle bracer, the doctor grabbed a hold of Robin's gray tunic, "Better to do this now. Be a good brat and scream for me." Reaching out the doctor grabbed a hold Robin's nose and twisted the bone into position.

A bloodcurdling scream echoed throughout the cavern walls.

The two guards returned to find the doctor injecting a blue liquid into the unconscious boy. His nose was bandaged, his two dislocated fingers twitching spasmodically but not relocated back in their sockets. Unlocking the cell, the guard with the cigar pushed it open. "Any trouble doc?"

The man shrugged, "Just the usual, some punk thinking he can grab my keys and escape, Cactus."

Carl waved his hand hopelessly while taking out his cigar and spitting out some tar. "Boss said to take it easy." His partner, Ben, slipped into the cell making his way to the boy.

Doc slipped the syringe full of blood into his pocket, "Idiot. We don't have time to take it easy."

Ben swung Robin over his shoulder and slipped back out of the cell, the doctor right behind him. The two guards began walking to their right but the doctor swung to the left.

"Where ya goin' doc?" questioned Carl, relighting his cigar.

"I'm gonna have a word with the Boss. I would like to get the show on the road before Robin's little friends come blasting in," barked Doc as he locked his cell.

Carl frowned. "Recognized him did ya?"

The doctor sent him a cruel sneer, "Who do you think requested that he be brought here? That little birdie is the perfect specimen and I intend to get everything out of him as I can."

Carl shook his head, "Whatever you say Doc. But the Inquisition won't like it. He's more their toy then yours." With that the two guards walked up the spiral staircase the walls littered with cells.

Doc hissed in anger, "Those psychologists always get their fun, but not this time. No, he's mine and I will get to play with Robin." With determination roaring through his body, the doctor walked down the spiral until he reached the bottom, in which he steered down the western corridor.

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