Mens rea


Beastboy and Raven found themselves standing before the door that led to the commissioner's office in Tokyo. The gothic heroine lowered her hood, "Now, Beastboy let me do the talking."

Her companion flashed a toothy grin, "Come on, when have you known me to be quiet?"

"Never," sighed Raven, "But this time, it's crucial. The Commissioner knows where Robin is and if we don't act the right way, he has the power to lock away all information.


Nodding, Raven tapped the glass lightly and when hearing a grunt from the other side, she opened the door. Inside, Commander Daizo of the Japanese Police Force sat on his desk mulling over paperwork. Without even looking up, he spook with agitation, "You were seen leaving the scene of a crime with an escaped convict."

Raven opened her mouth but Beastboy pushed his way past her and marched into the room. "Listen up, Commissioner, Commander Daisy!"

Beady black eyes shot up, "It's Daizo."

"Whatever! But we have some questions to ask you!"

"Like what? I have already given you all I know about Brushogun."

Raven stepped behind Beastboy, placing a hand on his shoulder, "We know about the decoy."

The friendly aura that the Commander had exhibited to the Titans when they first arrived disappeared. "Ah, I see. So you are here to inquire where the real Robin is."

"Yes. And why you would do such a thing?" pressed Raven. Something wasn't right here, she was receiving mixed emotions from the old man in front of her. She felt irritation directed towards them, as well as a slight fear but that was soon overridden by confidence.

"Tell me, what do you know about Robin's arrest?"

Beastboy crossed his arms, frowning lightly, "Well, what we heard was that he committed murder, which is totally wrong. I mean, I know Rob and yes he can get a bit violent, but he would never kill someone."

Disappointment tugged at Daizo's features. "Well, it seems you do not know your friend as well as you like."

"Huh?" Beastboy raised an eyebrow, confusion on his face. Raven merely narrowed her eyes.

Rising slowly from his chair, Daizo folded his hands in front of him and stared out at the window. "A whole city block saw the fight between Robin and that thief he was after. Someone thankfully called us. I was one of the first to arrive and saw the two fighting it out on a billboard. A moment later, the board snapped sending both crashing to the street below. Luckily, no one was hurt, but after the dust cleared we all saw clearly Robin straddling the thief. Punch after punch with no restraint. When I reached the boy, his hands were covered in blood and his face etched in rage. When the boy came too, we quickly arrested him but it was too late for the thief. Robin had beaten a man to death, simple as that."

Beastboy growled, "Why should we believe you?"

Eyes snapped to the changeling, "If you don't believe me, than go and ask those pedestrians who all witnessed the same atrocity. Let me tell you, after what I witnessed, I can assure you that me, the Japanese Police Force and the people of Tokyo are not pleased with you American superheroes. We would have thought more restraint coming from the Boy Wonder, prodigy of Batman."

Raven hid her bawled fist behind her cape. Forcing the discontent she was gaining towards the Commissioner, Raven kept her voice neutral. "I understand, sir. But why the decoy?"

Daizo sighed with disappointment, "I thought you would have understood. The arrest of Robin was public, which meant that handling him had placed a big target on us for his enemies. To protect Robin and ourselves, I hired a decoy as a ruse to lure any treats away and it seemed it work considering the explosion."

"Then why tell the decoy that we were dangerous, that we would torture him?"

"Because I wanted to protect the decoy as well. With Robin as your leader out of the way, you were also vulnerable to attack. So to keep the decoy safe, I told him to avoid any interactions with you or others. That way, you Titans would be able to stay as innocent bystanders…but I see that has failed as well."

"So pretty much, you're saying that everything you did was for the greater good, for the protection of Robin, the Police, the decoy and us?" stated Raven to make sure she understood what she didn't feel. The Commissioner was emitting sincerity but it was false.

"Yes. Now please, if that is all."

"Hold up!" Pointing a finger as the man, Beastboy put on his serious face, "Where is Robin?"

"I do not know."

Raven's eyes widened then narrowed while Beastboy dropped his mouth. "Hold up, back the truck, what?" yelled Beastboy. "What do you mean, you don't know?"

Daizo placed his hands on the desk and leaned forward, "I mean exactly that. I figured that it would be best-"

"For Robin's and yourself," injected Raven.

"Yes, for Robin and myself, that I would not know where he is being held. So if, anyone dangerous was trying to find the boy, he would be safe."

"So you just handed Robin to some men and off they drove?"

Daizo nodded, "That is it."

Beastboy threw his hands in the air, "You handed Robin to a bunch of strangers!"

"They are not strangers. You could say they work for what you would term the 'Secret Police.'" Daizo's shoulders sagged when the phone began to ring. "Now excuse me, some of us are trying to catch criminals here."

The stern tone made it clear to the two Titans that the conversation was over. Grabbing Beastboy by his shirt, Raven exited the room. Standing out in the hallway, she let go and pulled up her hood.

Beastboy straightened out his shirt, disgust on his face, "I don't like that guy. Those answers made no sense at all! I mean come on! Besides, he just smells guilty."

Raven shoot the green boy a questioning glance, "Oh, guilt has a smell now?"

Green eyes stared back at her sparkling with determination, "Hey, after chasing down bad guys for as long as we have, you start to recognize certain smells. Anything on your end?"

Raven turned and began to walk out of the station, Beastboy trailing behind her. "The Commissioner's logic makes sense, but it's too elaborate and has much forethought to it considering Robin was in jail for only a couple of hours. Besides, he did not mention once about the legal implications considering Robin is not even a resident here. He is guilty, Beastboy but of what is unclear." Pausing at the steps of the station, Raven pulled out her communicator, "I hate to say it though but I did sense that he was telling the truth when he said he didn't know where Robin was."

Gripping his hair, Beastboy moaned loudly, "Arrrgh, back to square one!"

Cyborg and Starfire gazed up at the abandoned tower. Nothing new had happened since the last time the Titans visited.

"So what now, Friend Cyborg?"

Cyborg cracked his knuckles, "Well, I figured we find a way in there, Star."

The alien nodded and breaking apart, the pair circled the building peeping through bordered windows that were nailed shut. Meeting up at the chained front door the two frowned.

"Well, it seems we will just have to do it the old fashion way then."

"Let me." Eyes glowing green, Starfire grabbed a hold of the chained door and yanked hard, ripping the left door from its' hinges and throwing it off to the side.

Cyborg quickly jumped out of her way, shaking his head. "Star, I don't think I will ever get used to you doing that."

Star sent a smile over her shoulder before setting a grim look on her, "Thank you, but we must hurry if we want to find Robin. He might be in trouble."

The dark-skinned man nodded, "Yeah, well, don't worry too much Star. Rob can take care of himself, you know that."

With a push of a button, Cyborg powered up the flashlight and sent the beam of light into the dusty lobby. The pair crept into the tower, searching for any signs of occupation or any clues to the paint villain Brushogun. After five minutes of searching the old deserted offices, the two stood in the center of the lobby.

Dusting his hands off, Cyborg glanced around, hope diminishing in his chocolate eyes. "I didn't see anything out of the blue, did you?"

Star shook her head, pulling a strand of cobwebs out of her hair, "Nothing, but we should keep searching, for if Robin's instincts…"

A thin line formed on Cyborg's face, "Well, there is one more room." Glancing towards a metal door under the stairway, he motioned for Star to follow him. "There's the basement."

Reaching out, Cyborg turned the knob and to his surprise the door creaked open. Glancing a look at Star's surprised face, he sent a quick smirk. "If that ain't a clue, then I don't what is."

Opening the door wider, the two Titans crept down the side of the steep metal stairs, trying to avoid the occasionally groan. When their feet, hit the floor, they expected to see a dust cloud but nothing. Shining his light down on the ground, Cyborg let out a soft whistle. "It's clean, someone's been down here."

Tiptoeing, Cyborg and Starfire walked deeper into the basement and turned around a small corner. Eyes widened as they took in the sight of a large counsel made up off of multiple computer screens, each with the image of the city. In the center was an abandoned leather chair. In the soft glow of the screens, the two teenagers made out a massive print machine off to the side. Starfire flew quickly over to the machine and creating a small green globe of energy, she took in the wet drips of pink and blue ink.

"Someone has been using this lately," whispered Star.

Cyborg joined Star in front of the machine, "But who?"

A soft groan escaped from the machine. Wheels began to turn startling Star to back up. The wheels turned to carry forth a creature whose half of his body was attached to the machine. His transparent features marked the man as a spirit.

Gulping Star inched forward to the man, "Excuse but who are you?"

The spirit raised his head groggily and with dull eyes took in the bright-eyed girl before him. "My…name…is…Brushogun."

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