Mens rea


Locked door after locked door zoomed by his vision, but not once did Robin break his sprint. Worn-out sneakers replaced his once steeled boots and the gray uniform bellowed slightly due to his small frame. Sneering, Robin pulled up his pants slightly to avoid tripping over the fabric. The pants seemed fine a moment, until he started running did he realize how long the legs truly were.

"Idiot, how come you didn't notice that before? Ever since you woke up in this place, your brain has been somewhere else. How many times did Batman tell you to keep your mind on the situation!" berated Robin's mind. But a part of his mind, a deep buried part, knew what why he was off his game. It whispered the answer, but the boy subconsciously pushed it away, focusing on running.

Skidding to a halt, Robin bowed forward to place his hands on his knees. Panting, he let himself take a quick breather. This was insane; he wasn't supposed to be this out of shape. His stomach growled loudly. Well, there was part of the reason. He had no energy and the little food he did eat at breakfast pretty much was gone from his sprint. Swallowing, Robin tried to rehydrate his parched mouth. Hugging his stomach quickly, Robin sent a dark glare at it before peering over his shoulder to see if any of the guards were after him. None.

"Strange," muttered Robin. Straightening himself, Robin was about to take off when a loud bang broke the silence.

Jumping backward, Robin pinned himself to the wall staring at the metal where the loud clattering was coming from. Trying to regain his breath, Robin cleared his throat. "Nothing to be scared off, Rob-"

Another loud bang ricocheted off the door behind him, piercing cold vibrations into the boy's spine. Jumping forward, Robin sent a wary glare at the door. He heard the banging overshadowing the other bangs but something else caught his attention. Words. Screaming sounds that tried to form words that tried to convey sentences through a metal barrier.

Glancing up, he took in the small window door. Stepping up, he reached up and slide the tiny door open, peering into the dark room. The banging and screams ceased.


Crystal blue eyes rammed themselves up to the metal grate, causing a small yelp to escape Robin's mouth as he let go of the door.

The wide eyes radiated fear like the sun radiated heat. "He…lp…me…" croaked the man.


"He's down here!"

Robin glanced down the hall where the deep voice had originated. Returning to the man behind the metal door, he sent a sad frown. "Sorry, but if I get out of here, I'll come back for you. I promise."

The fear froze and all sanity escaped the blue eyes. "Nonononono. Please, no more darkness. Please, I'll be a good little boy. I don't want to go with any strangers." Staggering back into the darkness of the cell, the blue eyes left the small window, leaving Robin to stare at the small black abyss, trying to comprehend what just had happened.

The stomping of footsteps, brought Robin back. Frowning slightly, he turned and ran down the hall. Those crystal blue eyes were still in front of him, lost of all hope and sanity. What type of prison was this? A small breeze washed over him cooling his body by evaporating his sweat. Hope filled his face. Where there was air, there must be an opening. Picking up the pace, Robin saw the tunnel open into a large chamber carved out of volcanic rock. Slowing down, the Boy Wonder jogged to a stop at the edge of the cliff. Peering over the edge, he took in the massive chamber. Down below, rocks upon rocks were piled up, guards taking inventory of the stockpiles. No sight of an exit greeted his eyes. Hope dimmed as his shoulders dropped slightly. No wonder the guards were taking their sweet time in catching up to him. There was no rush because there was nowhere to go.

"Come on, think of something," growled Robin, his eyes trailing up alongside the sides. To his relief, he spotted another small tunnel to his right and slightly above him, where a piece of cobweb blew softly outwards. "Bingo."

Footsteps became louder and Robin quickly glanced at the wall to find secure foot holdings. Things would be a lot easier if he had his grappling hook, but the small uneven ledges would have to for now.

Taking a deep breath, Robin reached out and took his first handhold on the rough stone. Sliding out, he began to his slow climb towards the air vent. Now volcanic rock, if anyone knows, is not the smoothest rock on the planet. Unlike obsidian, which cuts through skin, the hard rock scrapped painfully against Robin's knuckles and knees. Sometimes, the cloth of his uniform would get snagged and that was when Robin would issue a little pray. He was never afraid of heights but standing on a small ledge on which only half his feet where placed on and the jagged, uneven cuts jamming into his stomach made him want to finish this crazy stunt. Jerking slightly, he wrestled his shirt free and hugged the wall even more. One slight arch outwards and Robin feared that he would lose his grip and plummet down to his death.

Repressing his shiver, Robin glanced down at his feet and took another precarious step. He could…would do this. Boots marched up to the edge of the tunnel, but Robin didn't even dare to look. Grabbing a rock he pulled himself upwards, starting to work himself in a diagonal climb towards the vent.

Carl, Ben and three other guards glanced around the cavern. There was no way Robin could have disappeared. Carl's eyes were the first to narrow on the scaling figure a few feet away from him, working itself quickly but carefully towards a vent.

Snarling, Carl yelled. "Yo, kid!"

The scream was supposed to surprise the kid, but Robin surprised the guard once more and kept scaling the wall. The yell did though attract the attention of the Indonesian workers down below. Pointing and yelling in a chatter of bizarre words, they scrambled to find a way to catch Robin. Carl just sighed.

"Well sir, how do you propose we get Robin down? We can't shot him or he might fall to his death," questioned one of the lesser guards, his chinese accent slurring his speech slightly.

Carl glanced over to Ben with a 'Got-any-ideas' glance but Ben merely rolled his shoulders. Jutting out over the edge, Carl let his frustration seep into his voice to the workers below, "We need him alive!"

Jerking his head upwards, he watched with amazement as Robin reached the halfway point. He could see the small traces of blood that seeped from the numerous scraps and the tiny strips of fabric that clung to the rock like moss. "Shoot above him. We need to stall for time."

The three guards behind him nodded and pumped their rifles. Aiming, three shots vibrated in the cavern. Robin yelped and clung to the wall as a bullet whizzed by the spot he had just placed his hand. Another bullet bounced a couple inches from where his last position, sending shards of rock flying into the side of his face. Above, another bullet landed in the wall, sending a mist of crushed rock to come crashing down on his head. Gritting his teeth, Robin held on tight. When the dust cleared, he shook his head free of the loose, sharp rocks and took a step to the left and raised his right hand to pull himself upwards. Sweat trickled down his forehead and now with the dust, the mud stung his eyes and seeped down unpleasantly underneath his clothes. Willing his hands to stay dry, Robin grunted as he pulled himself upwards.

Carl growled, watching Robin with intensity. "You're idiotic, you know that boy! Do you even know where that vent leads? Well, I do and let me tell you, it's not worth this suicidal stunt. The vent travels deeper into the mineshaft and winds up in the laundry shoot. No visible vent here travels up to the surface, so just stop and move back here."

Robin paused, his heaving breath causing more dust to sting his eyes. "Like hell I will. You're just lying. I know how guards are suppose to act and let me tell you, you are doing a bad job." Angery at how stupid the guard thought he was, Robin took two steps to the left and yanked himself another two before he heard a whirling sound. Glancing behind him, Robin bit back an anger retort and tried to scrabble out of the way but the net's metal latches had caught up to him.

Sinking into the bedrock, the force of the trajectory slammed Robin into the face of the wall. His clammy hands slipped slightly and Robin felt himself fall backwards. But instead of meeting with air his back lightly touched the net. Relief passed through him before the net sent out an electrical charge. A short painful scream yearned to escape his lips, but Robin held onto his dignity. Reclaiming a hold onto the wall, his body shivered with exhaustion from both the climb and the electrical overload.

Carl shook his head and glanced back down into the storage room. A group of guards cheered and slapped hands, while another guard drove in with a mechanical extended ladder. Two men waited as the ladder with the basket drew all the way up to Robin before climbing up the stairs with the reflexes of a monkey. Carefully, they pried the metal barbs from the wall. Robin was about to lash out when two of the barbs immediatly snapped together. He had been a hair's breath away from losing his hand. By the time he noticed this, the other two barbs snapped shut, trapping Robin in the net. Robin tried to kick out behind him but his foot met the net and electricity surged through him once more. Not wasting time, a guard pulled thick gloves on and grabbed the net, yanking Robin off the wall and into the small metal basket. With nothing else to contact with, Robin chocked back a scream as electricity continued to surge through him.

Carl narrowed his eyes in disgust, "Turn off the crazy current, you fools!"

One of the men barked a remark, angry eyes glaring up at Carl before hitting a button on the metal barbs, cutting off the electricity.

"Get him over here."

The men nodded and slowly, they maneuvered the cart over to the edge of the tunnel. Leaning out, Carl grabbed a handful of the net and Robin's tunic, causing the boy to moan, his masked eyes glazed over. But, he could tell that Robin was still conscience, if barely. "Strong," whispered Carl, only Ben hearing his comment.

Slinging the net over his shoulder, Carl nodded thanks and walked down the tunnel, his team following suit. The two Asians just growled and muttered in their own tongue about how they should get a pay raise since they just saved Carl's neck as the ladder declined slowly and the men began to go back to their average routines.

Fumio dusted off the rickety old stool. Flapping up his white lab coat, he sat down on the wooden chair crossing his legs while clicking his pen to start filling out the rest of the paperwork. Around the rest of his colleagues bustled about, cleaning away the spit, vomit and blood that had arisen from their last patient. He had gotten the call from Carl that they were off to retrieve Robin before the boy did something stupid. With this little act of insurrection, it was decided in a mere blink of an eye that it was time to start the process. Besides, the Boss had already wanted to get the show on the road thanks to that whiner of a doctor, Mr. Egyed.

One of his assistants, a college graduate from the university of Beijing, wheeled up a recliner chair that had black straps dangling from the sides. "We're almost ready sir, and Carl said they got him."

Black beady eyes peered over the black rimmed glasses, "Where?"

"At the end of the tunnel…on the wall."

A small chuckle tickled his throat. The round Asian face tightened when a smile spread across the white skin. Lose black hair dangled about his head like a mop, only heightening the narrow eyes. The Japanese man was top in his class at the university, earning a PhD when he was only in his twenties. The man was a genius. A genius of the mind. And he knew how to maneuver the mind like he knew how to operate the prison.

Eyes focused back down on the sheet on the clipboard, the smile vanishing from his face but the amusement was still present. "You and the others can leave. It would be best if for his first session…prisoner G…just saw me."

The man nodded and motioned to his other Asian colleagues to leave Fumio alone. Hearing the door close behind him, the man licked his lips and glanced back up at the empty chair. It would be hard in the beginning, but this boy could provide the keys to the gate of knowledge he sought. And nothing would stop him, not the Boss, not the doctor and not even the Titans.

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