Mens rea


When the darkness finally pulled away, Robin was greeted by a row of familiar bed coils. The leather back of the chair gave way to the stiff fluff of a mattress. His left wrist rotated and was greeted with air, the bindings no longer present. Turning his head, Robin stared dully at a twitching man who sat patiently on his cot, counting unseen things with his fingers. Realizing that there would be no action, that he was back in the safety of the familiar terrain of the cell, he stared back at the coils. The hazy fog that had encompassed him was slowly retreating back, but left behind tiny trails of cobwebs.

Gripping at the thin blanket beneath him, Robin pulled himself up. A flash of light burned everything away before fading into a pounding headache with every inch he moved till he sat upright. His sore body groaned in protest, muscles trying to relieve the tension from the electric execution he had endured. Strangely enough, the only thing he could associate to the mysterious serum the doctor injected him was a dry mouth and cloudy mind. Propping his elbows on his knees, Robin clenched at his tousled hair, the gel flaking off. How long had it been since he took a shower? A groan escaped his lips, perking his cellmate's ears.

With a speed that would have put Kid Flash to shame, Curt pounced onto the edge of Robin's cot. The slight bounce made the boy turn and slam gently into the wall. It did little to ease the headache, but Robin kept his mouth shut. Back pressed onto the cool wall, Robin dropped his arms.

"The probability of you feeling better is one half."

The chipper, crazed voice spooked Robin slightly, since the man was now at his side, hissing into his ear. Sliding his eyes to the side, Robin waited for the green eyes on a pale face came into focus. "Oh, it's you."

"The odds for guessing correctly are one to two."

Robin couldn't help but let out a short laugh. Curt had a strange way of talking and it still took him awhile to get what the man was saying, not to mention the mood swings. "Hey, Curt, do you mind if you can get me something to drink?"

Curt rolled off the cot and stood in front of Robin, a dark condescending look on his face. Fear crept up Robin's spine freezing the hazy fog in its' wake. The last time Curt looked at him like that, the man had beaten him up. "Please."

Curt continued to stare, not sure of which way to go. But the blond woman appeared and slides up to Robin's side, "Go ahead, sugar plum. I like a man who takes care of kids." The pearly smile brought a smile to Curt's face. Grinning like an idiot, Curt skipped over to the small sink and poured Robin a glass of water from the only paper cup in the room. The guards had dropped it off along with Robin, as if they knew the boy would be thirsty.

Robin shook his head and took the paper cup from Curt. He eyed the cup, wondering where it came from but soon dismissed the notion and drank the bitter water. The minute the water touched his dry mouth everything seemed to become clear and he felt his strength return. Lowering the cup from his mouth, Robin frowned down at the tiny pool inside. What the heck did the doctor give him? It made him relax and knocked him out cold, so it wasn't useful in terms of getting information out of him.

Taking the last gulp of the water, Robin coughed lightly, still not use to it. Feeling a burning sensation that someone was watching him, Robin gazed at Curt's still form. "What?"

"Escape plus pale complexion plus weird mumblings equals drugged."

Robin couldn't prevent sarcasm from dripping into his response. "Wow."

"Not first time, they used drugs."

The change of tone worried Robin enough to send a questioning glance at his companion. But by then, Curt was back to his crazy, mathematical self, sitting back down on his cot. A tongue would dash out and lick his lips while eyes gazed upwards and his fingers continue to type into the air. "15…19…30…times over the derivative…guards come every 20 minutes…subtract bathroom breaks…"

The continuous mumblings filled the cell. Frowning, Robin slide off the cot and stood, stretching out his muscles. Well, whatever the doctor gave him it had barely any side effects besides a parched throat. Which was both fine and a bit disturbing for his detective mind. "Yeah, well, next time the guards come around I'll be ready." Walking back into the corner between the cot and the bars, he stared out at the activity below, waiting patiently and planning his next escape all the while ignoring the pain in his muscles, the empty pit in his stomach and the small circular rubbing of his index and thumb.

Fumio sat cross-legged in a chair off to the right of the Boss's desk. Egyed stood at the opposite side, hands tugging constantly at his sleeves. Maura leaned back in her chair, plucking dry fleck of blood from her uniform. "How was his first session?"

The psychiatrist cleared his throat, pushing the glasses up his nose, "The boy lives up to his reputation. He already answered why he is a hero, but it was a cliché response."

"Maybe he believes in cliché," muttered Egyed.

"Please, someone who beats up villains, then tries to deny it or justify it does not do clichés."

The soft voice of Maura voiced her thoughts, "What are you saying, Fumio?" She wanted this meeting to be quick for she still had some punishing to do to a troublesome prisoner.

"It's going to be a while till he tells us the whole truth." Fumio sighed, but his posture had stiffened due to the ill news.

Maura nodded solemnly. "I figured as much. Will the injection pick up the pace?"

Egyed gulped, "It will tame him, but I don't know about making him talk. It ain't no truth serum, since I'm not allowed to mess with his mind."

The woman closed her eyes, "Then we will have to wear him down."

Fumio frowned, no longer afraid of Maura. He never truly liked her, a woman, in charge of running the prison. "May I ask what is the rush? We have a prized possession. We should take our sweet time with him, learning as much as we can. The Titans will never find this place."

Gray eyes snapped awake and gave a stern gaze over to Fumio. "It is not just the Titans, Fumio. The main threat is Robin himself. I do not want a rational Robin in my prison, roaming around causing trouble. The more he stays here and is rational, the more he will try to escape and expose us. He's already tried to escape once and I can clearly tell you that he will do so again. We have to work hard, fast and unpredictable if we want to stay one step ahead of him." Shifting her gaze on Egyed, Maura continued her inquisition. "How long will he stay under?"

Glancing at his watch, Egyed twitched. "I'm guessing he's awake by now and a bit rested."

"Ok, then. Fumio, Egyed, we'll have to do a threesome."

Fumio leapt out of his chair and slammed his hands onto the desk, "Oh hell no! Clearly this situation does not require such an action."

Egyed rushed up on the desk, "Come on, Maura the injection should do just fine. Come on, I need to be on top of game here. I need sleep."

"And you will get it." Standing up herself, she gazed up at the two men. They might be taller than her in height, but that did not diminish her stature. "It will only be us three, this time. The guards do not have to get involved."

"Then how-"

Holding up a hand to silence Fumio, she continued, "We will let the criminals do that part."

The blank stares from both men made Maura roll her eyes mentally. "Fumio, did you not always wanted to test that color hypothesis of yours?"

"Yes, but-"

"Robin will be able to handle himself, allowing you to conduct a longer test with just one subject."


"We won't be mixing up the results. The drug and the physical activity will not interfere with his mind. He will still be able to answer your questions, if more so than what he is doing right now."

"Won't he break?"

The soft question from Egyed bounced off the bare walls. The doctor had a point and they were not sure when the next special prisoner would come or if they would ever get their hands on a superhero. Weighing the pros and cons in her mind, Maura just couldn't risk Robin adapting and exploiting his current situation. "We will be doing a threesome and that is final. I know we won't be able to rest much for the next couple of days, so we will do it in shifts and rest in between."

Egyed bit his lip, nodding. Fumio couldn't help but tug at his sleeves. "So what should we do right now? Carl and Ben are on their way to Robin's cell."

Maura gazed up at the clock. "Tell them to wait for 3 hours and forty-five minutes before grabbing him. Take him to the showers and change him. Let the criminals start phase one. Maybe then, he would have earned his food."

The two men eyed the woman before them, shocked at Maura's cold tone. The irritation in Fumion of being bossed by a woman was replaced with remembrance. How could he forget that this was the same woman who after the incident had executed any prisoners who were not willing to do their part in rebuilding the prison?

"I'll go get ready. Which colors?"

A smile was sent his way. "Why don't you choose Fumio?"

The Asian man's brain racked for a minute, before locking in on three colors. Nodding with satisfaction, he bowed. "Thank you, Boss." With that he left the room to begin his chores.

Egyed coughed, "What about me? I really can't do much."

"You will keep administrating the injection and fix up any major injuries. I don't want him bleeding to death on me."

The doctor nodded, "Will do."

As soon as the doctor left, Maura glanced down at the clock. Pulling out a walkie-talkie, she radioed the guard in the questioning room. "Let him go. He has deserved his just punishment." Clicking off the radio, she wiped her uniform before standing up. Time to go prepare a room for Robin.


Masked eyes snapped open and his body propelled itself out of the corner into a defensive pose. Breathing heavily, he scanned the cell for a dark presence, but did not see anything except Curt combing his hair with his fingers, licking away the dirt and grim.

"It was just your imagination, Robin. Get a hold of yourself." Breathing deeply to ease his pacing heart, Robin glanced out of the bars. He hadn't realized that he had dozed off. He wasn't that tired but just sitting here did little to occupy his busy mind. "How long till they come?"

"They're late. Me thinks. I don't know. Do the math." The scolding tone made Robin roll his eyes in agitation. Peering through the bars, he tried to get a glance of any approaching forms. His stomach grumbled and he quickly hugged it, willing it to stop making noises. He did not need the distraction right now. With nothing else to do, he waited there, pressed up on the bars, not allowing himself the luxury of leaning against the wall or bars. All the while, Curt sat behind him, mumbling off equations and laughing as his imaginary companions groomed the man as if he was the King of Persia.

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