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Beyond the Titans

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Gotham City… 2037… The city street look like blurred lines smeared across the taxi window. The smell of smoke, drugs and whatever the hell that thing in the corner was as techno music hammered against the speakers in the car. The harsh feeling of the seat grated on her fingertips like sandpaper. How many people had sat here where she was?

Bit by bit though, the taxi seemed to venture into a completely different dimension. The sky turned red with no star in sight with clouds closing in like curtains. The radio lost signal at some point in the drive leaving only the sounds outside to take their place. Echoing caws and bat screeches made the area seem so much more forsaken than it seemed it was. The rising, full moon on the mansion like an ominous friend in a Gothic horror novel.

Her raven hair wildly whipped along the wind as she stepped out of the taxi. The cold air nipped at on her pale cheeks as the city noise seemed to fade into the background. Her every step echoed through the empty air, the only accompanying sounds were the ones coming from the wheels of her suitcase. Compared to her though everything looked so much bigger than it probably was.

Her father had often told her about the life he had had growing up here, the many adventures in college he'd try. She looked at the letter before staring at the gate that blocked her way to the long road to the front door. Her wide green eyes looked thoughtfully at it as they weren't real… They seemed like distant memories found in an old black and white movie… Stories… tales… pictures… but this scene was truly in front of her.

It was real and torn… as if it hadn't seen happier days for years. The wounds that were once there as small scrapes grew to be infected gashes.

Worn cobwebs attached themselves to the intercom which didn't seem to phase her that much as she pressed against the intercom button. "Hello," she greeted. There was silence for a moment, no shuffling, all silence. "Hello? I'm here for Bruce Wayne."

Suddenly, a raspy aged voice replied, "What's your business with him?" It was odd hearing it for the first time. She had always imagined that it sounding much more warm or at least more welcoming than the old begrudging sounds of a mizer that had clearly passed his prime.

"I'm his granddaughter… kinda," she answered. A heart beat is echoing in the place of silence. Would he believe her… she had the documentation to prove it… but… she couldn't think straight for a moment. Nothing but the whispers of leaves over the asphalt filled the air.

Creeeeaaak… The iron gates opened with a pronounced majesty to the dark kingdom on top of the hill… The hill that was probably about a good two kilometers long. Great, she thought in her head before setting off her way to the front door. Each nagging thought in her head was another weight on her back up the hill of self-adversity. Was this really how they were going to meet? He didn't even show up to their funeral, how could he possibly be able to know her…

With that being said, for a rich guy who owns a multi-billion dollar corporation, could he at least afford a moving sidewalk?! She'd been walking for nearly 10 minutes wasn't even halfway there though, eventually this long grueling walk ended with a knock at the door, and a panting spell in front of the old man. "I didn't have any children," he morbidly stated, looking down suspiciously at the girl on his stoop.

"And apparently no common decency, why don't you have have a moving sidewalk?! I'd have been here 20 minutes ago," she exaggerated. Her piercing green eyes looking up at him with questioning intent as she stood straight to actually look at him… She honestly expected more… The cane wielding man looked nothing like the billionaire playboy of his youth as her father once described him.

"I like the classics, would you like to tell me why you're here," he said plainly. No emotion on his face to give away anger, or sadness, nothing really to go off of really… It was like the look of disappointment was just always on his scowl, that seemed pretty accurate to how he was described to her.

She took a deep breath and looked down at the ground, "My… My parents died."

There was a silence at first before Bruce Wayne spoke, "The closest Orphanage is on the other side of town. I'll have my assistant drive you there."

He was about to close the door on her before she placed a foot in the door, "Please! I don't have anywhere else to go. My dad gave me a letter to give to you." She shuffled through her pocket and brought the piece of paper through the crack in the door, "Please… at least read what it says…"

Bruce looked down at the paper then to her with eyes distant and calculating. The paper left her hands and transferred to his before the sound of a motorcycle stopped behind them. A young man no older than 18 years old stood there, getting off his element revealing the black hair and blue eyes of inexperience. "Who's the kid," he asked walking towards Bruce.

"I'm Marsha…" she answered hesitantly, "Marsha Drake."

They both looked down at her shocked, the last time they had even so much had heard about a Drake was the Joker incident a few years ago. There was really no talk about Tim in a while to be fair, the old man and him weren't on speaking terms even if they're reunion was better than Dick's and his was. Bruce slowly read the page bit by bit… the air was stiff around him, the longer it took to take his eyes off the page…

Terry meanwhile, tried to see the family resemblance, of the small girl in front of him. Her hair was black cascaded her shoulders only being pulled back from her face with a headband. His eyes looked into hers with a slight suspicious tone, "So… you're Tim's kid? Seems a little old for more kids."

Marsha glared at Terry, "I'm not looking for your approval on how old my dad was when he and my mom had me. I just want a place to stay…" She watched for any expression change on Bruce Wayne's face as her swore, he was looking at that page over and over and over again. Finally, the retired billionaire met her gaze and for only a second, there seemed to be a sadness to his eyes before hardening again.

"You'll stay in one of the bedrooms upstairs," He stated turning around with the Great Dane by his side. "We'll cover the ground rules tomorrow morning."

Marsha smiled and walks into the mansion doors without another hesitation. Her eyes took in the place. Covered in cobwebs corner to corner, man someone needed to hire a butler around here. It looked more fit for a haunted house than a billionaire's mansion.

"Your mother," he said in a questioning tone.

"Gone too…" she replied. "I don't have anyone else around… I know he wasn't your real son but… he assigned for me to be in your care. He said that he thought of you as a father figure, so… grandfather felt like the best thing to call you, Mr. Wayne." Her eyes turned to the ground in front of her, a frown graced her lips to match her morbid mood.

"How did they die…?" he asked, his voice void of emotion.

"A car accident," she replied readily. Almost too fast to let the lips fully escape her mouth… "You'd think with all the advancements we have… car accidents wouldn't be an issue anymore."

Bruce nodded at the young girl before she could say more, Bruce spoke up again, "I'll take you to your room. It's time for bed."

"It's only eight o'clock!"

"And you're going to need to be awake for school tomorrow."

Terry chipped in, "How do you already have a place for her at school."

"I'll pull a few strings," he replied still going up the stairs. "Prep the office for tonight, Terry. We need all the time we need to work this out."

Marsha looked up at Terry, "Is he always like this?"

"Usually," he said in question, "he's much worse."

Marsha watched him walk away from the living room before making her way up the stairs to follow Bruce. Pictures pass by them as they walked, large paintings on hallway walls. At first of a younger Bruce Wayne with a mustache but she assumed that was actually Bruce's father, then another picture with a younger man than the mustached one was. A small boy in front of him with a suit.

"That was your father a month after I took him in as a protege," Bruce said, taking Marsha out of her daze. "He was younger than you when he came here."

"He said that you take in people who lost their parents… tell me…" she explained, "Is that something that runs in the family? Biological or otherwise? Losing those you care about in accidents at a young age?"

"It's not something that you should worry about," he said dismissively. "For now, this is your room." It was much larger than most of the normal apartment in the city, though it was so barren that she could put really any kind of item in here to give it personality. "I'll have everything set up tomorrow morning."

"Do you need to know anything about me," she asked.

"No your father wrote down all your other education courses and extracurricular in the letter," he said plainly. "Just make sure you get some sleep." Before she could say another word, the old man closed the door on her. Bruce made a long harrowing walk to the stairs as he looked at the letter again.

Dear Bruce,

It's been a while, hasn't it? We're both old men now but, I managed to get a miracle at my age. My daughter Marsha is still too young to take care of herself and she needs someone to take care of her. I thought of so many different people but you seemed like the only one that I could at least somewhat trust her with.

I haven't spoken to Barbara in a while, Dick is MIA to me and my family long past. To add on to that my other kids are too young for the responsibility of caring for her… so you seemed like the best fit for her. She needs structure in her life something or someone to help her find her way through these times…

All I ask is that you don't tell her about the Joker or Batman, or any of it. With Terry there, it should make things easier to not have a Robin. I hope at least. There's a list of everything she needs, I tried to keep it up to date in case something like Joker happened again.

Sincerely,

Tim.

He must've looked at it a hundred times just in the span of a few minutes with Marsha. He could see something that was in most of the Robin's that had come in the past. That drive, the attitude, the forward nature. Though he didn't for a moment think Terry would need or want a partner other than himself. Ace nuzzled into Bruce's hand affectionately as his whimpers pulled the old man back to reality.

"Its okay, Boy," he reassured the black hound. "I'm sure I'll get used to her eventually… you will too." As he moved to the study, a pair of curious eyes watched from the top of the stairs, watching his every move. His hands gesturing towards the panel scanner next to the door of the study. The doors creaked open in a echoing whisper around the house before the man stepped through the doors with only Ace closing the door behind him.

"So that's where you're hiding everything, old man," she whispered to herself as she took meticulous notes.


In Tibet, a older man meditates by the ridge, his curly blond hair moving slightly with the wind hearing the heartbeat of the universe pass through his body. It was peaceful… quiet… Crunching moves closer interrupting the flow of energies around him before they started to flow again with a new rhythm to the beat. "Father, I have more questions about my mother." Joseph sighed and opened his eyes slowly before looking at the young teen sitting next to him, her violet eyes looking up at his green eyes with questions.

"What would you like to know?" he signed. It's not the first time that Wren had asked him about Raven… it'd been so many years on the mountain tops, but he'd never forgotten her even for a moment. She might've inherited her mother's powers but without a doubt she was her father's child… Her long blond hair conflicted with those deep violet eyes that looked around the world so innocently. Her gem sparkled at him as if a sign from Raven herself that she was still there.

"Did… she like it here…? What was she before all of this…" she asked curiously.

Joseph sighed before signing to her again with a calm but mournful smile, "She was a wonderful person. Strong, determined and caring but there was a darkness inside of her that she could never seem to escape no matter how hard she tried." He stopped for a moment allowing Wren to catch up with his words but ultimately it was hard to tell her all this at times. "She could be distant and cold but it was always out of fear for someone else's safety. She was also a villain that killed billions of people for the sake of her father. But she was also a hero, who saved them and herself from falling victim to him ever again. She seemed to like the quiet of this place the most. The fresh air, the open space, it was a small place but it was ours."

Wren seemed to be satisfied with that answer before hugging her father tightly. She was probably feeling his emotions as he signed to her and wanted to comfort him. It was the anniversary of her death… but it was still worth every day if it meant Joseph raised their daughter correctly. Suddenly the sounds of metallic equipment clanged and stretched in the air. "Dad? What was that?"

Joseph looked around for the source of the noise only to find his worst fears coming back to haunt him in his waking world. Minions, three of them glaring down at Wren and him as a target and the symbol on their chest was one that still haunted his nightmares. The Deadly and pointed S against a black and orange background. It was all that he could do was pick up his daughter and run. "Dad? Dad what's going on?"

He couldn't answer, not when he had to focus on getting them back to the house. The small house had only the necessities but there was no time to admire his work with his daughter, they had to act fast. He started packing quickly only carrying what they needed for a long travel, from passports to money.

"Dad, dad, please answer me… what's going on?!" She panicked watching her father lose her cool. Wren had never seen him so frantic nor was he so much as looking at her. She wasn't prepared for any of this… what was even happening. A large bang came to the door before a clawed hand punched through the door, the little bird gasped before screaming out in a panic causing the robot and the door to explode.

Joseph quickly grabbed Wren back rushing into the underground tunnel that Raven had made just in case. He'd hoped to never having to use it but here they were, running for their lives away from the deadly trackers coming after them. Joseph only kept running until they found themselves outside in a local village down the hill. He was covered in sweat holding onto Wren for dear life as his shaking legs collapsed down on the ground. "Dad…?"

With a shaking motion of his hands, Joseph looked her in the eye, "We're going to have to move, Wren. I'm sorry."


Meanwhile, a young man yawns walking out of the family garage as his green orbs scanned the room only to smile at his mother making his father and him lunches… oh no. He floated over to the dining table with everything in his backpack already packed. His dreaded hair wildly moved around his head before he could put a hair bange through it. "Hey mom, how are you this morning," the young man said getting himself toast.

The orange skinned woman looked up at him with a smile, "I'm simply looking for that darn Flogermizer."

"It's called a blender, Kori," retorted a older man with his flannel covering some of his chest's robotics that he'd come to accept. His eyes aged from working on anything and everything that was being thrown at him at work. His large hands held the alien by the waist and kissed her lovingly, "You don't have to call them by different names all the time. You've lived here long enough."

"Victor… not in front of the Glorpca," Kori blushed but giggling even when she didn't do anything to stop his kisses from landing. She smiled brightly at her long time friend and lover. The little Glorpca groaned slightly at his nickname but smiled in gratitude his parents were so openly lovey. To his knowledge, they've been like that since they got married, it hasn't always been perfect mind you but...

"Markus, you're going to be late for school," Victor said sternly. He was not going to wait for the inevitable scolding he was going to get if he didn't get out of the door. Markus flew in a rushed pace, making quick work of his morning routine before rushing out of the front door.

"Bye guys~! Love you," he said flying passed the door before they could reply. The feeling of the air hugging him like an old friend every morning. Sometimes the air was cold with snow falling to his body with every turn he took, others like today where the sun beamed on him like pillars of joy bring him up. Today, just… it felt like a good day…

Until the school came into view, his mind filled with all sorts of things. The knowledge he wouldn't have to have any of his mother's meals, how he was going to go back home to fix up his car and the like. Though he was the most excited to gain new allies for the school year ahead, the steps to having a nice little career as a superhero intern, the life of a high school student, and the love of his gadgets… could he even ask for a more perfect life?

His feet lightly tapped the floor before his body floated down like a weightless figure. "Aaand… he sticks the landing," he announces to himself. Before he could take his first step, a shoulder collided with his body making him fall on his face without stopping to look if he was okay. 'That was rude', he thought as he looked at the culprit leaving the scene of the crime. All he could see was the raven locks of a girl rushing to her next class but… he knew all the people at the school and no one that short, with that hair color came.

"Oooh… a new kid," he grinned before flying to catch up with her. "Hi, names Markus Stone-Andier," he introduced, finally getting a good look at her face.

"Hn," she snared. She honestly didn't seem to really acknowledging the floating young man next to her. Her green eyes looked down at the schedule in her hands, analyzing, scanning… He's met the type before.

"Hey, new kid," he exclaimed to get her attention before finally stopping her in her tracks. The annoyed face went unnoticed by the overly confident lad, "Hey ya, Markus. You seem new around here and I'm almost positive that a nice girl like you needs a big strong guy like me to help you out. Don't worry though, I'm excellent at doing two things. Making friends and helping others in need."

The sound of a closed door appears behind him, wiping the grin off his face, "Did… I just get dissed…"

Marsha sat in the back of the class closest to the door as she kept looking through her notes from the previous night. The code was a puzzle within puzzles… she didn't want to do it multiple times or else she'd set of an alarm that was most likely set up. Her eyes so concentrated on what she was doing, she jumped at the note suddenly hitting her face. "Hm," she frowned at the offending little piece of paper.

To New Kid:

'How retro', she thought to herself, her hands fiddled with the piece of paper with an uninterested look on her face. She really didn't want to be bothered this kind of nonsense but something about that green eyed redhead told her that she'd never hear the end of it.

To New Kid:

You seem pretty concentrated about something. If the school work is a bit hard for you to keep up, I have no problem helping out.

-Markus

She tiresomely looked over at Markus sitting next to her before throwing away the message entirely and looking through her notes again. Freshman year is already starting like an anime. She sighed not really interested in trying to make friends. She needed to get into the Bat Cave if her plan was ever going to get her plans off the ground… She didn't know where to look what to do… or where to start…

All the evidence she knew so far was the Royal Flush Gang was involved. She glared at the reports of that card carrying set of villains… They wanted to mess with her family… they killed her parents just for the fun of it… She'd make each one of them pay…

Beep Beep Beep

Such a sweet sound of bliss. She took out her phone from under the table to look at the notifications. While the old man was too busy in the Bat Cave, probably helping the latest Batman do his job, Marsha had managed to use the applications from her old programming classes to get a decoder. The smirk painted across her lips would make the Jokerz jealous beyond their wildest dreams. It's almost done.

The determination flashed through green orbs like lights in a raze… if it was the last thing she'd do… she'd make her family proud.

Another piece of paper hits her in the face, okay now this guy is getting on her nerves… She glared at the paper again.

To New Kid:

Oh come on…

Can I at least know your name?

She switched her bored expression to his kind expression. The eyes gleamed no sense of malice or detourance as his one sided smile cockily shined as bright as the stars in the sky. An exasperated sigh leaves her lips, he wasn't going to lighten up was he…? Her pencil finally scripted a reply to the message on the paper before sending it back to the excitedly curious young man next to her.

To Markus:

My name is Marsha, Marsha Drake. Now please leave me alone so I can study.

A ring of an overworked school bell vibrates the eardrums of every student there, Markus stands up blocking Marsha's way, "Marsha huh?"

"Yes…" she replied hesitantly.

"That's kinda cute. Both our names start with M. Marsha, Markus, Marsha, Markus, Marsha-"

"Marsha, Murder, Markus, Marsha, Murder, Markus, Marsha, Murder, Markus," she said sarcastically, "It really does have a nice ring to it."

"Damn, girl… you don't have to be so defensive," his eyes widened in surprise. Such a cute little girl having such a bite, while not rare was definitely abrasive. "Look I know how hard it can be to be the new kid but, I'm here to talk if you need someone to talk to."

"I honestly don't, I just wanna be left alone if you don't mind," Marsha said. Frowning seemed to be the only answer with her but he finally complied. If she wanted to be alone, then there was really nothing that he could do about it. He wrote down on another piece of paper before putting it on her desk.

"If you ever change your mind about hanging out, just call me," finalizing the conversation, he finally left through the window to fly for lunch. To do what, it really didn't matter to her. She just wanted the day to be over so she could finally work on her plans.

"You know you don't have to be so cold," a familiar voice manifests beside her.

"Terry," she exclaimed quickly stuffing her work in her bag. "How long have you been standing there…?"

"Long enough," the senior said smirking at her. "You know you'd make more friends if you lightened up a bit. It wouldn't kill ya."

She sighed, "It's just that… I've got a lot on my mind… I have no idea why my parents were… well ya know but I don't want anyone to get close to me if I'm still in danger."

Terry glared in confusion before stepping into the classroom, "I thought you said your parents' death was a car accident."

'Shit', she couldn't believe that she let that slip. No no he was not going to let some new Gotham Knight find her out so easily, "It's just… the police think that foul play might've been involved… they found a bunch of stuff in their trunk." She watched his face to see if he believed her, "If that's true… then… am I safe? What if I'm going to be targeted too… I don't know how to shoot guns."

Terry's expression softened only slightly before putting a hand to her shoulder, "Hey, no one is going to come after you. You have me and Bruce there to protect you." Marsha gives him a look, "Hey don't knock the old man just yet. He's actually pretty tough for someone pushing 80." They both start walking through the busy halls among the gossiping teenagers surrounding them. "How about we get something to eat? My girlfriend and I are planning on lunch down the street."

"I… wish I could… I really need to catch up with this new school district if I'm going to do anything extra after school", her smile showed nervously as her hand reached her neck. "You have fun though."

Terry stood by while watching Marsha walking away into the food court though after a few moments, his smile faded. He took out his screen phone with his eyes glued to the cafeteria doors, "Hey, Bruce, have you gotten everything on her?"

The voice on the other side of the line spoke in a elderly monotone, "Of course I have, I wouldn't have slept if I hadn't." There's a distinct clicking in the background of the call before he continued, "She's fourteen years old, intelligent record from the look of her report cards. She excels mostly in software and programming. Looks like after our meet up with Tim a few years ago, he'd enrolled her in martial arts and self defense just in case something happened. High marks at most of what she was in but engineering."

"Anything on Tim or his wife", he asked, "She said the police expected foul play in the accident in the evidence."

Bruce contemplated for a moment typing his way through program after program, file after file, "Nothing in the report says anything about foul play. You might have to talk to the commissioner about that."

"I'll talk to her tonight about it", he said.

"Good. I don't want another punk going into cave and taking another suit."

Beep, well it appeared he was in a good mood. Terry mused to himself for a moment thinking about how Marsha had spoken to Markus as opposed to how she did with him… something was up…


It was another hard night in a dark office with the only light illuminating the room was the ones outside the window showing pictures on the walls and the lamp on the table. No personal effects to make the office feel like home, none of a past that was so different from now that it felt like another person's life.

The Commissioner simply looked down at each file with a blank stare. How long had she actually looked that page? An hour? Several? She looked up from it for the first time that night and spoke frankly, "You know sneaking into a Police commissioner's office is illegal."

The latest Batman of the ever growing family stepped out of the shadows, his already dark costume did little to give away his expression. "I'm here about a new case that involves Tim Drake."

Barbara's eyes widened slightly, "Does Bruce think that there's foul play? Funny didn't know he cared."

"Bruce doesn't know… Tim's daughter might though."

"Marsha", she responded with a question in her voice. "Don't tell me that Tim gave her to him?"

"It was apparently in his will. I'm just trying to give a young girl some closure from her parents", he reassured her. "Besides, it's not like she'd never be able to fit your ears."

Silence blanketed the room in a thick invisible smoke, the details of the case became a harsh memory of what happened to Tim. Before she responded, the aging woman shuffled through her papers, "There distinct things about the car accident that came out smelling fishy." Barbara finally gripped around the file that she needed, "They weren't wearing seat belts, their clothes were put on by someone else-"

"How do you know that", he asked.

"Because there were too many buttons that weren't properly done on his shirt, his wife's zipper wasn't pulled all the way up and their underwear was put on backwards."

"Sounds like a good time in the back of a car", he retorted with a small smirk though it was easily erased by the glare coming from the Former Batgirl. "Sounds like a sloppy job of trying to cover up something."

"It was", she stated. "We tried to look through every outcome but no matter what the possibility, there came another dead end so the case went cold about a month ago. What makes Marsha think that there's foul play?"

"She just said police suspected foul play", he answered looking at the files meticulously half for his own reading and the other for Bruce's scans. "Anything in the trunk?"

"Another dead end, I'm afraid", Barbara stated, "There were impressions found in the back but no one at his job or his family knows what it was." She got up and poured herself another glass, "Do me a favor though. Marsha stays out of this… Tim wouldn't have wanted that and quite frankly I wouldn't allow it." She turned around only to find that there was no one there, "Some things never change."


Marsha stepped through the door through the midday sunlight before shutting the door behind her. The door seemed to echo through the halls filled with cobwebs, the dust, and the silence. "Mr. Wayne, I'm home", she shout, announcing her presence; her piercing green eyes looking left to right for any sign of the decrepit, old man. Her footsteps vibrate against the wall after her like a trail of invisible breadcrumbs behind her.

She raised a curious eyebrow at the door by the staircase, the mahogany finish seemed to be the only thing that shined in this desert of dust and silence. The raven haired teen looked at it with a determined glare as her fingers reach for the entrance before a vivid growl appeared next to her. "How was your first week", Bruce Wayne asked blankly. Ace growled at Marsha to take her hands off the door with a promising glare on his face.

"It was okay, I guess", she responded cautiously meeting eyes with the large dog before backing away from the door. "I think that I've gotten caught up with everything now", Marsha added as her hand held her arm by the elbow before looking at the old man in the eye.

"You hungry?" Shrugging awkwardly, Marsha followed Bruce on his way to the kitchen with Ace following. She wasn't going to lie, it felt like she was purposely pulling away with reign of a horse. They both look through the kitchen building a meal for an evening. The pans looked brand new . The elderly billionaire gathering items from the kitchen, they looked fresh. Most of the kitchen looked new actually…

"Did you reconstruct the kitchen while I was at school?"

"How do you figure that", he said while carefully cutting up tomatoes. "I could've planned to do it months ago."

"Well you'd have had to know about these models when they were being first designed." She observed twirling the saucepan in her hand, "This line of kitchenware came out 5 days ago with the oven, stove and fridge coming out about 2 days later. That also explains why the dust coming from the surrounding areas and why you wanted me to stay out of the kitchen."

She noticed the small smirk resting on his face, "You're highly observant. I thought maybe it would be best to take care of you with a good kitchen and food instead of TV Dinners." Bruce started cutting more vegetables getting lost in the move of the knife against each piece. "Have you made any friends?"

She thought about it for a moment, "Uh, no not really, I've been focusing on school work. There's this one guy that keeps coming up to me. He's got red dreads, black, very energetic, huge sports star at school..."

"That sounds like Markus", he says putting the veggies in the saucepan. "He's Starfire and Cyborg's son from the Justice League. I met him there at the last donation function."

She kept working on the food cooking, saucing and mixing the meal as much as Bruce was limited on what he could do. Marsha just looked to getting plates together for them both, "Right, you do the fundraisers for the Justice League too." She finally starts pouring the food into the plates with the steaks next to each of them, "Doesn't make him any less of a nuisance."

"He's a good kid. Means well. Worth talking to." He grabs his plate and moves out, "I'll be in my room. I'll be taking a nap not long after I eat."

"For the night?"

"No, I have work to do every night."

Without another word, he left the kitchen his meal in tow and the Great Dane following Bruce in kind. Marsha stood there watching him leave, casually eating the food they had cooked together. She listened to every step that was taken up the stairs, step… by step… by step… Each sound of his cane hitting the floorboards was chased by a nervous heartbeat. Step… ba-dum… Step… ba-dum…

She quickly tried to finish her meal before looking through her notes again. To anyone who didn't know any better, each decorated page of notes were the ravings of a mad man. Connects not obvious to most but she'd piece them together as leads the police wouldn't be willing to look into.

Granted based on how Gotham used to be in comparison to now, they probably wouldn't really think to get much more detailed. The crime in Gotham wasn't near the days of gangsters and high conspiracy crooks. Of course there were gangs who longed for the days of Murderous Clowns, Umbrella wielding penguins, and the like; but those would always stay. No… she knew there was something bigger here. Something everyone else was missing and she was about to find every bit of its dirty secrets among the mess of papers and growing list of suspicions.

The loud creak of a door echoed through the halls, the air beat heavily around her, weighing down her body to the seat. Her eyes rolled across the room for a moment before looking out at the window to the shining sun on the city landscape. The smell of cooking still occupied the air of home where she could be normal. Some oblivious girl who excelled in everything but made her living among the most complacent of Gotham...

Marsha's body seemed to react on its own, her feet rushing her back to the door which forbade her knowledge. Her hands laid plastic sheeting over the scanner before she placed her own hand over it. A soft hiss came from the doors next to her before she rushed in looking around what looked like a normal office. The books on the shelves seemed to decorate the scent of the room with poetic words as the wood of the door seemed to match the entire room. It was filled to the brim with green carpeting and black lining.

She traced her finger against the smooth surface of the desk only to find bits of dust creating barriers around it. Her eyes looked around the room again to truly look over clues to the venture she was looking for. The room seemed too clean and yet for someplace that's used every night, it didn't seem to have any sign of its use. It was as if it was a holographic display hiding its truth.

Marsha stepped herself through the room with analytical intent and suspicious eyes. She took in every motion, every mark and dent but it seemed like it was undisturbed among the dust. 'Wait a minute', she thought noticing a mark in the bookshelf. 'There's a significantly less accumulation of dust here', mused Marsha. Her fingers trailed one of the books' spine with a delicate hand before pulling at it with a firm hand.

Suddenly a mechanical hissing crawled through the wall like spiders with a grinding gears, pushing the bookcase apart. 'Well, at least he thought of better way to hide it all than just a simple father clock like in the pictures', she thought as she moved towards the opening carefully bit by bit. The light slowly fades under a the cover of darkness' possessive grip.

There's no going back.

Moist walls drip down her blind hands with each step echoing like four people were in that tunnel with her. The smell of metal coming from the brisk winds ahead against the paleness of his skin. Marsha could hear something below. A beeping bouncing through her ears as the light ahead was getting brighter, closer and warmer. Her eyes squint adjusting to the blinding light before adjusting accordingly.

It was a lot warmer than she imagined it to be as she stepped carefully into the cave. The lights seem to mostly beaming from the computer screens seeming to work on its own. Though it wasn't long till more light came to view as she could see everything, the trophies from the Golden age of Batman to one or two new gadgets she was somewhat familiar with. "Woah", she marveled before stopping in front of the display cases of suits. "Bingo."

"I was wondering when you were going to make your move", clambered a voice from behind. Before she could even turn around a pair of teeth tugged at her shirt away from the display case.

"Hey!"

Bruce simply looked at her with the same look that he had had when she first walked into his door a week ago. The problem with Terry standing behind him. Bruce's voice shook through Marsha's ears, "What do you think you're doing?"

"Are you actually asking for my thought process or just telling me to stop", she joked grabbing her shirt away from Ace's mouth. Her comment though is met with only a emotionless glare though she should know better than that. There was a slight hurt under those fading blue eyes. "How long did you know?"

"After knowing some more of the facts of the case, I cross examined the handwriting of the letter you gave me", he stated sternly.

"To add to that, I payed a visit to the Commissioner to see more about your case", Terry added. "It was only a matter of time… But your dad hated the crime fighting gig, why take it up?" Terry looked down at the latest intruder in their cave only to have her pout and look the other way. Sighing, he puts down his backpack, "What are we going to do with you…?"

"Nothing." Terry and Marsha whipped towards Bruce in surprise as he simply stared at the two with a strong look of indifference. "You want to put yourself in danger and avenge your parents?"

"Well… yeah… otherwise I wouldn't have gone through the trouble." Bruce nodded and walked over to the Robin suit, his footstep ricochet against the walls with airs of mystery surrounding him. Something as simple as opening the door to the Robin suit display felt like more of an execution than an honor… Everything about his stance was solemn and expectant. He'd seen those like her before and most did not end in happiness… or they just ended.

"Its up to you", Bruce said as Terry looked on in shock. "I'll give you the materials and the suit, but you have to put the rest together on your own."

"Seriously", Terry asked.

"So you're going to give me the suit… the gear in pieces but you're making me put it together", Marsha guessed, slightly hoping for that to be his answer.

"No. You are getting the blueprints for each agent but you have to put them together." Her heart crashes to her stomach. She knew nothing about the world of engineering. Her mind was racing that this was her chance. Her only chance to prove herself and avenge her family's death… did she really have a choice though…

"I'll do it." Her voice echoed through the Bat Cave as bats shook themselves off the ceiling. Consuming the latest addition of the Bat Family from sight.


In an apartment on the other side of Gotham, there lies a green boy on his couch, sleeping in through the early evening. His green skin illuminating against the TV screen lighting. His drool glistening off of his cheek from his sleeping fits. He suddenly jolts up in surprise and fear before looking around. Weird dreams… Another weird dream… so much pizza chasing pickles…

He mused for a moment too lazy to grab the remote to change the channel from… whatever this was? Was it the food channel? Were they wrestling? He wasn't really fully awake to understand what was going on. His blue eyes scanned around for the remote again only to find it was all the way on the coffee table. A excruciating 3 feet away from his couch ridden body.

Oh the humanity!

"Just… a little… closer", he muttered under his breath as his arm reached out to the distant feat of the remote. He scanned the room one more time before his hand glowed bright yellow lifting the stone table closer to the green boy. "Perfect." He grabbed the remote with this other hand with a cocky glimmer in his eye.

"You know you're not supposed to use your powers in the apartment, Gryphon."

Gryphon jumped at the voice only to see a little yellow cat with vibrant green stripes on her coat. He glared at the little Fur ball with a great annoyance behind his eyes, "Hey, Serena, have you met the kettle? You should probably introduce yourself or there."

The cat seems to shift in a flash to a green haired girl with slightly tanned skin only marked with slight markings of green on her cheeks. Her bright green eyes glared back at his blue ones, "At least I'm not sleeping off school work... again."

"I better not be hearing fighting in the living room about powers", shouts a voice from the other side of the wall. The voice was followed by a pair of footsteps walking through the halls to check on the living room. A tall woman standing at the doorway to the living room expectantly at the bickering twins. "Neither one of you are supposed to be using your powers in this house."

"Sorry mom", they said in unison. Tara chuckled to herself musing at the two's unique situation. Though over time she had come to understand it better than most would. She was still finding it hard that it had really been just less than 15 years. Tara had long since never remembered a life as Terra but she was just happy that Beast Boy accepted that she could never be her. Gryphon and Serena though were probably the best parts of that relationship. That love… though she suppose it wasn't really meant to last.

"Alright guys, are you packed up for your dad's", she asked with a smile.

Serena got up going to one of the bags, "I had to pack our stuff together because someone took a nap after school."

"Hey! I mean, I was tired, we had a test in Mr. Romlen's class", Gryphon defended walking to the door.

"That's enough you too. For once can you act like you love each other?"

The twins tilted their heads and looked at each other before looking back at Tara. "We do love each other." Tara laughs a little before grabbing the keys. Another week on her own.

Ring… ring… ring…

Tara quickly taps the screen of the house phone, "Hello?"

"Ms. Marakov, I'm afraid to tell you this, but your ex-husband has gone missing."

At that moment… the entire world fell apart.

Chapter Text

 

Beyond the Titans
Issue #2: I’m not just a Kid
By Alphafemale1

Summary:
Titans! Go! When old Titans, in the year 2037, are going missing or being murdered. It's up to their children to solve the mystery of what's happening to their parents. With questions, friendship, and action to be had. There's a little bit of something for everyone in store as we follow our new titans into their adventure of discovering who they were meant to be as well as each other. Rated T for Language, Violence, and some sexual themes.

Last time on Beyond Titans:

“... would you like to tell me why you're here," he said plainly. No emotion on his face...

"My… My parents died."
-
Joseph looked her in the eye, "We're going to have to move, Wren. I'm sorry."
-
"Look I know how hard it can be to be the new kid but, I'm here to talk if you need someone to talk to."
-
"There are distinct things about the car accident that came out smelling fishy."
-
“...You are getting the blueprints for each agent but you have to put them together."
-
"Ms. Marakov, I'm afraid to tell you this, but your ex-husband has gone missing."


The bustling city seemed to have no end and no beginning, just a constant flow fluxing and turning as people went. The smog covering the sky at times instead of clouds like the mountains she had come to call home. There were so many people, so many senses, colors, and sounds… Wren couldn’t properly process everything at once. “Dad… Where’s this friend of yours," she asked still staying cautious around the city.

She had only told stories about this mysterious friend, though once or twice she had seen a glimpse. They never seemed like the same person though, some men, some women, some skinny, some muscular. It was strange to have this person come around with the same voice but never the same body. Joseph only looked down at her with a comforting smile as a way to say there was nothing to fear.

That didn’t ease her rattled nerves… the young father finally took notice when a black aura had consumed a pole only to bend it in knots. Finally stopping in front of a door that seemed to be the smallest shack she’d never seen, Joseph looked at his daughter before signing, “This is a strange friend, but he should be able to give us a place to live for the time being and you some lessons.”

The shack looked… dinghy against an already greying platform of concrete and bland luster. It looked like it was barely standing on its own with a leaning frame that was just moments away from dropping to the ground. The windows showed no light on the other side but the darkness only highlighted the cracked glass on its pane. Every movement of the wind seemed to rock it slightly. ‘This can’t be the place’, thought Wren, looking at her father as he placed a hand on the crippling door.

He opened the door to find to what seemed like a palace inside such dreary exteriors. Walls decorated in golden marble surrounding widows of the galaxies around every corner. The melodies of classical music playing in the background shifting the moods from pale to fantastical as the sound only grew bigger with the height of the ceiling. Every step she took seemed to bounce against the floor and onto the walls.

Joseph smiled but it was brief when he thought back to what his friend had warned him many times. That there would be a time where he would have to send Wren to them. The green-eyed man just hoped that day would’ve never come.

“Jericho," clambered a voice from the other side of the room. Jericho looked over at the figure to find a young man, probably not much older than Wren. Jericho nodded and shook the young man’s hand, “I’ve heard much about you from the other Fates before me. I assume then the time you feared also came.” Jericho hung his head and nodded again, “I see… You two are welcome here for as long as you like.”

Wren saw this man standing before her father with curiously wide eyes. He was taller than Joseph but definitely wasn’t at an age where they’d had known each other for as long as it seemed. His brown hair pulled back into a ponytail as his grey eyes had this friendly glow about them. His build filled out well with broad shoulders and built arms that seemed to flex at every movement. “Who are you," Wren asked as her brow raised at him.

“Well my real name is Douglas Harper," he admitted looking down at the young girl, “But most of the people in the Justice League call me Dr. Fate. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Her purple orbs widened in shock, she’d heard of the Justice League and Dr. Fate but only in passing in books from older times. She glanced at her father who only met her gaze with a saddened smile.

“Dr. Fate…," she repeated making sure that she heard him right.

“It’s alright if you haven’t known much of me. I’ve seen much of you though," he replied.

“That’s not creepy...”

“Yeah… without context, I’m sure that it would be a bit off-putting," Douglas agreed. “But with a little context, I’m sure that you’ll understand.” The room shifted and moved across planes of existence before holograms of younger versions of her father and a woman came to the center of the room.

“Is… that you and mom," Wren asked, there was a slight tinge of hope in her voice looking at the two beings in the middle of the room. Joseph only nodded with nearly all his attention on the purple haired woman standing next to his younger self. It’d honestly been so long that he nearly forgot what she looked like.

Douglas continued, “You see the Dr. Fate at the time noticed how close your parents were getting and decided to keep watch over them.”

“But why? I thought that my parents were just hermits living away from the world?”

“Well… that was only half true. Before then, they were considered great heroes or great villains depending on the day.” As he spoke, images of a past long gone from today appeared. Fantastic stories she’d never known. Her father fighting off hordes of villains using other people’s bodies. Her mother using blackened magic to take down major threats. “There was one thing that they couldn’t deny though… and that was that they were powerful. Your father was able to push down death in order to come back to the living. Your mother had to fight her demonic heritage more times than what should be allowed in any lifetime. It wasn’t long though until your parents fell in love.”

Wren just watched every vision go through the room, “What happened? Why is my mother gone?”

Both Jericho and Douglas tensed for a moment before the younger man continued, “Your mother, Raven Roth, got pregnant with you and there was a greater fear that you would be more erratic due to your father’s inhuman willpower and your mother’s demon side. There was a large chance that you wouldn’t be able to control your powers. So your mother thought of a solution.” The image of a black raven shadow formed into a baby being carried by Joseph’s saddened frame. “She gave her soul to you in order to help you manage your powers to this point...”

“My mom… she… died for me…?” Wren’s head fell down to only face the floor of the enchantment… She caused her mother’s death… She could feel the warm familiar embrace wrapping around her in a steady flow. Watery purple meeting sorrowful green for a moment, “Why didn’t you tell me…?”

“He wanted to keep your life simple and with your mother’s soul monitoring your emotions and powers, it didn’t seem necessary," Douglas stated. “But now that old enemies have come back somehow, we’re going to have to train you properly.”

Wren simply stood carefully and looks around again as it turned back to the majestic room it was before the story. “But I don’t have powers like Dad.”

“You may have powers like your mother though…” Douglas looks at her with a serious expression before walking past them towards a helmet on a large mantle. “We’ll start tomorrow, in the meantime, we’re going to have to teach you about the outside world and scholarly knowledge for children your age.”

“In a day?”

Douglas only looked back and smiled, “You’d be surprised what I can teach you in only a day.”

Wren took a moment to think about what was happening, looking up at her father. She could sense the fear in his heart and the sorrow of his memories. More than anything though, Wren felt the love in his heart when he looked at her… and pride in her mere existence. She’d never really thought about using powers… period even if she knew something about her was always different. With a deep breath, she looked up at Douglas. Her eyes filled liquid determination that fell down her cheeks, “When does the training begin?”


Gotham left a single parent in shambles for the past week. Tara hadn’t gone out of the apartment since the news only a few days ago. Her eyes were puffy bags under her blond curtain. Hands were the only things that were holding tightly to whatever she had left of her sanity. It seemed like a world she once knew spun. Every day, every moment just passed through her mind so much that it fell close to breaking her. “Gar...”

Gryphon and Serena stood outside of the door of their mother’s bedroom with only one light showing her still even being there. The green skinned teen watched on as his sister tried to look away. Their mother was usually strong. Stern but fair and fun loving. What was on that bed though, with a long cold, deserted meal from the night before; was no longer their mother.

Serena quickly walked passed the door with a backpack in hand, “Come on, we should get to school. We don’t want to be late.”

“Hey, I think we can take a day off," Gryphon whispered, “It’s not as if we don’t have an excuse.”

The green haired girl only glared at him in response, “Well, unfortunately, we can’t stay at home to help mom all the time. We need to act like everything is normal or else she’s never going to readjust.” Swinging the door open, she huffed out with venom taking over her every step. Even the door closing felt toxic to Gryphon’s breath.

Air escapes his mouth as he shook his head in frustration. Toxicity seemed to just infect the very floorboards of the place that was once home. Cautiously, he stepped through the doorway of the bedroom. Closing in on the husk of his mother before sitting down next to her on the bed.

“Mom… we have to go to school now. We’ll be back in a few hours," he reassured holding her hand caringly. “Don’t worry… Dad’ll come back… I know he will. You’ll see.” He tried to smile hopefully but the ends of the smile couldn’t reach his eyes. It wouldn’t have mattered though she wasn’t responsive to his actions.

Hesitantly, he let go of her hand. Steps echoed through the hall in the background before the front door closes as silently as possible.

They sat next to each other on the transit with heavy and thick walls between them as the cart moved back and forth slightly.

Gryphon looked forward with a million emotions and thoughts in his head as the time seemed to pass as fast as the cars outside. His mind raced towards the world he felt like he was seeing for the first time. There had to be something they could do. Anything they could do. He could do something, but his brain had no solutions.

Serena, on the other, was focusing on her notes. One of the many distracting things she occupied her time with. It seemed like the only comfort that she could find support in. Something to fill her time with things that can help progress in the long run. One of them had to keep their heads up while the world seemed to be falling apart.

Their father had decided to stay in superhero work despite his age and that made him reckless. As if he were invincible, something Serena could never get behind... Though as the two sat there waiting to go to their destination. They looked at each other… both as if knowing what the other was going to say. Gryphon looking away showing his annoyance before Serena put a hand on his shoulder.

He glared back at her with irritation clear in his bright blue orbs though her green eyes only rolled in response. The green haired teen scoffed as her brother groaned in frustration. If anyone else looked into these conversations of looks and sounds, they’d think these two mad. It was like they were having a conversation based on what they knew of each other…

“I don’t know if Mom’s going to like what’s going on...," Serena hesitated as the trolley went to an abrupt stop. “Or what’s you’re planning.”

“Well, you know what? It’s better than nothing," he said snarkily, standing up with her.

“That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea," Serena shot back with a glare. “You don’t have to play hero. Dad is probably just in some sort of dying thing… He’ll be back in a few years and he’ll try to come back like everything is okay.”

“This time is different, Serena," he exclaimed as they walked. People passing by them as if it were no different from another day. “He went missing in his own place. You don’t take out a superhero off the job! That’s what gangs did.”

Serena only shook her head at him with a sigh escaping her lips knowing that there was no talking him out of this. As she thought, scenery seemed to change without many transitions into their school. “We should bring in the Justice League then. They’re probably-”

“No," he argued walking through the doors, “First of all, they’re already having trouble trying to figure out who’s in charge of themselves. B: we… honestly, have no way of contacting them. Lastly, they’re probably already on the case but we have something they don’t.”

“Okay and what’s that," she replied stopping at her locker with a raised brow.

“Imagination," he smirked. His elbow hit this locker door before opening in a flash, “There has to be a lead we can follow. With your hyperfocus and my ingenuity; I know we can do it.”

“... I’ll… think about it," Serena hesitated as she looked through the locker closely. It was crazy… but then again… nothing about them seemed normal… They went their separate ways for the day. Each one with their heads forward and hopes high with their confident strides through the sea of kids. This was their story, their adventure and they would go about it together.


He flew down on the roof of the tower looking over Gotham. His green eyes scanning the city meticulously as his dreaded red hair moved in the wind. He had waited there most of the morning, hovering. The ads passing and going, looking the same as ever but he wasn’t finding that to be of true importance. “Nice to see you again," said an older voice from behind. Markus turned around to see his mentor for the League standing before him.

“Mr. Shock.”

“Static," he corrected while chuckling at his young intern. Static Shock was definitely one of the legends of the superhero world. His dreads had been swept back behind his line of vision while his eyes were obscured by the golden mask. He stood tall over Markus like the towers around them. The golden emblem on his suit shown brightly against the black and blue of his uniform. “How’s your surveillance been going?”

“It’s been slow but I finally got in as one of their higher-ups," the half-alien started with a serious look on his face. “They’re working for someone but all contacts have remained elusive. The leader is the only one who knows who they’re working with or how they’re getting the messages through.” Markus began to pace left and right on top of the building’s needle, “I know I can gain their trust. I know that I’ve got them thinking that I’m some rebel teen that needs his kicks against his good parents. I just need more time.”

Static shook his head, “You’re going to end up getting too deep into this. If you don’t get out soon, I’m afraid what it’s going to do to you, Markus.”

He stopped pacing and looked at his mentor with pleading eyes. The wind passing through them in loud gusts to fill in silence. Static could see the intense look in his eyes, begging him to let him keep going. “Please… I know this can work," he said furrowing his brows, “I know I can figure it out. I just need a little more time.”

Static argued coldly, “Time that we don’t have for Gotham.” Static could practically hear the young man’s heart shatter, “Batman called me before we got here, there might be someone looking for revenge for what you did a month ago. I know that it’s hard to think about but-”

“I figured it would happen," Markus looked down and crossed his arms. His eyes glowing slightly remembering the events of the past few months or so. He couldn’t say that he was proud… but he knew what he did had to be done. “I can handle myself just fine.”

“You don’t need to prove yourself to your father.”

Markus’ eyes intensified at that statement with a heated glare to match. As much as he definitely loved his father for the life he’s provided him, his dad never did understand the drive that he had to be a superhero. The young man who the world had once known as Cyborg was now a fearful man who wanted the normality he never had. It had taken him and his mom forever to convince him to play sports, let alone be an intern. That was still more or less a secret that even his mother knew nothing about.

“I know I don’t...," the redhead said before turning back at his mentor, “But if it’s to keep everyone else safe, I don’t think even you have an option in pulling me out yet.”

Another silence between them appeared like a mist. Neither one reading what the other was thinking. Static’s face remained blank in the process of thinking what possibilities that could happen. Usually, Gear would be around to help but… he’s not around anymore. Wind passing through lightly blowing away the silence before the wise man stepped forward with an answer. “Continue your day as normal," he started shaking the teen’s hand, “Report in next week. Same time.”

Markus gave a long sigh of relief, a grateful squeeze was applied to his hand, “Thank you, Static Shock..” Markus backed away excitedly before flying off through the city landscape with a grin that shined like the sun. The electric hero watched with a small smile of his own though it did little to mask his worry.

The half alien teen flew around for a while seeing people passing through his day like any other. Wind passing through his hair with freedom being whispered in his ear. Warmth filled his gut with purpose, though he could still go for a burger. Emerald orbs rolling around the city as if the world was completely new again. The ads seemed brighter, cars looking faster, and the world going slower as he enjoyed his path. Markus scanned around for the way to the local school before gently landing right next to his favorite moody teen.

“Marsha," he called out only being met with an intensely annoyed glare. Those lime green eyes looking like they could destroy him if she so much as sighed. “Not a great day," he guessed looking over her shoulder.

“It really isn’t any of your business," she groaned. Marsha’s hair was starting to have a life of its own without the maintenance of a brush. The bags under her eyes showed to the sleepless nights spent working on her own gear. She had the suit and the upgrades were just within her grasp but any tool she used seemed to fall out of her hands. Now this Alien prep boy was invading her space once again… this was just now her week. Days had been dedicated living like a normal teen but the nights belonged to the suit. A suit that seemed to be made with a million pieces and not one of them was made to assist her.

“Where’d you get those?” Markus asked looking at the blueprint popping out of her backpack. “It’s… interesting.”

Marsha smacked his hand away, “Again, none of your business.” She had no time to waste. She had school. She had work. Revenge. These were things that she focused on… the things she needed to… to… Suddenly the world is going blurry. The sound of a voice seemed so far away but she could practically feel their breath on her neck. The edges of the world turned into a movie screen until it all went silent.

Markus grabbed her before she could fall on the floor with a shocked look. He tried to wake her up through the soft shaking but found that there was no response. Flying through hallways with blinding speed as papers tried to follow him only to fall flat hallways away from him. The screeches dragging across the tile floor before abruptly stopping in front of the nurse's office. “She just past out in the middle of the hallway," he panicked, “I don’t know what happened… She just-”

The nurse rushed to the unconscious girl in his arms and gently placed her on the bed. “What’s her name," the nurse asked calmly.

“Marsha Drake, she just started here.” The nurse nodded to Markus, telling him he could leave and that Marsha could be left in her care. Markus declined the offer; however, no way could he leave her alone. Marsha might’ve been rude to him in the beginning… and not really a talkative person… or a person people were- the point is she’s a person just like everyone else and he’d do the same for anyone. Sitting next to the sleeping girl, he thought about the next plan of attack. How was he going to make this all work…?

He allowed his mind to wonder when he finally glanced over at the backpack that he had picked up. Mechanics designs… Raising a brow to them, he continued to read them. Each masterfully designed and detailed instruction on these papers screamed for something beyond their years. What was someone like her doing with these plans? He’d seen her try to build things in robotics and it was… less than ideal. What was she planning exactly…? He started putting them away and just looked at her puzzled for a moment… smiling at the girl in the bed.

She might’ve been crazy, rude, and too serious to comprehend, but as he looked at her now, peaceful and restful, she looked normal. Her eyes seemed so much more relaxed while her shoulders which usually had a stiff structure loosened like water from melting ice. Even her hair, which was usually so careful and slick against the tight headband she always wore, felt wild. His eyes didn’t travel much further than that though. What kind of person was he to do something like this?

Marsha’s eyes finally fluttered open with a more rested energy. “What happened," she groaned seeing who she’d deemed annoyance looking at her.

“You passed out in the middle of the hallway," Markus answered, “I’m going to assume it has something to do with this project of yours.”

“You looked in my bag," she exclaimed.

“Just what’s peeking out. What exactly are you even working on?”

Marsha was too tired to really answer properly but she knew she couldn’t just say it was nothing to worry about either. A lie would be best. “I’ve been failing in engineering class and I got some extra credit to work on. My guardian decided to help me out with schematics but he won’t be helping me with any of the actual building.”

Markus’ emerald orbs looked down into her pale lime ones searching for falsehood. Seconds feel like hours under the stress of working for so long on such a feat. Her heartbeat quickened a touch at the intense glare she was receiving from the sophomore. His face giving away nothing but analysis to the best poker face that Marsha could muster. The world disappeared around them like a chess match of minds.

Would he believe her?

Who would break under the stare?

Markus smiled, “Well that’s good but you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Marsha relaxed only slightly, “The old man is a sink or swim kind of guy.” Suddenly a knock goes to the doorway of the nurse's office dragging their attention to reality. Terry stood there with a concern on his face. Markus furrowed his brow in confusion as to why he of all people was here. Marsha, on the other hand, only groaned. “You should probably go.” Markus looked at her in confusion before sitting up and nodding.

“See ya around," he said before walking out, passing Terry as he went to Marsha’s side.

Terry just gazed down at the overworked girl even if she did have that undying determination, she could only do so much. Her eyes glaring back at him as she sat up to receive the verbal tongue lashing she’d probably get. “I know what its like," Terry said.

“No, you don’t.”

“Yeah, I do. My dad was killed by the Jokerz because I bested them and I got even," he argued. “You’re trying to find a purpose through your parents’ death, I get it.” Marsha avoided eye contact as he spoke, her mind trying to process what he was telling her, “You’re never alone. What you’re feeling is valid but is this what your parents would’ve wanted?”

“Who cares what they would’ve wanted," she finally said, “I’m alive. They’re gone. I want closure and the police aren’t doing anything about it.” The raven-haired girl stood tall in front of Terry with that same determined glare, “Nothing is going to stop me from going for what I need to do.”

“Who says you need to?”

“Me.”


 

Bruce glared at the latest information from the investigation so far. While yes, Marsha would come to her own conclusions; Terry had had a hope that solving it before her completion of the suit, would prevent her from going down this path. He knew better though. Time and time again, he’d seen Robins, Batmen, and women going around the streets. His efforts to push them away fell to deaf ears. Marsha would likely be no different.

The cave felt so small nowadays, even though it could fill the entire mansion by now. The feeling of responsibility that has been passed on to another iteration of his legacy seemed to suffocate him more. The tired eyes looked at the screen for what seemed like forever. He was getting too old for this. The Bat Family was growing again… and he feared what would become of it if it truly formed.

“It was the Royal Flush Gang," said Marsha suddenly behind him. Bruce didn’t flinch at the sound of the younger girl’s voice. Stealth wasn’t a strength she had much of. Something that with training could help but he would see if she had the drive to go further.

“What evidence do you have?" he asked not sparing so much as a glance to the protege. “They were sentenced to 10 years without parole.”

“The box that used to be in the back of the car as well as a call that Dad made the day he was killed.” She sat next to the old man still looking at the plans that he had set for her. She had the materials and the programming skills but for whatever reason, she couldn’t begin to know how to put it together. “He kept saying things like your highness and King," she continued, “And there’s only one group I know who have that moniker.”

“Why would he say those titles though? Your father hated the crime life especially after what happened with the Joker.”

“What are you talking about," she questioned. Bruce finally widened his eyes to look at her. “Dad had nothing to do with the Jokerz. Why would he worry about them?”

“You don’t know.” Bruce made it sound like a statement than a question. Tim never told his family why the precautions or the new plans… He trapped air in his lungs from the door he just opened to her. She couldn’t be kept in the dark, “Your father was one of my robins.”

“Yeah, I think I’ve figured that out by now.”

“There’s something else to that. The reason for him quitting the crime fighting.”

For that moment a long silence surrounded him as he told her the tale she never thought she’d hear. The words hit her like knives in her chest as every scene played in her head. She could practically hear the gunfire with each bit of new information. The broken down Arkham. The laughter seemed to echo in the background like the ghost of the past. The draft swept between them as a morbid reminder. The wind seemed to get colder with each giggle that was remembered.

Was this going to change her thoughts on the whole thing? Bruce couldn’t tell from Marsha’s facial expressions. Knowing she didn’t know any of this before only twisted a dagger in his chest. The child seemed to get no joy out of this new knowledge. Though when she finally lifted her head, there was a new expression there. Not a sign of sadness, anger, or rejection. Just determination. He expected nothing less.

“Then I guess I’m going to just have to work harder," she proclaimed, clenching onto the plans in her hands once again.

Bruce only nodded to Marsha before typing into the computer again. He could hear the response to the nod in the form of footsteps marching away, “What do you plan on doing when you find them?” The former Dark Knight asked the girl but he already knew the answer.

Marsha stopped in her tracks for a moment before looking back into the clouded eyes of the old man. They looked as though they had seen so much in their time on this earth. Nothing seemed to phase them anymore. Why would this?

“Whatever it takes.”


Drip

Drip

Drip

They looked at the skeletons of a house in front of them. The smell of smoke still lingering in the air as the house’s bones dripped from the lakes on whatever floor still stood. One would think that after so much time had passed the water would’ve dried. Gryphon stepped through the carnage surrounding him with analyzing eyes scoping the barren wasteland.

Serena transformed into a bloodhound, sniffing around the charcoal bits searching for smells or oddities around the carcass of the house. She couldn’t help grumbling to herself as she pushed items and dust around the surrounding area. The green and yellow dog had been contemplating what they were doing. Their father was probably fine and they would have nothing to worry about. The look in his brother's eyes though spoke of something much different though. Something grave and distant.

Her ears listening to the splashing footsteps of her brother using his powers to move rubble from side to side. Finding little around them thus far, nothing suspicious, maybe a few bits of memorabilia their family might like but nothing worth noting until, “Hey check this out, Serena.”

Gryphon stood over what looked like a large table at first. Thin and metallic with maybe some electronic fixtures inside to keep track of the news and what not. “Great we found a table”, she remarked rolling her eyes. Taking another glance at it again she saw the remittance of paint still on it with an emblem on its face. “A white and black table…”

The young man scoffed at his sister, “Does a table have circuit boosters the other side for gliding potential?”

“So you do pay attention in class”, she remarked. Gryphon looked at the side with the emblem again. Though the more he looked at it the less it looked like an emblem and the more it looked like a spade. His eye quirked to the edges of the image, tracing it for imperfections and clues he could understand.

“I thought the Royal Flush Gang was in prison”, he remarked looking through the wreckage. Despite seeing the emblem pretty well, it was still a damaged vehicle. The once exact edges were now bent and frayed with wires here and there.

“I think so… but I don’t really know, those types of current events don’t interest me as much”, Serena said truthfully, looking at the claw marks on the other side of the card. “There looks like there was a struggle...”

“Well no… really? I would’ve never guessed.” Gryphon was only greeted with an annoyed stare at his twin. “It doesn’t look like we can gain much more from this… are you sure there isn’t anything else we can find around here?”

“We’re not exactly detectives.”

With a heavy sigh, Gryphon nodded in agreement but took pictures of the sight just in case. Maybe they could take it to someone who knows what they’re doing later. For now, though they weren’t much closer to finding their father. The only comfort was in their company of each other.


Markus flew down to the knocking from the front door with green gleaming excitement in his eyes. The sun was at his highest point today illuminating the gleaming sun in his eyes. This was it! This was the way he was going to get her out of her shell! He landed in front of the door taking a few breaths to calm himself down. Don’t scare her, try to ease it all in. HIs hand holding the door with one last breath before opening up to reveal a familiar, short raven-haired girl greeting his gaze with her own.

“Hey”, greeted the tall half alien. He moves away to give her a path inside what appeared to be a 2 leveled apartment. The walls were painted with vibrant colors of purple and blue with what looked like differing tech blinking and flashing around the room. The furnishings were relatively modern with plush rugs in the living room and abstract moving sculptures in the corners of the corridor going to the kitchen. “You’re having trouble in engineering?”

“You said I could call”, she replied flatly looking around the pictures on the walls. Seemed like someone has the perfect little life. A lot of happy memories on the walls with fun times playing out under the preserving glass. Her light green eyes scanning for anything off but it all seemed… proud and loving… She almost missed that with her own family. “I would work on it on my own but no matter what I do, it’s like having one of those Antique IKEA sets.”

Markus chuckled a little and closed the door after her, feeling a great deal of excitement still bubbling. Ever since she confessed that she needed help, he was excited to see the real girl that was under such a cold and hardened exterior. “We can work in the garage.”

The short girl looked up at the redhead with a questioning expression on her face, “We’re on the 30th floor...”

Markus’ smirk just gleamed more brightly with a slight swagger in his step when he decidedly walked into the direction of this so-called “garage.” She looked at her host for the afternoon from behind to really take him in. He was tall that much should've been obvious right than from a track runner. The muscles on his torso peeking through the undershirt while his arms had no muscle without definition. His legs move with a grace that one probably would be in a gazelle strolling in a forest.

Her eyes wandered around again to see all of the little details around her change from a bright colorful presentation to a warm grey tone clashing against cool blue tones. Marsha could see that the area was messy but organized. Some machines treated with respect while others were tossed to the side next to tools and oils. The distinct scent of gasoline and metal hit her nose like a train while Markus seemed to embrace it like an old friend.

“So then, what should we work on first”, he asked, grinning excitedly.

Marsha nodded back like the pages of the blueprints seemed to lay about like cloth on the table instantly.

They worked together molding framing, programming, and testing each piece like a well-oiled machine. Sparks floating around like fireflies in the field of metal next to oil ponds. Markus grinned with every hard pull of his wrench as well as every question that she asked about each item. Little by little, she seemed to open a little to him. The curious spark was in her eyes whenever she looked up at him for answers.

Items were starting to come into a shape, which made him wonder more and more what exactly she was making. The character of the mechanics screamed something for flight, but others made the tech expert in him question why there was so many flexibility thin circuitry. Circuits that would have never seen the light of day unless making a computer or laptop… So strange… A knock came at the door interrupting the two’s focus.

“Hello”, smiled the orange-skinned woman. For someone her age, her body looked no older than that of a twenty-year-old. Her long red hair now held up into a ponytail, which didn’t stop the wild made from going down her back. Her alien emerald eyes glinted at her son and this new girl that she couldn’t help but feel familiar with. Something about her she just couldn’t put a finger on. “I’ve brought you some lunch. Victor said you two would be hungry.”

Marsha gave her best smile to the woman politely. Though, there was a question burning in the back of her mind like a plague. Markus smiled nervously at his mother as the guest’s ears were too preoccupied to her own thoughts. How were they so relaxed while the world seemed so dim in comparison? Maybe that was just her though. Through working on her own research and frustratingly working on this suit, she thought the world was so much lighter than its reality.

Markus suddenly was extremely panicked and pushing his mother in the house. Oh, she should probably go back to listening to what they were talking about now.

“Mom! I can’t believe you’d ask that!?”

“What? You’re getting around that age”, the full alien responded cheekily.

“I.. I just… Get out”, the young man shouted, slamming the door with a deep blush over his cheeks. “Sorry about that… she’s kinda obsessed with that kind of thing ever since her rediscovery of Rom Coms. I hope that didn’t make you uncomfortable.”

Marsha shook her head and let out a small smile in response, “It’s okay. My mom used to be similar though my dad would’ve scolded her about bringing the subject around me.” The alien emerald eyes widened at that knowledge… there… right there! It was a crack in the mask… something that he could try to talk about. She seemed to sense that and quickly stuffed her face with the rib sandwich his mother had brought in. “But that’s not really important…”, she could see that hopeful look in his eye.

Oh no! Quick! Think of something to change the subject!

“Soooo how did… they get together?” Marsha asked him as genuinely as possible. He blinked at her once before shifting to confusion.

“Why?”

“Well”, she pondered, “I mean… it didn’t seem like a likely match. It’s not like its really obvious from what I heard from some old newspaper I saw.”

The older teen was looked at her in consideration… it wasn’t a terrible question, he supposed. Though he never really liked referring to his parent for conversation. It was something that made him feel like his accomplishments were only because of his parents, instead of his own hard work. Though after what little talk they had, Markus could see the ways that she saw him. Even though it was subtle.

The way she dissed him not caring about his parentage. The way that she seemed determined to do things on her own even when faced with her greatest weakness. He admired that about her even if it’s starting to become unhealthy. Her eyes still looked at his for an answer. His fingers traced the smooth bread of the food in his hands like it was a map to this situation.

He sighed before taking a chomp out of this own sandwich, “You really want to know how my parents got together?”

“Sure”, she shrugged, “If you want to.”

Markus nodded and watching his guest’s reactions as she listening, “Well… My parents as you know were part of a teen superhero group called the Titans. My mom was the resident alien, and my dad was the resident half the Justice League. machine and half man. My mom was dating Nightwing and the other was just staying at work with the Justice League.” He starred off into space remembering the stories that his mother used to say to her.

She drank some water as she listened to his speech, seeing the searching in his eyes for the words. “My mom had been dating Nightwing for a while and they got married but… then apparently Raven, a former Titan herself, became consumed with jealousy and the powers of her father and interrupted the wedding… twice… it was odd. Finally, though, Nightwing and my mom called off the wedding after realizing that they had had their chance and it had passed.”

He takes another bite the sandwich before Marsha chimed in, “And your dad just… scooped in to save the day?”

The emerald eyed teen chuckled a little, “Not exactly. Ya see my mom and dad just started working together. They were fine with each other. Working as good old time friends but, Mom was seeing something more in Dad and my dad was kinda oblivious. The whole sibling thing you know?” Marsha nodded in reply as he continued on with his story, “Then one day, they just finally looked into each other’s eyes and they knew… 15 months later they had me.”

“Oh, your parents’ dated for 6 months before having you?”

“No that’s how long the pregnancy was.”

“Oh… oooh...”, she had an almost terrified look on her face thinking about the alien in the middle of pregnancy for months longer than what usually would come. Her focus turned to her glass looking at the water to move around the clear surface.

Markus smiled at her perplexed stare of confusion before piquing his curiosity, “What about you? Your parents I mean.”

“Well...”, she glanced at the clock quickly before rushing to her feet. “Oh no! I gotta get home soon!”

“Huh”, he looked at the clock and the sun setting. Had they really been working for so long? “I’ll take you to your place. I just need the address.”

“With all due respect, I don’t think that even you could carry all of this at once plus me.”

Markus had that same shining grin looking down at her small frame before jiggling his keys, “Who said anything about carrying?”


Terry’s eyes remained glued on the screen looking through records and reports for Drake’s murder. He needed to get it done… he had to. The dripping of water down beside his seat in the chair. The Royal flush gang was out and about as he had checked and wondered what 10 was doing back. His fingers gripped on the arms of the chair lightly hearing footsteps behind him.

“Bruce, have you found anything on the case”, Terry asked to the unknown figure.

“That depends on what you found”, Marsha replied with a smirk in her voice. Terry’s heart dropped at her voice so confident and bold. He slowly looks at her masked face to see his fears reflecting back.

Her suit was finally put together. Her mask looked like a seamless connection with her cape with metallic green gradients going down to the tips of her cape. Her eyes were obscured by the mask’s screens over her eye placements. He could practically feel the scanners on him sensing his every move. Her ears were covered with enhanced earphones probably there for communication purposes or whatever the old man had designed it for. The shining green gloves clung to her forearm with metal buttons containing each little utility for the suit. The rest of her arms were covered by black The torso piece was red with yellow circuitry around the R emblem on her chest.

The only thing breaking apart the red was a golden belt around her midsection. Terry assumed there was more in those pockets, much like his own. Her upper thighs were red also red, connecting to the red on her torso like an old bathing suit. Her legs were mostly covered by night black boots up to where her thighs cut off from the red with green paneling acting as shields for her knees and shins. Her tips of her steel toe boots shining metallic like the rest of the suit.

Terry looks back up at her face, noticing the wild spiking of her bangs and the large ponytail that seemed to defy gravity, “So you got it done?”

“I had a little help, but I’m ready to work”, she replied. The latest Batman of the two stood up from the chair with steps echoing behind him as his hands grabbed her file from the desk. “Is that mine?”

“I’ve been looking over it as much as possible but I haven’t really had the time considering the Justice League”, he spoke honestly before glancing up at her. “You don’t have to do this, Marsha.”

Marsha frowned at that before grabbing the file out of his hands to look over it herself. “Call me Robin.”


 

Next time: Beyond the Titans- Issue #3: Let's get started

Marsha: "What can you tell me about The Royal Flush Gang?"

Markus: "You'll ruin everything!"

Wren: "This is all so new for me... Am I ready?"

Gryphon: "We're looking for the same thing. We help you find whatever his name is... and you help us find our dad."

Serena: "How are you so sure?"

Static: "You have a decision to make."

"What an interesting new generation of heroes... you've all raised them well."

Chapter Text

Beyond the Titans

Issue #3: Let's get started

By Alphafemale1

Summary:

Titans! Go! When old Titans, in the year 2037, are going missing or being murdered. It's up to their children to solve the mystery of what's happening to their parents. With questions, friendship, and action to be had. There's a little bit of something for everyone in store as we follow our new titans into their adventure of discovering who they were meant to be as well as each other. Rated T for Language, Violence, and some sexual themes.

Last time on Beyond Titans:

"My mom… she… died for me…?"

Douglas only looked back and smiled, "You'd be surprised what I can teach you in only a day."

"Batman called me before we got here, there might be someone looking for revenge for what you did a month ago. I know that it's hard to think about but-"

"I figured it would happen," Markus looked down and crossed his arms.

"I thought the Royal Flush Gang was in prison", he remarked looking through the wreckage.

"There looks like there was a struggle..."

"Then one day, they just finally looked into each other's eyes and they knew… 15 months later they had me."

"Oh, your parents' dated for 6 months before having you?"

"No that's how long the pregnancy was."

"Call me Robin."


Crowds of people moving from one place to another. Like speeding cars over a virtual highway, they didn't seem to have time for the sun beaming down on them all. Their clothes looked strange to her with so many metal patches on them or how they spoke over the phone with people like they weren't there, to begin with.

Despite, Wren's advancements in her studies with Dr Fate and her father over the past few weeks… this world she was stepping into with crowd of people and a lack of greenery was still so cold and off-putting. It felt so detached from the nature filled hills of Tibet that it was hard to comprehend that this was even the same dimension let alone the same earth that they all shared. She stepped through the doors for the school only to be greeted by the unfamiliar girl standing next to her in the mirror.

Her blond hid one eye while at the same time covering her gem from sight. She had been wearing clothes she was sure she wouldn't have warned on a daily basis. Her shoulders bare for everyone to see while the next was consumed by the cloth of her shirt's collar. Her pants seemed like the only thing that she would normally wear but even that seemed odd in comparison to her usual ones which were much less constricting.

Looking at this vision, she contemplated to herself, 'This is all so new for me... Am I ready?' She had to adapt quickly after everything that she had learned. Wren couldn't make it all go to waste… not now not-

"Hey there", greeted a voice next to Wren. She looked over to the side only to see another girl. Her bright blue eyes beaming with joy inside their irises. Wren jumped in surprise taking a few steps back from the student in front of her. "Oh sorry, I just haven't seen you around before. Are you new", the stranger greeted.

Wren hesitated slightly and took a deep breath taking this new person up and down. The dark brown of her hair shined like rivers against the sun conflicting with her pale freckled face. The blonde nodded slightly to her, acknowledging everything she observed before speaking, "Well… you see… I just kinda moved here from a ways away."

"Oh cool", the stranger replied, "My name is Jen, let me show you around."

The new kid just smiled awkwardly and walked with Jen as she gestured to every crevice of the school. Wren had never seen such diversity that came with the numbers of such a small space. Her violet orbs glanced around only to stop at a dark-skinned football player through the window. "Who's that", she asked turning to her new friend.

Jen practically drooled on her shirt at the sight of the green-eyed classmate through the shield of glass, "Only one of the hottest guys in Gotham High! Markus Stone-Andier." Wren only looked unimpressed at the swooning as she simply admired his athletic abilities. "He's the Offensive Guard on the team. Though he's also in a bunch of other sports: track, gymnastics, stuff like that."

Wren was still unimpressed by the dreamy expression that Jen had but nodded as she continued to listen. "Is he nice?"

"Nicest guy you could ever talk to around here", Jen replied with a big smile, guiding to through the halls. "He puts everyone before himself, he even volunteered to tutor this one really grumpy chick that's in my class. Total loner."

Wren nodded again, seeming more interested now that her guide in this new world wasn't overcome by hormones, "Oh really?"

Jen nodded as she put a pencil behind her ear, "Yeah, she stays by herself mostly but ever since last week, she's been hanging around Markus a lot. Honestly..." She trailed off looking from side to side, blue eyes scanning every corner as her lips kept a secret before reaching close to the little bird's ear, "I think she's just putting up a front because she watches too much anime."

The blond's face scrunched up in confusion, "Anime?"

The acquaintance gave a quick nod, "Yeah, a real tsundere type. She probably actually likes him a lot and is just hiding how she really feels. So really when she says that she doesn't like him. She totally does."

The tinge of fear crossed her face when the words moved through the air, "That sounds absolutely terrifying…"

"Oh don't worry, until he catches up, she'll probably just hit him a lot."

"Is… is that… normal?"

"Yeah, absolutely. I can show you a few different shows that have that trope at my place", Jen smiled. Wren only stood there scared as the brunette smiled joyfully. The outside world is strange… Was this something that she was to understand as normal? The confusion only grew the more she spoke with Jen, talking about animes, fanart, and the like.

Surely there was more to this city than such… barbaric notions.


The city lights were bright as ever with the world moving and turning without a care in the world. Nigel Gonzalez had been minding his business off the job, ready to call it a night in the slums. His ears perked at the sensation of shuffling in the distance. "Who's there", he called out holding his laser pistol. The heavy air weighs down his arms with fear as his eyes scan the sidewalk carefully. More sounds coming from the left and the right like ghosts from a distant past coming to haunt him.

Miscellaneous trash tiptoed across the cement sidewalks in whispering notes. Nigel took a few deep breaths once more before putting his gun away. Just the wind. He was getting too worked up over-

WHACK!

"OOF", exclaimed Nigel.

"Gonzalez", a voice bellowed through the alleyway that Nigel had neglected, "You have some explaining to do." Nigel only groaned before receiving a strong kick to the stomach. "Now let's talk about that little-unauthorized credit withdraw that you so graciously decided to take for yourself."

Nigel reaches out to the others but they only gift more kicks from different directions. "Oof, I'm… not an Oof… thief..."

"Gentleman", said a voice from above the group, "Good to see you out and about." A swift kick in the darkness makes one of the thugs disappear from the group's eyes. "I've got a bit of business with Mr Gonzalez." Another kick before an electric stream flows rigidly through another unsuspecting victim. The light for a split second shows a smaller figure glaring at the two people left standing before disappearing once more.

"Where are ya, Bat", exclaimed the leader.

"You should be more worried about me", said a whisper in the corner behind him. Nigel could only gasp as the man in front of him was so taken down by the electrical wave. His nerves found no comfort in the white eyes that glared at him in the night before a gust of wind shows up behind him.

"Let's talk", Batman said in a slightly gravelly voice.

Nigel backed up from the Black clad man only to find a younger girl behind him in green and red, "I thought Robins didn't come with the bat anymore."

"I really don't think we have time for this, Gonzalez", Robin said as she crossed her arms, "Where is Falconi?"

"I…I don't know what you're talking about", the target hesitated as he backed himself against the wall of the alley.

"Bull", replied Robin pressing the buttons on her gloves, which released a hologram of the older man in question, "Falcone put you in charge of the district accounting for this sector which means you have to know something."

"Listen, I just make the books and cook them when I want something a bit more for my wages. I don't know where the guy- OOof."

Batman glares menacingly into the man's eyes with a straight face giving nothing but anger, "I said talk."

"I don't know where he is! All I know is that he makes at least 4,000 credit deposits into a club, called the Classic, every Wednesday. I-I swear that's all I know", Nigel panicked with fear in his eyes. The last thing he saw for the night were those white blank eyes before being consumed by black.

With a sigh, Terry looked at Marsha sharply, "This is a lot deeper than I thought."

"The evidence shows that the Royal Flush Gang has a new replacement for these ongoing operations", stated Bruce through both their communicators. "Their pattern though is all over the place. These new Royals seem to do everything from high tech robbery to arms deals-"

"To assassinations", Marsha interrupted looking through the computer on her cuffs.

"Easy, kid", Terry said with a glare, "We're closing on the people who took them out." The younger girl glared before turning her eyes to the floor of the alley. He takes a deep breath before glaring down, "Falconi will be at the Classic tonight then."

"If you haven't already missed him", responded Bruce, "Intel from security cameras all over Gotham says that his reported car isn't anywhere nearby that area. Even so, it's too dangerous for you to go in alone."

Robin looked at Batman with a glare, almost as if glaring at Bruce herself, "What do you mean alone?"

"You're too raw to go in with him and you'll have to wait", said the voice through their earbuds. "Besides, you're going to need the rest for tomorrow. You have actual school work that needs to be done."

"Are you kidding me", she fumed.

"Robin", Terry said firmly grabbing onto her shoulder, "I know this is hard to believe but you're too green for being this far in. I know you want revenge but-"

"Oh don't talk to me about that hypocritical bull", she argued. "You told me once that we were the same because both our dads were taken out beyond our means. You got revenge on yours. Why aren't you letting me do the same?"

"I...", the latest Batman hesitated before he could give her a plain answer. This was something that she needed to do. He knew that probably better than anyone, but after all the horror stories he had heard… from Commissioner Gordon, from Dick Grayson, from Bruce himself… he didn't want that life for her. Not this young… Terry sighed and took a moment to look down into those blocked off eyes that somehow showed the sadness in her orbs. On the other hand... "Look you need to cool off and the best way to do that is to patrol."

Robin grumbled under her breath getting out her grappling hook, "Fine, don't answer me."

"For now, we're splitting up", Batman said flying up to the rooftops with Robin. "I'll take the eastside, you take West. We'll rendezvous back to the plane in half an hour." Robin looked out as one of her mentors moved off flying from rooftop to rooftop, before looking down at her holograms.

The wind blowing around her as the cape flapped with each gust passing by. Each bit of tech analyzing and modelling around the plans coursing through her head. She had half an hour, right? She smirked for a moment.

She could make this in ten.


Virgil was looking through his files with vigour as he could see the progress report videos that Markus had sent. The kid was persistent, he had to give him that. This was all good information but the more he watched through each file and trail… the more he could see the ordeal he was putting on himself. He was starting to enjoy his fist hitting harshly against the guard's face.

There was almost a smirk through the glass…

'Kid', he thought to himself, 'You need to get out while you still can...'

The veteran glanced over to the pictures on the wall, each one a different memory connected to it. From when the Justice League came back together to recruiting Markus…. Though he had to admit, that he missed the old paper feel against his ungloved hands. The smooth polish of the keyboard was really doing him no favours. He took another swig of coffee for the long road of office work and mentoring.

Suddenly a beep on the screen shows up, a familiar, masked face looking back at him on the screen. He could swear if they still had satellites, he could get the pay-per-view channels, "What's going on, kiddo?"

"What do you have on that side project of yours", Batman asked in his usual serious tone.

"Well", Static started, "We know that there are a lot of branches to this web. Our agent has gotten into the main enforcing group but the info tells us we might be working with a syndicate."

Batman groaned, "Great… just another thing that we have to worry about. Doomsday is still out there, Changeling is missing, Drake's dead-"

"Speaking of Timmy, how's the baby bird", Static questioned. "Heard she's a bit of a spitfire."

This time Bruce stepped in through the communicator, "She's green but admittedly learning quickly. I think it's more important to look into that syndicate."

Static shook his head and looked over the files through the screen. The cold steel and plastic are swiped and pressed against his fingertips, "What we know is that the main contact is the leader of the Royal Flush Gang, King." Batman can see on his screens so close to his eyes as he patrolled the streets the picture of the latest King. He was around the same age as the former King that he had seen but there was a different air about him. He didn't feel like a leader based on these files. More like a pawn in this game of chess than a deck of cards.

"Any clues on who's the real head of the operation", said Batman to his older colleagues. "Because all I'm seeing is a new group showing up in the city with no answers and no way to stop it."

Static's eyes widened a little, "Woah Woah, slow down now. Where is this attitude coming from?"

"He's never had a Robin before and he doesn't know how to properly train her", answered Bruce for Terry.

Terry could only growl through the suit as he kept going back and forth between the League files and the tracker he made sure to leave on Marsha. She's going towards Falconi's place now. That was no surprise, "I'm stressed because someone in our League is MIA, an enemy we have no idea how to fight without Superman is around and I'm trying to make sure my new sidekick isn't getting in the way of the investigation. Forgive me if I'm testy. To add on to that, Robin is going on her own to The Classic."

Bruce sighed petting Ace on the head as he took another drink, "What did you expect? You left her alone."

Terry was about to answer back before Static interjected, "Let her make her piece, she won't get hurt too bad from what Bruce has shown me so far. Besides, you have the tracker on her. Keep an eye out and be close by just in case."

"There's only so much you can do, Terry", Bruce added. "With any of the Robins' you have to let them act on their own, so they can learn who they are. Just don't let her get too far." Terry could only let out a sigh in response. His scanners leading to his new protege in a not-so-far distance from their original venture point. His black suit standing out against the blue and white exterior of most of the buildings, before his cloaking activated.

She better not have done anything stupid.


Music plays in the background with clinking glasses ringing around the bar. It wasn't like the new nightclubs that were pulling in more business from the younger crowds, but he liked to hang around here all the same. It reminded him of the bars his father used to run. Falcone smirked slightly as the taste of brandy with a nostalgic burning.

Older rich men with their younger side pieces laughed and drank on red velvet couches. Chandeliers shined down around the dancefloor. The Classic truly was a time capsule to what could be thought of as a different era. He stepped through a pair of hidden curtains to a winding staircase hidden behind projector screens. This was a nice little time away from work, though there was always business to be had.

His guard reached for the door with his big hands, but then… there was resistance from the door. The guard pushed but still, there was a mass in front of the barrier. After shoving and pushing they could see the bodies on floor, unconscious or tied up. A pair of glowing eyes in the darkness glaring at the group of men. The sound of laser guns getting cocked echoed through the room before Falcone spoke, "What does the Batman want to do with me?"

"Not Batman, just Robin", she answered smirking through the dark. She stepped into the light with a glare at Falcone, "What can you tell me about the Royal Flush Gang?"

Silence…

"You're joking, right", ridiculed Falcone. "I thought Robins stayed with the Dark Knight."

Robin let out a hiss under her breath as her eyes continued to sharpen at the three men in front of her. "I do just fine on my own."

Falcone chuckled and put his own pistol away in his coat, "What do you want to know about the Royal Flush Gang?"

"Everything. From what they had for breakfast to where they are", she demanded to hold onto her bo staff in a defensive position.

Falcone nodded and lit a cigar calmly as he watched every movement, "Top draw on the right of the desk." Robin, without much forethought, rushed to the desk and held the key to open it but stopped for a moment to look at the man in front of her.

"How do I know this isn't a trick", she asked hovering a thumb over one of the tazing features on her staff.

"You'll never know until you take the risk", he responded. The smoke veiled his face but framed around his daring eyes. Robin looked down at her hands and looked back into his eyes, they wanted her to open the drawer. The still air around them became heated with the challenge. A robin under the careful watch of a hungry falcon.

Robin took a deep breath, "I think I'm smart enough not to leap before I look." She carefully lets go of the key before looking at Falcone strictly.

Falcone's smirk turned down to a frown as he took another puff of smoke into his lungs. "How disappointing. I thought that you'd be more fun", he stated, "Kill her." A barrage of lasers came at Robin with an intensity. Her body flipped and dodged the spray as much as she could. On getting far too close to her cheek before she took cover under the desk.

'Take a breath. Just like you practised', she mused. One hand still firmly grasping on the bo staff; the other shambles in the utility belt for the Robin Shurikens. Her hand launches the shurikens at the guns causing them to malfunction. As the shrapnel fell, Robin flipped in the air and shocked both guards with her staff. Only to be hit by another laser gun from Falconi, she crashes the screens causing a ruckus downstairs.

"Thought you were going to be a lot more fun, Robin", Falcone mocked, cocking his fun again.

"You haven't seen everything yet, Falcone", Robin responded before taking out a smoke pellet and overcoming the ground floor with smoke.

Falcone looks all around to see the little bird, but she's nowhere to be found. He curses under his breath, his eyes squinting to find the girl every which way he could but there were only-

Whoosh!

What was that?!

Whoosh!

There it was again.

The building goes dark as the guests scatter away from the dark towards the light of the outside world. Falcone stood alone slightly panicked and fearful as he still had his gun firmly in his grip. "Come on out you… you", he hesitated, trying to listen for her footsteps but only silence until-

"Hello Falcone", said a male voice from behind him. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up as he slowly turned to meet a red bat symbol in his face. A strong punch passed his face as Batman continued to push him back to the wall. "I believe that you owe my Robin an answer", he growled, his eyes hidden away from view only to have Falcone look at his scared face in the reflection.

"I ain't telling you anything", he managed to spit out still shaking under the Dark Knight's grip. Suddenly the sound of electricity flashing buzzed too close to his ear, "You think I can talk?! I have a business to run."

"A business you might like to keep going right, Falcone", Batman responded.

"Would be a shame if someone were to give the Police all the evidence to bring down the Falcone Dynasty", Robin threatened.

Silence… a strong stiff silence… then dread.

"I don't know where they are...", Falcone said defeatedly. "But I know where they will be."


Serena and Gryphon both were sitting by themselves again. Most of their time together was focused on school, their investigation, and food… something that Serena was more than ready for. Gryphon watched his sister taken those hamburgers with so much disgust. She tore apart her food like a starving animal to a fresh kill, using her fangs like knives to cut into her food.

Gryphon did note that she had been transforming a lot lately, which usually got her hungry in the first place. Though… he really wished she didn't eat that around him. He sighed and kept looking at all the notes that they had taken over the course of a month. The card was a big clue that was definitely from the Royal Flush Gang… but why? They hadn't really been active since in jail… and when they went to Falcone to look over what he had to do with any of it Batman and Robin had already gotten to him.

It was strange. He had always heard his dad talk about how this Batman didn't want a Robin… how he didn't want to repeat the cycle… so why is she around? He sighed and started to see his messy notes as just that… a mess. He needed a clear head. His mother was still at home worried since she couldn't get over how the man she had spent so long with was gone. It was heart-wrenching, but she was getting better. She actually is starting to work at home so that's nice at least right?

Serena put a hand on his shoulder to bring him back to reality. "Hey, maybe you should take a break", she suggested. Gryphon nodded and looked over at one of the tables seeing a girl as blonde as he was talking to a brunette. Her violet eyes caught his as a smirk grew on his face.

"Yeah", he said, combing his hair back, "Maybe you're right."

Serena looked confused at him before following his eye's line, "Nooooo…."

"What? Chicks dig the green dudes", he replied. Serena groaned at that saying that she often heard her father say despite never getting lucky with that line… ever. She continued to look through their notes comparing them as best she could. They were onto something… something bigger than them… but what? Her gut was telling her to go to the Justice League.

The only thing stopping her was the one nagging feeling that echoed behind the logic. What if they were part of it too? Serena examined the photos she had taken of the Dynamic Duo with an analytic eye. That Robin… clearly a girl… couldn't be any older than them… wears way too much hair gel for it to be legal. Other than being some white chick with dark hair, it's not exactly like she could get a comparison.

Meanwhile, Gryphon sat in front of the two girls with a faux swagger. He examined the two's reaction to him, Jen's was no surprise to him. One of boredom and disinterest as his advances had no effect on her in the slightest. Though not like he didn't try. Wren, on the other hand, looked at him with curiosity. This was another look he was relatively used to but now was time for the golden charm. "Soooo, is anyone sitting here", he asked placing a hand on the table.

Only to fall on his face when he missed the table part.

Wren jumped at that and went down to catch him though is just too late ending up skinning her knee instead. "Are you okay", she asked sympathetically. His blue eyes meeting her violet eyes. He had to admit that she was cute if just allowed her hair to be out of her face to show the rest of it off. Though then he noticed the large gem on her forehead, such a strange accessory… Maybe it was religious?

Hey, he'd be willing to convert if it meant being around this chick for a little while. "Yeah", he groaned, rubbing the back of his head. "Although, it probably hurt a lot more for you."

Wren raised a brow before looking at her knee, "Oh no, I've gotten much worse."

"No, I meant when you fell from Heaven", Gryphon answered flirtatiously. Wren gave him a questioning look trying to figure out what he meant by that. The phrase seeming less familiar in her head as she pulled away once more.

"Well, I hope that you're okay." Wren smiles down at him awkwardly before offering her hand, "My name is Wren Wilson."

Gryphon took her hand as he gets back on his feet, "Logan, Gryphon Logan." He keeps giving his best Cassanova grin only to be met with a kind smile. "So if you're not busy, let's say we-"

"Are not interested", Jen interjected pulling at Wren's arm protectively. Her stern look pierced Gryphon to his soul as she continued, "Can't you see that she's clearly not interested in a string bean like you? I mean, do you have to flirt with everything that has two legs? It is so rude and you just focus on her-" The brunette continued to ramble on about how his behaviour was unacceptable but at that point, she blocked it out and just paid attention to the expressions Gryphon was giving.

At first, it was one of annoyance but then as the words played in his head, his eyes began to droop and fists gripped tightly. His once carefree expression quickly turned to one of melancholy and mourning. She had seen a similar expression on her father's face whenever he thought of her mother… though this talk wasn't helping anyone.

"Another thing-"

"That's enough", interrupted Wren, pulling away from Jen. "Look I understand that you don't like him and that you want to defend me, but trust me when I say I don't need defending."

"But-"

"Talking down to him like this doesn't solve the problem, it just brings people down. Clearly, there's a lot more going on", she said putting a hand on Gryphon's shoulder. "Would you like to talk to about?" Gryphon coughed slightly, his eyes avoiding hers. People already knew he was the son of Changeling but not everyone knew that he was gone. The news was silenced till the end of the investigation with the Justice League so it wasn't publicly broadcasting yet.

"Honestly I would really rather not", he admitted backing away. His eyes glancing back at the new girl, he could've sworn that her gem glowed slightly under her hair but he made no mention of it. "Sorry if I bothered you", he apologized quickly, almost pressing his words together before rushing off back to his sister.

The blond glared at the brunette with a disapproving expression on her face as they passed by the infamous Offensive Guard sitting alone. Moving his food from the left to right of the tray. Thinking. Analyzing. The mission reeled through Markus' brain like a hamster in a maze. He'd gain trust, however, he was no closer to the head of the snake than he started.

There was a piece missing… but what?

He looked up to see the usual face of the latest friend he'd acquired in the past few weeks. Marsha was still closed off and didn't talk much about her life but he had grown on her. Her light green eyes looking into his as she sat down with some food of her own. He looked at her up and down seeing everything was normal except for a single bandage on her cheek. "What happened here", Markus asked putting a hand on her cheek over the small bandage.

"It's nothing really", Marsha replied pushing his hand away nonchalantly, "I was trying to get something from under the table, but ended up cutting my cheek on the edge of the table by mistake. Teaches me not to lift with my back am I right?"

Marsha took her first bite as Markus just looked at her concerned. He didn't really believe that for a moment. She was holding her back tenderly, trying not to get anyone to notice but he knew she wouldn't say what it was really from.

Still, getting her to sit here, on her own, was progress, "Sooo, what do you think of superheroes?"

She shrugged in response, "What about them?"

"I mean", before he could finish, an alert blinked on his wrist which he covered, "Sorry, gotta go. Intern stuff."

He hurried away quickly, leaving Marsha alone with her meal and thoughts. She had heard rumours that her latest acquaintance had become an intern for the Justice League. A rumour she didn't really find direct conflict with it. Though she would need some proof before anything else.

She watched the busy lunchroom passing by from left to right, talking amongst themselves as the time on the clock passes bit by bit. Another minute to pass around a mundane life. Go to class, eat lunch, go home, do homework, do the chores, and go to sleep. Repeat. She sighed before drinking some of her water. The smell of mystery lunch under her nose as the cooling water trickled down her throat.

All the clues were coming together… soon…

She could still hear the screaming from the prior night. Her mind wandered to the old Hollywood glamour look of The Classic. The shards of glass shattering across the floor. The adrenaline pumping. A smile creeps on her face without her realizing it. The grip on her fork intensifies from the smacks she gave those guards.

A feeling.

A rush.

She could practically smell the reek of cigar smoke caressing her nostrils before the familiar smell of body spray broke Marsha's daydream.

"How are you holding up", Terry asked concerned as crime kissed dreams were dashed before Marsha's eyes.

"A little sore", she admitted, "The fight got out of hand." Terry nodded taking a bite of the food that he had packed, his eyes calculating. He wanted to say something but how to say it. Marsha noticed, "What's on your mind?"

He bit his lip in response, "I don't think you're ready to face them."

A heavy wall of air plummeted between them, their faces looking at the other's expression. Terry analyzed the slow progression of changing expressions on Marsha's face. Shock consumed her every pore before her hand clenched down on the fork, close to breaking it. Terry could've sworn that steam was coming out of her ears.

"What do you mean, I'm not ready", she hissed in a harsh whisper. The tension was getting ready to shatter under its already shaky foundation, "We're seeing them tonight. I need-"

"To calm down", Terry said harshly, "You're too close to this. Let me take care of it and take them to jail."

"Jail...", she trailed off. "They killed my parents… If there was a God, only he would know how many others have been affected by them existing."

She got up throwing the food into his face, "Hey!"

"If you're not going to help me, I'm going on my own!" There was nothing that could say at that point… she was already rushing off of campus on her own. Serena and Gryphon looked at each other before back at the scene with curious faces.


Wind blasts passed the many flying vehicles around the aerial highways. Lights leave fading lines on her helmet as she passes them by on the hover-cycle. The feeling of the engine vibrating the handles shot through her arm like electricity. Her eyes were focused on the road while thoughts drove down as wildly as drag racers. She was ready for a fight. She needed a fight. Everything was going red. Something just isn't right here.

Marsha had changed into her Robin costume sometime before she had left but was adamant on her course. Her hand revved the engine quickly passing the cars with more effective accuracy. She was Robin right now. Focus was key. Looking through her files on what informations the had gathered so far, the next meet up is supposed to be later tonight. Though with the fact things have been compromised, it wasn't likely that it would be according to plan.

What if instead, it was a trap to capture Batman and her? What if they end up giving a dummy trade-off? She can't risk it. The little bird glided to the closest rooftop for an overlook on the city to contemplate until, what are those?

Looking up in the sky, Robin can see the flat, familiar crafts of the Royal Flush Gang. There, they were right there! She could take them out now! Get her revenge. Make them feel the same way that she had felt from losing her parents. Gripping her bo-staff, the iron grip activated its extension. Then hesitation. What if there's something more to this? The Royal Flush Gang doesn't just appear. The last ones were announced just a year or so ago, too recent to take up the mantle so quickly.

The bo-staff retracted. There's more to this and she was gonna find out what. She pressed her thumb on the cloaking device for the hover-cycle as she kept a keen distance away. Following their every movement carefully. They were definitely not the same guys that Batman had fought before.

They all seemed to be making a reference to the era before this flying car and holographic time.

The Ace looked like a gentleman, dapper with daggers on his side. His suit was white with black pinstriping along the long form of his body. His hair pulled back with a gelled polish. The man looked no older than thirty but it was hard to tell with his mask covering his mouth. His insignia was placed on his shoulder like a uniform branding.

Meanwhile to the left stood the Ten, he and Ace couldn't have been more different from one another. His branding took the form of a band over his bicep with the same arm as a metal gauntlet. The freehand having a hold on a specialize revolving laser gun fashioned like a Tommy gun. She could feel the rage that was within this one every if his face was hidden by a bandana. His suit, showing off a reversed pattern to Ten's, was black with white pinstriping.

The King and queen were a similar reflection to one another.

King appearing in a royal purple suit and a long seemingly ivory cane like he was awaiting his throne. He may have been the leader as evidenced by the rings he wore and the chain on his hip that bared his rank for all to see; but he was, by no means, the eldest. He bravely (or stupidly) showed his thin moustache wearing face to the world with a smirk. His weapon seeming to only be that cane. Probably some technology with it she'd have to scan before the upcoming fight.

Queen, on the other hand, had her own royal blue pants suit with red pinstriping. Her haircut in a bob with a simple hairpin on the side, to keep most of her hair out of her face. Queen's only weapon appeared to be a pistol at her side. Her dark lip showing off a mischievous grin.

'If only I had a Jack', she joked in her head analyzing each of their weapons for their schematics. The "Brass" gauntlet seemed to have some kind of electric unit inside them to create a taser-like effect on targets based on the wiring implements. The Daggers seemed to be standard; the only extraordinary thing about them was the drug that was inside the hollow handles. The cane on King was the biggest thing to worry about. A computer weakening software was bound to cause her trouble if she wasn't careful.

Queen appeared to be the only one who Robin felt she shouldn't have to worry about. Nothing of note. Everything standard old-school gear. She glared at all four of them. If she could just see Jack, she could confront them all at once… This was it. She'd be able to get her revenge.

After 30 minutes of flying, Robin found herself towards the abandoned building like the one Falcone had promised. 'No… that's not right... ', she thought, hiding in a building nearby. 'He said the deal was going on tonight.' She follows them on foot, still cloaked by the suit. Pressing a few buttons on her wrist, she aimed a projectile listening device one of the cards.

Careful…

Careful…

A heartbeat plays around her ears as she aims, hovering her finger over the trigger. That's it… Aim... Fire! The projectile hit just off the mark of than what she had wanted at the centre of the diamond but it was on the card. That's what mattered. She turned on the listening device remotely listening to everything going on inside.

"Where is Jack", said a suave voice through the speakers like smooth liquor into a glass.

"He said he was going to be late because of traffic", replied a much older male voice stepping about further from the mic.

A feminine woman's voice appeared, "Well he needs to hurry." There's a definitely latino accent somewhere in the mix, "We have to meet up before the night thanks to that Bat."

'What no mention of the Robin', she snarked looking around. Another card comes flying by quickly, too fast to get an initial look. All she saw was white, green and brown. Odd.

"Sorry I'm so late, King", said a voice hurried and out of breath. How can he be out of breath if… she tried not to bother with the details. She could take care of things no matter what was ahead of her.

"Not at all, Jack", said a different male voice. His voice sounded no older than a college student, "We're just scoping the place out. Falcone was able to alert us of the drop as soon as the Bat left, but the boss didn't like that too much." A boss? Weren't the Royal Flush Gang their own crime family? She needed more.

She touched her communicator by her ear, "Bruce, is there any way you can get Batman out?"

"What are you doing out of school", he responded almost immediately.

"I… Needed some air. School can only teach you so much at a desk", she lied, "But that's not important. The Royal Flush Gang is expecting a drop a lot sooner than we thought."

"Why didn't you just call Terry yourself", he asked.

"Because he's not exactly in my phone, Grandpa", she said. Bruce was unclear whether he meant that literally or insultingly. "If he's not here within the next 10 minutes, I'm going in."

"You're doing no such thing", he argued, "You don't know what you're going up against."

"I've already scanned the weapons, I should be fine."

"There's a lot more to knowing your enemy than just the weapons", rebutted Bruce. "I'm sending Terry a message now. Lay low until then."

"No promises", she stated. Her fingers released the communicator as she continued to listen in on the group of cards. They continued to talk for some time, nothing of real note that she could gather but it was something to keep in mind. She knew Bruce was right but she didn't have time for covert operations. They were right in front of her. She could easily just take them all out with her bo-staff like last time.

Suddenly out of the corner of her eye she sees… is that a pterodactyl? She uses her enhancing vision in the mask to see the object better. Yes, that is indeed a pterodactyl with green plumage on its spine and a green boy on the back? Did Bruce drug the suit? Then again, as she thought about what kind of fantastical world she lives in now. Aliens, mystics, Amazonians, bird people. Yeah, she could understand it now.

Two kids around her age stood there speaking for each other. The green haired Girl in a purple and blue suit with her green hair up in a bun. She was shorter than the green teen that was next to her. Her eyes squinting at the two, puzzlingly. Robin could've sworn that she had seen those two before… but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. They sneaked into a broken part of the building that was easy to access.

Uh oh.

Robin activates her feet blasters as fast as she can, landing just away from the opening the two strangers came from and found a different hole just above them. Analyzing the situation carefully from afar. The sidekick stood over the railing still cloaked from view.

Serena morphed into a small cat next to her brother feeling the rusting rails under her feet. Gryphon's footsteps ease towards slightly as he watches the scene going down below. The feline heightened hearing helped her listen in on the events happening below them. Her energy and focus all concentrated on the group below.

The latest arrival stood tall amongst the rest with what appeared to be no weapons at all. His green suit had lighter green stripes going down the side of his body. He was definitely one of the taller of them just passing Ten by a hair. His face was mostly masked, unable to see his hair color or his eyes with the only indication of identity is his dark skin against the white mask. Robin had even less interest for him as she did for Queen. There was nothing that he could do to her that wasn't something she could handle.

"So when is the drop", Jack asked looking to everyone else.

"Should be soon", responded Queen coldly. "You really need to start choosing where your life is, Jack", she sneered examining the area.

"Excuse me", he replied, his hands clenching into a fist, "Would you like to repeat that?"

"You can't be the good boy at school and the bad boy out here, amigo", she clarified, "Or else something going to break."

Robin kept listening in and that voice from Jack sounded so familiar… what was that… the accent? No… the tone… it was on the tip of her tongue. Regardless, she clenched on her bo-staff tightly getting ready for Batman to show up or for the drop to go down.

"At least, this won't be like that one job we had at the Changeling's place", commented King. "Woooo what a mess that was?"

A small rumbling was taking over the building. Serena looked back at Gryphon, whose glowing eyes took over his face excluding a sneer of anger. Serena turned back to normal, taking a step to calm him down only to be pushed back against the dead end railing. He's out of control.

"I'm going in, tell Batman to hurry", shouted Robin jumping out from the shadows and tackling Queen first. Ace charged at Serena with his daggers going with an offensive position before Serena pushed him back with her tiger form. The building still shaking and moving in place with pieces coming down from the ceiling.

Robin fighting back Queen from shooting her gun only to get a nicely placed kick in the face. Queen's jacket hid a whip taking away Robin's bo-staff. The raven-haired girl suddenly felt the pressure on her chest alongside the gunshot in her ear. It was directly on her heart but the armour was able to make the bullet ricochet. Queen pistol whips Robin's exposed jaw adapting quickly to her opponent.

Jack and Ten were flying towards Gryphon, still in his state of anger and rage. Jack had a battle stance ready while Ten charged up his glove. The high pitch whine vibrating through Gryphon enough to finally focus. He jumped up before the two could get to him floating on a small platform of stone. "Where's Changeling", he demanded of the two. His blond furrowing brows pointed at the cards he had in his hands.

Ten shouted, "Probably the same place you're goin'!" He launched his hand at the green teen from his position on the ground, "Six feet under!" The gauntlet landed on the stone as it broke apart the foundation with the force of the electricity. Gryphon jumped off avoiding another blow from the laser guns until he got blasted by green energy. Jack stood there his hand out and a green bolt of lighting surrounding his eyes.

King was crawling up behind Robin with his staff, ready to jam it into her suit. Only to get tripped up by the sound of sirens outside. Robin turned invisible once again now turning her focus on Jack. He had a look that was ready to kill and she wasn't going to have it. Her utility belt a grappling hook on Jack's arm to divert his aim, shooting Ten on accident. He didn't seem too concerned about his fellow teammates before flying off, dragging Robin with him.

Ace shot out his daggers, probably aiming for the fleeing comrade but missed.

Robin gritted her teeth to keep her grip climbing the rope against the winds. Jack can fly then? Now she really needed answers. Jack tried to shake her off as he took sharp lefts and rights by buildings. She was determined if not resilient to the ongoing chase. The wind whipping through her hair as gloved hand finally grabbed his coat. "Jack! I want some answers", she demanded, holding onto his Mask for a more secure grip.

"Stop! You'll ruin everything!"

Jack flew higher feeling something wet on his back, maybe an oil leak but he couldn't think about that now. He was more concerned with getting her off of him. He leans back to a rooftop only get his mask taken off at the same time. Robin hit her back enough to make her gasp in pain. Finally, the large gash on her stomach was starting to affect her. The adrenaline was still high but seeing it made the pain all the more real.

"Oh god," exclaimed an unmasked Jack, "Are you okay?" He flew down putting pressure on the wound without thinking. Robin finally got a good look at his face… and she wished she hadn't.

"Markus", she asked, the name spilt out of her mouth like loose change. Mark just looked back at her stunned that she said the name at all. His green eyes examined her shocked features carefully; however, her face was too obscured by bruises and her mask to make an I.D.

"How does she know your name", said the earpiece in Markus' ear, concerned.

She clenched onto her bo-staff, "What are you… doing here?!" Her cut wasn't the only feeling in her stomach she was having. Betrayal. Anger. Confusion. What… who… How…? She didn't know what else she could say. What was he doing here? As Jack? A million things going through both their heads. Though, Robin's head was starting to get blurry with the poison from the wound.

"You have to make a choice", Static stated bluntly, "Either blow the mission and take her to the hospital or leave her there." Mark looked back from Robin's wounds back to the suit he was wearing. If he told the Gang that Robin was nearly dead, he'd get an in on the head of the operation; but… He looked back at her one more time with concern on his face.

'Don't look at me like that', she thought, "Trait...or... " The poison was making her trail off.

Markus… why was he doing this? Why is it all so cold…?

What…?

Everything went black.


A light was coming through as if the sun were just two inches away. Her eyes squinting at the brightness in her face with a groan. "She's awake", said a grumbling voice in the background. It sounded so close. She was starting to put her head together. Royal Flush Gang… Green animals… Called for backup… Markus…

Robin shot up suddenly getting off her back, "Ma-Ouch!" She winced at the sudden pressure on her gauze as she feels a cold hand on her shoulder.

"I told you to wait for backup", said Batman sternly. She looked around not seeing Bruce but instead seeing the two teens from the fight. The green boy looking dishevelled with traces of embarrassment on his cheeks. The green haired girl, on the other hand, looked thoroughly annoyed.

Robin groaned again, "Batman, I was in a time crunch, you weren't showing up and these two got involved." Batman just sighed in annoyance before he looked at the twins, acknowledging them to have some fault. "Besides, I know the identity of one of the Royal Flush Gang", she said confidently. Batman only looked at the wounded bird as she wondered to the supercomputer, "Markus Stone-Andier. He's Offensive Guard at Gotham High and the son of Starfire and Cyborg of the old Justice League and Teen Titans programs respectfully. Currently playing as Jack in the Royal Flush Gang."

"How are you so sure", asked Serena with her arms crossed. She was admittedly curious by everything in the cave. Her father had told her stories of this place and its triumphant majesty. The spoils of past conquests riddled the cavern of feats far beyond their own. She had to question what that giant Penny was from though… and that T-Rex… and what even is that?! She shook her head and focused on the computer ahead.

"Because I saw him without the mask", she replied focused on the computer.

"Isn't that like bad guy vs good guy rule number 1", questioned Gryphon, "Don't look under the mask?" Everyone else looked at him with blank expressions, "What? That's a thing right?"

Robin only rolled her eyes before looking up to the older hero, "Batman, we have to investigate this. There's no telling what he could be spilling to them. They also have some kind of boss-"

"Enough", he said turning off the computer, "Do you have any proof that Stone-Andier is Jack?"

The younger of the Dynamic Duo looked at him with shock before standing up, "I saw him! He literally applied pressure to my wounds." Terry expression twisted into one of severe disappointment. Most of it was a facade though, he was just happy that she was alive after her first outing alone. The problem was that now she was finding out more than she needed to know. Marsha was smart but too impulsive to help with the investigation.

"You need to lie low for now", he finally said, "Your wounds could compromise you on missions."

Gryphon finally spoke up, "What about Markus? The Royal Flush Gang said they knew about our dad. He could still be alive!"

Before Batman could speak, Serena pitched in as well, "We understand that the League is busy, but something just isn't right. If you would just-"

The Dark Knight turned to the two sharply, "You two will get an update when we can. Changeling was a good mentor of mine and did a lot for the League, but you have to trust that we can handle it." He tried to reassure the twins but he could tell it did little to ease their rattled nerves. Marsha's ears perked up at the mention of Changeling, that's who they were! She had been reading up on the prior Teen Titans to check for possible leads.

Garfield Logan aka Changeling/Beast Boy was put the lowest on the list of possibilities due to his close workings with the Justice League. Looking at the twins now, she felt stupid for not realizing it before. I mean, the green skin and hair should've been a giveaway.

Robin gritted her teeth in annoyance, she was so close to bringing these guys to justice. The Royal Flush Gang was right in her grasp and the pieces were nearly together… but what was Batman trying to keep from her? Her closest acquaintance turns out to be helping with the people who murdered her parents… what was she supposed to do? Act like everything is normal?

It wasn't long until the twins were sent home with Robin acting as their escort in one of Bruce's limos. There was a heaviness in the room filled. Anger. Distrust. Betrayal. Frustration. It swirled in the silence in a stew of lies. The twins were blindfolded the entire time but they could feel the sharp glare of the red-crested bird in front of them.

Robin finally broke the pregnant pause, "You guys should've stayed out of this." Her voice remained cold and unwavering as she looked through the clues on her hologram screen.

"We have just as much a right to look into this as you do", shot back Serena, leaning on the car door next to her. "Our dad was kidnapped by those guys! Why shouldn't we find out what happened to them?! The Justice League doesn't seem to be doing anything about it."

Gryphon looked at his sister with surprise, never once had he thought her to speak emotionally like this. He smirked, maybe he was brushing up on her. He then turned his attention to Robin. Her eyes glaring at the both with annoyance but also… sympathy? He could definitely sense some kind of mutual understanding as her mask made a move down to their feet. "They took someone from you too", he concluded causing Robin to widen her eyes.

"Its none of your concern", she spat out, clenching her arm.

"You have to know what it's like", Gryphon continued, "To lose someone important to you and want to know what happened." Robin didn't say anything. Not like she could say that he was wrong. She wanted desperately to take them down but this was bigger than just her parents or Changeling… They couldn't just get into this investigation half-cocked. She learned that the hard way after the fight with Queen. "We're looking for the same thing. We help you find whatever his name is-"

"The head to the snake", Robin corrected, "We just know that they have a boss… we don't know his name…"

"Whatever", he dismissed, "We help you find the guy… and you help us find our dad." He takes out his hand in a gesture to seal the deal. Despite the blindness, Gryphon took out his hand with a smile on his lips in kindness.

With a suspicious eye, she glanced down at the offending appendage. She had been marred once before, could she really afford to be struck down again. Looking at the two people in front of her, Marsha went through the possibilities in her head once more. If she did, she would be able to gather data faster and better but she could risk being crossed again. If she didn't, she could handle it on her own just fine, however, on the other hand, she could get overwhelmed by a large group again if she wasn't careful.

Gryphon bit his lip waiting for an answer, a sound… until finally, he felt her cool hand on his warm one. "We will meet every other night to gather data", she said pointedly. "You don't get to know my identity and once I've found your father, we go our separate ways."

Serena nodded with a soft smile, holding her brother's shoulder to prevent him from speaking further, "Agreed."

"Pleasure doing business with you", Robin smirked.


 

Elsewhere, a man oversees video footage from a dark and cold room. The only light seen was the screens of the four children fighting and battling it out. The man couldn't help but smirk at the shock of Marsha's face seeing Markus being behind the mask. "What an interesting new generation of heroes... you've all raised them well", he said to the people behind him.

"Dude", shouted out Changeling, who struggled against his chains even though exhausted and panting. "If you so much as think about touching my kids-"

"Oh I wouldn't dream of it, Logan", the man calmly said as he swished his wine in its glass carefully. "I'm just looking at how my work is going. The pieces are all coming together..."

"What are you planning on doing with us", groaned another voice.

"I'm just curious what this new generation is bringing us", said the man pausing the televisions to show all 4 of the kids, "for now, let's get started on the main event."


Next time on Beyond The Titans Issue #4: Teamwork and Questions

Wren: "I've never been to a real party before."

Markus: "How'd you find my address?"

Marsha: "Why are you doing this?"

Gryphon: "She could be useful to our cause!"

Serena: "What are you?"

Dick Grayson: "You took a Robin?"

Chapter Text

Beyond the Titans

Issue #4: Teamwork and Questions

By Alphafemale1

 

Last time on Beyond Titans:

"Well… you see… I just kinda moved here from a ways away."

/

"Oh cool", the stranger replied, "My name is Jen, let me show you around."

/

"Well, I hope that you're okay." Wren smiles… before offering her hand, "My name is Wren Wilson."

Gryphon took her hand as he gets back on his feet, "Logan, Gryphon Logan."

/

"How are you holding up", Terry asked…

"A little sore", she admitted, "The fight got out of hand… What's on your mind?"

"I don't think you're ready to face them."

/

"You can't be the good boy at school and the bad boy out here, amigo", she clarified, "Or else

something going to break."

/

"Oh god," exclaimed an unmasked Jack, "Are you okay?"

"Mark", she asked…

/

"You don't get to know my identity and once I've found your father, we go our separate ways."

"Agreed."

"Pleasure doing business with you", Robin smirked.

/

"I'm just curious what this new generation is bringing us", said the man pausing the televisions to show all 4 of the kids, "for now, let's get started on the main event."


Empty spaces amongst the silence. Wren's purple cape swishing around with her powers as peace overtakes the room. Voices whisper all around her as the stars launch themselves from nothingness and passed her meditating mind. Her eyes remaining closed despite the great mysteries that hide behind the nooks and crannies of her mind. Wren could hear one voice starting to reach out, a form ready to take shape as it spoke so softly from the nether.

A shadow of heat lightly caressing the air around her cheek with care behind every movement. Wren's eyes shot open before falling on a golden floor with harsh pressure on her tailbone.

Douglas let out a sigh of frustration, "You have to work harder to make the connection." Wren groaned in response, frustrated herself for feeling so close yet so far from her powers. "There's only so much we can do without your powers, Wren."

"I know...", she replied getting up as she retreats into her cape.

Joseph simply put a hand on her shoulder in comfort, his concerned green gaze met her cloudy violet ones. She could sense the power so close to her grasp… but it kept getting out of reach. What was holding her back? The blond patted her on the head with a reassuring glance.

"Take your time", he signed with a smile, "You may have been born with this power, but you were never taught to let it flow."

"But why do I have to learn in the first place, if I don't have the powers", she exclaimed. "I've never once been able to do the amazing things mother had done or you, so why were those things after us?" Joseph glanced to the side as if avoiding the topic, "Why won't you tell me?"

Joseph still avoided eye contact with the teen, he could tell her about his own past... What good would it do though? Slade was dead… he saw it happen. Through the months that had transpired, she was still struggling with the idea that her parents were heroes… so then what would she say if she knew her grandfather was a killer.

"Just know that your father as a reason", stated the brunette man, "He's trying to protect you for now. When you're ready to know the rest, he'll tell you." Douglas took a moment to look at the mute sternly, "Or else I will."

The promise of his words reverberated in Joseph's chest before he finally looked down at his daughter. Wren looked up at both men before hearing the alarm on her wristwatch.

"Oh no! I'm gonna be late", she exclaimed rushing off to her room.

Leaving the two men in the middle of a hollowing room. The blond older man looks at Douglas in the eyes with concern, only to meet with a determined stare. "Why are you keeping Slade hidden from her", the younger man asked.

Joseph sighed, "He has been dead for years. I do not want to worry her over something that isn't going to happen."

"You saw those bots yourself", argued Douglas, "Slade maybe dead but someone is following in his footsteps and with Trigon still being a possibility-"

An emerald glare flashed at him with an intensity of the legends that Douglas had grown up with. He may have gotten much of his information from Nabu but he had heard the stories himself and he'd seen the footage when he studied in college. Joseph Wilson, aka Jericho, Son of Slade. The man who could look him in the eye now and take over his body. The man who took the burden of his wife's curse and died to make sure she didn't suffer, only to walk out on death itself… It was a miracle that more didn't know of his escapades in the past.

Joseph's feet stepped closer towards Douglas with a threat in his eyes. The younger man could only stand tall in front of the former hero as the threat became evident.

"I know you're concerned for her", Douglas whispered, feeling the heated breath of an angered father on his face. "However, wouldn't you rather prepare for the worst?"

Silence passes through the air between them, barely getting through the tension. Green meeting blue. The challenge grew harsher the longer they stood off against one another. Their chests move just a whisper from each other. The tension broke from a sigh and heavy steps away.

"I'm sorry", he apologized, "She's… still my daughter. Wren is all I have and I can't risk losing her. Not like how I lost..."

The gestures stop as if signing his wife's name might break the digits. Not that the latest Dr Fate needed him to finish. Douglas nodded understanding putting a hand on Joseph's shoulder.

"You won't lose her", he promised confidently. Joseph slowly looked up at the brunette with a look of hope in his green eyes. The former hero gently nodded.

Suddenly, a stomping echo rushes through the halls at a rushed pace. "I'll eat on the way to school! Love you, Dad! Bye!"

No sooner did Wren appear from her room did she disappear amongst many passageways of the hallways. Joseph and Douglas stared wide-eyed at the passing image of the young girl before looking at each other and laughing at the poor girl's heightened emotion.

She will learn with time.


Wren charged into the school with vigour as the bell rang in her ears like sirens. She was so close to that last step towards the mysterious black figure. She was so close to what she might be her mother… why is she so far away? The little bird knew she had the power… she could do so much with it… but what's really stopping her. Her legs bolting through the halls in a race against the minute hand. She knows she's lost it though when looking into the face of the teacher at the door.

A great start to the day, she mused looking around for an empty space only to find it not next to her friend but in the back, closest to the door. Curiously next to that door and an empty seat, sat a girl she had for the most part been warned as mad. Her hair shown behind her like a black ink river being held back by a damn, making her light green eyes glare at the tardy student intently.

Wren shivered at the thought of having to sit next to Marsha herself. Wren had this distinct sense that at any point Marsha could break her neck whenever she felt like it. The blond looking down at her work as she takes notes. Though half her mind was on the class and the other was on the dark figure still echoing through her. It was so close… she knew it. Was it in the corner of her eye just before she could fully process it? Was she going crazy? She had the power. What was stopping her?

She rubbed her forehead hearing the clock tick echo in her ears like a valley… Before she could remember what was happening a hand touched her shoulder.

"Hey are you okay", asked Marsha in concern, though the sincerity felt half empty.

Wren jumped in surprise, "Oh! I'm sorry. Must've dozed off."

Marsha nodded with a slight glare, "You're the new girl, right? Wren Wilson?"

"Yes", she confirmed feeling the blue gem on her forehead under the soft golden river on her head.

"I've just got a lot going on."

The raven-haired teen nodded in understanding, "Moving to a new place can get pretty stressful."

"It's not so bad", Wren defended, "I have my friend Jen. So that's nice."

Marsha scrunched her brows together, "Isn't that the chick who thinks that I'm interested in Markus?"

Wren nodded, "Yeah… she said that you were just trying to bide your time till he got your advances."

A soft chuckle passed the green-eyed girl, "Yeah… no. I'm not interested in him like that… besides, I'm not in a place to go on dates anyway."

Wren could sense ease the more they talked. Marsha didn't seem so bad, cold perhaps and distant but she seemed to be the only other person at this school that was level headed. Wren could tell that she was intelligent from what could be known of her. Though she had a hard time believing Marsha was deficient in anything. She could also sense the new acquaintance's emotions. She seemed troubled. Her relaxed smile hid hurt as behind the windows of her eyes was a wave of anger burning through everything. Something was wrong but what? She couldn't be sure.

Marsha still analyzed the blond up and down, looking at her body language. She clenched onto her books close to the loose-fitting white shirt, brushing her hair slightly to cover up something. Marsha could just barely make out the blue tint on the forehead. What was that? Bindi? She had heard about her being from somewhere in Tibet but she knew nothing of the culture so perhaps...? Her green eyes looked into the deep ocean of Wren's violet ones. They weren't colour correcting lenses… maybe tattooed?

It wasn't until Jen rushing to her excitedly did the two girls split their separate ways. The brightest smile on Jen's face as she held a green flyer in her hands. Wren's eyes glancing the writing, "What's this?"

"It's just the biggest bash of the year", the brunette exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear. "I got invited to this party at Markus' place. Rumour is that his parents are going out this weekend."

Wren arched her brow, "Oh… um… cool, I suppose."

She'd never really understood such large gatherings unless for a festival or religious ceremony. Even then though, her father and she tended to stay away from the large crowds. Wren saw the black writing on the paper before looking at Jen again.

"And guess who's coming with me", asked Jen coyly, waving the flyer in Wren's face. The little bird thought to herself for a moment thinking about every possibility but the impatience got the better of Jen, "You silly!"

Wren's eyes widened, "I've never been to a real party before."

A gasp released itself from the confinement of Jen's chest, "You've never been to a party before?"

"No", Wren answered.

"You've never been to a real party before", she repeated.

"I believe I just said that", Wren replied with a slight annoyance. "I didn't really need to go to parties."

The brunette calmed down slightly, "Not even for your birthday?"

"It wasn't really something that we were that big on celebrating", she complied, "My dad and I would just go out to the city on either of our birthdays."

Jen frowned with guilt in her gut. How could someone like Wren not have had a party going experience…? She seemed so nice. "That must've been hard… Are your parents poor", she asked gently walking out towards the next class.

"Not really", Wren replied. "My mom died when I was very young and my dad and I live with his… friend while we're here in Gotham."

Jen nodded a little, her face filled with questions and thoughts before a small smile graced her lips. "How's about this? You and I go out on the town for a club. Just to get used to all the commotion of a teen party."

"I don't know", Wren hesitated. Could she really go out when she still had so much training to do? She was so close to being able to activate her powers on her own. "I'll ask my dad after school."

The smile on Jen's face gave Wren a small bit of happiness in her chest. Jen was a lot of things. Hyperactive, excitable, obsessive with media… but she had a good heart. Jen gave her what she got when being her friend and it was nice to not have someone with secrets in her life… or at least not another one.


The air stood still as he drove up to the mansion's willowed face with a focused glare in his eye. His own had aged quite a bit from retiring all those years ago, though he was sure he hadn't lost any bit of his skills. He had to see this for himself. He needed to see it for himself. Bludhaven news was buzzing around Gotham like a freshly killed horse that had meat left to harvest. Not after Tim, please by all that is just, not after Tim.

The man's hand hovered over the door like an old friend. Bitter with time but memories still held a pleasant candle to his eyes. A swish of the door opens slightly revealing what used to be a man from his youth. He used to have such kind eyes filled with the splendour of justice, but now all that was there was an old man who had seen his world disappear around him.

Bruce looked up at the younger man, though he couldn't really say that for someone that was pushing close to 50. The stranger in front of him was nothing like the little boy he had found at the circus crying next to their dead bodies. "What is it, Dick", Bruce asked, though he said it as more of a statement than a question.

"You took a Robin", asked the former Nightwing, glaring at the old man with a hardened eye.

"I think we're done", stated Bruce starting to close the door before Dick's foot stopped in mid-motion.

Bruce and Dick had never gotten along well after that last fall out involving Barbara and the wounds still felt fresh even now.

Dick allowed himself in, motioning to the stairs above them, "Is she up there?"

"I don't see how that's much of your business", the former Dark Knight argued.

"It's every bit my business when you're putting another kid's life in danger", he shot back at Bruce.

His glare never wavered once as he watched the anger slowly simmering in his old mentor. He thought he was done doing this, no more Robin's he said after Tim, but now… now he didn't know what was going to happen.

"She made a choice to do this, and as I recall, you were even younger than her when you started", shot back the older man.

Suddenly the door opened behind them showing Terry and Marsha standing in the light's path. The new Robin's head cocked at the new visitor with curiosity in her eyes. Looking him up and down, she could see bright blue eyes looking down at her with so many emotions. Anger, disgust, pity, sadness. Marsha thought she was actually looking at Terry's for a moment. The greying hair slicked back similar to Bruce's with slight thinning as his face was marred with wrinkles and scars.

"Uuuuh, Mr Wayne? Who's this", she asked pointed to the stranger standing at the foot of the stairs.

"Dick Grayson", chimed Terry with a flat voice. No anger, no happiness but there was definitely respect in those icy blue eyes. When she heard the name run through the air, Marsha's head whiplashed towards Mr Grayson with wide eyes.

"Dick Grayson", she asked, transfixed by the figure in front of her, "As in Nightwing?"

Dick nodded slowly at the girl, measuring her up. She was too young for this work. He had done it and lost friends, allies, people that he loved, how could Bruce let her do the same?

"So you're Tim's little girl", he stated. Dick could see the look in her eyes. Hunger. The anger. Signs he had seen before.

"I'm not really little anymore", she shot back. Marsha looked at her guardian, "I'm going out tonight."

Marsha headed towards the Batcave entrance, dropping her bag on one of the many couches laid through the study. Her eyes focused and determined as she reached into her pocket for her hairband, putting her midnight mane into a ponytail. Dick watched her determination with the other three.

The middle-aged man looked at the other two generations for a moment, examining their expressions. Bruce was as hardened as ever, probably not showing disapproval but allowing her to do as she needed to. Terry, on the other hand, clenched his fists and glared at the younger girl. Hatred? No… that wasn't right. Perhaps concern was a better word for what he saw there at the latest Batman's face.

Dick followed Marsha down the long winding steps of a familiar cave. The winds flowing past him, which once didn't bother him as much now, seemed to feel like brisk knives against his open skin. He's been out of the game for so long, he'd forgotten what it was like to go down these steps. His body ached from past injuries but they also brought back memories of times that were once happy.

Now they were soiled by blood and pain.

The raven-haired teen looked up at her predecessor with a glare, only got his eye to catch hers. Blue versus green as she stepped into the private changing room. Dick thought of so many ways that he could say what he needed to.

How it wasn't right. How she was only a child. The more than was thought, the more that it sounded like a hypocrite. He was much younger than her when he took the mantle… The Nightwing suit looking back at him almost mockingly. Years of once being that man and now…

Suddenly metallic footsteps coming closer and closer to the former crime fighter lost in the thoughts of the past he'd left behind a long time ago. Dick turned around to see her standing there tall and proud in red, yellow, and green. "You can't stop me", she stated.

"I'm trying to get you to see your father wouldn't have wanted this. Neither would your mother", he argued.

Robin scoffed, "What do you know about my parents? Didn't see you at the funeral."

"Your parents and I hadn't spoken to each other since I quit", he replied.

"And that was your choice", she spat back. "You get revenge for your parents. Why don't I get the same treatment?"

"Because it was a mistake", Dick said, grabbing her arm. "You're going to end up ruining your life if you don't stop and think about what's best for you."

"What's the best for me is getting back on the people who did it", she protested, snatching her arm back. "You have no right to tell me what to do."

Terry finally pulled back Dick with a direct tug on his shoulder. His body suit was ready for the night ahead, with the only exception being the mask that was absent on his face. The cold air moving through the cave with Robin standing in the centre. Bruce's cane echoed through the walls as if ready for the last decision of the night.

Tap…

Tap…

Tap…

The old man stood in front of the young girl with a concentrated glare. It was starting to become a regular occurrence, these heated staring contests. The tension between them as thick and stubborn as they were. She still stood shorter than Bruce did but Marsha felt alive and proud feeling this suit on her skin. The power, the gears. Yet, a bit inside of her still shook at the sight of him. He carried an air of his own to any fight… even at his age.

"Don't come back in a body bag", he stated.

It was all the permission she needed before rushing off on her cycle, blasting into the darkness of the tunnel beside them.

"You just let her go", Dick asked, pulling away from Terry.

Bruce sighed as he stepped closer to the monitor tracking Robin's every movement, "In all the years that we've done our work... In all the time that we've spent making sure that no other victims of crimes like you or I came to be… who or what would it help if we told each other that we had to stop."

The salt and pepper haired man opened his mouth for a moment, but nothing came out. Nothing could come out…what can you say to a person with a mission? A mission each of them had taken. Each of them had completed. It was a matter of how successful she would be that would decide her final fate.

Terry put on the mask using his usual voice for the character he played in the night, "She's still injured from the last fight and we've got a tracker in her bike and the suit. I'll keep an eye out for her."

The one-eyed man glared at the high school senior, "Was that supposed to be funny?"

"No but it is now", Terry smirked, rushing off to the Batplane to start his evening work.

Dick Grayson for a moment was shocked before giving a small chuckle under his breath. He stepped closer to the computer, standing beside the ancient man sitting in the chair.

"Where do you get these guys", Dick asked.

"You should be asking where they find me."


The lights were so nice and blue tonight. Rivers of light blues rising up with sprinkled with coloured lights covering a black ocean in the sky. The sounds of honking below vibrate his skin as the lights and advertising blasting in his eyes. Something he wasn't unfamiliar with. It comforted him somewhat. Though, Markus still couldn't help but see the look of shock on Robin's face. The shock. The anger. The betrayal...? He took a sip of his water as he looked out into the world.

So oblivious to the world that's out there or they do know but they don't want to think about it. He could feel the imaginary eyes on every inch of his dark skin. His red dreadlocks pulled back in a ponytail to prevent it from getting too much in his face. Markus nodded to himself.

'It's for the right reasons,' he thought to himself, 'It'll prevent so much damage in the long run.'

His lips pulled up in a sad but knowing smile, just a little longer… he could crack it with a little more time. Markus took another swig of his water again before putting it down and turning around. Only to see the white masked eyes of the Girl Wonder. He took a step back being cornered at the railing surprised at the sudden appearance.

"How'd you find my address", Markus asked.

"Does it matter", she shot back, crossing her arms as her glare pierced him down to his spine.

"You should get out of here before my parents get here", the human hybrid suggested.

"You seemed to have no problem with fighting me before, Markus. Or are you going by Jack now", her voice was dripping in venom when she said, Jack.

She was pissed. Of course, she was. She probably didn't know about everything like he did. He had to keep up appearances. He… had to.

Markus flashed a half-hearted smirk at the short young teen in front of him, "I just don't want things to get messy here, Robin."

Robin's lip tightened at the smirk. So this was what he was really like then? Was being her friend just another lie? Not that they could even be called friends in the first place… they'd only been talking for a month or so… nothing was going to change her goals. Not even the tightening around her chest. Though, maybe… just maybe.

"You don't have to do this", she stated. her shoulders relaxed as her arms dropped to her side. Slowly and cautiously offering her hand to him in peace. "You could just come clean to the Justice League. Maybe you could even-"

Markus' smirk wavered, if only slightly. His heart hitting his stomach like a nuclear bomb. He'd heard the harshness of how Robin had fought with from Static Shock. He'd seen her spit out harsh words at criminals. She wasn't a stranger to cruelty. If he didn't know any better, he'd say she'd revelled in it. Yet here she was, reaching out to connect the olive branch. But why…?

It was then that rage started to sink in. She's a Robin. He's the son of Starfire and Cyborg. This was nepotism at its finest. His smirk turned into a sneer. This was exactly the reason why he did this undercover work in the first place. She only saw him as his parents' son. The legacy. No… Not anymore!

"You think that just because my parents are good guys", he growled, "Means I'm going to follow in their footsteps."

Robin's eyes widened, "What? No! That's not what I'm getting at."

"What? So just because they're heroes means I get special treatment", he interrogated, floated closer to her. His eyes and hands glowed an emerald green.

"That's not why I'm doing this", she insisted.

She stood firm at first but the closer the proximity to each other, the more her heart sank. Before long, she could hear the blood rushing from her face and the wall pressing against her back. She could practically smell his breath on her face as his shadow consumed her being. Marsha knew that he was a large teen. He was part of football, he had to be but… it wasn't until she could only see a silhouette with green eyes glowing intensely at her.

So then… she was right. Fine.

"Then why", he hissed as his starbolt got closer to Robin's masked face. "Why are you trying to help me?"

At first, Robin said nothing. She was eerily quiet for a moment, as Markus was still on his rage high.

"Because I thought the you that tried to heal me was the real you." Though, when he finally saw the single water drop from under the mask journey down her cheek. The light faltered slightly. "I guess I was wrong."

Regret didn't have time to fill Markus' mind when an electrical current flowed through his body. His muscles constricted as Robin pushed against his heavy body. Markus shook off the initial attack before powering up again. His hands focused on hand to hand combat against her bo-staff. The electricity still lives on one end as they punched and kicked. Robin flipped out of the way of an intense punch meant to take her to the ground only to have the ground show what would've happened if he had.

No more holding back. She hated to do it but… she- wait. Why is there a sudden blue light? She didn't have time to process the conclusion until she got shot back over the railing by a blue stream of light and sound. Victor standing there with an angry, red-headed alien standing beside him, ready to attack.

Markus' eye widened at the sight of his parents before shutting down his powers and looking over the ledge. A black jet suddenly glides off into the distant. Though the heat of glares suddenly appeared behind him instead… oh no.

"Uh", he hesitated when looking at his parents. "Listen… I can absolutely explain what that was."

"I believe that would be good", stated Starfire. Not a drop of sympathy could be heard in what was usually a honey coated tongue.

"Well", Markus started, "See… ummm… She's a… superfan! She's seen me play before and she wanted to use her power with Batman to get to me and-"

"It wouldn't have anything to do with the internship that you decided to take up", Victor growled, his weapon soon morphing back into his arm, only to be crossed over his chest.

"I… I don't know what you're talking about", stammered the young man, looking away.

Starfire floated to her son's level with a concerned look on her face, "Galorpca… why did you go to the Justice League when we told you of its dangers?"

A cold sweat broke out on Markus' forehead before floating away, "You… you don't understand."

"Markus", Cyborg added, his features softening at the fear that was painted all over the young man's face. "We're just concerned about you. You would've gotten a good smack in the back of the head, but you were just fighting Robin. Come on, Markus… what's going on?"

His heart was speeding up, he continued to fly further from his empathetic mother's loving embrace. He thought they wouldn't have to know till after. He didn't want to lie to them. Then the statement Queen rang in his mind.

"You can't be the good boy at school and the bad boy out here, amigo… Or else something going to break."

She… She was right. He… he couldn't do this… he… he had to report to Static. Without saying another word, he blasted at his parents with a reluctant blast of his starbolts before flying off as fast as possible. Starfire tried to catch up with him but he knew the city better than she had and lost him quickly between the buildings and streets.

Starfire searched tiredly for hours flying block after block, street after street and every rooftop. She tried so hard to see look for him. Her eyes darting from every direction they could but nothing. The cold air stunned her orange skin as her eyes leaked out tears, mourning the absence of her son while flying back to the apartment. Victor was standing at the balcony like before, pacing with a phone in his ear. Starfire could see his frustration and frown at the prospect of what might be happening to her boy.

Victor muttered a string of curses, but his anger melted when he saw his wife of several years. She was holding herself, tears streaming down her face like rivers of sorrow as her body shook. He hung up the call and grabbed her ankle to pull her back into reality. With comfort in his gaze, he pulled her into a strong hug. Kori could only weep in his arms allowing tears to land on his shirt.

"We'll find him, Kori", he reassured. "Don't worry..."

Kori and Victor said nothing for a few moments. His large hands holding her tiny back, stroking it every so often as he tried to stay calm. He hated seeing her sad. He hated not knowing what happened to make Robin come here and beat him down. Why all the secrets? Maybe if he had watched over better. Where was the problem? What did they do? Kori finally moved her head up to look at him. Green alien eyes looking into steel with a slurry of emotions running in them.

"We…. we should talk to the Batman", Kori concluded.

Victor took a deep breath and nodded, calming his nerves. This wasn't a time for questions. They had to stay calm.

"Let's go."


The lights could barely reach this part of the city. The high rooftops of Old Gotham still stood as tall as they did when the original Batman came into the public eye. They had seen better days though. Some windows had shattered, while paint had wept for the years. So many memories screaming out like ghosts from the past. The orange tint of the lights still echoed of times before our present day.

The green skinned teen paced back and forth thinking to himself. His blue eyes kept looking at the clock before backing into the streets. Searching anxiously for a familiar traffic light character. This isn't like her. They had met up a time or two after she was healed, though it was all low stakes things. This was their first higher stake mission. Where was she? Gryphon through his hands through his blond streaks impatiently.

She watched her brother pace from one side of the building to the other, using pebbles to pass the time away. Serena was still far less trusting of Robin after everything that happened. They had gotten to know each other little by little but that didn't mean she felt she could trust her. There was something not right about her… she didn't smell like other people… Gryphon had told her she was crazy, but it was something that she couldn't shake off.

"She's not coming", Serena stated, standing up from her spot by the abandoned water tower.

"Just give her a bit longer", Gryphon insisted.

"For what? A call that says she's going to be late or isn't even coming", she argued. "Face it, she's not coming. We don't need to wait for her anyway."

Gryphon rolled his eyes, "We still need her."

"For what exactly", she shot back.

"She could be useful to our cause!"

Serena just rolled her eyes at Gryphon. Their cause? What cause? They were just trying to discover what happened to their father. It wasn't a matter of some bigger cause. Robin had given the directions to meet there. Something was supposed to be happening but… what?

As if by magic, her question was answered. A small van drove by one of the abandoned buildings like a future look of death. There was something melancholy about it. About the way the low tech garage doors opened and closed behind them. Serena used her shapeshifting to see the finer details with the eyes of a hawk. There was some old text on it, probably wiped away from being identified.

Gryphon whispered as if making sure that the others below don't hear them. "Why don't you listen in", he whispered, "we'll need to put this all together once Robin meets up with us."

Serena rolled her eyes but reluctantly nodded. She kept thinking to herself that it wasn't for her father nor was it for Robin. This was for her brother and mother's own sanities. She shifted into a hawk completely before gliding down through an open window on the high beams of the building.

The air smelled drenched in sanitation as drips from the ceiling fell on the plastic tents below. The truck creaks were drowned out by the screams echoing inside its rear confinements. Her hearing could hear something glass clanking against each other as people spoke to one another. She slowly shifted to a human form as she watched a group of men carrying another figure out from the depths of the truck.

Screaming. Chatter. Punches. Struggles. Then silence.

Serena watched as they held them down onto what might've been the slab. The clear plastic of the tent made it hard to fully make out anything from the opaque colour. What was happening down there? She crawled slowly, quietly like a mouse hiding from a cat's claws as she looked over to the side. A hole? Why was there a hole?

She got closer just above its edge before seeing exactly what was inside… Bodies… couldn't have been more than thirty in such a small space though with the amount of decomposition that was around… It was harder to say if there were more. Quietly, her hands shifted to her phone in the back pocket taking pictures of the warehouse. There was light chatter below between the tent's occupants as her green eyes scan the floor as her pointed ears twitched at every little sound.

"What's going on in there", whispered a voice from Serena's earpiece.

"It looks like a lab of some kind. Scientists. Lab equipment", she replied. "There's a hole filled with dead bodies… it looks like they've been doing this for a while. What are you?"

Her breath shook slightly. Serena's hands started to shake as she looked at the bodies. Some old some young. Men and women. Black, latino, white, any ethnicity under the sun. Nothing was safe. The churning in her stomach was creeping up her throat but changeling pushed it down as best she could. Tiny motors were running in the background as the conversation echoed through her ears before someone spoke.

"He's a dud too. Put him the pit with the others", commanded the voice.

A tall man marched out with a body over his shoulder carelessly, only to toss the lifeless man into the pit among the other decaying bodies. Serena stepped back in shock at how easily someone could just be tossed to the side like that. Though the young rookie soon found herself falling down below as plastic wings consumed her form.

People speaking around before a familiar fist comes after her. She barely could shift into an elephant as she dodged the blow. The shock of the gloved man shaking the building to the foundation. Serena used her overwhelming trunk to push back the card she knew as Ten. Ten crashes into the wall as rage gleamed in his eyes.

Gryphon stared through his binoculars with wide eyes. "Sis", he shouted in a war cry as he carried a large boulder with him to fly down.

His eyes glared down at the building crashing through the roof. The scientist fled only to shoot at the young man, just barely shooting him through the oulder chunk of the building. A yellow glow surrounded several bits of foundation shooting back at the scientists. His eyes glowing yellow as he kept defensive, using his floating device as a shield. He screamed out for his sister to get on the hover rock and, though she growled at the name, Serena complied.

Ten charged at the large animal again only to be met with a wall. Her small sugar glider body floated to the boulder to make their quick escape. Serena panted as she morphed back to her human form, her dishevelled forest hair curtaining around her hair. Thick with sweat as she noticed that she was bleeding.

"What was that", asked Gryphon with a panic.

"I… I don't know", she hesitated.

Gryphon's blue eyes glanced over at his twin wide, as she got up. He had almost never seen her scared before. Always strong Serena. Fearless Serena. Leader Serena. Now though, she looked terrified. Her green eyes scanning her hands in shock of what had happened. They had fought before. Their father had taught him his ways and basic training but… to use in combat was something different.

Gryphon realized he was staring and placed them both on a different building to regroup. "Serena..."

"There were so many", she said. Her voice was barely over a whisper as she shivered. "There were so many… they… why? Gryphon…."

"I know", he said holding her tightly, "I'm sorry… I should've backed you up."

Serena could feel the rain coming but the world was so dry. Drops came down, running south to the ground. Some of the drops rushed down his shirt as she clenched onto it like an anchor to Reality's cruel hold on her. Gryphon looked down to his sister with concern as he rubbed her back comfortingly. Her tears felt like acid on his chest as the world around them seem to fall and break.

"Serena… we don't-"

Serena interrupted him before he could finish, "If we don't… who will…?"


Blond waves swished in magical energy as white glowing pearls gleamed across a pale face. The world seemed to not matter to her as her body floated up and down against the waves of power coursing through her. A blue glow centred around her forehead continued beam against the darkness surrounding her. Wren could once again feel the pressure of a hand on her cheek in a comforting caress. It was similar to what she had tried yesterday but… this time was different.

A voice could be heard just outside of the edges of her little pocket dimension. The voice sounded raspy but calm and warm like a honeycomb being dipped in warm milk. It felt so close to her ears, yet the voice sounded so far away from her that she'd never touch the hand's owner. Her mind painted a picture of the being speaking to her bit by bit. Far away voices soon became sentences that streamed across the air. The darkness showed light peaking through before spreading out like a flash fire.

The white glow stopped around Wren's purple eyes to reveal the woman in front of her, still holding her cheek softly. Violet against Violet in a field much like the ones she remembered from Tibet. The sky's watercoloured night showing a deep contrast to the haven she saw around her.

The older woman's pale skin seemed more grey as the celestial light made her glow with a peaceful aura. Her violet eyes looked down upon her own with a quiet smile on her lips. She was dressed in a cosmic threaded dress as her long purple river flowed down her back with a soft wind pushing it around.

"I've been waiting for you", the woman stated, the same raspy voice as before speaking to her felt present and safe.

"M-mom", Wren stuttered. Her lip quivered under the pressure of her teeth with tears dripping down her face.

"Hello Wren", she replied with a slightly bigger smile on her lips.

Wren opened her arms and rushed at her mother with a smile so filled with joy, her cheeks protested in pain. Raven returned the hug with a calm loving smile down at the small girl. Wren looked up at her mom in disbelief as the warmth of her presence consumed her.

"Mom… I'm… I'm so sorry", Wren said, nuzzling into the galaxy like fabric.

"You have nothing to apologize for", Raven rebuffed. "I gave you the best chance that I thought you could."

"But because of me, you died..."

"It's because of you that I had never felt more alive." Raven lifted Wren's chin with a single finger to meet each other's gaze, another hand pet her blond flowing locks. "When I found out that we were going to have you, I was the happiest I could've ever been. But I feared what your grandfather would do if you were born."

"My grandfather", Wren asked, rubbing the salted water off her face.

"Your grandfather was a demon. A very powerful one and if I didn't do something, your powers would've been beyond your own understanding", Raven explained. "The prophecy of Trigon was supposed to end with me, but we didn't want you to be taken advantage of as well."

Wren nodded in understanding, "I understand but… Goddesses above… I want to tell you so much."

Raven nodded, "I know, but I've always been here, watching you, helping you, even if you didn't know it."

Wren could only nod, understanding the words and feeling their meaning but still feeling… alone. "There's so much change going on. The henchmen that kidnapped us and made us move… Dad moved us here and I know that he means well but I feel so lost. There are so many rules and so many social things I just don't understand."

Raven laughed softly at her daughter's face.

"What's so funny", she asked, confused.

Raven let go of Wren and patted the patch of grass next to her as the older woman sat down with her legs crossed over one another. "I knew someone very much like yourself when I was your age."

Wren looked at her suspiciously with a furrowed brow, "Really?"

"I knew many things about the world around me. I wasn't naive to them and most things that didn't matter to me were because of my prophecy. Starfire, on the other hand?" Raven took a moment to pause at the memories of her days with the Titans, "She was from a completely different planet. She didn't understand the difference between a normal drink and a mustard container."

"I'm not that out of touch", the blond argued with a small pout.

"No. No, you're not. Thank your father for that."

Wren frowned hesitantly as she asked, "What… did your friend do? To try… getting more in touch with everyone?"

"She paid attention", she answered back, "She wanted to learn about everything on Earth's customs. What we ate, what we drank, what we did for fun, what we did when she was sad."

"But I don't want to give up myself to fit in."

"Neither did she."

Wren's eyes widened at that when Raven spoke so sincerely, her voice piercing her mind like a bolt of lightning to a rod.

"Starfire was always true to herself no matter what. She might've been unfamiliar with our customs at first but she learned."

Wren just stared at her at first before slowly the awe-filled stare started to nod up and down. She averted her gaze up to the watercoloured sky as the pigments changed from day to night in playful splashes every so often. Mer mind seemed to take a paintbrush to the canvas up above and streak it with bright stars shooting across.

"I… want you to help teach me how to use my powers", Wren stated.

"Because you want to control yourself."

"No", Wren replied before a determined glint shined her eyes, "Because I want to be closer to who you are. I want to know who you were in life. I want to make Dad happy that you're still here in a way. I know I'll never be you, even if I tried… but… I just want to be closer to you."

Raven's eyes went wide before taking only a blink to bring herself back to an even calm, "I'll teach you alongside Douglas." Wren could only give her one last hug before Raven whispered one last thing in her ear, "I love you..."

"I love you too..."

Wren opened her eyes to the golden room as she had done many times but her father had rushed to her with concern on his face. His thumb rushing through her face to wipe off the tears streaming down her face. Her hands touch his as a smile still graces her face with overwhelming happiness.

"I saw her today, Dad", she stated as if her eyes had laid witness to the Goddesses herself, "She's so beautiful… and kind…"

Joseph could only meet Wren's smile as he held his child close to him. Warmth building up in his chest like a cozy fireplace amongst what seemed like a cold winter. A comforting knowledge wrapped around him. Raven… Raven was still there… living through their daughter. Wren was going to learn. It was going to be okay.

Then there was the sneaking fear that also gripped the back of his mind. If Slade is back… or someone trying to be Slade trying to hurt them, could this be for the worse or the better? Joseph glanced up at Douglas having the same knowing look on his face.,

All that was left to do was prepare.


The school bell rang loudly as the crowds of children came rushing out of the doors. Wren smiling starting to see the world in a whole new way than before. Instead, a fear creeping in with every interaction, she thought of it as a new quest for knowledge. The fluorescent lights seemed brighter. The people around her glowing like each of them were a different path to her way through life. She felt powerful, confident, and more open to the ideas of this new age.

A form hugged her from behind in overwhelming glee which caused Wren to flinch. There went her flow but she was still glad one of her paths had come forth.

"Hey, Wren", greeted Jen with an excited smile.

Wren smiled back, "Hello Jen. How are you doing?"

"Well as you know, you haven't been to a club or anything like that...", she trailed off with a mocking sadness barely hiding the happy mode that Jen was really in.

Wren kept her smile but it twisted in confusion, "Yes… I believe I would know that better than anyone."

"Did you ever ask your dad about the club", asked Jen, holding something behind her back.

Her world around her shattered, oh no… She had forgotten… In all the commotion of finding out about her mother and the training of her powers, she forgot to tell her father about the escapade that her friend had planned. Wren frowned disappointedly at herself for such a large oversight.

"I forgot", she answered sadly, rubbing her arm.

Jen was… not letting up, "Oh that's okay. We can just sneak out."

"Sneak out?"

Wren's heart jumped a beat at that notion. Sneaking out? How could there be even a suggestion of such a thing? They could get in trouble… She thought back through to what her mother had said. Perhaps, she could rebel even if only the one time to learn. Wren looked at her friend hesitatingly before taking a deep breath.

"W-when should we start", she asked nervously.

Jen could only grin and pulled out two tickets, "These are tickets to the latest club opening tomorrow night! Which is perfect timing before the party at Markus' house this weekend. We walk around for a bit, hang out, drink some drinks, be back home before eleven."

Violet eyes perked in curiosity as she took one of the thick plastic tickets out of Jen's hands. It shined and flashed in her gaze while her hands could feel the smooth perfect texture. Her heartbeat bumped up a little before looking into Jen's eyes.

"And we won't get in trouble", the blond asked with concern on her face.

"If we're careful", Jen replied. "We just can't get caught. Besides, this is only to prepare you for the party. If you're able to make it through that you can handle a normal party easy!"

Wren nodded in understanding, feeling jitty but scared and even that thrilled her. They went their separate ways for their respective classes. Wren could only smile at the great day that had started for her before her smile dropped in confusion. The Raven haired girl that had been sitting next to her in class was gone. She looked around the room to see if she was still there but to no avail.

'Huh', she thought, tilting her head to the side as she walked to her desk. 'I've never seen her absent for class before… I hope she's okay.'


"What were you thinking", shouted Terry at the young girl on the couch, who laid there mostly topless.

Her only shirt was a midriff showing off her bandages which had been newly replaced. Marsha could only roll her eyes at the angered man pacing back and forth. Her nightly rousing with the Stone and Aider family had opened her wounds from the previous night. Her blood gushing all over the batplane circuit board as they tried to heal the wound.

"I was trying to convince him that this wasn't the way", the rookie superhero replied bluntly.

"You shouldn't have got there", he stated. His glare pierced her own but she just shot it back.

"You have a tracker on me", she rebuffed, "It is not like you didn't know where I was."

Terry ran his fingers through his hair as he took a deep breath to calm down. His rage starting to simmer down as she sat there carefully. His eyes had the smallest hint of baggage after a long night of crime fighting and giving her the riot act. His voice hoarse from no water despite a pitcher being beside her the entire time. Coming back from classes must've not helped at all.

"The tracker doesn't mean that I'm a mind reader", he replied finally standing next to her on the bed.

"It just means that I know where you are and if you plan on continuing on this rampage, then you're not going out there anymore."

Marsha's eyes widened, "But that's not fair! I was just trying to help him."

"And you should know better! He could've killed you!"

"I was fine on my own", she replied, "I was getting through to him too. He was about to turn the leaf but… then.."

She took a moment to remember that fight. How she wanted to save him from himself… before something wild happened… but then there was that look in his eyes. The rage. The inferiority. All of the memories from last night rushing at her like punches to the face. Was she really going to lose Markus to a life of crime? Was there any way to save him? What did she say that set him off?

"His parents called me this morning."

"They know who you are?"

Terry shook her head and frowned, "They know Batman. Called him last night to find out where their son is."

"Markus isn't with them?"

Knock… Knock… Knock…

Terry and Marsha looked over at the door, slowly locking eyes to each other.

"Is Mr Wayne expecting anyone today?"

"He never expects anyone."

Marsha takes out an antique knife from the couch and stepped behind him as he walked calmly with his Batarang in his pocket. The air became thick as they pushed through the silence intense synchrony. Marsha kept her back to the wall by the door as Terry's hand gingerly wrapped around the doorknob. His breath stopped for a moment as she held her own.

Knock… Knock… Knock…

Her heart jumped in her ears as it beat too fast for time to have stopped around them. Terry glanced at the young girl once, giving her a slight nod. She returned it with a determined glare as he turned the knob and opened the door to a floating young man with papers in his hands. His red dreads moving around unorganized and chaotic as his deep green eyes scanned the papers in her hand.

Markus finally looked up from his work, "Oh. Hi, I must be lost? Does Marsha Drake live here?"

Marsha tensed at the voice. It was back to its normal tune. So happy and helpful. Read to be there if you needed it… but that wasn't the real him. She knew it wasn't the real him.

Terry took a moment to nod before replying back, "Yeah, she lives here. What are you doing here Markus?"

Marsha glanced down at the Batarang still firmly in his grasp behind his back as she follows suit with the dagger in her hands.

"She didn't show up to school today and I got worried so I brought the homework to see if she was okay", he answered, not missing a beat. "Marsha and I have been growing really close but I realized that I had never been to her place before… She was adopted by Bruce Wayne or something?"

"Something like that", the dark-haired teen replied as he slowly let go of his grip on the weapon, "I'll take that up to her and tell her you brought them all the way out here."

Markus shook his head, "I thought I would bring it to her myself. Is she sick or something?"

"Extremely sick", Terry said sharply, "Probably shouldn't be anywhere near her."

Markus' face twisted at that before pushing himself in, "Nonsense, I've got half alien, that should be able to make me i… immune..."

His eyes widened in shock at Marsha standing next to the door with a knife in her hands. Her body covered in bruises and cuts. Her lip split but healing as her eyes staring up at him, obscured by the black eye that was yellowing around her face. He looked down at her observing the large bandages around her midsection. The red blood leaking to the white cloth of the bandages as if they were still freshly carved.

"Marsha… what happened to you?"


Next time on Beyond the Titans Issue #5: Coming all together

Marsha: What are you talking about?

Markus: I'll kill you!

Serena: This is a lot bigger than us.

Wren: How could you!?

Gryphon: So we're a team now?