October 11th, 2003
Apprentice - Part 1
How Long Is Forever?
(Opening shot: a slow overhead pan across Jump City. It is sunset.)
Starfire: (voice over) Robin? Robin! Please, Robin, where are you?
(Dissolve to another area of the urban center and pan slowly.)
Raven: (over communicator) Starfire, enough. You've been calling for forty-five minutes.
Starfire: (voice over) Perhaps if I just try one more--
(Cut to another group of buildings, seen from ground level, and pan slowly.)
Beast Boy: (over comm) Come on, Star. If he's gonna pick up, he'd have done it by now. 'Sides, you're kinda giving me a headache.
(Cut to a shot along one street and tilt down through the layers of pavement and earth.)
Starfire: (voice over) But why does he not respond? Where could he be? (The screen pans down on Cyborg in the sewer.)
Cyborg: Robin and Cinderblock definitely went a few rounds, (Pull back; Cyborg is at the site of their battle in Part One.) but I can't tell who won, or where they went.
(Cut to a computer map of Jump City. Three spots are flashing on it; one shows a C, one a B, one an S: the positions of the others.)
Raven: (from o.c.) No sign of him here, either.
(Pull back; she is at a console in the operations center of Titans Tower. Night has fallen.)
Raven: His locator is still offline. I've been monitoring all the frequencies, but he hasn't checked in. (Cut to Starfire in flight.)
Starfire: Oh, we are bad friends! We should never have left Robin to do battle alone.
(Beast Boy, as a monkey, jumps onto a roof and takes human form.)
Beast Boy: Yeah, especially since Slade's big doodad was a dud.
(He jumps away again. Cut to a computer schematic of the fake detonator.)
Raven: (from o.c.) The Chronoton Detonator wasn't a dud. (Pull back; she is studying her screen.) It was a decoy to lure us away from Robin, and we fell for it.
(Cyborg groans loudly and slams a fist against the wall of the sewer tunnel.)
Cyborg: I shoulda known that thing was a fake!
Starfire: But why? Why did Slade wish to separate us from Robin?
Beast Boy: And if the detonator was a decoy... (Dissolve to Raven.)
Raven: ...what was Slade's real plan?
(An urgent alarm starts up as the view dissolves to Cyborg, now running through the sewer.)
Cyborg: Titans! Trouble!
(Overhead view of a tall, circular building with an observation deck set a story or two below its roof; a walkway leads away from this. Robin drops into view, free-falling toward the structure. Inside, the top floor is seen to be a darkened laboratory. A panel falls from the ceiling, and Robin's silhouette drops in after it. He will be seen in this fashion until further notice. Something is hurled across the room toward a glass storage vessel that holds a piece of equipment. Close-up of it, sticking in the framework; it is a small sphere with two short arms sticking out from opposite sites. Each arm ends in a curved blade, so that the entire device looks like a backwards letter S. Slade's insignia is embossed on the sphere, this is one of his toys, given for Robin's use. One by one, lights wink on around the center logo to form a ring; after they are all illuminated, the thing explodes in a brilliant flash. Cut to the overhead exterior view again as the blast spreads outward from those upper stories. When it clears, we see Robin's form near the camera, holding the item that was in the vessel.)
Voice: He's stolen the Thermal Blaster!
(On the end of this, cut to an adjoining tunnel. The speaker is one of several prison guards who run in with weapons at the ready.)
Guard 1: Stop him!
(They reach the lab, then the observation deck, and open fire against the fleeing thief. He somersaults away; they stop for a look around.)
Guard 2: Where'd he go?
(Overhead view of the deck, tilting up slightly. He is hanging upside down from the roof. After the guards have left the area, he drops down and makes a break for it, but Starfire and Beast Boy pull out to block him and Cyborg's foot lands near the camera to cut off any retreat.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) Freeze!
(Cut to him and Raven, then pull back to frame all five. Robin sprints off along the walkway; they give chase, and he soon finds himself nearing the end of the line, with nothing between him and a very long drop to the street. He stops and urns to face them, and the light comes up fully on him for the first time, giving the others a clear view of his new outfit. They are so paralyzed with shock and confusion, it is as if their feet have been nailed to the floor.)
Beast Boy: That's not Slade, that's...
(Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: Robin, still ready to throw down at the point where he just stopped running.)
Beast Boy: No way!
Starfire: Robin, why are you--?
(He cuts her off with the throw of a Slade-styled flyer that explodes in her face, driving her back along the walkway toward the others.)
Beast Boy: What is your deal?
(Close-up of Robin, zooming in as he turns his head. A small radio receiver, marked with Slade's insignia, is plugged into his left ear, and the new boss' voice is heard from it.)
Slade: Not a word, Robin. They're not your friends anymore.
(The four close in; he raises the blaster he just stole and fires at the stretch of walkway between him and them. The resulting explosion brings them up short and forces a yell from Beast Boy.)
Cyborg: What are you doing?
(The smoke begins to clear, revealing that a section has been blown apart entirely. Robin's outline is visible through the haze, but it fades away after a few seconds, he is gone.)
Starfire: (crushed) Robin...
(Fade to black.)
(Fade in to Robin, stepping forth from the darkness to hold up the blaster, and pull back. He is standing in a single spot of light.)
Slade: (from o.c.) Excellent, Robin. I'm pleased. You're already proving to be the perfect apprentice.
Robin: This deal can't last forever.
Slade: (from o.c.) It can. And it will.
(We are in Slade's lair, then. Behind Robin, a row of monitors comes to life, all showing blank white screens. He turns to face them; one shows static, then an image of the decoy detonator.)
Slade: (from o.c.) The Titans still have no idea that my Chronoton Detonator was more than a decoy. Now that my probes are inside their bodies, they could remain undetected for years, decades.
(During this line, the following clips from Part One play out, with blips of static between. The detonator shorting out; the other four staring at the smoking remains on the speedboat; the weapon emerging from the prow to strafe them; the four being blown off the deck; a pan across the magnified views of their probe-laden bloodstreams. Finally, the monitors go white again.)
Slade: (from o.c.) Unless, of course, you disobey me, (He steps into view.) and I decide to destroy your former friends with a push of the button.
(He holds up his hand on the end of this line; said button is nestled in it.)
Robin: Sooner or later, you'll let your guard down. I will get that controller, and the instant they're out of danger, you will pay.
(Slade steps toward him. Pull back; both are silhouetted against the monitors.)
Slade: That sounds like a threat, young man. (Close-up; he takes the blaster from Robin.) Quite a good threat, actually. Betrayal, destruction, revenge. We really do think alike.
(Robin grits his teeth in a quiet snarl that quickly builds in intensity before he throws himself at Slade. The charge goes bad in a hurry; Slade grabs Robin's wrist and bends his arm back sharply. From the sound of things, one or more bones are within an inch of breaking.)
Slade: I monitored your vital signs during the mission. Elevated heart rate, adrenaline, endorphins. (Close-up of Robin's straining face; he continues o.c.) You won't admit it, but at some level, (Back to him.) you enjoyed stealing for me. It was a thrill, wasn't it?
(He releases his hold; Robin stumbles away and rubs his overstressed arm.)
Slade: You're going to keep stealing, Robin. (removes his blaster muzzle) And you're going to keep getting that thrill. (Close-up of Robin; he continues o.c.) And sooner or later, (Back to him.) you will see things my way.
(He has put the weapon back together now. Robin is still holding up his right arm.)
Slade: (walks to him) Who knows? I might even become like a father to you.
(Close-up of the raised wrist on the end of this; he clamps the blaster onto it, so that the muzzle points out along Robin's arm. Pan to the sullen young apprentice, who lowers it.) Robin: (softly) I already have a father.
(Tilt up into the darkness overhead and stop at the ceiling of the lair. A few bats fly out through the openings between the blades of an enormous blower and disappear into the night. Cut to the exterior of the Tower and zoom in.)
Beast Boy: (from inside) Okay. The way I see it...
(In the operations center, he has donned a cap and long coat similar to those often worn by Sherlock Holmes, and he paces in front of Cyborg and Raven. After a couple of passes, he stops and turns to them, holding up the sort of pipe smoked by the great sleuth.)
Beast Boy: ...there are only two logical explanations. One...
(He holds up a comic book, Weird Shock, whose cover depicts a colossal robot in Robin's very approximate likeness. It is destroying a city. Zoom in on this.)
Beast Boy: (from o.c.) ...Robin's been replaced by an evil robot double.
(The book opens to its first page, showing a close-up of one panel, a spiky-haired silhouette, its back to us, facing a horde of undead corpses. On the next line, pan to the second panel; the figure has turned around to show itself as a Robin zombie.)
Beast Boy: Two...he's another innocent victim of zombie mind control.
(The background changes to a black and white spiral, then restores itself before the book closes again. Cut to Cyborg and Raven, whose faces indicate just how far round the bend they think Beast Boy has gone.)
Raven: As logical as that sounds, if anything was controlling his mind, I would have sensed it.
Cyborg: (checks his forearm panel) And my scanners confirmed his biometrics. That was the real Robin, our Robin. (Both hang their heads.)
Starfire: (from o.c.) Lies! (Quick pan to her at the kitchen tables.) That was not Robin! Your scanners are wrong! Robin is our friend, and nothing could ever make him betray us! (sadly) Nothing. (Cut to Raven and Cyborg.)
Raven: But something did.
(The would-be gumshoe with the overactive imagination pops up. He has blanked out the pupils and irises of his eyes, and his head looks as if the top of it has been torn away.)
Beast Boy: Three words: Disgruntled radioactive clone. (Cyborg yanks him away.) Ow!
(Sight gag: only the top half of his body is attached to the head, and it looks something like an old store-window dummy. Raven delivers a spin kick that sends him flying o.c. toward the kitchen; a crash of glass is heard from that direction.)
Raven: No matter what the reason, no matter how much we wish it wasn't true, Robin's a criminal now. And just like any other criminal--
Cyborg: --The Teen Titans have to bring him down.
(Starfire stifles a sob and turns away, clapping her hands to her face. An alarm blares out before she can do anything else; cut to Beast Boy at a computer console. He is back to normal.)
Beast Boy: It's him!
(Fade to black.)
(Fade in to a large open space within a building. A set of doors, marked with a large W, is blown inward off the hinges, and Robin steps in as the smoke swirls around his ankles. He advances across the floor; cut to behind him and tilt up to show that the room is empty save for a device suspended within a force field at the center. Close-up of this as he approaches it. He reaches out to seize the item, but the next words freeze him in his tracks.) [Animation goof: The blaster is on his left wrist, not his right. This error will be repeated several times throughout the rest of this act and the start of the next.]
Cyborg: (from o.c.) You're not walking outta here, Robin!
(He turns; the other Titans are at the wrecked door.)
Cyborg: Not without a fight. (Robin yells and charges.) Titans! Go!
(They bolt across the floor, Beast Boy becoming a tiger as he moves. Cut to Robin and back to the group, then to Robin once more. Letterbox view, top half of the screen: the five silhouettes hurtle toward one another. Fullscreen: Robin dodges both Cyborg's punch and Beast Boy's lunge; the latter returns to human form as the new felon vaults overhead. He sails neatly between Starfire and Raven, tears away a ceiling panel, and is away through it before either can react. Cut to just inside the hole and pull back a bit as the four stare flabbergasted up after him.)
(Cut to a long overhead shot of the building's front entrance, then tilt up to the roof. A large lighted sign identifies this as the headquarters of Wayne Enterprises. A panel pops open, and Robin springs out and races across, his silhouette tiny in the glare from the huge white letters.)
Slade: Not so fast, Robin. You have yet to achieve your objective.
Robin: The device was too heavily guarded. I'll have to steal it another--
Slade: No! (Robin stops.) Go back. Unless you want me to destroy them, go back and fight.
Cyborg: (from o.c.) Robin!
(Camera shift: he and the others are at one end of the roof. Robin turns to face them.)
Cyborg: Look, I don't know what's going on, (Cut to Robin; Cyborg continues o.c.) but we don't want to fight. (Back to him.) We just want to talk.
(Robin lets his feet do the conversing, in the form of a high flying kick that drives Cyborg back past the other three.)
Beast Boy: Guess there's nothing to talk about.
(He cracks his knuckles and turns into an enormous gorilla, bringing both fists down on the rooftop. Robin leaps back to evade the hit and a couple of grabs before perching at the center of the A in WAYNE. A huge green hand shoots up after him; he leaps to the A's peak, then down again as Beast Boy climbs up after him. In midair, he pulls out another of Slade's flying weapons, the curved blades extending from the central orb. Cut to Beast Boy; a line whistles down from o.c., Robin's direction, and winds itself around one thick wrist. Robin drops down and threads the line through the A's center. It is pulled taut, yanking Beast Boy halfway through to make him stick fast.)
(Close-up of Robin on the roof; pull back to show Starfire's feet planted in front and cut to her.)
(She is cut off as he rushes past her, leaps very high, and comes down with a kick and a flurry of other strikes aimed at Raven. She shields herself from the offensive. Cut to an extreme close-up of Cyborg's sonic cannon and tilt up to his face behind it. Even though the weapon is fully charged up, his face betrays his extreme uneasiness and reluctance at the prospect of using it in this situation. His perspective of the two duelists; a low groan is heard as he steadies his aim.)
Cyborg: Don't make me...
(Back to him. Giving up the attempt to get a clear shot, he disarms and runs in to do things the old-fashioned way. The punch he throws misses Robin, but connects against Raven's shield. High above the roof, Beast Boy is still struggling to extricate himself from the sign's A. He finally succeeds by changing into a snake and slithering down; once he is back on the roof, he assumes the form of a bighorn sheep and charges. Those curved horns slam into Robin's back and send him rolling away to stop just short of the edge.)
(Opening shot: Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven on the roof. Beast Boy returns to human form and runs to the edge, where Robin lies prone.)
Beast Boy: Dude! Are you okay?
(His answer comes in the form of a savage kick that knocks him into Cyborg; both go down, and Robin sits up. Extreme close-up of his eyes, panning to the receiver in his ear.)
Slade: Fight to win, Robin. Use the thermal blaster. (Raven rises into the air.)
Raven: Azarath Metrion Zinthos!
(The spell lifts Robin up and binds him from neck to knees. His right arm is free, however, and he scales a disc at her. It explodes in her face with a blinding flash, breaking her hold.)
Raven: I…can’t…see! (She tumbles down as Starfire watches.)
(Cyborg backs into view, blocking Robin’s punches.)
Cyborg: Come on, man, don’t make me do this! I don’t want to do this!
(He grabs one arm and gets ready to fire his cannon, but a low foot sweep gets in under his guard and dumps him onto his back. The blast goes off when he falls; Robin leaps away and ends up atop the sign’s A. As Cyborg and Raven sit up, rubbing their heads, and Beast Boy gets to his feet, the former Titan hops from one letter to the next. When he reaches the E, he finds a supremely furious Starfire floating just past its edge, with a starbolt ready to go in her outstretched hand.)
Starfire: Stop! (Robin does so.) Do, not, move.
Slade: I thought I told you to use that blaster. Attack! Now!
(Robin raises the weapon and trains it on Starfire; its muzzle glows red. Close-up of her, the green radiance from her palm throwing an unearthly hue onto her icy expression as she steels herself to fire. Cut to a slow pan across Robin’s expressionless face, bathed in the blaster’s glare, then to an extreme close-up of her eye. It widens, showing the struggle between friendship and duty raging in her mind. Pull back to frame both.)
Starfire: (voice trembling) Robin, you are my best friend. I cannot be in a world where we must fight. (Close-up.) If you are truly evil, (drops her head, cooling down her starbolt) then go ahead. (Pull back; she lowers her arm.) Do what you must.
(Robin still has her in his sights, but her words have touched off his own inner conflict. After a tense moment, he de-energizes the blaster and lowers his arm.)
Robin: Starfire, no! I--
(There is a squeal of shrill feedback from the receiver; he claps a hand to his ear in pain.)
Slade: ROBIN!! I gave you an order.
(Cut to a close-up of him. On the next words, tilt down to the button in his hand.)
Slade: If you won’t attack, my probes will.
(His thumb comes down, and he stands watching the other four Titans’ blood vessels on his monitors. As the probes begin their work, flashes of red light play across one after another of the human figures on the vital-sign readouts. The last seen is Starfire, whose readout changes to an orange-glowing, red-flecked silhouette of her; around it, the background flashes to the edge of the Wayne Enterprises sign. She is still floating just past its edge, groaning in agony and unable to move. Robin runs as close to her as he can without going overboard. Dissolve to a close-up of her, now twitching and flailing uncontrollably; she starts to fall, but Robin catches her.)
(He looks down toward the roof, and the camera cuts to a slow pan across the bases of the five giant letters. One by one, the other three Titans are similarly afflicted and collapse in unbearable pain.)
Robin: Stop! Please stop! (Close-up of Beast Boy.)
Slade: Attack, Robin. (Close-up of Raven.) It’s the only way to save them. (Close-up to Cyborg.) Attack with everything you’ve got.
(Robin mulls over the predicament, one that would put Catch-22 to shame, and gently sets Starfire down.)
Starfire: (weakly) Robin… (Cut to Robin; he points the blaster down at her.)
Robin: I’m sorry.
(He fires; the entire screen goes red from the glare and then fades to black.)
(Fade in to him still aiming the weapon; but now, Slade is standing at a short distance. Smoke drifts up from the muzzle.)
Slade: That’s my boy.
(Snap to black.)
(Fade in to a close-up of Starfire, knocked out on the sign. She is no longer suffering the effects of Slade's probes. She moans weakly and sits up atop the huge lighted letters.)
(Pan from her to an overhead view of the other three. They too are free of the probes' onslaught and have begun to come around. Cut to roof level.)
Beast Boy: (as they all gather) Okay. Weirdness. What just--?
(Before he can finish the sentence, Robin plunges toward them with a yell and a fresh blast ready to go. It traces a short distance between the foursome; he lands in the middle and slings Beast Boy into Raven's face. A low kick knocks Cyborg away, and Starfire finds herself trying to hit a moving midair target with her starbolts. He somersaults across the roof and trains his blaster on her. She gasps, realizing that he has her bracketed, but he shifts his aim and fires past her, hitting the Y. The next beams come at Beast Boy and Raven; he becomes a monkey and scampers away, while she puts up a shield in front of herself.)
(Now the little green primate darts in and climbs all over the armored arms and legs; it takes a moment for Robin to get hold and throw him aside. As he does so, though, Raven exerts her powers over the arm with the blaster and causes the thing to dismantle itself. What she gets for her trouble is a shove that sends her careening across the roof. Next up is Cyborg, who comes up from behind and tries to grab him. Robin ducks away; cut to him and swivel quickly to show that all four of the other Titans have regrouped to face him. Beast Boy becomes a bear, Cyborg has his cannon locked and loaded, and the girls have their respective powers warmed up.)
(Pull back slightly; he looks over his shoulder and finds that he is at the roof's edge. He whips out a handful of discs and throws them at the group. Cut to Cyborg and Starfire, who duck as the projectiles hurtle past, and pan to Beast Boy and Raven as one of them explodes o.c. Pull back to show them detonating at the bases of the A.)
Cyborg: Titans! Move!
(They clear out, Beast Boy transforming to bat form, just in time, as the Y topples forward with the A not far behind. When the smoke clears, Cyborg is seen in one piece and on his feet; pull back slightly to show him standing in the center of the fallen A, the right place at the right time to keep from being crushed. Starfire looks around fearfully as Raven lands near her.)
Raven: He's gone. (Cyborg comes over.)
Cyborg: Everybody okay? (Cut to him and Raven; Beast Boy lands and takes human form.)
Beast Boy: Uh, I know where Robin picked up that heat ray, but where did he learn that little glowy hurty trick?
(Sight gag: on the end of this line, his eyes briefly turn orange with red spots.)
Starfire: (from o.c.) I do not think that was Robin. (Pull back to frame her.) Perhaps it is Slade who has learned a new trick.
(Long overhead shot of the roof. Smoke pours up from the two fallen letters; the three still standing are not in too great a shape either. Pull back slowly for a few seconds, then cut to roof level. As Robin's thermal blaster ray comes down from overhead among the Titans, the picture starts to fast-forward and then rewind as if it were a videotaped program. It stops just before the beam is to hit the roof, at which point it starts to play at normal speed.)
Slade: (from o.c.) Thrilling.
(It rewinds again to the same point and plays as the camera pulls back very slowly. We are looking at one of the monitors in Slade's lair, on which many clips from the battle are playing at the same time. Cut to him; he leans back in his chair.)
Slade: My apprentice is progressing even faster than I had hoped. All he needed was a little motivation.
(Robin reaches into view and grabs a wrist. Cut to him, fist cocked back.)
Robin: Motivate THIS!
Robin: Motivate THIS!
(He throws the punch, but Slade catches it easily without flinching and wrenches the arm to one side Robin is flung toward a set of overhead gears, but he comes down in a crouch across the floor. He stands up; Slade leaves his chair and flexes a handful of fingers.)
Slade: Robin. (He crosses the floor.) That was vicious, dishonorable, and ruthless. Excellent work. You're becoming more like me every second.
(He turns away, then whirls to face his apprentice with a sudden string of blows; Robin dodges and tries a few counterattacks, but Slade gets him in a headlock and lifts him off his feet. Robin swings his leg straight ahead and up to kick him in the face, forcing him to break the hold. Both retreat a bit, trying to catch their breath and clear their heads.) (Cut to Cyborg in the Tower's operations center. He straightens up.)
Cyborg: Think I found something.
(Pull back. The four Titans are gathered around the couch; Beast Boy wears an assortment of devices wired up to the computers. On the window/screen is a readout of his vital signs.)
Cyborg: The enhanced sensors are picking up radio interference on the nanoscopic scale.
(He does a bit of typing; now the screen shows Slade's probes in fine detail, attached to Beast Boy's red blood cells.)
Raven: (as Starfire gasps) Whoa.
(The test subject looks toward the screen, and his eyes pop wide open for a moment.)
Beast Boy: Those things are inside me? EWWW!!
Cyborg: They're inside all of us. Billions of 'em! (Cut to Starfire.)
Starfire: With such technology at his command, Slade can destroy us whenever he wants. (Pan to Raven.)
Raven: Unless Robin does whatever he says.
Beast Boy: And you guys thought my zombie idea was crazy.
(Back to Slade and Robin, still trying to collect themselves after the previous skirmish. Robin strikes first, propelling himself in a high backward jump that carries him toward the metal face, but Slade grabs his legs, swings him low to scrape the floor, and ends by hurling him toward the overhead machinery. The screaming Boy Wonder hooks a crankshaft to stop himself from flying into the gears. Cut to a shot of the turning wheels, then another angle, and snap to black.)
(Pan from here to a section of the machine room, the blackness was just a darkened corner, as Robin advances into view and peers warily from one spot to another. He makes his way to a bank of levers near the edge of this elevated platform and stops for a good look around. Steam boils up as a stationary gear begins to turn; close-up of the platform's edge. Slade's feet are carried down onto it from the rotating wheel.)
Slade: (from o.c.) Good, Robin. (Pull back; he approaches.) You're doing much better than last time. A few more years of training, and you might actually pose a threat.
(Robin has started to back up by this point; he reaches the levers and breaks one loose to use as a club. He twirls it back and forth and gets ready to swing, but Slade merely pulls out a fighting staff just like the one Robin used to use and extends it to full length. More steam roils around the two enemies before Robin charges in. Slade parries his attacks, and the two lean in at each other with their full weight. Slowly but surely, Slade overpowers Robin and forces him back, then catches him with a high swing to drive him back against a pipe.)
(Robin leaps away, just barely missing Slade's jabbing strike that punctures the pipe to release a flood of steam that envelops both of them. The staff has lodged in the metal, and Robin jumps onto it for a blind swing of his makeshift club. The sound of metal crashing against metal tells that the strike hit its target, but after a moment, Slade stands up.)
(The villain delivers a karate chop that breaks the end off his own staff. Robin jumps away and high overhead, landing on a bend in the damaged pipe. A camshaft swings back and forth in front of him like a pendulum; he takes a few cautious steps backward, and Slade appears suddenly before him once the next swing has gone through.)
(Another couple of cycles, and he is gone again. Robin's eyes go wide in disbelief; an instant later, Slade barrels across and hits him broadside. The young man fetches up on a stationary gear mounted horizontally and, dazed a bit, struggles to lift his head. He snaps back to full consciousness in a hurry once he sees Slade coming straight down toward him. One of those armored fists slams into the platform, just missing Robin thanks to his last-second dodge. Withdrawing his hand from the hole he has smashed in the deck plate, Slade stands up and cracks his knuckles. Robin's eyes narrow in pure hatred, and he runs across for a leap; instead of aiming directly at Slade, though, he goes past one shoulder and brings his leg up for a crashing spin kick that staggers the man. A second blow knocks Slade over the edge; he tumbles down in front of the monitors, which once again show the four Titans' bloodstreams. The left side of his mask has cracked from the force of the kick. Robin jumps down to face him.)
Slade: You're going to wish you hadn't done that. (Robin steps closer.)
Robin: I only wish I'd done it sooner.
(As he says this, he tears the silver badge of Slade's emblem from his chest and throws it down to stick just in front of the still-kneeling Slade. Enraged from this insubordinate act, Slade stands up and charges at Robin. Now Robin is forced to go on the defensive against a sequence of attacks. He goes into a handstand, attempting to kick Slade in the face, but the latter only catches the approaching foot to immobilize him. After an incurious look back and forth, Slade throws Robin across the way; cut to the former Titan, ground level, as he struggles to stand and the former steps into view near the camera.)
Slade: (from o.c.) I have much to teach you. (Pull back to frame both.) But the first thing you need to learn is gratitude.
(Robin wipes his face, and Slade merely stands there and eyes the activity on the monitors. The rebellious apprentice yells in fury and moves in for another go, but Slade seizes his arm and bends it back cruelly past the shoulder before dumping him onto his back. Close-up of Robin; the hold is released, and he starts to roll away.)
Slade: (from o.c.) I made you my apprentice. All my knowledge, all my power, all for you. (He leans into view and grabs Robin's hair.) But the only thing you care about is your (raises his voices) WORTHLESS...LITTLE...FRIENDS!!!
(Close-up of Robin on this last word, then pull back. Slade lets go of the hair and takes a couple of steps away before Robin stands.)
Slade: If the Titans are so distracting, maybe I should just get rid of them.
(As casually as if he were looking at a wristwatch, he brings up the button and gets ready to set the probes off again. Robin steels himself for another charge, then loses his resolve, knowing what another act of defiance could bring down on his friends.)
Robin: Don't. I'll do whatever you say.
Slade: Good boy. And, from now on, I'd like you to call me master.
(A starbolt flashes across the screen and blasts him away to land right in front of the monitors. Cut to the other four Titans, now in the lair and gathered in front of his favorite chair. Starfire has a double-barreled blast all ready to go with his name on it.)
Starfire: Leave. Him. Alone!
(Slade is getting up from the shot Starfire laid on him.)
Slade: Robin! Attack!
(Robin is now close to a piece of equipment at one end of the row of monitors. It is the same device that blasted the other four Titans off the speedboat and implanted the probes in Part One. As he speaks, he gestures toward it.)
Robin: Get out of here! Go! You don't know what those beams did to--
Beast Boy: Dude...
Raven: ...We know...
Cyborg: ...And we don't care.
Starfire: We are your friends, Robin. We are not leaving without you. (They tense for battle; Slade steps up.)
Slade: How very touching. (puts his finger on the button) But Robin doesn't need any friends.
(He presses it, bringing the rapparatus to life; red energy bolts blaze out across the space. Cut to Cyborg, who is first to succumb to the probes, and pull back as he and Starfire both collapse in torment. Pan to Beast Boy, whose knees buckle next; Raven drops to the ground next to him. Pull back across the platform to put Robin in view, watching them, and Slade just behind him.)
Slade: This is the price for your disobedience, Robin. Now do as I command. Attack!
(With a Herculean effort, Starfire lifts her head and aims a pleading gaze at Robin. Even though her eyes are whited out by the glare of the energy surging through her body, they and the tears running down her cheeks broadcast the quartet's agony loud and clear. Robin's jaw drops open as he gasps softly; he looks off in the direction of the device, and the camera pans quickly to it. Back to an extreme close-up of his eyes, now narrowed in pure, righteous determination.)
Robin: No. (He dashes off.)
(A few more steps and a great leap carry the roaring apprentice over the last few yards, and he plants his hand on the rig. Now bathed in its glow, he brings his other palm around to touch it as well. The groans that escape through his tight-locked teeth betray the unendurable physical strain he has put on himself. Cut to a close-up of his face and zoom in, dissolving to a sequence of internal shots just like those that showed the entry of the probes into Starfire's body in Part One. Muscle tissue, artery, devices latching onto blood cells, they are invading his body, and a flash of white subsides to put us back in the lair and him still at the system's core. He is thrown backward as the entire rig explodes; fade to black as the glare dies away.)
(Fade in to a long shot of him, supine near the monitors with smoke rising from his body. Pan to Slade, watching the four Titans' bloodstreams with great surprise, and, as he does, a fifth screen pops up with Robin's name on it. Groaning with the strain, this new victim hauls himself to his feet; Slade regards his control button with some trepidation now, and the orange-glowing boots advance toward him, step by labored step. Pan to follow him, then cut to Slade as he stops for a little face time.)
Robin: New deal, Slade. If I lose my friends, you lose your apprentice. (Extreme close-up of Slade's eye, narrowing, then back to him.) And I know how you hate to lose.
(He collapses. Slade gives this proposition a long moment's thought, his thumb ready to bring Robin's existence to a grinding halt, and then tears the controller off his wrist and tosses it away. A few sparks flash up from it, after which the probes cease their destructive work on the Boy Wonder. Not about to let the matter drop so easily, Slade raises one foot to stomp the spiky-haired head flat; before he can bring it down, though, Robin is up and grabbing at it. He smirks at Slade, whose eye goes very wide, and a smashing punch sends the evil genius flying to the other end of the platform.)
Robin: Titans! Go!
(The others, also back in good health, charge at Slade. Beast Boy, now a tiger, is first to do damage with a clawed swipe that pierces the armor. Cyborg and Starfire move in next, starbolts and cannon going full throttle to blast Slade backward. As he tumbles, Raven casts a spell to bind his feet and sling him hard onto the platform. Only now does Robin go on the attack, delivering a flying kick that pastes a boot sole across that masked face. Close-up of Slade, seen from behind; glowing cracks spread across the back of his head as the steel fractures.)
(Pull back. Robin lands in a crouch as Slade falls to his knees near the camera, the left side of his face turned to us. The right half of his mask drops away and skids across the floor, and he now stands up with one big hand covering the exposed portion of his visage. Nothing can be seen but a fringe of unruly hair above the fingers, and his eye looks as if it might pop out of his head. He turns and runs off, dropping his hand as he does so; we never see that part of his face.)
(Cut to another part of the lair. He runs into view and fiddles briefly with a large piece of equipment, then turns to the camera. The light does not shine on the exposed side.)
Slade: Another day, Robin.
(Close-up of a dial on the end of this. He has slotted his fingers into holes bored for a better grip, similar to a bowling ball, and he turns it. Lines of red light emanate along the surface of the device; pull back to show rings of light flicking on down the body of the rig.)
Slade: Another day.
(All five Titans stand dumbfounded near the monitors, which have all gone blank; Beast Boy returns to human form. The light goes red and begins to fade in and out, blacking out the screen every time it goes. Robin runs forward as the entire place starts to shake and crumble, Slade has set off a self-destruct sequence. Gears start to fall off their axles, first one and then many more. The biggest tumbles toward Robin. He runs at top speed to stay ahead as it rolls along and tears up the platform; finally, Starfire flies past and carries him off. Cyborg strains at the core of the probe system and tears it loose. Overhead view: Raven flies up, towing Beast Boy, as Cyborg makes a mad dash along the crumbling deck plates and is thrown into the air when one flips.)
(After the screen blacks out following this last shot, a door opens and white light pours in from outside. Robin is there, having opened it.)
Robin: Let's go home.
(A gear wheel falls into view near the camera to black out the screen.)
(Fade in to the exterior of the Tower and zoom in slowly. It is now the following morning. Dissolve to a close-up of a computer console in the operations center. On its screen, a bar graph is quickly filling up; pull back to show that the core of Slade's probe system has been wired up. Pan to put Beast Boy in view-seated, tubes and cables hooked to every square inch of him, a mask clamped over his face.)
Beast Boy: (muffled, annoyed) Am I done yet?
(Pull back. Robin, dressed in his proper outfit, and the other three Titans are watching a magnified view of Beast Boy's blood on the window/screen. Not a probe in sight.)
Cyborg: That's it, y'all. The Teen Titans are officially probe-free.
(Back to Beast Boy on the end of this. He jumps out of the chair with a boisterous laugh and starts to dance, with assorted hardware still connected to his body.)
Beast Boy: Go, Beast Boy! You're probe-less! No probes now! Go, Beast Boy! Go, Beast Boy! Get fun-kay! Uh! Yeah! Uh, uh, that's right. (He moonwalks o.c. on he end of this.)
Raven: Um...I know this isn't my style, but we just kicked Slade's butt. Shouldn't we celebrate or something?
(Robin and Cyborg stare incredulously at her, but Beast Boy jumps into view and lands on Cyborg's shoulders. The green goofball has shed all the equipment he pulled along with him.)
Beast Boy: Yeah! (He leans forward to stare Cyborg upside-down in the face.)
Beast Boy: ...free-form...
Beast Boy and Cyborg: ...breakfast explosion!
(Sight gag: on the last two words, they pull apart and a shower of breakfast foods flies out from behind them.)
Raven: Sorry I asked.
(The two laughing cooks run past and haul her toward the kitchen, leaving Robin and Starfire alone at the couch. Some bacon and a couple of eggs fly back into view. He sits down next to her; she cannot raise her eyes to him.)
Robin: Everything okay?
Starfire: I am sorry.
Robin: You're sorry? For what?
Starfire: When things were bad, there was a moment where I truly believed that you were...like Slade. I doubted you. And for that, I am sorry.
Robin: I doubted myself, Star. Focused, serious, determined...as much as I hate to admit it, he and I are kind of alike. But there's one big difference between me and Slade.
(smiles) He doesn't have any friends.
(This lifts her spirits in an instant. Both look toward the kitchen; cut to a truly irked Raven at the counter. Behind her, on its other side, the o.c. Cyborg is flinging food every which way. Beast Boy pops up; one hand a crab claw and the other a tentacle, with a waffle in each.)
Beast Boy: Who wants tofu waffles?
(Cyborg stops throwing and leans in his face; throbbing vein on temple. Beast Boy drops the waffles and returns his hands to normal.)
Cyborg: Man, nobody wants tofu waffles.
Beast Boy: I do. Pass me the soy milk!
(Long shot of the counter. Cyborg is out of view, Beast Boy jumps after him, and a scuffle breaks out as Robin and Starfire cross to Raven.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) I'm telling you, you're not getting anywhere near the soy milk.
Beast Boy: (from o.c.) Man, pass me the soy milk!
(Cut to the exterior of the Tower, zoomed in on the top floor, and pull back slowly.)
Cyborg: (from inside) Is there any meat in the tofu?
(Dissolve to a longer shot and keep pulling back.)
Beast Boy: (from inside) No, there's no meat in the tofu, it's tofu!
Cyborg: (from inside) Nobody wants it.
(Fade to black.)