November 6th, 2004
The Beast Within
Bunny Raven... or ...How to Make A Titananimal Disappear
(Opening shot: Earth, seen from not far away in outer space. Zoom in slowly, then dissolve to a patch of fluffy clouds that slowly part to reveal the terrain below in the daytime. The zoom continues through a second dissolve that puts us above Jump City; a third such transition displays a portion of the skyline. At street level, motorists are going about their normal daily business; cut to a fellow and his dog at the curb, then to a close-up of the pooch, sitting by a fire hydrant. A very large shadow envelops the sidewalk, prompting the dog to bark and pull at its leash. Cut to just behind it; the source is a gigantic metal thing that looks like a cross between a bulldog and a V-8 engine. We have just met Wrex.)
(The steel monstrosity lets off a thundering growl that scares the dog silly for a moment before its master drags it snarling from the scene. Wrex's jaws slam into the sidewalk after it, shearing off the hydrant and leaving a fountain of water to surge skyward. Cars swerve and screech to a halt so as not to run into this beast head-on; one driver gets a very close glare from the glowing red eyes and bails out. Cut to an overhead view of the block as a van slams on the brakes, then tilt up to frame Wrex facing a line of stopped cars that stretches back down the street.)
(Close-ups of the following. A few terrified people stopping to stare. Two feet in steel-toed leather boots slamming onto a car roof. A muscular, gray-skinned torso clad in a black muscle shirt, with arms that sport jagged black tattoo stripes. Tilt up to frame the owner of all these body parts; Johnny Rancid, the motorcycle thug who terrorized the city in "Fractured." He laughs heartily. Since he has traded in his motorcycle for this new contraption, he no longer wears his old steel helmet.)
Rancid: That's right! Johnny Rancid's back! (He vaults down next to Wrex.) Victims, meet my dog Wrex. (It barks and snarls.) Wrex, meet lunch.
(Drooling motor oil, the mechanical terror stalks ahead but is stopped upon reaching the end of a chain that has been attached it its collar. Pan slightly back along its length to show Rancid holding the free end; he lets go with a laugh, and the view shifts to a letterbox shot of Wrex's charging silhouette in the top third of the screen. Fullscreen: the crowd screams and scatters in all directions. One fellow tries frantically to get his car door unlocked, catches sight of the leaping behemoth, and thinks better of it. He gets clear just before Wrex flattens the vehicle and bites the hood off to spit after him. A second jump carries it away from the wreck, which promptly explodes. It bounds here and there amid the madding crowd.)
Rancid: Run for your lives! Run from my doggie!
(Many do so, but a woman stands frozen in place, trying to protect her young daughter. Quick pan to the steel hound, bearing down on the pair from above; suddenly a barrage of starbotls flashes across the screen and dumps it flaming to the pavement. Cut to Starfire as she lands on the scene, then pan to the mother and daughter nearby. They cut out, but Rancid just smirks broadly. Now Robin is here as well.)
Robin: We're shutting you down, Johnny-- (Slow pan to Cyborg and Raven.)
Raven: --And your little dog, too. (Stop on Beast Boy, perched on a mailbox.)
Beast Boy: Anybody got a gigantic rolled-up newspaper?
(Pull back to frame the two groups facing each other down across the intersection. The only other sign of life is a bit of dust that swirls in the wind. Cut to the petroleum-slavering dog and its master, who leans forward a bit.)
Rancid: Wrex, sic 'em!
(It obeys immediately. Cut to just behind Robin, Cyborg, and Starfire and tilt up slightly as the gaping jaws come flying toward the camera, then fade to black.)
OPENING THEME (sung in Japanese)
(Opening shot: Wrex in full gallop.)
Robin: Titans! Go!
(All charge. Cyborg leads the offensive with a sonic cannon blast, Starfire tosses a few corkers of her own, and the shots pepper the pavement all around the aggressor. Raven drops into view in front of the pair and throws a few cars in its path, but it simply plows through them and keeps coming. Cut to the trio and zoom in slightly as they gasp in surprise; there is the flash of an impact, followed by a letterbox shot of their silhouettes in the top half of the screen. All go flying like bowling pins; pan ahead slightly to show the "animal" barreling onward.)
(Fullscreen: Wrex skids to a stop, and a short pan toward the smoking pavement puts Robin partly in view. He is holding a nightstick-like baton in his right hand; pull back to show a second such weapon in the left. A few deft twirls, and he pummels Wrex mercilessly about the head. One last jumping swing smashes across the metal spine in slow motion. Cut to the other Titans and pan to Rancid standing a short distance down the block. He is absolutely flabbergasted by what has happened to his beloved pet; slow pan across it and Robin, who stands ready to dish out some more pain.)
(Wrex struggles to its feet, then bucks up in one swift motion to knock the Boy Wonder far down the street. This elicits a huge laugh from Rancid.)
Rancid: Smooth move, Bird-Boy! My dog is kicking your--
(He is driven away by a pair of green hooves to the chest; when he lifts his head, he is severely disoriented and two red horseshoe imprints are clearly visible on his shirt. Cut to the equine Beast Boy, who looks off to one side in sudden alarm; Wrex is coming down fast to get a mouthful of horse meat, but is jerked back when the leash chain suddenly snaps taut. Cyborg has caught the free end and is hauling on it with all his strength; the massive metallic predator leaps here and there, its engines revving madly, but cannot pull away.)
Cyborg: (as Starfire and Raven float down behind him) Starfire! Raven! Let him have it!
(Wrex snaps its body sharply to one side, cracking the chain like a whip and sending Cyborg up into the side of a building with a yell. He is dragged along the masonry and yanked down again.)
Cyborg: Whoooooaaaaa! Down, boy! (digging in heels) Heel! HEEL!!
(He loses his footing and is dragged along on his chest; tilt up to Raven and Starfire as the dust of his passage clears.)
Starfire: On my world, such a pet would merely be considered playful.
Raven: (raises a black fist) Then let's play.
(Close-up of Wrex. A whistle from o.c. brings it up short, but Cyborg's momentum carries him up over the huge carapace and onward when the chain in his hands breaks. As it closes in on Raven, who gave the signal, she brings a lamppost up from its moorings and holds it in front of the now-eager face. Robot or not, it s a dog, and as such it has responded to her invitation to play the old game of...)
(A casual wave sends the "stick" sailing through Jump City, and Wrex takes off after it. The huge jaws snap closed over it on the fly, and it starts to chew happily once it has landed. Starfire's growing yell from o.c. catches it by surprise; cut to her, warming up to throw something a lot harder than a tennis ball. The huge beam that pours from her hands traces along the length of Wrex's body and is immediately followed by Cyborg's cannon blast. Under this combined onslaught, the robotic canine disintegrates in a mighty explosion that throws parts in all directions. A few land by Cyborg's feet, the camera tilting up to frame him as he powers down his cannon. He, Robin, Raven, and Starfire gaze at the destruction; now Beast Boy runs up in human form.)
Robin: Beast Boy! Where's Johnny?
Beast Boy: Um...I thought you had him?
(Silhouette view of the team, seen from within an alley; there is a collective groan of disgust at his jumbo screw-up. Cut to the exterior of Titans Tower.)
Robin: (from inside) Okay, team. (Cut to the operations center door; he is heard from the hall.) Johnny Rancid's still on the loose.
(The door opens to admit all but Beast Boy.)
Robin: I'll check the scanners while-- huh?
(They gasp; up comes Beast Boy, who does likewise as his jaw drops and the color literally drains out of him. Cut to their perspective, panning across the place, every square inch has been utterly trashed. Overturned tables, chewed-up couch, nameless liquid splattered on the floor, garbage and half-eaten food strewn everywhere. Back to the disbelieving quintet; a question mark flashes above Beast Boy, who has regained his color.)
Beast Boy: (a sweat drop slides down his temple) Oh, dude!
(More shots of the unholy chaos that has sprung up all over the operations center. The last shot is a close-up of the open, ransacked refrigerator, tilting down slightly to frame Starfire's boot amid the refuse.)
Starfire: There was a party and we were not invited? (Pan to follow Robin.)
Robin: A party? More like a tornado.
(The camera movement reveals that the coffee table is missing altogether. Raven eyes the chomped furniture.)
Raven: A tornado with teeth.
Cyborg: (from o.c.) Yo! (Cut to him, holding a gnawed GameStation controller.) Who's been chewing on my GameStation?
(Now we see a slice of pizza stuck to the screen of a computer console. Robin peels it loose and studies it disgustedly.)
Robin: I'll track down Rancid. You guys track down... (Pan to the others; he continues o.c.) ...whatever did this.
(Cut to the hall. The four newly deputized trackers come into view around a corner; cut to Cyborg's perspective of the empty passage and tilt down to his beeping forearm panel. On it is a radar display that covers the area dead ahead and slightly to each side.)
Cyborg: Sensors aren't picking up anything but a few bugs. (Back to the group.) Any y'all got a clue what we're supposed to be looking for?
Starfire: (shakes her head) Mmm-mmm.
(All three look toward Beast Boy, who has not said a word. Nervous sweat pops out all over his face for a moment before he regains his composure.)
Beast Boy: Me? (Big grin.) No! (Sweat drop on his temple.) Why would I?
(Pull back; the others glare angrily down at him as a huge drop falls off his ear. Long silence, broken by his scream.)
Beast Boy: (pointing) I saw a tentacle!
(He bolts, as do both girls, but Beast Boy yanks Starfire back and around the corner.)
(Cut to inside his train wreck of a room, which looks only slightly better than it did when he and Adonis tore it apart in "The Beast Within." He shoves Starfire inside and slams the door, tilt down along a serious string of locks as he secures each one, finally shoving a chair under the knob to wedge it shut.)
Starfire: What is the meaning of--? (Two palms across her mouth muffle the end of this query.)
Beast Boy: You gotta help me. (He pulls his hands away.) I know who trashed the Tower.
Starfire: You do?
Beast Boy: And we can't let anybody find him. Okay.
(Both slide o.c.; from above, a strip of motion picture film slides down, showing Killer Moth, the would-be city ruler in "Date With Destiny", with his horde of mutant insects.)
Beast Boy: (voice over) Remember when Killer Moth made an army of mutant moths and forced Robin to take his daughter to prom and he was like-- (Sound of disgust.) --and you were like-- (Furious growl.) --and Robin was like-- (Frustrated groan.) But then we found Killer Moth, and I was like, "Dude!" and Raven was like-- (Buzzing.) --and Cyborg was like "Boo-yah!" and we kicked his butt, and the mutant moths turned back into these cute little wormy things?
(At the appropriate moments, the film reels ahead to the following images. One: Kitten, Killer Moth's daughter, cheerfully hugging the less-than-enthusiastic Robin. Two: he recoils comically from her puckered lips. Three: an enraged Starfire trying to throttle the young blonde. Four: Robin, standing alone and dejected under a single spotlight. Five: Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven facing Killer Moth in his basement. Six: Beast Boy, ready to throw down. Seven: Raven, in midair with her powers going full blast. Eight: Cyborg, firing his cannon. Nine: Killer Moth unconscious on the floor. Ten: one of the moths in his army. Eleven: the larva/maggot form they all took on after Robin smashed Kitten's remote control.)
(Once Beast Boy has finished his high-speed recollection, the film spins out of control; cut to Starfire, whose eyes are doing likewise. She clumps herself in the head to stop them.)
Starfire: (uncertainly) Um...yes. (Letterbox view, top third of screen.)
Beast Boy: Well, even though you guys told me not to, I sorta kept one of 'em as a pet. (Fullscreen.) Starfire, meet Silkie.
(He is referring to Raven's "don't even think about it" line from the end of that earlier episode, said in response to his thought of taking one home. As he says the name, he produces the critter from behind his back and it gurgles happily. Zoom in slightly on it, then cut to the goggle-eyed Tamaranean, who recoils instinctively from the nasty-looking sucker.)
Beast Boy: You gotta admit, he's kinda cute, in a beady-eyed maggoty sorta way.
Beast Boy: You have to take care of him for me.
Starfire: I do?
Beast Boy: It's just a matter of time before Cyborg and Raven search my room. (holds Silkie out to Starfire) If they find him, they'll make me get rid of him!
Starfire: They will?
Beast Boy: (moving toward her; she backs up) Please? It'll be our secret.
Starfire: I do not like to keep secrets from my friends.
Beast Boy: Come on, Star. I need you. Silkie needs you.
(By this point, they have reached his bunk beds. He holds the creature out to her, giving her the big sad soulful eyes for good measure.)
(After a long moment, she sighs heavily and holds her arms out to take the thing, but she cannot bear to look at it straight on. As soon as it squishes into her hands, she shudders with clear horror. Popping one eye just barely open, she gives Silkie a tentative glance; cut to a close-up of the happy, gurgling face, then to hers. The green eyes twinkle and widen with sheer joy as a huge smile comes across her face, she has fallen instantly in love.)
(Now floating against a bubbly pink background and holding Silkie up, she twirls in place. Cut from one to the other, then dissolve to the sun in a clear blue sky and tilt down. A series of freeze frames begins at this point. Starfire is having a picnic with her new ward on a grassy hill; next she tosses it high into the air, the camera tilting up to the tumbling larva. In her room, she gives it a bath. In the park at sunset, pan slowly across her, pushing it in a stroller. In her room at night, she has donned a nightgown and is reading a bedtime story as Silkie nods off in her arms. Close-up of a hanging baby mobile, then tilt down; the creature sleeps in a crib, pacifier in his mouth, and she keeps watch over it. On a high school auditorium stage, several brand-new graduates are lined up to receive their diplomas; pan slightly to Silkie in cap and gown, holding up its own and beaming for the spectators' cameras.)
(Cut to a close-up of Starfire against the pink background and pull back to frame Silkie in her arms. Beast Boy's room dissolves back into view as the freeze-frames end and she cuddles the pet. What we just saw was a series of scenarios playing out in her mind.)
Starfire: Hello, my little bumgorf. (Banging on the door.)
Beast Boy: Quick, they're coming. You've gotta get out of here! (He shoves her.)
(Cut to outside his window. It opens just long enough for her to be pushed out, and she is left floating in midair. A moment later, she is out of sight around the corner; inside Beast Boy's room, the door opens to allow Cyborg and Raven to enter.)
Raven: Hello, Beast Boy.
Cyborg: Mind if we have a look around?
Beast Boy: (grins) Come on in! I have nothing to hide.
(Dissolve to outside the door of Starfire's room, zooming in slowly, then to her and Silkie within. She has tucked the overgrown maggot into her circular bed, but it is kicking up a devil of a fuss and she is at a loss.)
Starfire: Oh, weep not, small one. Your k'norfka Starfire is here to attend your every need. (It keeps crying.) You are too warm? (picks it up) Too cold? (leaning it over her shoulder, patting back) Have you the gas?
(She sets it on a table, belly up, and proceeds to run a rolling pin over it a few times. This forces the head to swell as the gas is squeezed up that way; the pressure relieves itself in the form of a cavernous belch. For a moment, all is quiet, but Silkie soon starts bawling all over again.)
Starfire: Oh, what troubles you? Perhaps you require a bath?
(Picking it up, she starts to lick the slimy hide with gusto. After a few passes, it leans its head over her shoulder, and her face registers sudden surprise as it gags a bit. When she pulls Silkie away, she finds that it has sucked down most of her hair; as soon as she pulls the worm clear, his crying starts all over again. A second's thought gives way to a happy gasp.)
Starfire: You are hungry!
(She zips away. Dissolve to a high chair, seen from tray level, and tilt up to frame Silkie seated in it and wearing a bib. Now she is a bit puzzled.)
Starfire: Please, what do Silkies eat?
(Cut to it. As each of the following items is named, she holds it into view, gets a disgusted response, and pulls it away again.)
Starfire: (from o.c., steadily speeding up) Fruit? Cereal? Toast? Candy? Celery? Steak? Nachos? Mustard? Rutabaga? Tofu?
(This last goes over particularly badly. Pull back to frame both.)
Starfire: Oh, you must eat something. (Brief silence, then Starfire does a huge gasp and light bulb pops over her head.) Zorka berries!
(She ducks out and immediately returns with a large container.)
Starfire: No creature can resist the delicious bitterness of zorka berries from my home planet, Tamaran.
(Close-up of the container, which she sets on the high chair's tray. The cover is removed, revealing the berries floating in some syrupy liquid. Starfire fishes one out with a finger and eats it eagerly, then licks her chops.)
(Silkie gets a whiff, likes what it smells, and tries one; it goes down quite well.)
Starfire: Good, Silkie! You may consume your fill while Starfire obtains a fresh blankie.
(She moves across the room to get it; Silkie just beams and starts chowing down, slithering deeper and deeper into the container. Meanwhile, its new k'norfka has stopped at the window and is humming to herself as she takes down the curtains to use as bedding material. She does not notice as Silkie worms its way almost entirely into the pot, which falls onto its side. Suddenly, the body starts to swell out of all proportion and finally bursts the ceramic into splinters. Cut to Starfire; the noise draws her attention and shocks two things out of her, a gasp, accompanied by the sight gag of her head briefly swelling, and a sudden yank that rips the drapery.)
(Pull back across the room. The high chair has toppled into a corner, and its former occupant lies on the floor facing her. That unforeseen growth spurt has multiplied all its dimensions by a factor of at least ten. Suffice it to say that the thing is no longer cute, and the harsh, labored respirations only serve to point up the fact. Cut to one truly horrified caregiver, zoom in slightly, and fade to black.)
(Opening shot: Silkie and the dumbfounded Starfire, exactly where we left them. She float over to the pet very cautiously as it lifts its head; after a bleary stare, it releases a thundering belch with almost enough force to peel her face off her skull.)
Starfire: (pats its head) My little bumgorf! Why are you so big?
(Another intestinal blast brings up berry-colored drool that splatters its chin; at floor level, it has covered the carpet and her boots, and a few solid fragments of the meal have come up as well. Her shocked gasp floats down as she lifts one foot out of the mess.)
Starfire: The zorka berries! My alien food has caused you to mutate even further!
(With considerable effort, she hoists Silkie onto her shoulder. It is still in distress.)
Starfire: Yes. More burping now, please. You must un-eat the berries and regain your smallness before Cyborg and Raven come to search my--
(She trails off into a sound of panic, somewhere between a moan and a squeal, at the sound of knocking. Cut to just inside the door; her shadow advances over it, marking her approach, and it opens to show the two impatient investigators outside. Out in the hall, Cyborg leans against the frame, propping himself up with one arm, and gives Starfire a hard look as she beams.)
Starfire: Friends! (steps out, closes the door quickly) There is something with which I can help you?
Raven: You're supposed to be helping us find our mysterious house guest.
Cyborg: We've turned the Tower upside down. Only place we haven't checked is--
Starfire: (panicked) My room! (beams again) ...need not be searched. I have examined it thoroughly, and there is no sign of--
(This time, she is cut off by the sound of chomping from inside, followed by a loud crash. Both green eyes bug out, neither one quite matching the other, but she regains her composure again and tries a little giggle as a drop of sweat rolls down her temple. Cyborg and Raven are not amused; cut to inside as he opens the door and she passes in through the wall. Starfire throws herself at the big man's feet, clutching an ankle to try and stop him. Close-up of her being dragged in.)
Starfire: Please! You must not... (He stops; she loses steam.) ...see my dwelling in this condition.
(His perspective of the room, panning from bed to window. Except for the slightly rumpled sheets and the torn curtains, the place is in very good shape, and Silkie is not to be seen anywhere in the place. She pops up right in front of the camera, grinning sheepishly.)
Starfire: It is very messy. (Pull back to frame all three.)
Cyborg: This is messy? Girl, have you seen Beast Boy's room?
Raven: (moves forward and looks at Starfire's window) So, you and the curtains had some sort of argument?
(Starfire looks over her shoulder with fresh alarm and notices the damaged window treatment. Now she thinks very fast.)
Starfire: Uh...yes. Today is...Gorb-Gorb, the Tamaranean festival of berating drapery. (to the window, with her eyes blazing) STUPID CURTAINS!!
(She fires an eye blast in their direction. Cut to the exterior of the Tower; the emerald beam flashes out through her corner of the top floor, and once inside again, we see that she has demolished both the curtains and the entire window. Close-up of the two girls; Starfire beams as Raven looks away disgustedly.)
Raven: Aliens. (A sigh from Cyborg; pan to him.)
Cyborg: Well, there's nothing here. Guess we'll have to split up and start the search over again. (He and Raven head out.)
Starfire: Your thinking is good! (The door closes.) Please proceed! I shall join you shortly! (Pause to make sure they are gone.) Phew!
(Relief gives way to a panicked gasp.)
Starfire: (softly) Silkie...Silkie... (lifts the bed) Where have you...
(She stops short for the third time in two minutes, having discovered a very large hole in the floor directly beneath this piece of furniture; Silkie's escape route.)
(Cut to the operations center, the camera pointing out through its front windows at the moonlit bay and nigh sky. Starfire floats back and forth, visible only as a silhouette since all the lights are out.)
Starfire: (very softly) Here Silkie...here, Silkie, Silkie. Your k'norfka wishes to locate you. (Robin pops up.)
(She yelps, so badly surprised that she tumbles to the floor. Now both can be properly seen in the moonlight. Robin has a piece of a couch cushion.)
Robin: Um...where's the sofa?
(She looks in the direction he has indicated. Overhead shot of the room; except for the cushion he holds and a few others scattered about the floor, it is now gone. Time for a little more quick thinking from the overgrown maggot's would-be mommy.)
Starfire: Uh...your Earthly ways are strange. (edges away) Please, what is this sofa of which you speak?
(Before he can react, she has made it to the side door and given him a little giggle.)
(Out she goes, leaving one very puzzled Titan in her wake. Snap to black, which resolves to the interior of a small chamber as Cyborg opens a circular hatch and peeks in. The view ripples as if underwater; he is looking into a toilet, and when the camera pulls back, we see that he is in the bathroom, holding the lid up. In a trice, he is opening the shower curtains around the bathtub to look in. Neither move yields any clues as to Silkie's whereabouts, though.)
(The entrance hall. Here, Raven pops back and forth, checking around and under armchairs and even levitating one of them to see if Silkie might be hiding beneath it. In the launch silo of the T-Ship, configured for deep-space service, Cyborg enters, pops around for a brief look, and hoists the entire craft up by one engine to check beneath. Still nothing. Now the search moves to the basement, down whose stairs Raven flies. In the garage, a few random items are flung into view; old boot, volleyball, a couple of crates, and Cyborg goes to it in earnest, dumping out a plethora of junk and tossing its container aside. No luck here, either. Cut to inside the air conditioning duct, the camera aimed at him through a vent.)
Cyborg: Man, whatever this thing is, (Zoom in slightly.) it's wasting my time. (Back to him.) There's nothing in here- (Silkie's drool falls on his head.) Huh?
(He wipes a bit of it away, stares uncomprehendingly at his fingers, and looks toward the ceiling. Tilt up quickly to the vent, which bursts open under the creature's weight; the vent shot was its perspective. It tumbles down with a guttural roar, whereupon the view shifts to the exterior of the Tower, seen from roof level, and Cyborg's shrill scream is heard from inside. Back to the garage, one of whose doors is promptly blown open; in come Robin, Beast Boy, and Raven.)
(Overhead view of the room, panning from their end to his. Cyborg is half-sprawled out on a large storage container and not going anywhere fast, because Silkie has yanked his left leg off and is sucking enthusiastically at it. One final slurp pulls the entire limb into the mouth and down the throat; it definitely likes the taste. Between the zorka berries and all the other things it has eaten, it has put on several feet and another ton or two.)
Cyborg: Aw, man!
(Sight gag: he boils over, going bright red briefly as steam shoots out his ears. Next, he pushes off from the container, hopping toward Silkie while trying to draw a bead with his cannon.)
Cyborg: Gimme my foot so I can kick your butt!
(Heavy weaponry and a lack of balance mix in just the wrong way, resulting in his tumble to the floor and a blast that rockets toward the ceiling. Debris rains down, one chunk of which raises a large red knot on Silkie's head; this gets it good and mad, and it rounds on Cyborg. He is lifted to safety by Beast Boy, who has become a pterodactyl, and both have to dodge streams of expectorated slime that fountain up after them. A few misses are followed by a bullseye, and down comes Beast Boy, back in human form, and then Cyborg, who is left badly stunned by his crash.)
(Roaring, Robin jumps onto a few loose crates and then onto the head. Seizing the gigantic antennae, he twists them back and forth as if trying to adjust the antenna on a cranky old television. Silkie, naturally, does not take too kindly to this and starts thrashing around to try and buck him off. It finally throws him loose after a moment or two; he goes flying past Raven and slams down among the storage containers. Close-up of her.)
Raven: (levitating several of them) Azarath Metrion-- (She sends them forward.)
Starfire: (from o.c.) No!
(Overhead view, zooming in; the Tamaranean throws herself in the projectiles' path.)
(Raven gasps and decelerates the boxes sharply, bringing them to a halt just short of Starfire's head so that they fall to the floor.)
Starfire: Do not harm Silkie! (hugs it; hearts float up) He is my bumgorf! (Slow pan across the others.)
Raven: What's a bumgorf?
Beast Boy: That's Silkie? Dude! What have you been feeding him?
(Right on cue, the super-king-size larva produces a rumbling belch that nearly peels Starfire's face off, just as before. It is now quite docile. Once the eruption subsides, she grins and giggles nervously. Cut to the exterior of the Tower; it is now the following morning.)
Starfire: (from inside) Truth.
(Extreme close-up of a collar that has been put on the beast; it bears a tag with the name, and a leash has been attached. On the next line, pull back to frame all of it and everyone but Cyborg; more hearts float around the giant Silkie, and Starfire holds the other end of the leash.)
Starfire: Silkie is a mutant monster created by the evil Killer Moth. But that does not make him a bad mutant monster!
(On the second half of this line, its eyes pop at something o.c. and it slithers that way, yanking her off with a yell.)
Raven: He attacked Cyborg.
(Pan to the last Titan, furiously wrenching on a new leg he has attached in place of the one it chewed up. The replacement limb is considerably less muscular, however.)
Cyborg: He ate my best leg! (Cut to it, bent over the kitchen counter, and Starfire.)
Starfire: And I am sure he is very sorry for that.
(Silkie comes up with the refrigerator in its jaws and proceeds to down the whole thing in one gulp. Another nervous giggle from the handler, after which it moves off and drags her along with a scream. Sight gag: the three Titans who are not missing any body parts stare as it zooms back and forth, chomping a wide swath out of the wall on each pass so that the remainder crashes down. It then goes after the opposite wall and gets too close for comfort.)
(The exterior of the Tower. Sight gag: several large bites disappear from it, and the entire scene is munched away to show the disbelieving Beast Boy. Pull back slightly as Robin gives him a furious glare.)
Beast Boy: What? I'm not the one who fed him radioactive space berries!
(Chewing sounds surprise them both; pull back to show that Silkie has begun snacking on Robin's cape. It takes him some seconds to pull the hem loose, after which he gets a big, happy, slobbery lick up one side of his head.)
Robin: I'm sorry, Starfire, but he has to go.
(Words fail her; all she can do is drop her head dejectedly and close her eyes at his pronouncement. Zoom in slightly on her face, then dissolve to a close-up of her in flight, wearing that same expression. It is now evening, and a longer shot reveals that she is toting the cooing Silkie overhead. It is carried toward a cloudy island that seems to be composed entirely of high, jagged cliffs and outcroppings. Dissolve to a patch of rock that has had a couple of flowers carved into it; a smiley face is completed by a starbolt, and the camera pulls back to frame Starfire's legs in front. This is a boulder that has also been engraved with the message "Please be nice to monster." Now the monster in question gurgles a bit and eases toward her; both are on a ridge that is watered by a small rill.)
Starfire: No, Silkie. It is not time for a bath. It is time... (Close-up of the collar; she undoes the leash and continues o.c.) ...for me to leave you.
(Pull back. It catches on to her sadness now, but she gives it a reassuring little smile.)
Starfire: This is your new home. You will be happy. No one will harm you, (picks up a huge moss-covered slab) and there are many strange objects for you to ingest.
(It wolfs the rock down in one bite, leaving a streamer of drool on her hands. After a bit of chewing, however, it spits this out and slimes over for one last tender caress.)
Starfire: Oh...farewell, my beloved Silkie.
(Starfire turns away, intending to fly from the lip of the ridge, but it comes up behind her and starts to cry a bit.)
Starfire: No. I am very sorry...but you must not follow.
(Not looking back again, she lifts off from the cliff; Silkie squirms as far forward as it can without going over the edge. Close-up of her ankles, one of which gets snagged by a reaching forelimb to arrest her motion. Now she turns toward the island, sees the truly heartbroken behemoth at the cliff's edge, and starts to pull against its hold. Close-up of the snagged foot.)
Starfire: (from o.c.) No! Please! (Cut to her.) I cannot stay! You must... (warming up a starbolt) ...let me go!
(She puts the hand down o.c., the glare of the shot washing back over her; cut to Silkie as it retracts the freshly wounded limb in fear and confusion. It backs slowly away from the cliff, and Starfire watches with tears welling in her eyes.)
Starfire: Oh, forgive me.
(Sobbing, Starfire turns from the camera and flies away as rain begins to fall. Cut to a shot of the hopelessly bewildered Silkie, pull back for a moment, then cut to the ledge again. Booming, grating laughter catches it by surprise; tilt up to the source, a black figure standing tall atop the island's pinnacle. A closer shot reveals a long chain in the hands, fuzzy contour on the shoulders, and two antennae on top of an insect head; not to mention large wings folded down over the back. Killer Moth, the madman who threatened Jump City with destruction unless Robin took his daughter to the prom, is on the loose again.)
(Lightning cracks over the island, and as it subsides, the view changes to a shot of Rancid and pulls back. The storm front has not made it this far yet. He too is laughing and holding a chain, but his perch is large stack of wrecked cars in a Jump City intersection. A long, wide trench has been cut into the concrete, leading to this junk pile. Close-up.)
Robin: (from o.c.) Trust me, Johnny.
(Pan slightly to frame all five Titans a short distance down the trench, then cut to a close-up of them as he speaks.)
Robin: This won't seem funny when you're paying for it in jail.
Rancid: You're the one who's gonna pay, Bird-Boy! You losers trashed my dog... (whips the chain backward around every corner) ...so I went out and got me a monster!
(The camera shakes from a series of very large footsteps.)
(What lumbers into view on the end of Rancid's chain is not the overgrown larva, but rather a five-story-tall robotic dinosaur whose head is identical to that of the vanquished Wrex. Steam billows from several exhaust pipes.)
Rancid: Say hello to Wrexzilla!
(Tilt up slightly to the metal chest, from which a fearsome array of cannons and missile launchers pops out.)
(Wrexzilla lurches toward the Titans, but before it can strike, Silkie's head rears up behind and sucks the whole contraption down its gullet. Rancid is pulled in after it with a surprised yell; a couple of chews are followed by a round of gasps from all five Titans. Cut to a close-up and pull back; the face is familiar, but the body has undergone a sweeping metamorphosis and become a colossal moth that hovers over the street.)
(Cut to an extreme close-up of the face, the mouth now roaring heartily, and tilt up slightly. Standing on the back, holding a laser whip on one hand and the free end of his chain leash in the other, is Killer Moth. He has finally reined in the one that got away at the end of "Date With Destiny.")
Killer Moth: His name is Larva M-Three-Nineteen. And he belongs to me... (Close-up.) ...Killer Moth!
(Backing up from the camera slightly, he laughs and cracks the whip to spur Silkie into a dive straight ahead. The interior of its screeching mouth blacks out the screen.)
(Opening shot: Silkie diving, while Killer Moth keeps one hand onto the rein and his whip at the ready. As they approach the Titans, all but Starfire scatter; she is left alone, staring wide-eyed at the former pet that has become a threat to Jump City's safety.)
(One huge leap carries him across the street, close enough to yank her away just in time. Silkie sweeps through the chaos of trashed cars, knocking them every which way due to its wake, then gains altitude to hover above the buildings.)
Killer Moth: I must say, you took excellent care of M-Three-Nineteen. What have you been feeding him?
Starfire: (icily) He is called Silkie!
Killer Moth: I created him, I tracked him down, I'll call him whatever I please! And as for food, I guess I'll just have to feed him you!
(A whipcrack spurs Silkie into a fresh scream and a diving charge at the Titans.)
Starfire: Silkie, no!
(Close-up of the tag on its collar, then pull back as the mammoth insect opens is jaws wide and spits a string of slime globs. Everyone dives for cover, but Killer Moth steers Silkie low over the street; so low, in fact, that the wake shakes the camera. As he curves high for another pass, his face goes slack with shock.)
Killer Moth: Huh?
(Beast Boy, again as a pterodactyl, is carrying Cyborg straight at the winged wacko.)
Cyborg: You liked my leg? (brings up his cannon) Well, chew on this!
(His shots throw both mount and rider off balance. The two Titans move for another attack, but a burst of slime nails them square on and they are forced to drop out. Raven is nearby, waiting behind a building for Killer Moth's approach. At the right moment, she levitates a bus and smashes it against Silkie's head, driving the huge flyer into the architecture on the other side of the street and pinning it there.)
Killer Moth: (cracking his whip) Fly, you worthless maggot, fly!
(Raven pours it on to keep the giant head caught as Starfire flies up behind her.)
Raven: Starfire! Now!
(The Tamaranean lifts one glowing hand, prepared to do a little bit of extreme animal control, but a tortured groan from Silkie stops her cold. Flash to a freeze-frame of it in the high chair in her room, then dissolve through a quick series of shots from the daydream she had when Beast Boy first gave Silkie to her. She twirls it happily...close-up of it, then of her...she tosses it up during the picnic...giving it a bath...reading it a bedtime story...watching it sleep...the final shot of her, pulling back to frame it in her arms.)
(A final flash puts us back in the here and now, showing a close-up of its tormented, screaming face. Starfire has been unable to bring herself to shoot, while Raven is still keeping that bus in place. The latter's eyes widen just before the end of Killer Moth's whip lashes out, encircling her wrists and sending a strong jolt of energy into her body. She tumbles down, releasing her hold on the bus, and Killer Moth jumps from its roof and back to his perch atop Silkie. It moves out and nails both her and Raven with a slime gobbet, then swoops low down a street to stir up gale-force eddies in a connecting alley.)
(It cruises on while Robin dashes along the edge of a rooftop. A giant leap and the launch of a grappling hook are enough to get him closer; having snagged one of the legs, he runs sideways on the buildings for quite some time. He pushes off, swinging high over the great fuzzy back and finally planting his boots on the back near the tail. Killer Moth has barely enough time to turn back toward him before getting a steel sole in the abdomen. He is driven some distance away, dropping the whip, and comes up with the Boy Wonder's footprint clearly visible.)
(The two spar for several seconds, but Killer Moth stops the melee briefly by seizing Robin's swinging foot and throwing him backward. The young Titan is summarily hauled up by his tunic and readied for a throw off Silkie's back; however, he gets a handful of Killer Moth's fuzz and both end up in free fall. Robin is first to reach a rooftop and immediately jumps away from the enemy's descending punch. Both end up facing off at opposite ends, whereupon Killer Moth gets his wings in gear and does a flying charge that Robin barely dodges in time. The masked hero pulls out his fighting staff, only to get hit by a mouthful of Slikie's slime before he can use it. Pull back; the monster has landed alongside and is pouring a steady pink stream over every inch of him. It stops once he is so thickly covered that only his face and feet are visible; he stumbles blindly at the corner of the rooftop, then plunges screaming toward the street. Salvation comes in the form of the diving Beast Boy, who makes a fair catch and drops him into Cyborg's arms. The green pterodactyl resumes human form as he and Raven run up; cut to Starfire.)
Starfire: Robin! (resolutely) I must help my friends, even if it means harming my Silkie.
(A few tears gather in her eyes, only to give way to a fierce green glow, and she charges ahead to meet the terror in midair. Killer Moth cracks his whip; Starfire responds by creating an intense energy front around herself. It spreads steadily outward, then concentrates itself and re-emerges in the form of a single blinding starbolt, carrying the entire focused discharge across the aerial distance. Killer Moth is blasted from his perch and drops screaming toward the street, but as he falls, his whip sings upward and catches Starfire's ankle. She takes a shock just like the one that knocked Raven out and is dragged along with her foe. He crashes down first, she a moment later on top of a car, and Silkie touches down in the nearby intersection. The enormous winged creature yowls toward Killer Moth's crater as he climbs out of it.)
Killer Moth: M-Three-Nineteen! Come!
(Close-up of its face; pan slightly to frame the smashed car, from which Starfire extricates herself.)
Starfire: No, Silkie! He is evil! You belong with your k'norfka! You belong with me!
(Indecision and a puzzled grunt; it looks back and forth at the two masters.)
Starfire: (face flushed, beckoning) Here, Silkie, Silkie...here, my sweet little mutant. (Close-up of it.)
Killer Moth: (from o.c., uncertainly) Um... (Cut to him.) ...here, Larva M-Three-Nineteen...come to papa.
Starfire: (sweetly) Oh, Silkie, Starfire has a big hug for you.
Killer Moth: Hey, big fella. Did Killer Moth create you in a lab? Yes, he did. Yes, he did.
(Extreme close-up of Silkie's befuddled expression, zooming in slowly as both voices call to it from o.c. A few images snap by in freeze frame: Killer Moth holding up the newborn larva in a pair of tweezers..."Super Deformed" Starfire using her rolling pin to burp it...now larger, it is in a glass cage that he holds aloft...SD Starfire feeding it zorka berries...now grown some more, it is strapped to a table and being force-fed by Killer Moth...SD Starfire, zapping the gigantic Silkie away on the island's ridge...Killer Moth reins it in...SD Starfire fires a salvo...as its current self, it cowers under the laser whip...and then we are back to the present, the camera pulling back from Silkie's face.)
(The beast trembles and sweats buckets under the nervous strain put upon it, then thrashes its head back and forth violently. With no warning, it disappears in the glare of an explosion; pull back to show the blast radiating out from the intersection and filling the entire block with thick gray smoke. Killer Moth and Starfire are both swept off their feet by the shock wave; when the view finally clears, a few striped wing fragments flutter down around the shocked Titan and the smoke has gone purple. She gasps in terror and gets to her feet, tears streaming down her cheeks at the apocalyptic destruction of her beloved pet, and the rain that hit the rocky island finally starts in the city proper.)
(Long shot of the area. The remains of the enormous moth's carcass are interspersed with a morass of slime, the same color as the zorka berries that started the whole mess. As more wads splatter down everywhere and the rain slacks off, Starfire advances numbly toward the leftovers and the other Titans watch from a safe distance, Beast Boy having become a pterodactyl again. The impact of one glob-containing berry fragments liberally decorates them and deposits Rancid flat on his back.)
Rancid: (groans weakly) I got eaten. (Close-up of Raven.)
Raven: So nasty.
Cyborg: (from o.c.) Sweet!
(Pull back; Beast Boy has resumed human form, and Cyborg digs his missing leg from the glop.)
Cyborg: My leg!
(Starfire touches down at the center of the slime patch and collapses to her knees as if her legs had not a single solid bone. She is wearing a crown of the stuff and looking as if she might burst into tears at any second; the others just watch, not knowing how to console her in a crisis like this. A small cry shakes her out of this deep fuchsia funk.)
Starfire: Huh? (The noise grows; she looks around with a gasp.) Silkie? (She gets up.) Silkie?
(Diving into one mound, Starfire emerges an instant later with the creature in hand; it is now back to its original, small, much more appealing size.)
(It gurgles happily and she lets her tears flow, now from sheer happiness rather than crushing loss.)
Starfire: Oh, hello, my little bumgorf! (Long overhead shot of the area; she twirls it around.)
Beast Boy: He wasn't mutating, he was just...molting.
Raven: Fascinating. (Hearts float around the pet and the new owner.) Can we go home now? I need a shower in the worst way.
(Starfire sighs happily and carries Silkie over to Robin, who keeps trying to sort all this out as she gives him the most plaintive smile she can. The burning question on her mind is, of course, the same as the title of this episode, and he thinks for a long moment before answering.)
Robin: All right. He can stay.
Starfire: (jumping up; red "blast" outline around her) Yay!
Robin: As long as you don't give him any more alien food.
Starfire: But...I do not know what else to feed him.
(Silkie squirms out of her arms, prompting a surprised gasp, and begins to eat the slime produced when its giant moth form blew up. It truly loves this crud.)
Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Raven: Ewww!
(Their teammate, rather than being repulsed, beams and dives to the edge of the slop next to Silkie. A bit is procured on a fingertip, given a sniff, and tasted; now she gasps again, this time in delight. Sight gag: a red explosion background behind the others for the next two lines.)
Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Raven: EWWW!! (Starfire pops up, face flushing happily.)
Starfire: (picking up handfuls) Oh, it tastes just like zorka berries!
(She scarfs them down and proceeds to dive here and there amid the muck, stuffing her face as Silkie continues to eat its fill.)
(Sight gag: the other Titans slide up, in SD style with sweat drops on the backs of their heads. This immediately ends as the camera shifts to a head-on view; Beast Boy has become a horse, and Killer Moth and Rancid are chained together on his back.)
Robin: Shouldn't we maybe try to stop her?
Raven: That stuff's gotta get cleaned up somehow. (They head out.)
Starfire: (from o.c.) Delicious!
(Cut to an overhead view of the intersection as the other Titans start for home. The pink goo is munched into the shape of a large heart, and as the sounds of the two happy diners are heard, the camera pulls back and tilts up to the rooftops. Fade to black.)