July 19th, 2003
Forces of Nature
- (Opening shot: a screenful of static, which resolves into a school crest. The field is hexagonal, black-and-white checkered within a gold border. A large H is superimposed on it in gold script; across the bottom is a white banner bearing the letters "H.A.E.Y.P." Behind the crest, a square corridor can be seen, with yellow walls, ceiling, and floor marked in a honeycomb pattern. A cool female voice begins to narrate.)
- Narrator: The HIVE Academy for Extraordinary Young People is proud to introduce...
- (A platform rises into view in front of the crest, carrying three young individuals on it to block the crest. One is a very short, bald boy in a jumpsuit; a pair of goggles is propped on his forehead, and assorted controls are mounted at chest and waist level. Behind him is a very tall, beefy fellow with collar-length brown hair and a small beard. His sleeveless shirt and pants are black, and studded gold bands cross his chest and run around his shoulders. Off to the right of these two, our left, is a slim girl in an off-the-shoulder black dress trimmed with blue ruffles, black-and-blue striped stockings, and black platform boots with blue soles. Her lavender hair is bound into two large horn-like tufts that stick up above her ears, her catlike eyes are the same color, and her skin is an odd shade of bluish-pink. A small pendant hangs from a black ribbon that encircles her throat.)
- Narrator: ...this year's top graduates.
- (They leap from the platform; the big one and the girl drop out of the frame, and the camera zooms in on the runt. The big one's motion reveals studded gold wristbands.)
- Narrator: Gizmo, the boy genius whose intellect can conquer any problem with an inventive solution.
- (During this line, cut to an extreme close-up of his chest control; he presses a button, and the camera pulls back as a pair of large metal wings sprouts from his back. He takes hold of the device at his waist, and the wings respond and carry him into the air. Lasers pop out from the wall panels and open fire against him, but he easily avoids all the shots and goes for another button. Now a small missile launcher comes up between the wings and unleashes a salvo that destroys all the guns with remarkable efficiency.)
- (Gizmo lands on the platform he and his classmates originally stood on, then glides away as two large robots step in from portals that open up in the walls. The girl takes his place.)
- Narrator: Jinx, the enchanting sorceress whose powerful hexes mean bad luck for her enemies.
- (During this line, she extends her arms to both sides and does a 360-degree twirl, throwing off a wave of energy that causes a couple of wall panels to fall away. She leaps high off the platform, and the panels crash down on the robots' heads. Two others have moved in during this sequence and meet the same fate. She backflips down the corridor a short dittance.)
- (Three large laser cannons emerge from recessed panels in the floor, but the giant drops into view and bends its the barrel of one of them as if it were a piece of taffy.)
Narrator: And Mammoth-the genetically enhanced giant whose unstoppable strength speaks for itself.
(During this line, he tears the cannon from its moorings and does an Olympic-style hammer throw to sling it away. It skids across the floor and wrecks the other two. Close-up of him, looking very pleased with himself; a robot looms up behind the strongman and catches him in its huge hands. Gizmo jumps onto its back and attaches a small unit. Close-up of this as it screws itself down, sending up a small puff of smoke, then pull back. During the next line, Gizmo jumps free and sparks start to fly from the head-he has hotwired the thing to put it out of action.)
Narrator: Well-organized, highly trained, and combat-equipped...
(Mammoth throws off the robot, which collapses, and Gizmo lands in a crouch near the camera before running off again. As the narration continues, Jinx runs to Mammoth and springs up just before reaching him; he catches one foot and boosts her into a series of flips that carries her down the corridor.)
Narrator: ...these new HAEYP agents are the perfect fighting force.
(She pronounces the acronym like the word "hype." Batteries of lasers emerge from behind the walls and cut loose against Jinx, who continues her gymnastic advance. Not one shot hits her, but the positioning of the turrets on opposite walls results in their blowing each other to bits by the time she has reached the end of the gauntlet. She lands with her back to the camera, surveying her triumph, then turns to face front.)
Narrator: And for the right price... (Gizmo and Mammoth slide up on either side; pull back slightly.) ...this ideal team can be yours.
(The image gives way to static, which resolves into the HIVE Academy's crest against a dark field. A gray-haired woman steps into view-severe dark outfit with a hexagonal gold patch on one sleeve. This is the school's headmistress.)
Headmistress: Well, Mr. Slade?
(Cut to just behind her. Slade's shadowy form stands behind a railing on a slightly elevated platform across the area-the same industrial machine room seen in "Divide and Conquer." Wisps of steam rise from the floor. This has been a sort of highlight reel and sales pitch that was displayed on the monitor, and her words mark the first time someone refers to Slade by name.)
Slade: Impressive. Truly. However, robots and obstacle courses only prove so much.
(Extreme close-up of his eye on the end of this, then pull back across the space to give a good view of it for the first time. The monitor is one of several in a row, and the platform on which the headmistress stands stops short of them in an overhang. Slade's vantage point is at the other end. He leads her away from the screen and deeper into the machinery; pan to follow.)
Slade: My plans demand operatives who can function in the real world. (They step onto a catwalk.) If your students are going to serve me...
(They reach a darkened area with two spotlights shining down from above. One pool of light is occupied by the three graduates; she steps into the other while he sits in the blackness.)
Slade: ...they'll have to pass one final exam. (Extreme close-up of his eye.) Destroy the Teen Titans- (Pull back to frame all.) -and then we'll talk.
(The light on the trio goes out, and the headmistress bows before hers is extinguished as well. Only the outline of Slade's figure and his eye are visible now. The remaining light source is switched off to black out the screen.)
(Opening shot: the exterior of Titans Tower during the day.)
Cyborg: (from inside) Aw, man, come on!
(Cut to a slow pan across the kitchen. The sink and counter are piled high with dirty dishes, and the floor is strewn with garbage.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) It's gotta be around here someplace!
(Beast Boy, as a bloodhound, sniffs at some of the trash as a frustrated groan is heard from Cyborg's direction.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) I don't believe this!
(Pull back to frame the entire operations center, in total disarray. Beast Boy keeps nosing around on the floor while Cyborg hoists the couch and shakes it in search of whatever has been lost. Raven is reading a book at the kitchen table.)
Cyborg: How could you lose the remote? (Beast Boy returns to human form.) Beast Boy: (rummaging) What makes you so sure I lost it? (They lean into each other's faces.) Cyborg: Uh...'cause you're you. Beast Boy: Hey! Just because I lost that video game-
(Sight gag: a new shot swings into view showing both in "Super Deformed" style against a red field. A thought balloon is above their heads; as Cyborg mentions each of the next three items, it rolls by as if on a stock ticker, is marked with a red X, and disappears. Raven also appears SD.)
Cyborg: -and the toothpaste, and my football, and the waffle iron- (Sight gag ends; close-up of Raven.) Beast Boy: (from o.c.) Things disappear. How am I supposed to know where they go?
(She lowers her book on this line to give the camera a good look at the annoyance in her eyes. During the next one, a vein starts to throb in her temple.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) Well, how am I supposed to watch TV without a remote? (She slams her book shut and stands up.) Raven: (icily) Simple. You just get up and change the channel.
(The two squabbling boys give her and each other a very long and puzzled look.)
Cyborg: Don't even joke like that. (Back to her.) Raven: I wasn't joking. Cyborg: (from o.c.) Good, 'cause it wasn't funny! Now either help us look for the remote- (She grimaces; angry spark by her head.) -or go back to your nasty old book and- Raven: (over end of previous line, face flushing) This is a pointless argument over a useless device.
(A big drop of sweat appears on her temple briefly as she says this. Her face returns to its normal color as she walks o.c.)
Raven: (from o.c.) You are wasting your energy and disrupting my concentration. (The side door behind her opens to admit Robin and Starfire.) Beast Boy: (from o.c.) I'm telling you, I didn't lose it! You were the one watching TV last! Starfire: (to Robin, over previous line) And that is the secret to traveling faster than light. Beast Boy: (from o.c.) So if you want to blame someone- (She gasps; Robin stares.) -look in the mirror, buddy! Robin: (over end of previous line) Whoa! Take it easy, Titans! Combat practice is this afternoon! Starfire: We must mend your dispute by the sharing of unhealthy junk foods. I shall fetch them. (Both cross the room.) Cyborg: (from o.c.) I don't need food!
(Snap to black, accompanied by louder arguing from all but Starfire. The view resolves into the inside of the refrigerator as she opens it to look in. There is a jumble of half-eaten leftovers, all covered with a thick layer of blue mold-this thing has not been cleaned out in who knows how long. Her perspective of the mess, tilting down from top shelf to bottom. The growth on a wheel of cheese starts to move and screech. Pull back out of the fridge; Starfire shrieks in alarm and throws a starbolt, blowing up everything inside and splattering blue crud throughout the operations center. Tilt down from the ceiling to four Titans who have just had the living daylights scared out of them, not to mention a healthy dose of the mold dripped on their heads.)
Robin: Maybe we should just go out for pizza.
(Wipe to an overhead view of a pizza joint in the heart of Jump City. It is built at the intersection of two streets at an acute angle, with a second-story patio that takes advantage of this detail. The floor's coloring and the placement of tables makes this entire affair look like a huge slice of pepperoni. Zoom in slowly to the sound of arguing from four Titans, then cut to the group's table-all have cleaned up from the fridge blowout. Beast Boy squats on his stool instead of sitting. When the dispute over toppings finally stops, Raven speaks up; she is the only one who did not take part in it.)
Raven: Can we please just order something? Beast Boy: As long as it's vegetarian. Cyborg: Come on, man, how can you deny me the all-meat experience? Beast Boy: (offended) Dude, I've been most of those animals! Starfire: I suggest a large pizza with pickles, bananas, and mint frosting.
(She beams at her suggestion, but Beast Boy is visibly repulsed by the combination-and Cyborg and Raven think just as little of it, as we see when they slide into view next to him. Robin leans over to her.)
Robin: Uh, Starfire? Not everything on the menu is a pizza topping. Starfire: Oh!
(She blushes over the gaffe she has made. Cut to an overhead view of the table, seen through a set of green lenses.)
Cyborg: Double pepperoni! Beast Boy: I'm not eating meat! Cyborg: There's no meat in pepperoni!
(The argument begins anew as crosshairs appear on each Titan's head. At the bottom of the view, the words "INITIATE MISSION" flash red. Gizmo's voice is heard-this is his perspective, spying on the group.)
Gizmo: Gizmo to Jinx.
(Cut to her, standing next to a parked bus and with a hand cupped to her ear-she is receiving his transmission on a hidden radio.)
Gizmo: (over radio) Begin Phase One.
(She carelessly tosses a spell at the bus, causing it to start rolling downhill. Back to the pizza joint; as the vehicle's horn blares from down the street, the Titans stand up from the table. The sound of a baby crying from ground level elicits a shocked gasp from Beast Boy. Cut to the source, a carriage in the crosswalk, and tilt up to show the bus on a collision course.)
Robin: Titans! Go!
(They immediately spring into action while the bus keeps bearing down on the crosswalk. Starfire pushes the carriage out of the way, and Cyborg and Raven plant themselves in the vehicle's path. When the bus reaches him, he pushes back against the front fender to slow it down. Close-up of his feet grinding against the pavement, then of Raven as she casts a spell, then of the bus' gearshift lever. It is in neutral, but under her influence it slides into park. From here, cut to a close-up of one tire, which stops spinning and goes into a tearing skid, then pull back. Cyborg has finally brought the thing to a stop with only a foot or two to spare between him and Raven. The doors have come open, revealing an empty driver's seat. He straightens himself up.)
Cyborg: Um...don't buses normally have drivers?
(Pull back. Beast Boy and Starfire look on, while Robin is peering into the carriage, whose back is to the camera. He too straightens up.)
Robin: And don't baby carriages normally have babies?
(The two Titans near him look in as well. His perspective: he is holding a teddy bear that had been taking the place of the typical occupant. Its eyes are green-the same color as the lenses of Gizmo's goggles-and his voice is heard next. This was the source of the crying as well.)
Gizmo: (over hidden speaker) Are you pit-sniffers normally this stupid?
(The bear's head swivels slightly toward the camera on the end of this, and the eyes suddenly glow and fire laser beams. Pull back; Robin, Beast Boy, and Starfire are projected screaming through the air as a result of the hit, with smoke trailing behind them. Tilt down to Raven and Cyborg, still standing in front of the bus, which suddenly seems to tilt back onto its rear wheels of its own volition. They look up, completely flabbergasted as the shadow falls over them, and the camera pulls back to show the reason for the spontaneous wheelie. Mammoth has seized the rear bumper and levered the mode of mass transit into the air, and he brings it down on top of the two. As the dust clears, he walks forward and brushes dust from his hands, and Gizmo's nasty laughter is heard. He and Jinx step into view just in front of the camera, which has backed up to ground level.)
Gizmo: (from o.c.) That was too easy. (Cut to these two.) What a buncha cludge-heads. You guys want to get pizza?
(Quick pan to Robin, Beast Boy, and Starfire, who have ended up in an alley, on the next line. Beast Boy is in a trash can, with a banana peel on his head.)
Robin: This isn't over!
(He dusts himself off a bit. Back to Mammoth and the bus-which, without warning, gets blasted to one side. Cyborg's sonic cannon, protruding from a hole in the ground, is revealed as the driving force.)
Cyborg: (standing up from hole) We're just getting started!
(A bird-shaped shadow looms up behind him. It resolves into Raven as she brings her arms back in and wraps her cloak around herself.)
Beast Boy: Who are these guys? (A question mark appears by his head.) And what's a cludge-head? Gizmo: We are the HIVE! Mammoth: Your worst nightmare! Jinx: And this is Attack Pattern Alpha!
(She and Mammoth scramble, and a jet pack on Gizmo's back carries him into the air. He fires a volley of laser shots at the alley, chipping loose large hunks of masonry so that they fall on the three Titans. Cut to Raven and Jinx in close- quarters spell-to-spell combat, then pan to the grappling Cyborg and Mammoth. The HIVE alumnus is pushed back down the street at Robin and company emerge from the rockslide Gizmo set off.)
Mammoth: What do you call an idiot with a rocket on his back?
(Gizmo zooms over and sticks one between Cyborg's shoulder blades.)
Cyborg: Huh? Gizmo: Doomed!
(He gets clear and touches a control; igniting the rocket and sending Cyborg veering crazily over the buildings. Robin, Beast Boy, and Starfire watch from the alley as his yells of panic drift down to them. She gasps.)
Starfire: Cyborg! \ (She takes off to catch up with him, but a sudden change in direction throws her off. Tilt down from the sky to Raven; Jinx comes at her with a jumping spin kick, but she ducks away and gets behind the funny-haired sorceress. Dodging two more strikes, Raven counters with a backhand. Close-up of Jinx as she blocks it.)
Jinx: You fight like a boy. (Tilt up; Gizmo is overhead, now balanced on four tall spider-like legs.) Gizmo: And you're gonna croak like a frog!
(The contraption fires a blast that hurls her down the street and squarely into the charging Robin. Beast Boy passes them both; close-up of him.)
Beast Boy: Hah!
(He turns into an elephant ad continues his rush, but stops short suddenly at the sound of grunting from Mammoth. Pull back to show that the big lummox has lifted him clean off his feet; his fellow graduates are watching.)
Mammoth: Mammoth's gonna make you extinct! (Back to Robin and Raven, on the ground.) Robin: (getting up, charging) Beast Boy! Hang on!
(Mammoth throws the green elephant straight up into the air and hits it with a jumping punch on the way down. Robin suddenly finds himself directly n the path of his teammate, who changes back to human form just before slamming into him. They skid to a stop near Raven.)
Beast Boy: Is it me, or are we getting our butts kicked? (The others stand up.) Robin, Raven: It's just you. Robin: Listen up, team. I have a plan.
(Two of Gizmo's shots flash into view and send Raven and Beast Boy flying. Robin manages to get out of the way; they end up almost a block away.)
Gizmo: (from o.c.) Gee, scrum-buffer. (Cut to the HIVE team; he is back on the ground.) Sure hope your fancy plan includes getting fried!
(The weapon that fired those shots is poking over his shoulder. It levels itself at Robin, who stands his ground.)
Robin: You'll just have to find out the hard way.
(He takes up a fighting stance, holding one hand out with its back to the trio, and flicks the fingers toward himself-"bring it on." The shoulder-mounted laser zeroes in and fires a shot, and the camera cuts to the point of impact on the street and starts to pull back quickly. A long crack opens in the asphalt ahead of the strike; Jinx leaps backward into view, landing on her knees, and throws a spell that breaks the fissure wider. Tilt up from her to Mammoth, who leaps in with a mighty yell and brings all his weight down on the fault line. Pull back to an overhead view to reveal that the net effect of this three-way combo has been to open a very wide chasm, which runs straight down the middle of the road toward Robin. Cut to this; he tumbles screaming into the darkness beneath Jump City and is lost to our eyes.)
(Shift to just beneath the road surface, looking out past the edge of the massive fracture zone. Raven and Beast Boy arrive at the scene, and the camera dissolves to a longer shot of them while pulling back slowly to the surface of the murky tide that flows down here. The Titans' leader is nowhere to be seen in the murky tide. Close-up of the two.)
Beast Boy: Robin!
(Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: the exterior of the Tower. A door is heard moving; inside, on the ground floor, the main entrance is opening. Tilt down from the upper threshold to show two figures entering, silhouetted against the sunlight-Raven and Beast Boy. He is limping somewhat and leaning against her for support. Cut to them and pan to follow their movement as the door is heard closing. The entrance hall has armchairs along both walls.)
Beast Boy: That didn't just happen. (She helps him into a chair; he rubs his leg.) Tell me that didn't just happen. Raven: It did happen. We cannot change the truth, no matter how much we dislike it.
(She holds her hands near the injured leg; a brief glow of healing energy envelops them.)
Beast Boy: (smiling) Who knew we had a doctor in the house? Thanks. Raven: No problem.
(The door has closed, but it now opens again, and the two trade a very nervous look before Cyborg and Starfire walk in with ear-to-ear smiles. He no longer has Gizmo's rocket stuck to his back. The door closes on his next line.)
Cyborg: Maybe y'all should call me Flyborg. I was halfway to Gotham City before Star zapped that thing off my back. So what'd I miss?
(Raven cannot meet his eyes; neither can Beast Boy when the camera pans to him.)
Cyborg: Tell me how we kicked their butts. Come on, I gotta have the play-by-play. Starfire: Where is Robin? (Cut to Beast Boy.) Beast Boy: Um, Star? We're not sure. Starfire: (from o.c.) Not sure? (Back to her.) Why are you not- Raven: We searched everywhere. (Cut to her waist level.) And all we found was this.
(She produces his utility belt from beneath her cloak. Starfire gasps in horror; Cyborg groans and claps both hands to his forehead.)
Cyborg: I shoulda been there. I let that kid sneak up on me and-what was I-? It was a trap, and I-I shoulda known. Starfire: I do not understand. (Cut to Raven and Beast Boy; she continues o.c.) How could you not find him? (Pull back; she looks straight at Raven.) People do not just vanish! He has to be someplace, so go there and look!
(Beast Boy puts himself between the two girls to keep things from getting ugly.)
Beast Boy: Easy, Star. Come on. This is Robin we're talking about. I'm sure he's fine. He'll probably turn up any second.
(Pull back to frame the entire group; the door mechanism kicks into gear once more.)
Beast Boy: Awesome timing. Starfire: Robin!
(She flies toward the door; cut to it as she lands there. It has not yet opened, and she walks toward the threshold to see who has arrived. A moment later, the whole entrance disappears in a mighty crash that throws her backward. The dust clears to show the HIVE team walking in; Gizmo is back up on his mechanical spider legs.)
Beast Boy: Oh, no. (Mammoth cracks his knuckles.) Jinx: Oh, yes. (The four Titans get ready to fight.) Cyborg: You guys got lucky last time, but you're in our house now! (The trio advances.) Gizmo: Yeah, nice place. We'll take it!
(By now, they have moved close enough to the camera to frame Jinx's face in extreme close-up. From here, cut to a corner of the hall, which is promptly lost under the glare and dust cloud of a large o.c. explosion. When the view clears, Raven is levitating chairs and sending them in the HIVE's direction, while Starfire tosses off some starbolts from overhead. Beast Boy tumbles into view and clambers away to make room for Cyborg; tilt up to his head level as he backs up again, firing his cannon.)
Cyborg: Split up!
(Raven flies to a landing on the stairs and, after Starfire passes her, projects a couple of nearby fire extinguishers toward Mammoth at the bottom. He merely swats them away and charges. Cut to a hall, where Beast Boy runs into view from around a corner and dodges the collapse of several wall panels. Emerging fro the dust and debris as a bobcat, he runs o.c; when the view clears, Jinx steps unhurriedly after him-she caused the panels to fall.)
Jinx: Here, kitty, kitty. What's the matter? (More panels blow out.) Afraid of a little bad luck?
(Cut to inside the gym. Raven and Starfire burst through the closed doors and slam them shut again. A starbolt is fired against the frame and traced along the doors' outer edges to weld them closed. The two girls then back up a bit and trade a very nervous look, wondering whether the barricade will hold. It proves to be a moot point when the wall behind them blows out, throwing them to the floor. They look back toward it and find Mammoth's head protruding from a fresh hole-he just delivered a mother of a headbutt.)
Mammoth: Hello, ladies.
(The stairs again. Cyborg retreats upward as one of Gizmo's long metal legs swings into view near the camera. Cut to a hall in which the runt's spidery shadow advances into view against the far wall, followed by the runt himself. He turns and approaches the camera; cut to inside a door, which opens to admit him. Cyborg peeks out from a corner across the hall, nips over, and peers in carefully after Gizmo. Pull back; he steps in boldly. Except for the light spilling from the hall, the place is completely dark. The blackness becomes total when the door slides shut without warning.)
(A wall of TV screens comes to life, every one showing a close-up of Gizmo's grinning visage.)
Gizmo: (from all screens) So, Tin Man, you got a heart under all that outdated crud-ware?
(He turns away, but a single giant screen, also showing Gizmo, comes on next to him.)
Gizmo: Not telling? (Pull back to frame them all.) Guess I'll have to take you apart and find out!
(Tilt up to the ceiling on the end of this. The whiz kid's spider legs carry him into the light from those screens and lower him steadily toward Cyborg, who can only stare in complete shock. Cut to yet another hall; Beast Boy, back in human form, races around the corner and into view. Seeing no one behind him, he stops to catch his breath.)
Beast Boy: Lost her.
(He is, of course, referring to Jinx, and he has spoken too soon. A couple of her spells pass just over his head, and the camera tilts up to show them hitting the ceiling there. A panel swings loose and cracks him dead in the face. His head rattles on his neck for a moment before he collapses; she walks up behind him.)
Jinx: This just isn't your lucky day.
(He sits rubbing his head for a second before transforming into a tyrannosaurus rex and roaring with enough force to shake the entire building. Jinx does a few backflips to get out of range, then stops and fixes a glowing stare on him. Around the green reptile, a ring of pink fire flares up briefly and floats toward his head before disappearing. There is a loud crackling from the floor, followed by the collapse of the section on which Beast Boy is standing due to her hex; he drops from sight. Cut to below floor level, the camera pointing up out of the hole, as she walks up to it and smiles.)
(Now we see a storage area of the Tower, with a large circular hatchway in the back wall. This is smashed off its hinges by Cyborg, who emerges into this place unscathed. He is not alone; however; Gizmo comes out of the dust clouds and moves in on him. Cyborg steadily backs up before the advance; one of the metal legs swings at him, but he catches the end in both hands.)
(Gizmo just grins and swings another leg. Cyborg shifts his grip to free up one hand and catch this one as well. A good strong wrenching motion throws the little jerk off balance and sends him to the floor; when he hits, sparks fly from the central unit on his back. He is quickly yanked free of the legs and held aloft by the chuckling Titan. The unit is still on his back, but it is soon pulled off.)
Gizmo: Let me go, you scuzz-munching zit!
(During this line, Cyborg puts him down so he can run away and then crushes the device. The big guy tosses the remains aside like a candy wrapper. Gizmo runs off among the crates and boxes; now Cyborg walks after him at a leisurely pace.)
Cyborg: How you gonna fight me without your tech?
(A small, shadowy figure passes in front of him, and he goes after it. Close-up of Gizmo, peeking out from behind a panel; he gasps as it is lifted away. Cut to a very pleased Cyborg, who suddenly looks down with surprise at the sound of a crunch.)
(Cut to floor level. His foot has come down on a flashlight-like unit and damaged it somewhat. Looking up again, he sees Gizmo's image grin and then flicker out-it was merely a hologram projected by that unit. Cyborg backs cautiously away; the real Gizmo is perched on a piece of equipment behind him, and he jumps down onto the back and pulls out a tool. Sparks fly.)
Cyborg: Yo, what are you-
(Close-up of his back. The gadget genius pops open a panel and goes to work on the circuitry.)
Cyborg: (strained) Get out of my systems! Nobody hacks my systems!
(He runs back and forth, clearly against his will due to the hotwiring, then stops as his limbs start to flail randomly. His right arm is raised.)
Gizmo: Ooh, ejector arm. Cool!
(He makes it pop off-hand, forearm, and half the upper arm. Close-up: it rolls uselessly away across the floor. Tilt up to the shadows of the two combatants projected against the far wall.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) My arm!
(Cut to the exterior of the Tower, which shakes and bends as the fight inside continues. It is now later in the day.)
Cyborg: (from inside) Get off! Get off me! Stop!
(He flies screaming off the roof as if shot from a cannon, and the camera pulls back a distance as he comes down in the middle of Jump City Bay. Another set of yells and three more splashes mark the forcible eviction of Beast Boy, Raven, and Starfire. Back to the long shot of the Tower and zoom in; the HIVE team can be seen looking out from the top-floor window of the operations center. Zoom in and cut to them.)
Gizmo: Have a nice afterlife, you snot-eating losers!
(Jinx casts a spell; cut to the Tower exterior and tilt down to the water level as it radiates over the island. The hex stirs up a huge tidal wave that leaves the foursome too scared to move as its shadow falls over them. Down comes the wall of water, and back goes the camera to the HIVE operatives, who smile smugly and walk away.)
(Dissolve to the sky and tilt down to the bridge across the bay. Two seagulls are perched on pilings near the camera. The next ten lines, all delivered in voice over, echo slightly.)
Beast Boy: That didn't just happen. Tell me that didn't just happen. Cyborg: Get out of my systems. (The gulls fly away.) Get off me.
(Dissolve to a close-up of a soda can washing up on the shore. Now the spoken words start to overlap.)
Starfire: Robin. Where is Robin? I do not understand. Beast Boy: Gotta go out for the others. (Long shot of the Tower and the bridge.) Raven: We searched everywhere. (Tilt down slowly to the shore.) Starfire: How could you not find him? Raven: All we found was this. (Cyborg makes his way up the slope.) Starfire: People do not just vanish. Beast Boy: Oh, no. Cyborg: I shoulda been there. I shoulda known.
(Pull back from him to put the other three Titans in view as they approach.)
Beast Boy: So, uh...who else never wants to go surfing again? Cyborg: (really annoyed) Not now, man. Beast Boy: Hey, I was just trying to-
(Raven puts a hand on his shoulder to cut him off. Cyborg extends a small acetylene torch from his left forefinger. The panel on his thigh opens, revealing a plethora of sparks and short circuits. Pull back to behind him; Starfire approaches as he bends down to the self-repair work.)
Starfire: Perhaps I could be of some assistance. Cyborg: I got it. Starfire: But you are so damaged and- Cyborg: (rounding on her; she gasps) I got it! Beast Boy: Hey! She only wanted to help! What is your problem? Cyborg: What do you think? (Long shot of them and the Tower.) We got kicked out of our house, a pint-size Poindexter took me for a joyride, and in case you haven't noticed, I just became left-handed! Raven: Enough! We need to control our emotions. Cyborg: Or what? Our bad vibes will keep you from meditating? (Cut to Starfire.) Starfire: I wish Robin were here. Cyborg: (from o.c.) Well, he's not! (Pull back to frame them all.) Don't you guys get it? They won, we lost. IT"S OVER!!
(Cut to a patch of water and pan slowly to the shore. The four heroes stand slumped in defeat.)
Beast Boy: Then...the Teen Titans are finished? Robin: (from o.c.) Not yet.
(His voice draws four very surprised glances over four assorted pairs of shoulders. Pan quickly in that direction to show him standing in front of some bushes-arms crossed, confident smile, cape waving in the breeze. Except for his missing belt, everything is in proper order. Dissolve to a close-up of his chest and tilt up to his face.)
Robin: Not if I can help it.
(Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: the exterior of the Tower that night. The new occupants have started extensive renovations to the place, as follows. One, the vertical bar of the T has been extended. Two, the lights in one half of the crossbar top floor have been put out. Three, a second vertical portion has been built to join with the half that is still lit; it reaches the same height as the central extension. The entire effect is to make the lighted Tower portions and new construction look like a giant H for HIVE, and the honeycomb pattern has been applied to the add-ons.)
(Zoom in on the Tower, then cut to inside. Gizmo's hands reach into view, thumbs and forefingers extended to make a box in which he is framing a patch of blank wall. This is his perspective. Two small robots whiz into view, carrying Cyborg's detached arm-mounted as if it were a stuffed fish-between them, and follow his instructions as they hang it up.)
Gizmo: Higher...a little to the left...a little more...and... (taking hands down, giving thumbs-up) ...perfect!
(Pull back across the room and down to ground level to put him in view. The arm is mounted high on the wall.)
Gizmo: (walking away) Slade's gonna have kittens when he hears we whipped the Titans and took their stinking Tower!
(On the end of this, cut to the kitchen as he passes it. Mammoth looks in the fridge, while Jinx comes down the stairs. Close-up of her; she has donned Robin's belt, which sits askew on her hips similar to the way Raven wears hers, and has one of the latter's spare cloaks over her arm.)
Jinx: Not to mention Robin's favorite fashion statement. (She eyes the cloak and sighs with contempt.) But that's the only thing fashionable around here. (Pull back to put Mammoth in view.) Mammoth: Tell me about it. (He pulls a moldy hamburger from the fridge.) Hmph. All their food is way out of date.
(This does not stop him from downing the burger in one gulp.)
Gizmo: (from o.c.) You think that stuff's rotten? (Cut to him in the operations center; he holds up a CD.) Wait 'til you see their music. (tossing it aside, then another) Crud...snot...
(Dissolve to the mounted arm and zoom in slowly, then dissolve to an extreme close-up of the middle finger and keep zooming in.)
Gizmo: (from o.c., sighing) ...mega-crud...snot...
(The fingertip pulls loose of the hand, remaining connected to it by two thin jointed armatures. It swivels to point its open and at us and reveals a tiny camera lens inside. A brief change in focus, and it turns to point elsewhere. Camera eye: it is zooming in on Jinx, who has put on Raven's cloak.)
Jinx: Does she have anything that's not blue?
(Pan to Mammoth, now gorging himself on the spoiled food in the fridge, then move quickly to Gizmo at the CD rack in the operations center. The ones he hated are strewn about the floor behind him. The tiny camera roves on, stopping at one of the computer consoles.)
(Normal view: Jinx inspecting herself with a hand mirror. The arm scuttles into view, walking on its fingers with the camera still active, and turns here and there to scope out the place. Finally it moves toward us; cut to an extreme close-up of Mammoth as he eagerly lifts a moldy chicken drumstick to his mouth and licks it. The arm makes is way along a ledge on the far side of the kitchen while he eats the meat off the bone.)
(Back to Gizmo, who has yet another CD in hand.)
Gizmo: (throwing it and the next one away) Ugh. Crud...snot...
(The arm moves along the ledge behind him and is not noticed. It stops near one of the consoles and points its camera around the area before jumping down into the seat. Close-up of it, then pull back; thin tentacles fly out from the joint where the limb connected to the stump of Cyborg's natural arm. They press several keys, and the view cuts to an overhead shot of the keyboard as they go to work and the screen lights up with a schematic of the Tower. Piece by piece, the diagram goes red. When it has all turned this color, the screen winks out and alarms and buzzers start to sound, accompanied by red flashing lights throughout the operations center. The security systems have been triggered.)
(Jinx gasps and throws the cloak aside, and Mammoth stands up from the fridge. All the cabinet doors in the kitchen start opening and closing at random. Next Gizmo stands up from the CD rack; without warning, one disc after another is ejected past him at high speed.)
(This is the only intelligible word he gets out before trailing off into surprised yells and losing his balance to tumble on the floor. He slides backward as the rack continues its impression of a skeet-shooting target launcher.)
Gizmo: What the hairball?
(The chair of the nearest console swivels to give him a good look at the arm occupying it; he cries out in surprise and fear. The tentacles have retracted, but now they shoot forth again and wrap around his arms and legs. The bionic limb jumps down and speeds across the floor, dragging one very surprised pipsqueak, and pops a couple of small jet thrusters out from the forearm. These ignite and carry it into the air; the hand balls into a fist as the thing aims itself toward the ceiling and carries Gizmo up with it.)
(Long shot of a ceiling air vent. The arm closes in on it and punches through; cut to inside the ductwork as it races along and takes Gizmo for one very wild ride and out of sight around a bend. Back in the kitchen, a large shadowy hand reaches down behind Jinx and seizes her. She has time for one startled cry before it recedes into the ceiling and takes her with it-the sort of thing only Raven could do. The big lug is left standing by himself; the side door opens on its own, and a starbolt rockets into view from the left side of the screen to knock him through it. Starfire has made it into the Tower. The door closes.)
(Cut to the exterior of the Tower, at roof level, and zoom in before dissolving to the surface. A large black raven emerges from the surface and rises o.c., leaving Jinx there to drop to her knees. We have just witnessed Raven's "soul self" at work-a projection that can carry individuals from one place to another. Behind Jinx, Cyborg's arm bursts out of a vent pipe and carries the screaming Gizmo higher and higher before veering back toward his classmate. Zoom in to an extreme close-up of her face as she gasps in shock and her eyes widen-just before she is hit head-on and both roll halfway across the roof. Having released Gizmo, the arm flies away, and the closed door of the stairs or elevator leading up here slide open. A green flash of a starbolt plays across the screen, and Mammoth is blasted out onto the roof. He ends up next to the other two HIVE agents.)
(Close-up of Robin's upraised hand; his belt lands neatly in it.)
Robin: (from o.c.) Sorry to interrupt the victory celebration. (Cut to his waist level; he fastens it.) But like I said... (Head level.) ...this isn't over.
(Pull back. Cyborg is there, reattaching his arm, and the other three Titans soon arrive.)
Cyborg: It's just getting started. (The trio stands up.) Jinx: Attack Pattern Alpha!
(Gizmo and Mammoth scatter while she shouts and throws a spell. The Titans scramble to avoid it; when it hits the rooftop, a panel swells and explodes. Beast Boy comes down from his jump only to find Mammoth coming straight at him. He jumps away again and turns into a hawk as the giant slams his fist down on the roof and sends a shock wave toward Cyborg. Jinx lands behind the latter and vaults high over his shoulders, hurling a spell down at him as she sails through the air. It knocks out the base of a water tank and causes the while thing to topple toward Cyborg, who gets out of the way just in time before a second tank collapses nearby.)
(Cut to Starfire in midair, throwing a few Tamaranean fastballs, then to Jinx as she nimbly dodges them and ducks out of sight behind part of the new construction. Starfire flies in after her. Cyborg, meanwhile, looks around himself a bit. All clear-but that changes in an instant when Gizmo jumps down from the fallen water tanks and lands on his back.)
Gizmo: Hey, Robo-Wimp. (He pulls out his tool.) Feel like getting hacked? Cyborg: Nope. How 'bout you? Robin! Now!
(Cut to Robin in mid-leap; he throws a small device, and the camera follows it over to Cyborg and Gizmo. It attaches itself to the machinery on the latter's back, and sparks fly as he yells in pain and frustration. Long shot: Robin drops back to the roof.)
Gizmo: (running around, trying to pull the thing off) Cut it out! It's gonna crash my whole system! (He rips off his shoulder-mounted laser.) Get it off me! Get it off me!
(Robin's device triggers the jet pack, carrying him off the roof. Jinx runs like mad to avoid getting fried by Starfire's bombardment.)
Starfire: Beast Boy! Go!
(He is back in human form and crouching on an overhead girder to watch Jinx. Flipping Starfire a hand sign to acknowledge, he dives from his perch and transforms into a monkey to come down squarely on the face of the fleeing girl. She has made her way into a framework of pipes. Unable to see, she fires spells in all directions in an attempt to get him off; finally she gets all ten fingers into the game, yanks him away, and throws him across the roof. He reverts to human form before touching down.)
Beast Boy: Your luck just ran out!
(Getting a running start, he again becomes a hawk and flies into the open sky Close-up of a very puzzled Jinx.)
(Creaks and groans from the o.c. pipework draw her attention; cut to a view of the overhead lines from the ground and pan to follow them. One after another, the joints start to pop, having been hit by the spells she was casting every which way. Tilt down to ground level just in time to see one pipe burst and start spewing water and steam. The sound of a nervous little shudder is she can manage as more lines rupture and collapse around her.)
(From here, cut to Mammoth, running like sixty, and pull back to show him advancing on Raven. He aims a colossal punch at her, but she flies up to avoid it and comes down behind him. When he turns to charge again, Cyborg rams a shoulder into him. It takes some time for him to touch down on the roof and stop skidding; when he does, the view shifts to letterbox, in the top third of the screen. Pan ahead of Mammoth just a bit to show Beast Boy, as a T-rex, waiting for him. One snarl is all it takes to make the overgrown villain completely freak out and run for his life. Fullscreen: Starfire gathers all her strength for a starbolt and lets it go, hitting Mammoth dead center in the gut. The hit leaves him spinning in the air as Robin dashes over. One mighty flying kick drives him back into Gizmo and Jinx and leaves all three in a weary, groaning pile. Tilt down to Gizmo at the bottom of it; he has a transmitter in hand.)
Gizmo: Cram it. I'm calling Slade. (Robin yanks him up to eye level as he switches it on.) Robin: Who is Slade? Gizmo: Wouldn't you like to know, barf-brain?
(Snap to black and pan until the long shot of Slade's lair, as seen in the prologue, comes into view. The HIVE Academy's headmistress speaks during this movement and comes into view at the edge of the platform.)
Headmistress: I assure you, such failures are not tolerated within the HIVE. (Close-up of her.) Once the agents have been retrieved from the authorities, they will be disciplined. (Cut to waist level; she socks a fist into her palm.) Strictly disciplined.
(Cut to another part of the platform. Slade steps out from among the pipes-she has been addressing herself to him. The light glinting off his figure shows the colors from "Divide and Conquer"-gray on the right side of his head, red-orange on the left.)
Slade: Actually, your agents served my plans quite well. I never expected them to succeed. (Extreme close-up of his eye; light shines on it.) They were merely messengers. And the message has been received.
(On the end of this, pan slightly to a transmitter in his raised left hand, a counterpart of the one Gizmo carried. He activates it, and on the monitor behind the headmistress, an image of Robin appears-caught on film by Gizmo and asking "Who is Slade?" over and over. Pull back slowly as more images of different sizes appear to fill the screen, then back to the long shot of the lair as they pop up on the entire row of screens. That three-word question is repeated countless times by all of them. If Slade's intent was to bring his name to the Titans' attention, the HIVE crew did indeed meet his expectations.)
(Cut to the exterior of the Tower. The original architecture has been restored.)
Beast Boy: (from inside) NOOOO!! This is the worst thing that could ever happen!
(Close-up of him. He is in human form, with hands to head and ready to pull his green hair out.)
Beast Boy: My tunes! They've been... (He steps back.) ...alphabetized.
(Pull back again. He tosses CDs around the operations center as Cyborg looks high and low, much as he did at the start of Act One. Robin stands behind the couch and watches the two.)
Beast Boy: How am I ever gonna find anything?
(Raven comes downstairs, carrying the cloak Jinx borrowed.)
Raven: (icily) They went into my room. No one should ever go into my room. (Starfire gasps and pops up from under the kitchen counter.) Starfire: Someone has disposed of all our blue furry food! Cyborg: (lifting the couch) You gotta be kidding me! The whole place gets cleaned and I still can't find the-
(A whistle from o.c. stops him short; cut to Robin, who points down toward the couch. Close-up of the coffee table-with the missing remote lying on it in plain sight.)
Cyborg: Ha! (He drops the couch and sits down on it with Robin, who has started to flip channels.)
Cyborg: I guess we really oughta be training for battles, tracking down clues, and trying to figure out who Slade is, huh? (Pull back as the other three gather around the couch on this line.) Robin: We will. But right now, I'm just happy to be part of the team.
(Pull back past the coffee table. Robin points the remote at the camera and clicks, and the whole screen winks out.)