FORCES OF NATURE
Written by Adam Beechen
Directed by Ciro Nieli
Storyboard by Mark Howard, Ben Jones, Kalvin Lee, Rafael Rosado, Alan Wan
Animation services by Dong Woo Animation Company, Ltd.
Transcribed by Alan Back for TitansGo.net (http://www.titansgo.net)
(Opening shot: a night sky filled with dark thunderhead clouds. Flashes of lightning illuminate their contours. A bulky silhouette stands up among them and begins to swing a pair of sticks against the clouds; every time it brings them down, there is another strike and accompanying thunderclap. Dissolve to another patch of the sky, where even more lightning crackles back and forth. A second silhouette, this one much thinner and with spiky upswetpt hair, stands up and directs its hands here and there. There is a new flare-up every time it does so.)
(When the last one clears, the camera has moved to a point near the underside of the clouds as the flashes continue from within. There is a huge strike, and the camera pulls back to put Titans Tower in view. Inside, in the hall, Beast Boy has become a buffalo and is straining mightily at a rubber band looped over his horns, trying to catch it on a nearby hook. He succeeds and ducks away, coming up in human form with a mischievous smile on his face. Now he produces a large, filled water balloon that sloshes a bit in his hands, and he lets off a wicked little chuckle.) Beast Boy: This is gonna be so sweet!
Raven: (from o.c.) What are you doing?
(Surprised by her words, he lets go of the balloon and completely freaks out as he tries desperately to make a safe catch. Finally he gets hold of it and turns around, and the camera pans to show Raven behind him.) Raven: Please tell me this isn't another ridiculous prank.
Beast Boy: Okay. It's not a ridiculous prank. It's a brilliant one!
(He laughs. Close-up of her, rolling her eyes wearily.)
Beast Boy: (from o.c.) All right, check it out. (Pull back to frame both.) 'Member how Cyborg put red dye in my shampoo and I turned brown for two days? Well, sister, it's payback time.
(A thought balloon appears above his head as he describes the situation. It shows, in "Super Deformed" style, the hapless victim-tinted brown, holding a scrub brush, in towel, shower cap, and slippers-standing there while the other SD Titans scroll past and laugh at him. The balloon disappears as he finishes; now a pull string hangs down from the ceiling, and he reaches for it.)
Beast Boy: I give you...the Beast Boy Insta-Lube 9000!
(As he says this, he pulls the string and he and Raven back up o.c. Down comes a blueprint that fills most of the screen; the words "Beast Boy" and "Insta-Lube" slide in beneath it, after which "9000" drops from the lower edge and replaces them. The diagram shows the rubber band, which is part of a floor-mounted slingshot, held back by the hook and with the balloon loaded in. A tripwire in front of the rig runs through overhead pulleys and is tied to a lever that is in turn connected to the hook.)
(The lower portion of the screen dissolves to a shot of the hall and zooms in on the tripwire, and on the blueprint, a rough figure of Cyborg steps up and catches his foot there.)
Beast Boy: (voice over) See, when Chrome-Dome steps around the corner, his foot tugs the string. (Lower portion: follow it to the lever.) The string trips the lever...
(Blueprint: it moves forward and pops the band loose. Lower portion: zoom in on the attachment point.)
Beast Boy: (voice over) ...the lever releases the mother of all rubber bands...
(Blueprint: the balloon sails toward Cyborg in slow motion. Lower portion: Raven walks over to the setup, and Beast Boy pops into view with the ammo.) Beast Boy: (loading it in) ...which sends a balloon-load of motor oil flying right at him, and BOOSH! (The blueprint rolls back up on this last word.) Pretty clever, huh?
Raven: You're a genius. Beast Boy: It's just a little good clean dirty fun.
(A door opens o.c.; he perks up his ears to listen.) Beast Boy: Here he comes. (He ducks away, then back to whisk her off.)
Raven: Whoa! (They hide around a corner.) I do not think-
Beast Boy: Shhh!
Raven: But what if-
Beast Boy: Shhh! (Long silence.)
Cyborg: (from o.c., whispering) Why are we hiding?
Beast Boy: Shhh!
(His eyes instantly go as wide as saucers upon realizing that his target is nowhere near ground zero, and the camera pulls back as he flips out for a moment. Cyborg is hunched down behind both of them.) Beast Boy: Cyborg?! You can't be Cyborg!
Cyborg: I can't?
Beast Boy: (pointing at him, then into hall) If you're you, then who's...?
(Footsteps echo out there as all three look out. Cut to a shot down the way, the camera positioned just behind the oil-filled balloon, then to an extreme close-up of the tripwire. A violet boot steps into view and catches it, the string is pulled taut, the lever moves, and the hook starts to pull away from the rubber band. Cut to in front of the balloon, which is released as Beast Boy jumps out in a frantic attempt to stop it.)
Beast Boy: NOOOOOOOO!!
(Audio and video both shift to slow motion as the projectile is propelled forward by the tension. Just as he is about to run into the camera, cut to a long shot of Starfire and zoom in to an extreme close-up of her face. She is so taken by surprise that she literally cannot see straight.)
Starfire: (normal speed) Eek!
(Pull back to show the balloon right in front of her; it collides with her face, splattering her with the viscous contents, and knocks her onto her back. Normal speed: Beast Boy runs up.)
Beast Boy: Starfire!
(She has propped herself up on her hands, but cannot see him due to all the oil covering her eyes. Cyborg and Raven come over.) Cyborg: You okay? (She gets her eyes open.)
Starfire: (puzzled) This is punishment? I did something wrong? (Cut to Raven and Cyborg.)
Raven: You didn't. He did.
(Pan from them to Beast Boy, who gives a sheepish grin-accompanied by a sheep's bleating.)
Beast Boy: Star! It was... (Cut to her; he continues o.c.) ...you weren't supposed to...
(Back to him on the end of this. He starts to say something else, but when the camera cuts to Cyborg and Raven, their disapproving stares stop him in his tracks for a moment.)
Beast Boy: (from o.c.) I didn't... (Pull back to frame him; he trails off and laughs.) Just remember to change that oil every three thousand miles.
(He tries to laugh again, but it dies on his lips. Starfire stands up and leans over him.)
Starfire: (with steadily building rage) On my planet, we have a name for those who do such terrible things. You are a...a...CLORBAG VARBLERNELK!!
(Sight gag: her head grows in stages until it is many times normal size, and he shrinks a few notches before it. The oil disappears from her face on the last two words. From here, cut to a close-up of Cyborg, very worried. The sight gag has now ended.) Beast Boy: (from o.c.) I'm a what-bag? (Tilt down to him, in front of Cyborg.)
Cyborg: You heard the lady.
Raven: (shaking head) You are such a clorbag.
Beast Boy: Come on, you guys. Can't anybody take a joke? (A flash of lightning interrupts the standoff.)
Robin: (from o.c.) Titans! (Cut to him, silhouetted against the glare.) Trouble!
(The next strike illuminates him fully and leaves the screen black when it dissipates.)
(Opening shot: the bridge across Jump City Bay. Lighting flashes among the storm clouds and finally strikes the roadway. Overhead view of the blast, then cut to a big rig on the bridge. The driver yells in surprise and cuts his wheels sharply to the right, braking as he does so; the truck stops just short of the smoking, flaming strike point. Many cars slam on their brakes to avoid a collision, creating an instant traffic jam.)
(As the smoke starts to clear, the two silhouettes seen among the clouds become visible within it. The last wisps evaporate to give a fully detailed view of both; they wear outfits that look like something like samurai armor, but without the upper body protection. The bulky one has blue skin and black clothing trimmed with blue, and he also wears a samurai-style helmet. A thundercloud is emblazoned on his chest, and he has long black sideburns. His thin cohort, on the other hand, has light yellow skin and hair, and his outfit is red and yellow, with a lightning bolt on the chest. A headband keeps his hair out of the way and has a guard plate stretching down on either side to cover his cheeks. Both wear armbands and wrist/shin guards. We have just met Thunder and Lightning.)
(The two new arrivals look at each other and smile; close-up of Thunder.) Thunder: May we have fun here, brother? (Pan to Lightning.)
Lightning: Of course! (creating a bolt between his hands) We are Thunder and Lightning. We may do whatever we please!
(He throws the bolt upward. Cut to one of the bridge's columns, where the suspension cables are connected, seen from roadway level. It is struck, and sparks fly everywhere.)
Lightning: (from o.c.) Look, brother! I command the sparks to dance!
(He laughs as the strike dies out and the camera tilts down to them; the flickering remains fall all around in a shower.)
Thunder: Amusing. Now listen as I make music!
(He claps his hands, creating an intense shock wave, and the camera pulls back a distance to show it radiating outward. The bridge cables are jarred loose and begin to whipsaw back and forth. Cut to the semi, which gets a smoking lightning bolt traced into its side. Pan to the pair on the next line.) Lightning: Let all who pass this way know-Lightning was here!
Thunder: And Thunder too!
(He bangs his fists together, knuckle to knuckle, and creates an earthquake that sets the stopped cars and their drivers trembling; all the alarm systems are set off in the process. The brothers laugh, and Thunder pats Lightning's shoulder.) Lightning: Most amusing.
Robin: (from o.c.) Hate to break it to you...
(Surprised, they look toward the traffic snarl; cut to the truck, where the Titans are standing on the trailer.)
Robin: ...but you guys have a lousy sense of humor! This ends-now!
Lightning: (shaking fist) No one gives orders to Thunder and Lightning! (warming up) Taste my power!
(He throws a bolt at the truck and just misses the Titans, who scramble in five different directions. The trailer gets a big hole blown through it, wiping out his graffiti. Starfire does a U-turn and swoops down on him with starbolts blazing; he jumps onto a line of stopped cars, she does likewise, and they run on these parallel tracks and trade shots. The firefight continues for several dozen yards until he gets in a lucky hit that knocks her down.)
(His brother, meanwhile, is mixing it up with Cyborg. They block or dodge a few of each other's punches and start to grapple. Close-up of Thunder's left fist, which he pulls back and readies for a powerful strike, then of Cyborg's right as he reconfigures it into the sonic cannon. Pull back to frame both; the fists swing and connect with each other, and the camera pulls back farther as the resulting shock wave throws them far down the bridge in opposite directions. Cyborg lands on his back, but Thunder brings a small cloud to himself and hops onto it to float upward.)
(Robin finds the big blue hooligan bearing down on him and has to dodge a thunderclap. He leaps onto a guardrail, but another blast destroys that section and he has to move down a bit. The next attack breaks a support cable; he grabs the swinging free end and is carried away an instant before Thunder obliterates that section of the rail. Robin is carried high into the air before the cable starts to descend. He times his next move carefully and hurls himself over Thunder, avoiding a punch and grabbing the foe's shoulders to throw him across the pavement.)
(Cut to Lightning, throwing a bolt.)
(Midair; Raven dodges the shot and launches herself downward for a flying kick. The yellow brother throws up his arms to block and is driven backward by her flurry of attacks. Finally he gets clear and socks her with a bolt that sends her flying. No sooner is she down, though, than Beast Boy-as a giant panda-lumbers up behind and catches him in a bear hug. Lightning struggles for a moment, then electrifies his entire body and gives the shape-shifting Titan a few hundred thousand volts. The shock forces him back into human form and causes him to let go.)
Lightning: (laughing) Your powers are strong, but mine are stronger!
(Beast Boy, lying against a chunk of debris, groans and rubs his head for several seconds. He then gasps as Thunder's shadow falls over him; a flash of lightning, and the camera has shifted to the big blue one.)
Thunder: Your power of the animals is impressive, green one. (He warms up his fists.) Rise so we may do battle.
Beast Boy: Why are you doing this? (He stands up.)
Thunder: Because it is not sporting to attack an unready opponent. Beast Boy: No. Why are you wrecking everything?
Thunder: (puzzled) Uh...because it is amusing.
Beast Boy: (gesturing) Do they look amused?
(Pan in that direction to show the scared motorists huddling behind their damaged and overturned cars. The answer to that question is obvious. Back to Thunder and Beast Boy.) Thunder: I-
Beast Boy: This isn't funny! It's wrong!
(An attack of conscience makes Thunder relax his power. Before Beast Boy can say anything more, though, a lightning bolt blasts him away and its shooter jumps down next to his brother.)
Lightning: Ah, the thrill of victory. (putting arm around Thunder's shoulders) Come, Thunder. We shall seek more amusement.
(They take to the air. Pan to a pile of rubble, from which the blasted Titan sits up-dazed, smoking, disheveled, drooling a bit. He shakes his head to clear it and finds Starfire floating into view behind him. She is clutching her forearm.)
Beast Boy: Well, that was a shock. (She turns up her nose and floats on.) Starfire: Hmph! Beast Boy: So...I'm guessing you're still mad? (Cut to the other three, Cyborg helps Raven to her feet.) Robin: Okay, team. (Starfire arrives, then Beast Boy.) We have to find those guys before they do any more damage. Cyborg, search the west side. Raven, the east. I'll take downtown. Beast Boy, you and Star scan from the skies.
(Beast Boy looks uneasily up at the partner who has just been assigned to him. She has turned her back and crossed her arms.)
Beast Boy: Um...maybe Cyborg should come with me instead. Robin: Cyborg can't fly.
Beast Boy: Oh. Yeah.
Cyborg: (pinching his cheek; a big drop of sweat rolls down) Have a nice flight, my little clorbag.
(Dissolve to the open courtyard in front of the museum. On either side of a central open area is a row of vertical concrete slabs; a large metal globe is mounted at the end nearest the building. A couple of fellows make their way across the screen on foot and bicycle before there is a mighty blast of lightning. The troublemaking brothers appear, scaring the men away.)
Lightning: Magnificent! (warming up) We can make much mischief here!
(He strikes the globe, which rolls away from its post toward one row of slabs. It bangs into the end one, which topples over into the next, and so on like a row of falling dominoes. Long shot of Thunder, whose expression changes to one of trepidation as the last slab comes down.)
Lightning: (walking into view) Brother! Did you see what I...something troubles you?
Thunder: The green one's words. He says our fun is...wrong.
Lightning: (laughing) Wrong? (arm across Thunder's shoulders) He speaks nonsense, brother! How could such amusement be wrong? The fun is only beginning.
(He leads his brother away. Dissolve to Starfire in flight, looking intently down toward the o.c. Jump City; Beast Boy, as a hawk, glides next to her. Their perspective, passing the damaged courtyard of the museum, then cut to ground level as they land. Beast Boy returns to human form, and they begin to inspect the smashed slabs.)
Beast Boy: Well, either they were just here, or this is the ugliest modern art I've ever seen.
Starfire: You are not funny. You are a clorbag varblernelk. (She walks o.c.; he follows.)
Beast Boy: Come on, Star. (Cut to them; he catches up.) You can't stay mad forever. What? Do I have to do the face? (smiling) You know you can't resist the face.
(Except for a glance out of the corner of her eye, she has not looked his way throughout all of this. In no time flat, he has transformed into a small kitten with huge, shining eyes. He meows as endearingly as he can; she looks down at him for a long moment.)
Starfire: (turning nose up) Hmph!
(She walks away and he returns to human form with a surprised meow.)
Beast Boy: She resisted the face!
(She has now reached the point where the globe was anchored. Smoke rises from the stump. Beat Boy runs up again.)
Beast Boy: Just talk to me, Star! (kneeling) Come on, this is no fun!
Lightning: (from o.c.) Wrong again, green one!
(Cut to the stormy sky. Laughing, Thunder floats into view on his cloud and throws a beam downward. He is joined by an equally jubilant Lightning, also firing away. The camera zooms in on the two off-guard Titans and then pulls back to frame the whole courtyard as the brothers' onslaught connects in several places. Starfire runs down one side and manages to keep just ahead of Thunder, also on foot; when she reaches the end, she goes straight up the wall and does a long, high backflip to come down behind him. She throws a starbolt but misses him.)
(Cut to Lightning; he gets a bolt ready.)
(He flings it at Beast Boy, who changes into a rabbit and hops away. Lightning chases him toward the ruins of those slabs and fires again. The startled green bunny runs o.c., and when the camera tilts up to the sky, we see that he has become a crane. More lightning comes his way and is just barely dodged; now he drops to the ground as a mouse and runs toward Lightning. The projectiles are very easy for him to evade now. Close-up of the static-electricity master.)
Lightning: (laughing) Your animal forms cannot protect you forever!
(Beast Boy, as a bighorn sheep, barrels into him and sends him flying. Starfire flips and leaps her way to the end of the courtyard as Thunder closes in. He projects a beam toward her, she counters with a mighty starbolt, and the two attacks meet between them and cancel out. Overhead view of the two duelists; her energy starts to overwhelm his. Close-up of him.)
(The starbolt reaches him and knocks him across the open expanse to land squarely on the spot where the globe had stood. Beast Boy, now a giant bear, moves in on him, and Lightning takes his fallen brother's place against Starfire. The ursine Titan gets to his hind legs and plows into Thunder, driving him to the courtyard wall, then runs up in human form and grabs his collar.)
Beast Boy: I don't want to hurt you. And I don't think you want to hurt me.
Thunder: Pain does not amuse us.
Beast Boy: Could've fooled me. Keep playing rough, and innocent people will get hurt.
(This makes the big blue fellow think a bit. Cut to a fence that separates the concrete of the courtyard from the museum lawn. There is a sudden puff of smoke, which solidifies into a tall figure wearing long red traveling robes and a broad, flat-crowned hat. An arm is lowered from the face, revealing long white hair blowing about an old but strong male face. The overall impression is vaguely Oriental, and is reinforced by the thin mustache and beard. Only one eye, the left, can be seen. Under the red robes, the man wears black ones and has hidden an old wooden box on a tripod. This has a hand crank in its side, much like an old-style movie camera.)
(The sorcerer smiles evilly and begins to turn the crank. The front cover falls away to expose a camera lens, which glows red and then white. Beast Boy and Thunder are caught off guard as the ground trembles.)
Beast Boy, Thunder: Huh?
(A broad energy beam shoots past them from the camera and smashes cleanly through the intact row of concrete slabs. It just misses Starfire and Lightning, who have broken off their duel; he sidesteps, but she gasps as a shower of ruined stonework comes straight down toward her.)
Beast Boy: Star!
(The shadows of the crumbling slabs fall over him. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: the two brothers, backing up in fear and awe at what this newcomer has just brought about.) Sorcerer: (from o.c., echoing) Your gifts are your own. Who are they to tell you how to use them?
Lightning: And who are you that commands such power? Show yourself!
(The dust from the destruction of the concrete slabs starts to clear.) Sorcerer: (from "o.c.") As you wish. (The haze parts to reveal him standing within.) I am but a humble old man- (The camera, abandoned, shuts down.) -whose power is drawn from nature, like your own. Come with me, and sow as much destruction as you please. (He turns away.)
Lightning: (to Thunder) Yes! More fun! (Thunder restrains him with a hand on his shoulder.) Thunder: Will we harm anyone?
Lightning: What? The green one has poisoned your mind.
Thunder: This destruction-will we harm the innocent?
Sorcerer: Would it matter if you did? You are unique. Gifted. Better. Why should anything interfere with your enjoyment? I am going. Follow, if you wish. (He walks out of the courtyard; Lightning follows.)
Lightning: Come, brother, and leave your foolish thoughts behind.
(Thunder takes a few steps after them, but stops and looks back at the pile of crumbled stone for a moment. He then turns to catch up with the other two, and the camera pans to the wreckage and cuts to a close-up of its surface. A small green spider-Beast Boy-scuttles out of a hole in the pile and climbs up the side a bit; he then returns to human form.)
Beast Boy: Star? Starfire? Where are you? (climbing down) Come on! Gimme a sign here! (He starts to dig.) You have to be all right, okay? 'Cause I-it was just a joke, you know? Back at the Tower, and...I'm sorry. I never said it, but I'm really, really sorry. It was supposed to be funny. And you could've been hurt, and...
(He strains to lift a good-sized fragment and manages to get it clear of the pile.)
Beast Boy: (softly) ...I'm a total clorbag.
(Cut to behind him; a tall shadow is thrown across him from near the camera. Pull back to frame its source-Starfire, with not so much as a scratch on her. He turns around.)
Beast Boy: Huh?
(She gives him a warm, forgiving smile that instantly perks him up.)
Beast Boy: Starfire!
(Taking kitten form again, he jumps into her outstretched hands and she cuddles him to her chest. Her perspective; he looks up at her and meows happily.)
Starfire: (laughing) I am glad you are unharmed as well. (Pull back from both; he takes human form and kneels before her.)
Beast Boy: I am so sorry. You gotta forgive me.
Starfire: I already have. (She helps him up.) Now those evil brothers must be made to apologize.
Beast Boy: I don't think they are evil. I think they're just like me.
(Dissolve to a clearing in the mountains outside Jump City. A few scarecrow-like dummies have been set up, consisting of two crossed tree limbs with a blanket wrapped around them. Some characters have been painted on the cloth. Pan across the area; more such dummies have been set up, and the sorcerer stands among them.)
Lightning: (from o.c., contemptuously) Sticks and leaves? (Cut to him and Thunder in the clearing.) Is this a joke? There is no fun in blasting such frail targets!
Sorcerer: Are you certain, young master? Try. You may like what you see.
(The young master in question groans and throws a bolt at one of the dummies; it instantly catches fire and makes him rethink his opinion of the whole exercise.)
Lightning: Dancing lights! Pleasing.
Thunder: Let Thunder try his hand.
(He steps toward a target and throws a blast, causing the thing to disappear in a small explosion and a great clap of sound.) Thunder: Wondrous noise!
Lightning: See, brother? There is no harm in our fun.
Sorcerer: And there is so much fun to be had.
(The two thrill-seekers grin at each other. Lightning flies across the clearing, blasting one target after another, and Thunder leaps high and slams a fist against the ground to open a furrow. A target at the end of it lights up, followed by several others when he redirects his efforts. Now both brothers work in tandem and turn one target after another into blazing torches. They finally stop their assault and back up to the sorcerer.)
Lightning: More targets, old one!
Thunder: Yes, please, give us more.
Sorcerer: That won't be necessary. You've done quite enough.
(He produces a metal disc from underneath his robes. Close-up: it bears a character, Chinese in appearance, that looks something like a stylized letter S. Pull back; he scales the object over the clearing as Thunder and Lightning watch, totally baffled. It stops high in the sky and spins in place; electricity crackles around it as it picks up speed, culminating in a mighty orange flash. Pull back to show it suspended over the burning target as rays of light shoot down to strike every last one. Beams of orange light start to play between them and just miss the two puzzled brothers.)
(Pull back to a long overhead shot to reveal that these have traced out a large, rough humanoid shape on the ground, with a final wide beam from above touching the heart area. When the light show stops, the outline starts to burn intensely; the sorcerer holds up a staff topped with the same character that was on the disc he threw.)
(The apparition does so with an unearthly screeching noise. It has that character engraved on its forehead.)
Sorcerer: Burn, Fire! Burn it all!
(It starts down the mountainside toward the city proper, but stops upon finding the Titans some distance away.)
Robin: Didn't anyone ever tell you? (Cut to them.) Play with fire, you're going to get burned.
(The beast swings a flaming forearm at the team, forcing them to scatter. Robin looks up from the duck-and-cover position he has assumed and sees Fire pushing trees aside and making its way toward Jump City. Smoke and flames billow in its wake as the camera pans slightly to put the entire metro area in view-and right in its path. The sorcerer waves the fumes aside with his staff.)
Sorcerer: Good. Very good.
(Thunder and Lightning cannot believe what they have just had a hand in unleashing.)
Thunder: Brother, what have we done?
(The thing continues down the mountain. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: a group of houses built downhill of the newly kindled forest. Tilt up to show the extent of the blazes, then cut to Fire as it stalks on toward the city. The Titans chase it.)
Robin: Titans! Go!
(He pulls even with the creature on foot while Raven does likewise in the air. Pulling a couple of grenades from his belt, he throws them at its feet; they throw up a wall of smoke when they blow. Raven flies through it all.) Raven: Flames can't spread if there's nothing to burn. Azarath Metrion Zinthos! (Her spell uproots several trees.)
Robin: Good idea, Raven. Beast Boy! Starfire! Help her out!
(These two put on a burst of speed, and Beast Boy turns into a buffalo to deliver a crushing headbutt against the base of a tree. It topples into a row of others and brings them all down. Meanwhile, Starfire takes up a position high above the boughs; she throws a starbolt that blows another clump of old growth to matchwood. His cannon at the ready, Cyborg leaps toward Fire and lets go with a terrific blast when he lands. It skims the ground and throws up a wall of dirt in the beast's face-a large-scale equivalent of dumping sand on a campfire to put it out.)
(It takes some time for the view to begin to clear. Fire is nowhere in sight among the dust clouds. Cut to the Titans; Beast Boy is in human form again.)
Beast Boy: Is he out?
(Pull back to frame him in front of the murky air. In answer to his question, Fire stands up, still blazing and now roaring mad.)
Raven: You had to ask.
(As it screeches some more, Robin runs up for a closer look. Cut to his perspective of the flaming creature and zoom in a bit. Up the slope to one side, standing on a stone outcropping, is the sorcerer. Close-up: he grins maliciously. Back to Robin, who is starting to put it all together, then to the old man. Thunder and Lightning are behind him.) Sorcerer: Go, young masters. Fire is your creation. They have no right to destroy your fun.
Lightning: Yes! We must fight!
Thunder: But, brother-
Lightning: Do not annoy me with your foolish concerns! Come!
(The blue brother thinks it over for a moment, and both of them disappear in a flash of light. The sorcerer turns away from the spot where they stood and spreads his arms; he starts to laugh in triumph, but it dies on his lips as Robin's yell is heard from o.c. The Titans' leader sails across the clearing and lands a flying kick that sends the staff spiraling through the air. It sticks in the ground, walking end down, and Robin lands next to it. However, the thing pulls loose and sails back into the old man's hand.)
(The tense seconds pass as the two face off; finally the sorcerer breaks the silence, his voice starting to take on a tone similar to that used by Slade.) Sorcerer: Robin. We meet at last.
Robin: Who are you?
(There is no answer, except for a charge with staff raised for a swing. Robin meets it by hurling himself at the enemy as Fire moves closer to the city. Cut to Raven in flight.)
Raven: Azarath Metrion Zinthos!
(This time, she has targeted the creature itself. The stream of black energy pouring from her hands breaks against the giant's form and stops it in its tracks. When she relents, its flames have gone out, leaving the body black and smoking. Cut to the midsection and tilt up to the head as the surface begins to crack all over; finally the creature lights up again and Raven gasps in shock. It slams its fists together and creates a pyrotechnic shock wave that blasts away all the trees within several dozen yards. She is thrown back by the overpressure, as is Cyborg.)
(Ground level: he slams down, and Starfire and Raven land and start to help him up. Before they can get him upright, though, a lightning bolt flashes down and knocks all three even farther away. The brothers descend to the clearing; Lightning warms up his hands and advances, while Thunder stays put and gets ready to attack. Before he can throw that curveball, though, Beast Boy-as a tiger-steps into view before him.)
Thunder: Stand aside, green one!
(Said green one just roars. They charge at one another, but before any blows can land, violet smoke boils up and covers the entire screen. When it clears, we are in the middle of a bank of clouds in this color. Thunder is among them, but his body is largely in shadow and drawn in a somewhat different style now. The next cut, after the following line, will show Beast Boy in a similar manner. The entire view shimmers and wavers somewhat, and the two voices echo slightly.)
Thunder: I do not wish to harm you.
Beast Boy: But you want to destroy homes and innocent lives? Thunder: No.
Beast Boy: Then what are you fighting for?
Thunder: My brother and I...the old one says we are unique, gifted, better.
Beast Boy: Gifts don't make you better, just different. It's how you use them that counts.
(Thunder turns this over in his mind a bit. Cut to a close-up of Lightning.)
Lightning: It seems your power has its limit. (holding up a sparking hand) But mine has none.
(Pull back. He is standing over the unconscious Starfire and getting ready to light her up like a Christmas tree-but before he can do so, a blast from Thunder plows him away. She comes to and looks in the direction of the shot; shift to frame both brothers. Thunder pushes over a charred tree as he steps up, and Lightning gets to his feet.)
Lightning: (warming up) You betray me?
Thunder: We have done wrong, my brother. Our fun must stop.
Lightning: No one commands Lightning- (warming up) -not even Thunder!
(He throws a wide beam; the impact sends Thunder tumbling among the trees. Robin and the sorcerer, meanwhile, continue their melee as the mountain burns all around them. Slowly but steadily, the young Titan retreats downhill before his attacker's swings. Soon, though, he holds his ground and blocks one strike after another, then sidesteps when the upper end of the staff is jabbed at him. It hits a tree and sends up a wisp of smoke as if it were a red-hot branding iron. The sorcerer grimaces down at him.)
(Cut to the mountainside. Fire continues its inexorable advance toward the lower houses as the other four Titans gather to watch. Beast Boy is back in human form.)
Cyborg: Those houses go, the whole city could go. We gotta stop the fire!
Cyborg: Any way we can.
(They run down the slope. Cut to Lightning in flight; he throws a bolt out ahead, and the camera shifts to Thunder, whose face suddenly goes slack-realizing he is the target. The electricity washes over him and hurls him back against a wall of rock. He slides down to a sitting position and groans wearily. Looking up, he finds his brother standing over him and ready to unload a king-size shock at point-blank range.) Thunder: Tell me, brother, are we still having fun? (Lightning's conscience gets to him.)
Lightning: (winding down) No.
Thunder: (pointing) Observe.
(Cut to behind Fire as it descends the mountain, then to in front of it and tilt down to the houses. It is hit in the face with a sudden torrent of water, accompanied by an elephant's trumpeting. Pan along a street; Raven is casting a spell to hold the flames back, Beast Boy-as the pachyderm-is spraying water from his trunk, and Cyborg has opened a fire hydrant. Starfire descends among them.)
Thunder: They also have gifts, but they use them for good, while we waste ours on dangerous fun. (He puts a hand on Lightning's shoulder.) If we are so special, brother, let us act special. We must help.
Lightning: But how? Our gifts can only destroy.
Thunder: True. But together we have another gift.
(They are gone in a flash of light, ascending into the cloud cover. When they have vanished from sight, a blast of lightning is seen from within. The four Titans find themselves staring at a mountain in flames and a walking inferno that has not let up one bit despite their best efforts. It towers over them and roars.)
(Cut to the clouds, as seen at the beginning of the episode. Thunder strikes them with his sticks and Lightning directs his hands here and there, producing the same effects as before. The camera shifts to point up at them from foot level as the glare plays over both of them and a driving rain begins-the result of combining their talents. At ground level, Fire looks up in alarm at the downpour, then screams in agony as its flames go out in a thick wall of brown smoke. When the view clears, there is nothing left but a few piles of ashes. Pan from them to Beast Boy, Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire. All but Raven cheer wildly; Beast Boy is in human form.)
(Up on the mountain, the sorcerer has caught the front of Robin's tunic and hoisted him up. The former's tone of voice is now unmistakable.)
Sorcerer: Robin. Is that the best you can do?
(There is a tremendous flash of lightning that whites out the entire screen. When it subsides, the view is at ground level; Robin drops into a crouch, free of the man's grasp. Cut to the robed figure, who has thrown up an arm to guard his face; he brings it down after a moment, revealing it to have been only a mask that was damaged in the strike. Most of the left side has fallen away, and underneath is a smooth expanse of red-orange metal with a narrow slit for the eye. The last remaining pieces come loose to fully expose that half of Slade's still-concealed face-the first time that any of it has been seen on camera. The colored reflection in that part of his silhouette, seen in "Divide and Conquer" and "Final Exam," is now fully explained, and he was able to recognize Robin from Gizmo's transmission at the end of "Final Exam.")
(Robin gasps in shock and stares, frozen in place-and after a long moment, the mastermind disappears in a blast of smoke that fills the screen. The view clears to show a close-up of the metal disc he threw into the air to bring Fire to life. Pull back; Robin regards it thoughtfully, then picks it up for a very close look.)
(Dissolve to the street, where the celebration is still going on. Beast Boy has his tongue out to catch the raindrops.)
Beast Boy: Ah, yeah! (He laughs.)
Cyborg: That's what I mean! Very nice!
(Beast Boy turns away from the street and sees Thunder and Lightning coming down from the mountain. He crosses to them. Lightning looks away, showing very clearly that he would rather be doing anything else right now.)
Thunder: (bowing) I am sorry for the trouble we have made. (He nudges Lightning, who faces forward.)
Lightning: I am... (bowing) ...also sorry. (Thunder and Beast Boy shake hands.)
Thunder: You have taught us much, green one. Thank you. Beast Boy: Don't thank me. (He gestures at Starfire; she steps forward.) Thank the person who taught me. (She and the brothers bow to each other.)
Starfire: And thank you for helping to defeat the flame monster.
(Cut to an overhead view of the six-two brothers and four Titans-and then dissolve to a long shot of the Tower, seen from the city proper. It is now sunrise of the next day, the clouds have broken, and a rainbow stretches up from the horizon behind the Tower. Pan a short distance to the entire team, on a ridge overlooking Jump City. Robin hands Slade's talisman to Cyborg so he can give it a looking over.)
[Animation goofs: Starfire's armband appears and disappears during this final scene, and the black stones in her wrist guards turn red.) Cyborg: So, Slade wants to destroy the city. Question is, why?
Robin: I don't know, but I will find out-and he won't get away with it. (Beast Boy comes up behind Starfire.)
Beast Boy: So...am I, you know...still a clorbag?
Starfire: Mmm-no. I believe you are more of a...milnip wusserloop.
(Not being too fluent in Tamaranean, he does not know what to make of this label for a moment. Bewilderment quickly gives way to a big grin, though.)
Beast Boy: SWEET! (dancing) Go, Beast Boy! I'm a milnip! Who's your wusserloop? Huh?
(He stops dancing; for a moment his eyes have stars in them.)
Beast Boy: (a bit puzzled) That is a good thing...right, Star?
(She just giggles and goes airborne to head home. Raven follows her, while Robin and Cyborg start running. The green Titan is left standing by himself.)
Beast Boy: Star?
(He hot-foots it after the others. Fade to black.)