August 7th, 2004
Aftershock - Part 1
(Opening shot: the rooftops of Jump City at night, under a driving rain. Cut to ground level, the camera moving swiftly down the street to the sound of a motorcycle engine. A laser blast flashes into view and blows out a streetlight; pull back as the shooter streaks down the block on his chopper, which is red and black. Seen from behind, he has gray skin, long black hair under a steel helmet, and jagged stripe tattoos of the same color on muscular arms that extend from his sleeveless black T-shirt. This is Johnny Rancid.)
(He laughs and shoots out more lights as exhaust fumes drift over the pavement.)
(Close-up. Rather an unsavory-looking motorcycle thug.)
Rancid: (scraps his blaster's barrel on the street) Yeah! Whoo-hoo!
(More laughter as he approaches the camera; he then pulls back, brings up a weapon in each hand, and fires at will.)
(A young man and woman approach their car, parked at the curb, only to see it blown away by Rancid's barrage. The girl screams and both run for cover as the phone booth near them gets it, and he zooms past the area.)
Rancid: That's right! Run and hide! The streets belong to Johnny Rancid!
(A second engine revs o.c.; he looks ahead, and the camera shifts to point up between the buildings from ground level. That sound came from Robin's R-Cycle, plunging to the street with him on it. Rancid's eyes pop at the sight, and he guns the engine to pull ahead and avoid having all that weight come down on his head. Robin hits the street at a distance; both riders put their wheels into a tearing skid and stop facing each other. Close-up of Robin's wheel, then tilt up to frame him.)
Robin: End of the road, Johnny.
Rancid: Robin, a little birdie name for a little birdie boy. You can't stop me. (He revs up and pops a wheelie.) You can't even catch me!
(Robin looks as if he would like to make Rancid eat that bike; laughing, the street tough peels out past him, and he flips onto his own rear wheel and starts the chase. Lightning tears the stormy sky as Rancid hunches over his handlebars and starts shooting at Robin. The Boy Wonder swerves to avoid the blasts, fishes out a couple of discs, and hurls them ahead. Two well-placed shots blow them to dust.)
Rancid: Awww. Did big bad Johnny break the birdie's favorite toys?
(He speeds ahead; Robin feeds gas and tries to catch up. Off they go around a corner, with Robin pulling almost even with Rancid. The armed hooligan levels a blaster and fires off a new volley; one shot ricochets off the R-Cycle's windshield, while Robin steers expertly to dodge the others. He comes up on the other side and Rancid draws a new bead, but Robin strikes the gun from his hand and rams his chassis against the red-and-black one.)
(Pull back. Rancid has been forced almost to the sidewalk. He nearly collides with a stack of crates, then kicks one loose from the next group he passes. It breaks open, releasing a great many oranges to go tumbling toward Robin; a few smash on his helmet and windshield, and he looks up through the pulp to find Rancid at close-quarters. The thug steers against the R-Cycle, causing it to overbalance. Both it and Robin slide across the pavement as Rancid stops for a moment.)
Rancid: Looks like you still need training wheels!
(He is off again, leaving the Titan to pound the pavement with a frustrated groan. A flash of lightning fills the screen and clears to show a patch of dark sky. Pull back to show it over the bridge that spans Jump City Bay. Another strike, and we are in the street again; Rancid drives into view from around a corner, the camera panning to follow his turn onto a parallel road as Robin gets after him once more. They are heading for the bridge.)
Rancid: You can't fight, you can't ride, and you can't win!
(Now on the bridge, he pops a wheelie and runs his bike straight up the rear end of a nearby car. The elevation boost allows him to slide onto one of the suspension cables. Robin widens his eyes at this feat of handling, then proceeds to match it. Up the incline they go, headlights blazing in the torrential storm, as the camera pulls back and dissolves to a long shot of the bridge. A lightning strike puts us back on the cable.)
Rancid: Face it, Bird-Boy. You're just a stupid little kid!
(He races ahead. This insult hits Robin exactly the wrong way, judging from his gritted teeth. Rancid pops a wheelie as he reaches the column to which the cable is attached and launches himself high over its top. Just as before, Robin stares wide-eyed and matches the move. Cut briefly to a midair shot of the two riders, Robin starting to descend from his impossible jump, then to a head-on view of Rancid. Pull back as he brings his wheels down neatly on the high end of a different cable and rides down. In midair, the R-Cycle is dropping fast, but when Robin's face comes into view, his eyes are bugging out with fear. The camera shifts behind him to reveal that he is about to have a head-on collision with one of the columns.)
(Cut to a long shot of the bridge. An explosion at the pinnacle marks the crash and is accompanied by Rancid's derisive laughter from o.c. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: the exterior of Titans Tower. It is now the following morning. In the operations center, Raven raises one glowing hand and holds it palm first toward the camera; cut to Robin on the couch. She touches his right arm, which is in a cast, and applies her healing energy.)
Raven: (from o.c.) I've reduced the injury to a minor fracture, but you're still gonna need that cast for a few weeks.
(She removes her hand; he groans disgustedly and flails the broken limb forward.)
Robin: I don't believe this! How could I make such a stupid mistake? (Starfire comes in.)
Starfire: Please. No more Robin yelling at Robin. (Cyborg joins her.)
Cyborg: Yeah, man, stop kicking yourself. Accidents happen.
(Profile close-up of the patient's lowered, furious face.)
Robin: Not to me, they don't. (Pull back; Beast Boy is now in the room. A light bulb appears over his head.)
Beast Boy: Dude, I know just how to cheer you up!
(He vaults over the back of the couch and pulls out a marker.)
Beast Boy: We all have to sign your...
(Close-up of Robin on the end of this; he gives the camera a thoroughly fed-up glance.)
Beast Boy: Or not? (He slithers off the couch.)
Robin: (stands up) Look, guys. Thanks for the concern, but-- (He starts away.)
Beast Boy, Cyborg, Raven and Starfire: NO!! (They pile on and bear him back to the couch.)
Starfire: You are in no condition to continue pursuing the Johnny Rancid!
Robin: I know. I was just reaching for the remote.
Beast Boy: You mean...
Cyborg: ...You're not gonna be all crazy determined...
Starfire: ...And insist that you are fine when you clearly are not... (They let him up; he crosses to the windows.)
Raven: ...And yell at us for trying to make you stay home?
Robin: (holds up the remote) You guys can handle Rancid without me. With this on my arm, I'd probably just mess up again. Go. Take him down. (turns to the windows) I'll be just fine by my--
(His body seizes up and a choked little cry issues from his throat. Close-up of the remote, clattering to the floor by his feet, then cut to the other four Titans. Starfire gasps.)
Beast Boy: Dude!
Raven: What's wrong?
(He is wracked by convulsions that cause his head to swell far out of proportion. Cries of pain are accompanied by a large lump growing in the center of his forehead; it soon ejects itself from his skin and he pitches to the floor. The flesh-colored blob hits the carpet, bounces into the air, and forms itself into Nosyarg Kcid, the little fellow who horned in on the opening sequence. His tunic sports a lowercase R.)
Nosyarg: Yaaaay! (He falls.) I made it! Robin! Hi!
(Beast Boy and Cyborg stare openmouthed, Starfire has her hands over her eyes, and Raven is her usual unflappable self.)
Raven: Didn't see that coming. (Starfire uncovers her eyes; Robin stands up.)
Robin: Who are you?
Nosyarg: I'm, uh...I'm you!
(This seems to fit into Robin's mind like a fish in the ice cube tray. Dissolve to a computer graphic of two DNA strands side by side; one has Robin's face and fingerprint next to it, the other shows Nosyarg's, and they slide together to overlap. Behind them, the morning sky can be seen, this display is on the window/screen, and the images perfectly cover each other. The word "MATCH" flashes on both sides.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) DNA's identical. (Pull back; the Titans watch the screen.) Little dude was right. He really is you.
Nosyarg: (bouncing across) We're DNA buddies! Yaaaay!
(Whooping and laughing, he runs back and forth.)
Robin: You've got to be kidding!
Nosyarg: (messing up the kitchen) Doodle-oot-doo-doo-doo...Wow, look in here...Cool! (plays with the door) Open, close. Open, close. Open, close. Open, close. Oh, this is fun. (He laughs.)
Beast Boy: (on the end of the previous) Hey! You're making a mess!
(With an ecstatic yell, Nosyarg reaches the couch in a single bound and takes a large bite out of the back cushions. The material does not at all agree with him; he spits the mouthful out to one side, laughs, and zips away. Raven steps over to inspect the damage, only to be interrupted when Nosyarg sails past on one of her books.)
Raven: The Book of Azar is not a toy!
[Note: In the comics, Azar was the leader of the temple in which Raven was brought up during her childhood in Azarath.]
(Veins throb all around Raven as she says this. Cut to Robin, Cyborg, and Starfire; the last giggles at the entire spectacle, but the boys are flat-out mystified.)
Robin: Well, if someone was trying to clone me, they didn't do a very good job. (Nosyarg floats to him.)
Nosyarg: (showers Robin with spit) No, not a clone. I'm you, another you, from another universe.
(His index finger lights up yellow, and he reaches it down o.c. and brings up a horizontal track with a little bicycle resting on it.)
(He gets behind the handlebars and starts pedaling. Behind him, a panel slides past to hide the operations center. On the next line, he passes the following: a line segment marked 1D, then a square marked 2D, a cube marked 3D, a Picasso-esque drawing of Robin, and a planet, sun, and moon that show the little twerp's face, the latter are labeled 4 9/8.)
Nosyarg: All the way from Dimension Four and Nine-Eighths...
(As he continues speaking and pedaling, he passes a picture of Soto's head labeled 5, then pictures of himself and the Boy Wonder, then close-ups of the two leaning against a DNA strand, and finally stops at a set of bleachers filled with copies of himself. Five of them have removed their tunics and painted letters on their chests to spell out Robin's name, and others hold up a banner.)
Nosyarg: ...Robin's double, DNA buddy, and number-one fan...
(Nosyarg stands up into view, his face blocking the pictures, and backs up against a black field. A spotlight flicks on above him.)
Nosyarg: ...Nosyarg Kcid!
(The second name is pronounced as the word "kid", As he announces himself, the two words fly past in front of him, right to left, with each letter appearing backwards. They then pass behind him, left to right, each letter turned around correctly and the overall order reversed; now they spell out "Dick Grayson", the given name of Batman's original sidekick.)
(Back to the operations center. Robin is desperately trying to sort all this out, and Cyborg is doing little better for himself.)
Starfire: (moves to Nosyarg, bear-hugging him) Welcome to our universe, small amusing doppelganger!
(He moans happily and literally melts in her hands. Cut to floor level; he is now a babbling puddle of goo, with hearts floating up and his face still in one piece. Beast Boy steps up.)
Beast Boy: Yeah, nice to meet you, Nosey...Nuzzy...uh... (laughs a bit) ...uh, maybe we should just call you Larry.
(He reconstitutes himself in a heartbeat and floats in midair.)
Nosyarg (Larry): My name is Larry now! Yaaaay!
(He touches his finger to the lowercase R on his tunic and changes it to a capital L, the patch becoming a square. Gabbling ecstatically and leaving a couple of bobby pins hanging in midair, he starts to zip all over the operations center and repeat his name time after time. The following sight gags occur during this sequence: using a megaphone emblazoned with his name, rowing a canoe over the Titans' heads, appearing on the window/screen, appearing as the original comic-book Robin while calling himself Mr. Larry, running along a ledge behind Beast Boy.)
Larry: (zipping up, shaking Beast Boy's hand furiously) Hey, Larry. Hi. How you doing, Larry? Larry!
(He turns away; pan to Starfire on his other side. Now he dresses as a Frenchman, complete with L-marked beret and takes her hand. Saying his name in the appropriate accent, he kisses the back of it and zips off; she blushes and giggles as hearts float in his wake. Cut to Raven.)
Larry: (pops up from Raven's shoulder and cloak) Larry! Hey, Larry! Hi, how you doing, Larry?
(Quick pan to Cyborg. Still repeating his own name, the runt pokes his head out of one shoulder panel, then the top of his head, then looks out of the chest panel. When the bionic hero eases this last hatch shut, Larry freewheels happily past him in midair.)
Cyborg: (puzzled) Yeah. Um...how do you do all that stuff you did?
(Close-up of Larry's upraised, glowing finger; pull back as he brings it down and stares gleefully into its light.)
Larry: Magic finger. Bends the rules of reality.
(He extinguishes it and briefly flicks out one item after another as if his fist were a Swiss Army Knife: a small saw, then a screwdriver, then a crayon. This last tool is what he wants; he quickly pulls out some paper and draws for a moment. When he finishes, he holds it to the camera with a laugh. He has put together a comic book, Adventure Comics, with Robin on the cover. "Featuring Robin! The Boy Wonder" is next to the picture. The issue opens to the first page, putting the top left panels in frame. A stretch of the cosmos is pictured; Larry stands in front of them.)
Larry: See, Robin's universe is here... (He crosses to the end of the row.) ...and Larry's is here.
(Next row, first panel: he holds a card marked "RULES" next to smaller panels that frame everyone but Robin. Narration switches to voice over.)
Larry: (voice over) And I bend the rules so I can watch my hero Robin beat the bad guys all the time.
(During this line, we move to the following panels. One, Larry bends the card and the four onlookers react with surprise; Beast Boy has become a guinea pig. Two, a view slides up to show Robin pummeling Mad Mod, Fixit, Doctor Light, and Cinderblock. Tilt down to show Larry watching and eating popcorn; he turns around and holds up his finger happily. Three, pan to panels that show the bridge across the bay, a helmeted Robin, and an X-ray of his shattered arm.)
Larry: (voice over) But when he got hurt... (Tilt down; he appears on a pedestal.) ...I knew Larry could help.
(On the end of this, comic Larry jumps to the panel's right edge, which is a door. He opens it and steps over the border into blackness, the camera panning that way; only his eyes can be seen.)
Larry: (voice over) So I decided to pop over.
(Lights flick on, a flash in his hand, a lamp set in a miner's helmet he now wears, and he looks around confusedly.)
Larry: (voice over) But I goofed...
(Dissolve to an X-ray of Robin's head and pull back. Larry's lights are shining in the Boy Wonder's brain pan. From here, tilt down to a row of three panels that show the convulsing Titan and the growing protuberance on his forehead.)
Larry: (voice over) ...and popped over inside your noggin.
(Real-life Larry stands up in view to finish the narration.)
Larry: Oops. (Robin and Cyborg are skeptical as all get out.)
Robin: Yeah. Oops. (Pan to the other three Titans.)
Beast Boy: Alternate dimensions? Bending realities? (Loud groan.) All this science is hurting my brain!
(Larry zips over, flips open the top of the green cranium, and slaps a Band-Aid on the mass of gray matter. He quickly claps the skull back together.)
Beast Boy: Huh? (face slack) Uh... (smiles euphorically) ...ohhh.
Larry: See? Larry's here to help. (He flies to Robin and arrives upside down.) Now watch me fix up that arm.
(He zaps his magic finger at the hand emerging from Robin's cast, and both are flabbergasted when it turns into a hockey stick.)
(A vein pops out on Robin's forehead, but an alarm and red flashing light stop both in their tracks. Cut to a close-up of a computer screen, which shows a map of Jump City, a picture of Rancid, and a dot to mark his location. Pull back to show this as part of a console that Cyborg is using.)
Cyborg: Johnny Rancid! Downtown!
(Robin looks bemusedly at the piece of sports equipment that used to be his hand.)
Robin: (wearily) Just go.
(Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: the exterior of the Tower, seen from above roof level that evening. Zoom in slowly for a few seconds; the screen then fills with static and changes to a chef in his kitchen; this is the cooking show Robin was channel-surfing past in "Nevermore." He is watching television.)
Chef: That is how we boil water.
(Static, then a horror movie; a young woman fleeing through a graveyard on a misty, moonlit night. Pan to follow her across; she runs flat into a very tall figure and backs up. Head-on view of the obstacle, one of several half-decayed zombies shambling toward the camera. Just as they are about to touch it, a black title card slides down into view, showing the title "Dead Will Walk" in big red letters. Static, then a wrestling ring. One brawler stands atop a corner post and throws himself onto a prone opponent while his tag-team partner watches. As the jumper gets his target in a headlock, pull back to frame Robin and Larry on the couch in the operations center.)
(Larry has his magic finger fired up and stretched out; cut to Robin. As he flips channels and a yell comes from the speakers, the plaster-covered right arm changes from a hockey stick to the following: an accordion, a candy cane, an elephant's trunk, a fish, a chainsaw, and a large lobster claw. Each mistake is accompanied by a cry of "Oops" from the o.c. imp; during the sequence, pull back to frame him. He finally puts the broken limb back as Raven left it.)
Larry: Yaaaay! 'Kay. This time I'll fix it up just right.
Robin: Let's just let it heal on its own. (Larry backs off.)
Larry: Hey, want to check in with the team on your communicator?
(On the end of this, he waves the finger, and the device appears in midair and flips open, sounding its ringtone.)
Robin: They're fine. (Larry is briefly disgruntled, but brightens again.)
Larry: (makes the computer system appear by Robin) Ooh! I bet you want to monitor the mission by computer!
Robin: Not really. (Larry pops up behind him, holding a wrench.)
Larry: Oh. Then don't you want to patch up your R-Cycle?
Robin: No thanks.
Larry: (pulls out a dumbbell) Want to work out?
Larry: (holds up a belt) Clean your utility belt?
Robin: (a vein throbs on his temple) No.
(Larry backs up a bit. A mass of matter next to him shapes itself into a file cabinet.)
Larry: Alphabetize your crime files?
(The unit has started to tip forward, and one by one the drawers slide open, dumping their contents. Cut to a thoroughly nonplussed Robin amid the shower of folders.)
Larry: (from o.c.) Polish your boomerangs? (Several fall on him.) Iron your cape?
(A spare one flutters down onto the spiky head. Finally, he pulls it away, blows his cool, and stands up from the mess.)
Robin: (a vein throbs on his temple) No, no, NO! (Larry lights up his finger.)
Larry: Just let me fix your arm. (Robin struggles to push him away.) Please? You'll feel all--
(Pull back. The Titan and his number-one fan scuffle, rolling off the couch and around it toward the kitchen. The following words, interspersed with grunts and cries, are spoken together.)
Robin: Cut it ou...Get that thing away from...Larry...Leave me alone!
Larry: Come on!...I can help!...Let me help, let me help!
(Larry goes flying straight up toward the ceiling and crashes to the floor near the kitchen. Glowing cracks spread around the point of impact, and they propagate further as he sits up and shakes his head to clear it. Holding up his magic finger, he is quite surprised to find it bent out of shape, with sparks spitting from its tip. Overhead view: Robin stands at a distance, and Larry gasps as the cracks grow in all directions.)
(The damage reaches both sides of the kitchen, then the couch and walls. Robin fixes a bewildered stare on them as Larry flies over.)
Larry: Big oops.
(Long shot of the Tower, seen from the bayshore opposite Jump City. Flashes of light pop here and there on the top floor; these are followed by a wide, pulsating beam that shoots skyward from the roof. Dissolve to an even longer shot, revealing that the radiation is pouring into the tempestuous clouds, which soon set off of their own free will and drift toward the urban city. Shimmering shafts pour down through rents in the lower surfaces.)
(Cut to an extreme close-up of Rancid's motorcycle tire and pull back. He is racing through the city, but a few starbolts from overhead force him into a bit of a course change. Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy, as a pterodactyl ridden by Cyborg, are flying after him; he simply guns the engine and roars ahead, and they do likewise. After Rancid has rounded a corner, Cyborg leads the charge and stops Beast Boy near the street.)
Cyborg: Titans! (Close-up; all four eyes bug out.) Wha--?
(His perspective. The clouds and beams are bearing down right on him, making the entire view waver in the brilliance. Back to Cyborg and his mount; the two girls move in close for a look.)
Raven: That can't be good.
(They are enveloped in the beams and dumped to the ground, one after another. After all have slid o.c., dissolve to a close-up of the big man's face. He is tumbled on the pavement, but soon opens his eyes with a groan and raises his head. Cut to his perspective, the blurry view focusing as he gets his eyes back in sync; the city has become the sort of brightly colored crayon drawing that might be done by a kindergartner.)
(Back to him; he looks in another direction, and we see another group of buildings in this style. A bird flies along, chirping happily, and a smiling flower stands near a fire hydrant. Pan to Starfire, who looks around the new architecture with complete befuddlement; a butterfly flits past, and Cyborg stands up.)
Cyborg: Uh, why does the entire world look like it belongs on my grandma's fridge?
(As he says this, the camera pulls back slightly to show something protruding into view, then dissolve to longer shot and keep pulling back. The things are magnetic letters that hold the entire panorama, drawn on a sheet of paper, to the door of a refrigerator, along with other preschool-age works of art. Grandma Cyborg stands near the appliance in her kitchen; she wears an apron, a white sleeveless blouse, and reading glasses, and her gray hair is held back by large pins filled with circuitry. She is just as tall and broad as her grandson.)
(Back to the newly renovated city. A line of flowers marches past Raven.)
Raven: This is bad.
(Beast Boy rushes back and forth, letting off a string of muffled cries and yells. The cause is revealed when he stops next to Raven: his mouth is missing.)
Raven: Okay, so it's not all bad.
(Sight gag: a storm cloud appears above his head as he glares angrily at her. With one swift yank, he pulls her mouth from her face and slaps it into his own. His next words are delivered with her voice and his inflection.)
Beast Boy (with Raven's mouth): Will somebody please tell me what's going on?
(Raven mutely taps him on the shoulder and points upward as the sound of something falling toward them is heard. Beast Boy follows her gesture; cut to ground level, the camera pointing straight up. Robin and Larry scream and drop straight toward us, and the view cuts back to Beast Boy and Raven. She takes an impossibly long step off to one side, but he is a bit slow on the draw. Finally, he yells, still with Raven's voice, and tries to run, but Robin and Larry crash down on top of him. Once the dust clears, Robin sits up and rubs his head; he and Beast Boy both groan, and Larry pops up.)
Larry: We're still alive! Yaaaay!
(A glob of spit shoots from his mouth and splashes into Robin's face, making that temple vein throb anew as he wipes himself clean.)
Starfire: (from o.c.) Robin! (Pan to her, Raven, and Cyborg behind him.)
Cyborg: What happened?
Robin: (to the o.c. Larry) Yeah. What happened?
(Cut to the inter-dimensional visitor. A small strawberry floats past him, similar to the one that drifted through the happy part of Raven's mind in "Nevermore." Beast Boy stands up with another woozy groan.)
Larry: 'Member how I can bend reality? (Beast Boy staggers off.) Well, when you pushed me, we kind of broke it.
Robin: You broke reality?
Larry: We did, together. (Robin grabs him.) Oops. (He is yanked in close.)
Robin: Fix it! Now!
Larry: (holds up his sparking finger) Can't. Heh. Magic finger's broke, too.
(Close-up of it and pan to his worried face; he stitches on a placating smile, but it does no good. Robin carries him over to the others.)
Robin: Raven! Fix his finger!
(She has no immediate response, since her mouth has been commandeered. A quick look around shows Cyborg to be the closest Titan who still has one, so she tears it loose and installs it.)
Raven (with Cyborg's mouth): Not a good idea.
(A thought balloon pops up by her head, showing her in "Super Deformed" style with no mouth. During the next line, the following things happen. Pan to put her o.c.; the balloon expands, and a plus sign appears along with Larry. It grows again, and an equals sign pops up followed by a mushroom cloud. He screams and both flee as the balloon evaporates, and the camera pans back to Raven.)
Raven (with Cyborg's mouth): Mixing my powers with his could destroy the dimensional boundaries and nullify all existence. (Pull back to frame Beast Boy.)
Beast Boy (with Raven's mouth): Who cares? I just want my mouth back! (Larry pops up.)
Larry: No problem, no problem! If anybody can fix reality, it's my hero Robin!
(Cut to said hero on the end of this line. Larry jumps over and gives him a big hug.)
Robin: What makes you think I can fix it? I don't even understand how we broke it!
(Back to the other four on the end of this. Cyborg swipes Starfire's mouth.)
Cyborg (with Starfire's mouth): Well, somebody's gotta clean up this mess. Come on, y'all!
(The three borrowed mouths are quickly returned to their proper owners. Zoom in on Cyborg.)
Cyborg: We're heading for Titans Tower!
(He sets off down the street, followed by Raven and the mumbling Beast Boy. Robin stops to stare after them and is joined by Starfire.)
Starfire: Robin. You are feeling okay?
Robin: The universe is falling apart because I made another stupid mistake. How would you feel? (Pan to his other side; Larry floats over, his finger heavily bandaged.)
Larry: Hey, DNA buddy, look! (Tilt down; he taps Robin's cast.) Now we're cast buddies too!
Robin: (sarcastically) Yay.
(Cut to a street in normal Jump City. The clouds and light float over a street, turning it to a simple, garish version of itself. Tilt down to ground level as screams are heard, and soon, several panicked residents, their normal selves, are seen fleeing before a tank that rolls toward the camera. It rolls past, after which a fellow, dressed as the title character from Gilligan's Island, runs across the street and is chased by two angry dogs. Cut to a roof-level of a normal block, panning along as it is transformed; at ground level; more panic-stricken people run past Larry and the Titans. Their pursuer: an eight-foot tall guinea pig, standing on its hind legs and growling like a mad dog.)
(After the creature has run by, Beast Boy looks off in a certain direction and starts to flail his arms with a muffled scream. Shift to point down the street; the unaffected Tower stands in the distance, that shaft of white light still issuing from its roof as others lance down from the clouds. Close-up of its roof, tilting up to the top of the blazing column.)
Larry: Yaaaay! (climbs in Robin's ear, and peers out from his eye) And I betcha Robin's already got a super, smart plan for what to do when we get there.
(On the end of this, he forces his head into Robin's other eye.)
Robin: (pulls Larry out with veins on his forehead and all around) I'm just hoping we get there before we all go completely insane.
(Pan to Raven, whose hair now resembles that of the Bride of Frankenstein: standing straight up in an electro-shock bouffant, with lighter streaks up the side.)
Raven: Ditto. (Starfire walks up.)
Starfire: Do not despair. (Wings sprout from her head.) Our goal is in sight. (It pops loose and flies up.) The journey cannot last much longer.
(Her body jumps up and down, trying to catch the fluttering head. Beast Boy grunts and points down the street; cut to several people in full retreat before a huge reptilian creature that comes out from behind a building, breathing fire and roaring as it stomps along. Planes fly past, and the group stares dumbfounded; Starfire has seized her cranium.)
Cyborg: Actually, this could take a while.
(The entire block starts to rotate as if on the surface of a turning sphere, and a paper cutout of the sextet moves past, attached to the end of a stick. The green beast comes after them in like manner, after which the view shifts to a different area and individual cutouts flee in six different directions. Now seen as their three-dimensional selves, they rush down another street; Beast Boy ducks behind a lamppost to stay out of the monster's view. In close-up, he is seen sweating profusely as a large drop slides down his temple, and he wipes his forehead and lets off a silent sigh.)
(Suddenly, the sound of chomping is heard from below. Beast Boy lets off a loud grunt as his eyes bug out; tilt down as he steps aside from the post. Near its base, with a shred of his outfit caught in its teeth from the bite it just took, is his missing mouth. The entire pole gets up and runs back and forth, with the inarticulate Titan hot on its heels, and here come Larry and the rest of the Titans chased by the green monster.)
(Cut to another area of the city; the monster clumps along, these five are going flat out, and the view slides away to the left to be replaced by a close-up of their panicked faces. Dissolve to a longer shot of them, at the entrance to a tunnel, and pull back to show it at the top of a flight of stairs leading down to a subway station. They remain motionless and silent as the behemoth passes nearby on the street. Back to them.)
(That yell brings the vein up on Robin's forehead. Five cats suddenly appear in front of the dumbstruck Titans. The grinning lamppost runs past, chased by Beast Boy, and the monster reaches down to rip the tunnel arch away, scaring the cats away and exposing the fugitives. Close-up of its roaring face and tilt down to the five at ground level, then snap to black. Panels of Robin, Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire, all very scared, float slowly across the screen from different angles; in front of these, the four Titans and Larry run through and are chased by the beast. After all have gone, Beast Boy pops up and looks around. The post with his mouth steps into view at a distance and soon zips away again; he starts off after it. Now the screen is empty again.)
(Snap to a street. As Beast Boy chases the post toward the camera, the other mad dash crosses the screen behind him. The fleeing five pass in front, at which point the green goofball and city fixture both stop in their tracks and gape. Down comes one scaly green foot in front of them; when it steps off, the post is gone. Beast Boy looks down, clapping hands to head in surprise, and the camera cuts to ground level. His mouth is now floating on a rivulet of water toward the sewer, and as it disappears beneath the street, he reaches vainly toward it. A moment later, the dejected Titan is yanked away by his buddies and Larry as they pass, keeping just ahead of that gigantic foot.)
(Cut to a boat at the water's edge. Everyone piles in and pushes off, leaving the monster ranting on land; a bottle containing a message floats past, followed by shark fin. Without any warning, the boat springs a leak and sinks very quickly. Cut to underwater; one after another, they descend within large air bubbles, Starfire's head and body contained separately. A large whale swims past and swallows the entire group whole, and the camera cuts to within its gut. Cyborg is first to put his head up, turning on his shoulder-mounted flashlight, and Robin, Beast Boy, Raven, and Starfire's body surface. Larry is carried up on the Tamaranean's winged head, which is still in a bubble.)
(Outside, near the floor of Jump City Bay. The whale swims contentedly by, but is brought up short when its hide starts to bulge due to a ruckus inside. It finally lets off a great belch, allowing everyone to escape: they have fought their way out, and the view dissolves to the exterior of the Tower, seen from water level. The structure and its island are still normal, and the shafts of light are still playing here and there from the clouds above.)
(Cut to the shore, the camera pointing over the transformed water toward Jump City. Cyborg climbs onto dry land, followed by Raven and then Robin, and walk toward their home. Larry joins them after a second.)
Larry: Yaaaay! We made it! Now Robin can save the universe!
(He zips ahead; now Beast Boy steps up, clapping water from his ears as he approaches. He looks down and his eyes pop. Close-up of a rock, on which his mouth has washed up. Carefully, he gets hold of it, looks it up and down, and sticks it back on his face, but the protruding lower tooth, which should be on the left side of his mouth, is on the right instead. He has put it on the wrong way. Behind him, Starfire walks past, gripping her head firmly.)
Starfire: Beast Boy, wonderful! You have recaptured your mouth!
(On the end of this line, she puts herself back together and the wings above her ears disappear. The others have continued toward the Tower; a fish is now stuck in Raven's hair.)
Raven: Yeah, but I think he put it on backwards. (His next words prove her right.)
Beast Boy: (speaks backwards with subtitles appearing at the bottom of the screen to translate) Help! I can't understand what I'm saying!
(They step up to the door. Close-up of a small hatch, which opens to reveal a panel beneath; Cyborg places a palm on it to be scanned, and the security system beeps a bit. This is followed by a large tongue protruding from the door to blow a loud raspberry at them.)
Cyborg: I knew something like that was gonna happen.
(From-the-ground view of the Tower. Beast Boy, as a falcon, flies up toward the roof and is followed by everyone else in the merry band. Raven carries Robin, while Starfire is toting Cyborg. Roof level: Beast Boy comes in for a landing and reverts to human form, staring at the wide swath of radiance emerging from the concrete. Tilt up to its top end, then cut to him, Robin, Raven, and Larry on the roof. Pan slowly across them toward Cyborg and Starfire; as the camera moves, Raven fiddles with her hair. It first turns into a turkey, then the Leaning Tower of Pisa and finally back to its normal style on the next line.)
Beast Boy: (during Raven's fiddling, he speaks backwards with subtitles appearing at the bottom of the screen to translate) Dude, I could stare at that for hours. (Cut to it.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) So how do we close it?
(Pan toward one end of the roof; Rancid is there, climbing onto an equipment housing.)
Rancid: You don't. (Close-up.) Whatever this thing is, it controls the city. (Pull back; he gets ready to run.) And now the city belongs to Johnny Rancid!
(On the end of this, his boots start pounding the concrete. He pushes off the edge of the housing and launches himself directly at the blinding vortex, his form fading partially away as he plunges. Robin rushes in.)
(The fuzzy black outline straightens up and lets off a hearty roar as the surrounding light goes blood-red. Long shot of the Tower; it expands into a pillar of flame. On the roof, Larry and the Titans shield their eyes and then behold the motorcycle punk beginning to emerge from within the scarlet interior. His voice is now a couple of tones lower and significantly more menacing.)
(Close-up of his midsection and tilt up as he steps clear of the spot on the next line. His shirt and tattoos are gone, the eyes have become fierce red points, and, he has grown considerably in both height and musculature.)
Rancid: Ready for me to clip your other wing?
(He gives the camera a menacing smirk. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: a gaily colored section of the transformed Jump City. Pan through the area as a wave spreads to turn it into a dim, twisted, blighted nightmare metropolis under a blackly clouded sky. Long shot of the city, panning to the Tower; that fiery column is still raging on the roof, then cut to the six travelers.)
Raven: Cool...uh, I mean, oops.
(Rancid strides toward them; his tattoos have reappeared and turned red, and a streak of this color has appeared in his hair.)
Rancid: Your city is mine! Your reality is mine!
(Lightning strikes as he laughs insanely. Reaching into his belt, he brings up a pair of jagged, curved blades and fires red bolts from their tips: a frighteningly potent alteration of the blasters he carried in the prologue. Cut to a long shot of the group, zooming in quickly toward Robin: he is the target, but Cyborg plows him away an instant before the shots hit the spot. Pull back over the roof; an explosion goes up from the edge, and at its surface the two Titans slide across as a little debris bounces past.)
Cyborg: Titans! Go!
(Close-up of Rancid, pulling back. He has his hands outstretched, palms down, and energy streams from them to form a jumbo-size version of his original chopper, its headlight blazing. A quick hop puts him in the seat; he revs the engine, brings the craft around with a screech of tires, and charges straight at Raven and Starfire. On the next line, they scatter and he lifts off the roof, leaving a trail of flames in his wake.)
Rancid: Come on, Bird-Boy! Let's see if you can fly!
(Cyborg runs up and raises his left fist. It launches off the arm, still connected to the wrist by a long cable, and the hand wraps all five fingers around the rear fender as a makeshift grappling hook. The line pulls tight and yanks Cyborg off the roof with a yell; he is dragged higher and higher, and Rancid levels one of his new weapons at the stowaway and fires. The blast snaps the connection and drops him screaming into the bay.)
(Starfire pitches a couple of high-energy sliders at the monstrous hoodlum, who is now riding fairly low above the water. He dodges her shots, grins maliciously back up at her, and sweeps the bike so low that his tires cleave the liquid. More swerving puts him in the clear from her next blasts, but she streaks down after him and almost ends up in the drink herself. Rancid hocks up a wad of phlegm and spits it at the pterodactyl Beast Boy; it tumbles through the air, curves improbably, and splatters right into the beaked face. He plummets into the bay, very nearly crashing with the charging Starfire, and pokes his head up after she has passed. Back in human form, he spits out a mouthful of water.)
Beast Boy: (speaks backwards with subtitles appearing at the bottom of the screen to translate) Yuck! Rancid loogie!
(Having gained some altitude, Rancid dodges more starbolts and fires into the high clouds. The blast tears them open to send down a curtain of red lightning bolts; cut to Starfire, who very quickly finds herself wrapped up in the glowing tendrils and reeled up into the thunderheads. The rent seals itself, almost like a zipper being secured, and puts her out of sight. Rancid pulls into view just above the water, smiling wickedly back at the sight, but his face soon registers shock; ahead of him, Raven drops into view.)
Raven: You want dark? I'll give you dark! Azarath Metrion Zinthos!
(She hurls a spell straight toward the foe, who grins and fires a sustained burst right back at her. The two energies meet at a point between them and cancel out; Rancid's starts to overpower Raven's, but the situation soon reverses itself. Cut to her straining face, then his grinning one, then to the standoff. He powers the cycle and his beam ahead, forcing her to start backing up in order to keep from stopping both with her face. As he drives, his energy overwhelms hers and a huge explosion momentarily obscures both. When it clears, he rides laughing toward the urban center and Raven splashes down into Jump City Bay.)
(Putting her head up, she tries to fly away, but she is surprised at being unable to do so. The "water" has become some viscous, gluey liquid that resists her attempts to pull loose. In the city, a colossal fireball roars up among the buildings; pull back to frame Robin and Larry watching from the roof of the Tower. More explosions go off during the following lines.)
Larry: Titans go! Titans go! Robin has to beat the bad guy! (Long silence.)
Robin: (softly) I can't.
Larry: But why can't you? You're Robin!
Robin: Don't you get it?! (holds up Robin's injured arm) Look at me! I'll just mess it up again!
Larry: So? I mess up all the time, but I still try. That's how come you're my hero, Robin. Because no matter what, you always try.
(Cut to a close-up of the Boy Wonder's face. These words set him thinking for a few seconds; he comes out of the reverie with a broad smile that Larry cheerfully returns. Cut to Rancid in flight through the city; he unleashes bursts on the buildings and laughs at the destruction.)
Rancid: Bam! Yeah! Gotcha! Yeah, take that!
(More laughter, which is suddenly cut off by something yellow flashing past.)
Rancid: Whoa! (wheels around) Huh?
(Cut to the wheels of the R-Cycle, now also in midair, and tilt up. It is in proper working order, with Robin at the throttle and Larry riding the little scooter seen in the opening sequence. This is attached to Robin's bike.)
Larry: (taunts) Larry fixed the bike!
(Rancid's jaw hangs slack for a second, a bit of drool oozing over it; a quick shake of the head brings him back to himself, and his face goes bright red with rage. His next line is delivered with enough force to shake the camera.)
Rancid: Yeah! And it's the stupidest thing I've ever seen!
Robin: Have you looked in a mirror lately?
(Rancid's response is to bring the chopper around in a shrieking arc, ready to come right at them. Robin just yawns in a bored fashion and Larry leans back. This prompts an enraged growl from the gray sociopath, which is followed by Larry's giddy laughter. Now Rancid's growls intensify as his bloodshot eyes water and drool streams back through his teeth; he aims the front wheel straight at the pair, who simply float straight up and avoid a collision. The red-and-black bike comes around to a stop, leaving Rancid to watch Robin and Larry descend back to his level.)
(In a flash, the little imp is jumping out of his seat and the camera tilts up to frame him. He changes his outfit into that of a bullfighter, gold-trimmed red jacket, green hat and pants, and waves a small red cape. Thoroughly incensed by this provocation, Rancid snorts steam from his nose, snarls, and guns the engine. Just as he is about to mow the pair down, they rise away.)
(He and Robin descend again; now back in his seat, he restores his normal clothing. A red blast lances between them, almost taking both heads off, and Larry screams as Robin cuts his wheel to one side and lays rubber out of there. The gun battle ranges all over the twisted buildings of Jump City; as Rancid bears down on the R-Cycle, Robin whips out a birdarang and lets fly. It whizzes past the red-and-black-haired madman.)
Rancid: Ha! You missed!
(The projectile continues on its trajectory a bit longer, then doubles back. Close-up of Rancid, weapon at the ready, but a flash of the flying blades slices it apart in his hand.)
(The severed piece tumbles toward the streets far below, sparking a fresh wave of hatred that makes him rev his engine and speed ahead. He pulls even with Robin and steers into him; knocked away, the Boy Wonder and Larry drive around a building and pull back in. This time, Larry screams in terror as the two choppers lock fenders. Close-up of the two steely-determined drivers' faces, then cut to an oncoming structure. Just in time, the motorcycles separate and go around it on opposite sides, then ram into one another again once they are clear.)
(Rancid lifts one red-crackling hand and shoves it into Robin's face; Larry counters with a shout and a blast from his magic finger. This shot strikes Rancid's hair, covering it with a mass of flowers and making him yell in surprise, but he quickly shakes the blooms loose. Now Robin brings up one steel boot sole for a kick that goes squarely into the crazed biker's jaw; he and his wheels are knocked loose from the R-Cycle and pushed down.)
(Robin and Larry drive on, keeping an eye or four out for Rancid. No sign of him, but then that garish chopper roars up behind, tracing a spiral of flames in the night sky. Cut to the two heroes.)
Rancid: (from o.c.) You can't beat me! (Cut to him, descending, on the end of the previous.) You're just a stupid, little, kid!
(His throttle wide open, Robin pulls out a grappling hook and fires upward. The line snags on an elevated railroad track, and as he passes underneath, he lets the R-Cycle go and swings over the structure. Rancid zooms underneath, after which the Titan comes hurtling down with a feral yell and an extended boot. The enemy has just enough time for one panicked look over his shoulder before the steel toe finds his jaw and nearly removes it. The abandoned R-Cycle tumbles behind them.)
(Larry, meanwhile, has gone into free fall, and his extended finger pounds into Rancid's breadbasket. There is a mighty flash, which clears to show the area of the midair battle; tilt down to an overhead view of the street as the thug plummets from here and has a very painful meeting with the centerline. The impact sends up thick clouds of dust and smashes a deep crater in the pavement; when it clears, Rancid sits up groaning, back to his normal self, as Robin and Larry bring the R-Cycle down to hover nearby.)
Robin: So, Johnny, what's it like having your butt kicked by a stupid little kid?
(Rancid stares incredulously up at them for a moment, then faints with a final groan. Cut to a street-level view of several panicked residents as an enormous, pudgy, green-gloved arm with a glowing index finger rises: Larry's injury is healed. The digit stands over the city and swivels like a lighthouse to cover the entire area; a flash of yellow, and Jump City is back to normal. Morning has come. Cut to a long shot of the shore and pull back to put the roof of the Tower in the foreground. Its light vortex is gone, and the Titans are visible as small black dots at this distance.)
Cyborg: Ahhhh. Back to reality. (Cut to them; he has reattached his left hand.)
Starfire: Everything looks so joyous and wonderful!
Raven: Yeah. Any chance we could change it back? (Larry twirls into view.)
Larry: See, Robin? We fixed everything! Yaaaay!
Beast Boy: (speaks backwards with subtitles appearing at the bottom of the screen to translate) Hello! Do I sound fixed to you?
Larry: (gets a bit dizzy) Um...that'll just wear off, sooner or later.
Robin: Thanks, Larry. But before you head back home, (kneels to him) how about fixing my arm?
Larry: Another chance? Really? Even though I might mess up?
Robin: Just give it your best shot.
Larry: (whoops and twirls) Yeah!
(He points the magic finger straight ahead, and the view dissolves to a close-up of Robin and pulls back slightly to show a white ground behind him. The cast on his arm glows and disappears.)
Robin: It's perfect! Larry, you did it! (surprised) Uh...
(Dissolve to a longer shot as he stands up, then pull back. There is absolutely nothing around him: no Tower, no Jump City, no fellow Titans, and certainly no Larry.)
Robin: (echoes a bit) Larry?
(Another dissolve, another pull-back. The little guy's healing did not bend or break the rules of reality, it threw them out the window, and wiped reality itself off the map in the bargain. The final two lines echo greatly in the emptiness.)
Larry: (from o.c.) Oops.
(Fade to black.)