December 17th, 2005
Calling All Titans
(Opening shot: Earth, seen from far away in outer space. The camera tilts down through the starry vastness and stops on a rather unpleasant-looking red spaceship out for a cruise. Its fuselage is in the shape of a large rounded disc, with a narrow spindle topped by a circular projection standing dead center on the upper surface; the bridge. Several spikes extend from the diameter on either side, while two larger ones point straight ahead to flank the main gun.)
(Cut to a closed steel door inside and zoom in slightly to the sound of a drawn-out, muffled, blood-curdling scream. It opens to expose a corridor, along which two winged reptilian humanoids with long tails march into view away from the camera. Each is armed with a long spear; cut to a profile of the pair as they advance into view and pan to follow them. The scream has trailed off into a feral growl and the pounding of distant fists against a wall, and the two creatures continue their patrol. They bear a distinct resemblance to Trident, though their coloration and facial features are somewhat different and their eyes are totally red. Behind them, we can see three glass-fronted holding cells that contain one familiar face each. In the first is a beast who looks very much like Plasmus' original, two-eyed form; the second is home to the roaring space creature that drove the Titans crazy in "Stranded"; and the third pens in a Locrix, one of the aliens Val-Yor pledged to wipe out in "Troq." The two guards are Gordanians; recall that Starfire mentioned their attacks on Tamaran at the start of "Sisters.")
(Now they approach the closed door at the far end of the corridor, which opens to reveal two more posted at a steel-fronted cell with spears crossed. The screams come louder and more intense now; close-up of the door, being pounded hard enough to shake the camera. The very angry occupant is locked behind it, and only a small window slot allows visual contact between the two sides.)
(Cut to a pan across the four Gordanians, now all standing at the ready.)
Gordanian 1: The door will hold?
Gordanian 2: It must! (More hollering and banging.)
Gordanian 3: The alien will be delivered on schedule. Lord Trogaar has commanded it.
(Close-up of the slot, zooming in slightly as the door tries to do the mambo; back to the four.)
Gordanian 4: And if this thing gets loose?
Gordanian 1: Then Zorg help us all.
(Extreme close-up of the slot; another piercing scream, the glass cracks, and two burning green eyes rise into view behind it. The guards take a few steps back, bracing themselves for anything and everything, and they get it when one last yell rings out and the door blows outward off its hinges. Close-up of the steel panel as it crashes to the deck, then tilt up to the stunned foursome and cut back to the open door. The camera zooms in very slowly on the total blackness within the cell; after a very long second or two, the eyes blaze up again and their owner steps out into the light on the start of the next line.)
(The voice and hair mark her as Koriand'r, but a vastly different one from the sweet-natured girl we know. One, she is dressed in the same fashion as her sister Blackfire; black clothing, armored undergarments, metal-colored accents. Two, she wears a face-framing crown similar to the one she was given to wear to her wedding in "Betrothed." Three, her hands and forearms are encased in thick, rigid cuffs connected at both ends. Four, she is, for lack of a better term, just plain boiling mad.)
Koriand'r: Zengtha ru maka! Kek zengtha ror!
(She lunges at the camera. Snap to black when her eyes fill the screen.)
(Opening shot: a long shot of the manacled Tamaranean, charging on with a steadily building roar in her throat. When she gets within striking distance of the four Gordanians, a distinct height mismatch becomes evident, with her on the short end of it. However, this does not stop her from swinging both forearms in a wild roundhouse and knocking one of her captors to the wall.)
Koriand'r: Zengtha ru maka! Kek zengtha ror!
(Another big swing dispatches two more; she then tries an uppercut against the one left standing, but he blocks it with his spear and tries a counterattack. He gets nowhere with it, but she slips in a hit that breaks the shaft in two and follows it with a kick to the head. The now-senseless enemy is driven into a control panel on the wall; as he slides down, red lights and sirens start up, triggered by the hit.)
Koriand'r: (whispers viciously) Heska vo.
(Cut to the exterior of the ship, the camera positioned just below its equator. A section of the lower hull blows apart while the fighter flies out through the smoke and flame. An instant later, she has put lots of distance between herself and the Gordanians and made a beeline for Earth.)
(Dissolve to a nighttime overhead view of Jump City Bay and the island on which Titans Tower should be situated. The fact that it is not here gives the first indication that we are not in the present day, but at some point before the Titans' first meeting. Koriand'r's appearance and demeanor now begin to make more sense, in light of the background established for her in the comics. As part of a peace treaty between Tamaran and the Citadel, whose forces had invaded the planet, she was forced into exile as a slave. At some point she fell into the hands of the Gordanians, who trafficked heavily in such captives. Furthermore, the crown marks her lineage as heir to the throne.)
(Pan to the city proper and cut to one street, the camera well above ground level. Sirens wail in the distance; tilt down to frame the street, where a figure runs along the sidewalk and ducks into an alley. A close-up reveals a bulging sack in his hand; a burglar on the run from the police. He looks back toward the mouth of the alley, just in time to see the squad cars race past, and the camera pans slightly to fully frame the sack as he eyes it smugly and walks farther along. Before he can get ten steps away, though, a shadow passes quickly over him; he stops.)
(With his free hand, he pulls out a crowbar and brandishes it uncertainly. Cut to his perspective, looking up toward the sky and panning from one side to the other and back to the center. Something flashes down from the rooftops on this last movement and resolves into a birdarang, giving away Robin's presence on the scene. Back to the burglar, who loses his hold on the crowbar when the projectile clangs into it.)
Burglar: (stammering and backing up) I don't want trouble, okay?
(A black blur drops into view behind him, at the far end of the alley, and he turns this way to find a pair of pinpoint eyes staring at him from the shadows. They belong to a large bat, one of a thick knot that wings toward the camera with a great squeaking commotion. Throwing his arms up to protect his face, the burglar stands his ground as they flap past. The next voice, deadly serious throws a whole new scare into him, and the camera cuts to the source, mostly hidden in the darkness, on the start of the next line.)
Robin: You should've thought of that before you committed the crime.
(He advances implacably toward the camera before sprinting in. Letterbox view, top two-thirds of the screen: his high kick finds the chin and slides the burglar back five yards or so. The man runs back toward the interloper; in fullscreen, Robin backs up a bit and blocks the wild punches arcing toward his head before delivering a chop to the breadbasket and a kick to the chest. Down goes the burglar, but the Boy Wonder does not let it rest; he bounds up a wall and pushes away for a boost upward. This move carries him over the criminal's shoulders, and he grabs them for a solid body slam.)
[Animation goof: His gloves partially disappear for a moment during this sequence.]
(Even this is not enough, as Robin drags the human punching bag up off the ground and throws him into the wall, where he slides down, half knocked out.)
Burglar: Hey! This isn't your town! Aren't you supposed to be with--?
Robin: (moving closer) Just moved here. And from now on, I work alone.
(A reference to the end of his partnership with Batman, who trained him as a crime-fighter. The sound of something zooming overhead draws his focus away from the beatdown, and the camera shifts to show a bright green streak slicing through the night sky above the buildings. It traces an arrow-straight path parallel to the alley and disappears behind the buildings on the far side of the street. Well after it has dropped from sight, a muffled explosion is heard and the pale emerald glare plays up from ground level.)
(The young hero's masked eyes narrow for a moment; he then regards the collapsed petty thief as the camera zooms in slightly. Cut to the end of the alley from which Robin emerged, the sound of a rope or lash whistling out briefly before he sprints off in this direction. When the camera pulls back slightly, the burglar is brought into frame-now securely bound, hanging upside down, and with absolutely no clue as to what has just happened to screw up his night. Robin hoists himself over a wall at the dead end and is gone.)
(Cut to a patch of empty sky and tilt down to street level; the pizza joint that will become the Titans' favorite hangout is at this corner. Smashed into the pavement is a very large crater emitting thick clouds of glowing green smoke, the crash site of whatever just buzzed the block. Several curious onlookers have stopped their cars and gotten out for a better look. In a closer shot of the crater, the smoke dissipates to reveal Koriand'r at the center of the rubble. Cut to a close-up of her feet and tilt slowly up to her hostile face and burning eyes.)
Koriand'r: Slopforn ivortmat! (She slides down the slabs and advances, scaring people off.) Slopforn! Ond gudshik zerrole!
(She growls at a fellow trying to hold his camera straight and take a picture; when the shutter clicks and the flash goes off, she recoils from the glare with eyes squeezed shut. A moment later, she reopens them, still blazing as strongly as ever, and starts swinging her arms every which way with a fresh yell. Most of the onlookers back up even farther than they already have; she pounds the pavement hard enough to put a pothole in it, and an overhead shot of the area shows everyone now breaking for cover.)
(At ground level, the shackled newcomer charges o.c.; a yell, a flash, and she has rendered an unfortunate taxi fit for the junkyard with one blow. Other strikes ruin a bank of pay phones, a bench, and a streetlight or two, and several pizza joint customers stare from the relative safety of the second-floor balcony as it trembles under their feet. When the assault finally stops, Koriand'r stands quietly amid the havoc she has just wreaked in this end of Jump City. Next, she lifts her arms and strains to pull them apart, but with no luck. Evidently, she had no malicious intent, but was simply trying to get free of those enormous cuffs.)
(After a moment's rest, she looks toward the front door of the pizza joint and the camera zooms in on it. There is a pillar here, supporting the leading tip of the balcony. She hurls herself at this and hits it hard enough to buckle and crack it; spectators at the railing can barely stay on their feet due to the resulting vibrations. Back to ground level, where the column's concrete outer layer has crumbled away to reveal the dented steel core, but the alien's bonds are still intact.)
Koriand'r: (swings on each word) Zop! Yark! Mesnef!
(The column buckles farther and farther on each hit, and the last one causes it to give way significantly. With the support compromised, the balcony fractures along the edge where it joins the rest of the building; the people here are thrown to the railing as it tilts toward the street. However, the combined effect of all these bashes on Koriandr's manacles is nil. She catches her breath and raises her arms for one more swing; cut to a close-up of a birdarang in flight. The light glints off one wing, the Tamaranean rushes forward, determined to free herself or die trying, and the airborne weapon bangs squarely into the side of her crown and knocks her completely off balance. Stopping near the column she has just pulverized, she glares back toward the source with a threatening little growl and a pair of eyes that could double as lighthouse beacons for their brightness.)
(Cut to behind her. Across the street, standing on the roof of a parked car, is the spiky-haired deadeye who stopped her cold. A close-up shows him with arms tucked into his cape, which is draped around his shoulders; he throws it back and braces for action.)
Robin: Who are you?
(Instead of answering, she comes up into a leap that carries her all the way across the street, leading into an asphalt-wrecking downward swing. He jumps clear in the nick of time and touches down in a backward skid, but one roundhouse after another forces him to keep bobbing and weaving. As the fracas works its way down the street, the camera cuts to just inside the mouth of an alley. A blue-cloaked figure, its hood up, stands with its back to us and watches Robin leap high over Koriand'r and sling a handful of grenades. These explode in her face, after which the camera cuts to a close-up of the figure; it is Raven, of course, and her impassive face is barely visible in the alley's shadows.)
(Out in the street, the smoke from Robin's grenades cannot quite hide the luminous green pinpoints of the fighter within it. The column evaporates to expose her fully; close-up of Robin, whose eyes suddenly bug out in surprise as he gasps softly, then back to Koriand'r. Hooking one foot under the chassis of a nearby car, she effortlessly kicks it up several feet so that it rotates to point its nose toward the ground. When it is an inch short of splattering its innards across twenty yards of asphalt, she boots it toward Robin, who throws himself flat to avoid catching it with his face. The car sails in a low, level, lightning-fast trajectory down the block and explodes against the building at its end, and Robin stands up to eye the spot.)
Robin: (to himself) Hmm. Stronger than she looks.
(He faces forward, eyes popping again; cut to his perspective just as Koriand'r pastes him hard across the jaw. A flash, and he skids all the way to the trashed pizza joint, only to find her jumping in for another hit even before he can get to his feet. Nothing but air this time, as he dives away, pulls out his fighting staff, and extends it to full length. This time he is the one on the offensive, landing a head shot that propels his adversary into a car parked fifty yards or so away. He steps up; close-up as he brandishes the staff again, but it suddenly crumbles in his hands, having been shivered by that crushing hit.)
(The supremely furious Koriand'r extricates herself from the fresh wreckage, then throws Robin a malicious little smile while working her head around to loosen up her neck.)
(And here she comes for another jumping strike. Before she can reduce the Boy Wonder's skull to powder, though, a green bighorn sheep bounds into view and rams her broadside at full speed. Beast Boy has arrived at just the right moment, and he resumes human form and salutes Robin. He wears the outfit he sported while working with the Doom Patrol, as seen at the start of "Homecoming", the black/magenta outfit of today, black boots trimmed with magenta, the magenta/gray hood and mask. As in the start of that episode, he appears somewhat smaller and lighter than we have come to expect, and he sounds rather younger as well.)
Beast Boy: Ex-Doom Patrol member Beast Boy, sir! How can I help? (His eyes suddenly pop.) Wowzers! You're Robin, aren't you, sir?
(He has let the salute slip in his excitement, but now reestablishes it.)
Robin: Well, you can start by not calling me "sir."
(Cut to an extreme close-up of the back of his head and track slowly around it. The green youth's eyes have again gone as wide as saucers and are now shining with the purest admiration; sparkles hover around his smiling face, and that hand is still plastered to his eyebrow.)
Beast Boy: Well, let me just say that it's a real honor to be--
Robin: Beast Boy, was it?
Beast Boy: Yes, sir?
(Robin points off to one side; cut to Koriand'r, who has recovered from the bighorn charge and is straining to lift something over her head. A longer shot reveals that she has picked up a bus, which she slings toward the two boys. They bolt in opposite directions and are replaced by a broad figure in a gray hooded sweatshirt and black pants, whose back is to the camera. Pull back to just in front of Beast Boy, the new arrival visible in profile at a distance. The bus hurtles squarely into his face; instead of being mashed into hamburger, the figure catches it and digs in its heels. Slowly but surely, the vehicle is brought to a stop and lifted by the bumper, and the camera cuts to a close-up of the advertisement on the side as it is bucked up out of view.)
(The movement exposes the figure in enough detail to allow a positive ID. Although the sweatshirt's raised hood casts the top half of the face in shadow, the glowing red left eye gives it away as Vic Stone, soon to be known as Cyborg. One swift heave dumps the bus off to one side, throwing up plumes of dust that clear to fully reveal him and the dark gray gloves he wears.)
Vic: Yo! Who's here messing up my neighborhood? (Beast Boy slides up.)
Beast Boy: (points ahead) She started it!
(Long shot of Koriand'r, standing amid the new stretch of debris and walking up after a moment's pause. The old resolve returns to her steps and face as she approaches, and she brings both arms up and delivers one thundering blow to the pavement; all three boys are nearly dumped flat by the tremors. Cut to ground level, just behind her feet, as the hand ends of the restraints fall free at last, dented and smoking.)
(Head-on view of her legs, tilting up slowly to her face; the forearms of her cuffs are still firmly locked on. When she points her hands straight ahead, the energy of her hitherto pent-up starbolts flickers to life. The trio starts in surprise, whereupon Koriand'r uncorks a machine-gun fusillade that punches into their position and throws up enough smoke to hide them entirely from view. One long, tense moment later, they charge out of the haze and she starts strafing the block.)
(One by one, the boys race through the hail of green blasts, Beast Boy nearly getting his foot shot off in the process. Now Koriand'r's starbolts rip into the surrounding buildings, parked cars, a neon billboard, and everything within at least half a mile. The final salvo fills the screen with smoke and flames, which drift away to expose her in close-up. After a few seconds to catch her breath, she slumps to her knees; pull back down the street, where Robin has taken cover behind the smashed bus, now set on fire due to the starbolt barrage. A shift frames Beast Boy and Vic hunkering down as well.)
Vic: Girl's gonna wreck the whole city.
Robin: I won't let her. (socks his fist into his palm) I won't lose this fight.
(They come out running, but get barely ten yards down the street before a black energy barrier springs up to stop them. A longer shot behind the group shows it in full: the gargantuan, screeching bird-shape of Raven's "soul-self." Back at the scene, another wisp rises from the sidewalk behind them and resolves into her form.)
Raven: Maybe fighting isn't the answer.
(They turn toward her; cut to her feet and tilt up to her face before cutting to a close-up. She glances off to one side and dispels the apparition, leaving Robin with a clear view of the kneeling Koriand'r; smoke is still drifting up from her hands where they touch the pavement.)
Robin: Stand down.
Vic: What do you think, you the boss or something?
Robin: Just give me a chance.
(He starts forward; cut to a long profile shot of the battle zone as he crosses toward Koriand'r, then to her. Once he has closed in to within a few feet, she hauls herself up and swiftly moves toward him with fists charged, spooking him into a retreat of several yards.)
Robin: (calmly) Easy. My name is Robin, and I don't want to hurt you. (eases his hand to his utility belt) I just want to help.
(Extreme close-up of the hand and the belt, then his perspective of the mean teen fighting machine holding him at point-blank range. She is close to the end of her rope, judging by her increasingly shallow breathing. There is the sound of a tool being pulled out.)
Koriand'r: Gokta! (leans in) Gokta buhovna!
(Pull back to frame him; the fists are now almost right in his face, but the steely vigilante does not even blink. What he does do is hold up a lockpick.)
Robin: It's okay. Look.
(Cut to an extreme close-up of the high-voltage eyes, zooming in slightly, then to a shot of Robin's confidently smiling face and raised hand. Another zoom, after which the camera pulls back to frame both. She cools off, eyes and hands, as he gently pushes her arms down and puts the lockpick to work; for the first time, he can see every detail of the unsmiling countenance, half-shadowed by her crown. After a few seconds of tweaking, she looks down and the camera cuts to ground level as the shackles fall free and thump down between the two pairs of feet. Robin pulls one of his out of the way to keep the things from breaking his toes.)
(Koriand'r massages her freed wrists wonderingly.)
Robin: There. Now maybe we can be--
(He gets no farther, as she drags him to herself with one hand and kisses him long and full on the lips, causing him to drop the pick. Close-up of the two heads against a glowing white field, then dissolve to a longer shot against the normal background as she lets him go. Her eyes have stayed closed throughout the embrace; when she opens them again, they have resumed their green glow. The next two things she does catch Robin even more off guard than the kiss. One, she shoves him in the chest hard enough to drop him on his back. Two, she starts speaking English, having instantly learned it in the same fashion as her counterpart in the comics.)
Koriand'r: If you wish not to be destroyed, you will leave me alone!
(Despite his generous act, she is still nearly as fired up as she was at the start of this episode. She takes off, gaining enough altitude to disappear into the night sky, and the camera tilts down from here to frame one very confused future Titan. Beast Boy, Raven, and Vic, equally puzzled, gather behind him; there is a long silence, which Beast Boy breaks.)
Beast Boy: (smiling, to Vic) So...I'm Beast Boy. Who are you?
(Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: a close-up of the pizza joint's beat-up front entrance, the camera tilted several degrees off the horizontal. Cut to the bus Koriand'r and Vic threw around, then to a long shot of the foursome in the shot-up street.)
Vic: Well, whoever she was... (Close-up.) ...the girl sure knows how to make an impression.
Beast Boy: I think we made a pretty good impression. Crazy space girl's gone, the city's saved, mission accomplished. Right, sir?
Robin: Seriously, stop calling me that.
Beast Boy: (salutes) Roger.
Robin: (walking off) Looks like we're done here. I appreciate the help.
Raven: You're gonna track down the alien?
Robin: I have to find out if she's a threat.
Vic: (aside) More like find out if she'll give him another kiss.
(Beast Boy runs after the departing teen, who stops at his approach.)
Beast Boy: Hey, sir...uh...I mean, Robin? Do you maybe--?
Robin: Sorry. I just went solo. I'm not really looking to join a team. (Off he goes.)
Beast Boy: Need a sidekick?
(Nothing doing, so he turns back toward Raven and Vic and gets an idea.)
Beast Boy: You guys want to get a pizza? (Funny sidelong glance from Raven as Vic leaves; he slides up.)
Raven: I shouldn't.
(She heads off as well; Beast Boy looks toward Vic and runs over.)
Beast Boy: Just you and me, then, huh? Cool. (circles him) I-I haven't really had anybody to hang out with since I quit the Doom Patrol. This is gonna be fun. Can we play video game--?
(His last word is cut off when he runs flat into the back of the big man, who has suddenly stopped dead. Close-up profile of the hooded head, which he finally uncovers, then cut to behind him. The back of his cybernetic cranium stands revealed in full detail for the first time, and he turns to throw a healthy dose of irritation at the camera.)
Vic: There! Take a good, long look! I had an accident, and now, I'm a monster, all right? A cyborg!
(In the comics, the accident in question occurred while he was visiting his parents' research lab. His father grafted an extensive array of robotic parts onto his body in order to save his life. Now the camera pulls back to show Vic, née Cyborg, leaning hard into Beast Boy's face.)
Beast Boy: Cyborg? Cool! (jumps on his shoulders) You're like Robot Man 2.0! (He keeps zipping about.)
Cyborg: (flatly) You're a weird, little dude, you know that?
(Beast Boy has referred to one of his former Patrol teammates, the half-ton android with a living brain implanted into its systems. After a bit more inspection, he dismounts and laughs a bit.)
Beast Boy: You called me "dude." (Cyborg puts his hood up and leaves.) Okay, so...see you later. Right, dude? (Overhead view.) Dude?
(No answer, but he has no time to try again; a huge round shadow advances over the entire area and he looks up toward its source after a moment.)
Beast Boy: DUDE!!
(Cut to ground level and tilt up to the sky. The Gordanian ship from which Koriand'r escaped in the prologue has come looking for her; it passes over the city, then reaches the bay and cruises by the future site of Titans Tower. A hatch opens on the underside, from which a large cylindrical capsule launches toward the water, and it embeds itself more or less vertically in the island's rock. A prominent flange encircles the upper end. Cut to Beast Boy and Cyborg.)
Cyborg: Looks like Space Girl has friends. (Pull back; Robin joins them.)
Robin: Or enemies.
(A bolt of energy shoots up from the exposed end of the capsule and splits into two at the source. These sweep down to left and right and disappear as a colossal hologram appears between them. Though static ripples up and down, it can be discerned clearly enough as a Gordanian with a rather fearsome-looking crown/helmet on its head. This is Trogaar, the ruler who ordered Koriand'r to be delivered to wherever the others had been taking her in the prologue.)
Trogaar: People of Earth! We come to your planet hunting an escaped prisoner, a very dangerous prisoner.
(Cut to a slow pan across the three boys; Raven has now joined them as well.)
Trogaar: (from o.c.) Do not interfere, and we will leave your city with only minimal damage. (Back to him.) But if you attempt to assist her... (Big static blip.) ...your destruction will be absolute.
(His image disappears, and the two split beams flash back up, merge together into one, and retract into the end of the capsule. Cut to a long shot of the wide flange near the top, the camera positioned so that this stretch of the vessel fills the screen, and zoom in to the sound of machinery warming up. A hatch can be seen between the joined metal surfaces, running around the entire circumference.)
Cyborg: That's a big ship.
(Cut to just inside the hatch, which opens to give the massed Gordanian troops a full view of Jump City Bay and the shore. Back to Cyborg, panning quickly to Beast Boy.)
Beast Boy: And those are some scary-looking aliens.
(And here they come, gliding out in all directions with the help of their wings. Back to Beast Boy, panning quickly to Raven.)
Raven: They told us not to interfere.
(Several fly low over the water as the camera tilts up slightly to show them catching up to the main body of soldiers. Back to the four teens; Robin finds himself on the receiving end of inquiring glances from the other three.)
Cyborg: You're still going after her, aren't you?
Beast Boy: Can we come, too?
Robin: (smiling) I suppose I could team up, just this once.
(Smiles of varying widths from the others, after which all but Raven set off. Close-up: she looks after them, then down toward her feet with considerable trepidation.)
Robin: (from o.c.) You in?
(She snaps to; pull back to show the boys eyeing her from just a few yards off. Long pause before she turns partly away.)
Raven: I'm not the hero type. Trust me. If you knew what I really am... (completes the turn) ...you wouldn't want me around.
Robin: I know enough.
(With her trademark hint of a smile, she turns to face him again. From-the-ground view of the sky between two buildings; a squad of Gordanians flies past the full moon, and one steps into view near the camera. Cut to an extreme close-up of a spear point being raked across a surface to slice it open, then pull back to show its wielder atop a parked car, ripping the roof. He wrenches up the corner of the sheet metal; pan across the street, where other vehicles are receiving similar treatment and worse. No sign of the fugitive is found, whereupon a line of troops directs the spears ahead and fires a fusillade of energy bolts. The junk in an alley is promptly blown to kingdom come, and one soldier jumps close to inspect the spot while another waits a short distance away. There is a brief exchange in their native tongue, which sounds something like a cross between a low moan and a horse's neigh, and the advance man shakes his head; nothing here either.)
(The shooters leap up and o.c.; behind them, Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven poke their heads out from a neighboring alley. Cut to inside.)
Robin: (softly) All right. We need some way to track--
Raven: She's near.
(Three puzzled stares come her way as a big sweat drop slides down the back of her head.)
Raven: (hastily) I can sense things.
Beast Boy: I'll see if I can pick up her scent.
(He does a quick change that drops him out of sight; tilt down to ground level, showing him now as a sniffing bloodhound. While he tries to uncover a lead, Cyborg rolls up the right sleeve of his sweatshirt, revealing the circuitry of that bionic forearm for the first time.)
Cyborg: There's a sonic analyzer built into my arm. (Close-up of a display on it; he continues o.c.) If she's around, I'll hear it.
(A tap opens the panel; pull back again.)
Robin: Good. (Beast Boy resumes human form.)
Beast Boy: I've got her trail!
(He turns back into a canine and drops out again. Close-up of the forearm panel, whose display now shows the dancing spikes of a cardiac rhythm as it makes itself heard.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) And I can hear her heartbeat.
(They run off down the alley, which empties onto the next street over. Dissolve to a from-the-ground view of the sky in that area and tilt down to a video store; the one Control Freak terrorized, or rather will terrorize, in "Fear Itself." The front entrance has been blasted apart, and the edges of the jagged hole are still glowing red-hot. Cut to the candy counter inside; the lights are out, indicating that the place is closed for the night, but Koriand'r steps into view nevertheless. Having shot her way in, she helps herself to a bucket of popcorn and sweets, and the camera cuts to an extreme close-up of her mouth as she licks her lips hungrily.)
(The first bit of Earth cuisine she decides to sample is a chocolate bar; just before she bites down on it, cut to behind her. The empty wrapper is tossed away, up comes the bucket, and an instant later; it, too, has been cleaned out and dumped. Now Koriand'r proceeds to wolf down snacks fast enough to put any competitive eater to shame; cut to ground level, the camera pointing past her feet, as the four young searchers approach cautiously. Beast Boy has resumed human form, and Cyborg has covered his forearm again.)
Beast Boy: Uh... (Close-up.) ...those taste better without the wrapper.
(Behind the famished escapee. She tips down a little more popcorn, wipes her mouth, and gives him a funny glowing look over her shoulder before wheeling to face the quartet. A snarl escapes her lips as she warms up a starbolt in each hand, scaring everyone quite a bit and eliciting a round of gasps.)
Robin: It's all right. We're friends, remember?
(Letterbox, top half of the screen: the two sides face off.)
Koriand'r: Friends? (advancing; they back up) Why? For what purpose did you free me? (Fullscreen.)
Robin: Just...trying to be nice.
Koriand'r: "Nice." We do not have this word on my planet. Closest is "rutha." (Extreme close-up of her eyes.) Weak!
Cyborg: Well, around here, "nice" means "nice." (Letterbox, as before.) And if you want us to keep being nice, you better tell us why the Lizard King took you prisoner.
(Fullscreen close-up of her; she cools down her hands and her eyes, and the camera pulls back a bit.)
Koriand'r: Not prisoner. I am...prize. The Gordanians deliver me to the Citadel, to live out my days as their servant.
Raven: And the Citadel are...?
Koriand'r: (bitterly) Not nice.
Robin: (crossing to her) Then you're not going with them. (as Beast Boy joins him) Not if I have anything to say about it.
Beast Boy: Um, don't you mean "we"?
(The spirit of fresh camaraderie is very rudely interrupted when something explodes just o.c., hurling everyone to the floor. When the smoke clears, several Gordanians are standing just outside a freshly blown hole in the wall; pull back to frame the five new acquaintances sprawled everywhere. Cut to them.)
Gordanian 5: (from o.c.) Seize her!
(The platoon charges in on feet and wings to carry out that order, and the gang of five rises to meet them. Long shot of the area as the two groups charge toward one another, then cut in close again. The big man is first to get in some licks, followed by Beast Boy as a rhinoceros. One monster right hook is enough to prove just how much potential Koriand'r could have as a boxer, while Robin uses his staff, a replacement for the one he broke earlier, to dent a few skulls. Last but not least is Raven, whose telekinetic powers assert themselves by hurling a gang of Gordanians backward. Fade to white.)
(Snap immediately to the street just outside the video store. A patch of wall explodes outward, upsetting any number of parked cars, and the solid jet of swirling dust clears to reveal Koriand'r backing up in midair. Her arms are crossed in front of her head, having been raised to block the hit that drove her through the masonry, and she lowers them to toss off a few amped-up sliders. Three soldiers are flying up toward her; one is knocked down by her shots and another peels off, but the third closes in for a fight at close quarters. It ends in a hurry with her being knocked straight down to the pavement out in front, which cracks badly under the impact as the hitter drops toward her.)
(Cut to a pan down the street, which is now littered with prone and tumbling Gordanians, and stop on a great many upright troops at the end of the block. Most of them lift off; the few stragglers direct a pained look at the camera, "is it too late to go AWOL?", before following suit. Ground-level view of the sky; the group is not moving to attack, but instead bailing out with their hides still in one piece. At the scene of the free-for-all, the five victors gaze up after them, Beast Boy in human form again.)
Koriand'r: I believe your expression is "thanks."
Cyborg: (eyeing his shredded clothes) Aw, man, my suit!
Beast Boy: So? You look way cooler without it.
Cyborg: Yeah. Like I'm taking fashion advice from the guy in the goofy mask.
Beast Boy: (crushed) Goofy? My mask is cool. Isn't it? Raven?
(She and Cyborg shake their heads grimly. Close-up of the hooded green teen.)
Beast Boy: (pulls at the bottom edge of his mask) But...what about my secret identity? (Pull back; Cyborg has shed his tattered civvies.)
Raven: What secret identity? You're green.
Beast Boy: (thinks very hard) Uh...mmm...uh, uh...oh...hm.
(He pulls off the headgear, and Robin and Koriand'r cross to the trio.)
Robin: This isn't over. (Close-up of him.) Now that we've interfered... (Pull back to frame her.)
Koriand'r: ...Trogaar will strike harder. It is only a matter of--
(On the second half of this, the beams from the island-mounted communicator flash into the sky and Trogaar's static-distorted image towers over the skyline. Both turn to it after she cuts herself off, and the camera tilts up slightly to frame all of it.)
Trogaar: Fools! The Earth scum were warned. Your insolence will be punished. (Close-up.) Your city shall be destroyed!
(As a fearful crowd stares up at the projection, it winks out and the ship sails in. Close-up of the main gun in front; it angles itself downward, the broad muzzle glowing at its center, and warms up. At ground level, all five fighters are trying to sort this out. Close-up of Raven.)
(Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: the Gordanian ship, ready to fire on any part of Jump City it deems unworthy of staying on the map. Pull back; it has the quintet dead in its sights.)
Beast Boy: So, after trashing a pizza place and a perfectly good video store, now we've managed to make a humongous space gecko mad enough to vaporize our entire town?
Cyborg: (sourly) Go team.
Koriand'r: (to Robin) All the fault is yours! (Sight gag: her head grows.) I commanded you leave me alone, but you insisted upon the being nice! (Her head shrinks; his grows.)
Robin: My fault?! (Gag ends.) You blast me, you kiss me, (Sparks fly between their eyes.) but you never stop to mention that they have a gigantic particle weapon?
(Cut to Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven. A shouting match between the previous pair is heard under the next lines, and the camera zooms in on the one quiet teen during the argument.)
Koriand’r: (In the background) Nomosguoguomuozog! GUO ZOG!!!
Robin: (In the background) I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE SAYING!!!
Beast Boy: We are doomed! (to Cyborg) I can't believe I let you talk me into this!
Cyborg: Say what?!? I was ready to walk before you--
(Raven has begun to concentrate as best she can by this time, and now, she speaks up.)
(Her yell echoes in the silent street and shuts everyone else up very quickly. Four pairs of angry eyes are turned her way for some moments before she comes up with any more words.)
Raven: (waving timidly) Hi.
Robin: Look. It doesn't matter how we got into this mess. We're in it, and we will get out of it, together.
(Cut to Koriand'r, who nods in agreement, and pan across Cyborg and Raven as they do likewise. The camera stops on Beast Boy, whose mouth has curved up into the mischievous smile that will become a staple of his over time, and then cuts back to Robin.)
Robin: Come on. We've got a city to save.
(Cut to the hovering ship, zooming in slightly, then to an extreme close-up of the main gun's pulsating barrel inside. As the camera pulls back and rotates slightly, a parallel catwalk comes into frame and a contingent of Gordanians rushes along it. After they have cleared out, a large bubble of Raven's black energy rises from the surface and dissipates to expose the five heroes to be within. Beast Boy shivers noticeably, not being used to this mode of transport.)
Beast Boy: That dark energy stuff gives me the--
(Pull back slightly as Raven edges closer to give him a slightly annoyed glare.)
Beast Boy: Uh... (smiling broadly; thumbs-up; sweat drop pops off his head) ...I mean, it's cool!
(A nervous little laugh follows this. Now the Gordanians hustle away around another bend and Robin pokes his head out from a doorway.)
Robin: (softly) We have to get to the firing controls. (He steps out.) There isn't much time.
(Koriand'r is the first out after him, then Beast Boy and Cyborg; Raven emerges well behind them all, but does not follow. Tiptoeing as quietly as he can, the changeling throws a look back at her over his shoulder while he follows the gang toward the end of the passage. Close-up of Raven, who closes her eyes and drops her head as if she has just lost all hope.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) Mind telling me why you're always by yourself? (Cut to him on the end of this.)
Raven: You heard the kid. I don't exactly fit in.
Cyborg: (puts his hand on her shoulder) He's green, half of me is metal, and she's from space. You fit in just fine.
(The message seems to strike the right chord, and she allows him to ease her off along the passage after the others. Now Robin and Koriand'r stop at another corner; close-up of him, peeking around, and pull back to frame her.)
Koriand'r: I bring you...apology. (Robin turns to her.)
Robin: Don't worry about it. I'm sorry I yelled, too.
Koriand'r: (smiling; zoom in slowly) And again, you are...nice. On my world, only my k'norfka has shown me such kindness.
Robin: Well, things are different here.
(Cut to a slow pan across each placid face in turn; first, his, then hers on a glowing pink background. She blushes a bit before the passage fades into view behind her, exposing the rest of the crew; Beast Boy's next words startle her out of the reverie.)
Beast Boy: Uh, guys? (points past Koriand'r) I think they know we're here.
(The camera shifts to behind the five and reveals the source of her alarm: a squad of charging troops, and rather angry ones at that. Pan slightly to Cyborg and Raven at the rear; they have turned to face back the way they came, and another Gordanian leaps into view with a screech, his back to us.)
(Cut to the exterior of the ship as the weapon warms up, then to a close-up of its control panel. Graphs light up to mar the rising power levels; after they have topped out, cut to two crewmen manning the helm on the bridge. Several others are partially in view in the background. After adjusting the controls, one of these two turns in his seat to address this area.)
Gordanian 6: Lord Trogaar!
(Tilt up, putting him out of view, to frame the captain's chair on an elevated platform. Its back it to the camera at this point.)
Gordanian 6: (from o.c.) The weapon has reached full power.
(Now the chair begins to swivel around, and a close-up shows Trogaar seated in it.)
Trogaar: Then begin the firing sequence.
(The helmsmen do so. Close-up of a monitor that displays a schematic of the ship; the graphics fade away and are replaced by a circle of characters in the crew's language, with another one at the center. Zoom in slightly as the peripheral marks begin to disappear one by one, starting at the top and working counterclockwise; this is the countdown timer.)
Trogaar: The Earth scum shall learn... (stands up) ...it takes more than five juvenile heroes to defy the mighty Lord Trogaar!
(Cut to behind him and tilt up to frame the observation windows in front. The weapon's barrel points straight ahead from here, and rings of light flick on from the base forward. Back to Trogaar, smiling grimly at the destruction he is about to unleash, and pull back to frame the soldiers guarding him. An instant later, the door directly behind him is blown inward with terrific force and a screenful of smoke, which clears to show a close-up of Robin.)
Robin: We're not five heroes. (Pull back; the other four are around him.) We're one team.
(Trogaar ditches his triumphant smile in favor of an enraged growl, and in a twinkling every spare deckhand is on the move. Robin leads the charge for his side and gets in the first hit, a flying kick that nearly snaps a scaly neck. Cyborg slams both fists to the floor, throwing out a sheet of energy to blast others off their feet; next, Beast Boy, as a kangaroo, kicks two in the gut full force. Koriand'r delivers a supercharged uppercut that sends her enemy crashing to the deck, after which the camera cuts to Beast Boy in human form. He turns back into a marsupial, just in time to kick one Gordanian away and lash another with his heavy tail, then becomes himself again. Trogaar leaps in close, smashing both arms against the deck close enough to send him flying backward with a yell. The only thing that stops his momentum is an inconveniently placed wall; he slides down it and ends up on the floor in a heap.)
(Here comes the Gordanian lord again, roaring and all set to beat him to a pulp, but Raven pops up from the floor and throws up a small shield. One punch after another whumps into it as she backs up slowly toward the wall and her knees buckle, and he finally batters through the defense and prepares to flatten them both. Once again, he is foiled, this time by Robin's leap onto his shoulders; the surprise attack leaves Trogaar stumbling backward past an underling who has locked up with Cyborg. After some moments, Robin is wrenched free and hurled across the deck; he manages to turns the tumble into a flip and land in a crouch.)
(It takes him only the fraction of a second to leap back into the fray and deliver a crushing left jab that rocks Trogaar off his feet. Even before the latter can hit the floor, he is bashed in a different direction by a steel-soled spin kick, and Robin instantly starts into a new move for the coup de grace. Now it is his turn to be caught out when the massive hands wrap themselves around his midsection, and he is hurled past Koriand'r into the far wall behind the captain's chair. She voices a shocked gasp upon catching sight of him.)
(No time to worry about him further, for the snarling Trogaar is on his way across the deck toward her. Warming up as she lifts off, she lets go with a string of shots that tears into the deck on the way toward him. He is lost under the glare and smoke for a moment, but leaps out of it intact and madder than ever and bears her to the floor. That giant hand lifts her high and slams her down again; she struggles to break his hold for a moment, then squeezes off a body-blow starbolt that forces him to drop her.)
(As he backs up cautiously from the one-time prisoner who has turned out to be far more trouble than she is worth, Cyborg rushes across from a pile of unconscious Gordanians. The bionic right lands a haymaker to the boss' jaw, and the slugger lands in front of Koriand'r so both can move in together. Trogaar takes a merciless flurry of high-octane punches to all his sore spots, but even this is not enough to put him out of business. He comes back with a one-two-three combination that sends both aspiring pugilists across the bridge toward the still-prone Robin.)
(Extreme close-up of Cyborg's right arm; as it hits the floor, the panels of the built-in sonic analyzer are jolted open for a moment. Now all three peel themselves up, the circuitry receiving special attention.)
Robin: Can you rewire that into some sort of weapon?
Cyborg: I can try.
(Before any of them can react, Trogaar and the still-conscious Gordanians have moved to hem them in. Pull back slightly, then cut to the lord's savagely grinning face. The next line draws his attention off to one side; on the start of it, cut to a long shot of the speaker, supporting Beast Boy, and zoom in.)
Raven: (menacingly) Get away from my friends! (Close-up.) Azarath Metrion Zinthos!
(On the last word, cut to the exterior of the bridge. Her spell causes most of it to disappear in a mighty explosion, after which we see a long shot of the craft, now out of control and plummeting toward Jump City Bay. The waves caused by its splashdown wash over the screen and recede to show only the demolished bridge still above water. As it begins to sink, cut to the now-exposed deck, littered with insensate Gordanians, and pan across it. Robin, Cyborg, and Koriand'r straighten up as they come into view; the camera then stops at the other end, where Trogaar gets up as well and whirls to face the camera.)
(Beast Boy and Raven find themselves in his broad approaching shadow, and he extends the claws on one hand to full length and lifts that hand, all set to disembowel the youths. Once more, though, his masterstroke is stopped cold; in this case, by a brilliant blue-white flash from behind that connects squarely with his back. Down he goes like a ton of bricks, exposing the other three in the background. Cyborg's right arm is raised to point straight ahead, its hand replaced by the muzzle of his now-familiar sonic cannon. He was able to rewire, or hotwire, that analyzer into something with quite a bit more kick after all.)
Cyborg: (powers down) All right, I'm only gonna say this once. (grins) Boo-yah!
(Famous last words. Dissolve to an overhead view of the bay and the island, with the Gordanian landing craft still dug in. It is now the following morning; cut to a long shot of the city proper and pan/pull back to frame Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven on the island's shores. There is no other visible trace of Trogaar's invasion fleet.)
Raven: That's quite a view. (Close-up of them.)
Cyborg: Somebody oughta build a house out here.
Beast Boy: (smiling) Yeah, if you like sunshine and the beach.
(These words are aimed at Raven, and he digs an elbow into her side on the end of them.)
Raven: (laughing softly) You know, you're kind of funny.
Beast Boy: (stars in his eyes; his ears perk up) You think I'm funny? (laughs. Sight gag: his head grows briefly) Dude! I know some jokes!
(Those last four words are enough to unnerve her considerably, start a sweat drop sliding down her temple, and set one eyebrow twitching a bit. Cut to behind the group at a distance and pan slightly toward the central part of the island. A now-familiar violet boot plants itself near the camera, marking Koriand'r's adoption of her Starfire identity.)
Starfire: (from o.c.) Please.
(All turn toward the voice; cut to a close-up of her legs and tilt up to frame all of her. This is Starfire as we have come to recognize her: violet outfit, lavender accents, armband, no crown or under-armor, and a much sunnier disposition.)
Starfire: I look...nice? (Slow pan across the others; Robin steps up.)
Robin: I still don't know your name. (All are seen in silhouette.)
Starfire: In your language, it would be "Star Fire." (Normal illumination resumes.)
Robin: Welcome to Earth, Starfire.
Starfire: I thank you all for your bravery and help, and I wish to ask permission...to remain here. (Pan across the others; she continues o.c.) Where the people are most strange... (Cut to her and Robin.) ...but also most kind. (Both look away, blushing a bit.)
Raven: You don't need our permission.
Robin: But if you want our friendship, you've got it.
Cyborg: Guess we could all use some new friends.
Beast Boy: Besides, we kind of made a good team.
Robin: I thought we might want to keep in touch, (fishes in his belt) so Cyborg and I designed these.
(On the last word, cut to a close-up of his hands as he holds them forth. Spread across the palms are three round yellow devices that are instantly recognizable as communicators; the covers bear no insignia, since the Titans as such do not yet exist. Beast Boy, Raven, and Starfire each take one and run an impressed eye over them.)
Cyborg: Made 'em outta my own circuits. (Close-up of Robin, zooming in.)
Robin: When there's trouble, you know who to call.
(Cut to a long shot of the island, the waves lapping gently against its shores and the Gordanian craft suggesting the shape of the Tower that will stand so proudly in the future. Fade to black.)