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Divide and Conquer
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(Opening shot: outer space. There is a distant flash of light, from which four glowing objects emerge and approach the camera; pan to follow them across the cosmos. As they home in on Earth, three peel off while the fourth heads straight for the planet. A camera shift reveals it to be long and cylindrical, something like a missile in shape, with several trailing tentacles.)
(Cut to the night sky, where a fireworks show is in full swing. Pull back to show the area as the waterfront; the craft’s brilliant streak descends past the display and below the horizon. Pan to a nearby carnival-Ferris wheel, roller coaster, games, the usual. Close-up of one of the wheel’s cars, which holds Robin and Starfire. She watches the pyrotechnics with complete awe and sighs blissfully.)
- Starfire: Beautiful. Tell me again what they are called.
- Robin: Fireworks. (A few more go off.)
- Starfire: (suddenly concerned) On my home planet, such explosions would mean the Gordanians were attacking. You are certain Earth is not under attack?
- Robin: Positive. Cotton candy? (He holds the pink stuff out to her.)
- Starfire: The last time I ate a ball of cotton, it was white. And it did not taste very-
- Robin: This is different.
(He pulls off a wad and pops it into his mouth; cautiously, she follows suit and realizes it is indeed different from the cotton ball.)
- Starfire: Mmmm... (A yelp of surprise.) It vanished!
- Robin: (chuckling) Yeah. It’ll do that.
- Starfire: (sighing again) When I first came to this planet, I did not think I would ever fit in. Earth was full of strange things. But now I see that- (Big glare from fireworks.)
- Robin: Here comes the finale! Yes!
(In the sky, the display has turned into a fusillade of redoubled intensity.)
- Robin: Whoo-hoo-hoo! Amazing!
- Starfire: Earth is full of amazing things too.
- Robin: Best planet I’ve ever been to.
(The craft seen in space sweeps past the Ferris wheel and yanks Starfire from her seat in its tentacles; she is carried screaming into the sky.)
- Robin: STARFIRE!!
(Fade to white, then snap to black.)
(Opening shot: the craft streaking toward the camera over the bay. The carnival is now in the distant background. Starfire struggles against the hold on her.)
- Starfire: Wherever you are taking me, I do not wish to go!
(She fires a starbolt at the tentacles’ base; the craft stops in midair, crackling all over with the energy of the shot, and she extricates herself and bugs out. The device goes after her. From here, cut to an overhead shot of the carnival game booths, then to a close-up of several bottles set up for the old ring-toss game. A ring is thrown into view, bouncing off the neck of a bottle as a near miss; the next one rattles down on target. Tilt up to the counter, to the sound of Beast Boy’s laughter. He and Cyborg have been playing.)
- Cyborg: Boo-yah!
- Beast Boy: Sweet!
(They trade a high five. Cut to outside the booth as Beast Boy is handed his prize, a huge stuffed chicken. Raven leans against a post, her arms crossed and her expression showing her low opinion of the whole exercise.)
- Beast Boy: Told you we’d win you a prize. (He gives her the toy.)
- Raven: A giant chicken. I must be the luckiest girl in the world. (Robin lands nearby, in a crouch.)
- Robin: (standing up) Titans! Trouble!
- Cyborg: Where’s Starfire?
- Robin: That’s the trouble.
(He runs off; Raven tosses the chicken aside and all three follow him. Reaching the end of the pier, they look over the bay and see a scintillating object plummet straight toward the waves. It resolves into Starfire as she pulls up sharply to skim the surface, leaving a broad wake behind herself. The craft is hot on her tail. She looks back over her shoulder, gasps, and sidesteps to avoid a lashing tentacle; turning onto her back, she throws a couple of starbolts that hit the nose without effect.)
- Starfire: No more chasing now, please!
(A flip to face forward again, and she is off like a shot. She angles herself toward the pier and flies neatly through the other four Titans; the pursuer does likewise.)
- Beast Boy: Who’s her new best friend?
- Robin: Don’t know- (socking fist against palm) -but I can’t wait to meet him.
(The chase loops around the Ferris wheel and back to the pier, where Starfire stops just behind the rest of the team. Beast Boy is first to attack, leaping high and turning into an alligator to bite at the tentacles’ bases-just barely missing. Raven levitates a nearby hot dog cart and heaves it at the oncoming vehicle, which crashes right through it. As the thing races past Cyborg, he grabs the tentacles and hauls on them with all his strength. Ever so slowly, he is dragged forward a few feet before bringing the craft to a stop.)
- Cyborg: Don’t know what you did to make this thing mad, Star, but it couldn’t hurt to apologize!
- Starfire: I am… sorry?
(The tentacles yank themselves out of his grip. Robin whips out his staff, extends it, and goes on the offensive; a mighty swing reverberates against the nose and drives the craft back. It tumbles over the guardrails as he lands and puts the weapon away. Beast Boy, back in human form, looks down after it; a loud splash is heard from down o.c.)
- Beast Boy: (bewildered) So, did we just win?
(The thing crashes up through the planks at the Titans’ feet to answer that one with a big fat no. Robin vaults onto the nose.)
- Robin: Don’t see an OFF switch. Guess I’ll have to make one.
(Close-up of a panel; his fist flies down and smashes through it, and he pulls out a handful of wiring underneath. Sparks fly from the broken connections; pull back as he jumps free. The craft veers hopelessly out of control, rising higher and higher toward the stratosphere, and finally explodes in a mighty conflagration among the fireworks that are still going off. Robin lands next to Starfire.)
- Robin: Whatever that thing was, it can’t hurt you now.
- Starfire: But…why did it wish to hurt me at all?
[Animation goof: In this shot, her armband is on the left side rather than the right.]
(Dissolve to the exterior of Titans Tower, then cut to just inside the operations center door. Starfire, positively ecstatic, enters first while her teammates stand at the doorway. Pan to follow her.)
- Starfire: Come, friends. (The background changes to flowers and bathes her in light.) I shall thank you for my rescue by reciting the Poem of Gratitude-all six thousand verses.
(Normal background resumes, and the camera cuts to the other four, now inside the operations center. This segue, to them, is as subtle as a car wreck-and their eyes and the accompanying sound effect reinforce the point. Pull back to put Starfire in view, facing them. The next voice, from o.c., catches her by surprise-young, female, perhaps a bit cocky, and very smooth.)
- Voice: I see you haven’t changed a bit.
(Cut to the speaker, a teenage girl similar in appearance to Starfire, but whose clothing is black rather than violet. Her hair is this same color, her eyes narrow and blue, and she wears metallic full-body armor beneath her clothes. In addition, her wrist guards and neck piece are metal-colored. This is Blackfire. She leans against the back of the couch, but pushes off from it on her next line.)
- Blackfire: When we were little, I was always rescuing Starfire.
(Laughing, she opens her arms wide as Starfire squeals with delight and runs over to hug her.)
- Starfire: Sister!
- Blackfire: (holding up a necklace with a large green gem) Brought you a present.
(Starfire gasps deeply and her eyes pop at the sight of this bauble.)
- Starfire: A Centauri moon diamond?!? Where did you get-
- Blackfire: On the Centauri moons, of course. (She fastens it around Starfire’s neck.) Oh, look, it matches your eyes.
(The recipient beams for a moment, then opens her eyes wide to give the camera a full view. Sight gag: they have become diamonds as well, and they grow a little bigger as a cash register is heard going off. This ends after a moment.)
- Starfire: You must meet my friends!
(Blackfire is yanked across the operations center before she can say a word.)
- Starfire: I wish to introduce my big sister. (Blackfire steps forward.)
- Blackfire: Blackfire. (Starfire is caught out at her boldness.) And since Star told me all about the Titans in her transmissions, let me guess. (She points to…) Cyborg.
- Cyborg: (holding out hand to shake) Pleased to meet you, little lady.
(There is a loud grinding of metal as she takes the hand; after letting go, he finds his fingers to have been squeezed temporarily out of alignment.) Cyborg: Little lady, big handshake. Well, all right. (She goes on to…) Blackfire: Raven. I like that gemstone on your Ajna chakra. Raven: (impressed) You…know about chakras? Blackfire: I got way into meditation on Altara Prime. (She moves on to…) Beast Boy! What’s up? Beast Boy: Nothing but the ceiling, baby. Blackfire: (laughing) Good one! Beast Boy: (to Raven) See? She thinks I’m funny. Raven: Statistically, I suppose someone has to. (This deflates him a bit. Finally Blackfire makes her way to the leader.) [Note: In yoga, chakras are points in the body at which spiritual energy is concentrated. There are seven, ranging from the top of the head to the base of the tailbone, and the Ajna chakra-centered on the forehead-is the second one down.] Blackfire: And you must be Robin. (She zips behind him and fingers his cape.) Oh, I am loving this cape. It’s positively luscious! Robin: Thanks. It’s a high-density polymerized titanium, ten times stronger than steel. Blackfire: Fascinating. (Cut to just behind him-her perspective. He directs an appreciative glance over his shoulder as Starfire slides into view and gasps, completely shocked by this exchange. Back to him and the big sister; she has leaned in even closer.) Blackfire: And this mask makes you look very mysterious. (Starfire inserts herself between them.) Starfire: So, beloved sister, what brings you to Earth? (Blackfire crosses to the couch.) Blackfire: I was in the quadrant. Thought I’d see if Earthlings like to party. (She hops over the back and sits.) Besides, I needed a rest. Nearly got sucked into a black hole on the way here. (The three boys are at the couch in an eyeblink, leaving Raven by herself at the kitchen counter.) Robin: Black hole? Cyborg: No way! Beast Boy: Cool! Blackfire: Okay. I’m cruising through the Draconis Nebula, and- Starfire: Sister! That nebula is full of black holes! You know travel there is forbidden. (This remark is met with dead silence, except for a cricket chirping outside, and very funny looks from the four at the couch.) Blackfire: Most fun things in life are. Now be a sweetie and bring me one of those sodas I’ve heard so much about. (turning to the boys) So anyway, I’m zooming over an event horizon, approaching light speed, when all of a sudden- (Starfire walks toward the kitchen on the end of this. Snap to black, which resolves into the interior of the refrigerator as the door opens and she looks in. It is an under-the-counter model, the sort that might be found in a college dorm room. A can of soda is on the top shelf.) Starfire: (disgruntled, to herself) I see you have not changed either. (She gets the soda and closes the door. The view blacks out again, then snaps to outer space. One by one, three bright streaks flash across the screen; tilt up slightly to show them approaching a large hovering vessel. Cut to a bank of four docking tubes inside as the three objects-duplicates of the craft Robin destroyed at the pier, the ones that peeled off from Earth-slide into place within them and stop. A light on each occupied tube goes green, but that on the empty fourth one flashes red. Cut to an alien crewman in a shadowy nook.) Crewman 1: Our target was not located. The drones have failed. (Pan slightly; a second crewman is next to him.) Crewman 2: Have they? (He looks down; cut to a control panel that shows outlines of the four craft, or drones. Three glow green, while the last one is red, matching the status lights on the docking tubes. One clawed hand reaches into view and presses the red outline, and the four give way to a view of Earth.) Crewman 2: (from o.c.) The one that probed Earth did not return. (Pull back; both look at Earth on the main viewer.) That is where we will find the girl. (Dissolve to the exterior of the Tower. It is now the next day.) Starfire: (from inside) Sister? (Cut to her, walking down the hall. She is still wearing the necklace and will continue to do so until further notice.) Starfire: Sister? (She looks around a bit.) Sister, I seek your companionship. (Close-up of a racing video game in progress. Two vehicles, one green and one white, speed along a twisting elevated track, and the green one gets out in front and blocks attempts by the white to pass. Cut to Cyborg and Beast Boy on the couch; they are playing GameStation on the window/screen, and their respective expressions tell right away who is winning.) Cyborg: You want to pass me, but you can’t pass me. You can’t pa- (surprised; Beast Boy grins) You passed me! Beast Boy: Tighten the turn…jets…and nitro! (He jumps up and does a laughing victory dance as Cyborg slumps over; a moment later, he is back on the couch. Starfire walks up behind them.) Starfire: Tell me, have either of you seen Blackfire? Beast Boy: Blazin’ B? She was here just a second ago. (His face goes slack as Cyborg grins; back to the screen. The white vehicle hugs the guardrail, then knocks the green one aside and zooms on.) Cyborg: (from o.c.) Aw, yeah! Back in the lead! (Back to the couch; he laughs heartily.) Starfire: What fun! May I join your game? Cyborg: Winner plays Blackfire. Beast Boy: (as hearts float up from him) Yeah. She rules at this game. Starfire: (deflated) I see. (She walks away. Cut to a close-up of a door; she reaches into view and knocks. It slides open a small amount and reveals Raven peering out-this is her room.) Starfire: Is…my sister in there? Raven: No. (She stars to close the door; cut to her side. The lights are out.) Starfire: Oh…Might you wish to hang out with me? We could visit your favorite depressing caf�. (Outside again.) Raven: Already been. It was open mic and Blackfire wanted to share. Your sister’s poetry is surprisingly dark. (She closes the door; Starfire heads off down the hall and sighs heavily. Through the open door to the gym, the shadows of Blackfire and Robin can be seen on the wall. They are close enough to touch, and they do so on the next line.) Blackfire: (from inside gym) That’s perfect, Robin. (Close-up of the little sister, who gasps sharply as her eyes bug out.) Blackfire: (from inside gym) Hold me just like that, and… (Cut to the gym. She throws him the full width of the room; he spins in the air a bit before coming down on top of a rack of dumbbells. Starfire is positively aghast at the sight. Inside again; when Robin peels himself up from the floor, he is seen to be badly dazed from the impact.) Blackfire: Learned that move from a Ven-Zo master on Tyrus Three. (He comes to.) Starfire: (from o.c.) Hello, Robin… (Shift to frame all three; she enters.) …and…my sister. Am I interrupting? Robin: Not at all. Blackfire was just showing me some alien martial arts. How come you never taught me these cool moves? (Cut to a close-up of Starfire, who has no good answer, then back to Blackfire and Robin on the start of the next line.) Blackfire: Probably because she doesn’t know them. I always was the better fighter. (leading him away) Come on. I’ll show you the technique I once used to stop a raging orthax. (The little sister stares bug-eyed after them for a moment and then hangs her head sadly. Dissolve to the exterior of the Tower. Inside, all the Titans except Starfire are lounging on the couch in the operations center; Raven is reading a book.) Starfire: (from o.c., cheerfully) Friends! (She comes in, balancing buckets of popcorn and candy along with stacks of DVDs.) Starfire: I invite you to join me in the togetherness of a stay-home movie night. I bring you popcorn and non-cotton candies. Tell me, what sort of movie shall we view? Robin: Action. Beast Boy: Comedy. Cyborg: Sci-fi. Raven: Horror. (Caught off guard, Starfire drops her load of goodies.) Starfire: Perhaps a double feature? (Sight gag: a little drop of nervous sweat springs from her head and falls.) Blackfire: (from o.c.) Forget the flicks, kids. (She turns to look; cut to the side door and tilt up from ground level. Blackfire stands there, dressed in one of Starfire’s spare outfits, and has dispensed with the armor.) Blackfire: We’re going out! Starfire: (puzzled) We are? (Blackfire passes her.) Where did you-? Are those my-? Blackfire: (to the other Titans) Heard about a party downtown. Cool crowd, hot music. Beast Boy: Yeah! Cyborg: I’m in. Robin: Why not? (Close-up of Raven, nose still in her book.) Blackfire: (from o.c.) And it’s in a creepy run-down warehouse. (This gets her attention. One by one, Starfire’s comrades file out.) Cyborg: Whoo! Beast Boy: I am a party animal. (He turns into a gorilla.) (Robin and Raven pass Starfire without saying anything; Blackfire is the last one out.) Blackfire: Hey, sweetie, raided your closet. Hope you don’t mind me borrowing your look. Starfire: (sadly, looking after her) Why not? You have already borrowed my friends. (Big sister departs, leaving little sister standing among the snacks and movies she dropped-the scattered remains of her plan to spend time with the gang. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: the exterior f the creepy run-down warehouse Blackfire mentioned It is nighttime. A thumping dance beat can be heard within as multicolored lights pulse at the windows. Cut to inside and pan across the space, which is packed with partying teens, then pull back to an overhead view. Blackfire makes her way among the crowd, with all Titans except Starfire close behind. Beast Boy has returned to human form.)
Blackfire: Step aside, Earthlings, the queen of the galaxy has arrived!
(Raven looks back the way they came and sees Starfire standing at a distance now. The fifth Titan moves hesitantly through the dancers and gets jostled back and forth.)
Starfire: Oh…excuse…oh…uh… (Her foot is trod on.) Ow! You really should apologize after stepping on someone’s foot.
(Raven shakes her head-"this is a lost cause"-and moves further into the crowd. Cut to Blackfire, already getting down.)
Blackfire: (laughing) Now don’t tell me you big tough superheroes are afraid of a little dancing. (Cut to Beast Boy and Cyborg.) Beast Boy: Betcha Cyborg can do the Robot.
(He does a little bit of that old dance and gets a very unappreciative glare from the big bionic man standing next to him. Blackfire dances across the screen in front of the pair, after which they and Robin start to get into the spirit of things. Raven and Starfire watch, the former with the same posture and expression she wore at the carnival game booths.)
Raven: This party is pointless. (A goth-looking boy comes up next to her.) Goth boy: Everything’s pointless. Wanna go talk about it?
(She looks sidewise at him and shrugs, and both walk away to leave Starfire by herself. She makes as if to follow them but does not. A couple of slacker types pass behind her and back up for a closer look after moving o.c.)
Slacker: Hey, hot alien girl. You digging the scene? Starfire: (nervously, blushing) I…did not know we were supposed to bring shovels.
(Sight gag: she appears in "Super Deformed" style, mortified under a solitary spotlight, as the two slackers laugh themselves silly and the merriment of everyone else is heard from o.c. Snap to black.)
(Fade in to a view of Earth from outer space. The ship that launched those four probes drifts slowly into view; inside, the two crewmen are still watching the planet on the main viewer.)
Crewman 2: The girl may have defeated one probe- (Cut to the three docked drone, or probes; he continues o.c.) -but she will not fare so well against three.
(They are launched, one by one, and when the camera cuts to outer space again, they rocket toward Earth. Cut to the night sky and tilt down to the roof of the warehouse as the three bright trails disappear into the Jump City skyline. Starfire sits on a ledge, head in hands. Close-up: she is utterly dejected, and she heaves a sigh.)
Starfire: Perhaps I do not belong here after all. Robin: (from o.c.) Of course you don’t.
(Cut to him, holding open the door at the top of the stairs that lead up to the roof.)
Robin: You belong down there, having fun with the rest of us. (closing door, stepping out) What’s wrong? Starfire: (with a false smile) Nothing is wrong. Everything is wonderful. (He sits by her.) The pounding music and blinding lights are quite enjoyable.
(The words are barely out of her mouth before her real mood rearranges her face. Robin looks on with concern.)
Starfire: Everything is not wonderful. I am happy to see her, but Blackfire rules the video games, and she is able to share very depressing poems, and she knows the cool moves- (Cut to Robin; she continues o.c.) -and she always knows when people are not talking about shovels. (Pull back to frame both; she sighs.) And I am nothing like her. Robin: (putting a hand on her shoulder) No, you’re not. And I think-
(They are interrupted by a creak of hinges. Cut to the skylights, one of which Blackfire has opened to let herself out. She holds it propped open; her hair is now shorter and bright pink.)
Blackfire: How do I look? Robin: Pink. Look, can you give us a minute here?
(This response is not quite what she expected. However, her demeanor changes in an instant with the music.)
Blackfire: (gasping happily) Oh, I love this song!
(She flies over, grabs Robin’s arm, and yanks him down through the skylight. It swings shut to leave Starfire alone on the roof again. She sighs wearily and stands up from the ledge as the sound of something in flight is heard from o.c.; now she looks up.)
(From between the letters of the lighted sign on the roof, a glare can be seen fading away. Its source, one of the three launched probes, pokes out and charges at her. A shocked gasp escapes her before the camera cuts back to the party. Beast Boy and Cyborg are dancing to beat the band now, but the little green goofball stops short and looks up. His perspective: Starfire and the probe, visible only as silhouettes, are fighting it out on the skylight panes. It finally seizes her in its tentacles and darts away.)
(Floor level; Beast Boy runs across the room to track the alien craft. Losing sight of it near the wall, he turns back to call in a little help.)
Beast Boy: Cy! Star’s in trouble!
(Cyborg stops dancing and turns to look, just as Beast Boy is grabbed by the tentacles of a second probe and dragged toward the door.)
Beast Boy: Whoa! Help!
(Cyborg runs after him, but is broadsided by the third probe; he fetches up against the wall, and the craft closes in. From here, cut to Raven and the goth teen she followed away from the dance floor. They are in a dark corner of the warehouse.)
Goth boy: So, do you like show tunes?
(The probe hauling Beast Boy passes before she can answer. Her companion beats feet out of there, and she flies to lend a hand. Two crates are promptly levitated and projected at the craft; their impact jars Beast Boy out of its grip, and he falls to skid across the floor. Through the skylight, Raven spots the one that has caught Starfire-it gains altitude and then goes into a screaming dive to crash through the glass and into a pile of crates. She moves back to avoid the impact. Cyborg lands a punch against the probe that struck him, after which Starfire and the one that seized her break out of the crates. She blasts it back with a starbolt.)
(Beast Boy, momentarily in the clear, suddenly yelps and jumps back a bit to get out of the way of the one that tried to tow him in. Transforming into a tiger during his backflip, he lunges at the alien craft and drives it across the room with a swipe of his paw. It stops beneath Starfire; in no time, it and the other two have closed in on her. She gasps and flies around and around to shake them, finally getting a breather thanks to Cyborg’s flying tackle that brings down all of them. Looking down as his grunts rise to her, she sees him taking on the three craft. One is punched away, another slung out by its tentacles; the third, however, spins like a high-speed flail and sends him tumbling.)
(Cut to Robin and Blackfire on the stairs. His attention drawn by the commotion on the other side of the wall, he turns toward it as Blackfire tries to pull him away.)
Blackfire: Where are you going? Stay and talk to me. Robin: Look, I just want to make sure that Starfire’s okay.
(Cyborg comes crashing through the wall. As he stands up, rubbing his head and grumbling, Robin runs over to him.)
Robin: What’s going on? Cyborg: Remember that thing that attacked Star? It had friends.
(He rushes back into the melee, leaving Blackfire alone at the top of the stairs. Robin starts to follow, but stops upon seeing her there.)
Robin: Didn’t you hear him? Your sister needs help! (Pause.) Blackfire: (smiling) Right. Of course.
(She pulls off her pink hair and drops it-it is only a wig she had been wearing over her natural hair. Now she runs down the stairs. Cut to the alley behind the warehouse; Starfire crashes out through the wall, hits the one opposite, and drops into a nearby Dumpster. The three probes float out as she opens the lid for a peek. One of them slams it down on her head and starts to hoist the entire container skyward; her screams are heard from inside as all three take off.)
(Robin’s birdarang flashes into view and severs two of the tentacles holding the Dumpster, causing it to fall to the ground. It returns to his hand; pull back to frame all the Titans except Starfire. Beast Boy is back in human form.)
Robin, Cyborg: Teen Titans! Go!
(Before they can move, Blackfire flies over their heads and straight toward the three probes, which move to intercept. Beams of energy shoot forth from her eyes and blow them all away; fragments of hulls and tentacles rain down as she lands in the alley.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) Aw, yeah! (Pan slightly, the four Titans run/fly to her.) Good times! Beast Boy: Nice shooting, Tex. Raven: Very nice. Robin: How did you know where to hit them? Blackfire: (shrugging) Lucky guess. Cyborg: We could use luck like that. Maybe you oughta join the team. Blackfire: Me? A Teen Titan?
(The Dumpster lid swings open, and Starfire pokes her head up and gasps in undiluted shock. A banana peel has fallen on her head. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: an overhead view of the Tower. It is later that night, and waves break loudly against the island’s shores. Cut to the roof; Starfire walks slowly to the edge, away from the camera, to silhouette herself against the full moon. She carries a backpack by the shoulder straps. Close-up as she looks back-her face tells the story: she is ready to throw in the towel once and for all.)
Starfire: (slinging up pack) She will be a better Titan than I ever was.
(She lifts off from the roof. Pull back; Robin steps out, and his words stop her from heading into the great wide open.)
Robin: Were you just going to leave without saying goodbye?
(Having been called out in this manner, she cannot look him in the eye, but instead dips her head and descends back to the roof, her knees half-buckled. The backpack slides from her shoulders; finally she looks up at him.)
Starfire: Robin, I-
(The sound of an approaching craft draws a gasp from her and an over-shoulder look from him. Pull back to put it in view: the same ship that launched the four probes in the first place. One of the two crewmen is standing on its flat top deck. It turns 90 degrees to present one side to the Titans, and the standing man lashes out a long tentacle from his right arm that pushes Robin back and then snares Starfire. The left arm has the claws seen earlier aboard ship. The tentacle’s end wraps itself around her mouth before she can put up any sort of resistance, and the ship begins to haul her away.)
(Robin gets to his feet and sprints most of the length of the roof, finally leaping over the edge toward the alien vessel. Slowly but surely, his momentum carries him closer to Starfire; extreme close-up of one of her feet, with his hand straining toward it. The effort falls short, however, and she is lifted toward outer space as her muffled cries ring in the air.)
(Dissolve to the moon, now partially obscured by drifting clouds. The ship flies into view; now the other crewman is on the top deck, handling the navigational duties. A cut to a control button at deck level shows an arm reaching down to it and Starfire’s feet just in front of him. Pull back as the button is pressed; a force field appears around the still-bound girl.)
Crewman 1: Prepare to leave Earth orbit. We have the Tamaranean girl. Crewman 2: (to Starfire) Once we return to Centauri, you will pay for what you have done.
(Now we know what race these creatures are. She can only struggle and grunt through her bonds. Pull back to a side view of the ship and pan/tilt down to its underside. Robin is hanging on upside down.)
Robin: Nobody’s taking her away.
(He vaults to the deck and lands facing the crewman at the force-field holding cell.)
Robin: My friend stays here!
(The Centauri roars and charges at him with a swing of that right arm, but he easily dodges this. A roundhouse also misses the Boy Wonder; the alien’s next attack consists of a series of right-handed laser blasts-the thing on his arm is a multi-purpose weapon. Robin leaps away from the shots, several of which hit the force field holding Starfire and bounce off, and the Centauri charges toward him. An overhead swing crackles upon impact with the field and leaves his underarm exposed for Robin’s counter-punch. This blow sends sparks up from the armor and pushes the aggressor back a bit.)
(Now the young man retreats to a spot near one of the ship’s engines, on the side. Out comes that tentacle, which he barely dodges; it hits the edge of his cape and deflects into the engine, causing it to flame out.)
Centauri 1: No!
(The craft begins to lose altitude, throwing his colleague off balance and putting the brawl on hold for the time being. It plunges through the clouds and just barely skims a riverbank.)
Centauri 1: I cannot control it!
(Robin scrambles across the deck to the control button and deactivates the force field. The ship descends ever closer to the river as he peels the tentacles away from her body.)
Starfire: Robin! (Cut to a point between them.) Robin: (from o.c.) Come on!
(They reach into view and join hands; pull back as they leap from the deck. The ship turns down nose first and grinds into the riverbank, skidding a considerable distance before finally stopping and tumbling forward to land on its top deck. Starfire lowers Robin safely to the ground and lands beside him.)
Beast Boy: (from o.c.) Star! Robin! (He, Cyborg, and Raven run up.) Cyborg: You guys okay?
(The two Centauri crewmen stand up amid the clouds of smoke pouring up from their wrecked craft. All five Titans brace for action.)
Robin: Titans! Get ready! (The Centauri approach.) Centauri 2: In the name of the Grand Centauri Empire, you are all under arrest.
(He shows a badge, the sight of which leaves the entire team momentarily stunned.)
Beast Boy: Uh…you can’t be the good guys. We’re the good guys. (Close-up of the two.) Centauri 2: And we are Centauri police. Centauri 1: The Tamaranean girl is a liar and a thief. (pointing) She’s committed high crimes throughout the entire Centauri system.
(On the end of this, cut to Robin and Starfire; she is on the receiving end of the gesture.)
Starfire: I have never even been to the Centauri moons! (She and Robin both look at her necklace.) Robin: (removing it, holding it up) But I know someone who has.
(Gazing into the large green gem her sister gave to her, Starfire gasps as the pieces of the frame-up fall together in her brain. Pull back; Robin turns to address the o.c. Centauri cops.)
Robin: You’ve been chasing the wrong girl. (He throws the necklace away and turns to the team.) Where’s Blackfire?
(Beast Boy is the first to provide an answer, pointing up at a tiny black shape zooming among the clouds and away from the area.)
Beast Boy: Uh… Robin: Don’t worry, Star. She won’t get away with this. Starfire: (with sudden ice-cold fury) No, she will not!
(She takes off. Cut to a long shot of her sister, headed toward space; she has changed back into her own clothes and put the armored undergarment back on. Starfire flies up to intercept.)
Starfire: Hello, sister. Blackfire: Aww, you’re mad. I know, I should have told you I was leaving, but you know how I hate goodbyes and- Starfire: You are a criminal, and you were going to let me take your place in jail! Blackfire: Oh…well…yeah. Starfire: (leaning into her face) You will give back what you have stolen and turn yourself over to the police! Blackfire: (leaning right back) And what will you do if I don’t?
(Starfire has no immediate answer here. Blackfire warms up a starbolt and lets her have it in the kisser to send her tumbling.)
Blackfire: I always was the better fighter.
(Her little sister rights herself after touching down on the ground and floats back up.)
Starfire: Not anymore!
(Blackfire unloads a machine-gun barrage of starbolts; Starfire flies through them all without so much as getting her hair singed and gathers herself for a crushing counterstrike. This shot connects with Blackfire’s hand and makes the one she was about to throw fizzle out. One very angry little sister rises to stare her down; both hands are lost in the dazzling radiance of the starbolts she is holding in check. Blackfire merely laughs in her face, but trails off into surprised yells as a Centauri tentacle whips in from behind to tie her up. Starfire turns to look toward the source; cut to him, standing on the deck of the righted ship.)
[Animation goof: The armor on Blackfire’s legs disappears briefly during this sequence.]
Centauri 2: Blackfire of Tamaran, you are under arrest. (Back to the two girls; she is slowly reeled in.) Starfire: (waving) Farewell, sister! Although you did betray and attack me, it was…still very nice to see you. Blackfire: Next time it won’t be so nice. I will get out of jail, little sister, and I will get even!
(Said little sister looks down at her worriedly. Dissolve to the roof of the Tower; it is now sunrise of the next day. Starfire sits at the edge, bathed in light and lost in thought, and looks out over the sparkling bay as the wind blows her hair where it will. Robin comes up.)
Robin: Hey. How are you doing? (He sits by her.) Starfire: I am…sad for my sister. Robin: And for yourself? Starfire: I am just glad that the truth was discovered before I was replaced. Robin: What are you talking about? Starfire: Well, you…everyone was having such fun with her, and then Cyborg said- Robin: Look. Your sister was interesting, but she could never take your place. (smiling) No one could ever take your place.
(Her answering smile shows that she has heard him loud and clear. Cut to a long shot of them from behind-two seated silhouettes watching the sun come up, their long shadows stretching back across the roof. Fade to black.)