October 29th, 2005
(Opening shot: a stretch of forest at night, half-buried under the thickly falling snow. An enormous black bear rears up with a growl not typical of a predator about to bring down a meal. As it turns to look worriedly toward its hindquarters, the camera pans in that direction to show the cause of its unease, one leg is caught in a steel trap. A weak pull at the chain staked into the ground; pull back to a longer shot of the animal, showing a boot planted near the camera.)
(The owner of said footwear approaches the frightened bear, revealing a thick green parka whose hood has been raised to hide the face entirely. When it speaks, the voice is male, with a Russian accent: we are most likely somewhere in Siberia. This is Leonid Kovar, though he will not be called by name for some time.)
Kovar: Do not fear, Bishka. I have come to help you.
(It growls at him a bit more, then relents and holds the caught limb forward; Kovar kneels and gets it freed easily. The trap is tossed aside as the bear bounds off into the forest, but a new, older male voice cuts in abruptly.)
Voice 1: He steals our catch! Get him!
(During this line, the camera cuts to a longer shot of the kneeling man; not far away is a group of four others, including the one who is speaking. They are fur trappers whose latest prize has just gotten away, and the bear's savior straightens up into a run as they charge toward him. After a few hundred yards, he skids to a stop in the snow and the camera cuts to an overhead view, panning ahead slowly. Now he is standing at the edge of a ravine so deep and dark that its bottom cannot be seen from here. Head-on view as the angry trappers close in.)
Kovar: Please! I do not wish to hurt anyone.
(Laughter; clubs are brandished. We now see that the head man, the one who spoke earlier, wears sunglasses.)
Head trapper: (mockingly) He does not with to hurt us. (raises his own club) No, my friend, it is you who will feel pain. And this is something we do quite well.
(The shadows within the parka hood glow bright red.)
Kovar: While you have the chance... (Close-up of his head.) ...run!
(Close-up of the stunned head trapper, zooming in on the red-spot reflection in his lenses.)
Head trapper: It is you!
(Cut to behind Kovar. A solid wall of red energy erupts from the snow just behind him, scaring all four chasers into a retreat as he screams in agony. In a head-on view, their boots pound past the camera, just ahead of a small avalanche that thunders out to fill the screen. Snap to black.)
(Opening shot: a slow pan across a ravaged Russian cityscape. Stop on a ridge at the outskirts, where the T-Ship is parked, and zoom in slowly on the Titans standing next to it. The storm has abated here.)
Cyborg: The signal we got musta been a distress call.
(Dissolve to a close-up of the group as the zoom continues. Cyborg is wearing the heavy coat, scarf, and cap he sported during his transmissions in "For Real", he was calling from here, apparently. Robin has donned a hooded tunic/coat with green long sleeves, in addition to thick black gloves. Beast Boy has changed into a padded, zippered outfit with hood, and has snow goggles propped on his forehead. Raven's winter ensemble is nearly all blue and lined with white fur: cloak, boots, gloves, jacket under the cloak. She is wearing black thermal underwear as well. Starfire is the only one without any additional protection, but the cold does not seem to bother her.)
Starfire: We are too late. (Beast Boy shivers.)
Robin: Fan out. We need to find someone who can tell us what happened.
(Dissolve to him and Beast Boy on the move; the latter is still trying desperately to warm up.)
Beast Boy: Can't we do that from inside the T-Ship, where it's warm? (He becomes a polar bear.)
Raven: (from o.c.) Over here!
(Both head in the direction of her voice. Cut to her, facing a family huddled in a natural shelter formed by two snowy overhangs. Robin and Starfire arrive presently; the leader steps in, and the camera cuts to within the shelter.)
Robin: It's safe now. (The scared family backs up.) You can come out.
Voice 2: In this forsaken place, it is never safe.
(This voice is older than that of the head trapper in the prologue. Cut to outside as it speaks; Robin straightens up, the motion of his head exposing an old military officer standing nearby: overcoat, black fur hat, patch over one eye. This is the speaker, General Raskov.)
Raskov: Forgive them. We are wary of strangers. (Now Cyborg is here.)
Robin: Who did this?
Raskov: (slides down the slope to him) I dare not speak his name. He was once one of us, (Cut to Robin; he continues o.c.) but now an abomination. (Back to him as he continues.) When he returns, it is only to cause more suffering.
(Both look toward the overhangs; cut to an overhead view of the spot; Beast Boy now here in human form, as the family emerges. The grandmother grasps Robin's hands in her own and shakes them, almost beseechingly, as her young son eyes Starfire with frightened curiosity. He points at the Tamaranean with a small gasp and gets a hand placed hastily over he eyes. Pan slightly away as Starfire looks back sheepishly, hands behind back, and Raven steps up. Robin, meanwhile, looks away from the clan with a touch of disgust.)
Raven: She's not from around here. (Big grin from the out-of-towner.)
Grandmother: (pulls a bundle out of his coat) Take, or you catch cold.
(It proves to be a fur hat similar to Raskov's, but brown, with ear flaps flipped up, and Starfire puts it on.)
Starfire: (puts her hands to the woman's shoulders) We will find the one who does this. He will be stopped.
(A distant rumbling interrupts her consolation and prompts a gasp from the old woman. Cut to behind everyone, the camera pointing toward the horizon, and a corona of brilliant white light, tinted red at the edges, that is spreading steadily outward like an impossible sunrise. All the Russians take a few fearful steps back.)
Raskov: He returns.
Robin: Not if we get to him first. (Pull back from him.) Titans! Let's move!
(They head out, Beast Boy tripping over himself as oversized penguin, then standing up in human form. He leaps up and o.c.; cut to the T-Ship under a new snowfall, then to him and Starfire in their cockpits. She works a few controls while he shivers uncontrollably.)
Beast Boy: Can I borrow that?
(Engine warm-up; he is handed the fur hat and claps it on, pulling the ear flaps down snugly. A moment's cheer at having warded off frostbite gives way to sudden concern. Throughout the rest of this episode, he will wear the item whenever he is outside and in human form.)
Beast Boy: (points at a hat) This is fake fur, right?
(Dissolve to a screenful of wildly blowing snow and pan to bring the T-Ship into view. It lifts off into the blizzard and begins to cruise the countryside, the camera panning to follow its course, which is far from level due to the gale-force wind. Cut to just outside Cyborg's cockpit.)
Cyborg: I've got zero visibility! (Inside.) Switching to instruments only!
Robin: Just go easy! We have to find this outcast!
(Outside again; the craft continues its erratic flight for some seconds before a beam of red energy flashes up from ground level and strikes the port side. Close-up of Cyborg, yelling as the steering yoke shakes itself out of his hand, after which we see the smoking T-Ship come in for a very hard landing. Cut to Raven, thrown forward against her harness straps as the skidding stops, then to an extreme close-up of the buckle on Robin's chest and pull back as he undoes it.)
Robin: Everyone! Outside!
(The exterior again. Robin is first out; pan/tilt to the middle section, where Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire emerge, then to the tail section. This cockpit stays closed and quiet as the camera zooms in and cuts to a close-up of Beast Boy. He has now opened his canopy, and he moans at the thought of having to climb out in this bit of horrid weather. When he hits the ground, he has become a polar bear.)
(Pan ahead of them toward the distant source of the blazing red/white light seen during their talk with Raskov. It has subsided considerably; zoom in slightly and cut to a close-up. Now a brilliantly glowing humanoid figure can be discerned; a red beam blasts forth from the chest, identical to the one that downed the T-Ship, and strikes close enough to the Titans to throw Robin off his feet. Everyone else scatters, Starfire rises a few yards to get a clear shot with her starbolts, and Cyborg backs her play with a left-handed sonic cannon blast. The double-barreled attack strikes home, throwing up snow and smoke that clear to show the figure nowhere in sight.)
Cyborg: (disarms; the others gather around) We got it!
(The red blast that roars out of the distance says otherwise; now it is Cyborg's turn to hit the snow, and he rubs his head as he gets up.)
Starfire: You are mistaken!
(Long shot of the intact figure, zooming in, then back to Robin as he flings three discs downfield. Their explosion clears to reveal the target gone, but after a moment it steps out from behind a tree, still very much in one piece. This time, Cyborg brings up his right-arm cannon only to have it fizzle out when he tries to fire.)
Cyborg: (to Raven, over his shoulder) Something is messing up my sensors! (Close-up of Raven; Cyborg continues o.c.) I can't get a lock on it!
Raven: (conjures a black sphere between her hands) Azarath Metrion Zinthos!
(The ball now grows to black out the entire screen. Fade in immediately to Starfire, energy glowing green like torches above both raised hands, and pull back to frame all but Beast Boy within Raven's dome. Cut to the ursine changeling, who resumes human form here.)
Beast Boy: You know, you could've done this when we landed.
(Long shot of Starfire, floating above the trashed T-Ship, and pan slowly across the enclosure as she lets her light play over the walls; dark and silent. Cut to Beast Boy and Cyborg next to the shot-out engine.)
Cyborg: Aw, no! I just fixed that engine! (Pan to Robin.)
Robin: He's not here. Nice try, Raven.
Raven: Don't be so sure.
(Cut to behind her; at the edge, a considerable distance away, is a tiny fleck of red. Zoom in on it and cut to a close-up, at which point the spot grows as if a viscous liquid were oozing over the exterior surface of the shield. It begins to take the same humanoid form that attacked a moment ago, a web of cracks spreading across the barrier, and Raven is thrown backward with a yell as a red flash snaps over her.)
(Cut to outside the shield, now badly damaged from the specter's touch. It has plastered itself across the surface to pour in its energy, and after a long moment, the whole thing goes up in a colossal blat that pitches everyone across the snowy field. Robin is first to his feet and soon has everyone but Beast Boy to back him up; the two sides face off for some moments, after which Cyborg checks his forearm panel and is greeted with rapid-fire Geiger counter clicking.)
Cyborg: We can't touch that thing!
Robin: We'll just have to keep trying! We need to surround it!
Cyborg: No! Robin, we really can't touch it! I'm picking up radiation levels that are off the scale!
(The being chooses this moment to send a red beam from its chest, straight at the two boys. Only Starfire's last, split-second dive in front keeps them from getting blasted; the screen fills with the glare from the beam's explosion, then clears to show her intact. Smoke rises from the burning green palms she has raised to fend off the assault.)
Starfire: Radiation cannot harm me.
(The figure evacuates itself into the woods, and she begins to fly after it.)
Robin: Starfire! Wait!
(Dissolve to a snow-blown patch of forest. Starfire flies into view to look around, but the wind has strengthened enough to blow even her backwards. Her back thumps against a tree and she throws up her arms to shield her face; cut to her perspective, almost completely whited out but with a set of footprints visible, then back to her. Summoning a new burst of stamina, she pushes off from her tree and resumes the pursuit.)
(Cut to the T-Ship. The other four Titans have gathered beneath its hull; close-up of Robin, who straightens up from his perch.)
Robin: I'm going after her. (Raven stops him.)
Raven: You can't survive out there.
Cyborg: (from o.c.) Raven's right, Robin. (Cut to him.) The temperature's dropping fast. We have to find some shelter.
Robin: She's lost. She needs our help.
Cyborg: I know.
(Long shot of all four, pulling back as they stare morosely into the raging blizzard, then dissolve to a patch of sky as Starfire flies into view. A monster gust drives her to the ground; she gets to her feet with some effort and plods ahead with arms wrapped around herself. The cold has finally gotten to her, it seems, and she must surely be wishing to have her fur hat back from Beast Boy. A cloud of mist hovers in front of her mouth as she blows out her breath and shivers near the onset of hypothermia; after a few more labored steps, she pitches face first in the snow. It takes only a moment for the flakes to pile high on the back of her head.)
Starfire: (with effort) Robin...
(She passes out, the snow building up so quickly that she is nearly buried within seconds. A shadow extends partly over her from o.c., and a gloved hand reaches down to pull her loose. Its owner slings the half-frozen Tamaranean over its shoulders; covered by a thick green parka whose hood is up, and turns toward the camera. The face is entirely hidden within the shadows of the raised hood; this, and the color of the coat, indicate that Kovar has come to Starfire's rescue. He trudges forward, the shadow glowing bright red to put his identity beyond any doubt.)
(When the radiance has nearly filled the screen, dissolve to an extreme close-up of her inert face. She is stretched out n a shelter, and as she comes to with a gasp, the camera pulls back to frame a little more of the place, bare except for pipes running along the walls. Cut to a longer shot and pull back slowly; the entire room is empty, and the camera backs up through a set of large windows until it is on their other side.)
(Back to her; she pulls her communicator and fires it up.)
Starfire: Robin? Cyborg? Can you hear me? (Static; she lowers it.) What is this place?
Kovar: (from o.c.) It is my home.
(Cut to one window. She moves to it and gazes through with a total lack of understanding.)
Kovar: (approaches from the other side) You are...okay? (He shows his side.)
Starfire: (angrily) Who are you? (Shows her side; she warms up starbolts.) Why do you hold me captive? Explain yourself!
Kovar: (moving closer) I am sorry to confuse. You are no prisoner here.
(He raises his hands to his hood. Cut to a close-up of his feet; the entire parka flops to the ground, and the camera tilts up to frame Kovar in the flesh. The sleeveless olive-drab shirt, rigorously short haircut, and overall carriage broadcast involvement with the Russian military loud and clear. Age: early to mid-twenties. Hair: brown. Build: tall and muscular. Face: prominent chin, stoic expression, pure red eyes without trace of whites or pupils.)
Kovar: My name is Red Star, and you may go at any time you wish.
(Cut to a long shot behind Starfire. She is, in fact, out in a hallway, while he is the one whose freedom has been restricted by the glass walls. A few pieces of furniture have been placed within for his use. Pull back to an even longer shot; the quarters are very large, with machinery coupled to the ceiling, and are situated in the middle of a vast expanse of empty floor. Back to Starfire, who looks around wonderingly as the camera zooms in on Kovar, or Red Star.)
Red Star: It is I who may not leave.
(Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: the T-Ship, now mostly covered by deep-drifted snow. The blizzard continues in full force. Zoom in on the mound that marks the damaged port engine; Beast Boy bulldozes his way out as a polar bear, and Robin and Cyborg follow him. Cut to their perspective, panning across the desolate landscape, then to Robin. Now Raven has emerged as well.)
Raven: She'll be fine, Robin. Starfire knows how to take care of herself.
Robin: That doesn't mean I can't worry.
(He turns to Cyborg, the camera panning to follow; the big man is checking his forearm panel.)
Robin: Tell me you've found something. (Panel beeps and flashes.)
Cyborg: I have, but it's not Starfire.
(Close-up of the display, which shows a series of waves emanating from one point. Zoom in.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) I'm picking up a massive radiation source. (Back to Cyborg.) Might be why we can't locate her communicator.
Robin: Take us there. (He and Raven start off; Beast Boy pops up in human form.)
Beast Boy: Uh, guys, aren't you forgetting something? Our warm, comfy ship?
Cyborg: Our warm, comfy ship has a fried electrical system and a missing engine.
Robin: We don't have time to fix it now. (Back to Beast Boy; he continues o.c.) Are you coming?
Beast Boy: (disgustedly) Yeah, I'm coming, (He clomps off after them.) but I'm freezing my tail off!
(He becomes a fox to make the point and starts his paws moving. Close-up of Cyborg's foot coming down on a patch of snow, then pull back to frame the four Titans, at the edge of a lagoon filled with glutinous green liquid. Cyborg checks his forearm panel.)
Cyborg: It's the same isotopic signature I got from that thing that attacked us.
(Close-up of the display on the end of this; the source of the energy waves is now dead center. Pull back again.)
Raven: So, this is where it came from.
Robin: If it did, then that's only part of the puzzle. (points ahead) Look.
(Pan to follow his gesture across the pool and stop at a small channel that feeds into it. The next camera movement is a tilt up the adjoining slope; the source of the flow disappears into the rugged terrain.)
Cyborg: (as a cloud's shadow covers all) We better hurry. Another storm is moving in.
(The quartet begins to follow the channel up the slope. Dissolve to a long shot of Red Star's quarters; he has turned his back to Starfire, who is still at the wall. Zoom in slowly.)
Red Star: I found you outside... (Close-up of them.) ...when my proximity alarm sounded. (He steps away.)
Starfire: I am most thankful for that, but why must you isolate yourself? (paces with Red Star) Do I have the germs? (Cut to him; he stops.)
Red Star: I mean no disrespect. Most people have great fear of me. I have an energy within. It can be dangerous.
Starfire: I have no such fear. And you need not worry. My people are most resilient.
Red Star: (smiling) Then I welcome you to my home. (The door hisses open; Starfire enters.)
Starfire: Please, I am most anxious to locate my friends. (She holds up...) But my communicator, it has been damaged.
Red Star: Not damaged. It is this place. Radio signals will not pass through these walls.
Starfire: Then I must go and look for them. You will assist me? (She turns to leave.)
Red Star: I cannot. (This stops her.) It is not safe for me.
Starfire: If you speak of the creature, that is what we have come to apprehend.
Red Star: The village sends you to do this?
Starfire: Yes. They are most anxious to have him stopped.
(Long, pensive silence on the Russian soldier's end before he moves a bit closer.)
Red Star: Then you have found him. I am that creature.
(She backs up, slowly, gingerly, with a small gasp of fright.)
Red Star: You must understand. What happened was an accident, and it was a long time ago.
Starfire: It was not. I have seen the destruction, and we faced you in battle just yesterday.
Red Star: No! This cannot be so. You must believe me. This is why I'm here, alone, far from the city. It is so I do not hurt anyone.
Starfire: Could there be another-someone else like you?
Red Star: I am the only one who remains.
Starfire: I wish to believe you, but I must find my friends.
(Cut to a long shot of an imposing complex of buildings. The snow continues to fall unchecked as a door opens and the tiny black dot of a silhouette appears in the light it throws forth. A close-up reveals it to be Starfire and Red Star; this place houses his self-imposed exile. He has put on a green uniform coat emblazoned with a red star within a white circle, a black helmet fronted with green fur and marked with only the red star, yellow goggles, and black gloves. In this outfit, he is recognizable as one of the heroes on the screens at the end of "Homecoming - Part 2".)
Red Star: Something is wrong?
Starfire: How will I find my friends in this weather?
Red Star: You worry for your companions. (Close-up of her; he continues o.c.) If they are as strong as you, they will endure.
Starfire: It is difficult, not knowing. (He steps ahead into view.)
Red Star: That is why we have faith. Are you hungry?
(She gives him a sudden, surprised look from the corner of her eye. Dissolve to a close-up of a steaming bowl of stew, then cut to Starfire at a table in Red Star's quarters. He comes to her, carrying the food.)
Red Star: I hope you like pokhlebka.
[Note: This is a traditional Russian soup made with barley and several vegetables, with potatoes and cabbage usually the most prominent.]
(He places the bowl on the table; close-up of her as she lifts it eagerly and inhales the vapors.)
Red Star: (from o.c.) Some people find it--
(He gets no farther; she lets off a monkey screech, eyes bugging out and tongue lolling from her mouth, and proceeds to drain the bowl fast enough to set a world record.)
Starfire: Delicious! May I have more?
(Her unexpected gusto catches him off guard for a second, but an alarm goes off before he can come up with a good response.)
Red Star: It is the proximity alert. Something approaches.
(Both hurry to a computer map on one wall, outside the quarters. It shows a part of the complex, along with a dot and a string of flashing red arrows to mark the encroacher just outside.)
Starfire: The creature. We must go and stop it.
Red Star: Nothing can get inside here. We wait. Soon, it will leave.
Starfire: That is unacceptable. It will only return to the city and cause more destruction... (He crosses to the controls.) ...destruction for which you will be blamed.
(A button is pressed; cut to just outside the open exterior door as it slides shut, then back to the pair. The map has given way to a screenful of static.)
Red Star: It is the only way to be safe. I am sorry.
Starfire: You do not know sorry! (leans into his face) You may choose not to help others and hide here like a one-winged fobnar, but it is my sworn duty to assist those in need! (His eyes blaze red; zoom in slowly.) I care nothing for safe, and I will not be--
Red Star: Excuse, please.
(He turns away hastily. Cut to the upper reaches of a very tall and somewhat rickety-looking piece of machinery, something like an overgrown steam boiler, in one corner of the room. Tilt down to ground level; the suddenly panicked soldier rushes toward the rig, whereupon the view shifts to inside an interior chamber as a hatch opens to admit him. This space is illuminated by white lights paneled into the walls, and there are four small circular hatches in the floor, arranged in a diamond formation. The left and right corners pop up to reveal waist-high transparent columns with handholds on top. He grabs both of these with a yell and twists them until they lock into a new position, and the camera tilts down from his face as he voices a tortured scream.)
(The columns fill with green liquid, the same shade as that in the lagoon found by Robin and company outside, and the entire chamber floods with red light once they are loaded. Cut to outside the machine; the light has spread out here as well, but it fades away just as quickly on Starfire's approach. The hatch has closed behind Red Star, and it opens to let him out, dragging the two columns, now detached to serve as canisters. The contents have gone red from the energy he has dumped into them.)
Red Star: You see? (holds them up) This is what happens to me. This is why I must stay here.
Starfire: But I cannot. You must let me pursue this creature. I will not let it harm anyone else.
(He thinks this over very hard for a second. Cut to the exterior of the complex, a long shot as before; the same door reopens, and in close-up we see Starfire ready to step out while Red Star remains within. She looks worriedly back at him, then straight ahead, and voices a happy gasp as her whole face lights up. Cut to her perspective, tilting up from the waists of four Titans who are within an ace of becoming human/cybernetic Popsicles, or, in Beast Boy's case, a deep-frozen side of walrus meat. Five natural eyes and one implant pop wide open, accompanied by three grins to answer the one from the doorway.)
Robin: Starfire! (Pull back to frame all five.)
Starfire: My friends! (She sweeps him into a gigantic hug; Beast Boy resumes human form.) How happy I am to see you!
Raven: (walking in) Ever think about a doorbell?
(It was these four, then, who set off the proximity alert. Dissolve to within Red Star's quarters; all five Titans are now seated at the table, and Red Star brings over a loaded tray.)
Cyborg: This is great! I'm so hungry, I could eat a--
(He cuts himself off suddenly. Cut to a close-up of the five bowls of pokhlebka and tilt up to frame him, Beast Boy, and Raven. All three seem to have lost their appetites in a hurry, and huge wisps of steam float up behind them as a sight gag.)
Cyborg: Huh? (He grins; Beast Boy lifts a bowl and sniffs.) Maybe just a glass of water and a toothpick. (Gag ends; cut to Starfire.)
Starfire: Had it not been for Red Star--? (Tilt up to him alongside.)
Red Star: --She would have been fine. Her people are most resilient.
Robin: Your village thinks you've been attacking it. Why? (Overhead view of Red Star, pulling back.)
Red Star: You must understand how I came to be.
(Dissolve to a black-and-white shot of three young soldiers working out: pull-ups and dumbbells. On the following line, pan to several sets of bunk beds; a fourth man is pumping iron, and a fifth, much skinnier one sits on his mattress and polishes his boots. The body is a different build, but the face gives this one away as a younger Leonid Kovar. We are watching a blast from the past, set in his old barracks as a silent movie.)
Red Star: (voice over) The life I had before was a difficult one, but suited me well.
(A figure steps partly into view near the camera, and the next shot reveals it in detail-the one and only Professor Chang. He wears an ordinary lab coat instead of the full-body biohazard suit he has used in the past, and his hair is long, black, and greasy. However, he still has his goggles and a breathing tube plugged into one nostril. In his hand is a clipboard; behind him is Raskov, his hair and mustache black rather than gray and framing two good eyes.)
Red Star: (voice over) I was chosen to be part of an experiment.
(During this line, cut to a shot of him in a vertical glass tank; stripped to his shorts, respirator, sensors all over his body, floating in the liquid contents. Two men in full protective gear are keeping an eye on him. Close-up of his face.)
Red Star: The security force wished to create the perfect soldier.
(On the end of this, the scene around him dissolves to a different chamber; now he is clothed again, and the respirator is gone. A door is closed in front of him.)
(Pull back; the locking wheel is turned, and the camera cuts to an adjoining room whose huge window gives a clear view of the system. The two observers are here. Inside the chamber, lights flick on around young Kovar from the floor up, bathing him in their harsh monochrome glare. Suddenly, he begins to twitch back and forth as if being hit by a series of electric shocks; cut to a close-up of one elbow and pan slowly to the splayed fingers on that hand. A shot of the legs shows them growing thick with new muscle-stimulated by whatever is being done to him. Now his back and arms take on their current contour as well. Fade to white.)
(Snap to just outside the door, which opens in a rush of vapor. One boot hits the floor and the camera tilts up from it to frame the fully developed man who will ultimately become Red Star. Behind him, zooming in on the observation window; now three men are here in full-body suits, and one removes his helmet to expose himself as Chang, his hair tucked under the usual hood.)
(From here, dissolve to Kovar/Red Star standing on an empty plain, with Chang, Raskov, and others watching from a short distance. He has donned his trademark outfit, and he pulls the goggles into place.)
Red Star: (voice over) They had much hope for me.
(Pull back quickly; a tank rolls steadily toward him, only to be lifted up and balanced on the rear portion of its treads.)
Red Star: (voice over) And at first, it seemed successful.
(He throws it aside like a rag doll, then takes an incredible leap to land on a second tank coming far down the plain. This one gets its turret ripped off; Red Star heaves the mass of metal into a third one, then throws himself after it and takes the whole thing out. Smoke and dust boil over the screen, and a moment later, his figure appears within the murk, glowing brilliantly from head to toe.)
Red Star: (voice over) There was, however, an unexpected side effect. (The group cowers at his approach.) This power inside me... (All flee; he claps his hands to his head in agony.) ...a power I could not contain.
(The light shining from his body grows intense enough to fill the screen; a flash, and the camera has shifted to a long shot of a neighboring city and is pulling back. Kovar's burst spreads rapidly in all directions like the shock wave from a nuclear explosion, wiping out every last piece of natural and man-made scenery it touches. On and on it goes until the camera itself has been engulfed; from here, fade in to a present-day close-up of Red Star and pull back.)
Red Star: I have been here ever since. Memories have long lives. My people have not forgotten.
Beast Boy: You must get lonely here by yourself.
Red Star: It is a small price to pay. Come. There is something I wish you to see.
(He walks o.c. Dissolve to the six in a new room, storage for dozens upon dozens of canisters identical to the ones he brought out of his purging chamber. Pull back to show just how many loads he has deposited here: floor-to-ceiling shelves, all packed full, and a few lying loose on the floor. Back to him, panning toward the Titans as he speaks.)
Red Star: Every day, I must shed my power. Here, it is saved.
Cyborg: You could light an entire city with all of this. (Behind Red Star.)
Red Star: (turns to Cyborg) And yet they would never accept.
Starfire: You must use your ability to help people. We will assist you. There is no need to hide any longer.
Red Star: It is a good wish, but...here, I am contained. As long as I am in this place... (Cut to Robin and Raven; he continues o.c.) ...the world is safe from me.
Robin: Red Star, there's something you should know.
(The proximity alarm butts in right about here.)
Red Star: (to Raven) That would be the doorbell.
(A scream, either of metal being ripped apart or from some unearthly being, is heard through the wall and immediately followed by an explosion that rips in through a set of shelves. Smoke and haze persist for a long moment before clearing to expose the new arrival: a rough humanoid creature, at least twice as tall as anyone present, with four red eyes and veins of this same color running in all directions. The shining white body is broken up by random black patches, as of rocks floating in a pool of lava. There is no longer any doubt about the identity of the thing that attacked the Titans in Act One).
Robin: Titans! Go! (They charge, Cyborg breaks out his left cannon.)
Cyborg: Just nobody touch it!
(He blows a hole through the creature's gut, but the wound swiftly closes and the creature roars in fury. Its counterattack is a broad beam from all four eyes that blasts the big man off his feet. Up goes Starfire for a string of high-energy sliders that bounce harmlessly off the misshapen head; the shots do, however, make it angry enough to jump at her. As soon as it has left the ground, Raven levitates a piece of debris and sends it up at the monster, bashing the head at nearly the same time as Starfire's midair sidestep. It slams to the floor.)
(Not even a second later, it is on its feet and facing a barrage of rubble under the telekinetic Titan's control. One chunk after another connects with the chest and disappears, pushing the thing back with their momentum. Now Robin goes up for a flying kick, but Cyborg plucks him back in mid-leap.)
Cyborg: You want to end up like that?
(Cut to "that" on the end of this; the rubble fragments, now smoking and red-hot, fall free of the chest. Tilt down to frame them at its feet, then cut back to the two boys.)
Robin: We have to do something! (Red Star has not moved; Starfire drops to him.)
Starfire: Red Star, please! You must help us!
(The enemy faces off against Beast Boy, who is so utterly petrified that he does not notice either the drop of sweat on his temple or the runnel of snot that oozes from his nose. The grotesque thing thunders toward him; only when it is about to tear his head off does he find his voice in a glass-shattering scream. Protection comes in the form of Red Star, who inserts himself in front.)
Red Star: You will not harm my friends!
(With those words, he unleashes a merciless rain of blows on the black-white/red gut and follows that up with several kicks to the head that send it flying backward. The crash of body against floor happens at the same time as the thud of boots into solar plexus. Pull back to frame the Titans, watching in utter astonishment, as he grabs one arm and slings the creature overhead.)
Raven: So, what part of "perfect soldier" did they get wrong?
(Red Star hurls the enemy into the wall and gets ready to deliver the mother of all haymakers, but before he can make good, he cries out, wracked by a whole-body spasm. A flash of red, and he is now washed in the same color light; the terrible mishap that took place in his flashback is on the verge of playing itself out again. Starfire gasps in fright, and the light forms a n outline around him.)
Red Star: I cannot continue!
(He backs away and breaks into a run from the place. Cut to inside his purging chamber; the door opens, up come the two canister/columns from the floor, and he collapses to his knees as he gets his hands to their tops. This time, his scream is louder and more tormented than the one he voiced when he underwent this procedure earlier, and the red light surrounding his form grows until it fills the screen with a flash.)
(From here, cut to the Titans, who stare openmouthed after the departing soldier. The creature is stretched out prostrate behind them; zoon in on a pile of tumbled cylinders nearby. One gelatinous hand reaches toward it, followed by the whole body crawling laboriously across the floor, and is placed on the jumble. Upon touch ing the glass, the digits swell out of all proportion and the entire body collapses into a mass of protoplasm that smothers the entire pile. In short order, the apparition has engulfed all the cylinders and put itself back together, far larger than before due to all this new energy. Its shadow stretches over the Titans.)
Cyborg: This won't turn out good.
(Cut to a close-up of the back and tilt up slowly as the red canisters pop out all over, then cut to a head-on shot and pull back. Instead of resuming the fight against the Titans, it stomps right past them; outside, a wall is battered down and it rushes into the snowstorm. Inside, the five are completely bewildered at this turn of events; zoom in on a doorway, where Red Star leans in wearily. He has discharged his energy buildup, as evidenced from the disappearance of the red light around his body.)
Red Star: Now you understand? I cannot control what is inside me. Here, I am contained.
Robin: But you're not.
(Cut to the slope on which the green ooze flows down into the lagoon; we can now clearly see that it originates from the complex. The Titans and Red Star are gathered at the source point.)
Robin: There's a leak, Red Star. That creature? It came from you.
(Cut to a close-up of the flabbergasted recluse, jaw hanging as far open as physically possible at this revelation. Zoom in slowly and fade to black.)
(Opening shot: Red Star, back in his quarters and facing the Titans.)
Red Star: I was a fool to think I could have prevented this.
Cyborg: There were microscopic cracks in the power conduit. (Cut to Red Star; Cyborg continues o.c.) There was no way you could've known.
Red Star: (hangs his head) All of my anger, all of my fear. When I release power, I free these things as well. Now it has taken form.
Starfire: Then you will help us to stop it. (Cut to him.)
Red Star: But how? I am not like you, Starfire. Mine is a power I cannot keep inside.
Starfire: (from o.c.) Then do not. (Back to her, warming up one hand.) The greater the struggle against your power, (Close-up of the hand; she continues o.c.) the more it resists.
(She curls the fingers, causing the green light to blaze through them even more strongly. Pan to her face as she raises her hand.)
Starfire: Embrace what you have inside. (The energy subsides a bit.) Let it become you... (It disappears.) ...and you will find what you are meant to be.
(He ponders this lesson for a long, silent tick.)
Red Star: I will join you.
Beast Boy: Does anyone know how we're gonna chase after that thing in all this snow? 'Cause I can tell you right now, I'm not pulling a sled.
(Snap to black, which resolves into an opening garage door with the Titans and Red Star on its far side. Cut to behind them, the camera pointing into this new space; the lights flick on, exposing rows of snowmobiles that look to be in tip-top shape.)
Cyborg: (to Red Star) You built these?
Red Star: I have much free time.
(Beast Boy races to one of the vehicles and hops into the driver's seat, finding a formidable weapon at his command.)
Beast Boy: Sweet! (Red Star comes up.) This one has lasers!
Red Star: This one is mine. (He crosses his arms.)
Beast Boy: (deflated) Figures.
(He climbs down. Cut to the exterior of the complex, now under a clear night sky without a single fresh snowflake falling. Zoom in on a hatch, which begins to open and expose the garage, then cut to Robin and Red Star. Both are on snowmobiles, and the Boy Wonder pulls up his hood.)
Robin: (reaches to touch Red Star's shoulder) You know, Red Star, even if you have to be by yourself, it doesn't mean you need to be alone. (offers Red Star a communicator) We're glad to have you as part of the team.
(Beast Boy, now wearing his fur hat and on a different snowmobile, looks on expectantly, as do the girls. The proffered item is accepted, prompting a bubbly, little giggle from Starfire, and the camera zooms in as the new man finds his confidence for the first time.)
Red Star: We will be victorious. This I know.
(Cut to just outside; three engines rev up, carrying him, Robin, and Cyborg, and Raven and Starfire fly to follow them out. A fourth vehicle stays put, with Beast Boy punching furiously at the controls and trying to get it in gear.)
Beast Boy: Shouldn't there be an ON switch?
(The next button he tries brings the engine to life and sends him rocketing crazily out of the garage with a panicked yell. Out on the trail, the group closes in on the ruined city where all this began in Act One, and very likely also the one destroyed during Red Star's first test of his powers. The next shot is of a man running frantically out of the rubble; behind him, the bizarre creature's energy blazes out and destroys a building fragment. Out of the smoke and flame strides the enormous beast, straight toward Raskov and a crowd of terrified inhabitants.)
Raskov: Quickly! Take shelter!
(They bug out and he brings up the rear. Cut to a close-up of Red Star, bent over his handlebars with a single thought playing in his mind: "stop that thing by any means necessary!" He takes a sharp turn off course, leaving Starfire wondering in midair.)
Starfire: Red Star? (She swoops down; back to him, now stopped.)
Red Star: I made a promise never to return here. I will not be welcome. (Her hand lands on his shoulder; pan to her.)
Starfire: You are a good person. They will see.
(Looking down the way, they note the other four Titans on course for the smoking blast site. Another explosion roars up from the buildings.)
Starfire: We must go.
(She takes off before he can voice any reservations. Now the rest of the gang pulls into town, stops, and is met by Raskov and a few other men.)
Raskov: (pointing) He heads for our power plant!
(Long shot of the beast, clumping uphill toward this facility.)
Raskov: (from o.c.) Please hurry! It is all we have left! (Back to the four Titans.)
Robin: There's something you need to know. This creature, it's not who you think.
(The arrival of Red Star and Starfire cuts him off; now Raskov's mood turns to barely controlled fury.)
Raskov: How dare you return? Have you no shame? (All retreat before the outcast's footsteps.)
Red Star: I come to help.
Raskov: Every day, I live with what you did. Look at what you have caused! You will go at once!
(They advance threateningly on him but are stopped when Starfire inserts herself in the middle.)
Starfire: He will do no such thing! If you wish to make him go, (warms up her eyes) you will answer to me! (All but Raskov take a step back.) Red Star is not the only one to blame.
(The meaning of her words begins to sink in for the old general. He and his comrades started the experiments that led to Red Star's uncontrollable energy, then fed his fear by forcing him into exile. Now Robin zooms in from his parking spot while the Russian glides slowly toward Raskov.)
Red Star: I am sorry to have failed you...General. (He drives off toward the power plant.)
Raskov: Captain Kovar! (Stop short.) Do your best.
(This is met with a curt nod before the captain zooms away again. Cut to the slope leading up to the plant; the monster of his making is on its way up, but a large rock slams into the ground from above and brings it up short. Many more boulders come down after it, forming a high, wide barricade, and the thing backs up warily and turns around as Raven drops into frame. She has another load of rocks under control to match the one she just dropped.)
Raven: Think again.
(Pull back. The other Titans have moved in and are ready to throw down, Beast Boy present as a woolly mammoth. A still longer shot of the area shows Red Star on the scene as well, standing amid a mass of rubble farther up the hill. The creature turns toward him; he stands his ground as the camera zooms in on his wickedly smiling face.)
Red Star: You remember me?
(Its uncertain pause tells us that it does indeed. Up comes one arm, a blast issues from an embedded canister, and he jumps clear to avoid it. One flying jab to the face drives the horror flat on its back; this is followed by a flurry of punches while he perches on the chest. All four distorted eyes focus on him, flaring an even brighter red, and it shoots him away and gets back to its feet with a rusty roar. Lumbering steps bring it toward the prone Red Star, who turns over to face it full on, but now a three-way artillery bombardment to the back stops it in its tracks. Here come all five Titans amid a volley of starbolts, explosive discs, and cannon fire.)
(With one huge swing of its arm, the creature sends a red energy wave toward the team. Raven throws up a shield to block it, but it tears through this like paper and throws everyone backward. All but Starfire hit the snow, Beast Boy back in human form, but she pulls up just short of the ground and flies back into action. The new attack lasts only a moment, though, as she gets swatted down without any noticeable effort.)
(One twisted hand extends toward her, palm out and ready to fire up, and Red Star leaps in just as it lets loose. His own hand is up to stop the beam from cooking Starfire's goose; close-up of him.)
Red Star: Starfire! Stay back! (Pan to her, getting up.)
Starfire: You need our assistance!
Red Star: No! It is too dangerous! Get away!
(The enemy's free hand comes up and adds its own blast to the offensive, initially slipping this one past Red Star and plowing Starfire backward. A moment later, he is blocking both; next his body bathes itself in the red light that indicates an imminent overload. Cut to Starfire, who looks on woozily as Beast Boy and Cyborg rush to her, then back to the standoff. Parts of the creature's body are now swelling and bulging alarmingly.)
Cyborg: That thing can't handle the power! (Cut to the growing head; he continues o.c.) It's gonna go critical!
(It redoubles the attack as more lumps pop out everywhere, and it finally succeeds in overpowering Red Star. Dust and rocks fill the screen from this explosion; right away he has vaulted up and caught hold of a protruding canister on the back. The scarlet-burning hero hangs on for all he is worth and drives a fist deep into the gooey flesh; a flash from within, and the camera pulls back from the pair as more brilliant shafts burst forth. It takes almost no time for these ruptures to cover the entire body; cut to a close-up of the inflating head, which disappears under an infernal scarlet explosion. The blowout Cyborg feared has finally come.)
(Cut to an empty patch of snow. Red Star stumbles into frame and collapses face first as the Titans run/fly over. He is still fully charged up.)
Starfire: Red Star! (He gets to his knees.) You have succeeded!
Red Star: Something inside of me...it is changing. You must take me from here, far away. Do you understand what this means?
Starfire: (helping him up) We must go.
Red Star: Do not worry, my friends. (His perspective of Robin and Starfire, now smiling.) I have no more need to be alone.
(Pull back to frame all six. She lifts off, taking him with her, and the view shifts to an outer-space shot of Earth. The camera follows them into the black reaches and stops when she does. She swings Red Star ahead of herself; cut to a close-up of their joined hands, then to each in turn, faces reflecting her sorrow at having to let him go and his determination to end the threat to his countrymen forever. Back to the hands, which slowly separate to leave him drifting into space, and giving her one slow, tender wave. She returns it and gets a last smile before he closes his eyes.)
(Cut to a long shot behind Starfire. Red Star has now floated so far away that he can be seen only as a distant twinkle; this gives way to a blinding scarlet flash and the sort of shock wave emitted by a star that has just gone nova. Whatever internal overload he dreaded has burst forth with inconceivable ferocity. Through all of this, the dumbstruck Tamaranean holds her position, watching even as the radiation washes over her and whites out the screen. Fade in to a close-up of her frozen face as the glare subsides; after a long silence, she turns away toward Earth, her spirits so low that they might be in her boots.)
(Cut to a patch of sky in which the new red star is shining steadily and tilt down to a scattering of thoroughly puzzled locals. Pan across them as they step a bit closer, craning their necks for a better view; stop on Beast Boy and Raven. He actually seems comfortable in the freezing weather now, and he has even done away with the fur hat Starfire lent him.)
Raven: Aren't you cold?
Beast Boy: No. (Cut to behind him and the other earthbound Titans.) Not anymore.
(Starfire descends into view and lights next to Robin.)
Robin: You did a good thing, Starfire, (Cut to Starfire; Robin continues o.c.) helping him.
Starfire: (smiles) I believe he will return our kindness...
(She looks into the heavens; pan/tilt to the shining point that marks his last known position.)
Starfire: (from o.c.) ...someday.
(Fade to black.)