July 9th, 2005
The End - Part 1
The End - Part 3
Raven: (voice over) The gem was born of evil's fire.
(During this line, fade in to the upper reaches of the underground chamber in which Trigon emerged at the end of Part One. A lick of flame sweeps across the screen to show her floating, vertical and ramrod; stiff with her arms slightly spread. Close-up of her face, zooming in slowly on the eyes that are squeezed viciously shut.)
Raven: (voice over) The gem shall be his portal.
(Cut to one hand; the red runes that tell the story of what is to come fade into view. On the next line, pull back slowly to frame the rest of that arm as they float free. Trigon's voice overlays itself with hers and grows steadily in volume.)
Raven and Trigon: (voice over) He comes to claim. He comes to sire (The same thing happens to Raven's legs.) The end of all things mortal.
(Extreme close-up of her forehead, on whose gem the demon's crest superimposes itself, then pull back. Her eyes open, allowing two shafts of white light to stream from their sockets toward the ceiling, as the jagged S floats clear of her brow. The symbols that had adorned her motionless body form a large circle around it, just as they did at the end of Part One; this is a flashback to that sequence of events, and the camera pulls back to show her floating above the chamber's huge stone hand. The whirling runes have appeared around waist, head, and feet now; pull back to ground level, where the other four Titans watch dumbstruck.)
(Close-up of Raven's midsection. The spot of light flares up here and spreads, the camera tilting up as it consumes the rest of her, and the infernal swirling vortex materializes high overhead. It descends quickly, smashing the entire pillar to rubble; the shield she put up collapses, allowing the Titans free entry; and Trigon rises from the livid depths. The first thing the four heroes see is one of those mammoth red hands reaching toward the round skylight in the ceiling and curling into a fist; they back up a bit as the demon reaches his full height and turns to face us.)
Trigon: The Earth is mine!
(He spits out a shock wave that vibrates the entire chamber on its way toward the Titans, but instead of being torn apart, they each find themselves protected by a small black shield. It is the sort of thing Raven would do if she were still here. Cut to a rooftop view of Jump City, tranquil under the evening twilight that came too early in Part One. A ball of red light grows in the distance and expands rapidly, tearing the buildings apart with the force of a nuclear warhead. When the screen has entirely filled with the glare, fade in to an outer-space view of Earth and pull back slowly as the instant devastation spreads like wildfire over the entire surface. What remains is a charred, smoldering ball that looks more like a piece of burning coal than a planet capable of supporting several billion people. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: an overhead view of a shredded Raven barrier spread out on the rocky ground. It dissipates to expose Robin, unconscious but intact. He sits up to find himself now in the middle of Jump City, which has become as it appeared in Raven's visions; blasted, ravaged, under a fire-red sky. Rubbing his head with a groan, Robin looks around the place where he has fetched up and cannot even begin to make sense of the apocalypse that has just wrecked the world.)
(The camera shifts to angle itself into the sky, pointing between the ruined buildings that line one street, and tilts down toward the shadowy street. Robin is walking down the block.)
Robin: (softly) I could have done something. (rubs his arm) I should have found a way.
(He comes around a corner and stops cold with an incredulous stare. The reason is revealed when the camera cuts to behind him and pans slowly across the street, which is filled with city dwellers who have been turned to stone. Now he makes his way through them.)
Robin: These are innocent people.
(Lost in thought and self-recrimination, he almost does not notice the shadow that flits past overhead. It does get his attention, but when he looks up, the source has already gone.)
Robin: Who's there?
(His voice echoes over and over in the silent street; after it has finally died away, a bird flaps slowly down from the rooftops and lights on a chunk of debris. It is a large raven, and its hoarse call, more a croak than a caw, draws his attention. Extreme close-up of one red eye, which blinks and fixes itself straight ahead, very wide; now Robin approaches with caution.)
(The visitor takes flight in a flutter of wings.)
Robin: Wait! (He sets off running.) Come back!
(The chase moves through several blocks and leads him to a tower standing at a deranged angle. Tilt up along its height, then cut to the rubble at its base; Robin clambers over the lot and sets to climbing the steel and glass framework. In no time, he is at roof level land hauling himself up, but his quarry is nowhere to be found. He steps to the edge, regarding the wrecked metropolis silently, and the camera cuts to a long shot of the tower and pans very slowly across the area.)
(Back to the roof; with a heavy sigh, the lone Titan drops to his knees as if all the bones have been removed from his legs. Cut to behind him and pull back slowly.)
(A fracture opens in the roof's surface and races across to snap off the section he is kneeling on. This thunders toward the street; he leaps back toward the building with all his strength, but comes up short and begins a screaming fall toward the remains of the pavement. In close-up, his hand strains madly for a grip but gets only air, and then Cyborg's left snaps down to seize the wrist. Cut to the big man at the edge.)
Cyborg: I gotcha!
(Robin can only smile weakly in relief as he is reeled in and put back on his feet.)
Cyborg: I'm glad you made it. (Starfire lands behind him; Beast Boy eases up.)
Starfire: Robin... (hugs him) ...you are unharmed.
(Her embrace is powerful enough to squeeze all the air out of his lungs and turn his face bright blue; she does not notice as hers flushes deep red. When she finally lets go, he takes a moment to catch his breath and stretch out his collar before speaking.)
Robin: I saw something out there, in the city. It led me here.
Beast Boy: It led all of us here... (sadly, with his ears drooping) ...almost all of us.
(Cut briefly to their perspective of the city, then back to them.)
Cyborg: We're the only ones left.
Starfire: But how is this possible? How have we survived?
Beast Boy: It was Raven. She saved us. I don't know how, but she did.
Robin: Back at the Tower, when Raven knocked us out, the last thing I heard was her voice. It said, "Be safe." (Cut to the others; he continues o.c.) She did something. Something that protected us from Trigon.
Cyborg: As if it matters.
(Robin is referring to the battle between the Titans and Slade's flaming army in Part One; the fight that came to a grinding halt when Raven made up her mind to leave her friends. Cut to a long shot of the roof.)
Cyborg: Look around. There's nothing left. What's the point? (Close-up of Robin; zoom in slowly.)
(Close-up of each of the other three faces in turn. Now the fire returns to his voice.)
Robin: (from o.c.) That's the point. As long as we're still here, we still have a chance. (Back to him.) And that's why we're going to keep fighting. (Pull back; he holds out one hand, palm down.) For Raven.
(Overhead view, close-up of his hand; Starfire reaches in and lays hers on it.)
Starfire: (from o.c.) For Raven. (Roof level; Cyborg steps up.)
Cyborg: (adding his hand) For Raven.
Beast Boy: (adding his) For Raven.
(There is a great flash of white, which subsides to show a ball of crackling black energy surrounding the four sets of fingers. It explodes a moment later, pushing them all away; now they study their hands wonderingly.)
Cyborg: Okay, that felt weird.
Robin: Raven may not have been able to stop Trigon from coming... (he holds up his hand and black fireball nestled in it) ...but she left us a way to fight him. (Slow pan across the others; Robin continues o.c.) She gave us some of her power.
Starfire: And it grows stronger when we stand as one.
(Back to the masked teen's face, whose mouth has turned up into a calculating smile, and zoom in slowly; he knows this could be the Titans' biggest ace in the hole ever. Dissolve to a stretch of slowly flowing lava whose surface is broken by a few random rocks and tilt up to frame the Tower's island in Jump City Bay. Trigon has gouged out the central portion of the building and seated himself on the remains as if they were a throne; the horizontal arms of the T serve as armrests. Resting, he breathes deeply of the foul air, and close-ups of one arm and one cloven hoof show him to be growing a bit.)
(Starfire emerges from the light of the blighted sun and hurls a flurry of starbolts at the recumbent demon, Robin leapfrogs across the rocks in the bay to scale a handful of discs at him, and Beast Boy, as a pterodactyl, flies Cyborg in so he can launch a missile attack. The shots come from the muzzles in his chest and shoulders, seen but not used during the battle outside the Tower in Part One.)
(None of these three strikes has any discernible effect on Trigon except to annoy him slightly. Now all four hit the deck, Beast Boy back in human form and Cyborg's launchers tucked away.)
Robin: Trigon! Stand up and fight! (Pause.)
Trigon: Insignificant insects.
Robin: (to the others) I think it's time to hit him hard.
Beast Boy: You're positive we're not going to accidentally microwave our brains? (Sight gag: the top of his head swells briefly on the end of this.)
Starfire: I have used Raven's powers once before. They are controlled by emotions. The more we feel, the more energy is released.
Cyborg: In other words, get angry!
(She is, of course, referring to the out-of-body experience she shared with Raven in "Switched." Cut to a waist-level pan across the four Titans as they join hands in line; black sparks fly when each contact is made, and an overhead view shows a ring of energy circling their feet. It spreads outward slightly while Raven's borrowed power surges through their bodies, snapping them stiff as boards and outlining them in white light. They are carried into the air; cut to a close-up of Robin and pull back on the next line to frame the group.)
Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Starfire: (all together) Azarath Metrion Zinthos!
(A ball of energy appears at the center of their formation and explodes into a huge black snake that could eat every python on the planet for lunch, if any survived Armageddon, that is. Lashing out across the lava-filled bay, it connects squarely with Trigon's chest to throw him into a roaring paroxysm. Profile of the group, panning slowly ahead, then of Trigon's chest as it continues to take the full brunt of their assault. Finally, it subsides; he slumps forward in his makeshift chair, knocked out, but his mouth twists into a cruel smile and he opens all four eyes.)
Trigon: You may think it wise to attack me while I gather my strength, (Cut to the Titans, aghast; he continues o.c.) but as you can see, not even a farewell blessing from my daughter can help you. (Back to him; eyes blaze.) Be gone.
(A quadruple beam flashes out, individual rays interlacing before they reach the Titans. Just as in the prologue, though, Raven's powers assert themselves to form a shield that keeps them from being instantly obliterated. They are instead flung backward by the force of the impact and end up sailing toward an area of Jump City that has been bulldozed flat. This is the space Slade cleared out during his demolition spree in "The Prophecy"; now, however, the location of the old library is marked by a wide crater in the ground.)
(The Titans drop into this hole and land in the remains of the chamber in which all this madness began. Cyborg is first to stand up, rubbing his head and groaning at the realization that their ace in the hole was no good against Trigon's straight flush.)
Cyborg: Guess that wasn't angry enough.
Beast Boy: Of all the places to crash and burn... (Long shot of them, panning slowly across the ruins.) ...why'd it have to be here?
Starfire: Please, I wish to leave.
(Close-up of the four, Robin eyeing a flight of stairs; the ones that led Raven up to the top of the hand pillar.)
Cyborg: (bitterly) And go where? The whole world is toast. And the only person who'd know what to do is...
(On the end of this line, cut to the Boy Wonder, who has begun to climb the stairs. Back to the despondent big man after he finishes; zoom in slightly.)
Cyborg: We could really use her help right now.
(Overhead view of him, Beast Boy, and Starfire, pulling back to frame Robin as he reaches the top step.)
Robin: I know what we saw...
(Cut to behind him, panning ahead slightly to show the blackened pit where the pillar had stood.)
Robin: ...but I still can't believe it. (Profile.) It just doesn't feel like Raven's really gone.
Slade: (from o.c.) That's because she isn't.
(Those four words shake the quartet out of their deep blue funk in a flash. Cut to just behind Starfire and zoom in on an unlit arch that once led to one of the chamber's many connecting passages, then snap to the total blackness beyond it. The one-eyed psychopath himself steps forth-stripped of his forehead mark by Trigon at the end of Part One.)
Robin: (from o.c.) Slade.
(He shows no response, but continues his steady advance toward the camera. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: an overhead view of the smashed chamber. Zoom in, cut to a floor-level view of the standoff, then tilt up from Slade's feet to his head. The tension is broken when Robin brings out a double handful of birdarangs, leaps high, and hurls them in one lightning-fast barrage. They merely bounce off the armor and embed themselves in the floor; Slade slips nimbly to one side only to find Beast Boy thundering toward him as a triceratops. He cannot block this hit and is driven backward into the wall, and the changeling, showing no mercy, lays another one on him even before he can straighten up.)
(The dust clears to show Slade doing something very much out of character: toppling forward to end up on all fours, face to face with the dinosaur that nailed him.)
Robin: (from o.c.) What's the matter, Slade? (Beast Boy reverts to human form; Robin is exposed behind him.) Giving up already?
Slade: Sorry to disappoint you, Robin, but I'm not here to fight. (stands up) I'm here to help. (Beast Boy gets in his face.)
Beast Boy: We don't need your help!
Slade: (dusts himself off) Yes. You seem to have everything under control. Raven can still be saved.
(He is immediately plowed away by Starfire and slammed into the wall again. Now she holds him with one hand and gets a starbolt ready in the other.)
Starfire: You will not dishonor our friend with your trickery!
Cyborg: (bringing up the sonic cannon) Whatever you're selling, we're not buying! (Close-up of Slade's face; zoom in slowly.)
Slade: Think of me what you will. But what Trigon did, even I wouldn't wish on this world. (Pull back.)
Cyborg: It's a little late for "I'm sorry"!
Slade: You mistake my generosity for regret, Cyborg. (Extreme close-up of his eye.) I only offer my assistance because it suits me.
Starfire: (cools down and lets Slade go) But we saw Raven become the portal.
(Cut to a close-up of his lowering feet on the end of this, then back to the group.)
Starfire: She was destroyed!
Slade: Raven has fulfilled the prophecy of her birth. (Long shot.) That part of her existence is complete. But another part still remains... (Back to him.) ...for the moment.
Robin: Why are you doing this? What's in it for you?
Slade: (passes them) My reasons are my own. Do you want your friend back or not?
Cyborg: Just tell us where she is, and we'll take it from there.
Slade: There will be no "we." (He stops.) This is a journey only one of you may take. (Shift to frame them over his shoulder.)
Beast Boy: No deal! She's our friend. All of us are going! (Pan to Slade's face.)
Slade: Then your friend is doomed to oblivion. You fail to realize, Trigon is all-seeing. His mind can be at any place, at any time. For us to succeed, Trigon's attention must be occupied.
Cyborg: And how do you expect us to do that? (Long shot; pull back.) We already tried fighting him; look where it got us! (Back to Slade.)
Slade: It's the end of the world. (turns to face the four Titans) Did you think it would be easy?
(Cut to the four, panning slowly across.)
Slade: (from o.c.) I don't expect you to win. I don't even expect you to live-only endure. (Close-up of Robin.)
Robin: (sullenly) I'll go with you. (Pull back to frame Starfire.)
Starfire: Robin, no.
Robin: If there's even the slightest chance to save Raven, what choice do we have?
(This deflates his three friends considerably; he has a point and they know it. Zoom in slowly on Slade standing behind them.)
Slade: The journey to this world has taken much of Trigon's power.
(An empty patch of floor; he holds one steel fist into view.)
Slade: (from o.c.) With this, you might be able to survive.
(During this line, he opens the fingers to expose a gold ring. In close-up, we see that it bears a number of red inscriptions.)
Slade: (from o.c.) It's a ring of Azar... (The three sidelined Titans.) ...forged by the same order that imprisoned Trigon. (Back to him.) I know from experience that it works.
[Note: See the "Fractured" transcript for explanation on the meaning of this name.]
(Starfire plucks the ring from his hand and eyes it with great concern as Robin crosses to her.)
Robin: I know you can do it.
(He gives her a long hug; quite possibly the last one they will ever share.)
Cyborg: It may get ugly, (Beast Boy jumps on his shoulders.) but don't worry. We'll keep him busy.
Beast Boy: Yeah. Just wait 'til Trigon gets slapped with my patented Wet Willie Maneuver!
(He prepares to demonstrate it by depositing a load of saliva on his index finger, but a nasty look from the big man makes him think better of it with a sheepish grin.)
Robin: He won't know what hit him. (Extreme close-up of Slade's eye.)
Slade: Your goodbyes are really quite touching... (Pull back.) ...but we have work to do.
(Slade strides away; Robin and Starfire are face to face, but Slade's next word slashes off the mood.)
Slade: (from o.c., sharply) Robin.
(The Boy Wonder takes his leave with understandable trepidation: after all, this is the second time he has had to work up close and personal with the Titans' worst enemy. Slade descends into the pit exposed by the destruction of the hand pillar; Robin is about to follow him, but stops at the lip and gives the other three a final look.)
Robin: I'll bring her back. I promise.
(Down he goes, leaving the trio wondering if they will ever see him again as the footsteps fade and the wind moans through the city. Cut to within the shaft, which is very wide with a trail circling down along the wall like the spiral staircase that brought the Titans into the chamber to start with. Slade leads Robin toward the unfathomable gloom at the bottom. Dissolve to the pair on the move, now closely following a sheer cliff; far in the distance is some barrier that carries the red mark removed from Slade's forehead. A close-up reveals it to be a set of stone double doors, bound in iron, over which a large hood with eyeholes has been carved. Tilt down to the pair as they reach the threshold.)
Slade: Before we continue, a warning. If we succeed, I can't guarantee you'll like what you find. (Long shot of the ledge on the end of this, then back to Robin.)
Robin: I'll take my chances.
(They heave against the great doors and manage to push them open; white light floods from beyond, filling the screen. From here, fade in to just within the doorway. Once Robin and Slade have opened the doors all the way, they move in and the camera shifts to point ahead of them. At first glance, the space appears to be a long corridor lined with large stone ravens that glow with an unseen orange light. The two travelers step into view and stop, and the camera zooms ahead of them and tilts down to show the chamber in full detail. They are on a ledge that overlooks a vast ravine, the ravens are carved from its walls, and the glow is from the lava that streams down from them to form a boiling river far below. A small rowboat bobs near a landing.)
(Cut to a close-up of Trigon's face, composed in sleep, then to Beast Boy darting in as a hummingbird. A flit here, a flit there, and he has slipped unnoticed into the conqueror's left ear. Inside it, he wings his way around a bend in the auditory canal and disappears from sight; an instant later, he wells back into view as a whale. This shakes Trigon out of his nap, and he roars in pain and claps hands to head as he stumbles off the Tower and into Jump City Bay.)
(Starfire instantly flies in with Cyborg in tow; after a quick spin to build up steam, she hurls him straight ahead toward the broad crimson chest. Out comes his cannon to score a direct hit, but the beam is reflected back on him and he is propelled away. He gets a second lift from Starfire.)
Starfire: I believe we have obtained his attention.
(Extreme close-up of Trigon's left ear, from which Beast Boy emerges as a hummingbird to the sound of the monster's pained groaning. Pull back across the bay; the shape-shifter lands on a rock, becomes a Dalmatian, and tries to shake himself clean of all the waxy buildup. No luck, though, and the muck stays on him when he reverts to human form.)
Beast Boy: Just remind me not to do that again. Demon earwax is way beyond nasty.
(And removing it in this fashion has made said demon plenty angry. Now the green joker has just about cleaned himself up, and he whirls to face Trigon with an ear-to-ear grin. It disappears as Cyborg and Starfire come down next to him. The unholy terror stands to his full height, gathers himself, and belches out a solid stream of fire that slices the surface of the lava on is way to the Titans' rock. Smoke billows from the spot, filling the screen, and clears to show them safe behind a translucent red shield. Starfire has rested her hands on Beast Boy's shoulders, and something shines on the right knuckles.)
Trigon: You carry a ring of Azar.
(Extreme close-up of the hand, on whose ring finger it gleams faintly.)
Trigon: (from o.c.) No doubt a relic from a former minion. (Back to him; he sits on the Tower.) It matters not. (Extreme close-up: his eyes.) Fighting you is beneath me.
(They glow red; in response, his mark fades in, very large, on the rock at the three Titans' feet. Sparks crackle up from the rune and envelop them; yells of pan and red flashes accompany the capture, and the camera cuts to a close-up of Starfire and pans to the ends of her wildly waving hair. Flames race along its length, and from them comes an exact duplicate of the young Tamaranean, with two differences. One, her eyes burn bright red; two, she is rendered entirely in shades of gray and black. A similar copy of Beast Boy starts to climb out of his back, while a monochrome bionic arm reaches forth from Cyborg's chest.)
(Long shot of the rock; the group is lost under the infernal red light show, which culminates in a terrific flash and a shot of the three real McCoys tumbling back to the surface. Extreme close-up of one of Trigon's eyes as it stops glowing, then cut to the wall of smoke and fumes and zoom in. This clears to fully show Cyborg's opposite number crouched down, while the other two are behind him as silhouettes. The big gray man straightens up slightly with a foul little smirk; our heroes can only stare aghast as all three get to their feet.)
Beast Boy: (nervously) Heh. I always figured I was taller. (Bellowing laughter from Trigon.)
Trigon: I may be the source of all darkness... (Cut to the two groups; he continues o.c.) ...but you are your own worst enemies.
(Nega Cyborg is first to move, leaping into the good guy's face in slow motion.)
Nega Cyborg: Raven wasn't the only one with a bad side.
(Normal speed: he delivers a walloping uppercut that lifts Cyborg far off his feet, then jumps up after him. Now Starfire's alter ego flies toward her with red starbolts burning in both hands, and Beast Boy's double jumps in for a scrap. The two Titans circle nervously around each other as the evil ones close in; finally, both Starfires take to the air and the Beast Boys face off. Not a single wisecrack comes from either one before Nega Beast Boy charges and turns into a king cobra with fangs bared, gray and black, just as Beast Boy stays green when he transforms. The inside of his mouth blacks out the screen.)
(Fade in to the upper reaches of the cavern in which Robin and Slade found the river of lava, and tilt down to show them on the landing. The boat has been pulled in close so they can board.)
Robin: So why did you do it? For money? Status? (They set off.) Those dark powers? (Close-up; Slade poles along while Robin works the rudder.)
Slade: Not everything is so cut and dry, Robin.
(Zoom in on Robin during the second half of his line, then cut to a slow pan along the magma spouts set in the stone ravens.)
Robin: (from o.c.) Selling out our world for your own personal gain seems pretty cut and dry to me. (Tilt down to the river; the boat glides into view.)
Slade: With or without me, there was no stopping this.
Robin: But you played a part. And just like everything else you've ever done, it's made people suffer.
Slade: It's what I do best.
(He brings the boat to a quick stop, the camera pulling back as he does so, and a cut to the wall shows why-many of the fire creatures he commanded in Part One are emerging from the flowing lava falls. More break the surface of the river to surround the craft, whose crew jumps in two different directions just before burning, tentacle-like arms shoot toward their position.)
(Robin whips out and extends his fighting staff as soon as his feet are planted firmly on an unstable rock. It flips over flat, nearly dumping him into the rapids as he lays about to dispatch several of the attackers. He jumps on one end of the rock to lever the other one sharply up; it is hit hard, but he clambers up and hops away just before the next strike pulverizes the formation into dust. Dodging or parrying a forest of lashes, he brings one boot sole down smack into a blazing torso before coming down on another rock and swinging his staff with renewed fury. One assailant after another gets a deathblow; the last one falls apart to show Slade at a distance, facing off against his own opposition.)
(He still has the pole with which he propelled the boat, and he leaps high and twirls it to deflect the appendages that hiss toward him. The jump brings him right back down to the same spot, after which he hops nimbly to another rock and bashes away the rest of this gang. Next, he plunges the end of the shaft into the lava and pole, vaults onto a high rock; Robin leapfrogs up to join him, and the survivors close in from all sides in a cacophony of hisses and growls. One huge swing of Slade's pole puts several down, and hero and villain back up toward each other.)
Slade: Only a minor setback. Nothing two old friends can't handle.
Robin: I'm not your friend.
(Lashes from every angle force both to jump for it. Slade comes down on a floating rock and blocks a strike only to have his pole wrapped up; a tug-of-war ensues, in which the attacker gets a second grip on the shaft. Slowly, ever so slowly, the armor-plated heels are dragged toward the molten rock that laps unhurriedly at the edge of his perch. Behind him, Robin's leap carries him to a wall and bounces him over the snapped-tight arms; the youth lands on one and runs back along its length toward the body. He hurls himself toward the sky and brings one foot down for a killer flying kick that instantly disintegrates the creature, freeing Slade from its hold.)
(Slade looks in Robin's direction, perhaps showing a tiny gleam of genuine respect, but soon has to turn his attention to the squad moving in from down the river. Small stone pillars line both banks; the reluctant partners hop up onto these and bound easily from one to the next before going up for an incredible leap and a series of swings that gradually shatter the blazing specters into little more than embers. When they come down, however, the next wave has already moved in, but a few deft strikes put them away. Shoulder to shoulder, Robin and Slade race downriver and deliver a devastating one-two combination that drops a singleton, then jump away again.)
(This trajectory carries them to the riverbank, where they thrust their weapons into another line of demons. The ends are jammed into the cliff face for leverage so they can pull off a long string of side-by-side somersaults and come down to drive their boot heels into the ones still in one piece. Now, taking a page from Starfire's book, Slade seizes Robin's wrists and swings him around for a brain-busting roundhouse kick on one of them, driving it into the others and vaporizing most of them. The staff and pole are yanked free of the wall where they lodged, and their users unleash a merciless string of blows to reduce the opposition to cinders. When the brutal frenzy ends, we see a close-up of the back-to-back fighters, and, as the last embers drop, the camera pulls back to show them alone on a ledge, with not a single enemy left standing.)
(Cut to a close-up of Robin and track around him to bring Slade into view. Far below, the fragments of one fire demon reassemble themselves from the lava currents and rise to attack. However, instead of pitching in to defeat it, Slade ducks to one side and lets Robin do the dirty work. The bits fall to the ground and extinguish themselves.)
Robin: I thought we had a deal.
Slade: Old habits die hard.
(Another one rears up behind him and lashes out, pasting him across the jaw and knocking his mask loose. The angle of the hit leaves his head turned away from the camera; cut to a close-up of the steel covering as it bounces across the stone, then to Robin. He throws his staff like a javelin, instantly ripping the creature apart, and Slade straightens up with effort as the fragments drop away. His back is still us, but in due time, he slowly turns to look straight on.)
(For the first time since this series began, we can see the face behind the black/red-orange mask that has posed such a threat to the Titans. Or rather, what remains of it. There is only a fleshless skull, cracked and stained an ulcerous gray as if it had been buried for years. Its empty right eye socket glares meaninglessly at nothing, while a fleck of red fire shines in the left; the eye we saw on that side was perhaps only a dummy contact lens. Below the missing nose, the exposed teeth are set in a grimace of unchanging, unadulterated fury. Zoom in slowly and snap to black.)
(Opening shot: a patch of the lava river. Tilt up slowly to a long shot of Robin and Slade, face to face on their ledge, then cut to the loose mask as he reaches to pick it up.)
Slade: (from o.c.) I'd rather you hadn't seen that.
(Back to him on the end of this; he fixes the mask back in place, and the fake left eye reestablishes itself.)
Slade: It's really only a temporary condition. (Now Robin has recovered his staff.)
Robin: What are you?
Slade: (walks past Robin) Let's just say I'm currently incomplete. Time is running out. We must keep moving.
Robin: I don't think so. Unless I get some answers... (retracts and puts away his staff) ...you're on your own.
(Slade stops and turns to face him as grating hisses float up from river level. A camera shift shows a forest of arms rising from here; the fire demons are regrouping, it seems. Close-up of Slade, zooming in slowly; on the next line, dissolve a shot of him in his Season Two lair. He stands over the slumped form of Terra, who wears the armored suit he provided for her in "Aftershock." When the transition occurs to this flashback, the rest of his line is delivered as a voice over. The scene appears as it would if a soft filter had been installed on the camera lens.)
Slade: It seems my luck with apprentices is most unfortunate.
(The corrupted blonde comes up with glowing eyes and fist, knocking him from their high rock perch amid an explosion. The sound of the blast is greatly muted. Down he goes, plunging toward the lava lake at the bottom of the cavern.)
Slade: (voice over) Terra's betrayal should have been my demise.
(Cut to a point a bit farther up; flames wash up from below, marking his splashdown, and we then see his loose mask slowly engulfed by the rising tide. Snap to black, against which a ring of fire blazes up.)
Slade: (voice over) But I got lucky.
(The light comes up to show him on a patch of rock, kneeling in the ring, and a close-up reveals what is left of him. He has recovered his mask, whose lower half has disintegrated along with his gloves, and all the exposed flesh has burned away; he regards the bare bones incuriously.)
Slade: (voice over) Someone was looking out for me that day.
(On the next line, the camera pulls back and tracks around him to show him cradled in Trigon's immense hand, held at chest level so that his head is out of view. However, Slade is now fully visible from the waist up, revealing that the lower half of his chest is gone to leave only the spine holding him together.)
Trigon: Heed my command, and I will return what you have lost.
(Tilt up to the four-eyed, malevolently smiling face, then cut back to Slade's leftovers. Now a few holes can be seen under the armor plates on the arms. The demon's mark appears on the steel forehead and the ruined body straightens up, glowing white and orange.)
Slade: (voice over) It was a simple arrangement, actually. (Close-up of the arms; they are covered with new armor.) Do a few chores, and I get back my flesh and blood.
(His mask regenerates itself.)
Slade: (voice over) And I must admit... (Zoom in on the eye, through the pupil.) ...the fringe benefits were most enjoyable.
(On the end of this, the gleam within the black spot resolves into a shot of him with Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Starfire caught up as in "The Prophecy." That is, flaming tendrils extend from his hand to tie up each of them. A wipe past a pillar changes the view to the end of "Birthmark"; he holds the raggedly clothed, heavily inscribed Raven at the edge of a precipice as the full moon blazes behind them. Zoom in on his profile then wipe to a shot of him leading his incendiary troops into battle against the Titans in Part One. Another wipe, and he stands up against a black background with both hands on fire.)
Slade: (voice over) A pity things didn't work out as planned.
(He turns to face into the darkness, in which Trigon's eyes open to give him a hard glare, and is caught up in a shower of red sparks; the energy that stripped him of his powers. Close-up of the right hand, on which can be seen the ring of Azar he gave to the Titans, then zoom in slowly on the frozen face as the mark disappears from its forehead. His eye pops saucer-wide and his entire image disintegrates to leave the screen black. We now know what experience he was referring to when he gave the ring to Starfire.)
Slade: (voice over) The moral of this story?
(Fade in to him and Robin, making their way through a new cavern, and pan to follow them.)
Slade: Never make a deal with an inter-dimensional demon without a little protection. (Robin stops.)
Robin: You didn't bring me down here just to save Raven. I'm also here to help save you. (Slade stops as well and turns to him.)
Slade: A deal's a deal.
(Dissolve to a patch of rock and tilt up to show it floating in Jump City Bay; the Tower and the city proper are in the distance. From here, cut to a street in which Beast Boy is running flat out as his doppelganger, now a falcon, swoops down to land and resume human form. They race side by side for a moment, Beast Boy then jumps o.c. and back as a wolf, and Nega Beast Boy copies the move. Both catch some air now-close-up of Beast Boy as an armadillo; he freaks out, rolls into a tight ball, and is caught in Nega Beast Boy's lupine jaws. The latter comes down from his jump and worries the wad in his mouth before spitting it out. Turning into a woodpecker, he tries to use beak and talons to pierce the outer covering, but no luck, that tough hide stands up to the abuse. The gray/black bird is flung backward as the balled-up Beast Boy executes a quick change, ending up as a very large falcon and chasing Nega Beast Boy out of here.)
(The pursuit moves into the skies; cut to a close-up of one malevolent red eye, zoom in until it fills the screen, then pull back. Nega Beast Boy is now a pterodactyl and starts looking out for the green good guy, who gets above him, becomes a grizzly bear, and drops squarely on the prehistoric flyer. As both plummet toward the ground, Nega Beast Boy turns into an elephant, just in time for both to hit a rock island and throw up a thick cloud of dust. The view clears to show the red-eyed pachyderm straightening up, but a quick flash of green drops near the camera and Beast Boy appears as a mouse. Natural instinct being what it is, the demonic shape-shifter trumpets in panic and stumbles o.c. with a thundering crash and dust cloud. Both resume human form now, Beast Boy jumping up onto a handy outcropping as his counterpart gets up, rubbing his head.)
Beast Boy: Is that all you've got?
(Those red eyes glare up at him with pure hatred before their owner leaps at the camera, filling the screen with his face. Now the camera cuts to a stretch of the bay, not far from the shoreline, and pans to keep a distant streak in view as it arcs over the tumbled buildings. In close-up, it is revealed to be Cyborg, who crashes down on a rooftop and then rolls over its edge; the patch he hit cracks from the impact and then collapses after him. At ground level, he pushes the mass away and starts to get to his feet, but a very familiar yell of rage is heard from above and the camera tilts up to follow his eyes. Nega Cyborg has launched himself as high into the air as his bionic legs will carry him, and he is on his way down to deliver a little more pain on top of the hit that landed Cyborg here in the first place.)
(The big gray man comes down with enough force to buckle half the street, but Cyborg manages to knock him away. A brief face-off gives way to a trade of savage blows, ending with the real Titan being knocked well backward to skid out on his face. As he gets up with a growl, he glances toward his left shoulder; in extreme close-up, we can see that the circuit panel has been partly broken away from the underarm. A few sparks crackle in the gap. Pull back.)
Nega Cyborg: (from o.c.) Thirty-five. (Cut to him, not far away.) That's how many weak spots you have. That was number eleven.
(He extends one hand, palm up, and flicks the fingers toward himself in the classic martial-arts gesture: "bring it on." Accepting the invitation, Cyborg leaps to his feet and instantly locks up in a close-quarters grapple; it comes to a quick end when he is slammed to the pavement and flung bodily into a building, screaming all the way.)
(Cut to Starfire in flight, throwing enough Tamaranean screwballs to strike out every batter in the National League. Nega Starfire follows a long, graceful curve that carries her neatly through the entire fusillade, and there is a blinding flash as their energized fists swing into each other. A few more blows cancel out, after which Nega Starfire slips in a sucker punch that drops her toward a gap between two rocks in the bay. As she charges, the green-eyed flyer gets herself under control and stares fearfully up at the approaching duplicate; a few punches, which she dodges, and she is on the move again over the lava.)
(Red starbolts explode all around Starfire and clear to show her intact and preparing a counterstrike. Now Nega Starfire is the one who must take evasive action in order to avoid being shot down. A high-intensity eye blast lashes toward her and, after a slight aim correction, hits home in the gut, driving her into the bay. Smoke boils up from the lava as Starfire lands on a nearby rock, and then it clears to show Nega Starfire standing on one of her own, completely unhurt.)
Nega Starfire: Are you worried about your Robin? Should I tell Trigon where he is?
Starfire: You will do no such thing!
(Both girls lift off at full speed and resume their brawl, which goes on at such a high altitude that they are visible as only a pair of bright streaks in the lurid red sky. As they zoom over Jump City, the camera tilts down to frame Cyborg and his twin, grappling anew. Nega Cyborg forces Cyborg's arms away and lands a punch to the weak spot under his right; the follow-up blow, a haymaker of an uppercut, throws him as high as the rooftops and dumps him at the end of the block.)
(Sparks crackle all over Cyborg's chest armor as he struggles to stand amid the fresh rubble. His enemy leaps incredibly high and unloads a burst from his own sonic cannon. The beam is red rather than the usual blue, and Cyborg hurls himself away just in time to keep from taking the hit. A couple of flips carry him down the street and out of range for the moment.)
(Cut to an extreme close-up of his left shoulder; the circuit panel flips open to expose the missile launchers he used against Trigon in Act One. Pull back as his other shoulder and chest panel do likewise, the damage under his arms repairing itself. He throws every shot he has down the block, completely hiding Nega Cyborg from sight due to all their explosions, and heaves a relieved sigh. The respite ends instantly when the two monochrome bionic arms launch out of the smoke clouds and rocket in. Cyborg barely has time for a small gasp before those ten fingers lock onto his wrists and bulldoze him spreadeagle into a wall. In an overhead view, the screen fills with dust; tilt down to ground level as the arms back away. The view clears to show Cyborg embedded in the masonry, and as he drops to his knees with a groan, Nega Cyborg's limbs reattach themselves. Thrusters built into the fingers have powered the return trip.)
(Close-up of the half-knocked-out big man, doing his best to get vertical.)
Nega Cyborg: (from o.c.) Go ahead. (Pull back to frame him.) Run crying home to Mommy. Oh, that's right, you don't have a mommy!
(That crack gets the Titan on his feet and moving in for a little payback. He reconfigures both arms into cannons, as he did in "Overdrive", but Nega Cyborg just stands pat with a vicious half-smile. Close-up of his left arm as he warms it up, after which the camera pulls back and the two heavily armed brawlers pace toward one another as if fighting a pistol duel in reverse. Nega Cyborg's right is now a cannon as well. In a long shot of the wrecked block, the glare from their shots floats up along with a dense wall of smoke.)
(Tilt up to the sky, where the streaks of Starfire and her evil twin mark their continuing melee. They are literally all over the place, a brilliant flash marking every one of their collisions. The last one is much more intense and marked by a sizable explosion that clears to show Starfire plunging unconscious toward the concrete crazy quilt far below. Ground level: she comes down hard and tumbles away a short distance, and as she gets up to all fours, she finds Nega Starfire coming down on her in a headlong dive.)
(A flare of green fury at eyes and hands, and the authentic Tamaranean is off the ground, moving fast enough to heat the air just in front of her due to friction. She and Nega Starfire collide and are immediately lost within a cataclysmic explosion that fills the screen with smoke. Back at ground level, the red-eyed enemy hits the ground standing and skids backward a bit. Starfire's rebound is carrying her toward a building, but she pulls out of it with no room to spare and zeroes in like the world's angriest cruise missile.)
(A red eye blast flashes toward her and does not miss; she pulls clear of the smoke, rubbing her head dazedly, and does not notice the shooter curving back around her. Close-up; she gasps in sudden shock, and the camera pulls back to reveal that Nega Starfire has caught both her wrists behind her back. She struggles to break the hold.)
Starfire: You remind me of our sister.
Nega Starfire: I will take that as a compliment. Realize, with you gone, Robin will be all mine!
(Cut to an extreme close-up of that red left eye, just behind Starfire's head, and pan slowly to bring its green opposite number into view. It is closed tight.)
Starfire: He will not!
(The eye pops open, blazing with every bit of righteous fury she can drum up, and the camera pulls back. Starfire finally reverses Nega Starfire's grip and plants a boot in her back to catapult her toward the ground. Down here, the Beast Boys are fighting it out; the good one as a gorilla, the evil one as a python trying to throttle him. The ape's staggering carries both behind a rock briefly; when they appear on the other side, both have resumed human form. Nega Beast Boy breaks his stranglehold in favor of an attempt at breaking Beast Boy's leg, but is interrupted when Nega Starfire's nose dive carries her toward them. The green hero is flung into the air an instant before she smashes into her partner flat.)
(Beast Boy becomes a falcon in midair and flies to safety while the dust clears from the crash. One boiling-mad changeling glares up after him, gets a running start, and becomes a pterodactyl to give chase. Nega Starfire, meanwhile, is still trying to stand up and figure out who let the marching band practice in her skull. She accomplishes the former after a moment, if not the latter, and rises to dodge a couple of starbolts coming down at her.)
(Now Beast Boy, back in human form, stands ready for another bash. A gray-booted foot lands near the camera.)
Nega Beast Boy: (from o.c.) What's the matter? (Cut to him.) Had enough? (Back to Beast Boy; he continues o.c.) No wonder Terra dumped you!
(The mother of all cheap shots, judging from the facial expression that shifts quickly from pure shock to tearful sorrow to blinding rage. He rushes straight at the enemy, who easily dodges his wild swings.)
Nega Beast Boy: Aww. Did I hurt your feelings?
(On the end of this, he plants a hand on Beast Boy's head to keep him at arm's length, unable to hit anything but air. The standoff breaks after a moment, whereupon Nega Beast Boy breaks into a new run and turns into a pterodactyl for the third time this episode. He wings his way toward the Tower, but Beast Boy soon takes the same form and gets after him.)
(Cut to a point somewhere up the walls of the vast cavern Robin and Slade have been traveling through. The streams of magma that feed the molten river at its bottom snake down the screen. Tilt down to a bend in the narrow trail as the pair come into view around it. Slade, in the lead, gets dumped over the edge when a patch crumbles under his boot. He slides down the rock face and thumps to a ledge far below, at one end of a bridge over the lava. It takes Robin only a second or two to make a more controlled descent.)
Slade: You must be overjoyed to see me like this, Robin. (rubs his arm) Desperate. Weak. Vulnerable.
Robin: I'm here to save Raven, not pity you. Which way?
Slade: I'm afraid this is where we part company. (points along a ledge) You'll find your friend along that path.
Robin: What about you?
Slade: What I seek is in a somewhat hotter place. (He starts across the bridge.)
Robin: That's it? No double-cross? No cryptic threat? (Slade stops.)
Slade: I kept my word. How about a little gratitude?
Robin: This doesn't change anything. If I ever see you again--
Slade: I wouldn't expect anything less.
(He sets off again, toward a wide vertical fissure cut into the rock at the other end of the bridge, and Robin hikes off along the path pointed out for him. The camera is now close enough to show it wending its way through a cave that glows with the same orange light as from the lava flows. Cut to a long shot of him, proceeding steadily along a stretch farther down, and pan ahead of him as the view fades to black.)
(Fade in to just behind a patch of stone and tilt up over its top edge to show Robin's path leading away from the camera. It reaches across an immeasurable chasm filled with jagged stone spikes; orange light glows faintly from deep below, and blazing torches set with distorted human face carvings line both edges. The sky or air or space above the whole scene has the same sick red hue as that in Jump City.)
(Close-up of Robin, panning to follow him along this trail, then cut to a head-on view. The last two torches he has passed become fire demons, the same as the ones he and Slade fought on the river, and slink up as best they can for a sneak attack. What they get is a strike almost too fast to follow; a birdarang brought out and back to slash one arm clean off. It falls onto the path and disintegrates, and he now looks both apparitions full in the face.)
Robin: You guys again?
(Tilt up; the next two torches he was about to pass become these same creatures. Out comes a second birdarang, which he joins with the first to form a long sword as he did in "Spellbound," and he charges like a crazed berserker. Within seconds, he has sliced and diced two of the four attackers and flung his weapon into the chest of a third; leaping at it with a savage yell, he pulls the sword free and slices the body open in the same motion. It falls apart to leave just one standing, but a single two-handed swing and slow-motion pan leaves nothing but cinders floating past the spiky-haired Titan. Pull back; he straightens up and the demon falls apart behind him.)
(The camera pans/tilts slightly to show what awaits the Boy Wonder at the end of this road: the remains of a once-imposing building, perhaps a cathedral or temple, whose walls have caved in to expose curving support beams on left and right. The overall effect is to give the illusion of a pair of hands reaching up from below to either cradle the structure or drag it into nothingness.)
(Dissolve to the interior; it is indeed a place of worship, in severe disrepair as suggested in the previous shot. The camera points toward the doors, which are set with Trigon's mark and the same intricate ironwork as on the door that led Robin and Slade to the first stage of this long, strange trip. The doors creak open, giving Robin a good view of the place from the threshold.)
(Letterbox view, top half of the screen: his even footsteps carry him past the smashed columns and oddly intact stained-glass windows. Fullscreen, the camera pointing up from the ground: he approaches the end of the sanctuary. Dead silence.)
Robin: (echoes) Hello? Is anyone here?
(Cut to his perspective, roving here and there throughout the half-demolished space, then back to him. Something white swishes past in the shadows at the opposite wall; he sets off running, and it zips by in a new direction through some collapsed rubble. Climbing over the jumble, Robin does his best to keep up. Now the camera shifts to ground level as a pair of legs clad in short white boots pounds past the lens and out of view. Behind them trails the hem of a matching cloak. He slides in, watching their owner go, and the view fades to black.)
(Snap immediately to this person, who tumbles to the ground and huddles under the cloak. Robin steps up, determined to end this game of catch-me-if-you-can here and now, and wraps a handful of fingers around the cloth. Close-up of the fallen form as he pulls hard to expose it in full light; a terrified girl, no more than eight or nine years old, whose face and hair would match that of Raven at this age. She wears the same outfit, but white as in "Nevermore" and "Spellbound," and her sleeves do not come down low over the backs of her hands.)
Robin: (from o.c.) Raven? (Zoom in slowly.)
Young Raven: Who...who are you?
(Fade to black.)
Continued in Part Three