January 15th, 2005
Bunny Raven... or ...How to Make a Titananimal Disappear
Titans East - Part 2
(Opening shot: a roof-level view of an unfamiliar and very unfriendly-looking urban area. Snow dots the rooftops, thick smoke belches into the night sky from tall stacks, and more buildings tower in the distance. Flames whoosh up from the tops of flare towers as the camera pans across the grim cityscape and stops on a ridge. Zoom in slowly on the figure that stands here to survey the place; its back is to the camera, but the long white robe and gray hair immediately give it away as Brother Blood.)
Blood: Steel City. (Close-up; his breath mists in the air.) Bitter cold, stinging winds, and... (sniffs briefly) ...the pungent smell of decay. (smiles) My kind of town.
(Pull back; he shivers in the frigid night, then turns to address someone o.c.)
Blood: Don't you just love it?
(Cut to the recipients of these words-a knot of blue-cloaked H.I.V.E. personnel, such as those seen in "Deception" and "Wavelength." All have their hoods up, hiding their faces completely.)
Blood: (passes through the group) Ever since my schools were regrettably destroyed, I've been seeking a new home sweet home for my precious H.I.V.E. Academy. And here we are, which, Mr. Steamroller, is where you come in.
(Pull back at ground level until the lower body of Steamroller, a gigantic metal-covered humanoid creature, is in view before him. He is wrapped in many turns of heavy chain that hold him in place, and he grunts and growls in suppressed anger. Extreme close-up of the fierce, blunt-featured face, which pulls backward to expose an iron collar locked around the neck, then cut to one massive arm as it hauls on the chains.)
Blood: After all, what good is a school without students?
(His eyes go red; so do Steamroller's, responding to his influence, and the chains go slack. Letterbox view, top half of the screen: Blood and his servants stand before the huge iron man, who kneels obediently.)
Blood: You're going to help me recruit a new class, (Fullscreen; his eyes no longer glow.) starting with a former student of mine. The one who destroyed my academy.
(Cut to a stretch of road, under clear blue skies, far away from Steel City. The T-Car speeds along here.)
Blood: (voice over) The one that got away.
(He is, of course, referring to Cyborg; cut to said student in the driver's seat.)
Cyborg: (to the tune of the opening theme) When there's trouble, you know what to do, Call Cyborg! He can shoot a rocket from his shoe, 'Cause he's Cyborg!
(Cut to the road, the camera pointing toward the rear bumper as he speeds away.)
Cyborg: (from inside) Doo-da-doo-da, something like that, oh yeah. (Pan/tilt up slightly to the overhead signs; north is straight ahead, east to the right.) Na-na-na-na, big fluffy cat, that's right!
(Now almost over the horizon, he takes a screeching right. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: the exterior of Titans Tower. It is daytime here as well. Zoom in slowly.)
Robin: (from inside) Robin calling Cyborg.
(In the operations center, he, Beast Boy, and Starfire stand before the static-filled window/screen.)
Robin: Robin calling Cyborg. (His image appears.)
Cyborg: What's up?
Starfire: Oh, hello, friend who I am missing already! The sight of you makes my eyes sore!
(Sight gag: her head swells a few sizes for this line and her eyes tear up during its second half Beast Boy, however, is rather down in the mouth.)
Beast Boy: Yeah. It's been totally lame here without you. Raven stinks at video games. It's like she isn't even trying! (Quick pan to Raven on the couch.)
Raven: (holds up a GameStation controller; forehead vein throbbing) Just because you glued the controller to my hands doesn't mean I want to play.
(He giggles at the mischief he has pulled off. She sends a bolt of black energy from her forehead; it forms a hand at one end and gives him a vigorous wedgie, hooking the waistband of his underwear over his head for good measure. Cut to Cyborg, still motoring along. The sky has deepened to evening here, and snow has begun to fall; Robin's face is on the dashboard screen.)
Robin: So, how goes the cross-country trip?
Cyborg: Just dandy. (going sour) It's, like, eighty below, the hail's messing up my paint job, and WHY DID I VOLUNTEER FOR THIS?!?
(Caught off guard, Robin slides away and is replaced by Beast Boy, who has properly sorted out his briefs.)
Beast Boy: (briefly holding up the schematics) 'Cause after Brother Blood stole your blueprints and used them to attack us, Aqualad and Bumblebee tracked him to Steel City. So now, they're starting up the Titans East to take him down, and you're headed out there to help the new team set up their new Tower.
(As he reels this off, little cutouts pop up as follows. First: Aqualad and Bumblebee. Second, a picture of Steel City at the other side. Third, this drops out and is replaced by a picture of Speedy, the young bowman whom we met in "Winner Take All", and a pair of plus/minus signs. Fourth, all drop and the T-Car appears at bottom left. Fifth, a lowercase T at bottom right, standing for this new Tower. When he finishes, these two cutouts fall away and he breathes a weary sigh before Robin shoves him out of the picture.)
Robin: The Titans East need your technical know-how. (Cut to the operations center.)
Cyborg: (fired up) Yeah. And maybe if I stick around long enough, I'll get another chance to bring down Blood...
(He pounds the gearshift lever hard enough to make the camera on this end shake.)
Robin: And even if you don't, a little time away from home might do you good.
Starfire: Agreed. You have been somewhat lobster-y lately.
(She grins, but gets only puzzled stares, first from the big man, then from both of the other boys at home base. Pull back as Raven joins them.)
Raven: I think she means "crabby."
(She tries to free her hands from the controller, using her powers; cut to Cyborg's screen, which again shows Beast Boy.)
Beast Boy: (flexes his muscles) Besides, somebody's gotta show these copycats what being a Titan is all about.
(The controller, now loose, hits him in the back and drops him where he stands, after which the transmission ends and the screen shows the Titans' insignia. Outside; the T-Car slowly rises off the roadbed as its tires rotate to face their hubcaps toward the ground. The all-terrain hoverjets Cyborg installed in "Car Trouble" are put to use, carrying the vehicle off the bridge on which it has been driving and across the surface of the high water that surrounds it. Cut to him, looking ahead with considerable surprise.)
Cyborg: Maybe they already know.
(Cut to behind the T-Car and tilt up toward Steel City, which reaches up a high ridge that faces the water. Butted up against the rock face, nearly flush with it, is a T-shaped structure similar in appearance to the Tower, but with a somewhat different style to its outer framework. Several windowpanes and girder sections are missing, giving away the fact that this edifice, Titans East Tower, is a work in progress.)
(Dissolve to just inside its closed front doors, beyond which Cyborg's loud knocking is heard. After a few bangs, they fall off the hinges and he walks in, carrying a toolbox. Cut to near the ceiling, sparks crackling from loose exposed wires, and tilt down to floor level as he crosses the place. Construction debris is scattered everywhere.)
Cyborg: Uh...hello? (to himself) Place looked better on the outside, but nothing a little elbow grease can't fix.
(He approaches a smoking panel, which blows out and nearly shears his arm off.)
Cyborg: Make that a truckload of elbow grease.
Aqualad: (from o.c. distant) Fish tacos?!? (Cyborg moves toward the voice.) What were you thinking?
(Cut to a table on which he slams a hand down; on it is an order from Mijo's Tacos. Pull back as he speaks. Speedy is getting ready to eat, seated on one piece of equipment and propping his feet up on another, and the irate Atlantean is across the room. This is what passes for the East Tower's operations center right now.)
Aqualad: I'm from the ocean! These were probably friends of mine!
Speedy: You said "get lunch," I got lunch. Chow down.
(Extreme close-up in profile: he shoves an entire taco into his mouth. Aqualad screams in fright, little images of marine life popping up around him, and faints. Pull back; the place is laid out more or less the same as the operations center back out west, but with a few differences. One, there is no kitchen. Two, a balcony runs around the perimeter, with a large open area above the main door. Three, two rectangular pools of water sit at floor level in the central area, flanking a narrow walk that leads from the door to the far end. Four, the main screen is set at balcony level, directly above the door, rather than at the far end.)
(Near the camera, a little guy rises into view, holding a device above his head. He wears a white jumpsuit with black highlights and red bands at both wrists, a matching helmet, and yellow goggles. A tuft of red hair pokes out from the helmet, and on his chest is a large white plus sign in a red circle. He is immediately lifted up a bit higher on the shoulders of an identical boy, carrying a power drill, whose chest sports a minus sign. We have just met Más and Menos; the pair represented by the arithmetic symbols Beast Boy showed in his message.)
(They are off like a shot, visible only as a red-and-white blur, and their tools go flying as they make their way to the table. Both gasp happily while Menos reaches into the fast-food bags, but Speedy's eyes pop at their intrusion on his meal.)
Más: Tacos de pescado! ["Fish tacos!"] (Speedy, fixing his hair, freaks out.)
Menos: Delicioso! ["Delicious!"]
(Both start feeding their faces as Aqualad gets to his feet, jaw hanging wide open in shock; he tries to get some words out but can only moan weakly. Overhead view of the area, which sports a platform set with the Titans' insignia; the side railings show this area as the balcony above the door. Something very tiny buzzes into view, circles a bit, and expands to human size, landing near the group. It is Bumblebee, with a drill in one hand and a notebook in the other.)
Bumblebee: All right. The sensor grid's up on level four, and--
(She trails off, the large puffs of her hair falling a bit along with her face, and surveys the four boys. Más and Menos are enjoying their lunch, Speedy is checking himself out in a hand mirror, and Aqualad is slumped over the edge of the table.)
Bumblebee: Well, don't you fellas look comfy. (angrily hovers) Come on, guys! This Tower's isn't gonna build itself! (indicates Speedy's footrest) And that's a supercomputer, not a footstool!
Speedy: (snorts) Thanks, Mom.
Aqualad: (woozily, eyes watering) Can't work...tacos.
(Sight gag: behind the twins, crying fish scroll past as a foghorn sounds off. They smile, and the gag ends as they zip over to Aqualad; Más is back on Menos' shoulders.)
Más y Menos: Quieres? ["Do you want some?"]
Aqualad: Oh, man...
(Doing his best not to throw up right in front of everyone, he runs across the floor and dives into one of the side pools. The little guys chomp happily and slide out of view, leaving Speedy to glare at Bumblebee; a dotted line traces from his eyes and impacts against her temple.)
Speedy: So who died and made you queen, anyhow? (She gets in his face.)
Bumblebee: Well, maybe you could call the shots if you spent more time working and less time messing with your hairdo!
(She socks him in the head halfway through this line; after she finishes, they lean in close and snarl at one another. Sparks fly between the two pairs of eyes and veins throb all around both heads, but the next word shakes Speedy out of the face-off.)
Más y Menos: (from o.c.) Mírame! ["Look at me!"]
(Cut to them on the makeshift table. Sight gag: combs, mirrors, and bottles of cologne float past in the background, and the signs on their chests have become queasy faces. Speedy's infuriated one, complete with throbbing vein, rises behind them as they speak.)
Más y Menos: Soy Pelo Grande! A la orilla cede y adora mío pelo hermoso! ["I'm Big-Hair! Relax at the edge and adore my handsome hair!"]
(Gag ends; Speedy brandishes a drill at them.)
Speedy: You're lucky I can't understand that, you little-- (Bumblebee puts herself between them.)
Bumblebee: Hey, leave 'em alone!
Speedy: Don't tell me what to do! (Aqualad surfaces, holding the taco bag.)
Aqualad: If you're going to eat my friends, at least have the decency to get rid of the evidence!
(There follows a lively five-way argument, of which Cyborg gets an excellent view when he comes to the side door. Only his very loud throat-clearing brings them all up short.)
Aqualad: Cyborg! (The big man comes down the steps.) Thanks for coming. (They tap fists.) Say hello to the...
(Cut to the other four. Speedy and Bumblebee leave in opposite directions, while Más jumps onto Menos' shoulders.)
Aqualad: (from o.c., losing steam) ...Titans East.
(They slide up to Cyborg at high speed, so fast that he recoils from an anticipated collision. Close-up of M�s, tilting down to Menos at the proper moment.)
Aqualad: (from o.c.) Meet Más and Menos. (They jump on Cyborg's shoulder.)
Más y Menos: Hola! (They jump down and zip about, always touching.) Somos gemelos. Nacimos con siete veces la habilidad de ser más rápido que el sonido, pero sólo somos poderosos cuando nuestros cuerpos se rozan así! ["Hello! We're twins. We were born with seven times the ability to be faster than sound, but we're only powerful when our bodies are touching each other like this!"]
(The last shot of this sequence is a close-up of their hands, slapping together palm to palm.)
Más y Menos: Más y Menos! Sí podemos! ["Más and Menos! Yes we can!"]
(They dash off, then instantly perch back on Cyborg's shoulders; now they wear stocking caps over their helmets, and Menos holds something before the confused big man's face. Close-up: it is a photograph of the pair, posed in front of a large step pyramid.)
Menos: (from o.c.) Fuimos a Guatemala. ["We went to Guatemala."]
(Pull back. Cyborg lifts his head a bit and a question mark pops up above it. To explain the situation, Aqualad now stands by a board that shows the word "Fast" above the twins' outlines; their hands are joined and they are labeled "Touching." The word "Español" is below the lot, and Aqualad gestures at the visual aid with a pointer.)
Aqualad: They go really fast, but only when they're touching. And they only speak Spanish.
Cyborg: (to twins, loudly and slowly) Hola! Mi amigos, soy nombre El Cyborgo. [Badly fractured: "Hello! My friends, I am name The Cyborg."]
(They trade a puzzled look, hop down from his shoulders, and walk away.)
Aqualad: And, of course, you already know Speedy and Bumblebee.
(Speedy, working in a corner, gives only a small grunt in acknowledgment. Pan to Bumblebee, who is having little luck prying open a panel with a crowbar.)
Bumblebee: Hey, Sparky. Welcome aboard the happy train. We're having loads of fun.
(The two return to their work, neither one getting too far with it.)
Aqualad: Rough day.
Cyborg: Then let's smooth it out. (retracts his left hand and extends an acetylene torch) What say I get to work?
(Dissolve to the exterior of the half-built East Tower and zoom in slowly as the sound of tools is heard from within. Cut to a pan across the operations center, the camera passing into blackness as it moves through the walls; this gives way to Cyborg's face in a small lit panel, looking into the wall. He lifts a section of sheet metal and sets in place to seal the opening, after which a glowing schematic fades into view. Pull back; he is eyeing a wall-mounted screen very similar to the one he uses to operate the security measures at home. A palm is pressed to a reader as the camera pulls back, and the view dissolves to a long shot of him at the door. Bumblebee hovers at a distance, watching, Aqualad is at one side door, and Más and Menos are on the now-completed balcony. These two have ditched the caps they wore a short while ago.)
Computer: Security system online.
Más y Menos: Muy bien, Señor Cyborg! ["Very good, Mr. Cyborg!"]
(They rush away, Menos dropping the buckets he carries, and stop at his side to applaud. One pail lands upside down on Speedy's head and splatters him with blue paint. He is carrying a rivet gun; when he steps forward, his foot slips on the dropped container and the tool starts to discharge a fusillade. Cyborg plows the twins away as the projectiles fly everywhere, and Bumblebee drops her gear, takes evasive action and shrinks down to present a smaller target. Speedy's rivets are completely out of control now; cut to the exterior of the East Tower as they flash out through the holes in the architecture. Sight gag: the screen briefly fills with holes due to repeated punctures.)
(Back to the hapless new Titan, the paint bucket still on his head, then cut to a long shot of Aqualad and zoom in as the red-hot rivets flash toward him. Extreme close-up of the black-eyed face, which goes slack as a loud crash is heard, then pull back. A large glass water tank behind him ruptures from the shots, expelling a high-pressure jet that hurls him across the operations center. As Cyborg gets Más and Menos upright, the gush hits all three dead on. Snap to black, which is soon filled in by a sequence of five wedges. The twins share one, while the other four heroes each appear in their own; Bumblebee, normal size, stares incredulously while the rest argue at top voice. Speedy still has that bucket on his head and is somewhat muffled by it.)
(Cut to the exterior of the East Tower. Sight gag: a great flash issues from within and reduces the whole thing to a charred, twisted wreck. One by one, the six stand up to look. Now Speedy has dislodged the bucket.)
Cyborg: Aw, man. (Spark by Speedy's head; sight gag; his head grows briefly and a vein throbs.)
Speedy: (to the twins) Look what you made me do!
Más: Qué pasa... ["What's going on..."]
Menos: ...Super-Macho? ["...Super Manly Man?"] ("Super Deformed" Aqualad pops up.)
Aqualad: Watch it! You almost hit me! (SD Bumblebee does the same.)
Bumblebee: Hey! Cool it!
(In the operations center, or what remains of it, the SD Titans East resume their quarreling; Cyborg pops up here and there, trying several times to calm them down, then gets fed up.)
Cyborg: ENOUGH!! (This word shakes the camera; the others, in normal style, fall quiet.) The problem isn't your Tower. (Cut to them; he continues o.c.) It's your team.
(Pull back to frame him; the forearm panel starts to beep, and he eyes it.)
Bumblebee: 'Least something around here works.
(Cut to the interior of a steel mill and pan slowly across the factory floor as buckets of molten metal slide along an overhead rail. The camera stops to point at an open entrance; all is quiet for the moment, but a section of wall blows in and several workers run for cover. As the dust begins to clear, a squat silhouette appears within the clouds before them and resolves into a very large figure, hunched down and seeming to push a steamroller cylinder. Close-up, pulling back, it is the behemoth Blood tamed in the prologue, his eyes glowing and his arms ending in the massive crushers. His armor is yellow, as is his hard hat.)
(Men run everywhere in a panic as Steamroller flexes his muscles, but something flashes against his back. As he turns toward the door, Cyborg and the Titans East are there waiting for him. What hit the broad yellow back was a blast from one of Bumblebee's laser stingers.)
Bumblebee: Congratulations. You're the first lowlife to get busted by the Titans East.
(The last word is barely out of her mouth before Más and Menos streak past her, leaving her spinning in place and yelling. Aqualad runs over her as he charges in, followed by Speedy with nocked arrow. Cyborg just hangs back and sighs wearily at their collective incompetence. Now the twins circle around Steamroller for a moment, then stop right in front.)
Más y Menos: Aquí! (They dodge a strike.) Aquí! (And another.) Aquí! (And another.) ["Here!"]
(They resume their high-speed circling, which distracts him so that Bumblebee can fly up on one side. She raises one stinger, but they slide into her line of fire and blow a double raspberry. As they jump down from their perch on the weighty arm, she gets in a laugh of her own, but a roundhouse swing throws her into a panic.)
(A flash of the impact; cut to the exterior of the mill, through whose roof she crashes out. Inside, Más and Menos stop dead in front of Steamroller, whose confusion manifests itself as a string of question marks by his head. Each twin jams a finger in his nose, prompting a furious growl from the leviathan before they start circling once more. His pounding slams hit nothing but floor as Aqualad closes in; both scaly hands close into fists and two pipes rupture to send torrents of water gushing across the floor. They gather above his head and form into a large ball.)
(Cut to a close-up of Speedy's boots sliding along a railing, then pull back. He is on a catwalk and coming up fast behind Steamroller, who is still hemmed in by the zooming twins. The bow is raised, the arrowhead glows brilliantly, and he and Aqualad let their missiles go at almost exactly the same time. The former quickly follows his shot with several others, but Steamroller dodges handily and they streak toward the ocean-dweller. Each hero screams as the other's shot zeroes in on him, the enemy's move put him clear of the water ball as well, and both take it on the chin. Cut to the exterior of the mill; patches of the ceiling and roof blow out from the double hit.)
(Inside, Cyborg backs up to the wall with a frustrated groan, but has no time for any further comment; Steamroller is bearing down and lands a smashing left hook that drops him. Before he can get up, the aggressor's hands, joined into the large single cylinder with which he forced his way in, start to run over him. A launcher opens up on one huge yellow shoulder and fires a cable that connects to Cyborg's back; it glows red once the hookup is in place.)
Cyborg: Get off my back!
(He points his sonic cannon backward and knocks Steamroller free, cable and all, with one shot. The latter crashes through a catwalk on his way back down to the floor, and Cyborg gets up as the Titans East gather around him.)
Más y Menos: Esto es ridículo! Parecemos aficionados! Somos seis contra uno, tenemos que ganar! (both indicate Bumblebee) Pero ella está en nuestro camino--
(Sight gag: Aqualad and Speedy sit on stools in a classroom, wearing dunce caps and facing away from each other.)
Más y Menos: --y estos dos se estén disparando, y este viejo no está jodiendo! ["This is ridiculous! We look like amateurs! We're six against one, we have to win! But she's in our way, and these two are shooting at each other, and this old guy isn't screwing around!"] (They both start crying, then duck away.)
Speedy: What they said.
(The gag ends as the scene rolls up like a window shade, putting us back in the mill.)
Bumblebee: Hate to say it, but Sparky was right. We're not working like a team. (Pull back; Steamroller stomps up behind Cyborg.)
Cyborg: We are now. (Extreme close-up.) Follow my lead. (Pull back.) Titans! Together! Speedy! Bee! Push him back!
(The bowman looses an arrow, on which Bumblebee is perched in her tiny form. As it hurtles across the mill, she leaps clear and lands a flying kick that drives Steamroller back, then resumes normal size and fires off a barrage of stinger bolts to drop him to the floor.)
Cyborg: Double M! Heat him up!
(Más and Menos put their palms together; close-up of these.)
Más y Menos: (from o.c.) Más y Menos! Sí podemos!
(They race toward the fallen Steamroller and straight past him, going into a very tight circle just above the surface of a vat of glowing liquid steel. After several hundred fast circuits to stir it up, they rocket back toward the enemy, allowing a surge of metal to pour after them. Once they have passed Steamroller on the return trip, the wave washes over the gargantuan attacker; as he tries to stand up, he finds himself submerged to the neck.)
Cyborg: Aqualad! Cool him down!
(The last member of the team raises his hands to the ceiling; in response, three large buried pipes break through the floor and direct the water inside toward the red-hot mound. Clouds of steam boil up everywhere on contact and clear to show Steamroller encased in an intractable mass of smoking metal. Cut to a pan across the six teens, all of whom are positively confounded at their sudden success, then to the grinning big man.)
Cyborg: (throwa a thumbs-up) Boo-yah!
(Everyone else cheers. Dissolve to behind them and zoom in on the imprisoned Steamroller; a second dissolve puts the camera on his face and reveals that he is not particularly distraught at having been captured. Something below his left ear has begun to flash and beep; a third transition reveals it in close-up, a tiny transmitter bearing the H-in-hexagon mark of the H.I.V.E. Academy. One more dissolve turns it into an extreme close-up of Blood's red-glowing eye.)
Blood: Well done, Steamroller.
(Pull back slowly, dissolving in steps to longer shots of him, on the next line. He is outside.)
Blood: Cyborg has no idea I've just downloaded the encryption keys to their Tower, or should I say... (The H.I.V.E. personnel fall in behind him.) ...the keys to my new school. Come along, boys. (More come up in front, hiding him.) We've got students to recruit.
(The purpose of the cable hooked into Cyborg's back is now explained. One figure moves so close to the camera that its blue cloak fills the screen. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: the exterior of the East Tower. Zoom in slowly and cut to a pan across the operations center. Cyborg approaches a stack of metal plates, picks one up, and is about to set it in place on a wall, but stops short and looks toward Speedy not far back. The latter nods, waits for the plate to be flung upward, and fires off three arrows at once. Their heads explode into a hail of rivets that secure this piece and several others that have been tossed elsewhere onto the walls.)
(Close-up of a circuit board, over which tiny Bumblebee flies as Más and Menos lean in. She holds up her stingers, at which point they join hands and start grabbing equipment at breakneck speed; her shots connect one component to the next, and the camera pulls back to show that she is now putting the finishing touches on an array of storage tanks. All three gather at screen center to look over the work as she returns to normal size.)
(Close-up of a mop head being slapped onto a tile floor, then pull back. Speedy is cleaning in the hall, but stops when the whole place begins to tremble. A wall of water rushes around the corner under Aqualad's control, sweeping over him before he can do anything but stare popeyed. Bucket, mop, and archer are tossed about for a moment before the tide recedes; as soon as Speedy gets his lungs clear, he finds a small tornado tearing along the passage to suck up the last puddles of water. It resolves into Más and Menos, who give Speedy a lightning-fast drying-off before charging away again. He throws a dirty look after the pair as Aqualad lounges at the end of the hall behind him; the Atlantean throws a small smile and gets one in return.)
(Overhead view of the operations center balcony. Four sections of furniture, each forming an arc of a circular rim, are carried to the large floor platform as the camera zooms in. In close-up, they are set in place around it, one by one, to frame the giant insignia. A button press on Cyborg's forearm panel brings the platform up to their level, creating a conference table. The twins jump up and down excitedly; cut to an overhead view of the assembly, around which all six are gathered, and pull back slowly.)
(Floor level again. Más and Menos trade a smile, join hands, and zip away; an instant later, they have returned with chairs, which they place around the table before jumping onto it.)
Más y Menos: Ha-ha!
(Cut to the exterior of the East Tower: now fully built, and zoom in before cutting to the operations center and tilting up to the balcony. All six are up here.)
Bumblebee: Well, how about that. We actually finished.
Speedy: Place doesn't look half bad.
Más: (to Menos) Está loco? ["Is he crazy?"]
Menos: Se ve fantístico! ["It looks fantastic!"]
Aqualad: (to Cyborg) We couldn't have done it without you. Thanks.
Cyborg: (taps his forearm panel) Oh! Almost forgot.
(The lights dim and multicolored spots start to rove across the place as a disco beast starts up. Overhead view of the group, pulling back; the source of the sparkles is a large mirrorball that hangs from the ceiling. Everyone but Cyborg is a bit taken aback.)
Bumblebee: Disco lights?
Cyborg: Robin never would let me install 'em in our Tower. Well, what are y'all waiting for? It's party time!
(Tilt down briefly to ground level as Aqualad dives over the balcony railing to hit one of the side pools; evidently, disco is not his thing, then cut back to the others.)
Speedy: In that case, I'm making ribs.
(A man after Cyborg's own heart. The visiting Titan looks toward Bumblebee and gets set to dance with her, but they are interrupted when the twins slide up holding a box marked GS2. The text is in a style very similar to that used on the Sony PlayStation. Music fades out; lights return to normal.)
Más y Menos: Señor Cyborg! Señor Cyborg! GameStation 2! (They zip off.)
Cyborg: Now you're talking! Whoo!
(He leaves his suddenly-angry dance partner alone on the balcony, and within seconds, the twins are sitting on the table and sharing one controller, while Cyborg works the other one from the floor.)
Cyborg: Heads up, boys, 'cause y'all are going-- (His forearm panel beeps.) Huh?
Más y Menos: GOOOOOOLLLLLL!!
(The yell gives this away as a soccer game, and the summons gave the boys the opening they needed to beat him out.)
Cyborg: (grumpily, to the panel) Hey, Robin.
(Dissolve to the hall; the door opens to let him out of the operations center as he continues the conversation. Now he has brightened after taking that blindside.)
Cyborg: It's going great. New Tower's up, we took our first bad guy down, and we're all set to start looking for Brother Blood.
Robin: (over the comm) Good. Then you can head home.
(Cut to the screen; Robin and Raven are on it, and Starfire and Beast Boy pop up to smile and wave during the next line.)
Robin: They'll have to find Blood without you, Cyborg.
(The screen fills with a picture of Professor Chang, the mad scientist who tried to wreck the city with a zinothium-powered disintegrator in "X." This shrinks into center right, re-exposing the group, as he continues.)
Robin: Professor Chang has escaped from prison. I need you here. Robin out.
(The screen goes black. Cut to a close-up of the distraught Cyborg and pan toward the open door as he looks back that way. The Titans East have gathered here, Speedy in a chef's hat, and the festive mood has evaporated in no time flat. From here, dissolve to a close-up of an exterior door, with snow coming down hard; it goes up, exposing the T-Car in a garage, and he walks toward it from the far end.)
Menos: (from "o.c.") Señor Cyborg!
(Close-up. He and his brother are each clinging to one armored leg; tilt down to them. Cyborg has his toolbox in hand.)
Menos: No se vaya! No se vaya! ["Don't leave!"]
(Cyborg stops by the auto and peels them off; cut to his perspective. Their eyes fill with tears.)
Cyborg: Wish I could hang, guys. (He sets them down, pull back to frame all three.) But they need me back home.
(He opens the door; Speedy's hand stops it, and the camera pans to him, Aqualad, and Bumblebee now in the garage.)
Speedy: We need you here, too.
Aqualad: We took a vote, and...we'd like you to stay, as the leader of Titans East.
Cyborg: Leader? Me? (Cut to the trio; Bumblebee approaches and he continues o.c.) Seriously?
(She stops right in front of him and gets down to business.)
Bumblebee: Well, don't get all misty. Do you want the job or not?
Cyborg: I, uh, don't know what to--
(The garage door slams shut without warning to leave the place in dimness.)
Cyborg: (taps his forearm panel) Security's down. We're locked in. Must be a glitch in the encryption keys.
(Something blue glides past near the camera on this line; Bumblebee catches sight of it.)
Bumblebee: I'm thinking this is more than a glitch.
(Cyborg turns to look in her direction; cut to a slow pan across the garage, behind the group. The place is clear for the moment, but it quickly fills up with Blood's hooded henchmen; they slipped in using the access codes Steamroller swiped. In seconds, the blue-clad ranks have swarmed in to form a double line.)
Cyborg: (as Bumblebee and Speedy draw) Titans! Go!
(The two armed heroes charge across the garage; before either can land a shot, though, Más and Menos are on the move. H.I.V.E. agents go flying in all directions like bowling pins, and one gets driven flat with a double flying tackle. The boys are off the prone figure in a flash and giving a thorough drubbing to the nearest one who is still standing. After it hits the floor, they are gone again and the camera tilts up as Cyborg and Aqualad have a go of their own. The western Titan's cannon fire rips the air, but his target ducks away and lifts a right arm whose hand starts to glow in an identical fashion.)
(He is hit with a shot just like the one he loosed and gets driven into a knot of H.I.V.E. toughs, who promptly set on him. The shooter fires at Aqualad, who rushes up and lands a mighty kick to the blue chest, but all he gets for his effort is a sore foot.)
Aqualad: (hops on the other one) Ow! Who are these guys?
(The cannon arm comes up again, but before it can fire on Aqualad, stinger blasts connect against its back. In a moment, Bumblebee is there and grabbing at the blue robe.)
Bumblebee: One way to find out.
(As she yanks the cloth away, a bionic arm and leg start to be revealed, the latter covered with yellow-lit circuitry. In close-up, she voices one shocked gasp, and the camera cuts to the feet of the exposed figure and tilts up. It is patterned after Cyborg, but with a few alterations, the aforementioned yellow circuits; a H.I.V.E. insignia on the chest; gray/dark yellow armor; and most importantly, every square inch of this thing is mechanical. Blood has indeed made very good use of the data he obtained from hacking into Cyborg's blueprints.)
(The robes covering the other intruders disintegrate into shreds, showing all to have been built in this same manner, and a multitude of right-arm cannons are raised. The eyes of one android glow red, and the Titans East back together as they are encircled.)
Speedy: (to the o.c. Cyborg) They're...you! (He emerges from a pile of robes.)
Cyborg: (as one runs at him) No, they're not!
(He punches the charger away, knocking it into a neighbor and putting both out of commission.)
Cyborg: (running across) Titans! Move!
(The others follow orders, Speedy stopping to shoot down two before a salvo of cannon fire comes after him. Another gets an arrow in the chest, a fourth is blown away by Cyborg's cannon, and all six Titans race for the door. The leader of the moment knocks one away to clear the path; cut to an adjoining hall as it comes crashing through the wall, after which they barrel out and away. From here, cut to a large open area, the junction point of half a dozen passages.)
Cyborg: (as they all run in, they stop) All right. We have to get to Ops and change the encryption keys, reset the security system.
Aqualad, Bumblebee, and Speedy: (pointing in three different directions) Follow me!
(They each start off down their respective halls, leaving Más and Menos to shrug at each other as Cyborg stares bemusedly. On the next line, pan to bring Aqualad into view at the entrance he chose.)
Aqualad: Um, I thought Ops was that way. (The others return.)
Bumblebee: Well, one of us must be right. Split up.
Más y Menos: (scared and clutch each other) No!
(In the hall they just left, many robots start to climb out through the wall; pan to the opposite side, where another patch blows out and still more of them emerge.)
Speedy: There's too many! We can't win!
Cyborg: Yes, we can. (Robots advance behind him.) We'll get through this if we just stick together as a...
(Five terrified stares bring him up short, along with a couple of panicked fish that pop up by Aqualad's head, and they scream and bail out while another company marches in from a different hall. Cyborg is left to confront them alone.)
(Now facing the opposition at extremely close range, he roars and charges with one punch after another to send spare parts flying everywhere. Cut to Bumblebee in full retreat; she looks back behind herself and is promptly driven to the floor when part of the ceiling is smashed in. After skidding a few yards, she raises her head in time to see robots jump down from the level above. Cannons are raised, but she shrinks down to dodge their blasts and puts her wings in overdrive.)
(Elsewhere, Speedy is running through a half-built passage and staying not far ahead of two pursuing androids. He leaps onto a pile of girders, then up to the ceiling framework, and shoots off an arrow as they come up after him. It turns in midair to present itself horizontally and elongates into a thin, taut wire that slices through both metal chests. The leftovers crash to the floor, but another robot jumps onto the beams behind Speedy and lands a cannon shot that knocks him from his perch.)
(Cut to Aqualad, being driven up against a wall. He tumbles to the floor as a detachment of mechanical toughs moves to hem him in. Raising one fist, he causes water pipes to break through the wall and burst for a torrent that washes the aggressors away. More come up to take their places in no time flat, enough to fill the screen with their backs.)
(Cut to Más and Menos, zipping among more of Blood's robots; they are somewhere else in the East Tower and bashing the forces aside with ease. Stopping at a junction, they look around a bit and scream; as a fresh contingent swarms in from around the corner, they make tracks down the one unoccupied path. Suddenly, Menos seizes his brother's arm and hits the brakes, trying desperately to arrest their combined momentum. Floor level, just in front of them; as they finally stop, pull back to frame a robot's legs planted squarely in their way. Close-up of them, stunned and gasping softly.)
Más y Menos: Tamales verdes. ["Green tamales."]
(An entire squad has now assembled to face them down; pull back slowly from the menacing group as still more step in, making forward escape an impossible prospect. The boys mull it over for a moment and then rush back the way they came.)
(Cut to the operations center, where several robots have been posted to guard the ground-level door. It is blown in after a second, throwing a shower of ruined components all over the floor, but more get ready to take their places. As the smoke clears, Cyborg and his raised cannon are exposed just beyond the ruined doorframe; he charges, snarling, and reduces one after another to salvage scrap with punches and cannon. Close-up of him, tilting up to frame the next platoon coming up behind. He turns, charges, and administers a brutal thrashing that leaves nothing but a pile of sparking circuitry in the middle of the walkway that leads between Aqualad's pools. Cyborg steps close; cut to him.)
Cyborg: Sorry, fellas, (points to himself) but you're nothing compared to the original.
Blood: (from o.c.) I couldn't agree more.
(Those four words make Cyborg turn in surprise; tilt up to the balcony, where the homeless headmaster stands at the railing. He has taken off his robe, exposing the battle outfit he wore during his final fight with the big man in "Wavelength.")
Blood: My old student Cyborg. Welcome to the new H.I.V.E. Academy. You do owe me a headquarters, remember?
Cyborg: The only thing I owe you is a case of canned butt-whoop!
Blood: (harshly, leaning forward) School is in session. And here's lesson number one: (leaps over toward the camera) NO ONE DEFIES BROTHER BLOOD!!
(Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: an overhead shot of the dumbfounded Cyborg. Zoom in slowly, then cut to Blood, who roars on his way down to the floor. He barely misses with his first punch, but comes up with a blast of force that sends Cyborg all the way to the windows at the far end. A retaliatory cannon shot bounces off this barrier and streaks over the water; he then tries a series of rushing punches, which Blood avoids easily and then stops by catching one huge fist. The older fighter instantly hurls the younger one almost all the way to the far corner. Cyborg rolls away from the wall and stays motionless as Blood walks over the water on the way to him.)
Blood: Well, I can tell someone hasn't studied since our last little pop quiz.
Cyborg: How'd you build those second-rate tin men? (stands up) You stole my blueprints, but we stole 'em back!
Blood: Did you think someone with my mental abilities wouldn't have a photographic memory? (taps his own temple) Your secrets are all right here.
(Cyborg has referred to Bumblebee's earlier work in deleting the files on him from the H.I.V.E. database, mentioned in "Wavelength." Now Blood leaps over him and comes up with a backhand, sending him tumbling alongside the water; the big man looks up from the floor with a growl as the crazed genius moves closer.)
Blood: And just wait 'til you see what I really have in mind for you!
(Cut to Aqualad, being shoved against the wall by one of the robots he failed to hose away. Its hand is trying to get a lock on his throat, but he manages to rip the entire arm off and beat the thing to pieces with it. The limb is then flung down the hall to smash another one, now more come up and he throws a vicious punch hat smashes deep into an H-emblazoned chest. Figuring he might not want to stick around to see what comes next, he runs out of the place. The stricken robot explodes with terrific force, and its partners open fire against the bailing Atlantean. What brings him to a stop is not a shot, but a dead-end wall facing him; he ducks away from the next blast, which tears a hole in the structure and gives a clear view of the water and night sky outside.)
Aqualad: Something tells me you guys can't swim.
(Cut to just outside the blast area, the camera pointing up at it from below; he leaps out, a cannon shot just missing, and dives toward the water. One robot approaches and fires a grappling hook from its forearm, as Cyborg has done in the past. It streaks downward and wraps up Aqualad's ankles, stopping his plunge with a sudden jerk.)
(His vertical momentum converted to a pendulum arc, he swings backward and slams into the East Tower's masonry as an electric current races down the line. It leaves him writhing and groaning in pain; after several moments, he goes limp and is hauled up like a fish that has given up its struggles to get off the hook.)
(Cut to another hall, where three robots are closing in on the windows, away from the camera. The twang of a bowstring marks Speedy's presence on the scene, and the centermost intruder falls with an arrow in its chest. The drop reveals him at the widows; he dispatches the other two in like manner and keeps right on shooting. Cut to a quick pan across another rank of robots, all of whom take the hits and collapse. Another raises its cannon, but Speedy's arrow lodges squarely in the muzzle and riggers an explosion; he takes off running along the ledge, dodging blasts all the while, and leaps free. In midair, he turns to face the enemies and lets three arrows go at once to nail three bullseyes. Now he backs up steadily, firing as quickly as he can reach into his quiver and dropping robots in their tracks.)
Speedy: Come on! Is that the best you can do? You rust-buckets haven't laid a hand on me yet!
(He has reached a wall by this point, and a yellow-glowing arm smashes in to grab his wrist, giving the lie to his boast. Close-up of it, panning to his face.)
Speedy: (deflated) First time for everything.
(Cut to the phalanx of approaching robots, the camera going slightly out of focus as they get too close to it. From here, cut to another hall. Staying just ahead of a cannon fusillade, Más and Menos zip into view and through one door, then out of another and into a third that opens when they reach it. Snap to black, then fade in to a close-up of one hand on a wall-mounted button as it is pressed: they have switched on the lights inside. Now they turn from the closed door to check out this room; cut to a wall full of construction implements and pan back and forth, stopping on a jackhammer and a pair of drills. They have just found the tool crib, and they lean into view, staring at each other.)
Más y Menos: Oooooh!
(They smile, having had the same big idea at the same time. Cut to just outside the door, which reopens to let them out. Menos has one drill in each hand, and as the camera tilts up, we see Más on his shoulders and holding the jackhammer. Off they go, applying the tools to one robot after another and leaving them to collapse into piles of dismantled parts. From a corner, one more steps out and launches its right fist at the pair; it strikes Más' feet, throwing the pair apart and off balance, and both tumble yelling to the attacker's feet. It has recovered the appendage and scoops up Menos, while Más is seized a second later, and both are carried away in opposite directions on their captors' shoulders.)
(Cut to a squad of robots, firing away in another hall. Their target is Bumblebee, who returns fire with her own stingers and takes down three of them before landing.)
Bumblebee: The real Cyborg couldn't take me... (She shrinks and flies away from a blast.) ...so you knockoffs don't stand a chance!
(She lets her weapons speak on the end of this line, then flies past two aggressors and scores a strafing run across each body. A cannon roars after her, but she dodges its burst and gets out of the way just in time to let another robot catch it in the gut. Flying away from the explosion, she stitches shots up another head; cut to its perspective of her, charging toward it and firing, then pull back to behind it. The metal cranium disappears in a mighty blast, leaving the body to collapse, and a new string of shots flashes past the tiny Titan. She blazes away with her stingers, but one massive artificial hand is reaching up after her; cut to its owner.)
Bumblebee: (from o.c.) Hey!
(She is pulled back into view, caught by her wings, and struggles to get out of the fingers' grip.)
Bumblebee: Let me go!
(Her eyes go wide as the camera zooms in; cut to her perspective of the other hand, reaching toward her, then cut to Cyborg in the operations center. He staggers backward from a crushing blow and ends up skidding on his knees. As soon as he is upright again, he brings up his cannon and fires, but Blood merely swats the shots away if deflecting tennis balls. One throws up a cloud of dust when it hits the floor at Cyborg's feet; he rushes straight through this with a growl and aims a string of punches at the stern, strong-chinned face. Blood dodges or blocks every attack, then slips a palm thrust under the Titan's guard and dumps him on his back. Now he strolls up, taking his own sweet time, and Cyborg brings up one foot, whose sole opens to expose the blaster he used against Gizmo in "Winner Take All." Its shot throws Blood toward the windows, but he turns his fall into a backflip and touches down in a crouch.)
Blood: That's what I like about you, Cyborg. You're full of surprises.
(He rushes and jumps at the supine hero, trying to land a stomping kick, but the target rolls away just in time. However, Blood drags him up, eyes glowing briefly with hypnotic power.)
Blood: And you are a curiosity.
(The four-hundred-pound brawler is lifted high and thrown screaming all the way to the door; he slams against the wall nearby and tumbles down. Getting to his knees, he finds himself in front of the security monitor; he stands up and moves toward it as Blood comes up.)
Blood: Oh, I've dealt with discipline problems before. A few others, like your friend Bumblebee, have managed to slip free from my hypnotic control.
(On the end of this line, cut to Cyborg; he is working he panel furiously, and the palm reader flickers to life. Before he can get a hand onto it, Blood drags him back.)
Blood: But you, Cyborg...
(He throws Cyborg down, grabs his ankles and slams him again, then claps both hands to the sides of the half-electronic brain bucket.)
Blood: (with increasing rage) ...you are the only one who has ever been able to resist me! (leans down very close) And I don't like it! (ripping at Cyborg's chest; sparks fly) What in all that circuitry allows you to defy me? Come on, Cyborg? What makes you tick?
(Close-up of the damaged abdomen; he stops his assault, and something deep in Cyborg's body starts to glow brilliant blue-white. Pull back to frame his face.)
Cyborg: A fifty-thousand-watt power cell!
(The glare from that internal light throws Blood's face into sharp relief, and he is blasted away by a broad beam that suddenly pours out. This gives Cyborg a chance to crawl toward the wall panel and raise a hand toward it, with great effort: the blast has drained much of his power reserves. Close-up of the reader, pulling back as he gets his palm in place and the system beeps.)
Computer: Encryption keys randomized. (Blood starts to rise.) Security system reset. Intruder alert. Intruder alert.
(On the second repetition of this last, cut to Cyborg and tilt up the wall a few feet, panning across as several panels slide open and a laser in each one trains itself on the area. A pan across a second wall reveals more of these weapons preparing to fire; then another pops from the ceiling and Blood, back on his feet, suddenly finds the glowing red dots of their sights clustered on his head and upper body. He throws his arms up with a gasp, hoping to keep from being turned into strawberry jam, and the lasers open fire and drive him back toward the windows. Cut to the exterior of the East Tower, the camera pointing up toward the top story; the operations center window blows out and Blood is propelled screaming out of the joint.)
(Inside, Cyborg looks grimly after the very abrupt departure and drops his head wearily. His eye implant begins to flicker from the massive power loss, and soon he flops on his face.)
Cyborg: (softly) And stay out.
(All his lights go out as the last of his power drains away. Fade to black, which is almost immediately broken by a jumping electrical signal and the sound of his systems powering up again. The jagged spikes resolve into the words "POWER CELL RECHARGED"; the next two lines sound as if they are heard over a speaker, Cyborg's auditory window on the world for the time being.)
Menos: Está vivo? (Static appears.) ["Is he alive?"]
Más: No sé. Tóquelo con un palo. ["I don't know. Poke him with a stick."]
(The static disappears and the blackness resolves, as of an eye opening, into the twins. They are framed upside down: Cyborg's perspective, staring up at them, and Menos sits on his brother's shoulders, holding the tree branch he was about to use. The view is a bit out of focus, but readjusts itself as he whips both hands behind his back; both boys' faces light up.)
Más: Señor Cyborg!
(Cut to an overhead view of the three and pull back slowly. He is stretched out on the table of the operations center balcony, with a cable running from his chest to the toolbox he brought along. The rent in his chest has been fixed. The twins stand over him, and his beloved mirrorball lies nearby in very bad shape. Aqualad, Bumblebee, back to normal size, and Speedy are gathered around the table.)
Menos: Buenos días! ["Good morning!"]
(Cyborg sits up, groaning; now we see that the area has taken considerable damage.)
Cyborg: Blood's gone? And you're all okay? (He unplugs himself.)
Speedy: Had a few close calls, but everything worked out all right.
Cyborg: I guess our little team weathered its first attack.
Bumblebee: (helps Cyborg off table) Only because we had such a good leader.
(He stretches; pull back to show the whole operations center in serious disarray, then cut to Más and Menos, who carry the mirrorball forward.)
Más: Malas noticias. (They hold it up.) ["Bad news."]
Menos: Su esfera discoteca no viviá. ["Your disco ball didn't survive."]
Cyborg: (sighing heavily) Just when we finally got the place looking decent.
Aqualad: Well, I know you haven't had much time to think about our offer, but--
Cyborg: Yeah. (Forearm panel beeps.) Look, I--
(He breaks off to check it and walks to one side. Close-up: he taps a control and Robin's face appears.)
Robin: Cyborg! What are you still doing there? I told you, we want you back home!
(The big man looks back at the Titans East, who anxiously await his decision, and then turns back to his communicator.)
Cyborg: Robin, I am home. I've decided to stay on permanently, as leader of Titans East.
Robin: But, Cyborg...we need you.
(Cut to the operations center back home; the two Titans eye each other over the connection.)
Cyborg: Sorry, man. They need me more.
(He cuts off the transmission; the window/screen goes black and then clears to show the blue sky of morning. Robin is left bewildered before it. Cut to the East Tower operations center; Cyborg lowers his forearm and turns smiling back to his new team. )
Cyborg: Y'all better get some rest. Combat practice starts at, oh, six-hundred sharp!
(Military time: 6:00 AM. He strides out through the side door; after he has gone, Aqualad pulls out a communicator and switches it on. However, its angular contour marks it not as the one he received from Robin two seasons ago, but as H.I.V.E. standard issue.)
Aqualad: Objective achieved, Headmaster. He suspects nothing.
Blood: (over the comm) Excellent, my students. Excellent.
(If these ten words are not enough to reveal the nature of what happened to the Titans East after their capture, what comes next puts it beyond all doubt. Aqualad lowers the device, and all five pairs of eyes glow bright red; they have fallen victim to Blood's mind control and are his pawns in a plot against Cyborg. Everything fades to black except for those ten spots of light; those disappear into the darkness a second later.)
Continued in Part Two