January 22nd, 2005
Titans East - Part 1
Episode 257-494 (Don't Touch That Dial)
(Opening shot: the top of the ridge on which Steel City is partially built, under a night sky filled with threatening storm clouds. Tilt down to the exterior of Titans East Tower; on the start of the following line, cut to the operations center balcony's screen. Projected on, it is Robin, in the original Tower's center; Cyborg walks past, carrying a piece of equipment on his shoulder.)
Robin: And you're sure there's nothing I can say to change your mind?
Cyborg: No, man. (He puts the thing down: a computer cabinet.) I'm staying in Steel City as leader of the Titans East. That's it, end of discussion.
Robin: Well, could you at least tell me why? I mean, I'm losing a member of my team here.
(Cyborg picks up a cylindrical module; cut to him at the cabinet, sliding it into place.)
Robin: (over comm) And it's not like I can read your thoughts. (Cyborg slides the housing up.)
Cyborg: They need me. And this is my big chance. (fine-tunes) I'm ready to show people what I can do. I'm ready to grow up, to be a man.
Robin: And what about Brother Blood?
Cyborg: What about him? (Stay on him.)
Robin: (over comm) I know how badly you want to catch him. (The screen again.) And I know a thing or two about being obsessed with your target. Look, I just worry about what you're getting yourself into. (Cyborg again.)
Cyborg: (resentfully) You think I can't handle it.
Robin: (over comm) I didn't say that.
Cyborg: (carrying the cabinet away) You didn't have to. Man, this is supposed to be a good thing! My own Tower! (He rams it into a wall slot.) My own team! Why can't you just be happy for me? (The screen again.)
Robin: Because you're already on a team! My team! And you can't just quit!
Cyborg: I can, and I did! Which means I don't have to put up with you telling me what to do anymore!
Robin: So now this is my fault?
Cyborg: It's not about you!
Robin: No! It's all about you! Because that's all you care about! You talk about being a man, but if you can turn your back on us after everything we've been through, you're nothing but a spoiled child!
(During the second half of this line, cut to a profile close-up of the recipient of all this scorn, then back to the screen. Cyborg's face betrays just how deeply these words have cut. There is a long moment of silence after Robin finishes, which, is broken when Cyborg turns around to face the screen again.)
Cyborg: (icily) I'm staying. (Robin's eyes widen.) I don't care what you say, I don't care what you do. And right now, I don't care if I ever see you again.
(He thumbs a button to break the connection. Pan from him, walking away as the screen blacks out, to bring Aqualad into view. The latter is hiding around the corner, watching, and his eyes are glowing under Brother Blood's mind control.)
Aqualad: (raises a H.I.V.E. communicator) He's broken contact with the Titans, Headmaster. (Pull back; the other Titans East are here, also hypnotized.) We will proceed on your command.
Blood: (over comm) Wonderful, my students. Brother Blood is very happy.
(On the end of this line, the camera starts tilting down through the floor; it then descends further into darkness, which wipes to a shot of the basement, a high-ceilinged room whose back wall is covered with video monitors and readouts. These show the six heroes from various camera angles: covert surveillance during the battle royal that raged throughout the East Tower in Part One. When the camera finally stops, Blood himself is brought into view; he is back in his long white robe and seated in a reclining chair. Two worktables are placed nearby, as is a set of movable lights similar to those found in a hospital operating room.)
Blood: Continue the charade. Cyborg mustn't suspect that I've recruited you... (Close-up of the wall; he continues o.c.) ...until I'm finally ready to recruit him. (Back to him.) And I should be ready in a matter of hours.
(On the end of this, a biohazard-suited figure, complete with self-contained breathing apparatus, moves partially into view with its back to us. Blood addresses it next, his eyes burning scarlet.)
Blood: Isn't that right...
(Close-up of the new arrival. Elderly male, snaggle-toothed, sir line plugged into one nostril, goggles hiding the eyes; it is Professor Chang, who staged a successful prison break in Part One. The goggles' lenses have the same red glow, showing that he too is being controlled.)
Blood: (from o.c.) ...Professor Chang?
(Pull back; Chang raises a very nasty curved knife, with a serrated edge and a secondary blade protruding about halfway along its length. Extreme close-up of Blood's eye, its brow lowering and the red light starting to blaze even more strongly before the view fades to black.)
(Opening shot: the exterior of Titans Tower, seen from overhead. Zoom in slowly and cut to the operations center; the sky is clear, and the rest of the original team is here. Robin is at a computer console, while the others are on the couch.)
Beast Boy: So...he's coming back, right? I mean, he's quit before, but he always--
(Cut to Robin on the end of this. He turns to give the green blabbermouth a nasty look, having been uncomfortably reminded of Cyborg's desertion in "Divide and Conquer." A shake of the spiky black head takes the wind out of Beast Boy's sails and prompts a resigned sigh from him; he then slumps even farther back onto the couch.)
Beast Boy: Dude.
Starfire: (stands up) Then who will shout the "boo-yah" when we are victorious in battle? (Pan to Raven.)
Raven: (stands up) Who's gonna laugh when I make fun of Beast Boy?
Beast Boy: Yeah!
(Sight gag: dissolve to him in the foreground, the others backed up against a red field dotted with the sort of spirals that pop in Titans' eyes when they are badly disoriented. A question mark appears in a word balloon by Beast Boy's head.)
Beast Boy: And who's gonna beat me at video games and fall for my practical jokes and shoot spitballs at the back of my head and watch dumb movies with me and barf when I feed him tofu?
(During this line, he shrinks into "Super Deformed" style as panels slide through here and there, the background fading to black during the sequence. First: a blank silhouette, its head hidden by a question mark, sitting on the couch and playing GameStation. Two: Super Deformed Robin, Raven, and Starfire laughing at the figure, which has had a "KICK ME" sign stuck to its back and a footprint imprinted on its rear. Three: he appears at left and another panel slides out, in which the figure blows a spitball at him. Four: he hangs over the edge of a panel in which the mystery man watches television and eats popcorn. Five: the person tries to keep from throwing up as Beast Boy, dressed much like the host of Iron Chef, holds out a plate of tofu. The end of the line is delivered in voice over.)
(The sight gag ends as the joker collapses, badly winded and grasping the hem of Robin's cape.)
Robin: This isn't about us.
Beast Boy: Huh?
(He gets a sidelong glance. Letterbox view, top half of he screen, framing the tableau.)
Robin: It's a good opportunity. (pulls free and returns to the console) We have to let him go...
(Fullscreen: the camera points just over the top of his head at the others.)
Robin: (from o.c.) ...no matter how much we're going to miss him.
Starfire: But, Robin, if we are not there, who will make sure that he is...safe? (Cut to behind Robin and pull back to frame all.)
Robin: Cyborg's old enough to take care of himself.
(The other three trade a very uncertain glance. Dissolve to the exterior of the East Tower, the waves whipping at its base, and zoom in slowly before cutting to the operations center. Tilt up to the balcony, where Speedy stands at the rail; a close-up shows a H.I.V.E. communicator open in his hand, with a large red H on its grid. This turns green after a moment and his eyes turn red in response to the wordless signal, but the next two words shake him back to normal.)
Cyborg: (from "o.c.") Yo, Speedy!
(Speedy moves aside, exposing the big man and Bumblebee at the conference table behind him.)
Cyborg: Get your butt over here! (Cut to the table and pan across as all gather; he continues o.c.) After the way I've been working y'all in combat practice, (Back to him.) I figured my team could use a good meal. (sets a large pot on the table) So say hello to homemade spaghetti with Chef Cyborg's Patented Triple-Meat Sauce!
(He reaches for the lid. Snap to black, which resolves into the interior of the pot as he pulls the covering away and Aqualad, Bumblebee, and the twins peek in dumbfounded. It is filled with mounds of pasta and sauce. The ocean-dwelling Titan is first to react, breathing deeply of the steam rising from the mass of food.)
Aqualad: (voice echoes a bit in pot) Whoa, Cyborg! That smells incredible! (Outside it.)
Más: Carne con carne con carne! ["Meat with meat with meat!"]
Menos: No puedo creerlo! ["I can't believe it!"]
(Sight gag: on Más' line, a chicken, pig, and donkey pop up one at a time, then disappear as Menos speaks. Both faint dead away, and Bumblebee leans closer for a faceful of steam.)
Bumblebee: Mmm-mmm! What did we do to deserve this?
Cyborg: Just my way of saying, "Thanks for making me boss."
(One of Speedy's arrows connects with his chest and drops him flat; cut to the bowman, who has again succumbed to Blood's power.)
Speedy: You're welcome.
Cyborg: Hey, man, what is your--?
(Now all five of his new "employees" are back under the evil genius' influence.)
Bumblebee: Sorry, Sparky...
Aqualad: ...But you're not actually the boss around here.
Cyborg: (horrified) Brother Blood! He never left the Tower! He brainwashed all of you!
Speedy: (drawing/nocking his arrow) The headmaster is teaching us, and soon, he'll be teaching you.
(He fires, just missing the big man due to a lucky dodge; next, Bumblebee gets her stingers working and forces him to run for cover. Stopping near the side door, he breaks out his sonic cannon to return fire; she shrinks down in order to easily avoid the blast. Here come the twins, leaping high; Más perches on Menos' shoulders, and they flash back and forth around Cyborg before landing a 1,000-mph kick that drives him away. A shower of broken glass accompanies his crash through the balcony and very long fall to the water pools at ground level.)
(Cyborg swims up from the depths and comes up for air, then makes a beeline for the edge, but as he climbs out, Aqualad breaks the surface behind him. Before the bionic Titan can get both feet back on the tiles, he is yanked roughly back into the water and borne struggling to the bottom: eighteen feet deep, according to the wall markings. Aqualad gets him firmly pinned down; cut to the surface, where only a few air bubbles mark the conflict taking place six yards below. These soon stop coming up, and the other corrupted Titans, Bumblebee at normal size, look on from the broken balcony railing.)
(Now the water is quite still, but a mighty cannon blast roars up from below the surface and very nearly takes Bumblebee's head off. Cyborg is alive and well and climbing out of the pool; as he makes it out, though, a stinger blast explodes too close for comfort. Off he goes again, Bumblebee swooping down to follow him into the hall. More bolts lance the air around him.)
Cyborg: Come on, Bumblebee, shake it off! I'm on your side, remember?
(Back to her on the end of this. His words seem to snap her out of it, as she stops in midair and claps both hands to her head with a pained groan. However, Más and Menos race by beneath her with no change in velocity. Cyborg gets through an open doorway and slaps the button to seal it; the boys charge on, their features blurred due to the super-high speed. Cut to Cyborg's side of the door, which closes just in time for them to hit it full force and leave body-shaped dents in the metal. He backs away slowly, but Aqualad is there waiting and delivers a bone-shaking uppercut as soon as the big man's chin presents itself. Cyborg crashes against the door; cut to his perspective of the emotionless blue-skinned Titan as he speaks.)
Cyborg: Wake up and smell the mind control, man! I'm your friend!
(Pull back. Plumbing pipes burst from the walls on both sides and spew out a tidal wave that gathers behind their manipulator.)
Aqualad: I don't care.
(The tsunami's shadow extends over the prone fugitive, whose jaw drops as he realizes just how much of a jam he is in. Cut to another section of the hall; the waves sweep along from around a bend, and the limp bionic teen is deposited on the floor when they recede. Standing up, he turns to start down the hall away from the camera, but the sound of something arriving very quickly stops him cold. When he backs away cautiously, his movement reveals that Más and Menos have placed themselves in the path. They raise their index fingers; extreme close-up as they touch, a bit of energy crackling between the tips, then pull back. Both speed freaks instantly hit top gear, stirring up dust from the floor in their wake, and Cyborg gets a small boot bang in the chest.)
(As he staggers backward, Speedy moves up to cut off his retreat and prepares an arrow. When it is loosed, its head breaks open and a large boxing glove inflates in its place to smash into Cyborg's jaw. Cut to the exterior of the East Tower; a section of wall blows out and he is propelled through it, plunging to the concrete at the base. The first thing he does after getting up, besides groaning and rubbing his head, is to address his forearm communicator.)
Cyborg: Cyborg calling Robin. (Close-up of the static-filled screen; he continues o.c.) Cyborg calling Robin! Mayday! (Pull back to frame him.) I need y--
Aqualad: (from o.c.) Your signal is being jammed.
(As the besieged slugger turns toward the sound of that voice, pan that way to show all Titans East, save Bumblebee, down here with him.)
Más: Buenas noches... ["Good night..."]
Menos: ...Señor Cyborg. ["...Mr. Cyborg."]
(Cyborg grits his teeth and gets his cannon ready to fire, but before he can squeeze off a shot, the green flash of a stinger blast catches him between the shoulder blades. He collapses like a sack of cement: four or five of them, actually, and tiny Bumblebee flies down from above, growing back to normal size, her eyes showing that Blood has reined her in again.)
(Overhead view of all six Titans, one down, five up. The camera pulls back, rotating as it moves, and the view dissolves to an overhead shot of Cyborg, now firmly clamped down in a half-spreadeagle on the operations center conference table. When he is framed right side up, the camera stops turning and cuts to an extreme close-up of the unconscious face. He slowly comes to and voices a couple of weak groans before getting a coherent word out.)
(He looks back and forth, taking in each pinioned wrist, and is tilted up to the vertical.)
Cyborg: (struggles) Let me go!
(Cut to behind him and tilt up; putting him o.c.; the Titans East move a bit closer.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) Come on, team, snap out of it! (Back to him.) Can't you see what's going on? (Pan across their shadowed faces; he continues o.c.) Blood is messing with your minds. He's not teaching you. (Back to him.) He's forcing you to be criminals, just like him!
(Cut to the former heroes, who move aside to make way for a sixth obscured form: Blood, as evidenced from his robe, but he now wears a gold hood. Zoom in as he moves forward; his face has been altered somewhat.)
Blood: Not exactly.
(A red gleam shines from beneath the head covering, only the left eye now, and he comes into the light, hands clasped behind his back.)
Blood: You see, Cyborg, I don't want them to be like me.
(During this line, he reaches toward the hood and the camera cuts to a close-up of the horror-stricken prisoner. When the view shifts back to Blood, his robe sleeves have been pushed back, revealing bionic arms festooned with red circuitry. Tilt up to his head, which is now fully exposed as having been made over in Cyborg's image, complete with left eye implant. His gray hair has been shaved, and the side tufts have been replaced with metal projections in the same shape. Chang's involvement, only glimpsed in the prologue, needs no further explanation.)
Blood: I want them to be like you.
(Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: a slow pan across the balcony. Blood still stands before Cyborg.)
Cyborg: What have you done to yourself?
Blood: (steps closer) Now, Cyborg, don't tell me you're disgusted by the very technology that keeps you alive. Or are you just jealous that it looks better on me?
Cyborg: You look like a psychopath. What is my tech doing in your head?
Blood: I believe it was Socrates who said, "If you can't beat 'em..." (Extreme close-up of his eye implant.) "...join 'em."
(Yellow-lit H.IV.E. robots enter from both side doors. Close-up of Blood's new metal chin, tilting up slowly.)
Blood: Thanks to you, Cyborg, I've entered the digital age. (moves to the Titans East) With your nifty cybernetic implants enhancing my mental powers... (Close-up of Cyborg; he continues o.c.) ...I'll be able to control thousands of students in Steel City... (approaches Speedy and caresses his chin) ...once they've been upgraded with the proper hardware, of course.
(Close-up of one blue-glowing, pinned arm; its fingers curl into a fist.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) No! (Pull back to frame him.) I won't let you! I won't let you do this to anyone else!
Blood: (levelly) You'll not only let me, you're going to help. (with growing rage, he steps closer) There's no room in my school for a discipline problem, Cyborg! And that's what you are! (Extreme close-up of his eyes.) Something in your circuitry allows you to resist me. And before I can proceed, I must know what.
Cyborg: I'm not telling you anything.
(Extreme close-up of his armored chest.)
Blood: (from o.c., tracing his fingers across it) Oh, you don't need to tell me. (Tilt up to the grimacing face; he grabs the chin.) I'm just going to take you apart, (Cut to him.) and see what makes you tick.
(He backs up toward his five newest pupils.)
Blood: Students, you may begin.
(Very unpleasant-looking drills with sparking electrodes at their tips are raised; cut to Cyborg and zoom in slowly as the Titans East close in walking toward him.)
Cyborg: Okay, team...um... now would be a great time to just stop obeying Blood and remember I'm your leader.
(Cut to them, then back to him, during this. In the next shot of the advancing quintet, a green lion bounds across the balcony and pounce on Aqualad: Beast Boy is on the scene. Next, a pillar of black light blazes up from floor level and expands outward, throwing the other four red-eyed teens off their feet. Raven has gotten into the act, and the starbolts and discs that wipe out the robots at the side doors give away the efforts of Starfire and Robin.)
Blood: The Titans! (Robin jumps in.)
Robin: I'll be honest, Blood. (The others join him, Beast Boy in human form.) You don't look so good.
Beast Boy: Yeah. Does that stuff get cable, or did a--? (Cut to Blood on the end of this.)
(He fires a red blast from his left hand, but the four Titans block it with raised arms and Robin pulls out his two short fighting staffs for a quick twirl.)
Blood: If I can't disassemble you... (Dissolve to a longer shot; pull back to frame the Titans East.) ...I'll just have to experiment on your new friends. Pity. Trial and error is such a messy process.
(All six dematerialize, and steel doors slide around all edges of the balcony to seal the Titans in. Cut to just beyond the silent enclosure, pulling slowly back toward ground level, then to a close-up of Cyborg's wrist. Starfire gets all ten fingers under the steel band and puts some serious muscle into it; the effort pays off after a second, and she frees his other arm in short order. His ankles released as well, Cyborg drops to his knees; close-up of him as Starfire reaches into view to touch his shoulder.)
Starfire: (from o.c.) You are okay? (Pull back to frame all five; he stands up.)
Cyborg: (rubs his wrist) I'm not hurt, but I'm a long way from okay. What are you guys doing here?
Robin: An old friend called for help.
Cyborg: I thought they jammed my transmission.
Robin: The signal was pretty garbled, but we got the message.
Raven: And it looks like we got here just in time.
(Close-up of a wall. The prodigal Titan slams a fist against it; pan to him as he speaks.)
Cyborg: Some leader I turned out to be. Been in charge less than a week, and I've already lost my entire team.
Robin: (from o.c.) No, you haven't. (Cut to him.) Not yet. There's still time to save them.
Cyborg: So what's the plan?
Robin: You tell me. If anyone's going to know how to stop Blood, it's you. (Close-up of Cyborg on the end of this, then pull back again.) This is your enemy, your technology, your mission. The team is yours to lead.
Cyborg: All right. Well, I guess we need to head out and--
Beast Boy: Um, dude? We're kinda locked in.
Cyborg: Not for long. I put this place together... (Close-up.) ...I can tear it apart.
(He leans forward, filling the camera with his grimly determined face. Dissolve to a hall in which Blood's robots are on the march, and pull back into a connecting corridor. As the shock troops pass, tilt up to a ceiling panel; it is caught in Raven's power and pulled away, and the Titans drop through it to the floor. Cyborg, the last one down, peeks carefully around a corner to get a look at the opposition; a door snaps shut as soon as they have advanced through it.)
Raven: So when they made you, I guess they didn't break the mold.
Cyborg: (turning to the group) Okay. I've never told anybody this, but my electronic eye can't see in low ultraviolet. (Extreme close-up of it.) If these things have my eyes... (Forearm panel; he taps at it and continues o.c.) ...a simple blue shift should make us invisible.
(Pull back. His shoulder-mounted flashlight flips open and emits a brilliant blue light, after which the others themselves with some puzzlement.)
Beast Boy: You sure this is gonna work? 'Cause I can still see me.
(Cut to Cyborg and zoom in slowly as he nods, fully confident in the soundness of his plan. Dissolve to a closed door, which opens to reveal a squad of robots working on various electrical equipment inside. One stands up to face the camera; cut to its perspective, marked with crosshairs and readouts, and pan slowly across, the hall is entirely empty. Camera shifts to frame the android in a head-on shot, then pulls back slowly and dissolve to a longer shot. The Titans are right in front of it, plastered against both walls and counting on Cyborg's blue light to shield them from detection. It walks into the hall, straight past the group and not noticing any of them; Beast Boy sticks his thumbs in his ears and waggles his fingers derisively at the departing armored back. He then grins as all head for the door, and Raven's cloak fills the screen.)
(Cut to just behind an electrical panel in the room the robot has just left. This is taken down by another one, which goes to work on the assorted circuitry with a fingertip torch. Pan slowly across others doing likewise as the Titans move in, careful as mice: not so much as a raised titanium eyebrow in their direction. The camera passes a support column; behind its trailing edge, the view changes to a corner of the operations center. Here, the Titans watch a group of robots briefly while heading up the stairs.)
(Dissolve to a close-up of the top surface of an equipment cart, which is being wheeled along under a string of overhead lights in the basement. It is loaded with cybernetic parts, including eye implants and forearms, and several vicious-looking blades. Pull back to frame Chang's chest behind its trailing edge, then tilt up to his hypnotized face. From here, cut to a close-up of Blood's face and pan slowly across it.)
Blood: Oh, it's a very exciting time. (Cut to the Titans East, clamped to upright tables; he continues o.c.) True, not all of you will survive the experimental phase.
(Pull back to frame all; Chang arrives with the cart.)
Blood: And those who develop resistance, like Cyborg, will be deactivated and studied. But... (Chang backs off.) ...once the process is perfected, (Close-up of the parts; panning across; he continues o.c.) my upgraded students will not only be unstoppable...
(He picks up one of the eye implants; pull back to frame him.)
Blood: ...they'll be utterly incapable of breaking free from my control... (holds up the implant) ...ever again.
Bumblebee: (from o.c., weakly) No.
(He looks off to one side; pan that way to her, beginning to free her mind and struggle against the restraints. In short order, he has two artificial fingers up to stroke her chin.)
Bumblebee: (stronger) No. This is...wrong.
Blood: I'm sorry. (eyes glowing) What was that, dearie?
(Extreme close-up of her own tightly closed eye; it blinks once, showing itself normal, then again with that hideous red glare that shows who has won this battle. Cut to just behind Blood's head and pan slowly across the pair.)
Bumblebee: Nothing, Headmaster. Please proceed.
Cyborg: (from o.c.) Or maybe you should quit while you're ahead.
(Cut to him, in mid-leap with cannon ready. His blast meets a red shield thrown up by Blood and detonates with enough force to push the half-human headmaster back across the floor. When he straightens up, he finds all five Titans waiting for him but does not seem fazed.)
Blood: Students, attack.
(He disappears; one by one the Titans East are freed from their bonds and leap away, coming down to the ground in formation to face their counterparts. Cut to a point between the groups and pull back slowly as they face off in pairs: Beast Boy and Menos, Raven and Más, Starfire and Bumblebee, Cyborg and Aqualad, Robin and Speedy.)
Cyborg: Go easy on 'em. They're still my friends.
(The camera circles around the ten fighters for a few seconds before cutting back to Cyborg.)
Cyborg: Titans! Go!
(Aqualad dodges his attacks easily, and Speedy sends a barrage of arrows toward Robin, who does some fancy footwork to keep from becoming human shish-kebab. The Boy Wonder tries a flurry of kicks only to have them blocked by the longbow; it is then swung back at him and nearly cracks his skull, and the two work their way across the floor. Elsewhere, Bumblebee shrinks down, presenting a much smaller target for the starbolts that rain down on her, and flits away with Starfire in hot pursuit. They pass Beast Boy and Raven, hemmed in by the speeding twins; the latter lifts off and the former becomes a vampire bat, zipping up before they come back. The boys look back and forth for a moment before rushing away.)
(Now Robin takes center stage again, hot-footing it across the basement to stay ahead of a hail of arrows. As the fusillade continues, Speedy races along a catwalk, keeping a bead on him the whole time and firing two at once. Robin takes a huge leap and whips a pair of discs toward the upper level. The deranged archer leaps away from their explosion and plunges straight toward the floor, and Aqualad runs from Cyborg's charge as he touches down.)
(The big man and the Atlantean square off, but the latter has no trouble avoiding the punches and stops when he has backed up to a cluster of pipes. After a bit of fierce concentration, rivets blow out and jets of water come shooting out at high pressure; soon a gigantic watery serpent is reaching toward Cyborg, who thinks better of it and runs for cover. Aqualad jumps on and sends a burst or two down at his former boss; meanwhile, Robin is still trying to keep Speedy's arrows from saying hello to his skull, as the bowman has gained the catwalk again. Brief letterbox shot, top half of the screen: the two Titans race toward each other, then fullscreen again.)
Cyborg: Robin! Now!
(He stops, whereupon Robin comes down on his back and pushes off in a new direction, and Aqualad's eyes widen in shock an instant before he takes a flying kick to the chin. Both hit the floor, well apart from each other; as soon as Robin stands up, though, Speedy lays down a new stream of fire. A perfectly timed grab by Robin plucks one arrow out of the air in mid-flight, after which the running firefight starts all over again, this time with Cyborg shooting back at Speedy. Both ground-level Titans take cover behind support beams, and Cyborg catches sight of Starfire and Bumblebee.)
Cyborg: Starfire! (Cut to Starfire; Cyborg continues o.c.) The bow!
(She veers downward, the miniature hypnotized girl keeping pace, and swoops down low enough to get within inches of the ground before climbing again. As Speedy fires three at a time as the Tamaranean bears down on his position; a mighty crash, and he has lost his bow and been knocked silly against the catwalk railing. The weapon clatters to the tiles.)
(Now Más and Menos dash toward Beast Boy, back in human form, and plow him away; their next victims are Raven and then Cyborg, and Robin takes off running in a desperate bid to keep these two from doing the same to him. No good, though, as he is bashed away as Cyborg watches, half-dazed from the hit he just took. They deck Beast Boy again and roll toward Cyborg and Raven; cut to her as they whisk by.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) Raven! Split 'em up!
(She causes several chunks of the floor to pop up as columns, but the two racers deftly swerve back and forth through them; all except the last one, which they hit head on. Both go skidding in opposite directions, and Starfire swings down between Cyborg and Raven while Bumblebee keeps chasing. Starbolts flash back at the latter as fast at the Titan can throw them; Bumblebee responds with a bombardment of her own, and off they go again.)
Cyborg: Yo, BB!
(The shape-shifter becomes a cheetah and races toward the pair; a jump puts him in Cyborg's arms, from which he gets a boost that sends him higher than any jungle cat has ever gone. As he begins to fall, he transforms into a giant frog and lashes out his tongue, snagging Bumblebee and stopping her in her tracks. When he hits the ground, he croaks loudly with bulging cheeks, having yanked her bodily into his mouth; a thundering belch expels the tiny attacker and drops her at Starfire's feet. She is picked up by the wings and given a very uneasy stare.)
(Blood materializes by Cyborg, puts fingertips to his chest panel before anyone can react, and transports himself and his enemy away.)
(Overhead view of the remaining four Titans, pulling back to the catwalks; Beast Boy is back in human form. At floor level, Starfire is zapped away by Bumblebee's stingers, the dazed fighter grows back to normal size, and the camera pans slowly across as the other Titans East get to their feet. Cut to a close-up of the young black girl's face, eyes burning red and lips curving into a cruel smile as she raises her stingers and lets their yellow glow play over her. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: a patch of black storm clouds. Zoom in until the Steel City ridge and the upper stories of the East Tower come into view, then dissolve to a zoom toward the central portion of the roof. Something has happened here to push away dust in one area, and a third dissolve puts us at the spot, where Cyborg and Blood have just appeared. A red shock from the two raised fingertips pushes the Titan steadily back toward the front edge. Once he gets himself stopped, he glares at his new opposite number, who smirks and tears his robe away. Cut to his chest level and tilt up slowly; his body armor is red and black with gray trim, similar to the battle outfit he used in Part One, and is marked with the same animal-head design as on his robe. His legs appear to be still his own.)
(They face off for a long moment, the camera cutting from one half-metal face to the other, and Cyborg breaks the tension with a growl and charge. Blood sidesteps every attack without even blinking and retaliates with a force-field palm thrust that drives him away; the next blue-glowing arm is caught by a red one and held with no discernible effort. Pull back to frame both, Cyborg's eyes popping in total surprise, Blood's cocky smirk never leaving his face. The silent struggle continues for a few seconds before Blood forces Cyborg's arm downward, raises the index finger of his free hand, and sets it glowing. A flash, and the big man has taken the blow across his jaw; next, a smashing punch drives the wind out of him, and an uppercut lifts him off his feet. One last strike dumps the Titan into a graceless skid across the roof, dangerously close to its edge.)
(Lightning cracks behind Blood as Cyborg gets up, rubbing his arm, and hurls himself at the villain he has sworn to stop. Said villain leaps up to meet him with hands glowing, Cyborg brings up his cannon and fires, and the two sail right past each other, the shot hitting a whole lot of nothing. Both come down; silhouette view of them under the forbidding cloud cover, then a normal shot again. Cyborg is totally dumbfounded to see his right arm suddenly fall off, leaving only the stump at his shoulder: Blood's hand sliced through it when they passed in midair.)
Blood: You can't defeat the headmaster, Cyborg. When are you going to learn?
Cyborg: Never. (standing up) Guess that makes you a lousy teacher.
Blood: Or perhaps I just need to give you a crash course!
(They rush at each other anew and approach in slow motion. Just before collision, cut to the basement of the East Tower. Beast Boy fetches up against a beam and looks up just in time to see a dust storm boiling toward him, stirred up by Más and Menos; he turns into a bighorn sheep and braces for impact, only to get a flying punch that topples him off his hooves. In a flash, he has become a gorilla and been kicked away; the next change shows him as an elephant, but faring no better. Finally, he is bashed away in human form and ends up sliding to the wall. As they charge in, the camera focusing on their joined hands, he becomes a skunk and cocks his tail at them. Half a second and one green flash later, we are treated to a sight gag; Más and Menos staggering against a brown scrolling background marked with the noxious skeletons of dead fish. Their faces have gone green and their eyes are watering enough to irrigate the Sahara Desert.)
Más y Menos: Ay! Apestoso! ["Stinky!"]
(They are yanked away by two green tentacles, and the gag ends as they are lifted up the octopus that Beast Boy has become. Behind the trio, Starfire flies overhead, avoiding stinger shots, and makes a break for the unlit upper reaches of this place. A huge ball of green energy grows around her hands as Bumblebee follows, and then the entire screen is washed out in a cataclysmic blast that sends the hypnotized flyer crashing to the floor.)
Starfire: I am hopeful when this is over, we may still be friends!
(Now Raven floats backward and puts up a shield to stop the arrows Speedy is sending her way; they explode against the barrier, and he jumps down to continue the onslaught. As the smoke clears, he rushes in and swings his bow as if trying to hit a hole in one from five hundred yards out. She dodges a few, parries others with her powers, and finally gets both hands around the wooden arc. The tension of their struggle manifests itself only in the set of their faces and is broken when Speedy lands a low kick, dumping her flat.)
(The bow is raised high in one hand and spun at insane revolutions, intended to cave in some sensitive part of her anatomy, but she jackknifes herself out of range just before it slams down. She puts up a new shield to stop his next charge; as they fight in the background, Aqualad backs into view and sends jets of water at Robin. Up goes the masked leader, who pulls out his short staffs and goes after the ocean master who tries a flurry of kicks. Back and forth they go, Aqualad even dodging a staff thrown at him, before Robin gets in a slashing kick that drives him against a column. A set of green-gloved fingers finds his neck and hoists him up.)
Robin: We can help you, Aqualad! (Close-up of the bowed head; Robin continues o.c.) You don't have to serve Brother Blood!
Aqualad: (opens his eyes wide) Headmaster!
(Snap to black, against which Blood's face fades into view.)
Blood: Fear not, my student. (Pull back.) Help is on its way.
(In the basement, brightly lit doors snap open among the catwalks. Cyclones step through every one of them and jump down, filling the floor; cut to a pan across the hordes of instant reinforcements.)
Raven: Really wishing Cyborg were here.
(The automatons advance toward the camera; a flash, and we are back on the roof, watching the one-armed Cyborg slide backward to the rock face behind the East Tower. He gasps sharply and dodges a lightning-fast punch, then tries to run and ends up on his face. That grinning visage sparks a burst of fresh fury, but he is unable to lay so much as a fingertip on the new and improved H.I.V.E. leader. A red-glowing palm is shoved against his chest; when it and Cyborg's scream of pain die off, he stumbles backward with the panel torn open. The big man puts his remaining hand over the gaping hole in his armor.)
Blood: Feeling a little exposed, are we?
(Cyborg charges again, but cannot hit; another red flash, and his left arm drops loose. As he regards his new double-amputee status with genuine terror, Blood sweeps his hands back and forth. Alternate between shots of him and the following: a shoulder being ripped apart, a leg breaking off at the knee, a rip in the black-armored side, the other leg shattering. One last flash deposits the groaning, sparking, limbless Titan to the concrete of the roof; tilt up to frame Blood gloating over him.)
Blood: Now, Cyborg, don't fall to pieces. (Cut to Cyborg; Blood continues o.c.) I have defeated you, (Back to him.) but at least you won't be alone. (Pull back.) Say hello to your classmates.
(During this last sentence, the other four members of Cyborg's team and all five Titans East appear above the pair; they float in place, wreathed in a red aura.)
Robin: (with great effort) Cyborg...
Blood: (levitates Cyborg) You should have accepted my first offer, Cyborg. I would have made a man out of you. (Pull back; two Cyclones arrive behind him.) I still could, you know.
Cyborg: (quietly) You can take your offer and blow it out your--
Blood: (getting in his face) Insolent child!
(Close-up of the open chest wound; he reaches in to grab a particular component.)
Blood: (from o.c.) Where is it, Cyborg? (Tilt up to the agonized face and pull back to frame both.) I've combed through your blueprints, peeled back your armor, stripped off your machinery, but still you defy me! (Cut to both hands in the chest; he continues o.c.) Where in this vile contraption... (Cyborg's face.) ...is the part that allows you to resist?!?
(Extreme close-up of the tortured eyes: a natural one squeezed so tightly shut it might burst at any moment, an expressionless implant fixed in place. After enough tension to choke a horse, both of them pop wide open, showing the look of someone who has just grasped a simple yet elusive truth. Pull back; the red aura around him goes blue and he smiles wickedly.)
Cyborg: It's not in the circuitry, is it? (His perspective of Blood's stunned expression.) It's not the machine that resists you...
(A flash throws the headmaster to the ground.)
Cyborg: ...it's me! (Back to him.) My spirit!
(The two Cyclones behind Blood start to disintegrate, the pieces going blue and floating up from the metal bodies; pan slightly across them, then cut to a close-up of Cyborg's face and pull back. On the next line, dissolve to a longer shot and keep pulling as the bits float toward him and assemble to regenerate the smashed body.)
Cyborg: That's the part you can't break!
(His legs finish putting themselves back together, prompting a long, terrified gasp from Blood. Cut to behind him and tilt up to fully frame Cyborg, good as new.)
Cyborg: I don't need you to make me a man. I already am one!
(In one swift motion, Blood is on his feet and punching at the big man, but now it is his turn to hit only air. A vicious snarl accompanies the hand that sweeps low to send a wave of force across the roof; it merely curls around Cyborg and dissipates with no effect. The next attack is a flying kick that he easily avoids, followed by several punches that never even come close. Cyborg stops the flurry by seizing Blood's fist; when the other one comes up, he grabs it as well and starts to bear down. Close-up of the black-clad legs, which buckle ever so slowly until one knee hits the flat surface; pull back and tilt up as he groans, trying to break the hold.)
(Cut from Blood's face to Cyborg's as something starts to crackle: we then see that the source is Blood's hands, starting to break apart under the strain. Finally, the wrists shatter in slow motion, leaving the lunatic mentalist to stagger backward as the rest of his arms follow suit.)
(Cyborg regards him silently for a long moment, then comes up with a devastating spin kick that sends the armless Blood almost over the edge and knocks him out.)
Cyborg: (softly) Boo-yah.
(The blue glow fades from his body; around him, the other nine heroes are lowered to the roof and released from Blood's hold. Cut to Raven and pan to Aqualad, whose eyes are back to their normal black.)
Aqualad: We're free!
(Robin, Cyborg, and Bumblebee give him a warm smile, the ordeal is indeed over. Dissolve to an overhead view of the East Tower; the T-Ship is docked near its base. Cut to Beast Boy and Cyborg at this level.)
Beast Boy: So...are you, like, magic now?
Cyborg: Pretty sure that was a one-time deal. Blood was trying so hard to hack into my brain, I guess I sorta hacked into his.
(Cut to Starfire, who has two new admirers in the form of Más and Menos; they are positively thunderstruck, with hearts floating up from their heads. Away they go, fast enough to make her hair blow, and instantly return. Menos has a flower, Más an entire bouquet; the former throws a dirty look at being upstaged as his bloom wilts, and off they go again. When they come back this time, they have switched places and Menos now has a teddy bear for Starfire. Más looks daggers at him, and they zip away a third time; when they reappear, they have again traded places and Más holds a large box of candy. In no time, the twins have started wrestling it back and forth and gone from there to a full-scale brawl. Starfire wisely decides to get out of the way; pan from here to Robin, Aqualad, and Bumblebee, who watch popeyed as the fracas works its way past them. They then trade a laugh; close-up of Robin's and Bumblebee's hands as they shake.)
Bumblebee: (from o.c.) Thanks for everything. (Pull back to frame her.) Blood's in jail, and we'll be sticking around to make sure he stays there.
Aqualad: Besides, I have a feeling he wasn't the only criminal in Steel City.
(On this line, pull back as the other Titans East gather around the pair. Robin, Raven, and Starfire look off to Cyborg, who is walking up with Beast Boy.)
Robin: Well, I guess this is it.
Cyborg: It is...for me. Thanks for the offer, team, (Slow pan across him and the other Titans.) but I already have a home. And you already have a leader. (Cut to them; Cyborg continues o.c.) You just need to listen to her.
(Bumblebee is his choice to lead the Titans East, then. Tilt up to frame the upper portion of their home, to the sound of a jumble of happy congratulations. From here, dissolve to a close-up of the T-Car's open trunk. Cyborg sets his toolbox in here, and the camera pulls back as he closes the lid. Stepping to the driver's-side door, he finds Robin waiting there.)
Robin: So, what changed your mind?
Cyborg: I always thought I was missing something. (turns to watch the sunrise; slow pan) Something I needed to become a man. My own team, my own mission, my own skin. (Close-up, zoom in on back of head.) So Blood did manage to teach me one lesson.
(He turns around with a smile.)
Cyborg: I'm not missing a thing.
(The expression on Robin's face says for sure that their earlier feud is truly over. Behind them, beyond the railing, the T-Ship floats up to hover nearby. Beast Boy and Starfire stand in their respective cockpits with the canopies open.)
Beast Boy: Dudes, dudettes...road trip! (She giggles.)
Cyborg: (to Robin) Need a lift?
(Cut to a patch of water, above which the night's storm clouds are breaking up. The T-Ship roars into view toward the sun, and not far behind is the T-Car on hoverjets. Fade to black.)