Teen Titans
Air Date
October 8th, 2005
Previous episode
Homecoming - Part 2
Next episode
For Real


(Opening shot: a pan past a dark rock formation that fills the screen, so that a barren desert landscape comes into view under a cloudless red sky at sunset. Hard breathing is heard for an instant before the beefy, black-clad, armored figure of Wildebeest races into view. Shots from different angles show him running to beat the band, after which the camera pans quickly back the way he came and stops on a slender female shape in pursuit. It is in silhouette, marked only by glints of light at the edges, but these are enough to pick out the details of Madame Rouge.)

(Wildebeest darts ahead, surprisingly agile for a four-hundred-pounder, and slides down a short slope to try and get ahead. Ducking behind a large rock, he stops to catch his breath and brings up something in one hand. Close-up: it is the communicator Robin gave him at the end of "Winner Take All." He flips it open, then turns to peek furtively out around the edge of his hiding place; cut to his perspective, no Rouge anywhere in sight, then back to him. The rubber-limbed villainess oozes up behind him at a leisurely pace, but once he gets sight of her, he is off and running all over again.)

(Rouge's shadow extends toward his back, marking her rapid catch-up, and only a last-second dodge keeps her lengthened arms off him. Cut to an overhead view of the desert canyons in this area, panning toward a broad mesa with a path spiraling up its slopes, then to its summit. Wildebeest dashes into view, stops at the edge to take in the brain-spraining drop, and finally voices a howl of unadulterated desperation and terror. The camera cuts to a spot well down the height, pointing up at him for a very long shot, and pulls back as the noise dies away.)

(Close-up of his hands, the now-closed communicator still clutched in one of them. It beeps to mark an incoming message, and he opens the device again; on the next line, cut to a long shot behind him and zoom in.)

Robin: (over comm) Robin to Wildebeest. Do you read me? Come in. Over.

(Wildebeest turns to give the camera and the approaching whatever-it-is a very frightened look, and the flash of a strike whites out the screen. This clears to give another lower-altitude view of the peak, over which the communicator plunges toward a river far below.)

Robin: (over comm) Answer me!

(Rouge's arm flashes down into view toward it; she delivered the blow that knocked it out of the honorary Titan's hand.)

Robin: (over comm) Wildebeest!

(Before she can get her fingers around the communicator, it says hello to the stony riverbank and flies apart at the seams. Fade to black.)


Act One

(Opening shot: an overhead view of a city at sunrise, Paris, as indicated by the Eiffel Tower in the foreground. Pull back a frame more of the urban center, then cut to a close-up of a chessboard behind which Monsieur Mallah is seated. The camera is positioned at the pieces' level; he reaches into view to capture a white pawn with the black queen. Tilt up to his face, showing the world map from the end of Part Two of "Homecoming" behind him. This game is taking place in the new hideout seen in that final sequence.)

Mallah: We have captured one of their pawns.

(Pull back. His opponent is the Brain, and a teapot is set nearby with one steaming cup.)

Brain: Wildebeest is just the first of many. (Mallah moves a white piece to its side of the board.) The young Titans' days are numbered.

(On the end of this, cut back to the big ape, who picks up his teacup. Judging from the previous, he is carrying out the Brain's moves.)

Mallah: Oui. (He takes a sip.) Pity the communicator was not retrieved. (sets the cup down) With it, we could listen to their conversations and know what they are planning. (Pan to the Brain.)

Brain: Not to worry, Monsieur Mallah. (Head-on view.) In the end, evil always prevails. (Tilt down slowly toward the board.) We will soon be able to follow their every move.

Mallah: (from o.c., grasping/moving a white castle) And then we destroy them.

(He takes his hand away; cut to a long shot of both and pan very slowly toward the Brain.)

Brain: From the jungles to the Arctic, and everywhere in between, there will be no place for them to hide. (Close-up.)

Mallah: We have already located their friend Hot Spot. (Overhead view; zoom in on the Brain.)

Brain: He will be no match for my best operative. (Pull back again.) Queen takes pawn.

(Mallah reaches in; extreme close-up of the board as he knocks a white pawn over with the black queen. Zoom in on the erect piece during the next line.)

Mallah: (from o.c.) I know I would not wish to meet her in a dark alley.

(Dissolve to an overhead view of a sprawling, crowded city and tilt up slowly to frame the crimson desert sky above it, the same as seen in the prologue. Night is falling, and the broad dome of a mosque in the distance marks this place as being somewhere in the Muslim world, Arabia or northern Africa, perhaps.)

Rouge: (voice over) Madame Rouge to Brain.

(Cut to a narrow, badly lit alley at whose far end a silhouette stands, back to the camera. A vendor's stall is set up here, and a man sits at a stool as another person walks by.)

Brain: (voice over) Your target is within reach?

(Close-up of the counter; the vendor pours a cup of tea for the seated person, and the camera tilts up from these two to a shuttered upper-story window. A young male voice speaks next.)

Voice: Stop!

(The shutters are kicked open from inside, disintegrating into a shower of splinters, and a close-up reveals the foot as belonging to an escaping thief who clutches a large vase. One step past the sill carries him into free fall, which is broken when he bounces off the awning over the tea seller's stand. Once he and his loot are safely on the ground, he breaks into a run, passing the shadowy figure who has stood watching throughout all of this. A close-up reveals Rouge's face in the inadequate light; however, she has changed into a long dark overcoat with a high collar.)

(As she turns back toward the cart, Hot Spot drops to the ground and sets off after the vase thief. Extreme close-up of Rouge's eyes as the glare from his skin plays over them, then tilt down to her mouth.)

Rouge: He is so close, I can feel it.

(Cut to another stretch of the winding alleyways and pan to follow the human flamethrower as he races into view after the robber. The latter vaults up onto some loose boxes and then over a high closed gate; the former turns his arms into jet thrusters to get past this obstacle.)

Brain: (voice over) Remember...

(Back to Rouge. The voice is coming in over the hidden earpiece communicator she used in "Homecoming.")

Brain: (over the comm) ...your objective is the communicator, not the Titan. We don't want a mistake like last time.

Rouge: (stepping away a bit) I am still not understanding why we go after these honorary Titans instead of Robin and his companions.

(On the end of this, cut to an overhead view of the Brain and Mallah; her last words are heard over the line as the camera zooms in very slowly.)

Brain: A good player learns everything about his opponent before beginning a game, how they live, breathe, fight. We will learn what we can from their friends. Then we will learn even more from their enemies. (Floor-level view.)

Rouge: (over the comm) I am thinking we should--

(Zoom in on the Brain; its fluid goes green and the skull eyes in its pedestal flare red.)

Brain: (sharply) I have no interest in what you think. You are not to go after the Teen Titans until I say.

(Back to Rouge.)

Brain: (over comm) Do you follow?

Rouge: I understand.

(She takes her hand from her ear to break the connection.)

Rouge: (to herself) For now.

(She turns deliberately, keeping herself out of the light, and walks toward the gate farther down the alley. Tilt up to the sky, which is now deepening into night, then cut to yet another stretch of the run, where the thief hustles along with his stolen vase. Rushing past several bazaar stalls, he stops and takes a panicked look back. His face goes slack when he glances up o.c.)

Thief: Huh?

(His fright is promptly explained when Hot Spot drops into a crouch and straightens up. The next words are delivered in the same voice that shouted "Stop!" earlier; it is some tones higher than the words he spoke in "Winner Take All.")

Hot Spot: Drop it!

(He hurls a blazing fastball straight ahead and lands it on the vase. Within seconds, it has reached glowing heat, so that the man has to let go in order to keep from getting his fingers crisped. He just stands there, his eyes are as big as saucers and his hands are in the air with digits splayed to cool off, and the view dissolves to a close-up of him: handcuffed, relieved of the vase, and in police custody. Pull back to frame Hot Spot just behind the three; the thief is hauled away, and the camera cuts to a close-up of the red-glowing face. He is caught flat-footed by the next line.)

Rouge: (from o.c.) You like to fight criminals, no?

(On the end of this, pan to follow his gaze as he directs it back over his shoulder. Ground level: her boots and overcoat hem swing into view, and the camera tilts up to her face. Hot Spot gives her a quizzical glance before speaking.)

Hot Spot: (shrugs) It's just part of the job.

Rouge: Perhaps you are wanting to fight me, too?

Hot Spot: I'm sure a nice lady like you wouldn't want to fight me.

Rouge: I would not be so sure.

Hot Spot: Huh?

(In a twinkling, she has stretched one arm out and pasted its fist across the spot where he is standing. The hit knocks him off balance, but he quickly recovers and stares openmouthed back at this new adversary.)

Rouge: You might wish to call your friends for backup.

(She pulls her arm back in and straightens up to see eye to eye.)

Hot Spot: (puzzled) Friends?

Rouge: The Teen Titans. You are an honorary member, no?

Hot Spot: I work alone.

Rouge: Good.

(Her overcoat recedes into her body, revealing the usual red outfit: it was an artifact of her powers of disguise.)

Rouge: Then this should only take a second.

(Another rubber-band roundhouse lashes out and is met with a flaming slider. The latter detonates in a brilliant flash, which clears to show a roof-level view of the city as the explosion plays up from the alley. Back to Hot Spot, whose mouth curves up into a thin, mocking half-smile while watching the thick gray clouds of smoke swirl around Rouge's position. When they clear, she is seen to be in one piece-off to one side, body a few feet up, arms and legs stretched out to brace herself against the walls.)

Rouge: (lowers herself to the ground) You stop a common thief, but what about a real villain?

(She immediately puts him on the defensive with a flurry of punches from the ten-yard line, missing him, but splintering a few chance crates in the alley. One dodge brings him to a vendor's stall loaded with dishes; here comes a kick, which he sidesteps, and the poles holding up the stall's awning get it instead. The cover crashes down on the wares as Hot Spot starts into a run, but after several steps, he slings back a few fireballs, which she ducks with ease.)

Rouge: When will the children learn? (straightens one glove) No one escapes the reach of Madame Rouge.

(The solo hero continues his retreat, but is soon pursued by the mistress of disguise, who bounds through with such long steps that she almost seems to have springs hidden in her boots. Turning off into a side alley, he stops short; cut to the upper portion of a high chain-link fence that reaches from wall to wall and blocks the path. A tilt down to ground level frames Hot Spot, stopped short of the obstacle and soon cornered by his enemy. However, a series of leaps from one side to another takes him up and over the fence.)

Rouge: (stepping forward casually) You cannot outrun me. (Overhead view, panning from him to her.)

Hot Spot: I don't want to have to hurt you!

Rouge: It is not me you should worry about.

(In close-up, she passes effortlessly through the chain link, softening her body and letting it solidify again once she is clear of the wire. This display prompts a shocked gasp from Hot Spot.)

Hot Spot: What are you?

Rouge: I am whatever I wish to be.

(One set of fingers lashes toward him; he avoids her grab, which punches a hole in the nearby masonry, and stares in disbelief at the overlong digits still buried in the wall. After some moments, he gets his feet moving, as does she. Along the way, Rouge grabs up one crate after another and pitches them ahead; each is blown away by a well-placed fireball, and the camera cuts to an overhead view of the block. Pan to follow the explosions that flash up in the streets, marking the progress of the running free-for-all, then cut back to Rouge as she lets her fingers do the walking again. The grab misses the seat of Hot Spot's pants by a hair; he gets away around a corner and stops to catch his breath in close-up.)

Rouge: (from o.c.) Looking for me?

(Pan slightly to bring her into frame as she sidles up alongside. His cry of surprise and her right hook happen almost simultaneously, and he has to move fast in order to keep his jaw in one piece. As the two face off again, he fires a flamethrower jet from one arm, catching her in he gut and burning a hole clean through. Rouge does not even blink at this new attack, though, and the wound heals itself perfectly while she steps toward him.)

Rouge: You cannot touch me.

(She lashes both hands onto his waist; instantly, smoke curls up from all ten fingers and she pulls them away with a cry of pain.)

Hot Spot: Looks like you can't touch me either.

(The standoff ends when she directs a long kick into the building behind him with enough force to bring it toppling into the street. Hot Spot runs for cover with no time to spare, while Rouge eyes her smoldering hands and puts them out.)

Rouge: Good as new.

(Cut to a slow pan across a deserted marketplace as Hot Spot runs into view, heading down a passageway at its edge. As he rushes along, one of Robin's feet plants itself near the camera to bring him up short with a gasp.)

Hot Spot: Robin! (Close-up of the latter.)

Robin: Hot Spot! This way!

Hot Spot: Man, am I glad to see you!

Robin: Come with me!

(He runs ahead and is soon out of view, lost in the shadows, but pokes his head back.)

Robin: In here!

(He ducks away; the fugitive turns this over for a second before cautiously advancing in the same direction. Dissolve to a pan across a stretch of wall and stop on Robin and Hot Spot just past its edge. The latter sits back a short distance, while the former is peering out around the corner; he turns away after a second.)

Robin: Madame Rouge. The Brotherhood of Evil is the worst group I have ever dealt with, and she is the most vicious of them all.

Hot Spot: Yeah. I've never fought anyone like her.

Robin: She is one of a kind.

Hot Spot: What does she want with me?

Robin: They are going after Titans. We think they may have gotten Wildebeest already.

Hot Spot: Why? (Slow pan toward Robin.)

Robin: Wildebeest's communicator was broken. My guess is, she was trying to get it to track down the Titans. (Close-up of both.) I never wanted to put you in danger by giving you the communicator. (holds out his hand) I would understand if you want to give it back.

Hot Spot: I like being an honorary Titan. (pulls it out) Anyway, it's better if I hold on to it. Rouge can't touch me. What are we gonna do?

Robin: We've just gotta stick together. (A breeze blows through here.)

Hot Spot: Aren't you cold?

(Robin opens his mouth to say something, but backs away before speaking again. A large bead of sweat rolls down his cheek and drips from his chin due to the intense body heat.)

Robin: I'm going to make sure we weren't followed. You should power down, conserve some energy.

Hot Spot: I prefer to keep my powers on. We'll be ready in case Rouge comes back.

(On the end of this, the Boy Wonder turns away, presenting the back of his head to Hot Spot and his face to the camera; now he has broken out in a profuse sweat.)

Robin: Okay. But you should get some rest.

Hot Spot: I'll try.

(Robin's departure leaves him alone in this hiding place. Pan from here back along the wall around whose corner the Titan was peeking; he is here, keeping out of sight with sweat glands going full speed ahead. A wipe of the face, and the masked countenance and red tunic have given way to Rouge's figure; she assumed Robin's appearance in order to lead her target here. One hand goes to her ear, marking the use of her hidden communicator. Her next two lines are delivered in hushed tones so as not to draw any attention.)

Rouge: Madame Rouge to Brain.

Brain: (over comm) Have you accomplished your mission?

Rouge: His powers...I cannot touch him.

Brain: (over comm) You will bring me the communicator.

Rouge: (normal volume) I bring, but first, I earn his trust. Then I get communicator... (Zoom in slightly on her smirking face.) ...my way.

(Fade to black.)

Act Two

(Opening shot: an overhead view of the desert in which Rouge chased Wildebeest during the prologue.)

Robin: (from o.c., echoing) Wildebeest!

(Pan to him on the edge of the mesa where we last saw the big bruiser.)

Robin: Wildebeest? (Starfire comes up behind him.) Wildebeest!

(Head-on view of the pair; the T-Ship is parked nearby.)

Starfire: Are you sure we are in the right location?

Robin: This is where his last transmission originated.

(He crosses to the edge, sits, and looks down and around for a few seconds.)

Robin: Something's not right.

(His perspective, staring straight down over the cliff toward the river at its base. A tiny speck of light is visible on the bank, and he throws one end of a coil of rope down toward it. Back to the two Titans; he has the rope in hand.)

Robin: I'm going down there.

(Close-up of Wildebeest's shattered communicator as the spiky-haired shadow falls over it and he reaches down to pick up one piece. Pull back to frame him, kneeling on the riverbank and inspecting the fragment; Starfire floats down to the spot. The light was coming from one of the components, apparently.)

Starfire: His communicator?

Robin: And no sign of Wildebeest. Starfire, I want you to get the Titans and continue searching here.

Starfire: What are you going to do? (He stands up.)

Robin: (brandishing the piece) I'm going to find whoever did this.

(Close-up of it in his hand, then dissolve to the upper reaches of one block in the desert city and cut to a close-up of Rouge's hand behind her back. As she walks unhurriedly along, she forms a dummy communicator in it and turns herself into Robin. By the time the fraud reaches Hot Spot's hideout, the unit has been flipped open.)

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): I've just called the Titans. (puts it away) They're going to rendezvous with us outside of town. We've gotta go.

Hot Spot: Maybe we should stay here, wait for backup.

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): We'll be fine.

Hot Spot: What about Rouge?

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): I can handle Madame Rouge.

Hot Spot: How? She's practically unstoppable!

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): Indeed, I mean, yeah, she is impressive. But we're Titans.

Hot Spot: I say we wait for the others.

(He crosses his arms sullenly and his head flares up to reflect his mood shift. The glare forces Robin to shield his eyes, while the temperature spike causes his gloved forearm to begin melting. Evidently, Rouge's disguise powers are severely affected by heat, explaining the profuse sweating near the end of Act One. Robin backs away, hastily shifting the gooey arm to behind his back.)

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): It's hot in here. You've got to power down. (Hot Spot's flare-up has now subsided.)

Hot Spot: (standing up) You may be the leader of the Titans and all, but I don't need anyone telling me when to power down.

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): I wasn't trying to tell you anything. (Overhead view.) I guess I'm just getting tired of being cooped up.

(As he says this last, the arm behind his back stretches out to reach into a hole several feet back. Close-up of the two; there is a muffled sound as of something being nudged out of place, and Robin pulls his arm back without being noticed. No points for guessing who made that noise.)

Hot Spot: What was that?

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): We're not safe here. Let's go.

(Both run out into the abandoned marketplace. Dissolve to the full moon hanging low above a street and tilt down to the pair on the move.)

Hot Spot: Maybe you should call Cyborg, make sure you've got the right coordinates.

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): Firestar gave me the coordinates. We're heading in the right direction.

(He moves on, not noticing that the mention of this name has thrown a monkey wrench into the firebug's brain and brought him up short. If Rouge were playing draw poker, a mistake like this would be the equivalent of letting everyone else see at least two of her five cards.)

Hot Spot: (puzzled) Starfire?

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): That's what I said. I know what I'm doing. Trust me.

(The other traveler is still trying to sort out what has just happened; after a second or two, he seems to get it in order and moves off. Dissolve to a long shot of an industrial area, with the fake Robin's boot landing near the camera, and cut to a close-up of the machinery. Giant oil pumps are cycling merrily away here; back to Robin as Hot Spot catches up.)

Hot Spot: You expect me to cross an oil field? I'll light the whole place up!

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): Where we're going is just on the other side. You only have to power down for a moment. Come on. (He starts ahead.)

Hot Spot: I told you, I'm not powering down.

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): Come with me. That's an order.

Hot Spot: I'm not one of your team. I don't have to do what you say. Maybe we should just split up. I'll find another way around the oil field.

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): We've got to stick together!

Hot Spot: I can take care of myself!

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): Rouge almost got you once before.

Hot Spot: I'll take my chances!

(Turning on his heel, he strides back the way they came and leaves the ersatz leader at the edge of the field. His hasty departure prevents him from seeing the calculating smile that steals over Robin's face; in due time, the steel-soled boots give way to Rouge's high-heeled ones.)

Rouge: Then it will be your last chance.

(Cut to another part of town, the camera pointing up between the buildings at a sky that has darkened into the wee hours, and tilt down to a set of steps that Hot Spot is descending. He is still plenty steamed from the rough-edged encounter.)

Hot Spot: Who does that guy think he is, anyway? Bossing everybody around?

(The sound of distant running steps brings him to a stop; he looks back up the steps, but cannot see this person in the darkness.)

Hot Spot: Listen, man, I already told you--

(Starting off again, he finds his path blocked by Rouge, who has put herself up on stilt legs to gain the advantage of height and stretched her arms to touch both walls.)

Rouge: You think you could handle me on your own?

(Hot Spot takes a few nervous steps backward, then warms up both arms and directs a double flame jet at the Protean enemy. It would be a direct hit, except for the fact that she makes a lightning-fast grab for a door, tearing it off the hinges to use as a shield, and then throws it at him. The remains barely miss him and are followed by several random pieces of masonry, after which Rouge hooks her hands around something up o.c. and hoists herself away.)

(Now the human torch is in a full run, but Rouge has no trouble leaping and swinging from rooftop to rooftop like Tarzan's long-lost psychopathic little sister. Pieces of the architecture are ripped loose as she bounds here and there, creating a deadly shower that sends Hot Spot diving for cover again and again. Rouge plasters herself to the underside of an arch, hanging upside down for the moment; elsewhere, her quarry tumbles out of a side street just ahead of the avalanche she has set off. Her next two lines are spoken in Robin's voice.)

Rouge: Hot Spot! Where are you? (Cut to Hot Spot; she continues o.c.) Are you okay? (He stops.)

Hot Spot: Robin! It's Rouge!

Rouge: (from o.c.) Stay where you are! (A brief look around; empty street.)

Hot Spot: I can't! She's here! (Robin pops out from an abandoned building; close-up on the next line.)

Robin: Looks like you could use a little help after all.

(One of Rouge's elastic arms snakes out and coils around his neck and body; after a moment's struggle, he is yanked back inside.)

Hot Spot: (from o.c.) Robin!

(He rushes in through the broken-down doorway. Cut to the building's interior; he takes the stairs four or five at a time, then emerges onto the top story, where the roof has fallen in and only pieces of the floor and walls are still intact. Both forearms are ready to light up like Zippos now as he jumps from one exposed beam to the next. As he reaches the far end of the structure, he slows down and starts to think a bit.)

Hot Spot: She can't hurt me if she can't touch me. (Rouge hangs down from on overhead beam.)

Rouge: (in her own voice) Oh, really?

(He whirls to face her, unleashing a quick-draw blast, but she drops from the beam just in time and lands facing him. When his next shot flashes out, she dives underneath and makes a long-arm grab for the post holding up the remains of the floor. As soon as she pulls it loose, Hot Spot goes into free fall; he gets a grip on another joist to break his fall and drops safely to a lower beam before leaping clear of the building. His momentum snaps every clothesline he encounters on the way down; finally, he crashes to the street on his back and manages to stumble away with a pained groan. The arm pressed to his chest suggests a broken rib or a severe bruise.)

(As he rounds a corner, he finds Robin coming the other way.)

Hot Spot: We've gotta call the other Titans! We need backup!

Robin: She broke my communicator. (holds out his hand) Give me yours! (Hot Spot holds his out uncertainly.) Just throw it over! (Pause.)

Hot Spot: I'll call the others!

(Flipping open the cover gets him a very dirty look from Robin. Cut to behind the Boy Wonder and pan away from him as one arm stretches back to grab a small stone from the ground: this is Rouge in disguise again. The rock is tossed o.c.; back to Hot Spot, who looks up in alarm at the sound of its bounce, then to the counterfeiter, whose arm is reeled back in.)

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): She's here!

Hot Spot: How does she keep finding us?

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin): It's you! You're giving our location away with your powers. She must have some kind of heat-seeking device. Power down!

Hot Spot: I am not powering down! If I power down, then I'm a goner!

Madame Rouge (disguised as Robin) If you don't, then we're both in trouble! Trust me, it's the only way you'll get out of this.

(A moment's hard thought gives way to an almost resigned resolve.)

Hot Spot: Okay.

(Crossing his arms in front of his face, he generates an intense flash of yellow light that swallows up the entire screen. From here, fade in to Rouge/Robin's cruelly smiling face as the rays play over it; zoom in slightly, then cut back to Hot Spot, lowering his arms. Curls of smoke dissipate from his upper body and reveal that the translucent red/yellow-glowing head and forearms have been replaced by those of a black male teenager.)

(Robin gives him a nasty little smile and whips out one arm to snarl up the extinguished hero, flinging him overhead and down the alley for good measure. An unfortunate patch of building wall gets wiped out when Hot Spot crashes into it at high speed; the dust clears to show him momentarily embedded spreadeagle in the stone. A moment later, he tumbles face first to the ground and loses hold of the communicator that has stayed in his hand throughout the metamorphosis. It rolls away a short distance and is picked up by Robin, who turns back into Rouge while crossing the street to the unconscious fighter. She flips it open.)

Rouge: (in Hot Spot's voice) Robin! What is your location? I need your help!

(End transmission. The real Hot Spot comes to, noticing the black spike heel planted just in front of his face.)

Hot Spot: (weakly) Rouge... (He passes out again.)

Rouge: (in her own voice) Took you long enough to figure it out.

(Fade to black.)

Act Three

(Opening shot: a head-on view of the T-Ship, steering straight and true. Cut to Robin in his forward cockpit, open communicator in hand.)

Robin: Hot Spot, are you okay? Where are you?

(Close-up of the screen, which shows the word "Searching" above the missing Titan's name, as well as a graphic of the entire planet and a few other readouts.)

Computer: Searching. (One large bar graph fills up rapidly.) Hot Spot located.

(On this last word, the graph changes to show the word "Located." A long pause while Robin scrutinizes the data.)

Robin: Wildebeest...now Hot Spot. The Titans are under attack.

(Cut to a patch of desert; the T-Ship flashes into view and soars away from the camera through the sky, which is beginning to lighten with the coming dawn. Back to the alley in which Hot Spot has fallen, with Rouge taking a few steps to get a closer look at the prone young man. A nudge of boot against shoulder rolls him onto his back; she smiles at he sight, eyes the communicator she swiped from him, and sets out. Just after she turns her back on him, the eyes open and one very annoyed teen starts to work himself up from the ground. As the woman of a thousand faces strolls away, he rushes up, ready to take home a piece of her hide. Up comes a long-arm backhand, but he leaps over it and passes her shoulder, close enough to pluck the communicator out of her hand. He comes down facing her.)

Hot Spot: All this time, you only wanted the communicator so you could locate the Titans!

(A vicious throw sends it to the stone roadbed; cut to a close-up as it shatters on the stone roadbed at Rouge's feet.)

Hot Spot: (from o.c.) Now no one can use it! (Tilt up to her face.)

Rouge: I have grown tired of our little game. Your time is up.

(Both arms whip out, fasten ten fingers around his shoulders, and drag him in as if he were a trout on the end of a fishing line. When the two are face to face, her body extrudes a mass of thick tentacles and envelops his, so that he disappears entirely into her midsection. She smiles evilly down at the bulge in her gut, but her face falls when one of his hands starts trying to push its way out through the bodysuit. It soon retracts and is replaced by a growing yellow glow in that area; Hot Spot is warming up.)

(Rouge has only time for one muffled grunt before the rekindled young man bursts out of her chest with a mighty leap, leaving her as only a mass of scarlet muck from the waist up. Once he has rolled to a stop in the street, he lifts his head and catches sight of the half-woman piecing herself back together at ludicrous speed. She ends up good as new and gives him a mocking little smile, which spurs him to peel himself up and start running toward the oil field he refused to cross in Act Two. Now the hour is much closer to sunrise.)

(Cut to the upper portions of the stilled pumps and tilt down to ground level. He races headlong among the machinery, forgetting his concern about setting the works on fire, and hides behind a pipe for a moment. The coast seems to be clear, so he heads farther in and approaches the main refinery; four tall flare stacks spew forth fumes, but no flames. These ignite as he gets closer, bringing him to a very scared stop, and he backs off slightly before looking toward one of the pumps, which kicks into gear for the morning shift.)

(Cut to a point between two of the rigs, the camera aimed at Hot Spot as he makes his way along. Rouge's silhouette flashes past on a parallel course, between the lens and the machines; he stops short to look in that direction, and the camera cuts back to the open space. Now the two-legged firelighter's nerves are really singing soprano as he carries on, and after a few tense seconds, his pursuer jumps into view on a ledge to keep an eye on him. Hot Spot stops, glances out of the corner of his eye, and suddenly does a 180-degree turn to shoot a pair of flame jets up toward her. Rouge dives clear, leaving nothing between his fire and the flare stack whose ledge she had been perched on. Touched off by the extreme heat, the gases inside explode with terrific force and trigger a string of other explosions all around him.)

(Cut to the cruising T-Ship.)

Robin: (from inside) Titans! Have you heard anything from Hot Spot?

(Cut to him in the cockpit, one hand on the controls and the other on his communicator.)

Robin: I've lost his signal.

Starfire: (over the comm) No, Robin. We have not.

(His eyes bug out; cut to an overhead view of the city and the billowing smoke that now marks the location of the oil field. The vessel roars into view straight toward this, after which the camera cuts back to Robin.)

Robin: He's down there somewhere. (noses the ship down) I'm going in.

(Cut to within the thick fumes that have engulfed the entire area. The view clears to show the T-Ship coming in for a landing, and it takes almost no time for him to get his cockpit open and stand up for a good look at the wreckage. Incoming transmission.)

Starfire: (over comm) Robin! You must be careful!

Robin: I just hope I'm not too late.

(He steps carefully among the smoldering ruins and stops short; cut to the pieces of Hot Spot's communicator on the ground. Evidently, the explosions wiped out more than just the oil field itself. Picking up a piece of the cover, he turns it over and finds most of the internal circuitry to be still in place. Now the camera pans to follow him through this area and stops when he reaches a hole in a wall; a brilliant glow issues briefly from beyond, and he heads toward this. Cut to the other side as he approaches.)

Robin: Hot Spot?

(A huge jet of flame lances into the masonry, just missing him, and the slab of rock it has knocked loose thunders down for an even closer whiff.)

Robin: Hot Spot, it's me, Robin! I got your message!

(Cut to just behind him, facing Hot Spot in an open area.)

Hot Spot: (backing away, increasingly unhinged) I didn't send any message. It was Madame Rouge. She looked like Robin...you look like Robin. You look like Robin, but I know you're Madame Rouge! You're always Madame Rouge!

Robin: (advancing slowly) Not this time. Come with me. I've got the T-Ship. I can get you out of here.

(An exact duplicate emerges from behind a fragment of wall: obviously, one of them is Rouge, but which one? We shall call the one who just spoke Robin 1, the newcomer Robin 2.)

Robin 2: Don't listen to him! I'm the real Robin!

(Hot Spot's mind is so paralyzed by this dilemma that he is unable to react for a moment. When he takes action, his first move is to fire flame jets at both newcomers. Robin 1 does a little bit of very fast acrobatics to keep from being cooked; as the smoke clears, he sees Robin 2 across the way. The latter's body disintegrates into a mass of red sludge; this was Rouge, her cover blown by the heat, and Robin 1 is the real thing.)

(Horrified by the realization of his predicament, Hot Spot wheels into a run. A second later, Rouge reconstitutes herself as Robin 2 and starts implacably after him. After only a few steps, though, the fake Titan is hit broadside by the real one's flying kick and knocked backward several yards.)

Robin 1: That's a pretty good likeness, Rouge, (reaches into his utility belt) but there's one thing you can't imitate.

(Bringing out a birdarang, he lunges at Robin 2 for a series of swings and kicks; none hits their mark, but a flip kick pays Robin 1 back for the hit he laid down a moment ago. The projectile is now flung straight ahead, caught by the blade, and hurled neatly back at Robin 1, who dives clear an instant before it hits the wall behind him and explodes. Now the two face off again, Robin 1 on a broken flight of steps, Robin 2 on level ground.)

Robin 2: Your toys are of no use.

Robin 1: Then we'll just have to fight hand to hand.

(His three favorite words, as he demonstrates by leaping off the steps and mixing it up with his double. A low foot sweep meets nothing but air when Robin 2 vaults away; the latter bounces off a convenient wall and nails Robin 1 with a flying tackle. Now the true Titan goes on the defensive, backing up before a jumping kick that bashes a deep hole in the stonework and then running toward another broken corner. Up he goes, down to get at the oncoming Robin 2, then launched skyward with a devastating left hook. Even before he can reach the peak of his graceless trajectory, the impostor's elastic arms stretch upward and drag him back. Robin 1 promptly finds himself on the receiving end of the same enveloping trick that Rouge used against Hot Spot, but he is able to kick his way loose without being pulled in entirely. One strike after another comes his way; he dodges or blocks them all, then slips in under Robin 2's guard and manages to throw him into, and through, a wall.)

(Lifting his head with some effort, the faker sees Robin 1 charging in, pure bloodlust in those masked eyes, and takes a haymaker that drops him again, but only for a moment. Up he comes into a flailing roundhouse kick, which Robin 1 catches in order to twist the entire leg hard enough to send Robin 2 spinning in midair. The camera shakes with the force of all these blows. Once Robin 2 is more or less on his feet, he gets a boot sole to the side of the head and is driven back to a wall, where his head turns into Rouge's.)

Rouge: You'll have to do better than that!

(The disguise reestablishes itself, after which Robin 2 does a five-yard grab and drags Robin 1 in to bash him back and forth against the wall before throwing him aside full force. This even more graceless trajectory carries him down the way and glances him off the masonry; he ends up flat on his back, dazed for only the briefest moment before his eyes pop. The reason is that Robin 2 has launched himself into a flying kick, which smashes into the stones and just misses the somersaulting Titan. Both end up facing off.)

Robin 1: (as Robin 2 straightens up) I guess if I looked like you, I wouldn't want to show my face either.

(Rouge drops her disguise entirely and responds with a stretchy grab for his collar that slams him into the wall.)

Rouge: (approaching) I hope you don't have a problem getting beaten by a lady.

Robin: (pulling out/activating a disc) You're no lady.

(Cut to Hot Spot, who has taken refuge in an alley and is trying to get his head back in order. Half a block away, a section of a building disappears in a terrific explosion; Robin's weapon doing its thing, and he runs to investigate. The smoke and dust are so thick that he can see nothing for a moment. Cut to the roof's edge, the camera positioned a few feet below and pointing up at it, as one of the two Robins emerges from the boiling murk.)

Hot Spot: (from o.c.) Robin! (Wrong.)

Rouge: (dropping the disguise) Some people never learn.

(Flamethrower attack, which she avoids with a very high jump that carries her to an adjoining rooftop; next, he lifts off, using his legs as jet thrusters, and takes the attack to her. Every shot he fires hits a big bunch of nothing, and Rouge hops back down to street level to stay ahead of him. We then see Hot Spot flying along several stories up, Rouge pulling into view near the camera on a parallel track. She bounds o.c., leaving the fleeing hero at a momentary loss, but the arc carries her over his head and she stomps him down with legs that almost literally go all the way to her chin. As Hot Spot gets a severe case of road rash, she pulls alongside and ahead and finally hooks him by the collar with one hand, dragging him while running flat out.)

(The glowing face grinds against the pavement for far too many yards; he somehow gets his head turned a bit to see her horridly beaming expression. There is no time to react to it, as she whips and grinds him against the buildings like a kid trying to launch his yo-yo into orbit. The torment ends when she chucks him ahead into the marketplace he tried to hide in earlier, and she walks up with smoke rising from the fingers that had held him. An instant later, he has been hauled up and slammed into a wall with both hands, then reeled in for an impossibly high kick to the chin that sends him into the architecture all over again. When the dust clears, we see that he has been knocked clear through the wall.)

(Now Rouge strides up, all ten fingers smoking; she puts these right in a trice and looks around a bit. A sudden glare plays over her face from o.c., and she backflips away from the hole just in time to avoid the explosion and twin flame jets that rip out from the other side. She comes down safely and spies Hot Spot flying out of the maelstrom; once he is clear of it, he stops in midair and unloads an incendiary barrage against Rouge This gives way to a descending helicopter spin, arms extended out to his sides with flames extended to full length, and he plants both feet squarely in Rouge's chest. The kick lands with enough force to drive her through a couple of broken walls and dump her several yards past the last one.)

(Rouge lifts her head and notices Hot Spot advancing, his temper ready to boil over once and for good. When he is still some distance away, he stops and gathers his strength, head and forearms flaring up and a rising growl in his throat, and forms a blazing hemisphere around himself as the camera pulls back. By the time Rouge has gained her feet, the glare has begun to reach her face, whose jaw is now hanging slack with pure shock. Hot Spot's energy field has now become a large sphere, and with one final yell, he rolls it forward like the devil's bowling ball. It detonates against a building, shaking the entire neighborhood.)

(Cut to Robin as the explosion shakes the other end of the block where he is standing; the blast gets his feet moving in a hurry. Back at the battle zone, the building Hot Spot hit crumbles into a hailstorm of smoking debris as he watches. He does not turn away until the dust has fully cleared; something black starts to emerge from the mess, and he stops to look back after several steps. Cut to the tumbled pile, whose interior is totally hidden from view due to all the shadows. All is quiet for a long moment until Rouge's arm lashes out from a recess toward the camera.)

(Cut to another port of the rubble; here comes Robin.)

Robin: Hot Spot!

(A slumped silhouette begins to emerge from the dust and smoke clouds. It resolves into Hot Spot, who has given his powers a rest. As he shambles down toward ground level, Robin zips up to give him a little support.)

Robin: (relieved) You did it!

Hot Spot: Just barely.

(He passes out. Dissolve to an overhead view of the T-Ship, the two nearby, and cut to a close-up. Hot Spot has come to and sat down on a ledge.)

Robin: You sure you're okay?

Hot Spot: I'm doing better now that I don't have Madame Rouge chasing after me.

(A beep from Robin's belt marks an incoming communicator message; he pulls it out and flips it open.)

Robin: Robin here.

(Close-up of the screen, which shows the rest of the team. The background scenery behind them does not appear to be any part of Titans Tower; it looks like everyone has been mobilized.)

Starfire: You are okay? (Back to him.)

Robin: Yeah. Hot Spot and I are both fine. (Stay on him.)

Starfire: (over comm) That is exceptional news!

Robin: Have you found Wildebeest? (The screen again.)

Starfire: No. We are still looking.

Robin: Tell Raven and the guys I'll be joining you soon. Robin out.

(He closes the device as Hot Spot stands up.)

Hot Spot: Are you heading back to the Tower?

Robin: The Teen Titans won't be going home until we stop the Brotherhood of Evil. (crosses to Hot Spot) Since your communicator is broken, take mine. (He hands it over.)

Hot Spot: You're giving me your communicator?

Robin: (puts his hand to Hot Spot's shoulder) Now more than ever, we need to keep in touch and share any information we have.

(Overhead view of the area as he turns to board the vessel, then cut to a close-up of the young black hero. He eyes the loaner quizzically for some moments before dust and light wash over him from the engines warming up. A camera shift shows the T-Ship slowly lifting off, then turning 180 degrees and taking off into the pre-dawn sky as Hot Spot waves goodbye. Close-up, zooming in slightly before the following line is spoken.)

Hot Spot: (Rouge's voice, smiling wickedly) Yes, Robin. Do keep in touch.

(She was able to put him out of commission with her grab from the debris pile, then, and she has just suckered Robin into helping her carry out the Brain's orders. Fade to black.)

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