Disclaimer: The Teen Titans animation is the property of Glen Murakami and Warner Bros. Animation. The various characters inside are variously owned by various people.
Chapter 4 - Bring Forth the North
As Robin and Starfire made their way back into the common room, Cyborg finished punching a few commands into the computer and waved the couple over.
"Yo, Robin, I have some stuff that might be good for you to know. Take a look at this."
Cyborg brought up an overhead map of Jump City. "We were looking over the security tape and decided to see if there was anything matching that general packaging description coming here. Well, it turns out something has been brought here."
"That's the thing. It didn't all go to one place."
Robin was intrigued. "Come again?"
"It went to several. I was able to track the packages using the cameras in the storage facilities." Several red dots pinged on the screen. "I count four separate warehouses, a couple of which are right outside the city limits. According to the manifest (he brought up signed paperwork on the monitor), they're scheduled to be sent out tomorrow afternoon." Deep in thought, Cyborg scratched his robotic chin. "As much as I hate to admit it, it's a smart move on Slade's part. We wouldn't have thought about that before they were sent out, probably to the criminal underground."
"And who told you to check the limits?"
"Actually, it was BB."
Robin glanced at Beast Boy, who was busy inspecting the glass canister. "Really? He did?"
"You know what they say. Even a blind squirrel-that's-really-Beast-Boy can find a nut every once in a while."
He turned to the screen, scanning over the Jump City map. "Four warehouses. In four different parts of the city."
"And five of us," Raven continued. "We could each take a location and confiscate the shipment."
"Yes, but what if it is merely a ploy? The criminals have been known to try to lure us into a trap," Starfire added.
"Dudes!" Beast Boy bounced back into the conversation. "We can take whatever is thrown at us. We took down everyone not too long ago!"
"And look how long that lasted," Cyborg said.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," the green-skinned teen waved dismissively. "Look at all of the friends we've made! Can't we call them? They probably need the hours, right?" Beast Boy could imagine the Honorary Titans lining up to a punch clock, Jericho putting a hole in his card, Pantha not too far behind.
"You know, Beast Boy, you have a good point."
"I do?" His thought bubble exploded with a loud pop.
"He does?" Cyborg asked, confused.
"Two good ideas in one day?" Raven said. She looked quickly from Beast Boy back to Robin. "I think we have a new world record."
"Titans, I have a plan," Robin stated as he pulled out his communicator. "Star, Raven, time to do some aerial reconnaissance. Get the coordinates to the warehouses in the city limits and do a couple of fly-overs. Don't do anything yet. The good news, if anything, is that Slade doesn't know we're on to him yet."
"Got it," Raven nodded. She and Starfire floated off to the exit bay to get ready.
"Beast Boy, you're doing the outer limits."
Robin turned to him as the background colors became muted, a toy UFO on a stick in Beast Boy's outstretched hand.
"...Of Jump City."
"Same thing goes," Robin continued. "Make yourself inconspicuous."
"Dude, 'inconspicamuolus' is my middle name," he responded, his foot halfway out the door.
"Says the guy whose skin is green," Cyborg grinned at his slight chide.
Beast Boy's lip dropped, his eyes sagging as well. His hurt face did not subside as the door closed behind him.
"Cyborg, keep the cameras on those crates. The manifest says they're not scheduled to go out until tomorrow, but make sure they don't leave any earlier. Keep running an analysis on that metal as well. I want to know exactly what we could be dealing with. We know it definitely can't fall into the wrong hands."
"Worse hands than Slade?"
Robin sighed dejectedly. "Yeah, I don't want to think about that."
"So, what is our fearless leader going to do?" the half-robot asked Robin. "Rustle some feathers? Take to the bars to get some information with pool cues?"
"I'm going to make a couple of calls."
Cyborg narrowed his eyes. "Say what? You're going off to play receptionist? Speedy said they're following leads in Steel City. You probably shouldn't pull them off of that."
"I know, Cyborg. I have some people in mind. Including one who I need to get in contact with now so that they can get here in time for tonight."
His best friend's smirk made no attempt to stay hidden. "Is it your secret girlfriend? Starfire would not be happy."
His robot eye narrowed even more.
"Really. You really think I would do that to Star?"
"No." He turned his attention back to the monitor. "She'd probably throw you into the Sun anyway."
Robin could imagine an irate Starfire taking him by the cape and slingshotting him throughout the galaxy. "Yeah, probably." Shifting his focus, he opened his T-comm. "Everyone will meet up back here in a few hours. In the meantime..."
He pressed the red button.
"Herald, I know you're on your way back home, but I need you to get in contact with a few of our new teammates. It's for a mission tonight."
He hesitated for a moment, then began again.
"I also need to pass along a message to someone in particular..."
"And then I said, 'No, it was your gribnak in my postornian! Isn't that the funniest tale you've ever heard?"
Raven didn't want to tell her that telling Tameranian jokes for the past few hours had done nothing to make patrol go by any faster. Or that the Earth versions of the jokes were already drilled into her head by Beast Boy on a weekly basis, but she put on a brave face just the same.
The girls landed on the roof and made their way back downstairs. They had been doing reconnaissance for the past few hours, and other than Starfire asking about the wondrous lives of seagulls, not much had happened. They were able to confirm that the contents had not left their locations and relayed Cyborg other relevant information, up to and including why Beast Boy thought the entire exercise was pointless.
"Man, I could've just spent this whole time playing games!"
Speaking of which...
"Beast Boy, I don't want to hear your complaining."
Beast Boy's face drooped, nursing his shoulder. "I could think of a million different things to do other than fly around all afternoon. Cyborg got it easy. Why can't I ever be on camera duty?"
"Probably because you have the competence of a snail when it comes to computer knowledge."
"Hey! Snails can be smart...kinda."
Starfire's sudden exclamation of joy caused the pair to stop their squabble. They had just walked into the common room to find more occupants than normal. Specifically, there was a girl in a black and red dress, black sleeves, and black hair with red bangs. Next to her was a gentlemen dressed in a green, heavy-duty military uniform with a swath of red hair. Talking to him were two other people: a caveman-like person wearing a loincloth, and a smaller teen with bright pink hair spinning a crystal in her hand.
"It is most wonderful to see you again, everyone!" Starfire yelled, grabbing Kole and Argent and hugging each of them in one arm. "It has been such a long time since our last meeting!"
"I think it has been two weeks." Red Star said from the couch.
Argent chuckled. "Chap, we have to teach you about sarcasm."
Cyborg came from the kitchen with nine cups of tea. "I brought refreshments!" Getting seven blank stares in response, he sighed loudly. "OK, I guess I'll have to eat all of these delicious cookies by myself."
He held up a plate that just happened to be empty. His eyes bogged out of his head. "Hey, where'd they go?" Seeing a slime trail make its way from the kitchen to the elevator, Cyborg groaned. "It's been such a long time since we've had company that's not a psychopathic super villain. And of course Silkie had to ruin it."
"Aaaanywho..." Raven took the opportunity to make small talk with their visitors. "What's new with you guys?"
"Gnarrk and I couldn't exactly go back down into our home, since it was destroyed during the battle with the Brotherhood of Evil," Kole explained. "We've been drifting around ever since."
"You should have told me that, love." Argent said, taking a steaming mug from Cyborg. "You and...uh...your friend here are welcome with me anytime."
Starfire turned to Red Star. "How about you? Did you go back to your land of mothers?"
"At first," he replied. "I then figured out that my place was not there, but here with other people like myself. I came upon my comrades here (he motioned to the others) and we sort of became a...how do you call it? A 'motley crew'."
Starfire nodded. "Yes, I have heard of such things. I read that in the Earth book that Beast Boy gave me."
"I have also learned to concentrate my radiation into more powerful feats of strength. Observe."
Red Star got up from his seat and held his palm forward. A bright red beam shot out and careened out the window, making a scorch mark on the ground below.
"Oooooh!" Starfire glowed at the display. "You have a power similar to mine." She surrounded her hand with her signature green energy. "With that, you can also release your excess radiation, correct?"
"You are, indeed."
"Are we all talking about new powers?" Kole said. She hurriedly waved her arms, and crystals began to materialize above her head.
"Interesting," Cyborg said as he examined the minerals. "You figured out how to make external constructs using your crystals. That's definitely cool, girl."
The group turned to the main doorway, where the leader of the Teen Titans had just entered the room.
"Red Star, Kole, Gnarrk, Argent, thank you for coming on such short notice." Robin walked up to the table and set his communicator on it. "We have a mission of sorts that will get us introduced to each other." He touched the table, and a viewscreen appeared with a hologram of the city.
"Calm down, buddy," Kole reassured as he patted his arm.
"There are currently four shipments of dangerous materials that are set to be sent out of these respective warehouses." Four red dots appeared around the perimeter of the projection. "As a precautionary measure, our mission is to remove them from the premise, making sure that no one sees us or is aware of our presence."
"Gnarrk isn't exactly built for stealth, dude," Beast Boy quipped.
"I have the utmost confidence in Gnarrk, Beast Boy," Robin replied. "We do stealth missions with Cyborg, and he's a klutz. He'll be fine."
"Because we have to cover four places at the same time, and splitting up is what got us in trouble last time, we're going in with extra backup. That's where you four come in."
Robin produced four new communicators from his pouch: one red, one brown, one blue, and one black. "I hope that I didn't make these for nothing. Red Star, Argent, Kole, Gnarrk...do you accept this mission?"
The four looked toward each other. After a moment, they nodded, and simultaneously reached for their communicators.
"Like you even had to ask, love," Argent grinned.
"How come we don't get color-coded stuff?" Beast Boy whispered to Raven.
The Boy Wonder continued on as if nothing had happened. "Excellent. Now I have to make sure every place is covered." Robin pointed to the southmost blip. "This warehouse has the most product there, so we need to double team this one. Beast Boy, Cyborg, you're going with Kole and Gnarrk."
"Aww yeah!" Cyborg yelled, bumping fists with the caveman. "We'll take care of everything in no time!"
"Starfire, you go east with Red Star."
"We will not fail you, Robin," she said as she stood next to the Russian.
"Raven, you and Argent go west."
The two shared a silent nod with each other and then one at Robin.
"Robin, where are you going to go?"
"I'm headed north," he answered, deactivating the projection. "Someone has to go to the fourth spot."
"But dude, it's dangerous to go alone. Haven't you seen me play that video game? Some old dude says that in the very first cave-"
"I know, Cyborg. I'm not going alone."
Cyborg paused in the middle of his rant, now confused. "Say what?"
Beast Boy looked up from his perch on Gnarrk's shoulder. "Dude, you always go solo. It's that mysteeeeerious vibe you have."
"Not this time, Beast Boy. Safety in numbers."
"Ooooh, who will be accompanying you on your hazardous journey?" Starfire asked, waving her arms emphatically. She started to run through the list of possible Titans. "Will it be Pantha, who will slam the bodies of our foes? Will it be Herald, who summons portals to otherworldly dimensions and planets with his Earth instrument called the 'trumpet'? Will the fiery blast of friend Hot Spot be critical to our victory to-?"
"It's none of them, Star."
Starfire stopped in mid-sentence, her fingers stopping her count. "Then I shall echo the sentiments of friend Cyborg. Say the what?"
"None of the rest of the Titans were available," Robin explained as he strode his way to the main entrance. "I had to go make contact with...well...someone who has been out of the area for a while. Herald was kind enough to bring them over here..."
He rounded on the group and stood by the door. "And she will be with me for this mission."
Robin knocked on the door, and it slowly opened, bellowing out smoke for effect. Out stepped a thin silhouette with armor and what appeared to be two swords on their back.
Coughing, Robin attempted to wave the smoke away. "Beast Boy, I thought I told you to get rid of those gas canisters."
"Sorry, dude. You know how I love my dramatic entrances."
He motioned to the newcomer as the smoke cleared. "Anyways, welcome to the Tower..."
The girl came into focus as she tossed her long white hair over her shoulder, her black and grey armor glistening in the moonlight and an orange sash tied around her waist. She shook Robin's outstretched hand as he finished his greeting.