They had been planning this attack for a week now, devising the best strategy to take down their arch nemesis and they had covered every angle, all possible detail. But of course it had to go wrong at the last moment. If someone had told Robin a month earlier that Slade would manage to get almost all the villains that had terrorized Jump City at some point under his banner, he would have laughed. They were all evil and of course all self-centered, preoccupied only by themselves and their personal benefits. So when the small group of the reconnaissance team he had sent to spy on the evil mastermind had returned with proof that at least thirty other villains had joined him he had not been able to believe his eyes nor his ears.
It had taken the footage that Cyborg had recorded to finally make him acknowledge that this mission would be a lot more difficult than what he had originally thought. And taking into account that it was already highly improbable that they would succeed completely, it now seemed nearly impossible. So Robin, with Raven's council and the rest of the Teen Titans' agreement, called in reinforcement. Every one of their old allies had been sent a call for help, most of them had responded immediately, others with a little delay. Unfortunately not everyone had been able to reply positively, the group from the Young Justice were apparently on a war of their own at that moment... But the day before the plan was to be put into action almost every other ally of the Teen Titans had answered their call, the group now amounted to about twenty teenagers.
Everything seemed to be back on tracks as they had arrived near Slade's base and as they had launched their attack, they apparently had even managed to surprise him and his men. But of course nothing ever goes according to plan and as the sun was beginning to set on the horizon the fighting had already been going on for a few hours but almost no progress had been made. The numbers in Slade's ranks were overwhelming, and the real threat had not even come out yet. The Titans had managed to almost get across the huge field surrounding the citadel and to reach the outer walls when the villains, who were seemingly waiting patiently for them to exhaust themselves against the army of Slade bots, came out to meet them on the battlefield. From then on everything went downhill. The Teen Titans and their allies were exhausted and got pushed back. Raven disappeared as she was fighting Malchior, then Robin got captured by Adonis and he was taken to the citadel as a new wave of bots pushed forward, leaving no time to rest to the Titans. He was recalling all this as he watched Slade calmly pace in front of his throne.
"So, it seems your little plan isn't working so well, is it ?", taunted the masked man as he looked at the teen, seemingly amused.
Robin gritted his teeth, as one of the commanders of the Titans he could not believe how he could've let his guard down and gotten captured so easily.
"Anyway," continued Slade, "you know they are going to fail, you have already failed. So why not ease the pain and join me Dick? You and me, together, we could accomplish so many things… Great things."
The boy wonder shot him a dark glare before answering, still not understanding how the man could have discovered his true identity.
"I'll never work with you Slade, I believe in every Titan fighting out there. They will defeat your minions and we will defeat you!"
"My, my, such faith. But do you really think they will prevail? Do you really think you can beat me? After all these years, I'm still around aren't I...?" The tall man turned to face Robin and pointed outside. "Do you hear that? The echoes of battle. Your friends are sacrificing themselves for you out there, but it's pointless, they will never succeed. They will be crushed like all the others before them…", he then leaned over to the teenager and approached his face next to his ear, "and even if they did manage to defeat my army outside, do you think they would be in time to save you? Or that demon girl?" As he mentioned Raven, Robin's head shot up.
"What did you do to her?!", he shouted.
Slade scoffed slightly before straightening up again.
"Don't worry, she is alive. For now… What is important is that if you refuse to cooperate with me it will be far too late, if ever your 'little friends' get here."
Robin let out a small sigh at the new of his comrade, at least she was alive, he thought. They all had feared the worst.
"I believe in them Slade, I have faith and trust in my team because they are my friends. Something you apparently still don't get, they will come and we will defeat you!" He responded with a fierce expression on his face.
As he said that the mercenary kicked him in the stomach, sucking out all the air from the teenager's lungs and leaving him gasping for air. The villain then walked around him and kicked him again on the other side. The teenager was sprawled on the ground (as much as his shackles allowed him) and could feel ice spikes piercing his ribcage each time he tried to take a breath. He lay there, unable to move as the villain proceeded to hit him another four times, all the while laughing, before sitting back on his stone seat.
"Ah, friendship," Slade started after his deep growly laugh had died down, "it's a fool's lie to himself my dear Robin. Friends drag you down, they are a hindrance, they make you weak. And weaknesses are dangerous when one lives as a hero. You should know that more than anybody else here, what emotions and bonds lead to... Don't you Dick?", the masked man asked, taunting the Titan.
Robin gritted his teeth and did not answer, shouting at him or asking how he knew his real name would be playing into his hand and he would definitely not play Slade's games!
"No answer? Very well, do as you wish boy, you know it is the truth." Slade then turned over to one of the robots in the room. "Bring me the girl, this conversation lacks interest…"
Robin looked at him with an expression full of hate as one of the Slade Bots standing on the side of the room activated and walked out.