The teenage hero looked up as the doors of the huge hall opened again and two bots entered carrying a semi-conscious Raven. They tied her to the chains on the wall directly in front of Robin. He had had time to think during the few minutes the machine guards had been gone, while Slade had sat back down on his throne, awaiting their return. Apparently the evil mastermind had been deep in his thoughts too because as soon as they came in he rose to his feet again, taking his fingers off his chin.
"Ah! The demon's daughter has arrived!", he exclaimed with obvious delight.
The dark-haired girl looked up to him with a heinous glare but she did not respond to his obvious provocation. Robin could see she had cuts all over her face and her body, her leotard and her cape were in pieces and she still seemed to be out of it a bit even though she was conscious. What happened to her to get so badly beaten up?, he thought as Slade walked towards her. Apparently the masked villain knew the answer as he scoffed and mocked her again.
"Well, he seems to have beaten you up quite badly… Did you not want to fight him or are you simply too weak?", he asked.
This time Raven not only shot him a glare but she also spits on his face.
"Oh that is not wise girl…", he replied before heavily slapping the dark Titan in the face with the back of his hand.
Robin could see blood dripping from her mouth as Slade took a step back and wiped his mask. The teenager let out a growl at the tall man but Slade did not react and kept his back too him.
"So, tell me Raven, or should I call you Rachel?"
The girl shot her head up, still glaring, she looked at him with a neutral expression but Robin knew she must have been thinking the same as him. How the hell had Slade learned about their secret identity? And an even worse thought came to him: had he done anything with that information? As the leader of the Teen Titans was about to analyse the possibilities that this leak of info offered he was cut off by Slade's voice.
"What is your plan in coming here?"
If he had picked up on the two allies' thoughts or intentions he didn't show it.
"What makes you so confident that your foolish attempt to take me down will succeed?"
She did not answer and simply kept glaring at the villain, not wavering under his cold and hard gaze.
"You know," he started again after a few seconds of silence as he also started pacing in front of the dark girl, "I like to consider myself a patient man, after all I waited years to get to know all of you and to take you down. But, you know," he stopped about two feet from the place where Raven was chained, his back towards her, "I really don't like when people try to test this patience!", he shouted, turning back had throwing a hard punch at the girl.
He hit her in the stomach and, for an instant, Robin could see the pain showing on her face before she managed to put up her poker face again. She had simply let out a muffled groan but the boy wonder was sure she would have been screaming her lungs out if she wasn't being interrogated right now, he could sense the trouble she had staying conscious because of the pain.
He knew how strong and well placed the villain's punches were and was amazed at his comrade's resistance. Then the masked man hit her again, in the same spot, and this time she couldn't help but let out a shout. The masked teenager pulled on his chains in anger.
"I will kill you Slade!", he shouted.
The said person turned towards him and simply laughed.
"And how exactly will you do that?", he asked in an amused tone before hitting the young woman again.
This time she did not shout but still groaned, her face now betraying the intense pain she was feeling.
"You are powerless right now…"
"We are not powerless…", she croaked, spitting blood on the ground.
As Slade turned back towards her she quickly shot a look at Robin, making him understand that she could handle the pain and that they could not communicate anything to Slade at any cost. The masked villain hit her again, making her double over in pain, Robin could see her mind slip away. Only the chains maintained her standing now.
"Stop!", he shouted with another glare as the dark girl coughed some more blood.
"Why?", asked Slade in a curious tone, turning towards Robin.
The teenager could feel him gloating under his mask.
"Are you going to make me?"
The tall man walked back to his throne and opened a metal box that Robin hadn't noticed before. He took out a pair of chain mail gloves and put them on over his black leather ones. He then silently walked back towards the dark girl, Robin could feel her apprehension but, as she said nothing, he remained silent. He watched breathlessly as the man stopped before the girl and put his right hand on her head, forcing her to raise it. Raven tried to jerk it out of his grasp but he was too strong, she was trapped.
"This is a new gadget that I had made not too long ago. I've never tried it but I'm dying to…", Slade announced as he cracked his neck and breathed out.
Anyone else might have thought he was nervous at the idea of what he was about to do but Robin knew better. Slade was never nervous, he was always sure of himself and never backed down, he was simply enjoying himself. There was silence for a few seconds and then Raven tensed and opened her eyes wide, she was gritting her teeth as every muscle in her body was being strained by the pain. When Slade took his hand of her head she slumped down and seemed to relax a bit, though Robin could see her shivering.
What was that?, he tried to take a better look, racking his brain for an explanation to what had happened, but he didn't have time to take a guess as Slade spoke again.
"You are quite strong girl, that I must admit… But are you strong enough?", as he said that he put his hand on her head again, grabbing her hair and making her look at him.
Raven tensed again but this time it seemed too much and she opened her mouth, letting out a piercing scream of pain.