The Beast Inside

The Titans have united with old allies to defeat the great threat that is Slade once again but it is not a simple task, for the masked mastermind has assembled an army of fearsome villains to help his cause. Robin's plan was simple: find a way to breach the walls of the citadel and then unite their strength to defeat their nemesis. It was going quite smoothly until Raven got taken away before Beast Boy's eyes. Then it went from bad to worse when Robin got captured as Starfire was supposed to watch his back. Both the green teen and the tamarean princess are deeply affected by this. Cyborg, who is barely able to fight after being injured, can only hope to calm them down and get the team back on tracks. The Teen Titans' power does not reside only in their powers, and the half machine man knows that all too well, but will he be able to convey this to them? He can't help but wonder, however, what Slade's plan is and why some of the Titans are behaving strangely...


14. Chapter 14 - The System Reboot

When Cyborg came back to himself he felt extremely fresh and full of energy, even though his whole body was stiff and ached all over he felt like he could run as fast as Kid Flash. He blinked, trying to calm his racing heart and the flood of information assaulting his brain. He looked around him and saw the storm brothers kneeling near him and looking at him with concerned faces.

"Where am I?" He muttered, trying to get back his bearings.

He could hear the noises of fighting in the background but everything was blurry and dampened, like he was in a bubble, isolated from the rest of the world. Cyborg somehow knew it was because his systems were still reinitializing but it still felt weird.

"Still on the battlefield man." He saw the blond twin smiling at him proudly. "I charged you back up with my amazing powers!"

Cyborg registered the sudden surge of power, his batteries were empty one second and the next they were full, how was that possible? Then he remembered, he had asked Lightning to zap him and had used his antenna to redirect the power to his batteries. It was an extremely risky move as they were not made to be recharged so fast, they could have blown up and disintegrated him and everything in a twenty meter radius at the same time. He cringed at the thought, he had put his friends in danger and he hated himself for that, but it was the only solution he had at hand. And it had worked hadn't it? He looked back at Thunder's smiling yet concerned face and felt surprised to see the larger twin worried over something, it gave him an evil idea that would have made him smirk, a smirk that would have made even Cheshire proud, but he managed to keep his face straight, or at least seemingly dizzy.

"Who are you?" He asked, finding it difficult not to burst out in laughter. "And who am I?" He added.

For a second he wondered if he had gone too far, but the dread that took over the twins' faces told him the opposite. He could literally feel them panic and looked around with his brows furrowed to add to the realism of his little act. As they both looked at him, trying desperately to find what was wrong, he slowly started standing up, looking down to hide the broad smile plastered on his lips. Once he was finally back on his feet he shot his head up and laughed.

"Booyah!" He yelled, holding his aching belly. "Gotcha!"

He laughed even more when he saw fear spread on both his comrades' faces, then turning into incomprehension and then into understanding and slight exasperation.

"You shoulda seen your faces!" He roared, unable to control his laughter.

The twins both frowned and crossed their arms, visibly annoyed by the half machine man's prank.

"It's not funny!" Exclaimed the taller one. "We really thought your systems had been damaged!"

"Sorry, I'm sorry…" Replied Cyborg, trying to retain the giggles that were threatening to burst out any moment. "I just couldn't help myself, you both looked so worried!"

"Hey man, I just zapped you with half a million volts, of course we were worried!" Groaned the blond twin who seemed even more annoyed. "Anyway, we don't have time for this, we gotta go back and help the others. Are you feeling okay?" He asked as he turned around to see how things were evolving around him.

"Yeah, I'm fine." Said Cyborg turning back on to serious mode. "My systems are finishing the reboot now and I have to do one or two maintenance checks and a few quick repairs but I'll be okay. You should go help the others, I'll be right behind you!" He exclaimed as he opened a pad on his right arm and started typing commands in it to check the software for eventual bugs.

The twins nodded and after a last glare towards the tall Titan they smiled and patted him on the back.

"You can be such a pain in the ass you know, but it's good to have you back." Said Thunder before they both ran off into different directions and towards a villain.

Cyborg took out some small tools he always carried on him in case of emergencies and mentally checked his whole body to ascertain the damage, he found that only his right leg had suffered damage but that it could be repaired with what he had at hand at the moment. He ran an automatic software analysis and started working on his leg, unscrewing the protection, and started to solder the damaged joints together and checking the electrical connections. After a few minutes of meticulous work he felt satisfied with the result and knew that he wouldn't be able to do much better in the circumstances, he screwed the metal plate back in place and put away his tools before checking the result of the analysis. Apparently the reboot had corrected any liabilities that might have been created during his first shutdown and seemed to be perfectly back online. What's more his batteries were charged up to the maximum and he felt like he was going to blow up any second if he didn't act. He smiled and looked around the battlefield before setting his gaze on the stone citadel. The Titans seemed to be pushing back the villains and the army of robots towards the walls, that was good news, but he couldn't waste any time his friends needed his help and he wasn't about to let them down. He readied his sonic canon and set off towards the tall building, running as fast as he could and shooting everything that tried to stoping him. He was soon joined by Bumblebee that smiled broadly when she saw he was fine and Mas y Menos; the two speedsters were taking down the bots with their speed and their perfect teamwork. As they were slowly approaching the gates they heard a loud crash coming from inside the walls of the citadel and saw smoke slowly rising to the sky.

The roar had echoes throughout the walls, almost making the whole building shake with its power. Robin had quickly whipped around when he had heard it, he knew that sound despite the fact that he only had heard it twice before, he knew what it meant and smiled bitterly. He turned towards the villain still sitting on his throne as Raven seemed to stir from her unconscious state a little.

"You may not fear us Slade but that is not an advantage, it's one of yout biggest mistakes." The masked man simply looked at the teenager without answering, his emotions concealed behind his mask. "Friendship and affection may look like a weakness to you but it's what makes us strong, what pushes us to do anything for our friends."

"You think a puny group of super powered teenagers is going to stop me?" Asked the villain, his voice full of amusement and mockery. "Your numbers amount to nothing and not even your 'emotions', as you say," he commented sarcastically, "will change that…"

"You may have an army behind you but the moment you start losing the battle they will turn their backs on you. They will surrender or they will run, but none will be there to offer you help…" Robin replied, his voice as cool as ice.

Slade laughed again standing up and walked towards the leader of the Titans again.

"What make you think that the tide will turn in your favor you foolish kid?" He asked, his mask was now mere inches away from Robin's face. "Even alone against all of you, you could never defeat me!" He exclaimed.

"I have something, no. We have something you haven't Slade, something that keeps us going even when there seems to be no hope."

"And what might that be, young hero?" Demanded Slade, his mocking smile was almost visible behind his mask.

"Something you never had and never will have Slade. Faith. We have faith in each other and that gives us power…" Robin replied, letting a confident smile spread across his bruised face.

Once more Slade's laugh echoed through the walls. He stood up and looked at the masked Titan before kicking him viciously in the stomach once more, making him double over in pain.

"Well let's see how this 'faith' of yours help you defeat me…" His voice trailed off in the farthest part of the room as he walked away in the darkness behind his throne still laughing.


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