Too Many Long Boxes!
   
   
  • Belief
  • Of Bugs and Bug Men
  • Circus!
  • Collector's Item
  • Green Future
  • Hooray For Hollywood
  • Idiot's Delight
  • Mere Mortals…
  • Mister Zeus…
  • JUDGING!


  • End of Summer
     

    Green Future

    Poison Ivy vs. Titans

    by Michael Rees

    "Pod People!" Damage waved his arms about to emphasise his words "Pod People everywhere!"

    Arsenal ran a hand through his orange hair sending a cloud of pink blossom petals floating into the air "So much for keeping calm from now on."

    Damage turned for support to Troia, the longest standing member of the Titans, but she seemed oblivious to the danger around them as well. The only one who seemed worried at all was Argent, who was nibbling on her lower lip.

    Troia put a reassuring hand on the young man's shoulder. "I know you want every mission we go on to be full of excitement but sometimes this is what happens, we arrive at the place and find everything is completely normal. We've already spoken to the Mayor. The reason nobody's heard anything from this town for a month is because a storm took out most of the power lines and they've only just got everything fixed."

    Normal was not a word Damage would have used to describe the people of Butemount, New England. Even in a small town like this Damage would have expected more noise than this. People slowly went about their way never muttering a word. The roads were clear, cars abandoned, covered with a pink layer of petals like everything else.

    "There is something odd here." Argent watched a middle aged man in a crumpled plaid shirt shovel the blossom into a sack. "These people are definitely zombie material. The slow unhurried pace, the out of date clothes, weird trees."

    "You haven't been in the country much have you?" Arsenal looked up into the bright blue sky which was only marred by a plume of smoke in the distance, his shades protecting him from the glare of the sun. "But since this is such a nice place I suppose it wouldn't hurt to stay for a while longer."

    Troia looked at Arsenal in admiration. Was it possible he was becoming more responsible or was he just trying to impress her? She turned back to Damage who still had a look of apprehension on his young face.

    "We'll meet you by the T-Jet in an hour if you want to investigate. Call if you have any problems," Troia pointed at the gleaming vehicle, parked on the Town Square.

    "Um? Okay." Damage didn't have a clue where to start and was relieved when Argent placed a pale silver hand on his arm and pulled him away. "We won't let you down."

    Argent shook her head "Let's go before you embarrass yourself further."

    The young heroes strolled down the street away from their older teammates passing more people sweeping up the blossoms into sacks.

    Exploring the rest of the town, Damage and Argent found that each street was lined with the same large trees with brownish red trunks exploding at the top into pink blossom. The air was thick with them, pink petals falling like snowflakes.

    Everyone seemed to have a thin layer of the petals covering them, resting in their hair, getting into their clothes and sometimes falling onto their faces. More than once the young heroes had tried to point this out to the town's people and had only been greeted with blank stares. It was if they couldn't see them.

    "Here's what I am thinking," Damage said after awhile.

    "Pod people?" Argent asked sarcastically.

    Damage looked about trying to see if anyone was watching them. "I think this is mind control."

    "Oh great, the last thing I want to do is fight these people. Do you know how bad it will look if anyone sees us fighting old men, women and little children?" Nearby Argent saw three children working together to pile up the pink petals and she shuddered. "It's the petals right?"

    Damage nodded. "It's everywhere and they don't seem to notice it. It also seems to make them want to collect the petals on the ground."

    Argent raised a finger in the air. "Wait. If they don't notice the petals how can they collect them?"

    "I don't know. Maybe they just don't realize what they're doing. Like they're sleep walking. It's probably safe to say we're not affected probably because we're both not quite human, but Arsenal and Troia have been. We need to get them out of here and get the rest of the Titans."

    "I don't think that's going to be easy," Argent said, her voice rising in fear.

    "Why?" Damage noticed that Argent was trembling, gazing past him down the street.

    Turning Damage saw four burly men advancing on them, muscles bulging from under their shirts, fingers gripping iron bars and chains. At their heels were a pack of fierce looking dogs.

    Backing away Argent glanced over her shoulder and saw more men and women coming out from between the buildings, weapons in their hands.

    "There goes our image," Argent said weakly.


    "Excuse me, are you the Teen Titans?" The smooth calm voice intruded on Troia and Arsenal's quiet walk around the Town Square.

    Arsenal adjusted his quiver in irritation " Teen? Do we look like teenagers?"

    Troia placed a hand on Arsenal to calm him down. "Yes we're the Titans. How can we help you?"

    They found the owner of the voice was a short man in a tweed suit, his large gut threatening to escape from the confines of his pale yellow shirt.

    "I am Mr. Adams and I run a plant shop here. I need to deliver seeds to a buyer in New York, but unfortunately the delivery service which was supposed to do the job hasn't turned up." Adam's face flushed red. "I wouldn't normally ask, but it is urgent and I thought since you're based in New York…."

    "That's right, the Titans; standing for truth, justice and next day delivery." Arsenal turned to walk back towards the T-Jet.

    "We'd be happy to Mr. Adams." Troia wondered if she wasn't being too nice but she always had trouble saying no to people who asked for help.

    Mr. Adams clamped his hands together in joy. "Oh thank goodness. I wasn't sure you'd agree. If it's okay I'll get my employees to start loading your plane with the crates."

    "Crates?" Arsenal came over " Just how many are there?"

    "Four or five I think." Mr. Adams' face fell. "That won't be a problem will it?"

    Troia shot Arsenal a warning glance. "No of course not. There's plenty of room on the jet."

    "Oh good. I'll be back shortly." With that, Mr. Adams strolled off.

    "You are too kind sometimes," Arsenal said planting a light kiss on her cheek.

    "Roy Harper, the Titans are here to help, besides, what harm could it possibly do?"


    "Look out!" Damage shouted as he picked up a man in jeans and blue shirt and threw him at the rest of the crowd.

    Heeding the warning, Argent sidestepped the teenager who was charging her. Unfortunately, this placed her into the path of a woman wielding a broken bottle. Releasing a bolt of silver plasma Argent destroyed the offending weapon, covering the woman in glass.

    "Isn't there something we can do to snap them out of this?" Argent threw up a silver plasma shield that protected her from the rocks being thrown by a group of small children.

    "Maybe if we had better powers. Batman could probably use Tibetan mind exercises to snap them out of it, the Martian Manhunter could use his own mental powers to free them and Superman could inspire people to fight whatever is controlling them." Damage grunted as a lead pipe connected with his shoulder "What have we got? The power to fire silver plasma and a teenager who explodes."

    "But our morale is great." Argent was coming to realize why Damage was so eager to please the elder Titans, to prove his own worth to himself.

    "Here I go again!" Damage started to glow with a yellow light. "Keep back!"

    The kinetic energy that Damage had been absorbing with every attack on his body was finally released, sending a group of people somersaulting into the air. The force knocked Argent to the ground, her silver plasma shield quivering under the force.

    "Whew!" Damage said trying to regain his breath. "Is anyone hurt?"

    Looking around, he saw that the crowd was surging forward again, more angry than ever. The people he had accidentally blasted had landed on a nearby car, shattering its windshield. But they were already picking themselves off, brushing away the broken glass.

    "Should they be bleeding sap?" Argent's eyes grew wide as she saw green liquid flowing down the arm of one of the people climbing off the car. "You're right! They are pod people!"

    Another man charged Damage, but the young man was quicker, grabbing his assailant's outstretched arm and swinging him around, using the man's own momentum to push him back into the crowd.

    As he turned, Damage looked at the people approaching from the damaged car. They did indeed seem to be bleeding sap and a green growth was visible in the open wound. However, Damage noticed that one of them must had landed face first on the car and had broken his nose, letting red blood flow down his face.

    "Look's like some parts of them are plant, but they're still mostly human," Damage said backing towards Argent. "I don't know for how long."

    "You mean they're turning into plants?" Argent threw out a swirling curve of silver plasma that tripped over the approaching horde. "I knew all the years of eating salad would come back to haunt me."

    "Argent, we need to get out of here. If Troia and Arsenal are infected we might not have much time before they change as well." Damage looked around for an escape route.

    "One escape route coming up." Argent flung her hands up into the air, pointing above the heads of the people in front of her. A flare of sliver streaked forwards, leaving a shimmering platform into its wake.

    Following Argent's lead Damage leapt up and pulled himself on to the platform. It seemed to flow beneath him and didn't feel very sturdy. Makeshift projectiles battered the underside of the platform as Damage ran up it to reach the top of a general store.

    "Hurry, that platform won't last much longer!" Argent said frantically from the rooftop. She could already see the silver surface of the platform becoming transparent, and the angry faces of the mob beneath.

    With all his strength Damage threw himself towards the lip of the roof just as the platform vanished. He felt the rough brick scraping against his hands and gripped as hard as he could, his body slamming against the store sign.

    "Now we only have to get back to the T-Jet and get out of here." Damage pulled himself on to the roof.

    "Yeah, everything will be fine once we get back to the T-Jet," Argent said looking into the distance at the small figures loading crates into their craft.


    The black box hummed quietly to itself, the flashing light on its top keeping a rhythmic pace for the movement of people around it, placing crates bearing the Adams Plant shop logo along the walls of the jet.

    "Is that what I think it is?" asked Argent.

    Damage nodded grimly. "It's a bomb."

    Not wanting to tamper with the explosive and set it off, Damage walked down the ramp away from the cargo bay of the T-Jet. The people carrying the crates paid no attention to him or Argent, who followed closely on his heels.

    Under the shade of one strange tree, Arsenal sat sharpening the head of a makeshift arrow constructed out of a branch. His head rested in Troia's lap while she played with his hair.

    "Hello you two." Troia said cheerily. "Find anything?"

    Damage and Argent looked at each other wondering to what extent the elder Titans were being controlled. In the end Argent pointed at the crates, arranged around the ominous black box.

    "What are they doing?" she asked trying to keep the fear out of her voice.

    "Blame Troia here, we've got to make a delivery of seeds to New York." Arsenal savagely pushed the knife into the arrow cutting a long strip of wood away. " Five crates he said, five! Something tells me Mr. Adams needs counting lessons."

    Troia tapped Arsenal on the head lightly. "Don't worry. There'll be plenty of room for us in the cockpit."

    "What about the bomb!?!" yelled Damage, his patience evaporating as the whole scenario got more complicated. " I suppose there's a logical explanation why we have to have that on board as well."

    Arsenal pushed himself up, and for a moment Damage thought he was going to charge him, but he stopped at a sitting position. " Watch the voice level Grant. That black box isn't a bomb, it's a cooling device, apparently the seeds need to be kept at a certain temperature."

    "It didn't feel cold," Argent said turning to Damage.

    "Why would they put all those seeds on T-Jet and then blow it up?" Damage rubbed his forehead ignoring the confused looks that were passing between Troia and Arsenal.

    A look of worry appeared on Argent's face as she came up with the answer. "If the T-Jet blows up over New York those seeds would be scattered all over the city. What if the seeds belong to the weird trees?"

    "Who knows how fast they grow? We could be looking at the Big Apple being covered in blossom in weeks, maybe days." Damage gripped Argent's arm in panic.

    "That wouldn't be good." Argent's eyes glazed slightly as she imagined trying to fight off everyone in New York.

    "We've got to get those crates off the T-Jet." Damage strode towards the craft, his fists clenched in determination.

    Troia bounded to her feet and chased after the young man. Arsenal pushed himself to his feet and followed. By the time he had caught up to the others, Damage was pulling the crates from the workers hands.

    "Stop right there Damage." Troia said. "We've given you the benefit of the doubt, but that doesn't give you a license to push these people around."

    "I'm just trying to save everyone from being mind controlled!" Damage said without pause, continuing his mission to stop more crates from being placed on to the T-jet.

    "Again with the mind control!" Troia shook her head, causing her hair to shake like a black mane.

    "I think mind control is involved here." Arsenal said, taking his bow from its secured position on his back.

    "You do?" asked Argent approaching the others.

    Arsenal nodded as he fit an arrow from his quiver. "It's you two. You're not normally this much of a pain in the butt. Put the crate down Damage."

    Damage froze where he was, his back to Arsenal. He didn't need to look to know he had an arrow pointed at him. His powers gave him a certain level of invulnerability, but Arsenal was an expert, and if anyone could find a weak spot it was him. Holding a crate firmly in his hands, Damage weighed the options.

    "He's right Grant. If you were thinking clearly you'd see how insane this all is." Troia edged towards the silent Damage. If she could talk him out of this, there would be no need for violence.

    Hearing Troia approaching, Damage knew he had to act now. Quickly he slammed his foot down, absorbing a small amount of energy that he released as a small explosion. The crate blew apart sending seeds everywhere temporally blinding Troia and Arsenal.

    "Come on!" Damage yelled as he ran towards Argent.

    "Be serious, how are we going to win a fight against those two? They'd beat us easily." Argent watched as Troia and Arsenal recovered, brushing the small brown seeds from their faces.

    "We're not fighting, we're running," Damage said simply, his eyes searching for an escape route.

    An arrow struck Damage in the calf and then shattered. Nonetheless, it hurt and caused Damage to stumble, as Arsenal intended. Troia launched herself into the air, the stars on her black costume shifting as she did so.

    Argent helped Damage regain his balance, and she created a silver barrier behind them which glided towards the archer. "We seem to be doing a lot of running today."

    Damage smiled. Trust Argent to raise his spirits. Concentrating, he set off explosions with every footstep sending a cloud of earth and grass into the air. Argent coughed, but it seemed to do the job as above them Troia maneuvered around it, attempting to get a clearer view.

    Soon they hit the pavement that surrounded the Town Square, and the two young heroes dashed for the narrowest street they could find, a plasma preventing pursuit.

    After flying over the town several times, Troia returned to Arsenal who was staring at the exploded footprints in the ground. As she approached he looked up and saw disappointment in her eyes.

    "No luck?" He asked.

    "I've looked everywhere. Its seems they were paying attention when Dick was teaching his stealth lessons." Troia landed lightly next to Arsenal. Behind him, people continued to stack crates, the back of the craft was almost full and if it weren't for the jet's powerful engines she doubted it would get off the ground.

    "It'll be night soon, and I am not going to bed down in the jet for anyone." He lowered his shades and shot a roguish glance at Troia. "Despite the tempting company. I've got a little girl at home who's waiting for a bed time story."

    "We should give them an hour or two more but I agree, the sooner we get back the sooner we can get support. Maybe Nightwing or Cyborg would be able to help." Troia looked out into the town and wondered where their errant companions were hiding.


    "The sooner we get back, the sooner we can get support. Maybe Nightwing or Cyborg would be able to help." Argent said fidgeting with the new clothes they had grabbed from a Dumpster. "I can probably fly us back."

    Damage concentrated on buttoning up the green shirt which was proving difficult as it was two sizes too small for him. "If we go back, the conversion process will go on turning these people into plants. That might make it more difficult to change them back, if they can be changed back. Troia and Arsenal will only get worse as well."

    There was movement from the end of the alley, and they both caught their breath. Four middle aged women in pastel colored clothes staggered past pulling sacks overflowing with petals which were starting to turn a brownish shade. After they were gone, they felt they could breath again.

    "We could have used Nightwing as well, he's used to fighting Poison Ivy." Argent stared balefully at the frayed jeans she was wearing.

    Damage looked up in surprise, the top button popping off his shirt "Poison Ivy? How do you know it's her?"

    "Please, plants are her MO! Plus Gotham villains are all that anyone's fighting these days since the Arkham escape. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, the Marvel family, Supergirl. They've all been mixing it up with people who usually only Batman gets to beat up," Argent explained.

    "Poison Ivy would like to see everyone turned into plants. I'm sure she's hiding out at the plant shop owned by that Mr. Adams. That's where the crates came from, and I noticed his address on them. Let's go." He turned to leave but Argent caught him by the wrist.

    "Wait, what about a plan?" Argent said plaintively.

    "Oh yeah, we should have one of those." Damage paused and thought. "Okay, how about we…"


    The green surrounded Poison Ivy, its presence intoxicating her. Lying on her back, she took in every root, every stem, every leaf. A carpet of grass and bushes bled into a wall of creepers, ivy and moss before reaching the ceiling of flowers, branches and leaves punctured only by patches of glass revealing the clear night sky.

    "Soon the whole world will be like this!" she announced to her slaves around her who sprayed the plants with water and tended their soil. "Plants living supreme."

    With a wave of her hand she summoned another mind-numbed servant to her, and he quickly brought her a tray upon which sat a glass of water. Poison Ivy sipped the clear liquid and let out a sigh of satisfaction. She placed the glass back on the tray and moved to plant her green lips on the servant's face but paused.

    "How strange. Before I would have let you go into oblivion in the embrace of my toxic touch, but soon you'll no longer be a destroying animal but a life giving plant. You'll be able to work off your sins in this life in your next." She laughed at the idea while the servant stood silently and unmoved.

    Brushing aside the plants, Ivy watched the long line of townspeople dragging sacks full of petals and heaving them into the hastily built, red brick furnace. Fire consumed the plants sending a dark cloud of smoke into the air.

    "Yes, work hard my slaves, soon the word 'human' will be a long forgotten nightmare." With a gesture a plant throne formed itself for Ivy. "No more war, no more pollution, and no more extinct plants."

    "Get real," scoffed a young girl's voice, "If you really cared about plants and weren't a homicidal maniac you could have done some good in the world instead of sitting on your butt in Arkham."

    "Who said that?" Poison Ivy scanned the room and saw one of the slaves dropping her watering can and throwing off her long coat to reveal her pale skin. "You're one of the Titans!"

    Argent smiled. "Right. And you're plant food!"

    With that Argent threw two silver spikes straight at Poison Ivy, but Ivy twisted to the side. The spikes continued on and embedded themselves in the plant throne that squeaked in pain.

    "Have you any idea how long it took to grow that?" Poison Ivy grabbed two yellow orbs hanging from a nearby bush. "Almost as long as these gas berries!"

    The yellow orbs arced through the air, exploding inches away from Argent and sending a thick cloud of yellow spores into the air. Choking, Argent covered her mouth and dashed towards Poison Ivy and away from the yellow cloud.

    "It takes more than that to beat a Titan lady!" Argent said as she pointed to the ceiling. "Heads up."

    Moving her finger, Argent traced a silver beam across the ceiling causing the plants to recoil and the glass to crack. A glass panel came free at one side and swung straight towards Poison Ivy, knocking her across the room.

    "Now as I was saying," Argent continued as Poison Ivy struggled to her feet, brushing the glass off her green leotard. "Someone who wasn't one strawberry short of a fruit salad could revitalize the Amazon jungle, create plants that purify the air, or any number of non lethal things."

    "Why should I? Why should plants have to clean up after humans? Are you saying that we have to put up with you humans as you ruin the world?" Poison Ivy grabbed two thick vines off the wall behind her and threw them at Argent. "I don't think so little girl. You've made a mess and now you're going to pay for it."

    The vines snaked towards Argent and wrapped themselves tightly around her, squeezing her young body. While she struggled to free herself more vines entangled her and raised her off the ground. Poison Ivy wiped a small drop of blood from her lips.

    "Where are your glib remarks now? You were stupid to try and fight me. I am the future, Titan, the green future." Ivy extended her arms pointing to the green plants and the docile slaves.

    "Sorry, green really isn't my color," Argent said struggling to breathe.

    The vines held as Argent tried to break free. She fired her silver plasma bolts, but the damaged vine was quickly replaced until she was encircled right up to her shoulders.

    "It's you who is going to be plant food, and you'll die knowing your friends will be responsible for spreading my blossom trees all over New York." Poison Ivy pointed upwards and Argent tilted her head back to look through the hole in the ceiling.

    Against the darkening sky the silhouette of the T-Jet could be seen, carrying its deadly cargo to the Big Apple. Within seconds it had flown from view. Dejected, she hung her head, watching the plants tightening around her.

    "Don't worry Argent, here comes the cavalry!" bellowed Damage from outside.

    Looking back out the window Poison Ivy saw the young man pushing through the line of people by the furnace, pulling off his shirt revealing his dark blue and orange costume.

    "Stop him!" Poison Ivy screamed. "Beat him to a pulp!"

    Following her commands, the townsfolk dropped their sacks and moved to block Damage's path. One balding man with a snowy beard caught Damage and was shrugged off, but then a young woman grabbed Damage's leg. Using his strength Damage tried to continue on only to have a teenager about four years younger than himself leap onto his back. Another person grabbed his arm and another his remaining free leg. Despite his impressive strength Damage collapsed under the sea of people.

    While Poison Ivy watched the mob attack Damage, Argent took her chance and concentrated her silver plasma. Rather than a bolt she concentrated on its shape so it flowed up over her body and cut through vines on the ceiling. The soft green bodies of the dying vines that covered her cushioned her fall.

    "Your plan has failed," Ivy said moving towards the freed Titan. "His distraction won't save you."

    A gloved hand caught Argent on the side of her face as she stumbled to her feet. Staggering backwards she tried to remember the hand to hand combat lessons the Titans had given her. Worryingly her mind was coming up blank, far more preoccupied with the aching pain in her jaw.

    "I could command my slaves to kill you, as I did before, but I think I'll enjoy exterminating the last human with my own hands." Ivy blocked Argent's ill timed punch and pivoted around, kicking Argent back down to the ground. "It's a pleasure I'll miss when all of mankind is turned into plant life."

    Over the rushing in Argent's ear, she could hear Damage crying out in pain as the townspeople struck him again and again. With some difficulty she blocked out the sound and concentrated on Ivy as she advanced to deliver another blow.

    "You never had a chance little girl. You're one of the lesser Titans, one of the lesser heroes. Do you really think you could compare with Batman? Superman? Even the Atom has a more impressive image than you do. Little wonder mankind is going to die because of you." Poison Ivy delivered a vicious kick with a booted foot only to have it stopped by Argent's arm.

    "You're wrong," Argent spat, pushing Poison Ivy's leg back nearly toppling her. "The fact is, we can't leap buildings in a single bound, afford crime fighting gadgets or shrink, but we still try to save people. That is what makes us heroes!"

    Poison Ivy watched in surprise as Argent forced herself to her feet. Trying to keep the upper hand, Ivy surged forward, palm out to deliver a knockout blow. Argent caught Ivy's wrist and twisted, putting the older woman into a painful arm lock.

    "You're the lesser person here. You, not me." Argent punched at the area on the back where Nightwing had said it would cause the most pain. "You're wrong about me, and you're wrong about something else as well."

    Poison Ivy tumbled forward, her hands flaying at where Argent had struck her. She came to a stop in front of the window. Outside Damage was pushing off the mob, glowing brightly in the night. Ivy was barely aware that Argent had moved right next to her.

    "Damage wasn't the distraction." Argent paused, relishing the moment. "I was."

    "Now Argent!" Damage shouted as he struggled to hold onto the energy coursing through his battered body.

    A silver wedge blew apart the window and pushed the mob far from Damage, who continued to glow brighter and brighter, illuminating the sacks around him. Satisfied everyone was clear, Damage released the energy in a huge explosion.

    What remained of the green house was blown apart. Argent's shield was the only thing that prevented the people around her from feeling the effects while displaced air roared around them like a gale force wind.

    The sacks released their load, sending brown petals everywhere, buffeted through the air. As they flew, they released a strange bitter odor. The slack jawed slaves suddenly started to blink and look around.

    "We worked out the only reason you had everyone collecting the petals was if they contained an antidote when they decomposed." Argent was enjoying the look of horror on Poison Ivy's face. "That or you were a real neat freak. We bet on the former."

    The brown petals continued on their way, floating through every street, freeing the rest of the townspeople. They stood bewildered wondering why they were placing darkening petals into sacks.

    By the furnace, Damage came to. He had blacked out momentarily after taking the beating from the mob and holding on to such a large amount of energy. Aching, he made his way to Argent who was watching Poison Ivy carefully.

    "Plan worked," he said through a strained smile.

    "Plan worked." Argent smiled at him. "Psycho plant lady caught."

    "You can't catch me and stop your friends from reaching New York!" Poison Ivy stared straight ahead, shaking slightly, struggling to control her rage.

    "I hate to agree with the villainess, but she's right." Damage looked up into the dark sky with his one unswollen eye in a futile effort to see the T-Jet.

    Argent paused and looked at the red haired woman, her green laurel crown slightly askew. Finally she said, "We beat her once, we can beat her again. Besides, the townspeople can watch her."

    Several of the freed slaves nodded and moved forward surrounding Poison Ivy. Argent didn't know whether they would be able to hold Poison Ivy, but she didn't have much choice.

    "Don't worry," said a young woman. "I am a deputy, and she won't be going anywhere without a fight. Go save New York."

    Argent created a platform and signaled to Damage to step on board. "We need to get some of those petals quickly."

    "We'll be back as soon as we can to collect Ivy." Damage said as they started to fly away.

    The townspeople watched as the young Titans flew into the air, heading towards New York.


    Several hours later, Arsenal threw a ball across the floor so it bounced into the water, almost striking Tempest on the head as he swum by. "Stupid mind control."

    "Hey Harper, watch it!" Tempest dove under the water to avoid anything else that might be thrown in his direction.

    "Come on Arsenal, it wasn't your fault," Argent said, resting her tired feet in the cool water of the swimming pool.

    "I just thought I had conquered the whole willpower problem." Clenching his fist, he tried to avoid Troia's gaze.

    Donna ran a hand slowly through his hair. She remembered how he had struggled with his addiction to drugs and hated to see him blame himself for what Ivy had done. It was best to change the subject.

    "Have we told you how proud we are of you two?" Troia asked as Damage pulled himself out of the pool.

    "I don't know Donna, you've only told them a hundred times." The Flash sped into the Titan's base and a second later reappeared donned in a swimming costume. "Talk about last minute rescue though."

    "We didn't think we were going to make it." said Damage, drying himself off with a nearby towel.

    "Your flying speed is definitely improving Argent." Wally leapt into the water, swum across the length of the pool, swum back and leapt out, drying himself off.

    "Thanks Wally, that means a lot coming from you." Argent shielded herself from the large waves caused by Flash's passage.

    Tempest surfaced in the pool and turned to face Wally. "What have we said about using your super speed in the pool?"

    Cyborg arrived, his golden skin shining brightly in the morning sun. "Well the T-Jet is just about fixed. Good job Damage. Didn't rip the door off, just pried it open."

    "Sorry about that. I needed to get to that bomb quickly." Damage winced as he accidentally rubbed the towel over one of his bruises.

    "You did the right thing. That bomb exploded moments after you threw it of the T-Jet. Lucky we were so high, otherwise someone could have got hurt." Arsenal looked over at the sleeping form of his daughter, Lian, who was lying on the next sun bed. "You made sure one little girl kept her Daddy. I am grateful for that."

    "Shame Poison Ivy got away," Argent looked at her reflection in the pool.

    "Don't worry, Nightwing and Starfire have gone out to see if they can find her." Troia lay down on one of the empty sun beds. "She'll turn up and will be brought to justice for what she's done."

    "You know, Poison Ivy said that the future was going to be green," Argent said turning to face the other Titans "But all I see in her future are prison bars!"

     
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