The Titan Gallows

Chapter 2: A Long Way Down

     Seven weeks before it had been three o’clock in the morning, and white mist had also slid over the waters, in that case the waters of Jump City Bay. Occasionally a gas truck or a delivery van had driven the road around the bay, and its headlights cast spectral shadows through the groves of scrub oaks which stood by the water. Suddenly one of the trucks turned and parked beneath a tree.

     Slade was driving the truck. Slade cut the motor and turned to the man who was sitting in the passenger seat. Slade said “Are you ready?”

     The man looked to be about twenty years old. He had black hair and black stubble, and he wore a gray sweat-suit with the logo of Jump City University on the chest. The young man called himself ‘Pale Fire,’ and he said “Yes – I have everything here.”

Pale Fire calling magic

     The young man picked up a black pack and stepped out of the van. Next to him another van pulled up, and then a third, and a fourth, until there were seven vans. All of the vans were different; some were marked with the mascots of bakeries, or cola bottlers, and one looked like a mail express truck; but all of them seemed to seemed to hum, as if they had motors much more powerful than anything that depended on petroleum. As the vans stopped, tall dark figures stepped out.

     These were Slade’s robots. One of the robots reached down and scraped a patch of bare earth about six feet across.

     Pale Fire said “Okay – This will be perfect!”

     Pales Fire took a stone knife from his back pack and made a slit in the back of his arm. Pale Fire said “You know, people in the movies always cut their palms or their thumbs or something, but that just takes weeks to get better. When you really know sorcery, you make a little cut, and you make it in the back of your arm!”

     Pale Fire got a few drops of blood and rubbed them on an oak wand. He told Slade in a friendly manner – “Now the wand is part of me!” Then he scratched six pentagrams on the ground, and he put a pile of wood chips into each pentagram. Then Pale Fire got six leather sacks from his pack-back. Pale Fire told Slade “I got hair or fingernail cuttings from each of them in here – thanks for your help with this!”

     “Oh, but of course,” Slade purred, “That’s what partners are for!” Each of the sacks contained hair or fingernail cuttings from a different Titan. Pale Fire poured each of the sacks into a different pentagram, and then he opened his wallet and fished out six scraps of paper. “Signatures, “ he told Slade “All of the Titans love to sign autographs, and I bought these off Ebay!”

     “Very resourceful!” Slade said.

     Pale Fire put the signatures onto the piles of hair and wood, and lit them with a flint. Like a grand chef, Pale Fire says “You can’t use a cigarette lighter for something like this – You have to be authentic!”

     Slade agreed “You are – quite an expert!”

   In a moment Pale Fire had six small fires burning. Pale Fire said a different name over each one. “Rav

en,” he said, and the first flame turned blue, and a blue plume of flame rose from it. The plume had a face like a panther. “Robin,” he said, and a red plume of flame rose from another pile, with a face like

a tiger. “Terra” he said, and a yellow flame rose, with the face of a leopard, and so on, until Pale Fire had made a specter for each of the six Titans. Beast-Boy’s plume was a predictable green, and it had a face like a monkey.

     The six plumes twisted around each other like the coils of a pretzel, and then they started spinning around Pale Fire like the electrons in an old animation of an atom. Pale Fire started giggling like a small child. Pale Fire told Slade “Your babies are ready!”

     Slade nodded, and he said “After our last – adventure – with the giant worms, Cyborg has rebuilt Titans’ Tower. Now the roof has a radar screen on every corner, and a laser beneath it. A bird could not get into the tower without an invitation. “ Slade reached into one of the vans and pulled out something with big black wings. “Fortunately,” Slade said, ”we have a bat.”

     The bat perched on Slade’s arm like a hunting falcon. However, the bat was a robot, and Slade flipped open a lid in its back. Using a pair of tweezers, Pale Fire picked up a coal or scrap of glowing ash for each of his six little fires, and set them into six receptacles in the back of the bat. The six specters seemed to think for a moment, and then they dived into the openings like snakes into their burrows. Slade flung the bat into the sky like an eagle, and it swooped across the water toward Titan’s tower.

     In the tower the girls were having a party. It was three AM, but the three Titan women were wide awake and parked in front of the TV. Starfire picked up an immense tureen and said “I would like some more of the father corn!”

     “That’s POP corn,” Raven said, “But be quiet in there or you might wake up the boys!”

     Starfire, Raven, and Terra were sitting on the couch in one of the lounges, watching a soccer game in China on the giant TV. Usually, only Terra followed soccer, but tonight all three of the Titan women were following the game intensely, because it was an international all-star match, and the Japanese Titan Bushido was playing for the Japanese team. Terra explained to Starfire “Beast-Boy thinks we idolize every Titan except him – so we will let him sleep through this one!”

     “Agreed!” said Starfire “And my Robin is so jealous of Bushido!”

     Personally, Raven wondered if Robin really was jealous, or if Starfire was just pretending that Robin was jealous; but Raven easily got sick of people, and doing something in the middle of the night without the boys seemed like fun to Raven anyway.

      Suddenly, Raven had a vision. She imagined that she saw a bat with six heads outside the window, and each of the heads belonged to a different Titan. Raven walked toward the window and the vision vanished. Raven shook her head and wondered what her vision meant. Are we all bats for staying up late at night? But that can’t be, she decided, because the boys are asleep.

     Raven turned back to the TV and saw Bushido chase the ball past a trio of Chinese blockers. Raven did not see Slade’s robot bat alight on the wall of Titans’ Tower, and she did see the bat run a magnet over the wall to find a section that had no wires. Raven did not even see the bat drill a hole through the wall and release the six specters into the tower. In fact, Raven barely had time to turn her head when the blue specter shot like a comet through her back and turned into a pentagram over her heart. The yellow specter seized Terra and the orange specter got a hold of Starfire, and the three women slumped onto the couch.

     On the other side of the water Slade saw the bat flying back to him. “Ah, “ Slade said, “Our messenger has delivered his message.” Slade plugged a cord into the side of his helmet, and seemed to be searching for something. At last he said “Now, I have Terra.”

     Pale Fire felt like he understood. Slade had once installed circuits into the brain and spinal cord of Terra. Slade had said these circuits were there to help Terra control her powers, and they did; but they also allowed Slade to control Terra. In time, Terra had learned to overcome the circuits, and Cyborg had been able to remove most of them in the med-lab – most, but not all. Slade told Pale Fire “I cannot control Terra when she is awake, and I cannot even control her when she is asleep, because the dear girl will just wake up. However, your spell has left Terra completely unconscious, and she cannot wake up. That means she is a puppet in my control.”

     Pale Fire watched as Slade seemed to be dancing with himself in the dark in the oak grove. Slade stood up and stretched, and in the tower, Terra stood up and stretched. Slade turned and surveyed the situation, and in the tower Terra did the same. Slade said “I see Raven and Starfire – they are asleep on the couch, watching a ball game! I did not expect that! I don’t see the young men – perhaps they are hung over and sleeping in their beds!” Slowly and carefully, Slade walked Terra down the hall to the control room, and he turned off all of the tower’s defenses.

     “Wow,” said Pale Fire, “We make quite team! But I get Starfire all to myself, right?”

     “But of course,” Slade said “I have said so from the beginning!” Slade knew that Pale Fire was in love – or, at least, in lust – with Starfire; and Pale Fire figured that once he got Starfire he could put a spell on her, ‘so she can see me as I really am.’ Getting his hands on Starfire was the price that Pale Fire asked for his cooperation. Slade asked the young man “Don’t you know I always do what I say?”

     “Yeah,” Pale Fire said, “I know that you are going to come through for me!”

     Something in the tone of Pale Fire was a little too smug, and Slade had to wonder why he was so sure. Slade said to Pale Fire, “Young man, I know you have my signature – on those checks I wrote to you. Do you also have, by any chance, a sample of my hair?”

     Pale Fire suddenly became frightened, like a child caught in the cookie jar, and said “No!” In fact, Pale Fire had been planning to put a spell on Slade too, when the time was right, and it surprised him to realize that Slade suspected.

     Slade pretended to accept the answer. Slade purred in satisfaction, and he said “I was just checking. Now, I have another question. As you know, we might find all kinds of difficulties. There might even be guests in the tower. What would you do if someone – like, say, Batman – walked up behind you and started choking you?”

     Pale Fire had been frightened by Slade’s question. Now Pale Fire wanted to cool Slade down, so he leapt at the chance to look humble. Pale Fire said “I could do nothing, partner! I am not a gunslinger!” Pale Fire tapped the side of his head and said “I fight with my mind!”

     “Excellent,” Slade said. Slade felt like he knew exactly how to deal with Pale Fire now. Slade tapped a button on the keyboard on his arm, and a robot stepped behind Pale Fire and started choking him. Pale Fire kicked and fought, but the robot was ten times stronger and in three minutes Pale Fire was dead. Another robot pulled a body bag from another van and dropped Pale Fire’s cadaver into it, and then Slade and the robots got back into the vans. The wheels of the vans turned sideways and started to spin like rotors, until the vans were floating like hovercraft. Then the vans slid across the grass and onto the water, and headed across the bay like a convoy of water beetles.

     At that very moment Robin, Cyborg, and Beast-Boy were not in bed; in fact, they were across town at a sports bar in one of Jump City’s Asian districts. The three young Titans were also watching Bushido’s soccer game in China. The other patrons of the bar were mostly immigrants, and they cheered or groaned heroically as the ball went from one side to the other of the screen.

     “Hot dog,” Cyborg said “I knew my man Bushido would find a way through that mess!”

     In fact Bushido was dribbling the ball like a rabbit across the field while four rivals few after him like hounds.

     Beast-Boy was feeling liberated. He said to Cyborg “What if the girls could see us now, huh?”

     Cyborg said “They would say we were hollering all night like a crew of headbangers!”

     Robin agreed, “It’s a good thing we let them sleep!”

     Beast-Boy agreed “Yeah! I needed a guy’s night out anyway!”

     Bushido and the Japanese All-Stars won in good course, and the three male Titans climbed into their T-Car and slid through the empty streets. Then, suddenly, Cyborg got a call.

     “Trouble, fellows,” he explained. “I am listening to the police scan, and – here, I will put it on the screen.”

     The screen was in the middle of the dashboard. It showed a live transmission from the Jump City police. The monitor showed a young man hanging by one hand from the parapet of an apartment building. The boy was naked and his head was shaved, and there was something odd about the shape of his arms, and the shape of his face. In his other hand, the boy was holding a fourteen year-old girl. The girl was wearing a pink nightie that flowed in the breeze, and she was screaming for her life.

     Beast-Boy turned into a squirrel to get closer. Cyborg was monitoring several bands and text transmissions all at the same time. Cyborg said “The police say he’s super-powered!”

     Beast-Boy said “Yeah! And he’s real strong too!”

     Cyborg continued, “They say the boy is twelve years old!”

     Beast-Boy said “But I don’t know, Cyborg – He looks a lot older to me!”

     Robin said “You’re right, Beast-Boy! And do you see how long his arms are? I think he’s a mutant of some kind. Cyborg!” Robin asked suddenly “Who is the girl?”

     “The girl is his sister!” Cyborg said “The police say there has been – they are calling it a ‘domestic disturbance’ and a ‘hostage situation!”

     The Titans arrived and got a better look from the ground. The mutant and his sister were seven stories up, on the cornice of an old building with stone eagles in the trim and a black steel fire escape. The young mutant had torn three stories of the fire escape loose and the shreds stood like a garden of spikes beneath himself and his sister. Robin said “I know you could grab one or the other, Beast-Boy, if you turned into a pterodactyl. But – “

     “Yeah, “ Beast-Boy said. He was now suddenly all business. Beast-Boy continued “But that boy is strong. If he goes crazy, he could hurt himself or his sister.”

     Robin thought for a moment. Then, he started giving instructions.

     A few minutes later Robin was on a ledge near the young mutant. Robin started by saying “Hi – I’m Robin. What’s your name?”

     “Mark!” the young mutant screamed. His eyes were gold and seemed to bulge like the eyes of a frog. The mutant named Mark looked at Robin and said “I’m a freak!”

     Mark’s sister had seemed to go numb for a while. Then, when she saw Robin, she started to life again. With her eyes wide and white and tears on her cheeks, she shouted “Marky!” Then she turned to Robin and said, “Would you make him put me down?”

     Mark flew into a rage. He said, “My name’s not ‘Marky!’ Marky is a kid’s name! My name’s Mark!”

     Robin said “Okay, Mark – we will call you Mark! Because that’s a man’s name, not a freak’s name! And you’re not a freak!”

     Talking quickly and calmly, Robin got the rest of the details of the problem. Mark had always been different, but he was going through puberty now, and he was getting to be stranger every day. That afternoon a group of local kids had chased him through the halls of his school, offering to put him on a TV show called “Animal Planet.” Mark had started screaming and gotten detention; but that afternoon when he got home he had started changing faster and faster. As he told Robin “I grew twelve inches in a single day! And my eyes -- !”

     Mark’s sister had her wits about her again. She said, “The doctors were giving him medicine, but he wasn’t taking it!”

     Mark seemed to want to fling her for a moment, but he stopped, and he screeched “I was taking it! AND IT DID NOT HELP!”

     “Okay, “ Robin said “We’ll put you on something stronger!”

     Mark started to laugh, a sick gurgling chuckle; and Mark said “You think that will put my eyes back in my head?” Mark tossed his head, and showed that he could roll his eyes in different directions at the same time, like a lizard. Mark said, “We are both freaks! My sister and I both!”

     Robin looked at the sister. The girl seemed perfectly normal, but she did not deny the charge. Instead, Robin noticed that her eyes were the same bright gold as her brothers, and then suddenly the girl’s eyes got even brighter; in fact, they seemed to glow like molten ore. “SEE!” Marky said “Everybody says I’m full of shit, but YOU SAW IT TOO. Her face gets all fucked up, and then she SAYS THINGS. She’s a bigger FREAK than I am!”

     Robin had to think for a moment. Two children with gold eyes who can do things that flesh-and-blood usually can’t? Robin thought They both might have inherited the same gene. But Robin put things in the best light, as he always did. Robin said, “Nobody’s a freak, Mark – unless you want to be. You are young – you are only twelve years-old – and only you can decide who you are and where you are going!”

     Mark’s sister looked up with something like hope on her face; but Mark snickered, a kind of pretend TV snicker, and underneath the snicker there was a real sob. Mark said “That’s easy for you to say! You are famous, you know! They show you on TV every night. “ Mark started to mimic a TV announcer, and he said “’Oh, look at Robin! He’s only fifteen, but already he’s an Olympic class black belt! Oh, look at Robin – he just wrote an essay on game theory! Oh, look at Robin – he has his own fan club! All the little groupies chasing him like a rock star!’”

     Now Mark changed his mode again. Mark looked directly at Robin, and he seemed to be bulging his already bulging eyes. Mark shouted “YOU HAVE ALL THE LUCK!”

     Robin was taken back for a moment. His mentor, Bruce Wayne, had talked to Robin about the jealousy that a successful person like Robin could provoke, but Robin still had to think for a moment before he could answer this crazy desperate boy.

     Then Cyborg answered for him. Cyborg stepped around the corner of the ledge, and he said “I hope you’ll forgive Robin there, Mark. Robin means well, but sometimes he sounds like he’s reading the slogans that President Ford carved into the wall of the public library!”

     Mark laughed. It was the first real laugh that the Titans had heard Mark make, and even Mark’s sister started to smile.

     Cyborg leaned over and asked the girl “What’s your name?”

     “Holly,” she said; and instead of gibbering, Holly raised her free hand to wave. This girl is strong, Cyborg realized; and he wondered where she had got her strength.

     “Okay, Holly, and Mark,” Cyborg said “I’m going to talk to you both about luck.” Cyborg pulled his left hand off his arm, like it was a glove; and then he pulled both of his feet off like boots and tipped them upside down, as if he were trying to shake the spiders out. Cyborg said “Did you know that I only have sixty-one pounds of real flesh left?”

     Cyborg talked about the accident that had destroyed his body. Cyborg talked about being in a coma for four months. Cyborg told about his father, who had been working on a battle suit for the military. Cyborg explained “So, my dad saw all of these steel legs laying around, and he’s got a son who isn’t much more than guts and a head –“ Cyborg let Mark and Holly put the rest together in their minds while he bolted his limbs back on. Finally Cyborg said, “People look at me and they say, ‘Oh, wow – he’s a big winner!’ But you know what?” Cyborg lowered his voice and said, “I can’t go wading in a mountain stream – I can’t even have a hot bath! Oh, I can put my ‘feet’ in there, but I don’t have any nerves in this tin rig – it’s just like pouring rain on somebody else’s tin roof!”

     Mark and Holly both started to laugh, and so did Robin.

     Cyborg continued “I got half a face and I got two inches of dick that my dad managed to save; that, and my stomach!” Cyborg smiled like he was confiding a secret, and he said “That’s why I like to eat so much! “

     Cyborg tapped his head and said, “You see, you have got to think! Whatever you get, no matter how small your share seems to be – well, the universe went by fifteen billion years without you, and you can be dead for a hundred billion years after you are gone – so why not grab what you can while you can? No matter how small it is, it’s better than nothing, and you can always be dead later!”

     Mark’s face seemed to soften for a moment, and Cyborg would spend years wondering if he had done the right thing next. Cyborg leaned over and pretended to tap Mark’s head; but then he grabbed Mark’s arm in a grip like steel. Mark released Holly, and she plunged towards the jagged edges of the torn fire escape. Holly screamed as she fell.

     And then a blur of green fur leapt into the air beneath Holly. Beast-Boy had turned into a gorilla, and he jumped around the corner of the building and caught her. Beast-Boy was moving too fast to stop, so he did not try. Instead, Beast-Boy bounded like a pinball through the wreckage, grabbing the round poles with his feet and avoiding the sharp edges, until he had carried Holly to the paramedics on the ground.

     Twenty minutes later the three Titans were back in the T-car. Robin shook his head; he was deeply disgruntled. Robin said “I wish we could have rode with them to the hospital!”

     “No,” Cyborg said, “You made the right call. We need to run a scan on their blood!”

     Robin had a cold pack in his hand. Beast-Boy pointed at it and said, “You took their blood?”

     “Affirmative, Beast-Boy,” Robin said, “If they are both mutants, they might have what’s called a mestastizing gene! Back at the lab we might be able to make a blocking agent, or even turn it around!”

     Cyborg nodded sadly. “Yes,” he said, “but that’s a big if!”

     The T-Car reached the edge of the Bay. The wheels of the T-car turned sideways and converted the T-car into a hovercraft, much like the hovercraft that Slade had used a few hours before. The T-car slid over the water, and ducks and gulls hopped out of its way. Time had passed, more time than any of the young men had expected, and already they could see the red disk of the sun rising like a coin out of the ocean.

     Robin turned to Cyborg and said, “You know, Cyborg, I have done some thinking, and you’re right!”

     Cyborg did not need to ask what he was right about. Cyborg knew Robin well enough to know what Robin was thinking before he said it. Cyborg had told Mark that Robin said too many slogans, and Cyborg knew it would bother Robin. Cyborg said “No, I wasn’t right, Robin. People need to have their eyes on the big picture, like you do, and they need to think about who they are and if they are making things better, like you always do. I like the way you talk!”

     Robin continued to castigate himself. Robin said, “No, Cyborg – I think you reached him, and I know I didn’t. I need to change my approach!”

     Beast-Boy could feel the tension in the air, and it was making him uncomfortable. Out of nowhere Beast-Boy said, “We’re here!”

     The T-car slid up the ramp to Titans’ Tower, and Cyborg lowered the wheels again. Being a Cyborg, Cyborg could interact with the building’s security using his internal radio. Cyborg told the tower to open the door, and it did. Beast-Boy said “I wonder if any of them are up yet!”

     Robin and Cyborg both laughed. Robin said, “Don’t worry, Beast-Boy! We will tell them about Mark and Holly, and we will leave out the part about the soccer game!”

     The three young men got out, and then Beast-Boy froze in his tracks. Beast-Boy turned into a bloodhound, and then he said, “Stop! I smell something!”

     Beast-Boy actually smelled a lot of things, and one of them was Slade. Slade had entered Titan’s Tower more than an hour before, and he found the three Titan women sleeping on the couch where the specters had put them. Quickly Slade stripped the three women naked and tied their hands behind their backs. Each of the specters had put a pentagram over the hearts of the women, and the pentagrams had removed their powers completely; but the women were still very much alive, and they were starting to regain consciousness. Slade gestured to his robots and sent them to find the men.

     And of course, the men were not there. The men had snuck out in the middle of the night to watch a soccer game at a sports bar, and the men had been so careful not to wake the women that they got past Slade completely. Now the three specters that were left were turning up and down halls aimlessly; and suddenly the green specter for Beast-Boy flew past a window and the sunlight turned it into a ugly puff of smoke, like a cheap firework. The other two specters died quickly thereafter. Slade knew he could not make more specters by himself, and he realized that had killed Pale Fire too early. I was too eager to get the job done, Slade told himself; and he felt almost proud of his mistake.

     Slade splashed water on the women and made them stand up. Raven was not in a good mood. “Slade, “ she said, “Are we ever going to get rid of you?”

     “Dear Girl,” Slade purred, “I thought my company stimulated you as much as you stimulate me.” Slade put his hand underneath her chin and caressed it.

     Raven refused to react, because she thought it would just turn Slade on. Instead, she was silent while Starfire asked, “SLADE – why did you take all our clothes?” Starfire sounded like Slade had violated some commonly known procedure, like she wanted to know why he had left the car door open in the rain.

     Slade was just as patronizing with Starfire. Slade told her “Because I was afraid you would hurt yourself. I was worried that your clothes might be full of communicators, or lasers, or – lock picks.”

     When she heard the word ‘lock picks,’ Terra blushed. Robin had been teaching Terra to use lock picks, but Terra had no idea how Slade had found out.

     Slade looked over the young ladies cruelly. Their nipples were already perking in the cool air, and their knees were shaking. Slade liked seeing both. Then Slade had a question of his own to ask. “Young ladies, “ Slade said, “where are your young men? At this time of day?” Hoping to provoke them, Slade said “Are they out getting drunk and chasing whores?”

     Starfire was always easy to provoke. Starfire shouted “You are wrong, Slade! My Robin does not need to go chasing whores! The whores all chase him!” As for herself, Starfire had been astonished to learn that Robin, Beast-Boy, and Cyborg had not been in their rooms when Slade and his robots went looking for them, and Starfire was curious herself about where Robin and the young men were. Nonetheless, Starfire said “The Titan men are all in China, watching a soccer game! But when they return, they will crack your skull like the egg of a bird!”

     That made Slade think a moment. Slade had heard that the Japanese Titan Bushido had been playing for the Japanese All-Stars in China, and Slade had even seen these three women curled up on the couch watching the same game. Slade realized that what Starfire said could be true, and if it was, it might be ten or twelve hours before the rest of his targets returned. That would give Slade plenty of time to rest and build traps. Still, Slade figured that he ought to make sure anyway.

     Slade said “Starfire, I think you are lying.” One of the robots grabbed Starfire’s middle, and Slade put his hand around her throat and started to choke her.

     Starfire screamed and started to gurgle, but she did not say anything. Beneath her ditzy exterior, Starfire was a Tamaranean warrior, and nothing could break her. After a minute Raven and Terra started to scream and kick Slade. Terra shouted, “Slade – she’s telling the truth!” And Raven gave all the of the statistics for the game. Raven had been in the same city a few months before, attending a workshop, so Raven was even able to talk about the hotels and the airports the young men used on a flight that they had not taken.

     Slade sighed gently and allowed Starfire to slump to the floor coughing. Terra and Raven dropped to their knees and huddled over her protectively. Slade said, “If they are flying in from the airport, they will be landing on the roof. I should go to see that – they are greeted suitably.” Slade had the robots keep the girls in the big living room while he jerry-rigged the lasers to shoot down any craft which approached, even if it gave the right signals.

     Of course, Cyborg and Robin already knew what was going on. The young male Titans were not going to be flying in from the airport; instead, they had taken the T-car across the water into the portal at the foot of Titans’ Tower, and as soon as Beast-Boy smelled Slade’s scent, Cyborg patched himself into the tower’s security cameras and sized up the situation quickly. They realized that Slade’s robots would hear the elevator, so they crawled up an access duct and burst into the living room from the ceiling.

     It was great battle. The robots started shooting immediately. The Titan men were cautious about returning fire because they were afraid of hitting the women. Of course Slade did not care about that. Slade flung himself across the room and sheltered himself in the middle of the women. As soon as the women realized this, they tried to break away, but Slade’s robots held them as shields.

     Robin shouted “Give it up, Slade! We have you surrounded!” Cyborg’s sonic cannon shot the heads off two of Slade’s robots, and oil sprayed over everyone. Beast-Boy turned into a sabertooth and leapt at Slade. Slade threw Beast-Boy over his shoulder with a judo move, but then Slade heard Robin shout “Titans! Attack pattern Delta Pinch!”

     Slade did not wait to find out what a Delta Pinch was. Slade knew he was in the middle of enemy territory; he had no secret tunnels of his own and the enemy knew the architecture better than he did. So, Slade turned to a secret weapon.

     The largest robot had not done much. It was big and black and clumsy, and it was loaded with a dimensional transporter that Slade figured could jet him back to his own lair. Slade hit the button on the transporter just as Cyborg hit the robot with an X-ray maser beam.

     The beam jammed the transporter but it did not stop it. The side of the tower blew out with a bright green light, and then the entire tower and everyone inside it vanished, leaving nothing but a big round hole in the middle of an island in Jump City Bay.

<< Previous Page || Next Page >>