Big Leagues

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

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FAN-FICTION DISCLAIMER
I do not own any rights to the DC Universe or any of its stories, characters, and settings. The DC Universe and all related stories, characters, and settings is the property of DC Comics and Warner Brothers, and are not my intellectual property. There is no financial gain made from this nor will any be sought. This is for entertainment purposes only.

Teen Titans Arc Part 1 

Nightwing swung and missed, and the parademon took the advantageous moment to kick him into the far wall. It was learning the longer they fought. And it was adapting its attacks to be on par with Nightwing’s mixed martial arts background. That was unnatural.
Nightwing had always thought of the creatures as mindless zealots full of teeth and claws with only a single, ferocious, driven purpose: to serve Darkseid. He never imagined they were capable of learning, and definitely not capable of adapting their attack or defense strategies. But then again, with Lourdes Lucero somehow controlling them, who knew how much the parademon could achieve.
Nightwing got to his feet, “how the heck did you get this thing to do your bidding Lourdes?”
“You will show respect, and call me Encantadora.” Lourdes stepped from the shadows, brushing aside her hair, and wearing a wirily smile. “I am master of all minds. And even if this one is from another world, it is still just another mind.”
The confidence and arrogance in her tone annoyed Nightwing. “Fine, you can control its mind. But how did you get a hold of it?” Nightwing hoped he could distract Lourdes long enough to gain some kind of edge. Feeding into the woman’s hubris had worked before, when he teamed up with Huntress in Metropolis to stop her. Why not now?
The parademon slashed but Nightwing blocked it with his boi staff, countering with a decisive kick to the creature’s midsection. “I mean,” Nightwing continued, “it’s been three months since Darkseid invaded, and was defeated. All of the invasion forces retreated.”
“Obviously, not all of them,” Lourdes snickered. “While you heroes were getting your butts kicked by the aliens, I decided it was the perfect time to get a few things I had always wanted.” The parademon swung, slashed, and growled, growing furious with not being able to defeat one little human. However, the main problem for Nightwing was trying to understand if the frustration was that of the alien, or that of the madwoman controlling it.
“I had taken control of them,” Lourdes continued, “after I looted a few jewelry shops. They were just sitting in an alley, totally oblivious of my presence.” She watched as Nightwing and the parademon sparred, a proud and confident smirk on her face. “It took only a little of the Mist of Ibella to enslave the simple-minded beasts. Now, I’m in the big leagues.”
Lourdes watched in disgust and disbelief, as Nightwing suddenly gained the upper hand, electrocuting the parademon. But no matter, she would win the night.
“What do you mean by, them?” Nightwing gasped between breaths.
Just then, more than a dozen parademons landed on the rooftop. “Control one mind,” Lourdes snickered, “and then you control them all.”
This is just great, Nightwing thought. How could he defeat a squadron of the aliens alone? He didn’t know the answer, but he’d eventually figure it out. That is, if he lived long enough. Luckily, he would not have to find out how long that would take.
One of the parademons turned and charged Lourdes, knocking her to the ground. It swiped at her necklace, yanking the vial of mystical liquid away. Looking down at a surprised Lourdes, the parademon morphed into a green-skinned man wearing a white and red outfit.
“Beast Boy?” Nightwing stammered.
“I’m called Changeling now,” he turned, smiling.
“You fool!” Lourdes shouted as she got to her feet. “If I’m no longer controlling them, what do you think they’ll do to us?”
Changeling chuckled, “don’t sweat it. I brought backup.”
Thunder roared as a boom-tube ripped the sky open. The parademons looked to the familiar trans-dimensional gateway and then back to the humans. From the edge of the rooftop a hulking presence walked closer, one redeye beaming. “Either return to your world, or we’re going to do some real damage.” Nightwing immediately recognized the voice; it was Cyborg.
When his friend stepped closer, Nightwing saw that the energy source for the boom-tube was emitting from Cyborg’s pulse cannon. Somehow Cyborg had managed to open a boom-tube with it.
“And don’t forget,” Cyborg continued, “you don’t have big bad Darkseid to help you any longer. So, what’s it going to be?”
Free from Lourdes’ control, the aliens were quick with choosing self-preservation. After the last parademon escaped into the opening, Cyborg sighed and closed the rift. “Not sure how much longer I would’ve held that.”
With Lourdes in handcuffs, her head sunk in utter defeat, Nightwing dragged her over to his friends. “Thanks for the assist guys, but I had it.”
“Um, sure you did,” Changeling laughed.
“You’re good man, but not that good.” Cyborg boasted.
Nightwing would’ve eventually handled the situation. He was trained, after all, by one of the best tacticians in the world. “Anyway, thanks. And don’t think I’m ungrateful, but how?”
Cyborg sighed. “Man, that’s why we’re here. We need your help to find out.”

Nightwing opened the door to his loft, Changeling and Cyborg right behind him. “Make your selves at home,” he said, throwing his domino mask on a nearby end table.
“Whoa,” Changeling awed. “It definitely ain’t no bat-cave, but way nice digs man!”
“Hmph, yeah, I get by.” Nightwing walked into his kitchen and yanked open the fridge. Pulling out three water bottles, he offered two of them to his friends, as he chugged one for himself.
Cyborg waved the offer off, looking out the window, admiring the wondrous view of Bludhaven. “From here, the city doesn’t look too bad.”
“Reason I picked the place.”
“Whoa, look at this.” Changeling was gawking at Nightwing’s computer system; there may have been some drool falling from the guy’s green lips. “Is this really a Nitro 10,000 Desktop Unit?”
“It is!” Nightwing boasted. “But seriously, I’m glad to see you guys and all, but I know you didn’t come all the way to Bludhaven to check out my pad and gear.” He turned to Cyborg, who was looking at a holographic image he was projecting unto the wall. “What gives? Gar, how did you morph into a parademon? And Vic, how’d you open a boom-tube? I didn’t see a mother-box in your hands.”
Changeling scratched the back of his head. “Well, back when they invaded, I actually bit one of the parademons. And yes, it was totally gross. But somehow that made it possible for me to morph into one."
“Um, okay. I'm not gonna even ask how that's scientifically possible." Nightwing turned to Cyborg, "don't tell me you ate a mother-box.” He tried to chuckle, but Cyborg did not laugh. He had always been one ready for a good laugh; but not today.
“I didn't eat anything,” Cyborg grumbled.
“Then how did you open the boom-tube?" Nightwing understood it was time to maintain all seriousness. Jokes and laughter would hopefully come later.
"That’s cause old Cyborg here, is like a giant mother-box.” Finished with his water, Changeling tossed the empty bottle away and jumped over the couch. Cyborg gave him a very displeased look. “Hey man, calm down, it’s cool. We’re gonna figure this out.”
“I’m not a mother-box,” Cyborg grunted at Changeling, dropping his head and closing his eyes. “At least, I don’t think I am. I mean, that wouldn’t make sense at all.” He shook his head.
Nightwing placed a reassuring hand on Cyborg’s shoulder. “Talk to me Vic.”
“It started the same day Darkseid invaded,” Cyborg began. “I was helping some people out of a collapsing building when this horrible high-pitched tone began resonating inside my head. None of the civilians could hear it, nor could any of the other heroes that were helping. It was disorienting and I couldn’t focus.”
Cyborg slumped down on the couch, aiming the holographic projection to show Nightwing what had happened next. As two of the alien invaders tried to get the jump on him, Cyborg had tried to use his sonic pulse cannon on them. Instead of a beam of sound bashing into them, a boom-tube split the air and the two were sucked away. Then when Cyborg had aimed the pulse cannon at the other invaders, they too were whisked away into the rift.
At first, the other heroes celebrated because, for the moment, the fight was won. But then they turned to Cyborg, a few of them appeared frightened. “We fought off three more waves of attacks after that,” Cyborg sighed. “I didn’t hear that tone any longer, and I didn’t use my pulse cannon.” The projection went on to show Cyborg and the other heroes in fist-to-cuffs with the parademons for what seemed to be hours, until multiple boom-tubes ripped across the skies and the invaders retreated. Cyborg and the others had then helped civilians find medical aid and shelter.
“When we got back to base,” Cyborg continued as the holographic projection faded away, “we all had learned that Darkseid was defeated by the Justice League. But as soon as the last news report had verified that there were no more alien invaders, a few of my teammates demanded that we run a diagnostic check on my systems.”
“What’d they find?” Nightwing mused.
“Absolutely nothing,” Cyborg said. “Test after test showed nothing to explain how I opened the boom-tube. So, the team chalked it up to being a miracle fluke. They figured that Darkseid knew he was about to be defeated, and ordered a retreat, but my sonic pulse cannon had somehow malfunctioned when the parademons opened a boom-tube.”
“Sounds like it could’ve happened that way. We don’t know too much about Apokalips’ technology.” Nightwing was calm, certain. He wanted to ease his friend’s anxiety and fear.
“No man,” Cyborg grunted “I know I opened it. And I’ve done it a few times since then. But the scariest thing is that I can even control where they lead to now.”
Nightwing could see that this was really troubling his old friend. All the time he had spent as a Teen Titan, he had only ever seen Cyborg this shook up once before; when Brother Blood was stalking him. He had to make sure Cyborg didn’t fall down a similar path as he once had. Self doubt, fear of his abilities, and mistrusting those closest to him, had almost cost Cyborg his life once. “How can I help?”
“I need you to find out what I’m made of.”
“Why me?” Nightwing asked. “Why not just go to your dad? I thought you two were getting along nowadays?”
“We tried that,” Changeling interrupted. “Doctor Silas wouldn’t give us anything to work with.”
“My dad’s hiding something. I don’t know why, but I can tell. And, I know you can find it out.” Cyborg swept his arm through the air, acknowledging the gadgets and computer in the loft. “You got some of the best tech in the world right here, you were trained by the world’s greatest detective, and I know you’re one of the best computer hackers around. If anyone could find anything, it’d be you.”
“Flattery will get you everything, huh.” Nightwing smirked. “I want to help, I do. But why not go to the league with this? They have way better tech, trust me, I’ve taken a peek at their stuff.”
“I trust you Dick. You’re my friend. Not them.” Cyborg frowned. “The League may see me as a threat without even giving me a chance. I mean, a guy with computer chips for brains that can out of the blue open boom-tubes to a twisted world once ruled by a despot with a god complex? They’d lock me away and throw away the key.”
Cyborg has always been rational and logical. This was a guy that alphabetized his can goods on a Wednesday, and then helped defeat Trigon the Terrible on the following Friday. However, his fear was not unfounded. Nightwing had talked to Batman a few times about the League’s might, and dangerous goal-oriented drive. If they knew that Cyborg was capable of opening boom-tubes at will, there would be some members that would want to lock him up until they figured out how he was doing it.
“Okay Vic, I’ll help.”
“Alright!” Changeling shouted. “It’d be like old times. Well, sort of.”
“My stuff here won’t do though,” Nightwing said, rubbing his chin. He chugged the third water bottle, tossed the empty container into the recycle bin, grabbed his domino mask, and headed towards the door. As he put on his mask he turned to his friends smiling, “I know where we’ll get the answers. And it’s going to be fun doing so.”


Submitted: September 01, 2022

© Copyright 2022 CENTAURI ADAMS. All rights reserved.

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