First off, WOW! I am so excited about this story. It has come so far and there is so much to come! I would like to take this chance to give a great big shout out to my very great buddies and betas, the one and only JLA Fan (the giggler), and TheLon3wolf8986 for keeping me on my toes and lending useful information and a hand when needed. You guys are the BEST!
I do not own Batman, Nightwing, or related characters, (though I wish I did) and probably never will. I am making no money off the publishing of this story and write about them because they are the best! Now read, review, and be inspired before I bore you with my ramblings…
"Be your own inspiration… Let your mind wander, and you shall see the far off shore of your own escape…"
Beijing China Destroyed
Beijing China Engulfed in Flames
Beijing China – Act of War?
"It's covered every news channel and made the front page of every newspaper worldwide. The cultural city literally exploded in a huge ball of ash and smoke. Many buildings are in ruins and many are left homeless. Mass casualties and a death toll estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands. Many are missing and hundreds not yet identified…" Another building exploded in the background followed by screams and yells of pain. A small baby's cry could be heard over the running and mass confusion.
Dick watched the television in his small Blüdhaven apartment intently, not once removing his eyes from the screen. He had just returned from his day job as officer Grayson and was more than happy to be home on the couch, the take-out Chinese long forgotten. A quite yet noticeable 'beep' from his computer consol momentarily rescued him from the stupor he had fallen into wall processing all the devastating information regarding the fall of Beijing. He rose from the couch and made his way over to his computer and turned a switch allowing him to see the face of Oracle, also known as Barbra Gordon.
"God Babs, have you seen the news?" He asked anxiously.
"That's why I'm calling. Bruce is 'out of town' and you being the World's Second Greatest Detective I want you to take a look at some video feed I managed to get hold of."
"Sure, but why? I thought you were the all-knowing Oracle?" He teased but opened another window on his computer playing the video he received from her. Dick watched mesmerized by the scene. People were on the streets, walking to work, going to the store, living their lives like they would any other day. And then out of nowhere a first explosion rocked the streets. Rubble flew in every direction, people fleeing for their lives as the turmoil continued to erupt around them. "My God…" The video continued to run for a few more seconds before abruptly ending and presenting a blank screen to the overwhelmed Dick. Moving the cursor on his screen he opened the window with Oracle's anxious face.
"It's horrible Babs. They didn't have any warning, no time to run for cover, no chance in living hell to survive."
Eyes downcast Barbra spoke for the first time sense Dick's viewing of the film. "God Dick I know. I was hoping you might see something I didn't. I've watched it what seems like a thousand times over, and I don't see anything that could potentially point us in any direction." Barbra sighed in defeat and looked to Dick for confirmation on her statement.
"I'll have to watch it again Babs, no one, not even Bruce could make anything of that the first time round."
"Wait, before you watch it again, here's another feed from a few blocks away." Opening the file, Dick once again thrust all of his thoughts to the back of his mind, concentrating only at the task at hand. This film showed similar scenes to the one before. There was one man caught on tape however that spiked Dick's interest. Rather than running towards the safety of the still standing buildings and joining the confusion like the other civilians around him, he ran strait down the street. It was then Dick noticed what he was running towards, a little girl standing alone in the confusion, crying and unsure what to do. Upon reaching the girl, he picked her up, and hugged her close, muttering soft words of comfort into her ears. Locking her arms tightly around her saviour, the little girl buried her face in the crook of his neck and continued to sob. The man looked around and started to run for cover. "At least there are some people out there who care for kids. Thank God they got away…" Dick had spoken too soon. As the man ran towards to what appeared to be the remains of a damaged hotel, the street was torn up behind him. Screams of agony tore through the morning mist, and the man and girl crashed to the pavement in a heap… dead. Dick removed his eyes form the screen unable to look on any further.
"Babs, we have to do something. We need to help them. Have you watched that video?" Upon receiving a nod of conformation he continued. "That little girl was what? Five? Six? A few years older than Lian, not much though. The way the street was torn up, that was an aerial attack, like gunshots or something from a plane, not bombs, or explosions from near by buildings. Those people were being shot at like white rabbits in an open field! Whatever is happening out there Babs, it isn't a mistake or an accident. This was planned. Precise. The people executing this monstrosity knew exactly what they were doing. I am gona go contact Wally and some of the old Titans and see what we can do. Talk to you later Babs, love you."
"Love you too Dick, and if and when you end up out there, be careful."
"I will." And with that Dick cut the connection to Barbra and was once again left staring at a blank screen. "What have we gotten ourselves into this time?" He asked no one in particular. Making his way from the computer to his phone he hastily picked up the phone and dialled the familiar number of Wally West's home.
"Hello?" Flash greeted while picking up the phone.
"Hey Wally, it's Dick –"
"Dick! Have you seen the news?!"
"Yeah Wally, that's why I'm calling. I was hoping you could help me round up some of the New and Old Titans and have them meet in Frisco. Think you could help me out?"
"Sure Dick, give me a few seconds, and I should have everyone rounded up."
"Ok, thanks Wally."
"No problem, see you in a few."
An hour later, both the new and old Titans were sitting in the main conference room of the Titan's base, their undivided attention given completely to their leader as he explained their current situation.
"Okay everyone, listen up. As most, if not all of you already know, Beijing China was hit by a devastating wave of uncontrollable fires and explosions this morning. It is our duty, as Titans to help them. Crime has been reasonably low as of late in our neck of the woods, and I think it is best if we as a uniformed team traveled to China to help anyway we can." Nightwing looked around the crowded room fondly. These people who surrounded him. These amazing people with superhuman abilities, and talents, his friends, his family trusted him. They regarded him with utmost respect, and he couldn't be more proud of them, and the people they had become.
There was a collective murmur from those surrounding him, agreeing with his statement and offering assistance in any way possible. Cyborg was currently sitting in a chair facing the Titan's massive computer, typing away furiously as he brought up a large map of China. Following Nightwing's gaze the Titans shifted their attention from their leader to that of Cyborg.
"As you can see here…" Cyborg began while pointing to a spot on the Northeast side of Beijing. "The explosions originated in this rough area." With a nod of his head Nightwing beckoned his friend to continue. Pressing a key on the keyboard, a red dot appeared on the screen, soon followed by a second further traveling in the direction of central Beijing. "This is the third explosion, followed by the fourth, fifth sixth, and seventh." He concluded as five more dots appeared on the screen. "As you can see, they form a perfect line. The seventh explosion in the direct centre of Beijing."
"What are you trying to say Cyborg?" Nightwing asked, though he felt he already knew the answer. "What I am saying is, this was no accident. No mistake, or mechanical malfunction. This was planned and executed in a professional manor. Who ever planned and carried out the attack was and has been prepared for it for weeks, maybe months."
Whispers and muffled gasps erupted around the room, as Nightwing once again resumed control of the group. "I agree with Cyborg, this was without a doubt an act of war of some sort. Just before we met today Oracle relayed me two video feeds taken from a satellite. The way the street was torn up from the attack, I believe it may have been an aerial mission. These people knew exactly what was happening, and what was going to happen. Exactly how many people would be killed, and how many injured. Exactly which buildings were going to be caught in the explosions, and which ones fires would rage upon. We need to get there as soon as possible, and if anything help people find a place to stay the night. Who or whatever our opponent is, we must stop it."
"I agree Nightwing, but clearly this is not going to be a simple task. How exactly do you plan on even starting to find and strike out at the enemy when there is so many priorities that come before that." Raven asked not opening an eye, while she was meditating a few feet away from the group.
"Uh yeah, and dude. How are we going to get around the language barrier?" Changeling asked from the opposite side of the room.
"Well first off to answer Raven's question. True, there are many priorities that come before the enemy in this case. However, we can't ignore the fact that there exists such a force to wreck the havoc it did. At this point in time, it's best if we divide ourselves into groups, depending solely on where our abilities will make the most difference in cleaning up this mess. Raven, Tempest, and Arsenal will go to the hospitals. Flash, Wonder girl, and Cyborg, you can take the streets. Help look for survivors. Changeling I want you to head to central Beijing where the last and worst explosion hit. Mountains of rubble are trapping people alive. Help any way you can, try to sniff out survivors. Argent you and I are going to head down to one of the main military bases in southeast Beijing. The general has agreed to set you up with a computer, and then you can patch through to Oracle and direct the mission from there."
"As for the language barrier, I speak mandarin fluently and Cyborg you told me you had a program that acts as a translator for all languages right?"
"Sure thing, I got every language you can think of programmed in this baby." He said proudly while point to a small disk in his hand. "Russian, Japanese, hell I even got Tamaranian and Azarathian text in here."
"Good, that will be more than helpful."
"I am also some what familiar to Mandarin, though can not speak fluently." Raven stated quietly.
"Sense when?" Changeling asked.
Ignoring Changeling's question Nightwing beckoned Cyborg to continue as he was clearly trying to say something. "I could probably make a smaller version of the translator for our communicators, but it will take a few days. Maybe a week our two."
"That's excellent to hear Cyborg. Everyone else, do your best for now. As for you Changeling, do what you can, I will try to get to you as soon as possible to help out so you arn't completly alone."
"Any questions?" When no one raised a hand or spoke up, the mission report had been concluded and the Titans headed for the newly improved T-Jet. It was far larger than the original and contained two separate planes if needed, an infirmary, separate bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, gym, and the main control hub where any meetings or mission debriefings were to be held. They had never used the Jet before, or as Cyborg called it, 'The flying version of Wayne Manor' but were more than anxious to do so. If it was as good as Cyborg promised it was, then there certainly weren't going to be any complaints.
"Hey Night!" Nightwing turned around to see Arsenal running in a slight jog towards him, while the other Titans went to grab anything else needed before take off. Changeling of course heading for the bathroom. Cyborg had never, and will never forgive him for the time he had to go in the original T-Jet. -The bathroom hadn't been built yet.
"What's up? You better go grab your things Roy, we're leaving in ten."
"Yeah I know, I just wanted to ask. What do you think this is Dick? I mean I don't think I've ever seen explosions like that. They were so… perfect."
"Honestly Roy, I don't know. But I agree. Everything was horribly perfect, and I don't like it one bit."
"COME ON Y'ALL! WE GOTTA GO! THERE'S PEOPLE TO SAVE!" Cyborg's voice boomed over the intercom.
"I guess that's our queue. I gotta go and call Lian and tell her I'll see her in a about a week or so. She's staying with the babysitter at the moment and will want to know that I am leaving." Roy ran down the opposite hall towards the living quarters, leaving Dick alone with his thoughts.
"No. I don't like this one bit. Why do I have the feeling we are in way over our head?"
"Well, it's not like we haven't been in over our heads before. It's not like Trigon was a walk in the park." He said out loud to no one in particular. Dick sighed and made his way down the hall towards his room. Upon reaching his room he grabbed a grey bag with the Titans' logo on it and stuffed in an extra uniform along with some other basic items. Taking a look around his room making sure he hadn't forgotten anything he caught sight of a picture. It was of him and Barbra in the shade of an old tree in the park a few months ago. He loved that picture, they were both so happy. Without a second thought he grabbed the frame and took out the picture, carefully placing it inside his bag.
Running down the hall towards the jet, he couldn't help but think about the videos Barbra had sent him. He would help these people, and stop this menace, if anything for the dead little girl that reminded him so much of his niece.
OHHHHHHHHHH! What will happen next! You review, I update that's how it works. I need some sort of motivation to continue!
And also know, that at this point in time, Starfire is still lost in space after her and Dick's failed attempt at getting married. Poor Dick eh?
I am sorry if this has disturbed anyone, and please understand I have nothing against Chinese people, and many of my friends are in fact Chinese.
Thanks for reading!