Disclaimer: I do not own any DC characters or locations. All rights belong to DC Comics.
Note: Well, I should be able to finish up this current story arc in a couple more chapters after this one (unless I go off on a tangent, as I'm apt to do), and I'm looking for all the feedback possible on how this is going so far. I don't care if you tell me how much you love it or you have criticisms (friendly and constructive, criticism, mind you, not the 'this blows' kind of criticism). I'm always looking for ways to improve! Also, while I do have the next couple of arcs planned out already, I'm always open to ideas. Are there any guest appearances you'd like to see in the future? Any particular villains you'd like to see? Let me know! That is, of course, if anyone out there's even reading this xD
Rose Wilson: The Ravager #5
Int. Bat Bunker – Night
Rose dreams that night, while Dick works to patch up her wounds. Even when knocked out cold, her mind suffers from the lingering effects of Scarecrow's fear gas. Her eyes flicker rapidly beneath her eyelids, fingers twitching and jaw clenching. She can't escape it this time, there's nowhere to run. All she can do is lie there and suffer her nightmares...
Ext. San Francisco, Central Police Station – Day
Three months ago...
A swarm of cop cars are gathered around the station, lights flashing. Officers stand behind their squad cars, staring at the building and waiting. Hostage negotiations haven't been working, and the perpetrators are starting to get impatient. Snipers haven't been able to get a clear shot, either. As far as hostage situations go, though, it's pretty normal. Or at least, it should be. But the victims aren't just nameless civilians, no.
This time, the hostages are some of their own, fellow police officers that were taken when their very own station was assaulted by several heavily armed men. They fought back, sure, but they weren't prepared for it. The gunmen overpowered them and set up inside the station, barricading themselves inside. They won't come out, they said, until their demands are met. The negotiator is on the phone with them now, trying to settle things.
Negotiator: If we can just all calm down here, I'm sure we can get everything sorted out in a timely manner. We just need to-
Gunman/Phone: No! Quit stalling, man! We're sick of you stalling! We told you, we want our buddies released from prison. That's it!
Negotiator: I assure you, we're doing everything in our power. But, it isn't as simple as you think, we just need more time.
Gunman/Phone: No more time! Just get it done, or we start shooting people!
And with that sentiment, the man hangs up.
Police Chief: That's it, I want this situation ended, now. I won't have police deaths on my hands, not today. Send them in.
Another officer looks over and nods. The Teen Titans have been on standby now for the past twenty minutes. Hostage situations aren't normally what they're brought in to deal with, but given the urgency of the situation, they were called in to put a quick end to things, if needed. Now that standard negotiations have failed, it's their job to put a stop to this.
Red Robin: Alright, we want to be quick and precise. There's no reason why there should be any casualties. Bart, I want you in first to disarm them. Make sure they can't hurt anyone.
Kid Flash: You got it.
Red Robin: Once their weapons are gone, it should be pretty standard. Get in there and bring them down. Wonder Girl, Superboy, you take the east entrance. Kid Flash and I will take the front. Beast Boy, Raven, take the west entrance. Ravager, you take the rear.
The Titans hurry off to get into position, waiting for Red Robin's orders to commence the attack. However, they're soon interrupted by one of the gunman's voices coming in over a bullhorn.
Gunman: I sure hope you costumed freaks don't intend on storming this place. That'll only get everyone killed. The entire place has been rigged with high powered explosives; any of those doors open without my say-so, and boom!
The man laughs smugly, before the his voice cuts off from the bullhorn. The Teen Titans discuss the situation over their headsets.
Kid Flash: Okay... so what's the plan now?
Red Robin: We'll have to think of something else. If the place is really rigged to go up, we can't go in. We risk the hostages dying in the blast.
Ravager: Or he could be bluffing. I mean, come on, you really think they had time to set up that many explosives in the past hour?
Red Robin: It's definitely possible, and it doesn't matter if they are bluffing, we can't take the chance. Our job isn't just to stop the bad guys, Rose, it's-
Ravager: -to save the hostages, right, I know. But come on, you don't really think these guys are serious enough to be suicidal, do you?
Red Robin: I can't answer that, I'm not a psychologist. Either way, I don't want to take the chance that-
Ravager: You know, for a leader, you really don't like taking chances. I thought being a leader meant making hard decisions? Doesn't that mean taking risks?
Red Robin: Risks, yes, but not unnecessary ones. We can still find another way around this.
Wonder Girl: What if Raven teleports us inside with her soul-self?
Raven: That would not be advisable... we do not know the specific nature of how these explosives are set to go off, if they do exist.
Red Robin: She's right; if they're rigged with proximity detonators, we could end up setting them off the moment we materialize.
Ravager: Well, hurry up and figure something out quick. Those cops are still in there, and the gun toting psychopaths are going to start killing them soon.
Red Robin: I haven't forgotten that, Rose, just give me a minute!
Ravager: Screw it, I'm going in. They're bluffing, I know they are.
Red Robin: Do not go in! I repeat, do not go in, Ravager, that's an order! Even if there aren't explosives, Kid Flash goes in first to disarm them!
Ravager: If I go in there, they'll be shooting at me, not the hostages, and I'm more than capable of handling a few idiots with guns! Or, when no explosives go off, then you send him in and we handle things. Just trust me on this.
Red Robin: Ravager, I'm warning you, don't go-
Ravager: Oh, shove it.
Int. San Francisco, Central Police Station – Day
Ignoring him, Ravager pushes the rear door open; it isn't locked. When nothing explodes, she steps inside to the center of what looks like a collection of offices and glances around.
Ravager: See, nothing to worry-
And that's when she spots the blinking lights, coming from small metal devices attached to bricks of explosives.
Ravager: -oh $#@&!
She instantly dives into cover, just as the explosives go off. The thunderous booms deafen her for several moments, leaving behind a loud, annoying ringing deep her ears. She isn't quite certain of what happens next, only that the walls and ceiling begin to collapse above her. The only thing that saves her from being crushed is the heavy metal desk she crawled under just before the chaos.
When everything is quiet, Ravager pushes her way out of the rubble, coughing as she breathes in a thick plume of smoke. It takes her a moment to get her bearings, looking around in a daze. The room she's in is up in flames, with half the structure obliterated by the explosives. She hears a hissing static over her headset, no doubt the other Titans trying to reach her. It won't do them any good, though, she can't make out anything they're trying to say.
Rolling over a pile of burning wood to the floor, she coughs again and crawls back up to her feet, trying to find the exit. It's difficult to see through the smoke and fire, but she knows she can't be that far away from making it back outside. Before she takes three steps, though, another section of burning ceiling collapses directly above her.
A yellow blur moves in from out of nowhere and pushes her out of the way. A small grunt escapes her lips, as she falls to the floor, just barely escaping the falling rubble. When she looks back to where she was a moment before, she sees Kid Flash lying there, his leg trapped beneath a heavy beam. She immediately gets up and runs over to hm
Ravager: Bart! The hell are you doing?
Kid Flash: Oh, you know, just saving your beautiful behind.
Ravager: You should be helping the hostages, not me. That's our job, remember?
Gripping the beam in both hands, Ravager forces it up off Kid Flash's leg and moves it aside. She then offers him a hand, helping him to his feet.
Kid Flash: I already checked on them. They're dead, Rose; the hostages, the gunmen... all of them.
Ravager feels a numb sensation begin to form in the center of her gut. She bows her head, letting out a heavy sigh.
Ravager: %#@$... I really screwed up on this one.
Kid Flash: Yeah, but we can discuss that later. For now, let's just get the hell out of- OW!
The moment that he puts pressure on his leg to run, Kid Flash recoils in pain, hopping on one foot.
Kid Flash: Crap, I think my leg's broken. I can't run on it.
Ravager: Hold on, Freckles, I got you.
Throwing his arm over her shoulder, she allows him to lean against her for support, then starts walking with him through the smoke.
Ravager: I'm pretty sure the exit is somewhere over here.
Kid Flash: Somehow, that doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence.
Ravager: Shut it.
Within a few moments, the partially blocked doorway comes into view, about fifty feet away through the smoke and fire. Ravager leads them both towards it, trying to quicken their pace.
Ravager: Where the hell are the others, anyway? I mean, I'm grateful and all for your help, sure, but wouldn't it make more sense to send in the invulnerable duo?
Kid Flash: Superboy and Wonder Girl are trying to keep the whole building from going down, and the others are trying to handle the near riot.
Ravager: Riot? What are you talking about?
Kid Flash: The cops, Rose, they're in an uproar. You just got a bunch of their friends killed and they're p@#&$d, not just at you, but the Teen Titans as a whole.
Ravager: Well $%@#, is was just an accident.
Kid Flash: A pretty big one.
Just as they're nearing the exit, the whole building begins to shake. The walls quiver and the foundation groans, while more and more debris begins to fall from above.
Ravager: I thought you said they were holding the building up?
Kid Flash: Well they can't keep it up forever, move!
Ravager picks up the pace, going as fast as she can while dragging along the injured Kid Flash. A mere five paces from the doorway, a large burning section of ceiling caves in, crashing down above them.
Kid Flash: Look out!
He pushes her forward, super accelerating his limbs to send her flying. Ravager lurches over the burning rubble pile in front of the exit, going airborne.
Ext. San Francisco, Central Police Station – Day
She lands hard on the pavement outside, sliding a few feet before coming to a stop. Groaning, she starts to push herself back up.
Ravager: Geez, Bart, what the hell were you-
When she looks over her shoulder, however, she doesn't see him there with her. That's because he never made it out of the building, instead sacrificing himself to make sure that she got out in time. All she can do is watch as the police station crashes in on itself, engulfed in an ever growing inferno.
She stands there, stunned, just staring at the flames. She doesn't even notice the other Titans approaching.
Beast Boy: What's going on, where's Kid Flash?
Ravager: He... in there...
Wonder Girl: You left him behind?!
Ravager: No, I didn't! I swear, I was helping him and he-
Red Robin: Helping? You were helping?! You're the one who set off the explosives off in the first place! I told you not to go in there, Rose! I gave an order!
Superboy: Maybe he's still alive, maybe I can go in and-
Raven: No... I can no longer sense him. He is gone...
Screaming angrily, Wonder Girl reaches out and grabs Ravager by the throat, lifting her up.
Wonder Girl: What the hell is the matter with you?! Look at what you did, Rose! You got him killed!
Beast Boy: Cassie, hey! That isn't the way to deal with it, let her go!
Ravager makes no attempt to escape, merely choking in weak breaths as Wonder Girl's tight grip threatens to crush her neck. Eventually, though, Wonder Girl releases her.
Wonder Girl: We never should have let Bart go in after her! We should have just left her in there!
Wonder Girl: No, Conner, don't try to defend her! Her life isn't worth Bart's!
Turning her back on them, Wonder Girl storms off in a fit. If she doesn't leave now, she might end up ripping Ravager apart. The others give Ravager a long look of their own, then follow to try and help with damage control. Only Red Robin remains, just staring at her.
Ravager: Tim, I-
Red Robin: Not now, Rose. Just... not now.
He shakes his head a couple times, then he, too, turns and leaves her. Ravager can only hang her head, never having felt more like a worthless screw up in her life.
Int. Titans Tower – Night
Rose walks slowly down the halls of the tower, alone and isolated from the other members of the team. The others have been busy dealing with the fallout of her mistake, while sending her back here to be by herself. She knows why, she isn't stupid. Right now, she's their least favorite person in the world. They probably hate her more than any villain on the list at the moment. Of course, she doesn't blame them. She screwed up big time, and it resulted in Bart paying the ultimate price.
Now, Rose had never been Bart's biggest fan. The kid had always been impulsive, grating, immature... though, while she would never admit it out loud, she really did have a soft spot for him. Deep down, he'd always had a good heart, and he'd always meant well. Of course, she'd never told him that... she'd just never got around to it. Now, she never would.
She kept replaying the moment over and over in her mind, the biggest mistake she'd made in recent memory. Tim had told her not to enter the building. It had been a flat out order, and she should have listened to him. But she hadn't. She had thought she knew better, and instead ignored him. Her actions got Bart killed, and that's something she now has to live with for the rest of her own life. There was a time not too long ago where she would have been blaming everyone but herself, but this time she knows there's no way around it. It's her fault, plain and simple.
As Rose rounds the corner of the hallway, she hears voices coming from the main lounge of the tower. She comes close to the door and stops, hearing her name. Instead of entering, she remains there for a few moments, just listening.
Cassie: She's a menace! I knew that trusting her would be a mistake, Tim. I told you. Sooner or later, something bad was going to happen, and it did!
Beast Boy: You know she didn't mean it. We all know it.
Cassie: It's not about whether or not she meant it; she was reckless, hot headed, and arrogant. That arrogance got our friend killed!
Conner: I thought she'd changed... Heck, I liked her, I really did, but this... She got a lot of people killed today, not just Bart.
Raven: She knows this... I can feel it. She understands the mistake she made, and feels remorse... grief.
Tim: That's not the point, though... I don't doubt she feels sorry for what she did, but feeling sorry doesn't change what happened. She acted like a child, and the results were catastrophic.
Cassie: She shouldn't be here. She'll only keep causing problems for the team, and who knows who else will get hurt because of her?
Beast Boy: We can't just kick her off the team for one mistake, though. Yeah, it was a terrible mistake, and I'm not saying she shouldn't be reprimanded; Bart was a friend to us all, and his loss is...
Beast Boy: Yeah... tragic. But are we really just going to kick her out the front door?
Cassie: You sure wouldn't hear me complaining. You're forgetting, though, this isn't just an isolated incident out of the blue. Rose has a long history of destructive behavior, and you can bet it'll happen again if she stays. I don't want her here.
Conner: I know how you feel, but it still isn't that simple. It can't be...
There is a small pause before Tim speaks up again.
Tim: I wish this were a simple matter, but Conner's right... it's not. She has been an important member of the team for a while, but Cassie also has a point. Rose hasn't really ever... fit in, not completely, and her behavior has a history of causing problems. This latest incident seriously compounds those issues.
Beast Boy: Then what do you propose?
Tim: I... don't know. I'll think on it.
Rose is already walking back down the hallway again, away from the lounge. She can't sit there and listen to them talk about her anymore. Already, her throat is numb and nerves tingle hotly, feeling more and more like crap every moment. She clenches her jaw and tightens her fists, trying to make herself angry to cover up for the fact that her eye is beginning to dampen. She whispers quietly to herself, as she heads back to her room to start packing.
Rose: Don't waste your time thinking... I'll make it easy.
Ext. San Francisco City Streets – Night
Rose takes one more look across the bay at Titans Tower, the dark structure dotted with a few bright lights coming from several different rooms. She doubts that they know she's gone yet; they seemed pretty keen on avoiding her for the time being. When she can finally stand gazing at the tower no longer, she turns from it and slips her helmet on, then revs her motorcycle's engine.
Rose: Later... losers.
On that note, she speeds off down the street, her destination unknown.
(Chapter #6 Preview: How exactly does Dick feel about Rose's reckless behavior and her near death experience? And how will they work to catch the Scarecrow and stop his plot with Daggett Industries? Find out next time!)