Okay, well...its been a while. Quite a few stuff has happened since I was gone apparently. A lot (mostly) new faces to be seen and such. Gee, how do you go about re-introducing yourself? I guess it doesn't matter. I suppose I should explain all this. Basically, a re-write of my first Fan-Fic because I didn't like a lot of things which I did in it (like that title). So yeah, I'm going to go through it again. Pointless you say? Maybe. But I'm obsessive like that so...sue me. Here's the first chapter anyway. Thankfully most of them won't be quite as long as this dozy! Project Redemption Chapter 1: Betrayal It was a hellish day to work the night shift. Although the sky was perfectly clear, a bitter wind howled through the city, bringing a biting chill along with it. People clung to their coats and hats, fearing that they might be stolen by the wind. Regardless of the weather however, it was a perfectly peaceful night, much to the gratification of all security personnel within the FISCO Labs building. The building was oddly in the shape of a cross. It climbed up to the dizzy heights of around five-hundred feet, and had enough space left over on the roof for a small private helicopter to land on. The roof was larger of course, but the space was taken up by numerous other things, such as vents and the like. There was a single double door leading to the inside of the building, and it was guarded by a single man each night. The position was considered to be just about the worst one you could get, so the men and women of FISCO Security had agreed to take it in turns. One Steven Barnes was the unfortunate one for that particular night. He had already braved the bitter cold for many hours already, trying his very best to keep warm by pacing back and forth. The full body armour they had been issued not long ago provided very efficient protection, but it did little to keep a man warm. A movement from the shadows around him brought the guard to a sudden halt. Bringing out his flash light, Steven inspected his surroundings, but there was nothing to be found. Another movement behind put the man into a spin, whipping around quickly and checking the shadows. Still nothing. With a shaky hand, the man withdrew his Smith & Wesson Compact 9mm. However, even as the nervous guard checked his front, a figure loomed from behind. Before he even knew what it was, Steven had been knocked unconscious. ****** As opposed to the outside, the inside of FISCO Labs was relatively warm. One would expect otherwise due to the long, empty, hallways. This was just the top floor of course, though it could be considered as the most important. All “Top Secret” experiments, projects and research took place there. At the time however, there were only a handful of late working scientists and around the clock security. Unbeknown to the employees of FISCO, an intruder had infiltrated their facility. Their target was the west wing of the top floor. There you could find one of the many large safes within the building. At its entrance were two guards, who were idly talking about a long list of trivial matters. They barely even noticed another guard approaching. “Steven?” one of them queried “What the hell are you doing down here?” “Yeah,” added the other “You’re meant to be on roof shift tonight.” There was a brief silence between the three, until Steven finally broke it. “Oh...ya know...it was cold up there...” “Damn it Ste...” Before the guard could even finish talking he was struck in the face and sent to the ground. The other man attempted to draw out his handgun, but the intruder was too fast. He grabbed the man’s arm, twisted it harshly, then slammed the guard’s head against the safe door, the full face helmet doing little to save him. Both were quite badly hurt, but neither were dead, just as it had been ordered. No time was wasted as the man picked up one of the unconscious guards. Taking off their helmet and right hand glove, he forced the guard’s eye open, placing it at the eye scanner, while putting their hand in the appropriate place upon the hand scanner. After a few seconds of scanning, a mechanical voice sounded; “Main vault opening.” And with that, the huge steel door opened itself inward. The entire vault was empty, save for one thing. A small black box sat upon a plain square pedestal. He had seen the buildings security details. The vault had many security lasers installed. He hadn’t much time, so the man removed the white full face helmet. However, his face was still covered by a balaclava. Removing a pair of Infra-red goggles, from a pouch that was upon his belt, the intruder placed them firmly about his head. Switching them on instantly revealed all the present security lasers. He hadn’t much time left before the security personnel reacted, so the man quickly began the painstaking dodging and weaving. It was no easy feat, but he eventually made it. Sighing to himself, the man finally grasped the black box. It was a curious object. He hadn’t been told anything about, only that it was necessary to obtain. Even as he slipped it into his pouch, a voice called out from behind him. “Another criminal huh?” shouted out the young voice “You should have thought twice before coming to Jump City!” The man slowly turned about, removing the goggles as he did so. In front of him stood five teenagers, all of peculiar appearance. He had been told to be cautious of this group. The Teen Titans. But, for some reason that they couldn’t fathom, he didn’t seem too concerned about their presence. The man was looking around the vault, and though they didn’t know it, he was searching for an alternative escape route. There wasn’t any. It seemed that the only choice was to fight. Finally he brought his gaze back to the five. He had reviewed their data before setting off and knew of their powers and abilities. “So,” the green boy stepped forward, with a smug grin upon his face “Are you gonna come quietly?” “Or,” now the large mechanical one spoke “Are we gonna have to kick your ass?” There was a moment of uncomfortable silence before the man spoke carefully chosen words. “Your arrogance is only outdone by your stupidity,” he replied. “I guess that’s a no,” said Robin, leader of the group “...Titans. Go!” The group burst into a flurry of action. Beast Boy instantly changed into a lion. Cyborg deployed one of his sonic cannons. Robin brought out his Bo-staff. While Starfire charged up a pair of bolts and Raven used her powers to lift up the pedestal. And she was the first to strike, flinging the pedestal at their enemy’s back. But some form of sense gave him time to notice. The object was dodged and harmlessly fell to the ground. Beast Boy came next, lunging towards him with a vicious swipe. Again, the man dodged, but Beast Boy kept up the attack, preparing to go at him again. Even as the Titan ran at the man, he found his opponent running away. Beast Boy gave chase, with Robin and Cyborg not far behind. Beast Boy was not far behind, and the man almost out of room. However, just as he reached the wall, the man ran up it a few steps before flipping off it, leaving Beast Boy to collide head first with the metal wall. Robin tried to surprise him soon after he landed, but the man spun away from his attack, moving around the Boy Wonder with lightning speed. Before he knew it, Robin’s cape had been grabbed and used to wrap him up, and getting a hefty kick to the face when all was done. Cyborg struck now, taking a shot with his sonic cannon. The man was quick to react, ducking down as Cyborg fired, leaving the beam to fly overhead. It was now the man that attacked. Running at the mechanical giant, the man had to jump up to even land a blow upon Cyborg’s face. Though it was an improvised attack, it connected and managed to send the Titan stumbling back. This created enough space for Stafire to swoop in, firing off green bolts furiously as she came. Some of the bolts definitely hit their mark, but dissipated upon some form of energy shield. Feint blue ripples could be seen going out from where the bolts hit. Ignoring this turn of events, the young woman went onwards, flying straight for the man, with arms stretched and fists clenched. Her attack was futile however, as the man stepped to the side, and even grabbed her right leg as she went past. With a mighty pull, the man forced her out from her flight. Gripping her leg with both hands, the man spun her once before letting go, sending Starfire catapulting into her fellow Titan Cyborg, putting both down on the ground. All this had happened within mere seconds, and now, only Raven stood guarding the exit. She tried sending the pedestal at him again, but it was pointless. Her attack was easily dodged. “Move aside!” snapped the intruder “You can’t win!” The Titan stood defiantly, preparing herself for a fight. With a weary sigh, the man started his attack, charging head on for the young woman. Raven struck out with legs and fists alike, but all were dodged, and soon enough the man had spun around her as he had done to Robin. He quickly delivered a sharp hit to the back of her head. It didn’t manage to knock her out, but sent the Titan to one knee nevertheless. It was good enough for him. Without a second thought the man dashed down the long corridor. Raven looked about and saw him turn about the corner which lead to the roof. With renewed vigour the Titan engulfed herself in black energy before disappearing. ****** The sounded of alarms and shouting followed the man. The clattering of feet could be heard not too far off from where he was. The man turned a corner, then instantly burst through a door. He was met by a set of stairs leading both up and down. His rendezvous point was on the roof and so, obviously, he started his way upwards. Bursting through another door, the man was met but a fierce lash of wind as he stepped out onto the roof. Pulling out a mono-sight binocular, he scanned the skies. Off in the distance he could see a black helicopter approaching. Placing the mono-sight back in his pack, the man started on his way to the roof’s edge, making sure the door was jammed shut before he did so. However. Something was not right. A strong feeling of unease overcame him. The wind was picking up. Loose objects began to move of their own accord. The man looked about himself, but found nothing. As he turned back, he found a piece of metal sheeting flying straight for his head. He barely had time to stumble down underneath it, before two metal pipes were flung at him. The man leapt to the side in order to dodge them. It was obvious who had come in pursuit. But he had no idea where she was. Even as he looked about, a dark raven-like shadow formed behind him, with two white glowing eyes. It went to strike at him, but a last second realization brought the man about in time to block the attack with a blue energy shield that he formed into a circle which covered most of his body. Slowly the dark raven turned back into the normal young woman, with arm stretched out and fist closed. A baffled look was written across her face. “H-How?” she stuttered “I should have passed right through you!” In all honesty, the man didn’t know either. His abilities weren’t something he had been born with, and were still a mystery to him. But that wasn’t something she needed to now. Eventually, he retracted the shield, and the two stood ready. This time, Raven charged at him. Unlike the man however, she had a surprise in store. Before she reached the man, Raven created a black portal and ran into. Instantly, another portal appeared behind the man, and out leapt Raven. She clasped onto the man’s back, tightening her one arm around his neck, while using the other to remove his balaclava. He couldn’t react in time to stop her. As his mask was removed, the man grabbed Raven’s head and threw her over his shoulder. The Titan rolled along the floor, coming out of the roll and into kneeling position. The man’s face was now plain to see. He was clearly not much older than them, late teens or very early twenties. No scars burdened his face, though it gave of an experienced look, almost sorrowful in some ways. His grey eyes told the same story. Jet black hair covered his head, falling just past his ears. A great whirring sound came as the helicopter reached its destination. The man gave no second thought and started running to his escape. As he did so, the jammed door was blown open by green energy, and out burst the Titans, with a group of guards in tow. But it was too late. Even as they came onto the roof, the man had hopped into the roof and was away. ****** There was utter silence amongst the people in the helicopter. About three others were in there, not counting the pilot and his navigator. The three men were wearing an incredibly complex suit of full black body armour. Their faces couldn’t be seen. They simply stared through green tinted visors. One could only hazard a guess as to what their expression, or even thoughts were. The silence continued as the pilot announced their final approach to the Facility. They had been flown out into the middle of the desert where seemingly nothing could be found. As they came to a massive mountain formation, the very tip of the largest mountain began to shift. Just as it finished opening up, a platform raised to the top. The helicopter landed neatly upon this platform, and soon after it began its descent . After it had gone down some bit, the mountain top closed back up. They now found themselves in some form of cylinder, with many lights going about it. It seemed to take a eternity to reach the massive helicopter zone. The room was truly massive, containing at least thirteen helicopters, each on their own pad, and each with another large cylinder above it. As the platform stopped and the crew piled out, engineers approached to check on the helicopter. Many other engineers, soldiers and even scientists busied about the place, going about their own tasks and duties. All the helicopter platforms were situated on a gigantic circle, which led right down to the Facility’s bottom. Many bridges branched off from this circle, leading to various other places, and even above there were more rooms with yet more fascinating things. And though the man had been there for almost his entire life, he had barely seen any of it. As he stepped out from the helicopter, he was approached by a large, middle-aged man. He was a Sergeant who the man had seen now and again. His hair was almost all grey, except for a few patches of brown that held on. The soldier’s face was scarred and slightly wrinkled, and his brown eyes gave the feeling that he had a story of ten to tell anyone who would listen. “Smith says he wants to see you at the main hangar,” were the few words he gave before setting off somewhere else. ****** The main hangar was like a huge metal hall. It would take nearly half an hour to walk from the furthest end to the other. On the day in question however, many of the large lights were off, and all put a few of the various equipment and vehicles were left. Most notable was the lack of people. Much like the helicopter pad, the main hangar was bursting with activity. At the centre of the far end was a large hangar door, big enough to fit three heavy tanks side-by-side, and at each side of it were two significantly smaller doors for infantry or other personnel. The man’s footsteps echoed through the empty hangar, before he eventually came to a stop underneath one of the lights that was on. He didn’t try calling out to anyone, but simply stood at attention in silence. After some time, one of the side doors in front of him opened, and in the door frame stood a figure, their features shadowed by the bright light behind them. “I hear you were successful,” the person said. “Yes,” came the simple reply. “Good. That Energy Pack shall come in use.” There was a long pause. “However, I...have some bad news,” stated the person “It seems knowledge of your existence has been leaked. This could be very dangerous to our whole operation.” “I...I’ afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about...” “This is the end I’m afraid. We can’t allow this risk to go on. You must be terminated.” “Termin...but...!” But the man had already left, and the door closed. The young man now stood alone, in utter silence. For a few moments nothing happened. Soon enough though, he felt a great tremor and heard a loud crashing sound. He gave it no second though after guessing what had been planned. The madman was going to blow up the entire hangar with him in it! The man instantly dropped the black box and made a headlong run for the side door at which the man had stood. He rushed up the long metal ramp as fast as he could. By the time he reached the door and burst through it, the explosions were already charging through the hangar. The room he was met with was an airlock of sorts, created for making sure the Facility was not contaminated. It was completely round, and all white, with lights going about the top. But he had no time to stop and look. Charging through, he tackled the other door, crashing through it. Now the metal stopped and earth began. A similar tunnel could be found at the other side door. They weren’t the most stable of parts, but were necessary. The man sprinted down the tunnel towards the old elevator, which was thankfully at the bottom. As he stepped into it, and furiously pressed the up button, the explosions began ripping apart the decontamination room. Now it was the final stretch through the “abandoned mine.” The elevator finally reached his goal, and the man leapt out, running at full pelt for the exit. It was plainly insight, barred only by a few wooden planks. As he ran down the long tunnel, the explosions started catching up behind him. The elevator was now gone, and he was almost caught. Reaching the wooden planks he desperately started ripping them away. But it was too late. Even as he took one step outside, he was caught by the last and largest blast. The last thing he remembered was being sent hundreds of feet into the air, before coming crashing down. And then, there was nothing.