“Hi, Superman!” Wonder Girl said in happy surprise as she entered the meeting room of the Teen Titans. “What brings you to Titans Lair? Hi, Robin!”
“Hello, Wonder Girl,” Superman said to the young Amazon. She resembled Superman’s Justice League of America comrade Wonder Woman so closely, it was hard to believe that she was only Diana’s adopted sister. “I came here to see Robin on a clandestine mission of great importance and vital secrecy.”
Wonder Girl gaped in open-mouthed awe before Robin chuckled. “He’s kidding you, W.G. He came here so we could plan a birthday surprise for Batman.”
“Well, that’s greatly important and vitally secret,” Superman said, smiling. “Care to give us your opinion, Wonder Girl?”
Superman stepped aside to show Wonder Girl what he and Robin had been working on. “Oh, it’s beautiful!” Wonder Girl squealed as she saw a tiny model of the Batmobile, not the current Batmobile, but a much earlier version. She could not tell what it had been carved of, but the material glittered with dark brightness.
“This was our first Batmobile,” Robin explained. “Superman carved it out of a black gem found only on the planet Sirius IV. With his bare hands!”
“To Robin’s specifications,” Superman added. “With his keen detective’s eye for observation, he described every nuance of the original Batmobile to me. I duplicated what he described, even down to the scuff-mark on the left fender.”
“From the Spinner’s giant top,” Robin added.
Suddenly, a loud alarm clanged into life. Robin leaped over the table and landed at the communications console. “Robin here! Come in!”
“Robin, this is Aqualad,” the prince of the sea’s voice came over the comm-link. “Kid Flash and I need some help, pronto! Coordinates Alpha-Niner-Seven, Delta-Fiver-Zero!”
“Roger that, gill-head. Titans Lair out!” Robin snapped off the communicator.
“A97-D50?” Wonder Girl repeated. “That’s the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!”
“Aqualad sounded urgent,” Robin noted. “Anything that could give him and Kid Flash both a hard time must be a pretty heavy-hitter!”
“Do you kids want some help?” Superman asked. “I mean, I know you’re capable of handling any situation, but as long as I’m here…”
The three mighty champions took off immediately for the Atlantic.
“How are you doing, twinkle-toes?” Aqualad asked his friend. Kid Flash lay on the back of a sperm whale, nursing an injured leg.
“Doing fine, considering,” Kid Flash answered. “My super-fast metabolism is healing my leg; I should be back in the battle in no time. I only hope that’s time enough!”
“Me, too,” Aqualad agreed solemnly. From their perch on the whale, they watched a Navy ship training its guns on a strange craft, a ship that resembled a giant metal shark. Bullets pinged off the shark-craft ineffectively. The metal shark was slowly forcing the Navy ship off its course.
“Gill-head, look!” Kid Flash cried, pointing at the skies. “Help has arrived! And man, what help!”
Aqualad watched in joy as Robin, Wonder Girl, and Superman descended from the skies. Superman did not need more than a casual glance to tell him where his strength was needed. He dropped the youngsters onto the whale’s back near their friends and immediately charged the shark-craft.
“What’s going on?” Robin asked. “Who’s piloting that shark-ship?”
“Wish I knew,” Aqualad said. “The Navy ship is transporting an experimental new lightning-gun to Aberdeen Proving Ground for testing. The Navy asked Aquaman to guard the ship, but he had royal business in Atlantis today and asked me to do it.”
“I was with Aqualad when he got the call,” Kid Flash explained. “He was helping me with a school project, a chart of the world’s oceans. I decided to tag along. Out of nowhere, that big metal shark came and attacked the ship!”
“We engaged the shark-ship and were doing fine for a while,” Aqualad explained. “But the shark-craft has some kind of ray-gun mounted in the eyes. They got in a lucky shot and struck Kid Flash in the leg.”
“Aqualad summoned some giant squid to take down the craft, but it can deliver an electric shock to its outer hull that hurt the squid,” Kid Flash continued. “Aqualad didn’t want to send the creatures to their death, so he called them off.”
“Holy Jules Verne!” Robin commented, smacking a fist into his glove.
The Teen Titans watched as Superman grabbed the tail of the shark-craft and heaved. The steel-jawed head of the shark rose out of the water, streaming droplets of water into the ocean. Suddenly, a hatch opened in the top of the craft, and a number of small winged things flew out of it. Like birds they were, and yet somehow wrong. They circled around Superman, and the shark’s head began to dip back toward the water, as if Superman were losing strength. Aqualad’s eyes, keen enough to penetrate the murky ocean depths, saw what was happening.
“Mumblin’ mantas!” he exclaimed. “Those things are robot vultures! And they’ve got kryptonite tied to their legs!”
“Vultures?!” Robin exclaimed. “And a shark? Holy reunions, I know who’s behind this now! Come on, Titans, Superman needs us!”
“Up for our old one-two, W.G.?” Aqualad asked.
“Thought you’d never ask, plankton-breath!” Wonder Girl announced. Aqualad tensed his mighty muscles, making his body rigid. With one arm, Wonder Girl gripped the back of Aqualad’s costume and hurled him like a missile. Aqualad’s super-dense body, toughened by the pressures of the ocean depths, smashed into the group of robot vultures like a catapult boulder. Fragments of shattered robot dropped into the ocean and sank, along with the deadly kryptonite.
“Time for me to get back in the game,” Kid Flash announced, hopping to his feet.
“Sure you’re up to it, Flasheroo?” Robin asked.
“Just watch me, bird-boy,” Kid Flash said. And in a blur of scarlet and gold, he was gone, racing across the water’s surface toward the shark-craft. He dashed past the shark’s eyes, and beams of crimson light lanced out of them and barely missed him.
“Wonder Doll, we’ve got to take out those laser-cannons!” Robin announced. “Come on, let’s hit them!”
Wonder Girl picked up the leader of the Teen Titans and took to the air. Together they flew past the shark-craft’s eyes. When the scarlet bolts lanced out at them, Robin somersaulted over the beams and landed on top of the craft. Wonder Girl caught the laser-bolts on her indestructible bracelets and reflected them back at the shark-craft, destroying both eyes. Robin, meanwhile, pried open the hatch from which the robot vultures had emerged and tossed in a handful of smoke pellets. Superman’s super-hearing picked up the sound of frenzied coughing from within.
“Good work, kids,” Superman said. “I’ve shaken off the effects of the kryptonite now — let’s finish this!”
“Stop, Superman!” a voice from within the shark-craft called. “We give up! We’ve had enough!” The shark’s mouth opened wide, and two men in bizarre masks stood in the opening, hands over their heads.
“The Shark and the Vulture,” Robin said. “I figured it was you guys. Where’s the other member of the Terrible Trio?”
“Right here!” the Fox snarled, popping up from the hatch at the top of the craft. He fired a bizarre-looking rifle at Robin, and a beam of green energy lanced out toward the Boy Wonder.
“Look out!” Kid Flash cried, racing in at super-speed to whisk Robin out of the beam’s path. He needn’t have bothered, for Superman’s heat-vision flashed and struck the beam, stopping it in a brilliant blaze of red and green light.
“I’ll take that, fur-face,” Wonder Girl growled, snaring the rifle in her lasso.
Aqualad shook his head as the blaze of light faded. For just a moment, he could have sworn he saw two weird figures in the light. The image faded when the lightshow stopped, and Aqualad dismissed it as an illusion. He waved to the Navy ship to take the Terrible Trio into custody.