Earlier, Lilith Clay had been working to revive Brother Blood or at least achieve some type of contact with his mind. Her sensitivity and empathic powers were slowly making some progress as the damaged man next to her on the divan gently squeezed her hand and raised one hand to caress her hair.
She smiled and looked into his eyes as she whispered soothing words to him. “You’re safe now. No one wants to harm you. I am your friend,” she said.
He smiled and turned to gaze on her with eyes that were suddenly thoughtful and alarmingly sharp in their appraisal. Before she could move, he kissed her, and after momentarily pulling back, she relaxed into his embrace. He released her as the door flew open to reveal a startled Golden Eagle, Arisia, and Protector.
Before he could make good on his threat, Crimelord was struck by Monsieur Mallah. The maddened ape had thrown himself at the armored villain in a frenzied act of self-sacrifice. Meanwhile, as Garfield Logan fell to the floor, Raven teleported to his side and drew him to safety.
Mallah ignored the other man’s efforts to disrupt his own body as he clawed at him with bestial rage that revealed none of his brilliance. “You killed my friend and master! You took him from me!” he cried.
Crimelord fell beneath the ape and yelled for help, but none of his allies could aid him. He resisted the ape as best as he could, but his armor had been damaged, and he was losing his only advantage as fear of the enraged ape robbed him of his ability to concentrate. Finally, a surge of power left the ape stunned by the side of the injured Crimelord.
Gar ran to his side and bent over him as he removed the helmet that hid Galtry’s face. “He’s alive, but barely!” he said.
Cyborg said, “Mallah’s badly hurt, too. They really did a number on one another!”
“So now what?” asked Harlequin.
“Kole’s missing, and we can’t determine where she ended up after Warp teleported her away, and what of Lilith?” asked Artemis.
“I’m here!” said Lilith as she entered the room along with Golden Eagle, Arisia, and the now-ambulatory Brother Blood.
Raven frowned as she saw the powerful and charismatic man who had once tried to control her. “He has been restored. I can sense as much, yet I don’t sense any evil!” she cried.
Lilith took Blood’s hand and said, “I didn’t, either! I think my empathic powers have given him a fresh start! His mind and body were purged of evil after our joint ordeal and his own manipulation by the Brotherhood of Evil!”
Hawk snorted and said, “Him? I’ll believe it when I see it!”
“You wrong me, although your doubts are more than justified,” Brother Blood said. “I have been a man born to darkness and bred for hatred. That life ended when I fell so very far after my last encounter with the Titans. I have been cleansed by the humbling experience I have had. My very body, mind, and soul were taken from me. I was left as nothing but an automaton. Now, thanks to the charity of Lilith, here, I have regained myself! She has restored me through her kindness, and I will not let this second chance at life be wasted!”
Artemis said, “The Brotherhood of Evil and the Fearsome Five have been defeated. Some of both groups may never be the same again.”
Brother Blood said, “Let me prove myself to you by offering my enemies the hand of forgiveness! You may take them away. I will not hold them or punish them.”
Golden Eagle said, “Dude, like, what about all the super-crooks playing Club Med here?”
Brother Blood said, “I will close my borders to their kind in the future. I will not turn the ones here now away, since that would violate my own honor. Let me word be my bond. Zandia shall not house their kind again!”
“He truly is a changed man,” said Lilith. “I feel it!”
Herald said, “What about the cult? What about the arsenal of weapons?”
“I have no cult,” Brother Blood said. “I have a church. I will see that my fellowship serves humanity from this day onward. I will not oppose you or any of your heroic band again! You have nothing to fear from the new Brother Blood.” He gestured in a show of openness. “The weapons taken from various heroes and villains will be turned over to the United Nations. They may freely inspect my isle at will. You Titans will ever be welcome here as well. You saved my very self!”
Cyborg said, “Look, I’m sorry, but seein’ as how I wasn’t born yesterday, I’m not buying the whole Mr. Rogers act!”
At that moment Psi, Tlaca, and Dynamo entered as the golden-clad mutant girl announced, “I have ceased our battle with the Church. I felt Blood’s restoration led my friends here!”
Brother Blood smiled and said, “There is no need for additional strife. As I said before, thanks to Lilith, I am a new man. The Titans are welcome here at any time!”
Tlaca looked scornfully at him and said, “Bah! If we are not needed, let us go! The Force of July have vanished, and we have done our part.”
Artemis said, “We Titans need to find Kole as well!”
Changeling said, “And the mystery of why Crimelord hated me so much has been solved. I’m sorry he ended up like this. It’s senseless!”
Raven took his arm and said, “Garfield, all hatred is senseless! That is a lesson many spend a lifetime without learning!”
Brother Blood approached Lilith and bent low over her hand as he kissed it. “My dear, I need not tell you that I want to see more of you. I owe you much and will do anything to repay you.”
She smiled and said, “I am happy to have helped you!”
“Blood was educated at Oxford,” the Herald whispered to Cyborg. “His mother was connected to European royalty by marriage. You can see how smooth the guy can be when he tries. I hope he’s really sincere about being a changed man, but he still rubs me the wrong way.”
Cyborg said, “I agree. Let’s get outta here.”
They departed with the defeated criminals after they had received proper medical care. All of the villains would recover in time, with the apparent exception of the Brain. As for the transformed Plasmus, he was a normal man once more, but he still had debts to pay to society.
“I can’t say I’m too broken up that the Brain died. I mean, that whole ruthless intellect that defied the grave stuff sounded like something from Shock Theater!” said Hawk.
Dove smiled and said, “At least you can’t say your birthday was dull.”
Hawk grinned and said, “Yeah, and to think I have the real one in a couple of weeks! Why don’t we just order a pizza then, huh?”
Dove said, “Sounds like a plan!”
After the Titans had departed from Zandia, Brother Blood brooded on his throne as his red-robed followers waited attentively. One cultist approached timidly and said, “Master, is it true you plan to close our borders to the international super-criminals?”
He said, “In time I shall do so. For now, I have plans for our guests.” As the follower humbly bowed and backed away from the throne, Brother Blood continued his ruminations.
I will keep my word to Lilith. I will also do all I can to make her the next bride of Blood, he thought.