One fine day in late May, the Titans were having one of those
lulls, spending a quiet afternoon hanging around the tower, when the
This was a sufficiently odd happening - the five of them and
PCHammer had security access, and who else ever came to Perez Island?
Titans Tower was the only thing on it - that Vic Stone and Gar Logan
paused their game of "Virtua Fighter: Super Hero Battle Edition" to
glance at each other in complete puzzlement.
"What the hell is that?" Logan wondered.
"I think it means someone's at the door," Stone replied. The
big cyborg got up off the couch and went to the security panel with
his green teammate trotting curiously at his heels.
The display screen showed the view from the security camera at
the tower's main entrance. The image was blurry and the colors off,
but there was definitely a person out there in the colorful costume of
a super-hero, mostly yellow with some red bits. Stone and Logan
didn't recognize the styling, but what else could it be?
"I gotta replace that camera," Stone muttered. Then he
punched the "acknowledge" key and said, "Yo, Titans Tower, Cyborg
"Hey there, Titans Tower!" a female voice replied cheerfully.
"Is Robin in? He's your leader, right?"
Stone and Logan glanced at each other again. "Uh... yeah,
sorta, I guess," Stone replied. "He's here someplace. What do you
"I'd like to talk to him," the visitor replied. "And the rest
of you, too, for that matter."
"Hang on a sec," Stone said. Releasing the push-to-talk key,
he turned and said, "Gar, see if you can find - gaaah!"
"What?" Robin said.
"Where did you come from?" Stone demanded.
The Boy Wonder just smirked a little and then asked, "Who's at
"I dunno. Never seen her before."
"Haven't seen her now, either," Logan added.
"I -said- I need to replace the camera," Stone grumbled.
"OK, well... page the others and suit up," Robin said. "Let's
go see what she wants."
Not much more than a minute later, the five Titans stood on
their front lawn, arranged in a loose semicircle facing their visitor.
She appeared to be a girl in her mid-teens, about Robin's age,
with a spiky, backwards-tilted ruff of pale blonde hair above a
full-headpiece mask that ended at her hairline. The mask left her
face uncovered below the bridge of her nose, and the eyes visible
through the eyeholes were blue-green and cheerful.
Her costume was a skin-tight one-piece bodysuit in bright
yellow, with "belt" markings styled like a pair of converging red
lightning bolts and sleeves that ended just below the elbows. She had
bright red boots with little wings at the tops, matching fingerless
gloves, and another pair of little wings fitted to the sides of her
mask over her ears. On her chest was a black circle with a red
lightning bolt crossing it from one o'clock to seven o'clock. Her
build was lean and moderately muscular, like a track athlete's rather
than a bodybuilder's.
"Robin, Raven, Cyborg, Starfire, and Beast Boy," she said,
ticking them off on her fingers with a grin. "Great to meet you
guys. You can call me Zoom."
"Nice to meet you," Robin said politely. "What can we help
"Well, I don't really need -help-," Zoom replied cheerfully.
"I just hit town. I've read about you guys online, and you seem like
a pretty cool crew, so I thought I'd come over and see if I could hang
with you, maybe join up."
Faced with this straightforward approach, several of the
Titans blinked, taken slightly aback.
"Uh, well... we're not really recruiting, per se," Robin
began. "We're not a force like the IPO that people just... join."
"Aw, c'mon, Rob, give her a chance," Beast Boy put in. "You
let -us- join," he added, gesturing to himself and Raven.
"It's not that simple, though," Robin said. "For one thing,
we don't use secret identities in the Tower."
"Oh, no problem," Zoom said - and without hesitation, she
peeled back her mask, letting it hang behind her head like a
sweatshirt's hood. "My name's Elise Thawne. I'm originally from
Earth. Your turn!"
Robin blinked, nonplussed.
Elise laughed and swatted his upper arm. "I'm just messing
with you, Boy Wonder. Trust issues, huh? It's cool." She put her
mask back on while Robin gave her a mildly grumpy look, then went on,
"I just wear my mask 'cause it came with the suit anyway. It keeps
the little ear things up," she added, flicking one of the red wings
with a fingertip. "I don't really care if people know who I am."
Seeing that Robin was momentarily speechless, Raven decided to
put her oar in.
"So... Elise... what do you do?" she asked.
"Isn't my hero name a clue?" Zoom replied.
By way of demonstration, she suddenly burst into motion,
accelerating to a couple hundred miles an hour in the blink of an eye.
At that speed, she was able to run right across the channel separating
Perez Island from the mainland, turn around, and come back in only a
couple of seconds, running across the light chop of the harbor so fast
she didn't break the surface.
Snapping to a halt in the same position as before, her
slipstream making Raven's cloak and Robin's cape flutter a bit as it
caught up with her, she grinned and struck a pose.
"I'm the Fastest Girl Alive!" she announced.
"Cool," Beast Boy said, slack-jawed.
"Not bad," Raven acknowledged.
"That is a truly remarkable ability!" Starfire chipped in.
"How did you come by it?"
"Runs in the family," Zoom replied with a shrug. "My
grandfather was - "
"Eobard Thawne, alias Professor Zoom," Robin interrupted.
"One of the twenty-fourth century's most infamous supercriminals. He
was a founding member of Big Fire's original Magnificent Ten."
Zoom looked impressed, but not particularly chagrined.
"You've done your homework," she said.
"Reading up on infamous criminals is a hobby of mine," Robin
replied without irony.
"Yeah, well, put your minds at ease, Titans," said Zoom with
an easy smile. "This is one Thawne who's not interested in taking
over the galaxy. I use my speed to help people."
"Why come to New Avalon?" Cyborg asked. "Plenty of people
need help on Earth."
Zoom gave him an "oh, come on" kind of look. "Too many
government agents on Earth. A metahuman can't make a -move- on that
rock without the Men in Black show up to draft you into some kind of
freaky secret task force. I don't want to be a government spook, I
just want to wear the old yellow and red and do my thing. Here in New
Avalon, we have the freedom to do that. Besides, do you know of any
other cities with established heroes who aren't old enough to vote?
No, this is the place for me, right here, even if you guys don't have
room for a sixth."
Robin kept giving her the raised-eyebrow look for a second,
then said, "Um... would you excuse us for a second?"
"Sure," she replied, still smiling. "I'll just go for a
little jog. Back in a few!"
With that and another blast of displaced air, she was gone -
streaking off across the lake in the general direction of the other
side of the pseudocontinent.
"Well, she's certainly chipper," Raven observed dryly once her
cloak stopped flapping.