"Cold Hard Cash" by Linyah

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The author does not own Teen Titans, nor does she generate any type of income from writing about them. No profit for the pocket. A new Titans fiction! Hope you guys enjoy!
-Cold Hard Cash-

Your workshop was dark, save the desktop that was illuminated with bright white light. Littered a top your long desk sat many metal parts waiting to be combined and created into any weapon you imagined. They called out to you, singing your praises, and begged to be sold off to the highest bidder. You loved technology; it was your passion, your addiction, and you loved being able to create things out of scraps others could not imagine. However, the only downside was that you disliked all the room these creations took up. They took up an enormous amount of space when you were finished with them, and with your short attention span, you worked swiftly with each project and was just as fast to do away with them.

Leaning over your desk, you carefully welded the high-density metal together. Switching off your soldering tool, you blew off the smoke and admired your handy work from behind your dark goggles. Your current project was just a bit longer than your forearm and looked like a grey baton that relay runners would pass to each other.

Stepping away from your workbench, you slashed your arm out to the side. Instantly the metal baton elongated into a bo staff. Being one of your more simple creations, the collapsible bo staff came in handy with mid-range and close range combat. You could not take complete recognition for the design since the commissioner mainly developed the concept, but you had the skill to make it come to life.

With the press of a concealed button on the side of the weapon, it collapsed back into it's original form. Sighing a bit, you gave a small smirk. This was the last piece of weaponry that the commissioner had asked for. Pulling down your glove, you noted the time on your digital watch read four in the afternoon. You finished just in time for the deadline.

Slipping past the other commissioned projects you had already finished, you picked up a silver briefcase before pushing open the door and climbing the stairs.

Your workshop was far from the factories that surrounded the city. In fact, you chose to stay quite close to the downtown area so you could conduct your business easily. Your did not involve a store of any kind, whether it be online or otherwise, because every civilian would have access to your technology. Now if that happened, that would just cheapen your product. You wanted to keep your business exclusive to those already knowledgeable. By doing that, you can keep charging top dollar for your services; plus, the authorities didn't make an effort to hassle those in the downtown area. There were just too many people to keep track of.

Your workshop was an underground extension of the condominium you had bought yourself. As a single, teenaged girl, you barely had a social life, but that did not mean you neglected yourself of the good things in life.

Stripping yourself from your dark green jumpsuit, you changed into a pair of baggy cargo pants and a cropped jean jacket. You kept your worn work gloves, steel-toed boots and oversized goggles. It worked best if your customers did not know your face. It prevented them from recognizing you on the street and kept you out of trouble.

This time you were requested to meet under the Bay Bridge, which was not unusual for this customer. They always requested you to show up at different locations of the city and at random times of the day, which was also not unusual. Assuming he had enemies, the change of locations meant he was trying to limit their ability to track him. This particular customer requested your services at least once a month for weapon reconfigurations, updates and replacements. He was a really busy person.

Now normally, when you were required to work on the same project more than once, you would get particularly annoyed. However, the state that these weapons would be returned to you would always vary. Whether you needed to fix water blockage, fried circuits or create new ones from scratch, the projects would always be a new challenge. Just when you thought you knew the weapon inside and out, he would bring it in such a state of disrepair that you needed to rethink your game plan. It was actually rather amusing. You loved challenges.

Within the span of fifteen minutes, you had made it to the designated meeting area by the travel of your hover bike. You created the hover bike yourself, mainly because it required less maintenance than the other terrain vehicles on the market. It was your big, red, baby. Turning your vehicle, you slowed it to a stop before you could crash into the teenage boy.

Said boy stayed propped up against one of the steel beams of the bridge, his own bike a little ways away from him. It was a pretty piece of work. Owning a bright red street-racer, complete with all the fixings, was no cheap feat. He had to have some deep pockets for that. That’s what convinced you to take him on as a customer in the first place. The fact he was good eye candy was the cherry on top.

He kept a mask propped over his eyes, and spiked his hair up. A black and gold cape adorned his shoulders over a red breasted and green-sleeved shirt that hugged him. Body fitting green pants fed into black steel toed/ steel-soled boots. His look was completed with green gloves that ran up to his forearms, a golden utility belt around his waist, and a golden “R” badge on the left side of his chest.

Turning the key, your bike turned off and touched down onto the ground. It was rather quiet save for the sound of cars travelling above you and the water churning beside you.

“You’re late.”

Leaping off your bike, you gave the boy a lazy salute. “Can‘t rush perfection, hero.” With the press of a button, the lid of the back compartment of your bike lifted to reveal the suitcase. Picking it up, you unlatched it, propped the lid open and turned to the teen. “Everything is here: birdarangs, smoke bombs, grappling cables, electric discs, and liquid nitrogen discs.” The boy leaned in, his index pressed against his chin as he inspected your work. One by one he held them, tested them, and hummed in thought. Closing the case, he gave a satisfied look.

You licked your lips, a ghost of a smile creeping over them. You were going to get paid today, you could feel it in your bones.

“Looks good,” the teen stood straight, “and my bo?”

Whisking the metal object from your pocket, you twirled it several times, extending it and shortening it before handing it to him. “This time I used heat treated 15-5PH stainless steel. Maybe this time it’ll hold up better than your last one.”

He inspected you cautiously before taking it from you and giving a curt nod.

An pregnant awkward silence passed between you both. He just observed you, not moving, or speaking. He made no motion to speak as if he was waiting for you to do so. He was such an awkward character. He rarely ever raised his voice towards you, and seemed aprehensive when asking for your services. He clearly didn't have a villain's desire to control others. So instead of waiting for him to make the first move, you gave a dry cough while holding out your hand asking for your part of the deal.

As if to snap out of his thoughts, he shook his head and pulled out his wallet. “How much are we talking?”

“Hmm, considering you are a reoccurring customer, I’ll give you a discount. Three hundred smackeroos for my services.”

“Th-that’s a discount? But that’s double the normal amount!” The teen looked at you incredulously.

“And normally, I don’t have to clean plasma, and toxic waste out of your weapons, hero.” You folded your arms across your chest, giving him a dry look. “You’re lucky I’m not connected to the city’s power grid or I’d be charging you my electric bill too.”

You were right, and he knew somewhere deep down that he owed you more than money. You had saved his behind countless times by keeping his arsenal in good shape. He would give you his weapons, complete with a due date, and you would only nod with compliance no matter how steap the date. Your work was simply exemplary compared to others he had gone to, and to say your work was not worth every penny would be a leather glove to the face. His moral would not allow him to haggle any lower.

Sighing in frustration, the boy opened his wallet to reveal just fewer than 100 dollars. His eyes twitched in annoyance. He had forgotten to withdraw cash from his back account. “Uhm…I don’t suppose you take debt?”

You gave him an incredulous look. “Where exactly do you expect me to swipe it? Cash only, hero.”

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