Prophecy of Awakening I
Demonic Awakening V
The Unforgiven II
Raven dodged the rocks that were hurled her way, and lifted her arms to create a black semi-transparent shield. A large boulder smashed into her shield and forced her boots to skid a few meters back, while she let out a low grunt. Her frown was evident as she stared to the blonde elemental before her, the look in her eyes sending chills down the young sorceress' mind. Slade stood confidently by his chair, next to the monitoring system he had used to initiate Raven's earlier attempts of infiltrating his base undetected. Terra held an emotionless gaze as Slade continued to punch in commands into the controlling device on his wrist, and forced her to continue her assault on the dark magus.
"Terra, stop it," Raven ordered the girl. The blonde replied with another wave of her hands which caved in a portion of the ceiling just above the dark haired Titan. Raven leaped to the side and flew out of the way, while rocks tore through portions of her cloak. It was obvious from her looks that the girl had done battle with Slade before he had placed the device on her body. Blood had crusted to her lip and chin while bruises showered her face. Even still, it seemed the girl held no care to her injuries, and continued to attack the girl ruthlessly.
Raven's palm touched the surface of the flooring, while her eyes shifted from the blonde to the mercenary. She took the gamble with Terra pretty far away, and hurled herself forward. She flew with great speed toward Slade, her right fist cocking back and fusing with her own dark elemental powers. Just before she was to strike, Slade lifted his wrist and pressed a button, which hurled a large piece of rock from Raven's side right into her body. The sorceress was thrown to the side like a rag doll, tumbled to the ground, and skidded to a stop near the wall of the cave. Terra stood upon a floating rock and levitated next to her leader with her arms down by her side. Raven slowly pushed herself from the ground and let out a grunt of frustration. Her fists clenched tightly while her knees were scrapped along the rocks she fell upon.
"So you decided to come all by yourself?" Slade asked in an amused tone, while the semi-conscious Terra took a few steps toward Raven. He took a look toward his screen monitors to assure there were no intruders, then turned to the girl in question. "What was it you were hoping to accomplish alone?"
Raven spat a collected amount of saliva to the ground and wiped it off with her wrist. She knew exactly what Slade was trying to do, and she had driven blindly right into his expectations. He knew of the closeness between Terra and herself, and there was nothing stopping him from using it against her. How could she fight back? How could Raven fight against the one girl she had truly opened up to? Raven's lips flat-lined, as the only available option became clear in her mind. Despite her aches and pains, Raven pushed herself to a sitting position and slowly pulled her legs into a meditative stance. Slade instantly recognized it, and ordered Terra to attack.
"Tara, stop her now!" he exclaimed. The girl's pupil-less eyes lowered and sprinted forward, while her hands shimmered a golden-yellow hue. A black aura erupted around the sorceress, while just ten meters remained in distance, Raven's soul-self emerged from her chest. The black semi-transparent version of Raven flew forward, and stopped Terra just three meters from the oncoming attack. The blonde tumbled lifelessly to the ground, while Slade quickly rushed forward.
"Raven! Is that you? Please, I can't control anything!"
"Terra, you have to calm down…"
"I didn't mean for this to happen, Raven, I'm so sorry!"
"Terra, please, listen to me…"
"I'm sorry, Raven, please! I can't stop this, no matter how hard I try!"
"Terra! You have to calm your emotions down, or you'll never-"
"Please, Raven! I don't want to fight anymore! It hurts too much, I just can't take it!"
"I'm sorry … I'm so … so sorry … I just … I just can't fight it anymore … I just want this all to end."
"Just listen to me for a second!"
"Your emotions aren't balanced, you're powers are growing beyond your control by the second. If you don't get a hold on your emotions, it will destroy you, and everyone around you!"
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean-"
"Stop apologizing already! I know you're sorry, but you apologizing wont change anything that's happened."
"However, taking affirmative action could change what will happen."
"Get a hold of yourself. Calm your emotions. Take control of them. Take control of your powers. Only you can do this, Terra, I can only show you the way. You're the one that's going to have to take control. You're the only one that can choose the path you take, no one else. Do you remember the conversation we had that night? About sins being forgiven?"
"I know now what you were speaking of, Terra, and my answer still remains the same. Once someone knows of the mistakes they've made, they are forgiven only if they accept the responsibility of what they've done, and take affirmative action to correct what has been done. You're the-"
Slade gripped his staff and slammed it against the left side of Raven's ribcage. The sorceress let out a scream as her soul self was violently ripped out, and fused back into its owner. Raven began to push her body up from the dirt, but was stopped at the neck by the tip of Slade's staff. The mercenary pushed the metal into the girl's neck, and forced her head into the dirt. With his boot, he kicked the same side, this time hitting her right arm, hard enough to send her onto her back. His foot was then planted onto her chest, and he calmly brought his staff back behind him, tapping an end against the side of his head.
"Now, now, you know it's rude to leave the host out of the conversation," Slade glared to the girl as he spoke with a low tone.
"Sorry, it sickens me just to be in the same are with diabolical creature such as yourself. You aren't even human," Raven panted heavily while attempting to lessen the weight of Slade's boot with her good arm. Slade's last kick seemed to either dislocate or break her arm. Her head was so full of lead, she couldn't concentrate on pain at the moment. "Taking over someone's mind? Forcing someone to use powers they can't control, against their will?"
"You speak as if the girl didn't come to me, seeking my help," Slade reminded the girl as he leaned forward, resting an arm over his knee. His one eye glared through the mask and right in the center of Raven's eyes, knowing she could not only see the smirk he held but sense it as well. "She rejected you, and begged for me. And now, I've given her everything you couldn't. Control, and power."
"Yea," Raven spat out in disgust. "Your control over her power."
"I never stated who I would give it to, just that it would be obtained," Slade smirked as his staff retracted. His hand reached to his utility belt and replaced it with another item. "And your powers are quite unique as well, Sorceress."
"You couldn't even dream of attempting to control them," Raven let out a grunt while she gave a quick push to the weight in order to catch her breath. It was soon forced out, however, as Slade pushed more heavily on her chest.
"You have no idea of the knowledge I hold, nor the training I've endured," Slade frowned heavily, while a tint of calmly rage entered his throat for the first time during their encounter. "And with this little device, you'll be doing all the enduring for me."
Raven's eyes widened as she felt a sharp pin puncture through her neck. She felt the cold liquid quickly enter her blood stream, and not a moment later, her entire body felt like dead weight. Her immune system immediately attempted to fight against the drug, while her eyes tried desperately to remain open.
"Telekinesis is quite the power," Slade stated as he lifted his boot from the girl's chest. Her body was completely immobilized, and her breathing had become rhythmic. "It will be a nice addition to my new found powers."
"Don't hurt her…"
Slade looked up in surprise and turned to the barely audible voice. The blonde haired teen still held an emotionless gaze and a robotic stance. However, her dark sapphire hues had begun to shimmer, as if attempting to fight back tears. Slade's eyes glared as he slowly stood and began to walk toward the girl.
"Are you still awake, my child?" Slade asked curiously with a tilt of his head and a smirk behind his mask. "Do we need another injection?"
"You … won't … touch her!"
Slade's eyebrow raised to the voice behind him, and turned to face the telepath. She was leaned over on her side with her weight shifted onto her arms, glaring daggers straight through the mercenary's mask. Four crimson hues had erupted to life while her breathing became deep and heavy. Beads of sweat formed upon her forehead as she attempted to keep herself conscious, and fought against the urge to sleep. Though the drug may have worked on any normal Meta-Human, Raven was far from normal.
"You surprise me, my little black bird," Slade grinned as he altered his course back to the dark mage. "That should have been enough to knock you out for at least four hours."
Raven's body began to shake uncontrollably while gripping the ground with her fingertips. Slade merely smirked as he approached the girl with his hands clasped behind his back.
"But then again, I suppose you are far different others," Slade assumed as he brought a hand to his chin. "Perhaps I should have begun with you, instead of Robin."
Her four crimson hues shut tightly, as she called upon the last of her powers. A small black energy lifted off her form like smoke. Her energy expelled outward, as the sorceress sacrificed all remaining emotions inside of her. They were put to sleep while her rage awoke physically for the first time in as long as she could remember. The sorceress slowly rose, as the black energy fell off her form like liquid and turned the torn remains of her dark blue cloak to a blood red color. Her fists balled up tightly and a low growl escaped her throat. The mercenary blinked seeming intrigued by the dark mage's sudden change.
"Interesting," Slade stated honestly, as he crouched down into a fighting stance. "It's obvious you are anything but the average super hero."
The shadows around the room began to spiral around her form, forcing the light in that area to completely fade. The mercenary was now faced with an opponent he could not see. As the darkness in the room began to creep closer and closer toward him, his body began to crouch. Just as a pair of black psychic arms reached out from underneath Slade's feet, the man leaped into the air. From the darkness, the sorceress of shadows leaped with her left arm cocked back and screamed in rage. As she threw her hand outward, Slade grasped the girl's wrist with ease and hurled her back toward the ground. The sorceress forced a wave of energy to form around her, which stopped her just before crashing into the ground.
"Your attacks are pathetic," Slade frowned as stood up from where he had landed. "Even for you, that drug is enough to weaken your body. I can only imagine how much energy you have to spend just to stay conscious."
Her jaw was clenched tightly shut as she tried desperately to keep herself from passing out. She focused upon the blurry disfigured figures heading toward her. She couldn't count how many there were, but she knew there were at least three solid ones, and a few blurry ones.'Please, Terra. Wake up …'
"Az'rath …" Raven let out a breath as she began to raise her right arm. The remains of her energy emitted from her hand while she stretched it forward. "M-Metrion…"
Slade's heavy boot came down hard on the girl's wrist, and forced the black energy that had formed to diminish instantly. Raven let out a mute cry and fell forward onto the ground. Her entire body felt stiff and unable to respond to her request. Slade held a quite but enraged aura around him as he leaned his weight onto the sorceress once again. He began to lean toward her head, once again moving close enough to whisper something torturous.
"Get off her now!"
Before Slade could even turn toward the source of the voice, a large boulder smashed into him from the side. The large rock sandwiched him into the far side of the cavern wall. A dark shadow made its way over the dark sorceress, with small pebbles falling from the structure in which floated by. Her tired eyes looked up to see blonde mane swaying behind cloth and metal, with spark coursing around the slim figure.
"You may have controlled me," Terra shouted as she extended an arm in defense. Her fingers were burned and scarred, with parts of the electronic contraption Slade had placed upon her body pulled apart and sticking out of her skin. Blood dripped down her right arm from her shoulder, where most of the self-caused damage was made. Her eyes were completely taken over by the same golden-yellow energy that swirled around her body. "But there's no way in Hell I'll allow you to do the same to her!"
The rock implanted on the opposing side of the cavern fell, with Slade landing in a crouched position. The black suit worn around him had been torn and tattered, but the man still stood confident as he began to make his way toward the two.
"As I have told you, my Apprentice," Slade stated as he lifted one arm while reaching to it with the other. "You no longer have a choice in the matter."
The sparks around Terra's body began to surge even more, coursing through her with voices and demands attempting to conquer. Her jaw clenched tightly shut, as she reached for the two metallic pieces impaled into her skull. She gripped them as tightly as she could, ignoring every command Slade's device implanted within her brain.
"You can't control me anymore!" Terra's scream coated over any and every other command within her mind as her eyes closed tightly shut. The pain was just another sin to her, and she felt it was far passed time to pay for them. With a final heave, the two metal plates shifted outward, not entirely from her skull, but enough to rid the pulses conducting into her head. In an instant, the voices were gone, and the electric current that flowed through her body was gone. However, a new flow entered into her body, pure rage. The device on Slade's wrist began to spark and finally exploded while Terra commanded the rock she stood upon directly toward the mercenary.
The sorceress lost the vision of the fight, and attempted to turn her half-opened eyes toward the source of the familiar voice. A green-gloved hand lifted the back of her head up carefully, while another parted the strands of hair that blocked her field of view.
"Ro … bin …"
She couldn't even hear her own voice as her body suddenly went limp. Robin held a raged expression as he looked up from Raven's broken figure to Slade and Terra battling it out.
"Cyborg," Robin ordered as the rest of his team followed in behind him. "Try and figure out what's wrong with Raven."
The half-metal Titan rushed to the girl's aid with Beast Boy next to him, while Robin and Starfire made their way into the heated battle. The green-skinned changeling looked on with worry, having never seen any of his teammates in this bad of shape.
"What's wrong with her?" Beast Boy asked, noticing her eyes were fully open, though unable to focus upon anything.
"Her body's paralyzed," Cyborg stated as he began a full body scan with his hi-tech arm. "She's fighting to stay conscious."
Terra screamed in rage as she hurled boulder after boulder at Slade. The suited mercenary dodged each one, leaping higher and higher throughout the cavern walls. With a throw of her hands, Terra ordered the rock Slade stood upon to crumble, forcing the man to free fall toward the ground. With a quick twist of his waist, Slade landed roughly on the ground. He then quickly leaped out of the way just as a portion of the ceiling caved in where he had landed.
"Terra! Stop!" Robin shouted with an outstretched arm. The battle moved throughout the battlefield faster than he could keep up. The Earth Elemental's powers were growing far too powerful for the cave structure to hold. Terra's eyes were completely taken over by a powerful golden yellow hue and her assault never halted at Robin's command. As Slade charged for the girl, Terra brought her hands out to the side. Letting out a low grunt, the Earth Elemental closed her fingers and ripped out two large boulders from the sidewalls. With a clap of her hands, she forced the boulders to smash together. Slade leaped up and avoiding being flattened by a fraction of a second. He retrieved his metal staff, extended it, and swung it back in preparation to take the girl's head right off. With a quick lift of her hands, however, Terra brought up a rock shield in front of her. Slade smashed right through it with his staff.
"HA!" Terra screamed out as her boot made contact with the side of Slade's head, completely catching the mercenary off guard by changing her tactics to melee fighting. She leaped into the air, spun around, and delivered a roundhouse with the same leg right into the man's ribcage. The mercenary lowered his arm and grabbed hold of Terra's leg, despite her attack, and extended his own leg outward to the side of her own head. Terra's head whipped to the side, fully unwary of the opposing hook punch Slade held ready for her. He then followed with an upper cut and a leaping sidekick that sent the girl flying into Starfire's arms.
"Terra!" Starfire cried out to the girl. Her body tensed for a moment as she collected the blood in her mouth and spit it out. The Tamaranian helped the girl to stand while Robin hastily ran past them, immediately falling into hand-to-hand combat with Slade. No words were even passed as Robin allowed his emotions to take over in his logical thought process fully. The mercenary blocked each arm strike and kick the boy wonder had to offer. With a swing of Slade's staff, Robin back-flipped, retracted his own from his utility belt, and extended it outward just in time to parry the man's next attack.
"What are you all doing here?" Terra asked as the battle she had fought began to take its toll on her body. With an arm slung over Starfire's shoulder, she watched as Robin and Slade continued to exchange blow after blow.
"We have come for you," Starfire stated truthfully. Terra's eyes shifted downward and let out a disgusted breath in reply.
"I didn't ask to be rescued," Terra said without looking up to the girl. "You shouldn't have come."
"But Terra," Starfire started, but Terra quickly stopped her in mid-sentence.
"This is my fight, Star," Terra interrupted the scarlet haired girl. "None of you should be here."
"We have been battling Slade long before we have come to know you," Starfire was equally quick with her own statement. "This fight is not yours alone."
"You don't understand," Terra said as she forced herself to stand on her own. She shrugged off Starfire's attempt to aid, and watched the battle between Robin and Slade. "I don't want to send Slade to prison."
"I do not understand," Starfire's brows pinched inward in confusion. "You do not wish for Slade to pay for what he has done?"
"I'm going to send him straight to Hell," Terra's tone had become much lower. Her fingers clenched tightly against her palm as she formed two balled up fists. "I want both of us to pay for what we've done."
Before Starfire could comment, the rock below Terra's feet lifted and she hurled herself forward to rejoin the battle. The sound of metal smacking against metal echoed throughout the cavern. Robin and Slade's moves were almost identical to one another, appearing as if they held the same Master at one time. Robin leaped over Slade's kick, and came hammering down with the heel of his boot. With his staff raised, Slade blocked the teen's kick, reached for his leg, and pulled him into a punch. The two staves dropped to the ground simultaneously.
"You're interrupting a personal matter, boy," Slade stated as he parried Robin's right hook.
"You're going to jail once and for all," Robin replied as he blocked Slade's kick with both his arms.
"You really think prison bars can hold me?" Slade laughed as he blocked another punch and grasped tightly onto his wrist. "There's no way in Hell I'd allow a failed apprentice like you to bring me in."
"Then allow me to drag you down," came a shout from behind the boy wonder. Robin quickly delivered a kick to Slade's midsection in order to break the hold. He then back flipped out of the way, just as Terra came rushing forward on her floating rock. The blonde haired girl leaped off the rock and extended her leg outward for a kick. Slade was ready though, grabbed the girl with ease, and spun to smash her back first into the ground. Her eyes were still glowing immensely as the rock she had leaped off smashed into Slade's back, which he had failed to prepare for. Terra's knees instantly rose into his chest, and with a push of her hands, she flung the mercenary back to reverse the pin. Before he had even hit the ground, Terra had begun to pummel his fast with her fists.
"It's all your fault, you bastard!" Terra screamed as she pounded her fist into his mask. It cracked further and further with every punch she delivered, and the mercenary had been too stunned to put up a quick enough defense. It only took him a short moment to recover, but Terra had already landed eight to ten punches. The split in his mask cracked fully, and Terra hesitated as the mercenary's true face was revealed.
"Once again, you've neglected your training," Slade's voice was sinister as his hand reached up to grab hold of Terra's entire face. With a turn of his body, he slammed her head first into a boulder, smashing it to pieces. "Never hesitate."
As Slade cocked his hand back to deliver the punch, Terra's aura exploded. Her screams were deafened by the violent shaking of rock and Earth around her. Slade's balance on the girl was shaken, as the entire rock structure they sat on began to tremble immensely. A ring of yellow collapsed all rock flooring around them, revealing an endless pit below. Terra's pure aura was enough to throw Slade off her as she began to float upward. Her eyes were fused with the golden-yellow hue of the energy spiraling around her, and her merciless look sent chills for the first time down the mercenary's spine. Her hands slowly rose upward, as yellow energy cracked throughout the ground around them.
"Die!" Terra screamed as the entire ground crumbled. With an inability to fight against gravity, Slade began to free fall to the pit below, where a smoldering hot death awaited him. The cavern around them continued to shake even after Terra's aura began to diminish. As soon as her energy was depleted, Terra expected her fate to be no different, and fell back first into the lava pit below. Her eyes were closed tightly, fearing the end of her life. "I'm sorry, Raven … I so sorry."
"You must apologize in person," a voice called out as she felt her wrist grabbed just as the heat began to warm her back. Terra opened her tearful gaze up to the Princess of Tamaran in pure shock. Starfire began to slow her accent as she pulled Terra up to grab her other arm. Though hesitant at first, Terra reached up and grasped onto Starfire hand as she pulled them both up toward safety. Robin stood at the edge with Beast Boy and Cyborg holding Raven in his arms behind them. Starfire landed with the girl in the center of the group, while the ceiling began to cave downward. Terra's eyes were right away on Raven's out stretched body lying motionlessly in Cyborg's arms.
"The entire structure's collapsing," Robin announced to the team.
"We've got a bigger problem," Cyborg stated as he nodded his head to the side paneling on his left arm. "Terra's powers activated a dormant volcano that's big enough to take out the entire city."
"Can we stop it?" Beast Boy asked hastily.
"There's not enough time," Cyborg stated. "This whole place is gonna go down in less than two minutes."
"We've got to get out of here," Robin ordered as he began to make his way toward the entrance. "There's nothing we can do from here, let's go!"
It was then that Terra saw Raven's eyes move toward her. They met for only a faction of a second before Terra turned away, unable to look the girl in the eye. Robin and Starfire were first in line to the exit, with Cyborg following in tow. Raven fought to keep up the view of the girl with her head hanging off Cyborg's mechanical bicep, but her vision was blocked by Beast Boy. The changeling stood with Terra, placing a steady hand on her shoulder.
"Come on, Terra," he said to the girl that refused to look up from the ground. "We gotta get out of here."
"You have to get out of here," Terra said as she turned back to the large hole she had created. "I have to stay."
"What?" Beast Boy asked. "No, you can't. Robin said it's too late."
"It's never too late," Terra said with a sad smile as she turned back to him. Beast Boy's vision became misty as he fought desperately to keep the tears from falling.
"Terra," Beast Boy's voice had dropped to barely audible. "No…"
"I'm sorry, Beast Boy," Terra said in a low voice. "I'm sorry for everything I've done."
Beast Boy held no words for the girl as countless emotions mirrored her façade. She spared a glance back to Cyborg who had turned to wait for the two and was shouting for them to hurry up. She locked her eyes upon the side of Raven's head, which was unable to focus on her. Terra preferred it that way; she couldn't bear to look the girl in the eyes after what she had done to her.
"Take care of Raven, B.B.," Terra said as she pulled the teen into a hug. Though baffled at first, Beast Boy returned the hug, not wanting to let go. "I know I've hurt all of you, but I know I hurt her the most. Please, promise me you'll watch over her."
"I promise," Beast Boy replied with tightly closed eyes. Terra was the first to release her grip, and as soon as he felt her arms drop, beast Boy did the same, despite the thoughts in his mind to drag the girl with him. Again, the blonde haired girl held the sad smile as she brushed her hair behind her ear.
"You're a good person, Beast Boy, and a great friend," Terra stated firmly. "And I know I can never be forgiven for what I've done."
"I forgive you," Beast Boy shouted in an instant. Terra was taken back at first, but smiled once again as she lowered her view.
"I know how you feel about me, B," Terra said truthfully. "And I'm sorry for all the things I've put you through. Now, get out of here."
Before he could say anything further, Terra ordered the rock Beast Boy stood on back toward the entrance of the cave. Her eyes never left until she saw his retreating back, and she breathed out a sigh.
The blonde didn't have to register a thought to know whose voice had interrupted her thoughts. She smiled, knowing Raven wouldn't allow her to end it without expressing her final thoughts.
'Terra, please don't do this.'
"I have to, Raven," Terra explained. "I'm the only one who can stop this from happening."
'I don't want you to do this. Please, Terra, it can't end this way.'
Terra was surprised at the emotion the stoic sorceress seemed to give through her telepathy. Even still, Terra was determined.
"Then don't think of this as an end," Terra said as she began to use her powers to levitate the rock toward the center of the large crater where lava began to build. With determination in her eyes, her ruined clothing hanging in shreds from beneath the steal plates, her expression showed that for her, at that very moment, nothing else existed in her world except for the task of keeping the volcano from erupting. Every part of her body began to glow yellow, as the sea of boiling liquid raged all around her. Her head bowed and her eyes shut tightly while her blonde mane rose all around her.
She stood in her motionless battle against the impending destruction, while a column of light shot upward from her body. Finally, she brought her fists up from her side and clenched her teeth soundlessly for the biggest effort of her life. She cried out one final scream, as the energy and lave surged everywhere, and in a blinding white flash, all went silent. Only the last stray thought traveled to the dark mage's mind.
'Think of this as a new beginning.'
End Part V