Starfire floated several inches behind Cyborg as the hulking mechanical man hunched over the stone operating table. Her green eye intent on his every motion as he slowly and delicately removed, piece by piece, the implanted control disk from Robins living tissue, and she chewed nervously on her bottom lip the deeper the insertions became. Cyborg worked intently, trying to disregard the presents of the timid young alien princess watching from over his shoulder. The jester know as Alice who had sat upon the metal monolith's shoulder was gone, sent away by her master to be summoned once again when her services where required.
Raven sat alone in a deeper chamber, void of light and thick with moisture, here she was alone with her thoughts. The power that burned within her fueled itself on the emotions that hid just beneath the surface, and that one night so many moons ago had broken that thin layer that had kept the power in check and under control. Her mind always found its way back to his face and his voice, and whenever she thought of him the emotions burned and her power flared up to the brink of her control. The wings that grew from Ravens bare shoulders had been formed from that overload of magical energy; her physical body was not meant to withstand such force and had been obligated to alter itself. Her tolerance for emotion had increased but the control over her powers was not what it had once been. Other gifts had surface while others weakened or diminished after her unwilling transformation. On of these that surfaced was the ability to create and control a corporal manifestation. The jester illusion called sparks had been one of these and had been created by her for a single purpose, to watch and to report back to its maker. And so with its help Raven was forced to watch in the shadows as the world that she knew had been taken piece by piece into the depths of madness.
In this time of waiting and listening Raven caught whispers of Terra through the psychic channels churning through our world, though she knew not when or what Hunter planned to do regarding the diseased child of the earth. Her resurrection had been just as big of a revelation to her as all the others. Raven sent Alice to watch the girl that had once loved the boy Raven now felt so much for. This was when the monster that called himself General Hunter seized power, and with his influence he was able to turn the Titans against potential allies and turn the world ageist the Titans and those like them. In a single day Hunter took the Tower, the Titans, Terra, and even Beast Boy. Miraculously Terra escaped along with the savage teen and the youthful psychic she traveled with, but now the young green boy that had awakened the burning inside of her was gone. He had been hidden away by the most manipulative fiend Raven had ever met. The wings growing from her shoulders rustled slightly as she thought of Beast Boy, the rock around her groaned slightly as the pressure of the mounting power within its walls grew. Clinching her teeth she forced the emotions welling up inside of her under control. Slowly the rustling of the feathers and the cracking of the stone subsided and her face was calm once more. Raven knew that she could never be with him, she knew what might happen.
Commotion in the chamber to her right caught her attention, the others where standing up and stepping away from the stone slab where Robin was lying. Raven floated to her feet and glided with no assistance from her stationary wings to the edge of the shadowed room and watched. Robin slowly sat up; the black suit still wrapped around his body tough the orange disk had been surgically removed, replaced with a patch of gauze and strips of bandages. His eyes where still clinched close, though he shook his head as if waking from a long and uncontrollable nightmare. Starfire hesitantly flew several inches closer to her woken leader, and Robin looked up at her. They looked into each others eyes for a moment of complete silence. Then Robin looked away, covering his face with his hands he wept. Starfire tried to reach out to comfort him, but could not force her hand to touch the being who had just so recently been overtaken by such a strong evil. She watched as the grief of his forced deeds washed over him, he cried out in anguish and regret to the black ceiling over his head. Drifting down to her knees the innocent Starfire averted her eyes from the boy that had been her first and only love and who had become the vicious tool of her enemy. Cyborg watched in silence, the bloody operating tools still clutched in one hand. The two broken lovers lay on the cold stones and neither could gather the strength to look into the eyes of one who had caused such pain. It was Raven who stepped from the shadows, and broke the silence unceremoniously with a direct question,
"We need information Robin. We'll deal with your actions latter, but for now we must know what Hunter is planning." Robin stopped his soundless weeping even though the tears still brimmed the edges of his eyes, no response came to the question however. Raven floated forward and raised her wings to their full length over the sitting boy. When she spoke the ground shook and the rocks cracked, the force of the emotion in her words pouring into the environment around her. "Now Robin!"
The boy wonder cringed slightly from beneath the stare of the black idol, even so her gaze remained firm and her face unchanging. Robin slowly swung his legs off to one side of the rock slab and slouching against his knees. His hair shadowed his eyes and when he spoke his voice sounded raspy and thin as if he had just screamed it all gone.
"I only know so much, but it's enough to know that the world is damned to a slow and painful destruction. I even helped to start the cogs of his sick procedure to turn, all of us did." Starfire looked up slowly and painfully at Robin as he forced himself to recite the life which he had led under the control of the cursed general. "The general had every thing planned out from the beginning, and no matter how many times you slipped through his finger or stopped his plans he would win in the end no matter what… all he needed was the girl, and I delivered her right into his hands."
"Why doses he need the incomplete psychic, her powers are diminutive at best. How is she the instrument of our downfall?" Raven pushed for Robin to keep speaking, she needed to know more.
"Your wrong about her Raven, the power that sleeps within that girl involves the destruction of us all. Hunter wants to have power over the one that can command all others, but I doubt even he had keep such a force under control. Her power will awaken and all will be lost, she is the key to the lock that which was formed from the ashes from the final apprentice."
Then Raven understood. With Ann, Hunter had every thing he needed to create an instrument that could control Terra… along with the rest of the gifted on the planet.