Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans. If high-powered lawyer types want to sue my ass over some little fanfiction, they can go right ahead.
At night, from overhead, Jump City was beautiful.
The glowing pinpricks of the city lights look like tiny diamonds spread out over a sheet of black velvet. The slums of the inner city and the groups of rundown warehouses near the docks, which were so visible in the day, now only appear as dark patches amongst the lights, invisible, and therefore untroubling to the casual observer. Indeed, most wouldn't even notice those dark patches, for they would be distracted by the beauty of the lights, the diamonds.
But all was not well in diamond-land tonight; breaking the stillness of the night, a bright fireball erupts from amongst the set of lights that makes up the business district, closely followed by the boom of the explosion's shockwave, sight and sound having been split from one another by the distance.
A man levitated about twenty feet off the ground in the middle of the street, laughing. The source of the explosion, an eighteen-wheeler that had been carrying oil, lay on its side, burning, a short distance away, and the surrounding buildings appeared heavily damaged. They had been the tall glass-covered skyscrapers typical of any city's business district, and broken glass lay in piles all around. As for the man himself, he looked remarkably out of place in this scene of destruction, being a small, portly, balding, bespectacled man of about forty. Nothing about him looked anything but ordinary, aside, of course, from his levitation, glowing red eyes, and mad laughter. It seemed quite odd for such an otherwise mundane man to be the cause of such destruction, but no-one seemed to want to point that out to him; most people had already fled the area, and besides, his rampage was continuing unabated.
Ah, but some newcomers have arrived on the scene. Who could they be? One seems to want to say something…
As one, the Titans leapt at the man, falling with practiced ease into their usual battle positions. Hoping to take him down quickly, Cyborg, Robin, and Beast Boy closed in to strike, only to be repelled by some kind of energy shield. This same shield also served to block Starfire's starbolts and Raven's telekinetically hurled objects. The man just laughed.
"Okay, so maybe this won't be so easy," said Robin, readying a handful of explosive throwing discs. He smiled grimly. "That's fine with me."
Robin charged, throwing the discs ahead of him, but the man just put up another shield to block the explosives. Robin tried to change direction to catch the man off guard, but found himself held by what looked like the same kind of energy that made up the shield. With nothing more than a casual gesture, the man tossed Robin aside like a rag doll. Robin tried to recover from his fall, but he hit his head on the pavement and was knocked out.
"Robin!" cried Starfire. She was about to fly to him, but Raven stopped her.
"He's just out cold, Star," she said. "He'll be fine. We need you more here." Starfire bit her lip, but nodded agreement.
"Damn! We can't get close enough to him to do any damage. That shield of his blocks everything!" said Cyborg.
"Yeah, and is there any reason why his powers look kinda like Raven's?" asked Beast Boy. Raven narrowed her eyes. The energy the man controlled did look very similar to her own powers, although while hers appeared as a black aura with white edges, his appeared as a black aura with blood red edges.
"I guess I'll have to find out," she said in her usual monotone, and floated closer to the still cackling man.
"What are you going to do? Ask him?" said Beast Boy.
"No, moron, I'm going to project myself into his mind," Raven said. She closed her eyes, concentrated a moment, and then spoke her usual magic words.
"Azarath, metrion, zinthos."
The man stopped laughing, cried out as if in pain, and doubled over clutching at his head, still floating about twenty feet in the air.
"Dude! Raven's psychic whamma-jamma is working!" said Beast Boy.
"Go Raven!" yelled Cyborg.
"Glorious! Once again, Friend Raven's mind powers have granted us victory!" said Starfire.
"Once again? Man, I was totally the one who granted us victory last time!" said Beast Boy. "Remember how I turned into a horse and kicked the crap out of…"
Beast Boy's story, whether it was true or not, was interrupted by a snarl of rage. The man seemed to have broken Raven's psychic attack, and now stared at her with an expression of pure rage. Raven grunted as she struggled to maintain her hold on the man's mind, but the force of his counterattack quickly overwhelmed her. She screamed and dropped to the ground, and the man resumed his maniacal laughter. Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Starfire ran up to protect Raven where she had fallen.
"Raven! Friend, wake up! What has happened?" cried Starfire. Raven groaned and got unsteadily to her feet.
"Don't worry about me," she said. "He has some nasty psychic defences, that's all. I'll be fine in a second." She shook her head to clear it. "More important is what I found out about him before he kicked me out of his mind," Raven continued.
"What?" Cyborg asked. "Can we use it to beat him?"
"Yes, we can beat him," Raven replied. "I know what he is now. He's a demon, or rather, he's being possessed by one."
"A demon?" Beast Boy said. "What, like your da…"
"Don't say it," Raven interrupted. She sighed. "Look, I can banish the demon, but I need you guys to buy me some time. It'll take a few minutes before the spell is ready." The other three looked at each other.
"Alright! You heard the lady!" Cyborg yelled. "Titans! GO!"
"Hey, why do you get to be the leader?" Beast Boy complained.
"Oh, just shut up and go already, grass stain!"
Raven suppressed a smile, closed her eyes, and began chanting.
"Azarath, metrion, zinthos. Azarath, metrion, zinthos. Azarath…"
Her spell did indeed take several minutes to complete. In the meantime, Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Starfire fought the crazed man, and although they were still unable to penetrate his defenses, they were at least able to keep him busy until Raven was done. Intoning the last of the spell's incantations, Raven allowed herself to float up off the ground until she was level with the man.
"Cyborg! Beast Boy! Starfire!" She called. "I'm done! Get out of there!"
As her allies scattered, Raven collected the power of the spell in her hands, where it was visible as spheres that seemed to glow in spite of their blackness. The man turned his mad eyes, still glowing red, to look right at her as she floated closer to him.
"Back for more, eh, witch?" he said, the first coherent sentence to come out of his mouth. His voice was impossibly low, with just a hint of multiple voices speaking at once. Raven glared at him.
"I have nothing to say to you," she growled. She raised her hands, pointing her palms towards the man. "Begone, demon!" she screamed, and released the spell.
Blackness erupted from her hands towards the man. He screamed in terror and raised a shield, but the spell broke through it as though it was not even there. He was silenced as the blackness enveloped him entirely, although his face was still contorted in a voiceless scream.
Then, the man seemed to explode with light.
The other Titans, who had moved Robin out of the way just as Raven began her attack, covered their eyes to block out the light, but it permeated everything, blinding them. Then, just as soon as it had appeared, the light vanished. The spell was completed, and the demon had been sent back to wherever it had come from. Now powerless, the man groaned and started to fall.
"Star!" Cyborg shouted.
"I have got him!" called Starfire, as she rocketed past to catch the man just a few feet from the pavement. She returned to where Cyborg and Beast Boy were sitting near Robin, who was still out cold, and lay the man gently on the ground.
"I believe that he has also been rendered not awake, as Robin has," she said, in her usual idiosyncratic English. Before anyone could respond, Raven walked up to them, looking even more pale than usual. The spell had taken a lot out of her, but she would never admit it.
"Can we go home now?" she said.
Far away, atop a skyscraper in another part of the city, a shadowy figure was watching. He had seen everything, from the very beginning. Indeed, he had been watching even before the man had gone on his insane rampage, just waiting for something.
"Yes," he whispered to himself. "That is definitely her."
A smaller shadow appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and wrapped itself around his left arm. It was a snake, of indeterminate species, but it had a glint of intelligence in its eyes not seen in most normal reptiles. It hissed insistently. The shadowy man chuckled, and began absent-mindedly stroking the creature's head as he turned his attention back to the destruction in the business district. The police had moved in, as well as several clean up crews; it looked like the action was over.
"Did you see that, my friend?" the man said, addressing the snake. "Did you see the kind of power she was throwing around?" The snake hissed again.
"She couldn't be any older than sixteen or seventeen, too," the man continued. "To have that kind of power, at her age…" He turned away from the distant scene of destruction and stepped deeper into the shadows.
"Yes, there can be no doubting it," the shadowy figure said as he disappeared from sight. "She is Raven of Azarath, daughter of Trigon the Terrible."
The snake hissed again. The man sighed.
"Yes, fine. I'll feed you. Now shut up."
-END CHAPTER ONE-
Author's Note: (This is a big Author's Note, since this is my first installment.) Okay, so that's chapter one done. I know it doesn't do much in terms of plot advancement, character development, or pretty much anything else aside from introducing that guy in the shadows at the end ("Who was that masked man?"), but that's all it was meant to do. Think of it like the little intro sequences before the theme song in the show. Oh, and for all the Robin fans out there, don't worry, he's not going to get his ass kicked every time. He'll be opening up a few cans, nay, barrels of whoop ass later on. It's just that here, the crazy guy was a lot more powerful than Robin thought he was; he made a tactical error, and Robin doesn't have any super powers to fall back on, so he took it on the chin this time.
I might have said something in one of my previous stories (Duplomatic, Booby Trap, and Silly Villainy) about wanting to keep away from Raven-focused stories for the next little while, since Duplomatic was mostly about her. Unfortunately, all my good ideas seem to be Raven-focused, so screw it. Here's what you get.
Also, for all the people out there wondering what character pairings I'll be using, this won't be a particularly romantic story. That said, I'm going to at least try to be true to the characters and their relationships as they appear in the show, so there might be some Robin and Starfire stuff, but only a little, and Beast Boy's relationship with Raven won't go any further than "usually irritating, but sometimes sensitive". As for Cyborg, he doesn't need a girlfriend—he has video games and a car, silly! And if there are any of you who refuse to read stories that don't have Raven and Beast Boy shamelessly making eyes at each other or something, well, that's your loss, Sparky. Oh, and Terra won't be showing up. She's been statue-ified at this point (in terms of timeline, I'd put this story somewhere in the middle of season 3, but don't hold me too strictly to that).
Anyway, read and review. Please don't flame, blah blah blah. Also, be patient with my updates—I'm leaving tomorrow to spend Christmas with my family, so I'll be away from my computer (which is at university), so I probably won't be able to update again until the 9th of January or so. I'm in the process of doing some serious revision to later chapters of this story as well, so that might delay things a bit too. Hopefully not too much, and it should result in a much more streamlined plot. I will be updating at some point, though, so don't lose hope.