A/N: Hey guys! Sorry it took so long to get this chapter out. I had four pages of it written, and then the disk that I saved it on decided to go screwy and I can't open it! It's still there, presumably, on that darned floppy disk, but no matter what way I try to get it open, it says Nope! So this is a re-written chapter, and I'm not happy about that because I liked what I had in the first place.
Okay, for the sake of this chapter, and maybe some following chapters, just ignore what you know about Raven's background, okay? I know her story, and I know how she came to be, and I know what Azarath is, and who Azar really is, but I learned most of that after writing about three pages of the first chapter four, and her real background doesn't fit with the story as well as my made up one does, so just ignore the discrepancies in all of the Titans backgrounds.
Also, let's all pretend that Raven is some sort of linguistical genius, and can read several languages. Well, that's all I have to say for now...
Chapter the Fourth: Destiny
Raven spent the day in silent meditation, still in the infirmary. Cyborg was refusing to let her out because even though she had regained some strength, she was in no way back to normal. 'And,' thought Raven, 'My powers are faded.'
She had attempted to use her powers to fill a glass of water at the sink and bring it to her, but she had trouble manipulating the glass and the faucet at the same time, and by the time she had the water, she was too tired to drink it for about twenty minutes.
The others had been coming by all day, one at a time, trying to make Raven feel better, she supposed. Cy had come by several times, checking the monitors each time, and Star had come by once to give Raven a 'Pudding of Wellness.' Trying to be a good friend, Raven took one tiny bite, but that was more than enough to make her sick to her stomach. She knew better than to try the alien's food, but Star so wanted to help... She'd come back later with a cup of herbal tea and some toast.
"Cyborg says that I am not to bring you any more puddings until you are well again. He also says that it is customary for the ill on your planet to partake in the dry toast and unsweetened tea," she had said.
Beast Boy came and brought a horror movie, and she'd watched about half of it with him it came time for training, and Robin had made him go. That was the first time Robin had so much as stuck his head in the door all day.
Practice usually lasted about two to three hours a night, unless there was a battle that day, and then it was shorter, if they had it at all. Beast Boy had said that they'd finish the movie later, but he'd been gone nearly four hours, and it was now past dinner time. He had apparently forgotten about her, and she was hungry. She was going to get up and try to go to the kitchen herself when the door swooshed open and Robin walked in. He was carrying a tea cup and saucer and the scent of chamomile filled the room. He silently handed it to her and she offered him a little smile. He pulled a chair out from the wall and put it next to her bed. He sat down in it, backwards, began to run his fingers over the grooves where the sides of the chair met the backrest.
"Raven,' he began. "Rae, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry about earlier. I...I shouldn't have yelled at you like that. I was just...I wasn't....I couldn't understand what was going on, and I had been woken up all of the sudden, and you were there, and I realized that you'd been in my head until I woke up, and...it was weird."
"No, it's not. It wasn't your fault, Raven, and I'm sorry I acted like that."
"Really, it's alright."
"Is there anything that I can do for you?"
"No, I'm fine right now."
"It would make me feel better..."
"Well," said Raven, trying to think of something. "There is this book I was in the middle of..."
"Okay!" Robin stood up. "Where is it?"
"It's on the top shelf of my bookcase, almost all the way to the left. It has a brown cover with white lettering on the front."
"What's it called?"
"You wouldn't be able to read it anyway. It's written in Aramaic."
"You can read Aramaic?"
Raven nodded. She didn't really like to share, but figured that this little bit of information couldn't hurt. "I taught myself to read several more ancient languages."
Robin looked impressed, and he left the room to go get the book for her. As he walked out, his cape caught a draft or something and it flipped off to the side, giving Raven a really good view, for just a couple seconds, of that same great ass that she'd seen in the dream before. She smiled to herself, and the cup in her hands glowed black for a brief moment. It didn't explode, and for once she was glad that her powers were running low. She sipped her tea quietly until Robin returned, carrying not one, but four of her large tomes.
He grinned at her. "I didn't know which one it was, so I brought all of the brown ones on the top left." He set them all down on the edge of the bed, and Raven picked up the one on top.
"This one is written in Sanskrit," she said. "This one is too, and see? It has black lettering on the front. This one is the one that I wanted." She showed him the writing on the covers, and while he really still couldn't figure out one language from the other, he nodded anyway. She put the three she didn't want on the bedside table, and Robin picked up the one from the bottom of the stack. She hadn't explained that one away, and he wanted to know why.
The book, like the other three, was bound in leather, but this leather was darker, coarser, and more...gritty. The pages were thicker, and the writing was done in a dark sort of silver. Across the front, it more of the same silver, it said 'Na Requiem vi Azar.'
He looked up at Raven to ask what it was, and found that she was looking at the book with her huge purple eyes. She was gripping the book in her hands tightly, and there was an emotion coming from her that was so strong it was palpable.
"Raven?" Robin said softly.
Sometimes, when she looked at you, it felt that she was looking through you, and it made him uncomfortable. He swallowed. "Raven, you were looking at this book like it's breaking your heart."
She looked down at the book in her lap. "It is." He tilted his head, surprised. He wondered what it was, but before he could ask, he realized that she was staring at him. He was beginning to think that she could read his mind, and when she spoke again, it seemed that she had. "You don't want to know. You're better off just forgetting it."
Robin looked back at the book in his hands. "But I do want to know."
"No, you don't." She glanced down at the book and for a split second, Robin thought that he could see that same unknown emotion from before in her eyes. She blinked, and looked up at him.
She set the book she was holding down on the table and took the 'Na Requiem vi Azar' out of his hands. "Are you sure?" He nodded. "This book is the story of the life of one young girl, beginning with her mother. Her mother was a beautiful Angel, sent down from Heaven above to guide souls home. One night, the Devil himself came from the Depths and took her, meaning to make her his own Angel of Destruction. The Angel was in the hands of the Minions of Hell and one came forth and said to her that he would take her away from this. He did, and she believed that he would set her free but he did not. He took her to his own dimension, where she found that he was not a Minion of the Devil, but was a Devil himself, the most powerful Demon in his own world.
"There, on the desolate plains of Azarath, he raped her and kept her, as she grew inside of her his child. As the demon child grew, the Angel withered, and she took her last breath as the child took it's first.
"The Demon took the child to a priestess, and for three months she was left alone. Then the priestess delivered her to her father, and several Dark Rituals were preformed, granting the child with certain powers that her father wished her to have. The child's destiny was to rule alongside her father, and, whence the rituals were complete, help him to take over the other dimensions, the ones that he did not control.
"Because of her demon blood, the child grew quickly. At the age of three Earth months, she appeared to be 7 Earth years old. At the age of five Earth months, she appeared to be ten Earth years, but something happened. At the age of one Earth year, the Demon's child was to be fully grown, and ready for the rest of the rituals. However, due to the blood of the Angel, the child's growth slowed. It slowed so immensely, that by the age of two Earth years, the child appeared to be only two Earth years. The Demons cast her out.
"The child was thrown into a new dimension, one called Metrion. There, the people took her in, raised her, and taught her to control her emotions. For is she did not, terrible great things would happen. The small child could move through solid things, manipulate objects, and enter minds. Eventually, the strain of keeping this strange child grew to be too much for the people of Metrion, and when she was but seven Earth years, they too cast her out.
"She was taken back to Azarath, and imprisoned inside the temple of Zinthos. Until the child was the age of twelve Earth years. Then the child's powers began to manifest in ways that she could not control. Anyone who came near her was subjected to them, and building she was kept in could be brought down around her. And she escaped. In the rubble of the temple, she discovered a book. It was being written about her, and she picked it up and looked through it. What she discovered made her so angry that she went looking for her father.
"It so happened that the day she escaped was the same day that a certain ritual was to be preformed, giving her father, who she learned to be a terrible Demon called Trigon, a new appearance. He was again attempting to infiltrate other dimension in disguise, to again abduct someone unsuspecting to bring back to Azarath and do to them what he had done to the Angel, the girl's mother, Arella.
"The ritual was half-completed when the Demon child walked in. In his much weakened state, Trigon was defeated by the girl, and she used her un-harnessed powers to throw herself into a different dimension. She ended up in a place called 'Earth,' and here she was safe from Trigon's followers.
"The book she had found was made of parchment and bound int he skin of a dragon's wing. It had been written in the silvery blood of a Unicorn, for it is an unholy thing to slay a Unicorn. It had been ceremoniously washed thrice in the blood of the sacrificed, and it outlined not only what had happened to the girl, but what was coming for her as well.
"She knew that she had to stay away from them forever, so she stayed on this 'Earth', this strange planet she'd never heard of before, and learned the language. She picked out a name for herself, and studied the book every day to learn the secrets of the people of Azarath. She learned to control her powers by controlling her emotions, such as the people of Metrion taught her." Raven stopped suddenly, realizing that she was no longer talking about the book. She turned away from Robin, who was staring at her hard.
He had realized that she was talking about herself about half way through this story, and he was currently alternating between being quite alarmed, a little confused, and very shocked. He'd never really heard Raven talk about her past at all. In fact, all he knew was that she was half-demon. She had explained this early on, in order to make them all understand what was happening when she was angry, and the reason that she had to control herself. But she had never said anything like this. Silence hung heavy in the air, and Robin felt that he should say something, so at least she knew he'd been listening.
"Why do you keep it?" He asked finally, gesturing to the book in her lap.
"I have to. It has in it all of the rituals that have been done to me so far, and it has all of the ones yet to come. I have to know what's coming so I can prepare, and so I can figure out a way to escape it all."
"But you're safe here, aren't you?"
"For now, yes. But when the time comes, they will renew the search for me, and I have no doubt that they'll find me."
"When the time comes for what?"
"For the rest of the rituals."
"When will that be?"
"Well, the way I have it figured, a Demon would 'come of age' when they were about one Earth year old, but in my case, with my slowed aging, I think that it'll be 18."
"18? Raven, aren't you 17 now?" She nodded. Robin swallowed. "Don't worry. I won't let anything happen to you. You're a Titan now, Raven, and the Titans will protect each other at all costs."
Raven sat up quickly. The room was dark, and there was a sudden crash right next to her. She turned, hands up, but nothing came. Slowly, she leaned over the side of the bed, and sighed with relief. There on the floor was the book that Robin had brought her earlier. She must have fallen asleep reading last night. 'Correction,' she thought as she glanced at the digital clock. 'I've only been sleeping for maybe an hour.' The red numbers read 1:12, and Cyborg had come to check on her at 11, right before he went to bed.
Thunder boomed from outside and lightning flashed, filling the room with a momentary brightness. 'Must've woken me up,' she thought. Raven shivered. It was cold in the infirmary, with its tile floor and white walls and stainless steel. She wished she was back in her room, with the thick covers and closed curtains.
There were other blankets in a cabinet in the middle of the room, and Raven decided to get one. Knowing that it would be too much of a power drain, she swung her legs over the side and tested them. The floor was cold. Raven stood anyway, and bent to retrieve her book. A little shaky from not being up since yesterday, she went halfway to the cabinet before she stopped.
The storm outside was drawing her to the window, and she went, kneeling on a chair by the window. The sky was black, save for the tendrils of electricity that laced across the sky without pause. The rain was coming down in sheets, so bad that she could barely see the lights of Jump City. The waters in the bay were nothing but fierce whitecaps and the one buoy that she could see was jerking back and forth so roughly that it's light kept blinking out.
Raven stared, enthralled with the fury of the storm. She looked down at the base of the tower to see the tree limbs whipping violently when she saw it. A dark shape, moving quickly through the trees. Lightning lit up the sky and she could see that the dark shape was man-shaped. And that it was heading closer to the tower. Quick as she could, she moved across the room and hit the medical alarm.
Cyborg came running and Raven told him what she saw. He took off towards the computer surveillance room and set of the intruder alarms. Within seconds, the other three Titans were up and alert, and as Raven came in at her own pace, Cyborg explained the situation.
"There's someone on the grounds. Raven saw them moving through the trees, and they were heading towards the tower."
In the hall, Raven could hear Robin give the orders. "Star, Beast Boy, we'll head outside. Cyborg, you locate this guy on video." Raven entered the room and Robin looked over at her. "Rae, grab a communicator and let us all know when you find him. Star, BB and I will check in every five minutes." Everyone nodded, and Raven plopped herself down in a chair. She knew that Cyborg could've used the communicator and looked through the video feed by himself, but she supposed that Robin had included her in his orders to make her feel useful. In a way, she was glad. Her lack of powers kept her inside, but at least this was something.
A moment later and completely without warning, Cyborg yelled, "Boo-yah!" Raven jumped slightly in her seat.
"What is it?" She asked.
"I got him." Raven rolled her chair over to him and looked at the picture on the screen. It was the exact image she'd seen from her window, in a still shot. "That's where he was, now let's see where he went..." Cyborg tapped a few keys, and the still image began to move. A second later the figure went off-screen and Cyborg changed the view to a different camera, and then another. Finally, they found his current location, creeping along the wall, right around the corner from the garage entrance.
Raven grabbed the comm. "We found him by the garage door."
"On it," Robin said.
"Me too," came BB's voice.
"I too am on my way," said Star.
Cyborg ran down to the garage to attack from the inside out and Raven watched the video feed. The figure looked like a man, but it was hard to tell from the dark of the storm. The rain was also impairing the quality of the video. Raven tapped a few keys and the video panned out, giving her a wider area.
Raven watched as Robin shouted 'now' and three Titans jumped the shadowy figure. The garage door lifted, and Cyborg jumped out. The element of surprise their best weapon at the moment, the unknown intruder was quickly overwhelmed.
The Titans took him down quickly, and then they moved in to capture him. Watching from the surveillance system, Raven knew something was wrong just after they approached the intruder's still form. As the Titans drew near him, Robin threw out an arm to stop Beast Boy from moving closer. Star's hands flew to her mouth and her eyes went wide. Even Cyborg took a step backwards. Exhausted as she was, Raven felt she had to get down there.
Summoning what was left of her powers to her, Raven slid easily through the wall and fell straight down through the night air. She didn't kick her powers back in until she was fifteen feet from the ground, and then only used them to slow her descent.
If the others were surprised to see her there, they didn't let it show. Raven approached the still form, suddenly filled with a dread that she hadn't felt watching him over the monitors. Robin reached out and grabbed her by the upper arm as she tried to pass him. "Wait." He said solidly. Raven obeyed, seeing what it was that had stopped the others from approaching him moments before. On each of his forearms was a brand. Burnt deepand still bloody, Raven recognized it as writing.
Star bit her lip and flew back into the tower through the open garage door, and after only a moment's hesitation, Cyborg followed. Beast Boy muttered something about ropes and disappeared into the garage as well, reappearing seconds later with a long coil of rope slung over one arm. Robin let go of her arm and the two boys tied the intruder's hands, carefully below the horrible markings, before rolling him over.
The face that came into view was a hundred times worse than anything Raven had been afraid she'd see. The face of this man, if what he was could be called a man, was branded into her face forever, and she knew without a doubt that she would see it every time that she closed her eyes for a very long time.
Before she could help it, a scream tore its way out of her throat. It was a scream of terror, of rage, of pain, and of hatred, and the force of it brought her to her knees.
There, lying prone on the cold, wet ground before her, face half hidden by a blood red cloak with a four-eyed design, was a priest. A priest of Trigon.
Dun, dun, dun...
A/N: If my life were a movie, that 'dun, dun, dun...' would have really played. Horribly enough, I just have to imagine it in my head. Well, if you must know, I actually said that after I typed the last sentence. It made me feel a little better about this whole chapter.
Again, sorry that it took so long to get this chapter out. I liked the first version better, and I'm very angry that I had to re-do it, so that's why it's short and it took forever.
Unfortunately, I'm trying to get a job, so updates will happen about as far between as this chapter was after the last one.
There was definitely something that I was thinking earlier that I wanted to mention in this A/N, but now I've forgotten it...Oh well. If I happen to remember it later, and if it was important, I'll stick it on the next chapter. Which, by the way, will include more dreams! (Just a little teaser for those who are actually reading this...)
I want to make this story more involved than I originally had it planned for, so if anyone has any good ideas, please leave them in a review!
And, speaking of reviews...Thanks to all of my wonderful reviewers from the last chapter!
Scorpio Serpent- Thanks!
Yellowlightning-No, not too many have, but as of upload time, I do have 10! Always hoping for more, though!
Kiyoitsukikage- Thank you! I enjoy descriptive stories, and I do try to have that reflected in my own work.
And if you want a shout-out, remember...Review!