A/N: Okay, this is my first TT fanfic so please be gentle. The first half of this chapter might confuse you a bit, but since this is an AU story it's just dull background info. Oh yeah, and I'm aware it's rather X-men-esque but that really wasn't the intention (though I guess that results in some creativity points being taken away from me.) Any way, the Teen Titans aren't and will never be mine (sad sad). As for pairings, it'll mainly be Raveast with a bit of BBT and some RobStar. And, sorry, there won't be much Terra-bashing-ness in this fic. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the story and flames will only be used to roast my marshmallows for smores.

District 0

Prologue

Mutant. An individual in posession of abnormal abilities or physical appearance. A veryvague definition for such a dynamic subject.

According to the text books, the mutant issue has been building for years; it only became a public concern when a mutant was caught and tried for robbing a small jewelry store in South Carolina. I find it ironic that the mutant "criminal" who catalyzed such a major conflict was in fact found guilty of all charges, but I digress. The point is that mutants, who were originally a source of ridicule and cruel entertainment then morphed into something to be feared and hated.

Not every one shared this fear, though it did result in many social changes. An especially powerful example of this is the splitting of the Roman Catholic church into the Old Roman Catholic Church and the New Roman Catholic Church (its members more commonly known as the Salvatores). The latter was founded by Salvatore Vinnci, a supposed prophet who claimed to have received a message from God instructing him to gather a following to purge the earth of individuals grotesquely malformed with sin. This rhetoric was soon adopted by a small group of radical politicians who called themselves Purites and who began demanding the elimination of all mutants in order to keep American society "pure." Supporters of mutants, referred to as Muts, naturally responded angrily to such demands and for two months heated debate occurred in both Congress and in the streets; the issue was finally settled when President Reagan himself came up with the Compromise of 1980.

The compromise required all mutants to register with the government and to visit a check site every six months to ensure no mischief was being made. Thus, an uneasy peace was reached, a peace that lasted until 1999 when a gang of teens (one side mutants, the other side "normal") got into a scuffle in Chicago with the outcome being five kids dead, one of which was a mutant. The Chicago Gang Fight exploded into a national issue and was used by the Purite party--which had grown in number over the years--to create a divide between states that supported mutants and states against mutants, dividing the country in a way that only the Civil War had. But, unlike in the Civil War, rather than the Purites demanding to secede from the nation, the Purites wanted the rest of the nation to secede from it.

In my personal opinion, this request was just ridiculous once one notes how most of the anti-mutant states were located right in the middle of the country; secession from them would either lead to a nation within a nation or the making of two new nations (one for each clump of states located on either side of Purite states). Apparently the Purite leaders realized the foolishness of their request as well, and eventually modified their goal into one consisting of taking over America in order to "save her society, her morals and her soul." Continuing with this flair for the dramatic, the Purites began their "campaign against corruption" on January 1, 2000. Thus, the new millennium was greeted not by the sounds of drunken singing and noise makers, but to the sound of bullets and panicked screams.

They call this war the Battle of Corruption, which I guess is fitting for both sides; the Purites are waging war against the corruption sinful mutants bring while Muts are fighting against the corruption of bigotry and fear. It's been going on for thirty-five years. There was a momentary cease-fire in 2010 that lasted for a year, and in 2023 there were rumors of peace talks, but each of these incidents never lasted long, each of these incidents would only end in even more bloodshed than usual. Yet, despite being caught in a perpetual state of struggle and bloodshed, life in war-torn America continues.

The headquarters each side established have proven to be the safest places to stay during the war, and so small communities began clustering about them until they grew into small cities and suburbs that provided innocent civilians with a place to live a semi-regular life. Mutants especially took advantage of this opportunity to live a "normal" life; yet another ironic situation considering how, if they were truly living a "normal" life as mutants, they'd probably be experiencing constant scorn and abuse. Again I digress.

Incidentally, because so many mutants were eager to experience a calm, relatively safe life for them an their children, the area surrounding Muts headquarters in California is the largest mutant community to date. In fact, it's reached the point that guarded sentries have been posted on the outskirts of the area because the very size of it has made it vulnerable. And still more continue to come; still more mutants seeking safety and acceptance. They say this is supposed to be the most secure place a mutant can flee to, that you can come here a pauper and have a chance to gain money and respect, that--if any where--hope for the end of the war can be found here, in District 0.

I was ten years old when I first entered District 0.

At the time, I knew nothing of the Battle of Corruption or of the significance of Disctrict 0 (in fact, it wasn't until a few months ago that I fully came to realize the magnitude of this war), I only knew that Azar and I used to live in a place called Idaho, that she had a received a summons one summer day and on our way to answer it we were chased by angry men until we reached the gates of a beautiful city: District 0. Azar and I ended up settling into the nicer part of District 0 in one of many small, two-story houses that lined a maple-shaded street which wound its way through the park and eventually ended at the school.

It was here that I made my first friend (of sorts), a little green boy who lived right next door whose bedroom was right across from mine, who made faces at me from his window when I was decorating my room. I ignored him, of course. And did all summer (despite the nightly face-making, and attempted water-balloon ambushes) until I opened the front door one day and found him standing outside of it, holding out a platter of wobbling, lime green jell-o and grinning widely. Closer inspection revealed that suspended within the jell-o was a rolled up sock, so in a fit of righteous ten-year old rage I promptly caused it to explode in his face, thus cementing my friendship with Garfield Logan, known as Beast Boy, fondly referred to as BB.

He was my best friend.

Sure, all of us living on Maple Road had--and still have--a close friendship: Robin is stubborn enough to earn my respect, Starfire is a fellow girl I can do girl things with (like mess around with voodoo dolls) and Cyborg and I bonded over his car one summer when BB's parents took him to Africa for a month. But I wasn't as close to them as I was to BB. Not that I told him secrets I didn't tell others (He found out at about the same time Cyborg did that my powers are controlled by my emotions--or lack thereof), or I hung around him all time as is the case in Robin and Starfire's relationship. It wasn't something any one ever acknowledged (either they chose not to point it out or they just didn't know), it wasn't something either of us actually pointed out and God knows it wasn't because we always got along (his corny jokes and my sarcastic jabs resulted in many heated clashes); it was simply a tacit, barely acknowledged understanding, an agreement. He dragged me out of my house, and I kept him from doing something too stupid, he helped me lighten up and I helped him (barely) get serious when he needed to be; we were just two extremes keeping each other balanced out. In that sense, we were the best of friends.

I say we "were" best friends because I don't know where we stand any more. Two years ago I would have blatantly denied being best friends with "that annoying, immature grass stain of a boy," but things changed when Terra came. She came and we were all forced to re-evaluate our relationships with one another. She came and the war was frighteningly close to home.

She came and everything changed.

A/N: Dun dun DUN. You know what I'm talking about. Do it. Push the button. Be nice, review and put a smile on my face.