So you're sure these are real?" Robin asked, prodding his ticket. "I haven't even heard of this band."

"For the last time, they're real," Raven growled. "Now can we go?"

Helena stepped up to the stage. It was weird, but she never felt nervous during a concert, only before. Elspeth sat backstage and gave her sister thumbs up.

Helena nodded back and grabbed the microphone. She raised her left hand, and the band started to play.

Cyborg honestly couldn't see what the big deal was. Sure, the band was good, but everyone around him, including the other four Titans, seemed absolutely enchanted.

Then he figured it out. Helena was using a mild form of emotional control to enhance her singing. It was so mild that she might not even be aware of it.

The lights dimmed and Helena started singing the last song. "The Elf Knight sits on yonder hill, she sang, and the band joined her on the chorus, "Fine flowers in the valley. He blows his horn both loud and shrill, as the rose is blown.

The bass player sung the knight's part, endowing the lines with a bit of menace. Both of them sang strongly and at the end, Helena hit a perfect high note. Everything would have been fine, if the lights hadn't blown out suddenly.

"Robin," Starfire asked, "Was that supposed to happen?" Robin replied, "I don't know. " The Titans heard a scream from the stage. "I'm sure that's not supposed to happen," Raven observed dryly. "Titans go!" Robin said, but it was too late. Raven and Starfire were flying toward the stage, and Beast Boy wasn't far behind.

Starfire was the first one to reach the stage. She flung her arms around the sobbing blond girl.

"Have no fear, new friend. I am here."

Helena regained enough composure to ask, "Who are you?"

Starfire became completely confused. "We met this morning at the mall," she replied.

The rest of the Titans arrived then. Raven noticed something familiar about the girl that Starfire was talking to. Except for the eyes, she looked exactly like Elspeth. Raven asked, "Do you know a girl named Elspeth?" Helena replied, "Elspeth's my younger sister."

Robin scanned the area for suspicious activity.

"Who screamed?"

Helena said softly, "Elspeth did. I think she was kidnapped."


"Wake up, Firebird."

Elspeth rubbed her eyes. The motion allowed her to remove her contact lenses, so they wouldn't fuse to her eyeballs if she had to use her powers.

"You," she said, threateningly. "What do you want?"

Slade moved closer to her.

"The same thing I wanted two years ago. I want you to be my Apprentice."

"I refused then, and my answer now is the same."

She felt the back of her neck tingle. It was the same as last time, except that no one was here to protect her-or hold her back.