Prologue: "Meditation"

A low, soft, naturally rasped voice repeated a strange phrase with deliberate, careful tempo over and over, focusing mind, body, and soul into the rhythm, seeking harmony and balance. Such a young mind seeking such balance was a rare thing, but for her it was a way of life. The heroine known only as Raven floated in nothingness as far as she was concerned, wholly disciplined along her spoken words, looking inward. Azarath metrion zinthos… Azarath metrion zinthos…

In the physical world, she still floated, but in a more mundane location. In her dark chamber lined with books, dramatic masks, a lone dresser nestled amid some shelves, and plenty of open space, she remained on (just above) her bed. It was spacious, round, with dark sheets and a shading overhang rather like her own hood, which, at the moment, was laying limply down her back while she meditated. With a view of the ocean through the windows behind her bed, Raven remained calm, her pale, almost gray façade peaceful, her soft features placid. Her dark purple hair framed her face as always, like a pair of wings folded down along her jaw-line, short in the back, past her chin at the front.

The dark blue cloak she always wore fell thickly down past her crossed, bare legs, crumpling a bit on the bed. Clasped on the left side of her collar by a gold-wreathed, dark red stone, the loose hood created a large collar around her subtle neck. Her actual clothing was surprisingly simple, little more than a near-black, dark blue body suit with no legs, small gauntlets with smaller, matching jewels to her cloak-clasp on the backs of her hands, a belt of them sagging to the right side of her waist, and simple shoes of the same dark blue as her cloak.

Her peaceful expression altered abruptly, her purple eyebrows starting to crease as she moaned faintly. A strange character blazed to life with crimson light on her forehead, her hair starting ripple away from her face. Her open hands revealed two more, one for each palm. She winced, gasped at last, and fell onto her bed with a soft crumple of material and a mild 'oof'. Her lavender eyes flew open as she rubbed her forehead gingerly. Her expression calmed as she pulled the hand down, looking at the mark still glowing in her palm. Sorrow crept into her controlled emotions, and her eyes and fist closed. The marks gently vanished, and she opened her eyes to reality once more. The marks were gone…

Raven sat back up, holding her face in her hands as she crossed her legs again. I won't… I won't let this happen… I can't… She let her hands down, tears dripping down her gray cheeks as she stared into a dismal vision of the future inside her mind. The world ruined, her friends frozen as stone, and her father looming over it all as her spectral ravens prowled the skies. Her destiny, her fate, to end the world.

She bowed her head limply, hands clasped in her lap. If we couldn't stop Slade… how can I stop this from happening? She looked up with watery eyes to the ceiling. …How? Her clasp cut off her desire for an answer as it beeped the Teen Titan 'trouble' alert. Her brow creased, and she pulled her hood up, rushing off her bed and floating out of her room.

Flowing into the control-center of Titan Tower, her overshadowed eyes watched her friends hurry in to join Robin at the main console near the view-screen in the center of the living room. Robin glanced back to them, his black spiky hair, eye-mask, and red, green, and yellow costume bright and clear as ever, his black and yellow cape loose down his back. "Trouble, team." He touched a control and the view-screen blinked on to show the rest.

Cyborg let his gray and two-toned blue arms down as his eyes widened, his human-half face clearly surprised. "Whoa, where'd they come from?"

The screen showed humanoid, skeletal robots marching down one of the main city avenues in loose formation. Robin shook his head. "Unknown, but we can't let them just walk around messing up traffic."

"Dude," Beast Boy called as Robin turned from the screen, his black and purple suit holding to his body tightly no matter his form, his green face marked with dismal shock as his hands pulled down on his sharpened ears, "I think they're doing a little more than 'messing up traffic'."

Robin glanced back, and saw one of the robots lift a car off the street and throw it out of its way. "Oh great. Titans, go!"

He dashed out, Cyborg and Beast Boy running after him. Starfire swirled up in her pink and silver uniform, her long red hair coiling around her shoulders, and shot after them, her jade eyes glowing. Raven lingered, her brow creasing. Where did they come from? Without further pause, she turned, and shot after her comrades, cloak rippling.