Chapter 1

Prologue

The Titans were gathered in the common room, all except one. The four remaining were staring in horror at the screen, which now showed Slade's black and orange mask, enlarged to seven times it's actual size. What they were watching was a live video feed from Slade's lair, put up by Slade himself so they could watch his "finest hour".

"What is it that you want, Slade? Anything, it's yours." said Robin, prompted to this uncharacteristic surrender by the image of a struggling Starfire, bound and gagged, being man-handle and beaten by Slade's minions. Starfire and Robin had only been going out for a couple of months, but there mutual love was as stronger than any force on Earth. He would do anything for her.

"Oh Robin, you can't give me what I want, I can only take it. For I want revenge. Revenge against you and your team-mates."

"If it's me you want, let Starfire go!" said Robin.

"No Robin, I know that the best way to hurt you is to hurt Starfire. I'll kill her, and you'll never get over it. It is, after all, your fault." said Slade before filling the room with his obnoxious laugh. Robin's hands clenched into fists.

"Slade, if you hurt her, I will dedicate my life to hunting you down and hurting you in every way I know how." Robin spat. Slade just looked at him and slowly brought his hand up where they could see it. He snapped his fingers, and the men brought the bent and bloodied Starfire over to him. Slade wrapped his hand around her throat, holding her up but tilting her head at an angle.

"Such a pretty girl you have Robin…" he said. Then his spare hand came up and carefully lifted off his mask but turning it to the side facing the camera, he did it in such a way that the Titans never saw his face. His mask now obscured not only his face but Starfire's aswell. However they could see enough to see how Slade leant in closer to Starfire, then they also saw Starfire jerk away a second later and spit blood in his face. He had kissed her, and Robin was seeing red. Slade dropped Starfire harshly to the floor, then turned away from the camera to wipe the blood from his face before replacing his mask. He gestured to someone to his right and was handed a syringe.

"Say goodbye to your loved one Titans" he said, then he bent down and the camera followed him to the floor. The Titans watched in desperate disbelief as Slade's syringe was plunged cruelly into Starfire's neck, releasing its contents into her bloodstream. Slade backed away to give the Titans a clear view of the tamerranian. Her body was already reacting to the poison, her chest was jerking as she tried to breath and her eyes rolled back into her head, her hands clawed at the stone floor she lay on. She frowned in deep concentration a drawing a last, ragged breath she whispered,

"Robin" and then she lay still. There was complete silence inside the Titan Tower for what seemed an eternity as they all urgently willed Starfire's frame to move again. Robin moved first,

"STARFIRE!" he shouted, leaping over the table to lay his hands on the screen. The image however moved from Starfire to Slade, who was looking down proudly at his accomplishment.

"Well, there you go, not much to see now I'm afraid. So I'll just go, oh, and don't forget Robin, this is your fault." And with that the screen flickered off. Robin stood motionless, his hands still pressed against the screen. The others were afraid to speak. Robin shook his head slowly, then faster and faster.

"No," he said "NOO!" he fell to his knees and broke down.