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Thirteen Hour Horrors
Chapter 13: 11 PM
It was a man. His broad shoulders and stance told it, not to mention the familiarity they already had with him.
Raven tried to form a retort, a snip, anything. There was nothing to fill the empty void.
"So here we all are…" The man stepped closer, a strange moon silhouetting him. Raven glimpsed at it, the moon was eclipsing.
"You-" Robin grit his teeth, and pulled himself toughly to his feet, Starfire reluctantly stood beside him. "Bastard!" He growled, unable to contain the amount of hatred fueling his blood.
"Now, now Robin, are such hostilities really necessary?" The man purred, taking another step closer.
Raven took an unsure step back. She didn't know how he had done it all, but she wasn't willing to underestimate the man.
Starfire's star bolts had returned to her hands, heated fury now consuming her as well. "Do not come any closer!" Starfire warned, bringing her glowing hands up.
The man walked every closer, the lunar eclipse behind him quickly enveloping the moonlight. "Wouldn't you say this was funny?" The man continued to chat amicably as he closed the distance. "Titans fall on Friday the 13th, it'll be quite the headline."
"What makes you think you'll win?" Robin gritted, standing his ground firmly.
"Because, my dears," the man stepped closer, the moonlight glittered off his mask. "Your quite out of luck." He did a quick hand motion and stepped closer.
Raven could now see Slade's one eye, staring mercilessly into the dark. There was noise behind them.
Raven half-turned to search the dark.
Most of the villains they had fought stood at the ready, closing a large circle around the defenseless titans.
Control Freak stood directly behind them, a new remote in hand. Dr. Light stood off to his right, aiming some kind of angular white gun at them. To Control Freak's left was Cinderblock, massive arms crossed. A younger Mad Mod stood next to Cinderblock, leaning leisurely on a new cane.
Rounding, the HIVE stood aside Slade, Jinx at his right hand. Gizmo and Mammoth stood a bit further off, grinning mercifullessly.
Raven heard Robin curse blackly, and Starfire looked rather grim herself.
"It was more of a joint effort this time." Slade paused a moment to look around at his assembled crew.
Robin was putting the pieces together in his mind quickly.
All the magic could have been done by Jinx, the illusions by Mad Mod. Dr. Light probably had a part in the towers absence of illumination. The creaking had to have been done by either Mammoth or Cinderblock. Control Freak must have made some of the things that had moved about mysteriously. Gizmo had been the technician in rigging the poisonous umbrella and violets…
And Slade had been the plot mastermind.
It was maddening, angering, and highly improbably, but genius…
"What do we do?" Raven hissed under a sigh toward Robin. Robin had moved closer to her, nudging Starfire as he went.
But it was still 9 to 3. And they were cornered.
Robin slid his hand across his waist, to casually check for his belt. It was present. Maybe if he could get a smoke screen…
"You will surrender, now." Slade ordered. He made a quick wave with his right hand. Cinderblock picked up Cyborg in a tight grip, while Mod picked up an unconscious Beast Boy. The others stepped forward to compensate for the holes in the circle.
Starfire whimpered lightly, a fit of tears coming to her eyes. She held back her sobs though, this couldn't be the end.
The villains never won.
"Restraints please." Slade purred. The moon behind him was almost halfway gone.
Raven couldn't help but hate and admire the man. He had staged everything perfectly, bribed all the villains to work accordingly with him, even picked a perfectly ironic time and day.
Jinx raised her arms, drawing a pink glow of power. Barbed wire appeared, glowing pink.
The three remaining titans had no choice but to present their hands to be tied.
And Jinx had never gotten over the countless times they had thrown her in jail. Relentlessly she wound the wire, thrashing their skin in the binding. No one in the room had any pity for the titans; they surely weren't going to step in.
Slade oversaw the procedure with an air of supreme confidence. He was patient, and wasn't going to rush the girl.
Robin gritted his teeth hard against the pain, he wasn't going to give them that satisfaction. The wire wound further up his arms and tears pricked his eyes, but his domino mask hid it all.
Raven concentrated on her mind, rather than her body. She knew her eyes were teary from the spiked wire digging into her skin, but her face stayed emotionless. She had to figure out something, they couldn't end like this.
They were heroes after all.
Tears ran down Starfire's face as the tyranny of wire ripped at her flesh. She understood enough to see they had worked together in their overthrow. But why? Why could they be so unforgiving and cruel…?
Her shoulders shook submitting to small sobs.
"Come now." Slade said softly, and stepped forward to grab Robin. Obediently, like a chained dog, Robin allowed himself to be lead. He kept his head high, but still caught the satisfaction radiating in all the villains faces.
It was torture before death, he was almost sure of it.
Dr. Light took Raven, following Slade and Robin, while Control Freak grabbed Starfire. Mad Mod and Cinderblock followed with the other two titans, and HIVE kept up the rear, following in a line.
They wove up the stairs, the darkness replacing their surroundings when they had gone out of windows reach.
Robin could hear dripping blood. From himself or one of the girls, he couldn't tell. His hands were sticky with drying blood, as he was lead by Slade. The man towered ahead of Robin, his hand just barely hooked in the wire to lead the titan leader. He never looked back, his steps so sure.
Raven almost glowed with hatred. Dr. Light had grabbed her arm, and was now leading her jostling about. He had used his other hand to stick the butt of his gun into her back, it dug bruisingly. She had been trying to create a plan, but it was awfully difficult with the man touching her.
Raven wanted to show him a darkness her father would be proud of.
Control Freak leered over Starfire. He lead her by an arm, looking grinningly back at her ever once in a while. Starfire felt like hiding from his gaze, her hands heated at the thought. If she could only get a shot-
"If any of you attempt to escape, Mod or Cinderblock will kill your friends immediately." Slade warned from the front.
They ascended another staircase; there were no more thoughts of escape from either of the three.
Robin had begun to wonder where exactly they were going. They had been rounding up staircases, down hallways. But Slade never faltered.
The villain who had always bested Robin mentally, was about to best him for a final time.
The parades of footsteps were the only sound for a while. The blood had stopped, for now.
Then Slade stopped. Robin had to abruptly stop, to ensure he didn't go running into the man.
There was a creaking of a familiar door. Robin knew immediately where they were going.
Slade led him up to the rooftop, and into the last of the moonlight. It would have been a beautiful night, without the given circumstances.
Light clouds blustered in a faint wind. The moon was just dipping lower in the sky, quickly disappearing in an eclipse.
Raven and Dr. Light came up next, Ravens cape still swished in the light breeze, as they moved in next to Slade. Then there was Starfire and Control Freak who took the other side of Slade; Starfire's tears had finally stopped.
Mad Mod and Cinderblock were next, shaking the rooftop a little, bringing the two unconscious titans. They stood beside Dr. Light and Control Freak in another circle.
The HIVE were last, closing the rooftop door they walked silently to take a place across from Slade.
Suddenly, the three titans were released, and shoved forward, their painful bondage still in place. They tripped to their knees groaning. There were smirks all around from the villains.
"Hmm, shall we start now?" Slade looked around, clearly amused. There were nods and smiles from the group.
"Titans, stand." Slade ordered.
Robin had noted the man's adoration for commands. And as much as he hated to obey, he wasn't going to have anyone die on his terms. Robin scrounged himself to his feet, to the sound of snickering.
Starfire stood next, drawing herself smaller and trying not to attract attention. Her misshapen appearance still earned a few raised eyebrows.
And then their attention shifted to Raven.
Raven was much more hardheaded. Obeying was not something she was very keen on.
They waited, most not expecting her to follow a command.
It took her entire will to get her feet underneath herself, and not lunge at Slade with the spite of hell. There were weary and curious looks when she stood, even Robin himself looked mildly surprised when she stood up.
Slade's eye stayed on Raven a second longer before looking at Robin. "I will ask you each once. Will you join me Robin, and serve as my apprentice once more?"
Anger simmered high in his veins. How dare he ask that? His hands had fisted, before the impulse of pain had reached his mind. It was an instant reminder, and his hands unfolded.
He stared into Slade's visible eye with all the loathing he had. "Never."
Slade looked bemused for a moment before nodding. Swiftly he pushed Robin to the side to get to the girls. Robin was shoved into Dr. Light, who raised his gun to keep Robin where he was.
Raven moved in front of Starfire, bent of keeping Slade away from her.
"Will you join me Raven? This is your last chance to live."
Raven frowned, feeling black energy prickle at her fingertips. How she wanted to rip that mask off and gouge out his eyes! She wanted his blood spilling over the pavement…she wanted him dead with every fiber of her being.
Instead she spit at him. "Go to hell bastard." She growled, her voice icy and sharp. "Take your parade with you."
Slade hadn't moved from her retort, the slithering spot of spit on his glittering mask. There was a moment of expectations on both sides. He moved a hand and wiped it off. Silence…
Slade moved in a sudden, rapid movement. He turned and backhanded Raven, a large smack resounding across the area. She fell back from the force, and collapsed on the concrete.
Starfire cried out, and Robin started to rush toward her. The barrel of a white gun pressed to his forehead stopped him. Starfire had half turned to go help Raven, when a voice stopped her.
"And you Starfire…" Starfire sniffled, slowly turning back to Slade, his eye now glued to her as though nothing had happened. "Do you choose to join me?"
Bitter, deep hatred burned through the alien. She had never felt anything so powerful. Her hands blazed alive. "I will not!"
Slade looked at her a moment longer. "Very well, but do not forget your place." His eyes flickered to her hands, and the green light immediately died out.
"Now," Slade started a bit louder, he turned his back on the three titans and moved a little bit out of the circle. "I gave you a choice, but you have chosen death-"
"What about Beast Boy and Cyborg?" Robin butted in, ignoring the threat of a gun held tightly to his forehead.
"I am getting there, patients boy."
Starfire turned to help Raven.
"The other two will wake up, safe and sound, to find two titans missing."
Starfire helped up a withered Raven the best she could with her hands painfully pinned. She held a hand to her cheek, a frown on her face. Emotions had begun to break out across her face, Starfire could see it in the way her eyes were unfocused.
Her cheek was blazing red.
Robin opened his mouth to comment on Slade's incorrect math. Before he could, Slade suddenly swung back around to look intently upon the three.
"Yes, only two of you three are going to die." He watched Starfire try to pull Raven up, the girl looked completely off put. "And do you know how that is going to be chosen?"
There were no takers, just angry glares.
The villains had large smiles; they had heard and rehearsed the plan many times. It was like a huge joke, and here came the punch line.
"You three must decide which one of you will live." Slade crooned, delighting in the three looks of shock her received. "You have ten minutes." He nodded toward Dr. Light, who then released Robin. There was a quick pink glittering light, and the shackles fell off.
Raven was still half awake, but forced herself to focus. One of them would live, and she wouldn't let it be her.
"Not me." Robin declared, beating the dark girl to it.
"Me either." Raven added with a straight face, looking at Starfire.
"Wha?" Starfire looked confusedly between the two in front of her. It dawned on her, and she shook her head ravenously. "No! I will not be the one to live!" There were tears burning at her again. "Robin, you must, they will need a leader!"
Robin was solemn, and shook his head sadly. "I won't sentence you to death just because I'm a leader."
Starfire shifted, eyes now brimming with tears to grasp at Raven with bloodied hands. "Please…Raven…live!"
"I'm sorry Starfire." Raven took the hand from her cheek to gently pet the alien. "I promised to protect you."
Starfire let go and turned back to Robin, deep wrenching sobs now feeling through her body. "Noo…" She moaned, and lunged at Robin, hugging him tightly. He hugged her back, trying to keep himself together.
He caught Raven's eyes over the girl's head. In the glimpse he knew he was making the right choice, they were both so sure. If someone was going to live, it would be Starfire.
It was a terrible choice to make, but he could see it in Raven's eyes. Certainty. She was just as bound to die for the girl as he was.
And they would. Together.
Starfire sobbed harder against him, pulling at his grimy suit and trying to bury herself away from the mess.
The villains all waited around in amusement. Robin hugged her tightly, hating the moment he had to let go.
Finally her sobbing became controlled. Robin pushed her a bit back, inviting Raven beside him. "Promise me you won't blame yourself." Robin directed at Starfire, her eyes were bloodshot and swollen.
"But-" She piped, Raven looked sternly down on her.
"Promise us." He demanded a bit sternly.
Starfire bit her lip a second, tasting salt and the remains of blood. "I do promise."
"Take care of the other two for us." Raven directed, initiating a hug with Starfire, for the first and last time.
Starfire sniffled in her grip. "I will." She croaked.
When Raven backed away, Robin hugged her again tightly. "Do not mourn for us Starfire." He whispered into her hair.
The girl gave some kind of a groan of confirmation.
When he pulled back he gave her a soft peck on the cheek.
"Times up." Came a lofty voice. Raven and Robin stepped back from Starfire.
Time had always been against them.
"And they won't be hurt?" Robin glared at the villain, as he made a signal for Starfire to be taken over toward Cyborg and Beast Boy.
"Why would they? Without the two strongest members, the titans are hardly a threat." His mask glimmered in the last few centimeters of moonlight. "Now, this way."
Raven and Robin were shuffled toward the roofs edge, toward the lunar eclipse. Slade had taken the gun from Dr. Light. The rest of the villains stayed with the other three titans.
Raven and Robin stood side by side, their backs facing the ellipse. Slade stood in front of them, gun poised. Robin could see Starfire struggling against the villains, Cinderblock had to step in to contain her. Her sobbing was erratic and loud.
It burned deep into both their minds.
Robin gripped Raven's hand tightly. She tightened her grip back, her flesh ice cold.
"Hydrochloric acid bullets," Slade raised the gun toward the two. "It'll quickly eat from the inside out." Raven pressed her eyes closed a second, chasing the image away.
"Any last requests?" Slade eyed them.
"The time?" Raven droned suddenly. It was a strange kind of request. Slade of course, seemed as though he were expecting it.
"Why, my dear, it is midnight." He raised the gun again, the last of the moonlight disappeared.
Everything was silenced.
In the darkness there was a shot, quickly followed by another.
There was the rush of wind.
And then light. Moonlight returned. As the lunar eclipse ended, the light bathed the rooftop.
Raven and Robin were gone. Slade lowered his gun, and moved to the edge of the roof, peering down into the rocky waters. A slick grin ran across his face under the mask.
He turned back to the group, they had moved away from the blubbering girl. "You know," Slade drew the girl's attention up. "I lied."
He raised the gun, aiming it at the Tameranian.
There was a loud scream before the shot of a gun cut her off.
Again, there are no couples here, if you see one, your hallucinating. It's your interpretation on whether you think he killed BB and Cy. Hope everyone enjoyed.
The last omen was…
Violets: Violets blooming out of season means death.This chapters omen was…
Lunar Eclipse: Is the symbol of ultimate misfortune, the effect lasts seven days.
Thanks for reviewing, please review again!