Disclaimer: I don't own anything, except a cool little Ravager action figure and a less than a minute "hour" glass. So don't sue me, unless you're fond of Christmas cracker presents. Teen Titans is owned by DC, etc etc.
Authors Note: Yeah, here it is…what, did you expect something else? Enjoy!
The Despair Game
Blond hair poked out from under the dark hood of a long black coat as a figure plunged on through the street, the morning sunlight glittering of the many tiny droplets of water still residing there from the nights rain. The figure was hunched over as it walked, hands stuffed in its pockets, boots splashing into leftover puddles of water. Down the street the figure walked – the figure of the now unrecognisable Beast Boy.
Gar felt like a zombie, with only one goal on his mind, though it certainly wasn't to eat as many human brains as possible. No, Gar's goal was completely his own. He could not live his life as Garfield Logan. He needed to be Beast Boy. That left him with only one thing to do, and that was to get his powers back. That was Gar's goal.
Gar didn't even see the fellow pedestrian come around the corner, not realising until he bumped into the man's shoulder. His body ricocheted off and he spun around, his face turning up and his lifeless eyes locking onto the man's startled and angered expression.
"Watch it dude!" the man said, turning his back on Gar and leaving him standing on the street corner. Gar watched the man's back until he was no longer visible.
That was all that was left for him now. That encounter was everything he was striving to avoid. He was normal, unrecognisable, just plain old Gar Logan. As Beast Boy he was recognized, but not as Gar Logan. He was just another useless being, struggling to make something of himself. Struggling to not be left behind, forgotten, lost in history as nobody.
Gar turned the corner and stared up at his destination.
All of that was why he had to become Beast Boy again. Gar needed to feel like someone. He needed to be remembered, to prove he existed and was worthy of breathing.
Gar went forward, taking each step quickly before his figure was gone, through the doors of S.T.A.R. Labs.
Darkness surrounded Rose Wilson as she sat alone on one of the many crates in the abandoned warehouse she currently called home. Her trusted Katana rested by her side and nestled in her lap laid the dark crumpled material that passed for her mask - the mask that separated herself from the Ravager.
It was something her father kept pressing into her mind, but she wasn't sure how she felt about it. Her father kept telling her that she was the Ravager, yet Rose didn't want to believe that. She couldn't believe that.
She wasn't the Ravager. The Ravager was animalistic…a predator…a hunter. Rose was just a teenager, and she didn't like the thought of her two personalities becoming one. She didn't like the idea of the Ravager being all that she was. Of course, she could never say that to her father. She loved him. She wouldn't disappoint him.
A heavy hum filled the air, followed by a bright light as the overhead lamps came to life. Footsteps sounded as Rose blinked her eyes against the harsh light. When everything came back into focus she looked up at the tall visage of her father – Slade Wilson.
"It's time." Slade said.
"Yes Father." Rose replied, slipping the mask over her head.
The Ravager stood and followed Slade out of the room.
The remaining Titans – meaning Cyborg, Raven, Terra and Kid Flash – had gathered together in the common room of Titans Tower. Cyborg was going over the groups plan to find Gar.
"…I'll be co-ordinating the search from here. Raven and Terra, you will be searching around the City center, checking all of BB's usual hangouts, okay?"
Both girls nodded agreement.
"Bart, I want you to look everywhere else. With your speed you'll be able to search much faster than anyone else. Report to me as you go so I can…"
But Vic would never get to finish giving his orders. A cold metallic voice came from behind Vic and he turned to find himself face to face with Slade's head, pictured on the Titans large monitor.
"Hello dear Titans," Slade cooed. "I hope you all haven't missed me too much. How's my little Robin? Still breathing I hope. That's good. Now I think I'll get straight to the point. This little game we've been playing…well…it ends here. I've grown rather bored of it, you see. I thought you'd put up more of a fight, but I must say I'm disappointed. Ah well, never the less, it's time. Raven…I wonder, how is Beast Boy? Desperate for a cure, I imagine. Well, I have that cure, and you can have it too, on one condition. You must come alone to warehouse seventy-eight on pier three. Just you Raven - the rest of the Titans must stay put. If you come and you manage to beat me, I will give you the cure. If you don't come, I'll be forced to destroy you all, but not before I destroy Beast Boy's only hope of ever getting his powers back. Understand? Good. I hope to see you soon."
The monitor went black and silence rang out amongst the Titans. Finally, Raven turned on her heel and strode for the door. Cyborg dashed to get in her way.
"What are you doing?" Cyborg asked, rather louder than he intended.
"I'm going to fight Slade." Raven said. "I'm going to get Beast Boy's cure."
"You can't be serious." Cyborg almost groaned. "It's obviously a trap. He probably doesn't even have a cure. Think about it Rae."
"I have." Raven snarled. "If you get in my way I'll take you down. I should have helped Garfield but I couldn't. I wish every minute that I could. Now, even if it's just a tiny possibility that I can, I'm going to do everything in my power to do so. Please get out of my way Vic."
"Raven…" Cyborg pleaded with his eyes, but Raven refused to back down. Finally, he sighed and stepped aside. The door closed behind Raven with it's tell tale swish, although to everyone in the room, especially Cyborg, it sounded more like a cell door slamming shut and locking, sealing Raven's fate.
The light of the morning sun shone across the pier, casting long shadows out before it. In stark contrast to the morning sun came an obsidian darkness from which Raven rose. She came to stand before warehouse seventy-eight and almost certain doom. Raven cast her eyes around from underneath her hood, and finding no sign of life she took off towards the door, her steps cautious.
Raven was no stranger to darkness and was neither surprised nor scared when she entered into the almost pitch black warehouse. She continued her cautious steps into near total darkness, looking every which way for a source of light. Before she could take another step, however, Slade's voice echoed from all around her.
"Ah Raven," he let out a light chuckle, which crackled over the warehouse's sound system. "I'm surprised you came alone. Well, okay, maybe not so much surprised. Though I did have my doubts as to whether you would be stupid enough to fall into my oh-so-obvious trap. You disappoint me. You care for the little green changeling so much? How sweet."
"Enough!" Raven roared, her eyes glowing white and her hair rising around her. "I came here to fight Slade, not throw around idle words. Come out."
"My, my, my," Slade's cold voice replied, sounding vaguely amused. "Aren't we feisty. Are we so desperate to die? Very well."
The lights in the warehouse boomed to life and blinded Raven for a second. A second in which Slade took to his advantage, jumping down from his position in the warehouse's control room and throwing two stun grenades towards the dazed teenager.
Raven gasped as the grenades exploded, further blinding her, and a moment later let out a cry as Slade's fist connected with her jaw. She fell tumbling to the floor, her cape bunching up around her. Slade drew a long bladed sword and held it to her throat. Raven looked up at him through the beginnings of tears of pain.
"Do you understand how humiliated I felt at being forced to bow down before you and your demon father?" Slade bellowed. He tore his mask from his face, revealing his aged face, white beard and his one eye narrowed in anger. "This is not the face of an underling. This is the face of a warrior - a man of pride. Do you understand me demon spawn?"
Raven's eyes flashed and Slade's sword was encased in the familiar obsidian darkness of Raven's telekinetic like powers. She tore it from his grip and it flew away, embedding itself somewhere in the wall to their left. Slade smirked as Raven stood up and took a few steps back.
"So I see you are not holding back." Slade commented. "Good. But if you think I haven't planned for this, you are mistaken."
Slade whipped out his hand, which held some sort of controller. It was shaped like a rectangle box and in the middle was a round button. Slade pressed the button. Raven let out a howl of pain and collapsed to her knees, her arms coming to wrap around herself. Slade smirked.
"How does that feel Raven?" Slade mocked. "I bet you had no idea that that tranquilliser dart contained more than just a tranquilliser, did you?" Slade laughed. "What you ask? Tiny little Nanomachines, running around through your entire body, ready to attack you from the inside the instant I press this button. Like so."
Slade pressed the button again, and Raven let out another howl of pain. Slade laughed again.
Vic paced up and down the Titan's common room, looking back and forth between his feet and the clock that resided above the doorway. Tara watched him and despite the situation couldn't help but smile. He was cute when he was worried. Finally, she stood up and put a hand on his shoulder, trying to calm him.
"Calm down," Tara said. "Raven's tough. She'll be fine."
"Liar." Vic grunted. "You know Slade better than any of us. Well, maybe not Dick, but…Thanks."
"Shouldn't we do something?" Bart piped in.
"We can't." Vic admitted. "All we can do is wait."
"And hope." Tara added.
Raven's whole body felt numb. She crawled at Slade's feet as he pressed the button again and again, sending pain shooting throughout her entire body. She raised her right hand, using her left to hoist herself up, and tried to focus her powers. The best she could manage was to wrap a shadowy tentacle around Slade's neck, but he easily kicked her aside and she lost her concentration.
Slade walked over to her and grabbed her by the throat, lifting her up and slamming her into a nearby crate. Her back ached in protest as he forced her backwards and snarled in her face.
"Is that the best you can do?" he taunted.
Slade held the device before her face and pressed the button. Pain shot through her body again and she screamed. Slade grinned. He let go of the button and Raven stopped screaming. She drew in deep panting breaths, her hands clawing weekly at Slade's hand wrapped around her throat. Slade brought his free hand to his side and withdrew a dagger from his utility belt.
"I wonder what interesting sound I can make you make with this little beauty?" Slade cooed.
Raven's eyes widened as he moved the knife gracefully before her face. He moved it to her cheek, arcing it downwards, cutting into her flesh. Raven hissed in pain, her watery eyes staring into Slade's maniacal ones.
"Does that hurt?" Slade asked, his eyes narrowing. "I hope so."
He moved the dagger away from her face and with one swift movement plunged it into her stomach. Raven arched forward, another scream escaping her, before she crumbled to the floor, her hands coming up to the dagger stuck in her gut.
No, her mind thought, over and over again. This can't be it. It can't end like this…please…
Raven tried to get away, crawling across the floor, her mind too scared to even contemplate using her powers. Slade watched her with a smirk for a while, enjoying the sight of the fragile Raven. He soon got bored though, and kicked her in the side, flipping her onto her back. He straddled her waist and placed one hand around her neck again and the other onto the dagger. He twisted and she shrieked in pain.
"That's it dear Raven," Slade murmured. "Scream for me."
Raven felt her world swim around her, her vision blaring and her ears failing her. She was dying. She knew it.
No, she pleaded silently. Please no.
"Finding it hard to breathe?" Slade jeered, twisting the knife further. "Poor little Raven."
You have to…do something, Raven tried to will herself to life. Come on. Fight. Don't let Slade win. Come…on…
Slade let go of the blade and wrapped his hand almost lovingly around Raven's head, coming her hair, smiling all the way and loving the fear in her eyes. He stroked her cheek with his other hand.
"I have enjoyed our little game Raven," Slade said, his grin widening. "Unfortunately for you, it, like many things in life, has grown tiring. Goodbye."
Raven's eyes began to flash, but it was too late, as Slade's hand twitched sharply to the side and her neck broke with a sick crack. Slade leant down and placed a kiss on her forehead.
Slade let her head fall and stood from his position around her waist. He looked down into the lifeless eyes of the dead Titan and smiled.
"Now for the rest of them."
Kory had her head resting over Dick's heart, listening to its slow beat mixing with the heart monitor, when the Titan's alarm sounded. She stood up quickly and ran to the door. She stood guard; waiting for whatever was attacking to show itself, ready to defend Dick's unconscious body with her life.
Cyborg stopped his pacing as soon as the alarm sounded, turning to face the other two Titans in the room: Terra and Kid Flash.
"Damn," he cursed.
Before he could issue any orders though the large window that looked out over the expanse of ocean exploded in a shower of sharp glass, raining down on them all. Cyborg dashed forward and forced Terra down, using his metallic body to shield her flesh and blood one. Kid Flash zipped away as a red and yellow blur, only to re-appear once all the glass had fallen. He stared at the sight just outside the window and let out an audible gulp.
"Uh…" Kid Flash droned. "Cy, I think you should take a look at this."
Cyborg raised his head and looked out of the now none existent window. Terra followed suite.
An entire army of hovering robots - designed to look almost exactly the same as Slade in his combat garb – greeted them. They floated in through the window and landed on the glass-strewn floor. Cyborg counted around about 30 robots in total. Not good.
"This is so not good." Kid Flash said with a groan.
"You have no idea Kid Flash," a chilling voice agreed from somewhere in the midst of the Slade Bots. The owner of the voice stepped out and into the forefront, holding his Bo Staff to one side. "Of course, I mean to say it's not good for you. Me, on the other hand…"
Slade twirled his stick and grinned underneath his mask.
"Titans Go!" Cyborg roared.
Somewhere in the back of his mind Cyborg realised this didn't bode well for Raven, but faced with the onslaught of Slade Bots and the man himself, he didn't have chance to think about it fully. All he could do was attack…and attack he did.
Starfire looked up and down the hall, searching for her opponent, waiting for them to show themselves. It unnerved her that they hadn't already. What was going on? Was she stupid to stay here and protect Dick? No, she wasn't. She had too.
But what about the rest of the Titans, a small, annoyingly right voice whispered in her ear. What if they need your help right now?
Starfire ground her teeth together and slammed her fist into the wall, which cracked under her superior might. She spared it not even a thought. Her entire being was focused on her predicament. And that was her undoing.
A small, hardly within hearing noise alerted her to the presence of her opponent, but it was too late. She turned around quickly and fell fowl to a fist in the face. She stumbled slightly and raised her hands – another mistake – only to gasp and cover her mid section after the Ravagers blade sliced through it.
Starfire dropped to one knee, panting and grinding her teeth together even more. Pain continued to rumble in her gut as blood poured out through her fingers and began to drip onto the floor. She looked up at the dark girl wielding the blade and her eyes glowed green, before firing a line of equally green energy at her.
The Ravager effortlessly moved to the side before she had even fired and the shot went wide. Starfire growled and charged her opponent. The Ravager used Starfire's momentum against her and sent her flying into the room and crashing over Dick's bed. She landed against the wall with a thug, cracking it like her fist had the wall earlier.
The Ravager strolled over leisurely, twirling her blade. Starfire growled. The Ravagers luscious ruby red lips smirked.
Starfire charged again, swinging wildly, but the Ravager had already ducked. The Ravager came up behind Starfire and grabbed her arm, twisting it up and around. Starfire used her enormous strength to pull her arm back around.
She came face to face with the Ravager – the Ravager smirked – her eyes widened – the Ravager's foot came up – Starfire gasped – the Ravager's foot connected with Starfire's bleeding wound and Starfire went crashing through the window behind her.
The Ravager took her time peering over the edge of the window. She looked down at Starfire's motionless body on the ground below her, just visible from this height, and smiled to herself.
"Daddy will be proud."
Cyborg dodged an attack from one of the Slade Bots only to be trapped by another two just behind him. He growled low in his throat. The numbers game was almost too much for him. Almost. With his enormous strength he flung the two bots behind him forward over his head and into the first bot, before aiming his Sonic Cannon and blasting them away.
Cyborg turned his attention to another group of Slade Bots and charged, firing his cannon as he went. He ducked one attack and came up on the other side, smashing his metallic fist straight through one of the Bots, the sound of grinding metal through metal exploding into the air with the impact. He followed through, tossing the robot around and into another, where it exploded, taking out at least two more in the explosion.
Where he in any other situation, he would most likely have grinned and shouted a triumphant 'Booyah', but not this time. This time he only continued his attack, jumping back into the fray.
Terra had quickly called up her trusty allies from the ground to help her fend of the Slade bots as they crowded her. She jumped over the head of one of the bots and landed on the other side, flinging a spear shaped rock right through the offending robot. It exploded and she flung up her arm to protect her eyes from the blast. When she removed her arm she gasped.
Slade was standing right in front of her.
She didn't have time to react as he sucker punched her in the face, knocking her backwards to the floor. He leered down at her and she cowered in fear. It was almost impossible to imagine she could fear one man so much, but nothing was impossible when it came to Slade.
"If it isn't my dear sweet Terra," Slade mocked. "I hope you are doing well."
Slade and his taunting actually served to spur her on in this case, and she called up all the anger she could and flung it at him in the form of five rocks. Slade jumped high to avoid them, using his Bo Staff to leap frog over one and land on the other side of her as she stood. The rocks exploded behind her as they crashed into one another and she ducked to avoid the scattering remains.
Slade, ever the opportunist, took the opening and charged again. She barely had time to react as his fist caught her again and she stumbled backwards, towards the broken Titans window. She braced herself on the remains of the window, but gasped as she cut her hand on a stray piece of glass. Slade followed through.
Kid Flash had drawn as many Bots away from the common room as he could, using his speed to lure them away. He currently sped through the hallways, the Slade Bots that gave chase falling behind as he used his super speed. He stopped and turned to look back, finding the corridor empty. He'd definitely lost them, no surprise there. He turned to continue his trek back around to the common room, but stopped, staring in shock at the gathering of Slade Bots.
"Crap." He cursed and then disappeared, speeding off back the way he came, only to appear less than a second later when he came crashing down to the floor, smashing his elbow painfully into floor at super speed. It broke with a sick crack and he cried out in pain.
"Oops." It was the mockingly sweet voice of the Ravager.
Kid Flash rolled onto his back, cradling his broken elbow and stared up at the Ravager, who loomed above him, hip stuck out to one side all sexy like…woah, wait a second, he quickly banished that thought away. He shook his head and then gulped. She had placed her trusty Katana to his throat.
"Sorry about this," she said, smiling with her blood red lips. "Daddy's orders."
The Ravager looked down at Kid Flash as he looked up at her, trying to mask the pain his broken arm caused him, and failing miserably. She knew her orders where to kill all the Titans she could, but she found herself hesitating. After all, he was kinda cute. She shook that thought away; much like Kid Flash had done only a moment before.
"Well," Kid Flash groaned. "Get it over with then."
She raised her sword and then brought it down…
Kid Flash closed his eyes…and then opened them a second later, startled to find the Ravager straddling his waist and leaning down, her sword cast to one side. He looked up at her blue lenses, trying to see her eyes, but couldn't. He had no idea what she was doing and was too surprised to take advantage of it. His eyes fell to her luscious lips and he watched as she licked them, mesmerized.
She grabbed his mask and tore it off, ripping it in the process, but he hardly cared, as a second later she had fistfuls of his hair in her hands and her lips where on his in the hottest kiss of his life…well, the only kiss of his life. Not even the unbearable pain in his arm could dull this.
It was over way to soon, and he opened his mouth say something, he had no idea what, but the words never came. The Ravager dashed his head back against the floor and he fell into unconsciousness.
Cyborg smashed through another Slade Bot, dropping it to the floor to join the rest of the broken down drones. He looked up, his eyes falling on a horrifying sight. Slade was attacking Terra. He growled as Slade punched her and she went backwards, and then quickly charged forward, only to be blocked by the only remaining Bots left. The trio fell on him and he struggled to hold them off.
Slades fist hit the windowsill as Terra hopped up onto the ledge, before jumping backwards out of the window. She appeared a moment later, smirking, riding a large chuck of earth.
Slade cocked his head at her and her smirk disappeared, replaced by a frown.
She looked down.
Her eyes widened.
Cyborg tossed the last Robot to the side, stomping on its head for good measure. He looked up and saw Slade throw one of his exploding tags out of the window. A moment later Cyborgs world fell apart.
The loud explosion made something snap in Cyborgs head. He knew what the explosion signified, but he didn't want to believe it. She'd be all right. She had to be. But one thing was for sure; Slade wasn't going to be all right.
Cyborg roared and charged, firing his Sonic Cannon at Slade. Slade knew it was coming though and dodged to the side. Cyborg changed course to intercept him and swung a fist. Slade dodged with speed unrivalled by any normal human and swung his Bo Staff at Cyborgs legs, using his momentum to put more force behind it. Cyborg couldn't counter in time and went down, finding himself trapped under Slades metal boot. Cyborg knew he could easily break free, but he wanted answers first. Let Slade think he had the advantage.
"What did you do to Raven?" he growled, raising his hands to Slade leg and gripping hard.
Slade laughed cruelly and leaned down, putting more weight on Cyborgs throat.
"I snapped her neck like a twig." He hissed.
Cyborgs eyes narrowed. He refused to believe that as well, but somewhere in the back of his mind he knew it to be true.
"Liar!" he roared at Slade, flinging Slade's leg away from his body and scrambling to his feet.
Slade met him with a solid punch to the jaw, which only served to stun Cyborg, but it was enough. Cyborg retaliated with a right of his own and Slade stumbled back.
"I'm going to kill you," Cyborg stated.
"Oh really," Slade said, the tone of his voice catching Cyborg of guard. "I'm pretty sure that device on your chest will say otherwise."
Cyborgs eyes widened in surprise and he looked down, but it was too late. The circular device on his chest glowed red and before he knew what was happening his body was convulsing with electricity. Cyborg fell to his knees. His vision went black, numbers streamed across his vision, and then he fell forward, landing with a dull clunk. He didn't move again.
High above the Earth the Watchtower floated serenely, but all that was about to change. J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter, sat in his usual place watching over the Earth when he sensed the chaos and grief emanating from Titans Tower. He quickly cast his mind that way and was horrified at what he found.
Batman, he called telepathically, we have trouble.
In the early years of the Titans, the Justice League had been keeping a very close watch on the goings on at Titans Tower and in Jump City and where known to take over when things looked even a little risky for the young heroes. The Titans soon grew annoyed with this and after a long and temper filled argument it was eventually decided the Justice League would leave Jump City and the Titans alone and let them handle things.
But even though the Justice League had agreed not to get involved in the Titans business, they still had two teleport pads on top of Titans Tower. It was here that two figures materialises out of thin air.
Batman and Superman gave each other quick glances before dashing into Titans Tower proper to look for their young counterparts.
Batman raced down the hallway, heading for the common room. Superman had taken to searching most of the Tower, using his speed to his advantage. Batman only had one stop left on his search, and he hoped more than anything he would find what he was looking for.
When he arrived in the common room he was to be disappointed, but he didn't let that hinder him, and quickly strode into the room and looked around. The place was a mess. He almost didn't recognise the scrap of metal and flesh in the broken down Slade Bots, but there was no mistaking the form of Victor Stone, the Titans Cyborg. He crossed to him and knelt, placing his hands under the teenager's heavy bulk and lifting him.
He didn't have time to waste. Any minute now the Tower could explode.
The ocean surrounding Titans Tower was still, belying the chaos that raged inside its walls. That was to change though, as a red blur zipped along the surface of the water, sending up twin torrents of water as it went. The blur came to a stop at the foot of the Tower, revealing the figure of the Flash, Wally West.
The Flash looked up at the Tower above him, remembering the times he had spent with Dick here, but he quickly dashed those thoughts. He didn't have time to dawdle. He was just about to zip up the wall and enter the Tower when he caught site of a figure lying on the floor not too far from him. He appeared next to the figure in a moment and froze in horror.
"Oh God," The Flash felt bile rise in his throat. He forced it down and crouched by the figure of Terra.
Her body was mangled, cuts dotting her face, blood pooling around her head, but what was the most sickening was the large rock that lay over the bottom half of her body. There could be no doubt. Terra's legs had been crushed.
The Flash looked up in time to see Batman looking out of the common room window. A moment later, with a swish of his cloak, the Batman landed beside him with the lifeless body of Cyborg in his arms. Batman cast his eyes down at Terra and his jaw tightened. It was the only sign Bruce made of his disgust, but Wally saw it.
"Any sign of Bart?" Wally asked.
Bruce shook his head. "Superman is searching."
A moment later and the man appeared, clutching both Nightwing and Starfire over his considerably large shoulders.
"Bart?" Wally asked again.
Superman placed the two teens down on the floor and looked at Wally as Bruce knelt by Dick. "I saw him on the way out. Hang on."
Less than a minute later and Superman appeared again, this time carrying Bart over his shoulder. He handed him gently to Wally.
"We have to leave quickly." He said.
Across from their very location, on the shore of Jump city, Slade and the Ravager watched, unaware that the Justice League was about to save the lives of the Teen Titans, mostly. Slade smiled in anticipation.
"This is a glorious day." Slade told his daughter.
The explosion of Titans Tower transcended beyond the island, shaking the very Earth under his feet, but Slade stood on and watched as the Tower fell. The rubble floated down to the ground in flaming fireballs almost like leaves caught on the wind (or at least that's how it seemed to him). A plume of smoke rose from what remained of the Tower. Behind them sirens soon began to blare. Jump City had just lost its defenders.
"The Teen Titans are gone." He said it proudly.
Well that's the end of it. At least for this story anyway. Not sure when I'll get around to posting the continuation, or what form it will take, as I'm not sure I have enough time to do what I originally planned. I have a few chapters already written for it, which I might post pretty soon, but I'll probably think on it a little before that and decide what I want to do. Anyway, hope you all liked, looking forward to what reviews I get. 'Tis always a pleasure.Piccolo999