Summary: This story takes a look into what was going on in Slade's mind throughout the events of the Terra arc. First fic. Rated for mild language and some violence.
A/N: This is my first ever-fanfic, so be nice. Reviews are appreciated and flames will be made fun of.
Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Titans. If I did, Terra would be back. I do, however, own her statue, which is now hidden in my closet while I try to revive her.
Chapter One: Terra
Terra. Her name haunts my thoughts even now, nearly a year after the incident. How foolish I was to think I could turn her, force her to join me in my ultimate goal: destroying the Teen Titans. Even though she was very impressionable, there was a goodness deep inside her heart even I could not destroy. Sure she was a bit stupid, but still...
I think back now to the day I first saw the girl, running away from a completely ruined city. I watched her carefully from that day on, seeing all the great, extraordinary, yet completely devastating things she could do. I knew I had to have her. The power that was inside of her, the glorious gift she possessed... I could easily use that power to my own advantage.
There was really only one flaw: the young girl had little if no control over her powers. That would mean that once I did get a hold of her, which of course was inevitable, she would have to undergo extensive training. But it would be worth it in the end. To think, that kind of extraordinary power at my disposal... I had to have her.
I quickly set to work, gathering all the information I could find about the girl. A file told me her name was Terra Markov. She was fifteen years old, perfect age. I read further to find that she accidentally killed her family when she lost control of her power when she was twelve. Since then, she had been traveling from town to town, trying to do good, but never having enough control to do anything but cause destruction.
My plan was simple. I would find Terra, homeless, afraid, and alone, and offer to help her gain control. She would accept, seeing as there was nowhere else she could go. It would be unwise to mention her part of the deal, which she would more than likely discover on her own anyway.
The day I decided to put my plan into action, everything was perfect. The scorpion one of my comrades had provided me was in hot pursuit of her, and I followed calmly, waiting for the right moment to jump into the fray and 'assist' her. As she was running, she dropped a silver hairclip shaped liked a butterfly. Cute. I pocketed it, thinking I could return it to let her in an act of kindness, letting her see I wanted to help. Not to mention that it would prove I had indeed been watching her.
Stopping and grabbing that damned hairclip nearly foiled my plan all together. By the time I caught up to her again, the scorpion was dead, squashed under a huge piece of rock. What was worse, who else could have seen her accomplish this feat: none other than the Teen Titans.
I watched silently from the shadows, listening as the Titans discussed amongst themselves what they had just witnessed.
"She was not in trouble..." Starfire mused.
"She was leading it into a trap!" Cyborg said, impressed.
"Question is..." Robin began.
"Who is she?" Beast Boy finished for him.
I looked down upon them, knowing they understood, as I did, the power the girl possessed. If my assumptions were correct, there was no doubt that they might try to persuade her to join their little team. But I could not let this happen. I had worked too hard over the past months, learning all there was to know about her, watching her every move, and developing my now ruined plan to let her get away from me that easily. After all, she's mine.
"Don't get too attached, my young friends," I said quietly to myself, glaring down at the five superheroes. "I saw her first."
I watched with a sinking feeling in my gut as they talked to her, easily charmed by her innocence. It seemed that only Raven and Robin were having doubts. From what I knew about Raven, she hid her emotions well, so it was difficult to interpret her feelings. And then there was Robin... how I wished deep down that he was still my apprentice. This was the first time I'd seen him since he escaped my plan. No matter, I had other intentions at the moment. I could deal with him later.
Everything nearly fell to pieces when they insisted that she go with them. I nearly lost it. However, I was patient. Who knew how this could turn out? I decided to wait it out and see what happened.
As Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Starfire led Terra away, back towards the city and their beloved Tower, I saw Robin hesitate and kneel to the ground, observing the defeated scorpion, obviously deep in thought. This action increased my suspicion that the Titan leader was having doubts. Raven walked over to him.
"Everything okay?" she asked in her deadpan voice.
"Not sure..." he replied.
I watched my former apprentice, his brow furrowed, thinking about the new girl. I could almost see the wheels spinning in his brain, trying to evaluate Terra on the little information he had. I was still utterly pissed that Robin had thwarted my plan. I had to admit, I hadn't expected Robin to try something as risky as he did. Infecting himself with the probes to save his pathetic teammates. What could I have done? Just let him die when he was clearly the one most capable of following in my footsteps? Never. Robin got away with it. I lost. And losing him that day was absolute hell.
I backed away, knowing I had to come up with another way to get her. I would worry about my true apprentice another day. For now, I had to deal with a certain teenage girl with geokenetic powers.
It wasn't long before I had thought up a new plan of action. Terra had only been with the Titans for two days when I decided to put my new plan into action. I had watched her the night before, when that Beast Boy found out that she couldn't control her powers well. This was no news to me, as I had seen firsthand what could happen when she lost control. I admit, I was rather shocked when young Terra begged the Changeling to keep her lack of control a secret. Stupid girl... didn't she realize the extraordinary things she could do if only she had the proper training? Then again... it was a relief that she wouldn't be receiving any help from the Titans; that would only increase her desire to stay with them. That same night, as I listened to her conversation with Beast Boy, I installed a camera on the opposite side of the island, to watch Terra.
Beast Boy had mentioned something about training, so the next day, I activated the camera and watched her. What I saw impressed me. Terra got through everything in the 'obstacle course' the Titans had set up. However, she did manage to destroy the entire course. She was rather good, but a far cry from perfect.
Earlier that day, around thirty of my androids and I had headed toward an old diamond mine a bit south of Jump City. In reality, I could have cared less about the diamonds. The only thing that I wanted accomplished was to finally meet the girl. I waited patiently for the Titans to arrive, and I was extremely please to see they had brought Terra with them. Perfect. All I had to do was get her alone.
I waited for the perfect moment, lying low down one of the many tunnels. After the girl and the Titans fought my androids for some time, I heard her yell, in an earsplitting scream, "Beastboy!" No doubt, she had lost control of her powers, and something had happened to the boy. It was time.
I sneaked a glance down the tunnel that led to the area where the Titans were, and I saw her. She looked positively exhausted; she was panting and leaning against the wall for support.
"Why can't I do this?" she asked herself quietly, confirming my suspicion that she had lost control. Wasting no time, I began to run in the opposite direction, rather loudly, hoping she would get curious and come to investigate. Sure enough, I heard her footsteps behind me. I slowed, allowing her to catch up a bit.
I suddenly heard her skid to a halt. Then, without warning, the ceiling right in front of me caved in. Interesting. Not what I had in mind, but it would do.
I turned to face her. Terra was standing there, both of her fists aglow with a golden light, and a smug look on her face. Now that I saw her up close for the first time, I examined her more closely. She had a long sheet of blonde hair, which was all over her face without her hairclip. The girl was very skinny, far too skinny for my tastes anyway, but that wasn't important. I didn't really care about her physical state; I just wanted her power.
But what really intrigued me were her eyes. They were a stunning blue, deep and yet slightly icy, and there was a childish humor in them. At first glance, they looked pure and innocent. But if one looked closely, you could see the power that resided in her reflected in those eyes.
She began to walk forward, clearly under the impression that she had the upper hand.
"Looks like I've got you," she said with a smug smile.
So it would seem. I leapt over her and with a low kick, I easily managed to get her off her feet. I stood up, pulling out a mine as I did so.
"Actually, Terra..." I set the bomb threw it at the ceiling, where it stuck and waited. The girl quickly got to her feet as it started to beep.
"I've got you" I told her with a smile she couldn't see.
The mine exploded, sending rocks everywhere and knocking Terra to the ground again. A second cave-in occurs right behind me, blocking all exit from either side, plunging the two of us into darkness.
Soon enough, emergency lights kicked in along the tunnel walls, and the girl came into view. I walked toward her, pleased to see the fear in her eyes. Terra scuttled backwards, apparently determined to put as much space between us as possible. It was time to talk
"Now Terra..." I taunted, as she moved further away, "you walked right into a trap." I advanced closer, drawing out my bo-staff. "Another mistake. You of all people should know better."
I leaned over her, looking in her eyes for her reaction to my words. I wanted to provoke her, get her angry to a point where she would become aggressive... and use her powers so I could see what all she could really do.
"But at least you and I are finally getting a chance... to talk," I continued taunting her. I quickly realized that at the moment, this was getting me nowhere.
I jabbed the stick toward her, not aiming for a blow, rather to get her to react. She dodged the blow, easily, and sent a rock hurtling toward me. I didn't move, and the rock passed mere inches past my cheek. Not too bad.
"Hmm. It seems we have much to talk about," I taunted once more.
That did the trick. Her eyes suddenly blazed in fury. She raised her glowing fists and glared at me with a look of pure hatred.
"Mind if I talk with my hands?" she asked sarcastically. This was the moment I had been waiting for. With a look of concentration on her face, she used her powers to send two stone pillars, parallel from each other, shoot straight at me. With great ease, I dove out of the way, landing in a crouch at the girl's feet. Is that the best she can do? Hopefully not. Or else months of hard work would have been for nothing.
"Good, Terra—but not good enough," I said, preparing for more combat. I swung the staff up and followed up with a little jab. To my surprise, she dodged both attacks and somersaults away from me. Good girl. I hurried forward and gave an overhead swing that also misses when she rolls out of harm's way , though that time, I had been aiming to strike.
This was starting to get interesting. Before she could move after rolling away, I brought my staff up above her head. She quickly put her hands on her head to block the blow as she huddled there on the ground. But before I could complete the attack, a huge chunk of rock came up between us and took the force of the blow, causing me to stagger backwards. Now we're getting somewhere.
I saw her peek around her little 'shield' as I approached again. We are not playing hide and seek, little girl. She stepped out and caused that 'shield' to come straight for me. I stuck the end of my bo-staff in the ground, and kicked up in the air out of the boulder's way. As I expected, the boulder struck the staff, though leaving me unharmed, and it crashed into the wall. I regained my footing, holding two feet of what ten seconds ago was a bo-staff.
"Impressive," I told the girl. "Unless, of course, you were aiming for me." I let the piece of metal fall with a dull 'clink' and slowly walked toward her again. Terra backed up and sent several medium-sized rocks at me. I easily dodged them, and then gave a mighty punch that shattered the largest. The girl sent another volley, and I had to knock several out of the air to avoid being hit. She then shot a huge boulder at me, but with a single blow I smashed it and the force of the blow drove her back into the wall. This was getting old; it was time for talk.
"Back off!" she yelled at me as she got to her feet. "I'm with the Titans! They'll be coming to—"
"You don't belong with the Titans," I interrupted. This made her angry and she went quickly to a mental defense mode.
"You don't know anything about me," she said in a defiant voice.
Now it was time to play one if the cards I had at my disposal. I pulled the old butterfly hairclip out of my pocket and held it between my index and middle finger. Her look of defiance turns to shock when she sees it.
"On the contrary, Terra," I began, holding the hairclip up so she could see it clearly. "I know everything about you. I've been watching you for some time. I know why you're always running away. I know your secret, little girl."
As I spoke, I watched her eyes as she took in my words. She looked fearful at first, but a bit of doubt could be seen in her big, blue eyes. The last sentence clearly hit a nerve, and she became extremely pissed.
"NO!" she shouted. Then, she rushed toward me, apparently hell-bent on ripping me to shreds. I didn't have time for this. I had to get my point across and fighting her wasn't going to help. So, I grabbed her wrist and slammed her into the wall, pinning her there. She gave a little cry, and then looked up at me in fear.
"Earthquakes. Avalanches. Mudslides. Everywhere you go you try to do good." Here, I released my hold on her, and she cried out, and held her wrist, her face turned away from me. I continued with my little rant. "And everywhere you fail." I leaned over her, willing her to face me. "So everyone turns against you."
She still wouldn't face me. Without her hairclip, the girl's hair was all over her face, covering the right side completely. Struck by new inspiration, I pulled the clip out again.
"You lack control, Terra," I said, placing the clip back in her hair. "And when you lose control, you are more dangerous than anything I've ever seen." Which is exactly why I need you. She finally looked at me, those blue eyes full of wonder. I turned away, knowing the time had come to offer her my proposition.
"But it doesn't have to be this way. I can help you, child."
"You... can?" she asked in a puzzled voice.
Of course I can. She definitely was a bit slow. I looked around, spotted a small stone, and picked it up. This could work.
"Right now you are... rough around the edges," I said, turning and holding up the stone for her to see. "You need more than obstacle courses to overcome your problem." Here, I began to squeeze the stone very viciously, and it started to crumble. "You need a teacher. A mentor." I looked up to see her staring at the stone, wondering what I was up to. "Come with me, Terra, and I can teach you to shine."
As I said the last word, I opened my palm, revealing a diamond lying among the fragments of the rock. Excellent. I knew that there was I diamond inside the rock, having studied them when I was younger. Terra looked at the diamond, clearly impressed, yet still quite confused. She looked up at me, then walks away past me, obviously thinking about my offer. After a moment, she spoke.
"But... my friends told me you're—" she began.
"You don't really believe they're your friends, do you, Terra?" I quickly cut her off. She could not count me as her enemy, or else trying to get her to join me would be utterly pointless. She was too pure and innocent to be turned to the dark side on her own; I had to do it stealthily.
"They took me in," she countered defensively. "Gave me a home."
"And when they find out what's wrong with you, they'll reject you, like everyone else," I said. This was utter nonsense; the Titans would never reject someone who needed their help. But the girl didn't, and for my sake couldn't ever know that.
"Beast Boy—" she began, and I remembered the Changeling's promise.
"—can't keep his mouth shut forever," I said, cutting her off again. I couldn't let her believe that the boy would keep her secret. "He'll tell them."
This definitely hit a nerve. Terra balled her fists angrily and they glowed gold with power. She looked livid.
"He promised!" she yelled, as the tunnel began to shake.
"He lied," I told her simply. She lost it. Dirt and rocks went flying everywhere as she let out her anger.
'Shut up!" she yelled at me, squeezing her eyes shut. "Just shut up and leave me alone!"
She opened her eyes, and I saw that they were glowing gold with power. She gasped in shock at what was going on, and dropped to her knees, her head in her hands. She's losing control.
"Don't lose control..." she muttered to herself. "Don't lose control."
"Now Terra," I said, watching her, "how can you lose control of something you never had?"
I watched the scene before me. Rock debris and dust was flying in circles around her, making it appear like she was in the middle of a tornado. She let out a tortured scream; this must be giving her a lot of pressure. More and more rocks were ripped from the walls of the cave from the force of her outburst. She then actually rose a few feet in the air and floated there. It was time I left, but not without a final thing for her think about.
"No one else understands you, Terra," I said, hoping those blasted Titans would come and rescue her before she brought the whole mine down. "No one else can help you. I'll be waiting."
I had nearly left, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw a green gopher pop out of the ground. What the... Then I realized it was Beast Boy. The Changeling caught sight of the trouble the girl was in. He dove back in the ground, and burrowed toward her and disappeared inside the 'tornado'. I hid in the shadows, to make absolute sure he got her out soon. She was no use to me dead.
I couldn't see what was happening, but I could hear him yelling her name. A few moments later the whirlwind subsided, and the two of them slowly sunk to the ground. Terra was sobbing into the boy's arms, and he was trying to console her.
"It's okay, Terra," he said in comforting voice. "I'm here."
"You won't—" she began
"I'm not gonna tell anybody," he said firmly. "I promise." He cradled her into his arms, doing his best to stop her tears. My work was done. I turned and walked off, thinking about what had to happen for the plan to work.
Of course Beast Boy's not going to tell anybody. But that doesn't mean no one's going to figure it out for themselves. I would have to put my faith in Robin. He had to have noticed her lack of ability that morning during the training session, and there was no telling what happened when they were fighting my androids. It was only a matter of time.
I returned to my new lair, which was located underground, and made sure all the preparations had been made. Yes, it was done, and Wintergreen had really outdone himself. A good queen-sized bed with cotton sheets and a red comforter (I remembered her stating that red was her favorite color). I opened the closet and saw a row of the same sort of outfit: cotton pants that weren't tight or baggy, and turtle-necked crop-tops, all in black or white. There were also a few pairs of tennis shoes. Satisfied, I closed the door and looked around the rest of the room. A bookshelf full of teen novels and magazines stood in the corner next to a leather chair. There was a computer, stereo and a large television in the corner, along with a tan leather couch. A dresser was near the closet door, presumably holding other clothing. There was even a mini-fridge. I walked over to the bathroom and looked in. There was a variety of hair and skincare products on the sink, and the mirror opened to hold whatever else she might need.
Wintergreen really pulled all the stops out this time. Satisfied, I left the room to go and eat my dinner, then wait for Terra to come to me like a moth to a flame. It was inevitable.
A/N: Well, how was it? Great? Okay? Utter crap? Whatever. Review and tell me what you thought. Also, I'm thinking about alternating between Terra and Slade's POV. What do you think? Ok, now REVIEW! Or no new chapter!