This is the first fic I've done in a different category, so this is kind of a new thing for me. :) I'm doing this fic in homage of both Teen Titans and The War of the Worlds by the great H.G. Wells, especially in light of the movie being released earlier this summer. Well, read and see what you think! It's basically the War of the Worlds set in the Teen Titans universe. If any of you are also fans of Knights of the Old Republic, I have a bunch of those in my profile.
Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans or War of the Worlds, and the opening passage of this chapter is taken straight from the book, with a few changes. (Robin's very articulate in the intro, isn't he?) :)
Clash of Worlds
Chapter 1: Starry, Starry Night.
Journal of Robin (Richard Grayson), August 2005:
"No one would have believed in the first years of the twenty-first century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.
With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."
"Yo, Cyborg, quit hogging the freakin' remote!" Beast Boy shouted. He made a grab for the controller, but Cyborg yanked away before he could reach it.
"Beast Boy, get over it,"
"No way! You've been flipping through channels for, like, an eternity! Why don't you let me pick the channel for once?" He crossed his arms and scowled at Cyborg.
"Because not everyone wants to watch 'Animal Planet' all the time," Cyborg retorted.
"What's wrong with 'Animal Planet'?"
"Will both of you just knock it off?" Robin moaned. He leaned far back into the couch, engrossed in a magazine.
"What? Beast Boy's the one complaining," Cyborg protested. His shift in attention was enough distraction for Beast Boy to quickly snatch the remote out of his hands.
"Yo, man, give it back!" Cyborg yelled.
"You snooze you lose, Cyborg." Beast Boy stuck his tongue out at him.
"Why, you little," Cyborg growled. He made a mad leap at Beast Boy who yelped as he dodged the attack.
"Alright, that's it!" Robin shouted as the two fought. "Give me the remote, Beast Boy."
"But Cyborg started it!" he protested.
"Beast Boy…" Robin threatened. Beast Boy frowned and grudgingly handed it over.
"Way to go," Cyborg muttered.
"Shut up," Beast Boy snapped.
Robin slumped down on the couch and casually flipped channels until he stopped at what looked like an old martial arts movie.
"What is this?" Cyborg asked.
"Master of the Flying Guillotine?" Beast Boy remarked, reading the info.
"What? It's a classic." Robin responded. "Made by the great Jimmy Wang Yu."
"Eh, Bruce Lee is better," Beast Boy said as he collapsed in a chair.
"I like Jackie Chan myself," Cyborg added. "Well, at least his old movies. His new ones mostly stink."
"No argument here," Robin and Beast Boy replied in unison. After minutes of watching fists fly on the screen, Beast Boy yawned.
"Robin, is anything else on?"
"If you can find anything better, go ahead," Robin replied.
"Yeah, but there's really nothing else on this time of night," Cyborg muttered.
"Mmm, it's after 11:00. We could watch Cinemax," Beast Boy suggested devilishly.
"Yeah? I doubt Starfire or Raven would appreciate it if they saw it."
"But Starfire's asleep, and Raven's doing who knows what."
"No, Beast Boy!" Robin snapped.
"Alright!" Beast Boy raised his hands defensively. "I was just kidding, anyway." (and he was telling the truth) He looked around and then yawned again. "Actually, I think I'll go and see what Raven's up to."
"Later, Beast Boy," the other two replied, their eyes fixed on the screen. Beast Boy traversed up Titan's tower until he came to Raven's room.
"Raven?" He knocked on her door softly. No answer. "Must be somewhere else," he thought. He transformed into a dog and sniffed the air. The trail led him up to the roof, where he indeed discovered Raven sitting in the night air. Her hood was pulled back, and her gaze was focused on the starry sky overhead. He reverted back to his normal form.
"Hey Raven. Whatcha doing?" Beast Boy asked as friendly as he could.
"Go away," she muttered.
"Stargazing?" he asked, ignoring her completely.
"If you must know, yes," she growled. Beast Boy sat next to her and looked up at the sky himself. He could see why she was out there. There were no clouds out that night, and the lack of any haze allowed the stars to shine brightly, lighting up the sky. A nice, cool breeze added to the comfort of the night air.
"Wow," he whispered.
"I know. Beautiful, isn't it?" Raven responded. He nodded in awe. "The constellations are out in full tonight," she continued.
"Constellations?" Beast Boy asked.
Raven seemed taken aback by his question. She looked at him, an achievement Beast Boy noted. "Surely you know what a constellation is, don't you?"
"Yeah, of course I do!" he replied. "I, um, just wanted to know which ones, that's all."
"Right. Well, I was just saying how they all seemed to shine brightly tonight." She pointed up overhead. "There's Polaris, the north star. That constellation right there is Ursa Major, which you probably know as the Big Dipper."
"Yeah, I know that one." Beast Boy pointed at another one. "Is that Orion? The one with the three stars?"
Raven nodded. "That's the one. And over in that group of stars – that's the direction of Starfire's home world." The two continued to stare at the sky. Beast Boy was most grateful that Raven was at least tolerating his presence for the time.
"Hey, which one is that?" Beast Boy asked, pointing at another bright star.
"That's not a star. That's Saturn," she corrected. "And that red one up there – do you know what that one is?"
"Yeah, I know! That one's Mars." Beast Boy answered.
"Not bad, green guy," she said, barely grinning. "Yes. Mars is actually closer to Earth than it's been in a long time. That's why it's so bright."
"Cool," Beast Boy muttered. "I've read about Mars," he said, trying to impress her. "It's named after a Roman god, I think."
"The god of war," she replied. "And it's a pretty popular planet in mythology, both new and old. You've probably read comics and watched movies about invaders from Mars before."
"Mm. Well, it's unlikely any life exists there. If it does, it's probably barely getting by."
"Well, if it does, they're probably jealous of us," he joked. "I guess we're pretty lucky to have a planet like earth to call home."
"Yes, we are," she agreed. "But many scientists think Mars was once like Earth: warm, green, and wet. There's already evidence pointing to that. They've found riverbeds and volcanoes, and even what appear to be dried oceans. They think that at one time, life even existed on it."
"Really? Neat," Beast Boy said, enthralled.
Raven sighed. "But it's all gone now. If any civilization still exists, they'd probably have to live underground to be able to get to the water and protect themselves from the harsh climate. Mars's high temperatures are barely as high our coldest winters, even at its equator. Mars is in its final throws, climate-wise."
"Kind of depressing," Beast Boy said. Raven closed her eyes and nodded.
"Most planets in the universe don't support life, and an even smaller amount house intelligent life. Our own Earth is an exception, not a rule."
"Too bad." After a few more moments of watching the sky, Beast Boy spoke up again. "Hey Raven, is astrology for real? I mean do the stars really predict the future?"
Raven smirked. "I've heard about ancient techniques used to predict the future, yes."
She motioned toward the sky. "In ancient times, the constellations were said to bring particular fortunes or misfortunes on the planet. For instance, the bull helped farmers sow their crops. Aquarius brought the rain, and Virgo helped with the harvest. If Draco the dragon was in the sky, it meant pestilence and famine were ahead. As for the planets…"
She paused. "They also meant different things. Venus was the planet of love. If Mars was in the sky, it meant war was coming."
"Wow. Were they ever right?"
"Hard to say. One thing I've learned is that the stars are unpredictable and reliable. One reading the stars might see something different then another person. One might see something to happen, only to have something completely different take place." She sighed. "But as for me and most, the stars are just wonders of nature to behold; things of beauty to be admired and appreciated."
"Right," he responded. After a short while, he let out an animal-like yawn. "I'm pretty tired. I think I'll go to bed."
"Don't let me stop you," Raven muttered.
"Good night, Raven," Beast Boy waved.
"Good bye," she said, not even looking back at him.
Beast Boy slinked away in disappointment. It seemed that no matter what he did, he couldn't get Raven to warm up to him. There were times when he couldn't help but be angry at himself and at Raven. "Guess opposites really don't attract," he supposed. "Or maybe it's because I'm green." He almost laughed at the thought. Once he was back in his room, he immediately sank into his bed, not even bothering to change his clothes. It didn't take long for sleep to find him.
Starfire awoke in a dizzy haze, yawning as her eyes adjusted to the morning light. She brushed her red hair away from her green eyes and stretched as she looked at the clock.
"10:00? Feels like it is eight," Starfire thought to herself. After dressing and brushing her teeth, she went downstairs to the kitchen. Just as she thought, no one else was up yet. She sluggishly poured a glass of what earthlings called "orange juice" and switched on the TV. She flipped to the news channel, where a female anchor was speaking to the camera.
"-what NASA is calling 'unusual activity' on Mars. Scientists have reported seeing strange flashes of light and what appear to be volcanic eruptions on the planet's surface."
Her curiosity getting the best of her, she kept the channel on. The report lasted a mere two minutes, leaving Starfire disappointed, but not surprised. These days, earthlings didn't seem to care much about what happened on other planets. With nothing else to grab her attention, she shut off the TV and switched on the radio.
She took a sip of the orange juice but grimaced when the liquid reached her tongue. The bitter taste reminded her that brushing her teeth and drinking orange juice didn't mix well. Nevertheless, she forced the contents of the glass down her throat and rinsed it out when she was done. Right as she turned around a familiar green shape appeared in the room.
"Hey, Starfire!" Beast Boy greeted.
"Good morning to you, Beast Boy," she replied warmly.
"Since the others are asleep, I'm making some breakfast. Want some tofu bacon?" he asked hopefully.
Starfire shook her head. "No thank you, Beast Boy. Although I would not mind having some of what you call, um, pamcakes?"
"Pancakes," Beast Boy corrected. "And sorry, but I don't think we have any." He opened the door to the refrigerator and practically buried himself in it. "Hmm…maybe we have waffles. I could make some French toast, if you want. Do we have any cinnamon? Oh wait, it's not in the refrigerator. This jelly would be good on toast. Hey, I didn't know we had eggs! What is this stuff back here?…"
Starfire couldn't help giggling at his effort. She always found his eager-to-please personality rather cute. Starfire leaned forward and tapped him on the shoulder. "Actually, Beast Boy, I think I'll just have some of your 'cereal.'"
"Huh? Oh…okay." He resumed rummaging through the refrigerator. "Aha! Here it is!" He pulled out a box of white strips of tofu. "Tofu bacon time!" He wasted no time in cooking the strips on the stove.
"Just what do you see in that stuff?" asked another feminine voice.
Beast Boy spun around. "Oh, hey Raven! You're up. I was just making some bacon. Want some?"
"No," she replied coldly.
"Uh, okay." He felt kind of embarrassed.
Within moments, the entire squad of Titans was downstairs, banishing the once-quiet atmosphere. The air was filled with sounds of laughter, yelling, and talking as the Titans prepared for the rest of the day. For them, it was just the same as every other day, complete with the possibility having to fight villains. Little did they know, however, that that day would turn out far from ordinary.
"Ha! That makes five kills in a row!" Cyborg pumped his fists in the air. "Yeehaw!"
"No way! You're cheating, Cyborg!" Beast Boy complained.
"Cheating? Me?" Cyborg asked innocently, fluttering his eyes. "No, I just own you in this game, that's all!"
"Laugh it up, battery boy," Beast Boy growled. "That's the last kill you'll make today, I promise."
"Oh, I don't think so," Cyborg said with an evil grin. Moments later, Cyborg moaned as his character blew up on the screen.
"Hey! You used a rocket launcher! That's not fair!" he shouted.
"I'll tell you what's not fair: nothing!" he stuck his tongue out at Cyborg.
"Friends, might you keep your noise down in there?" Starfire called from the next room.
"Sorry," Cyborg shouted back. He turned back to the game. "Okay, tough guy, let's see how good you are when it's just energy swords and pistols."
"Bring it on, sparky," Beast Boy mocked. Sheer seconds after he said that, their game was interrupted as a loud boom passed through Titan's Tower. The sound snapped the two back into reality. Cyborg noticed a flash of white light filling the windows for a second.
"Holy crap, what was that?" Beast Boy yelped, dropping the controller in shock.
"Was it an earthquake?" Cyborg suggested. Within seconds, the other three Titans arrived in the room, all wearing the same frightened faces.
"Did you guys hear that?" Robin asked without hesitation. Cyborg and Beast Boy nodded.
"Was it an earthquake?" Cyborg asked again.
Raven shook her head. "I doubt it. It soundedlike an explosion."
"And what was that strange light from?" Starfire asked.
"Well, we'd better go check it out," Robin told them. "If it's some villain's work, we can't waste time." The other four nodded in firm agreement.
Robin's eyes narrowed. "Titans, go!" he shouted.
The five dashed out of Titan's Tower and toward something that would change their lives.
Well, what do you think? Think this scenario can work out? Please read and review, I'm hungry for opinions. Just one warning: I don't know how often I can update this fic, because I'm also working on "Past's Secrets, which is my main fic right now. But I'll try to get it updated as much as I can. Woops...I screwed up on Robin's name. Fixed. : )