How Forever Feels
Brandon "GoldenSama" Rice
"A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Steal"
A/N: I am aware of the irony. This story is called "How Forever Feels", and I suppose anyone who is still interested in an update after SIX YEARS, truly must know how forever feels. XD8
My humblest apologies dear friends. The truth is, I fell out of the fanfiction world. I've spent the last few years focused on more original writings; but I've always had a hole... this story... I know so many people were looking forward to it, and I let you all down. I can't tell you how many times I thought about finishing this, but life tends to get in the way. Six years ago, I was a teenager with nary a responsibility in the world. Now I'm 22 and highly involved in the family business, as well responsibilities on other sites.
BUT, this story needs to be finished. How can I in good faith call myself a writer, if I leave such a tale untold? What good is a story without an ending? So... I do not know if anyone is still interested in Teen Titans, or this story. However, I do know I have to finish it.
I cannot promise weekly updates, but I will try my best to update every few weeks until at last this story has a satisfactory conclusion. If there is anyone still interested... if any of the 74 of you who reviewed the first chapter are still curious to know what happens next...
Then read on!
An explosion rocked the Titan's Tower as Raven's bedroom gained a new, large exit in the form of a completely destroyed wall. Several of her books were incinerated, and her bed was now aflame. The demon girl herself was on the floor, groaning in pain from a burn on her left side.
Standing in the doorway was Cyborg, who currently wore a blank expression on his face. The boy seemed void of all emotions. His arms were transformed into massive sonic cannons, and his glowing robotic eye focused on Raven, locking onto his target.
Slowly, mechanically, Cyborg aimed his arms at the girl and began to charge up for his next shot. As the barrels of his metal cannons began to hum and glow with a cold blue light, Raven looked up at her friend with wide eyes full of confusion.
One moment, Raven had been on her way to apologize to her boyfriend, Beast Boy. She had awoke from a nightmarish memory of what happened nine years in the future, and when he came to check on her, Raven grumpily chased him off. As she opened her door, she found Cyborg standing in the hall – and without a word the boy had blasted Raven and her room.
He was about to blast again! Just as Cyborg fired both barrels of his Sonic Cannon, Raven held up her hands and erected a shield of psychic energy, which managed to block the blasts! Her shield was severely cracked and looked about to break, but she had survived the impact.
Without a word, Cyborg was already preparing another set of blasts. Raven did not understand what was going on, but she quickly decided the first priority was to restraint her cybernetic friend before she ended up blasted to pieces. The girl held up her hands and chanted a spell; in an instant dark waves of energy flew from her hands and impacted Cyborg in the chest – sending the boy flying backwards into the hallway, where he smashed into a wall.
By now, the other Titans had finally arrived. Robin was dressed in his pajama pants, but somehow the boy had managed to equip both his utility belt and his mask – or perhaps he just slept in the mask. At his side was Starfire, who seemed ill-equipped for combat in her nightgown, but her hands shone with brilliant green energies.
On the other side of the hall, Beast Boy had returned – still wearing his boxers and a pajama cap. The boy was instantly confused as he saw Cyborg crashed through a wall, Raven's room burning, and Raven laying a psychic smack down on his best friend.
"Um, what the heck dudes?" Beast Boy asked, rushing over to Cyborg. "Are you okay?"
"Gar, don't!" Raven called – but it was too late. Cyborg sat up and wrapped a metal hand around Beast Boy's skinny throat. The green boy started to turn blue as Cyborg squeezed so tightly oxygen was unable to pass. Beast Boy gasped a few times; and then transformed into a grizzly bear. He was suddenly much too large even for one of Cyborg's super strong hands to hold, and earned his freedom for it.
Until Cyborg's other hand – still in cannon mode – blasted Beast Boy, sending the grizzly flying. Raven barely dodged as her boyfriend came flying in her direction. The boy ended up fallen at the foot of Raven's bed, his fur charred and his face displaying sheer pain.
Robin's eyes narrowed, and he jumped, tossing a small yellow disc from his belt. It smashed into the end of Cyborg's cannon-hand and with a puff of bright blue smoke, the cannon was frozen solid, covered in a large lair of ice. A recipe Robin had picked up from a ice-obsessed foe back in his former city.
"Cyborg, what's going on?" Robin demanded; but his robotic friend did not respond, instead he began banging his frozen arm against the wall to try to knock the ice loose.
"Already asked that; he replied with a cannon shot to my face." Raven responded. "Something had to have happened to him when he was taking Plasmius to jail."
Robin nodded in agreement. There wasn't time for further words, as Cyborg's free hand transformed into its cannon-mode, and he fired a shot at Robin and Starfire. The alien took to the air to avoid; while Robin used his ever-handy circus reflexes.
"Cyborg, it's us, your friends!" Starfire called over to him.
His response was a silent glare, followed by another blast of his cannon. The ceiling above Starfire was destroyed in a instant, and large pieces fell. The alien girl easily knocked them away – and then tossed a flurry of bright emerald bolts of light into Cyborg's chest! He was knocked so hard he spun around and landed on his chest.
Something caught Robin's eye. A small device on Cyborg's back, a black box that should not be there. The boy jumped towards his friend and knocked the box away with his bo staff. There was a sharp crackle of electricity and several sparks from Victor's back.
"Alright! I think we fixed him!" Beast Boy – who had only just recovered from his earlier injury – ran over to the group that gathered around the fallen hero.
Slowly, Cyborg began to stir. The boy rolled over onto his back and slowly sat up, both of his hands now returned to normal. He rubbed the top of his head, and did not look at his friends. Starfire and Beast Boy both looked on hopefully; but Robin and Raven remained on guard.
They were right to; Cyborg jumped to his feet and threw a punch at Robin! The boy narrowly avoided it, back flipping away from harm. Cyborg spun around, transformed his hand back into a cannon, and shot at Raven and Beast Boy! Raven's psychic shield was back up to catch the blast, but the impact was enough to crack the shield and push both the demon girl and her boyfriend backwards, into Raven's destroyed room.
"Aw... what's wrong? Did your friend decide he doesn't like you anymore?" A muffled male voice called from above. Robin glanced up immediately to see a boy in sleek black armor and a tattered cape hanging from the ceiling. The Titan's leader felt sick to the pit of his stomach at the sight.
Red X. A super thief who used an identity – and technology – Robin himself had created. It was an unwelcome sight, but it did offer an explanation.
"You did something to him." Robin growled up at the thief who hung upside down.
"Me? Nope. I just knocked him out. It was my hottie-hot-hottie partner who uploaded the virus." Red X called in his obnoxious voice.
Before Robin or his fellow Titans had a chance to question the meaning, the nearest wall exploded and a woman came flying through. She wore an armored version of Starfire's traditional Tamaranian outfit; though her's was in black.
"Blackfire!" Starfire immediately recognized her good-for-nothing sister. While Starfire was a gentle soul who fought to defend the weak; her sister was the type to prey on the defenseless and scam the unwise.
"Long time." Blackfire grinned; and then punched her sister in the face. The two super strong alien women was immediately in a grappling match, trading punches and kicks in mid-air as they fought in the narrow hallway. It wasn't long before they had both been smashed into the walls several times, leaving deep imprints into the walls.
As they fought, Red X jumped down from the roof, somehow avoiding them both as he fell. The disguised boy landed in front of Robin and immediately aimed a kick at the super hero's head; but Robin was too skilled to be taken off guard and dodged it. Robin's bo staff was swung, trying to smashed Red X in the side of his head.
Red X matched the bo staff with his own. The only real different between their staffs was the end of X's staff. Four red spikes protruded from the edge, forming a razor-sharp 'X' to keep with the thief's stolen style.
"I've made some modifications since we last met." Red X hissed, slashing the end of his staff, and leaving some deep cuts in Robin's chest. The boy jumped back, his bare chest now bleeding and his face twisted into a painful scowl.
Robin tossed a bird-a-rang from his belt, which X met in mid-air by tossing an X-shaped shuriken.
As Starfire and Blackfire took to blasting one another with their glowing bolts of solar energy, and Robin and Red X traded blows with staffs and projectiles; Beast Boy and Raven were now in her bedroom, being attacked by their mind-controlled friend.
Cyborg was as silent as he had been the entire time, blasting at the two with his Sonic Cannons. The one saving grace was that in his entranced state, Cyborg seemed to be running on a sort of 'auto-pilot'. While all of the boy's usual strength was present, his intelligence seemed to be missing. He was firing randomly and inaccurately, and did not seem to have any strategy beyond 'shoot them'.
It was a lucky break for Beast Boy and his demonic girlfriend. Cyborg was nothing short of a genius, and if his brain was in the battle he could have worked a strategy that could have brought his friends to their knees. He still had the edge in the battle, though.
"Damn... Vic's my best friend! I can't just go T-Rex and stomp him..." Beast Boy growled as he dodged another Sonic blast. "I mean, we were roomies for years when I was a famous Hollywood star!"
Raven let out an annoyed grunt. Though it had been a year since she rewound time and recovered the missing years she spent in a coma, Beast Boy's head had yet to deflate from the days when he was the hottest Sci-Fi star in the world.
"Not the time for that." Raven simply snapped back. Among the many benefits of having killed her father in the future, Raven had broken his seals, and unlocked powers the likes of which she had never imagined before. The girl brought up her hands and gathered a gigantic ball of psychic energy above her head.
Thrusting her hands forward, she sent the wave of energy at Cyborg. It blasted him directly in the face, but rather than harm the boy, it suddenly caused him freeze in his tracks.
"Oh! You did the remote control thing again!" Beast Boy grinned, remembering when she had paused time earlier that day to keep him from being run over by a tanker truck.
"No." Raven shook her head. "Now shut up, I need concentration."
Outside the door, Starfire slammed her sister into the wall, rattling the entire Tower with the impact. Red X tossed a bomb at Robin, and while the boy dodged it, the device exploded with ferocity.
"... Yeah, because my talking is the biggest distraction." Beast Boy rolled his eyes. "What are you doing, anyway?"
Raven ignored him. The girl had connected her psychic powers with Cyborg's mind. While most of the boy's body was covered in metal and powerful electronics, at his core Cyborg was still a human being – Victor Stone. And while he had several computer processors buzzing through his body, the most powerful aspect of the boy was still his human brain.
While it might have seemed that Raven was still floating in front of Cyborg, her spirit was actually now wandering through the vast region of Cyborg's brain. Raven's powers allowed her to project a fully immense landscape, which would be a reflection of Cyborg's mind.
She found herself in the middle of what looked like a massive factory. The walls were made of metal, and all around, gears twisted and turned, and computer hummed and clicked. However, in the middle of the room that would stretch on in every direction to infinity, there car parked. In the driver's seat was a young man – Victor Stone. The cold metal was gone, instead replaced by flesh and sinew and bone.
"Raven..." Cyborg looked up at her, from his fully-human face.
"Hey Vic... you okay?" Raven asked as she floated over to the car. Waving her hand, the passenger side door opened, and she took a seat, looking over to her friend with a soft smile.
Victor did not return her smile. He was slumped over the steering wheel, with a depressed look on his face. "Oh I'm just peachy. I'm still in the driver's seat, but I'm not in control of my own body!"
Raven sighed, and placed a hand on his shoulder. Victor recoiled away from her at the gesture.
"There's a virus in my systems... I can't fight it. I've tried, but its got full control. Every bit of me that's electronic or mechanical is out of my control; and that's pretty much all of me. I can't even talk... I can just sit here and watch as I try to murder my friends." Cyborg was tearing up, and he slammed his fist into the dashboard.
"Damn it! I should have been more careful... I never imagined there'd be a virus strong enough to hijack my systems..."
Raven shook her head. "That's enough! Whining won't help. You're stronger than this, Vic. You know fully well that you're more than the sum total of your machinery. The computers and metal are all very impressive, but at the end of the day your greatest asset is your humanity. You proved that before, remember?"
The depressed boy in the driver's seat sighed and nodded. "Raven, this isn't about me being limited by my body... I KNOW I'm more than just a machine... but I've been trying Raven. I've tried fighting, as hard as I can, but I can't get control back..."
Suddenly, Raven felt a surge down her spine. She could sense something, and it wasn't a computer virus. There was something raw and powerful lurking in Cyborg's mind, something that was magical in nature, instead of mechanical.
"... Maybe the reason you can't fight back, and the reason your software didn't stop the virus, is because its NOT a virus." Raven was now on edge, trying to locate the source of the power she sensed.
Victor raised his head up, a confused look spread across his face. "What are you saying, Raven?"
Shaking her head, the pale demon girl closed her eyes and tried to focus. "I can sense something magical in here with us. Something foreign... this isn't a vrius, it's a hex."
Gasping, Victor sat straight up in his chair. "A HEX? Are you sure? I mean, it was Blackfire and Red X who did this to me, they don't really seem the magical type..."
Raven nodded, and kept her eyes clenched shut. Her body was glowing lightly with a purple hue as she focused, attempting to scan every inch of Cyborg's mindscape for the source of magic. Yet while she could sense it, it seemed impossible to pinpoint the exact location. Whatever it was was moving, and keeping one step ahead of Raven's powers.
"It makes sense. Your systems are top-of-the-line, and you constantly upgrade them. I doubt even Lex Luthor could come up with a virus tricky enough to control you THIS completely... but when it comes to magic and spells, you're a sitting duck. No amount of technology can stop a powerful spell... only a stronger spell can do that."
Victor began to understand, and slowly the frown he had worn since Raven first saw him in the car started to disappear, a smile covering the area it had occupied. "In that case... you can fix this, right?"
"I'm on it." Raven promised, and as if on cue, she finally located the source of the hex. Suddenly the car in which they sat was consumed by a wave of darkness, and it seemed they were suddenly sinking quickly in an ocean of black water.
The windows began to crack, and the car made several unsavory sounds as it plunged deeper and deeper into the black water. Victor screamed out in pain.
"What's... happening..." Victor gasped.
"The hex is attacking your mind. The car represents your mechanical self, while you represent your human side. Which means the hex is destroying your physical body! We probably only have seconds to stop it or you'll likely suffer a heart attack..."
"Great." Victor rolled his eyes.
Raven's body shone with the purple glow, and she sent a wave of energy through the car. Slowly the car was covered in the same shine. The black water around them tried to crush it, but the intense glow of Raven's shield suddenly began to evaporate the water. The girl struggled, digging deep into her powers, and suddenly there was a massive blast and light!
Beast Boy grew ever more worried by the moment. The hallway was now a pile of rubble, as Red X and Robin battled on the floor, and Blackfire and Starfire had an aerial fight. There were holes in the walls, and several small fires started.
The former sidekick and his alien lover were both more than a match for the two intruders, but the fights were nasty and tiresome, and causing a lot of collateral damage. To make matters worse, neither Cyborg and Raven had moved in nearly ten minutes. At one point, Cyborg's body began to spark and burn – and all at once, he and Raven then began to glow with a psychic energy.
Garfield looked on with a worried sigh; but suddenly he was blinded by a massive flash of lights. When his eyes readjusted, Cyborg was moving and groaning, flexing his fingers.
"Man... Raven, I owe you big time." Cyborg called to her with a grin.
"You do. And you'll be cleaning my room, and rebuying every book you torched." Raven replied in an instant – and he knew her well enough to know it was no joke.
The wall was suddenly shattered as Blackfire came crashing through. The dark-haired alien slammed into the floor with a painful thud and let out a groan. Starfire flew in after her, and sent a volley of green starbolts into her sister's face and chest, knocking her unconcious at last.
"Is he...?" She paused, as she looked to Cyborg.
"Better? Yeah, thanks to Raven." Cyborg nodded to Starfire. She let out a delighted squeal and shot forward, tackling Victor with a mighty hug. Cyborg grinned and returned her hug; but it was cutshort by the sound of an explosion.
The four rushed to the hall, where Robin was on the ground, groaning. He had several new scars and burns to match the deep cuts to his chest from earlier. He lay on his back in a pile of rubble, but he had a triumphant smirk settled on his face. Down the hall, a few feet away, Red X was on his back. The boy seemed unconscious, his armor and cape both severely battered and marked with burns.
"Are you alright?" Starfire flew down to his side at top speed, propping Robin up with her arm. He nodded slowly, and allowed himself to lean against his girlfriend's shoulder.
"I'm just fine, Star. More importantly... how is Cyborg?" Robin asked, glancing his masked eyes towards his half-mechanical friend a few feet away.
With a small grin, Cyborg looked down to Robin sheepishly. "Well, I'm back to normal, but I feel like a royal heel. You guys, I'm sorry I caused all of this... I should have been more careful."
Beast Boy shook his head, and jumped up to throw an arm around Cyborg's shoulder. "Dude, chillax! You weren't doing it on purpose."
"Besides, like I said in your brain, you don't have any defense against magic." Raven reminded him. This news came as alarming to the others, who turned their gaze from Cyborg to the floating demonic girl.
Robin was the first to speak up. "Magic?" He had the same 'serious-business' expression locked on his face as he usually did. And even bloody, shirtless and with one eye slightly swollen, he somehow managed to maintain an intimidating and heroic gaze.
"Cyborg was hexed by some powerful magic." Raven explained, leaning against the wall behind her. "I had a hard time fighting it... and I guarantee that Blackfire and Red X didn't create it."
"Speaking of which..." Beast Boy's ears fell, and his eyes widened in surprise. "Where did they go!"
The Titans were all surprised by the question, but sure enough as they looked to the spot where Red X had fallen, his body was gone without a trace. Raven ducked her head back into her bedroom, but Blackfire was missing as well.
"Damn!" Robin punched his fist into his free palm. "How could they have gotten away?"
With a sigh, Raven leaned against the wall once more and closed her eyes. Slowly, her body was covered by the same eerie light as when she was inside Cyborg's brain. Yet as she searched the entirety of the Tower, she could not find a trace of either of them. The only other person besides the five Titans she could sense was her mother, Arella.
Suddenly, Raven's eyes snapped open as she realized the problem with that. Without a word, she floated down the hall, and up the twisting and winding stairs towards the guest bedroom where Arella had been decided to stay since she surprisingly showed up earlier in the day.
"Mother! Are you alright?" Raven called through the door. Her friends quickly ran to catch up with her, and as they arrived Raven forced the door open and flew into the room. She found her mother on the floor at the foot of her bed, crying into her hands.
Arella's sobs softened as she realized the Titans were in her room. The woman looked up at her daughter and the super heroes and wiped her face on her sleeve. "Oh Raven... it was awful... he took Corbin..."
Raven felt a sharp pain through her heart. While it had disgusted her when he mother 'surprised' her with the announcement that she had given birth to another child (and matters were made worse, when she confirmed that the father was Arella's current beau, Slade.)
"Who took him?" Robin asked, as he stepped forward.
"I... I don't know..." Arella sniffed. "I was asleep, when I heard an explosion. I went to check on Corbin, and then... then a man jumped in through the window... he punched me, and told me... he told me he was taking Corbin... and if I wanted to see him again... I had to deliver his father..."
With a great groan, Raven rubbed the temple of her forehead. She just knew that her mother getting involved with Slade would eventually come back to bite them all.
"We'll find him mom... I promise." Raven sighed, looking to her weeping mother.
A/N: Well, here we have it. An update at long last. I should state straight away two things.
I do intend to finish this story in the near future. However, my original notes for this story are long since gone, lost to a computer I owned back then and its hard-drive failure. My memory of where I intended this story to go sadly is also a casualty of the years. However, I have new ideas and hopefully they will be enjoyed.
If you've read this far, I hope it was worth your time. May you have a wonderful, blessed and awesome day!