Chapter 12

"Let her go, Slade," warned Beast Boy after being restoring himself to human form.

Slade turned, unflinching at the tone of Beast Boy's voice. "Your uniform is quite a mess, Beast Boy. Perhaps a new one is in order, one I have ready for you."

"I won't wear your uniform, your colors, or your symbol. I'll have nothing to do with your goals. I just require your life!"

"Ah yes, to set the wrong things right. But don't you realize what you are? You are undead, immortal. You can't die… as long as no harm comes to her." He pointed at the raven. "As long as she remains unharmed you have power. But I have power as well." Slade held up the remote that activates the nano-probes.

"So Brother Blood was telling the truth about the probes?"

"Indeed he was. Now, submit to me or suffer."

"I was beaten, battered, and electrocuted. I watched helplessly as Raven endured the same, and was crushed. I was stabbed in the back and torn from the girl I love. That is suffering. Your probes are nothing compared to what you did to us. Your probes won't stop me from getting to you."

Slade shook his head in mock disappointment. "Why must everyone I choose to be my apprentice defy me?" He glared at Beast Boy. "Have it your way."

Beast Boy leapt, but not before the probes went active. The raven screeched in agony… and Beast Boy dropped to the floor, feeling its pain. He could only try to resist, and become something that would have the strength to disable that device. Beast Boy thought of a mammoth.

Transforming into the prehistoric pachyderm, the creature roamed about the space chasing after Slade. This is one place the villain had nowhere to jump. He could only keep away from the mammoth. There was no way of getting to the door, as this thing hindered Slade's escape. The creature's stomping was so intense that Slade could barely keep his balance.

The mammoth gained on his target. He rammed into Slade, knocking him to the floor and the device from his hand. It slid across the floor. The mammoth became Beast Boy once again, and he painfully dropped to the floor and picked it up. He disabled it then smashed it. Feeling relieved the changeling stood.

He turned to Slade. "It's over Slade. Now to finish you."

Slade realized he had been thrown over by the stand where the raven's cage was. He looked up at the bird, then at Beast Boy. "It's over… but for you!" Quickly getting to his feet, he then grabbed the cage and threw it hard at the wall.

The instant of impact caused Beast Boy to cry out in pain. He dropped, feeling as if every bone were now broken. He moaned and hissed at the agony.

Outside in the T-car, Omen awakened with a start. Something happened and it felt bad. Recovering from her disorientation she eased her mind and searched. There was trouble nearby. It felt like Beast Boy… and he was hurt.

She teleported from the car.

Slade, his back to Beast Boy, reached up. He pulled his mask off and slipped his hood down to reveal white hair. He turned and faced Beast Boy, revealing a patch over his right eye, and his chin well groomed with facial hair.

He casually approached Beast Boy. While Slade had walked toward him, Beast Boy looked over at the raven. She seemed barely alive and not moving… except for flapping its left wing. It occurred to him nothing was wrong with his left arm. Now Slade was kneeling beside him. "I thought I would make it an honor for the last thing you see to be my face."

"So, how will… will you kill… me?" Beast Boy struggled to ask.

"How does breaking your neck sound?" He reached with both hands to place them about Beast Boy's head. He didn't get the chance.

The changeling thrust his left arm out and placed his hand over Slade's face. Flashbacks crossed his vision. Beast Boy saw Slade atop an apartment building, watching his and Raven's last stand. Other visions included monitoring the incidents of Beast Boy's vengeance as well as discussions with Brother Blood. This was certainly the real Slade.

A rush of power surged from him into the villain. If Slade could be speaking at that moment he would say that this power felt to him like raw flesh exposed to the sun, or an open wound exposed to the cold. And the horrors he saw before him: nothing was ever like this… this darkness. And the cold, the cold was unbearable. He cried out, but could not move.

Beast Boy felt the last of that power leave him. He pushed Slade away, who fell to the floor, first flailing about and mumbling, seeming to be looking at something and nothing at the same time.

Omen appeared, finding herself in some room. She looked around, seeing a misshapen cage and a raven inside. She looked more, seeing a white haired man thrashing around on the floor. Then she saw Beast Boy.
The titans were now somewhere below the school. A signal in Cyborg went active. He studied his readings. "Guys, Omen's location has changed. She's two floors down."

Robin pulled out his communicator. "Omen talk to me."

"This is she."

"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine."

"What are you doing down there?"

"When I came to, I felt something. I teleported to the source and… I'm here with Slade."

"What about Beast Boy? Is he there, too?"

There was a pause. "Yes he is. And he's in bad shape. He's actually hurt."

"We're almost there." Robin ended his transmission.

"Why didn't you kill Slade?" Omen asked Beast Boy.

"I didn't have to," replied the relaxed but crippled changeling. "This is punishment enough for him. He'll spend the rest of his life like that, without end to whatever it is he sees."

"What did you give him?"

"Raven's pain and her nightmares."

Beast Boy looked over at the cage. A blue glow emanated from there, and he realized he slowly began to feel better. Little by little he moved different limbs around and finally stood up. The glow ended.

He walked over to the cage, knelt down and looked at the raven. The changeling turned the cage upward, opened the door, and put his hand inside. The raven hopped onto it and he retracted his arm.

"Thank you," he said, caressing her from her head down her back.

Just then the titans burst in. Looking around, some first saw Slade while the rest found Omen, and Beast Boy holding a bird. While the rest crowed around Beast Boy, Robin attended to Slade who was just muttering and looking horrified. The boy wonder stood and then went over to Beast Boy. The raven was now perched on his shoulder.

"What did you do to him?" asked Robin.

"I stopped him. He's not a threat anymore. In his current condition, what will you do with him?"

"Don't worry, titans," stated a doctor outside a psychiatric cell at Arkham Asylum. "He'll be well looked after here."

All titans minus Beast Boy were there. Robin took one final look inside the cell at the now pathetic Slade, who would never recover.

It was nearly dawn. Beast Boy stood on the shore of the tower island staring out at the sea. The raven did the same from his left shoulder. Snapping out of his thoughts, Beast Boy arched his head so as to look at the raven.

"Are you going to stay like that?"

She looked at him for a moment then drifted from his shoulder to the sand. As she stood before him, feathers began to retract. The bird grew taller until the odd form became the pale-skinned, purple-haired, white-robed girl he recognized. She smiled at him. He smiled at her, but especially at the thought that this was really Raven and not a dream. Raven approached him and embraced him. He embraced her and they kissed.

Once they let up on the kiss he finally said, "I love you, Raven Roth."

She smiled and said, "I love you too, Garfield Logan."

"So what's with this new look?" he asked looking her garments over.

"I can't take that power with me where we're going. It had to stay here, in some vessel that would be bound for oblivion. Once I released it, I was purified of every last part that bound me to Trigon."

Their moment was disrupted. "Do you really have to leave?" It was Starfire. The rest of the titans were with her.

"Yes, we do Star," answered Raven now at Beast Boy's side. "Our time is up here. But at least we're together forever now."

"Be happy for us on that account, guys," added Beast Boy.

Starfire rushed in to give them a classic crushing hug… only they seemed unaffected by the pressure. Everyone else took an opportunity to bid them farewell, the last being Omen to say good-bye to Beast Boy.

"You'll keep your word?" he quietly asked reminding her of his request.

"I will."

"Thank you. Slade also recorded my actions at the places I was. See to it that evidence is destroyed, too."

"Of course."

Beast Boy walked back over to Raven and took her hand. "Are we ready to go?" She nodded then a white raven form engulfed them and lifted both from the beach into the sky. Then they were gone.

Omen let out her power.

"Hey, what are we doing out here?" Cyborg wondered as everyone else seemed puzzled.

"Just waiting for the sun to come up," answered Omen as she looked on at the sky.


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