Hades

A shadowy figure abducts Raven and takes her into the underworld. The remaining Titans must navigate the unexpected to rescue their friend. Some Greek mythology and a game of dodge ball thrown in for good measure.

Chapter 1: Abduction

"Come on BB find something already!" Cyborg said stretched out on the sectional in front of the TV. Robin and Starfire occupied the other side staring blankly at the screen as Beast Boy slowly waded through the channels. Robin groaned and tilted his head up towards the ceiling.

"OK, I've had enough. Gimme that!" Cyborg leaned over and confiscated the remote from Beast Boy.

"Hey," Beast Boy mildly protested then leaned back in the seat and watched as the channels began swiftly changing under Cyborg's control.

"You gotta work your way through the upper channels. Sometimes there's something good on up there," Cyborg instructed. "What's this?" The screen went dark momentarily before a rather gray scene came into focus. It looked like an old classic black and white horror movie. A cloaked rider on a black stallion galloped from a distance towards the camera. "Hey Raven, you recognize this?"

Raven had camped out in the back of the room in front of a dusty tome she had been saving. She looked up briefly and surveyed the screen then looked back down to her book. "No."

"Give me that." Robin interrupted frustrated with the slow progress of his friends. He grabbed the remote while Cyborg was distracted and began quickly firing through the channels.

"I do not see how you can find anything with the channels changing so fast," Starfire commented. Her eyes strained to keep up with the images flickering in front of them.

"Sumo, cool." Robin settled back in his chair. Beast Boy and Cyborg shrugged lightly and grunted in unison. Starfire grimaced at the bloated bodies grappling on the screen. After a moment the screen flickered and the dark rider they had watched earlier reappeared.

"Raven, your shows back on," Cyborg announced.

"Not interested, TV rots your brains." Raven replied without looking up from her book this time.

"I do not like this show." Starfire leaned over and gently took the controller from Robin's hand. Robin glanced at her briefly then turned back to the screen. Starfire flipped over to the food channel as chef Fuji began wrestling an octopus into a large boiling pot.

"This is my favorite show, cooking with Fuji!" The rest of the boys shrugged and lightly grunted in apparent approval. After several moments the screen flickered and the dark rider appeared again.

"I think the channel-changing mechanism is malfunctioning." Starfire held up the remote and examined it closely. The others looked at her then slowly turned their heads to Raven suspecting she was responsible.

"Hey Raven could you please quite messing with the remote," Cyborg called back to Raven.

Raven glanced up from her book then looked at the screen as the rider quickly approached the camera. The room began to shake each time the horse's hooves struck the ground. Cyborg's suped-up sound system was good but this was ridiculous. The other Titans turned back to the screen as the noise and the shaking increased.

The rider and mount closed in on the camera. His face was cloaked in shadow and his mount was jet black except for a pair of glowing red eyes. Dark puffs of smoke flew from the ground as its hooves sunk into the dark muck. The sound of the galloping hooves became unbearable.

"TURN IT DOWN!" Raven raised her hands to her ears as the sound began to ring in her head.

The galloping stopped as the rider and mount leaped out of the screen and into the room. The rider leaned forward and the mount bounded onto the floor whipping up black wisps of smoke. A quick step and the cloaked rider leaned into the jump as the beast sprang over the sectional towards Raven. The other Titans ducked as the galloping pair flew overhead. The rider leaned back hard on his mount and yanked on the reigns as the beast reared back and skidded to a halt in front of Raven.

Raven stood up and prepared to defend herself from the unexpected intruder. The rider produced a long black whip and swung it over his shoulder. His steed cantered to the side allowing the rider a clear shot at his intended target. Before Raven could react the whip swung forward emitting a low hiss as it wrapped around her torso. The rider released his end and the whip quickly morphed into a large black serpent. Raven groaned as it constricted tightly around her. The serpent's head swung towards Raven's face. It's rhythmic pulsing quickly put her into a trance.

"COME ON!" Robin cried as he vaulted over the sectional towards the hooded rider and his mount. The stallion wheeled around and the rider quickly dismounted to face his first opponent. Robin drew his bow staff and grunted as he swung it at his hooded opponent. The rider crossed his forearms above his head and parried Robin's attack then quickly grasped the pole arm instantaneously turning it to dust. The rider reached out and firmly grasped Robin's shoulder. Robin attempted to break the rider's grip but became overwhelmed by sudden feeling of fatigue. His knees buckled and he fell forward on all fours at the rider's feet.

"ROBIN!" Starfire cried. The boy she knew so fondly was now an elderly man. She rushed forward and laid her hand on Robin's back as she bent over her fallen friend. She looked up at the hooded rider, her face flashed red in anger as her eyes began to burn fluorescent green. "You will pay for what you did to my friend," she snarled.

The rider suddenly morphed into a familiar figure from Starfire's past. "Oh you are such a fool little sister," the voice of Blackfire sneered back. Starfire froze in astonishment. Blackfire delivered a solid roundhouse knocking her across the room and leaving her unconscious. The figure of Blackfire quickly morphed back into the hooded rider.

"Booya," Cyborg cried as he let off a quick blast from his sonic cannon at the intruder. The hooded figure staggered slightly but quickly steadied himself and pulled out a large glass eye from his sleeve. He held the orb up absorbing Cyborg's sonic blast. Cyborg felt a sudden power drain from his system. He could not shut down and collapsed as the orb drained the last of his reserves.

"Well it looks like it's up to me," Beast Boy reluctantly said to himself. He morphed into a gorilla and charged the intruders. The black stallion quickly swung around and delivered a crushing two-footed kick to Beast Boy's chest sending him flying backwards.

The rider looked over to his steed after the last Titan had fallen, "I was wondering if I was going to have to do this all my self." The stallion groaned in disapproval. "No need to get nasty." The rider pulled down his hood revealing a short crop of dark hair and thin goateed face.

"OK, let's get this over with." He turned to Raven who was still transfixed with the serpent that entangled her. The rider strode towards Raven pulling a jar and a pair of tongs from his jacket. He placed the tongs behind Raven's ear an extracted a black withering form. This he stuffed into the jar before screwing the top back on. After placing the tongs back in his jacket the rider grasped the black serpents head. The serpent instantly reverted back into a whip. With a few flicks of his wrist the rider untangled his opponent

Raven slowly emerged from her trance; the smell of burning sulfur filled her nose as she reoriented herself with her surroundings. She looked about at her fallen friends then focused on the intruder who was casually re-wrapping his whip.

"What have you done with my friends," Raven demanded in a low voice barely disguising her anger.

"Sorry, but they didn't exactly roll out the welcome mat for me," the rider replied as he finished re-wrapping his whip. He casually walked over to his mount and placed it on a hook in the saddle gear. The rider turned back to Raven and focused his dark eyes on her. "Are you going to come willingly or am I going to have to drag you off by your hair?"

"My mother always told me never to accept rides from strangers," Raven replied. If there was one thing she hated it was pompous villains. It was time to teach this one a lesson. She gained her focus and prepared to attack. Nothing happened.

The rider raised a clear jar in his one hand. Raven could see a dark slithering form inside it. "I took the liberty of removing your powers. They wouldn't help you against me anyway," the rider continued. "My name is Morpheus and honestly we must be going."

"There's no way I'm going with you," Raven coolly replied.

The black stallion whinnied lowly and menacing took a step towards her. Its eyes were blood red and black wisps of smoke rose up from under its front hooves. Raven gathered her courage and tried to stand her ground.

"I'm not afraid of this monster," Raven sneered. Her eyes remained locked with the stallion.

"Brave girl," Morpheus replied. He folded his arms across his chest. "Actually he's a Nightmare; one of the best in my father's stable. I'm afraid he's in a bit of a hurry to get back to the underworld. Are you sure you won't change your mind?"

Raven broke her stare and turned to Morpheus. Her eyes told him she would not cooperate. Morpheus shrugged his shoulders then smiled. "I admire your foolish courage. He will have his way."

The stallion stepped forward and whinnied loudly. Raven's focus returned back to the approaching beast. The Nightmare's eyes burned red as the smell of sulfur became overwhelming. The beast flared its nostrils and exhaled strongly. The stench of warm decay hit Raven causing her to cough and gasp. The room darkened and screams of agony rose up in Raven's ears.

Her courage began to wane as a sudden wave of panic overwhelmed her. Raven turned to flee from the beast but felt a sharp tug around her neck. Glancing over her shoulder she could see the beast had grabbed the end of her cape with its teeth. She struggled to free herself from the Nightmare's vice-like grip. A sharp tug threw her off balance and in a flash the beast's head was between her legs thrusting her upwards into the air. With a quick flip she was on the beast's back.

With that Morpheus jumped up behind her and placed his one hand tightly around her waist. His other hand grabbed the reigns. He pressed Raven forward and thrust his heals backwards and the mount quickly jolted forward.

A dark porthole opened into which the Nightmare eagerly leaped . Cries of despair echoed in the tower as the porthole quickly closed behind them. Robin rose restored to his former self. He walked over to where the porthole had closed and contemplated his rescue options.