The beginning of the end! I'm going to miss this, so I hope you all enjoy this final offering of Magicy Titans goodness! Also, my top secret civics experiment revealed only two people were able to correctly identify what I used as inspiration for Chapter 29's disclaimer: The preamble of the U.S. Constitution! Congrats to realfanficts and The Hidden Girl. Anyway, it's time to get down and shut 'er down:
DISCLAIMER: Despite more than a year of planning, writing, and procrastination, I still don't own Magic: the Gathering or Teen Titans, nor do I own Martha Stewart Enterprises, the movies Little Nicky and Alien, or any of the names in the chant, except the last one. I also own VillainCon '06, but feel free to write stories set there.
The T-Ship came to a landing in the clearing, blowing back the grass with its jets. The front hatch opened to reveal an irate Cyborg, who shouted, "Alright, you two, where are you and WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY CAR?" He'd been incandescent with rage since seeing the impact crater the unfortunate auto had made after the forest had receded.
"Breathe, Cyborg," Robin chided from the central cockpit, "You've rebuilt the T-Car at least five times. What's one more?"
Cyborg's retort would have been largely unprintable, and in most comic books, would've largely been represented by the nonnumeric symbols found along the number row of your keyboard. It is therefore fortunate that Raven chose that instant to emerge, body entirely shrouded in her cloak.
"Let's just say Cyborg prefers driving the T-Car to rebuilding it," drawled the empath, "and leave it at that."
Cyborg, his opportunity to vent at his leader stolen, decided to direct his fury on the destroyers of his baby. "So where exactly is BB? You two owe me a new ride!"
His question was answered as a suspiciously green squirrel emerged from Raven's erect hood and scurried to her shoulder. It also performed the rodent equivalent of flipping the bird to the half-bot, but not even Cyborg's prosthetic eye could detect the subtle gesture. Raven, however, quietly chuckled at the fuzzy being's antics. Very quietly.
"Alright team, let's get back to the Tower," commanded Robin. "I don't want to leave Starfire alone for too long in her condition."
"Why'd you leave her at all?" Raven asked as she climbed into the starboard cockpit.
Robin smirked. "To make sure Cy didn't kill Beast Boy for crashing his car."
A vein pulsed violently on Cyborg's forehead. As he engaged liftoff, the half-droid created a private circuit between his comlink and Robin's "Y'know, Rob, I wouldn't be joking about me if I were you," he said over the covert connection. "I happen to have retained digital camera capabilities while magically enhanced."
The mask dilated to accommodate Robin's widening eyes. "You didn't."
"Oh, I not only did, I'll submit them to every major paper in the country unless you do everything I say." Cyborg's grin outmatched any a foe of the Titans had cultivated for sheer evil.
"You will pay for this, Tin Man," the Boy Wonder growled, "Mark my words."
"Whatever you say, Angela." With that, he reconnected Raven's comlink to the network, just in time to hear Robin's sputtered rebuttal. It came much to the Titan's leader's horror when the sorceress replied to this cry with:
"OK, what did I miss, and why was Robin yelling something about an armored bodice?"
The trip from then on was punctuated by the laughter of a mechanoman and the quiet, contented snores of a green kitten napping on a certain empath's lap.
After landing and a hurried explanation by Robin on the subject of cleavaged chain mail, the Titans assembled expectantly in the common room to witness the culmination of their recent efforts. Unfortunately, there would be a brief delay.
"Why must we wait, friend?" asked a still-drowsy Starfire.
"I need some additional materials and components from my room," replied Raven, "and given the amount of magical energy this is likely to release, it's better done on the roof anyway."
"So how come your new familiar gets to come with?" Cyborg commented. While he wasn't feeling quite as malicious towards the two not-so-secret lovers, he still felt the habitual need to poke at their relationship.
"Believe it or not, he'll actually be able to help me retrieve them," the telekinetic rationalized, "And he used 'The Face.'"
Indeed, Beast Boy was still in kitten form, currently perched atop Raven's head. He gave a short mew, Quasi-Domesticated Feline for "No one can resist 'The Face.'"
All questions laid to rest, the two moved for their floor of the Tower. Upon reaching the point at which they had to part ways, Beast Boy deftly leapt off Raven's head and reverted to his boxer-clad default form. "Thanks for covering for us, Rae."
Raven was still holding her cape tightly around her similarly skimpy attire, and the blush she'd been repressing was allowed to rise. "Not like anything else was going to. See you on the roof."
The changeling smiled gently. "Wouldn't it be better to walk there together?"
"All right, see you here. Oh, and Beast Boy?" The changeling turned. "Squirrel fur tickles."
The Titans were all assembled. Raven, adorned in a fresh leotard, placed the Mox Emerald on its pictured double. A verdant beacon emerged from the scroll, and as it faded, so did the swirling light pattern of the hypnospiral, leaving a forest green blotch. The scroll then glowed elsewhere, as it did after each Mox application. This time, however, the shining energy emerged from the back of the golden substance. Raven turned it over, revealing a scintillating silver energy that traced out a pentagram and a chant. A design was near each corner of the pentagonal design, an outline of the Mox to place there, with the symbol of the gem's mana within.
Beast Boy looked over her shoulder. "At least the words are in English this time," he noted.
"Well Raven, you're on," Robin prompted.
"Right," she responded. She placed each Mox on its given point. Once the Emerald was lain on the octagonal outline housing a stylized tree, all five erupted with a mystic light. Closing her physical eyes, Raven read out the chant using only her mental vision.
"Isamaru Kentaro Soraya Jabari Capashen Darien Raksha Akroma Erayo Laquatus Ultimus Ixidor Arcanis Zhouyu Unspeakable Seeing-Wind Kiku Umezawa Irini Gallowbraid Kyoki Shauku Sengir Kuro Slobad Mannichi Adamaro Jeska Telim'Tor Zirilan Ryusei Maraxus Rofellos Mirri Iwamori Jolrael Multani Silvos Molimo Sekki Isperia Szadek Rakdos Borborygmos Conclave Obzedat Stone-Death Kraj Niv-Mizzet Razia Phelldagriff Halfdane Tresserhorn Sek-Kuar Johan Glint-Eye Dune-Brood Ink-Treader Witch-Maw Yore-Tiller Cromat PENTAGRAM!"
Upon the pronunciation of the name of the being Raven was summoning, the pentagram tore loose of the golden scroll, enlarging and shifting from silver to gold. The entire top of Titans Tower was quickly consumed by the dilating design. Once this was achieved, the pentagram ceased its growth, in order to allow for the entrance of Pentagram.
An entrance it was. The ubiquitous magical shine fragmented itself, palpable pieces of light detaching themselves from the energy field to congregate at the very center of the engorged emblem. These pieces assembled themselves into a humanoid form, which slowly descended to the surface of the roof. As a final macrophoton connected itself to his forehead, Pentagram opened his eyes, and his mouth.
It was, without a doubt, one of the most anticlimactic moments of all time.
Raven's mouth opened, but the sarcastic comments she wanted to say were so numerous they resulted in a case of verbal gridlock, the empath unable to say anything due to all the other quips vying for attention.
Cyborg was too distracted trying to adapt his systems to the sudden spike in ambient energy to notice much else.
Robin had been watching Raven's ritual with a level of scrutiny usually reserved for crime scenes and pieces of Slade's ABC gum, and thusly had been temporarily blinded by the initial flash.
Starfire was too entranced by Pentagram's entrance to say anything.
Therefore, it was left to Beast Boy to reply. "Oh, you know, not much, had breakfast, took a shower, DRAGGED OUR FRIKKIN' ASSES HALFWAY ACROSS THE WORLD SO WE COULD CONTACT YOU!"
"Oh, it's you guys." The incarnation of the Five Magics rubbed the back of his head awkwardly. "Sorry, what with gallivanting across the multiverse and all, I kinda forgot about you." He looked around, nodding approvingly. "So, got all five Moxen. Nice work. Now I believe a certain half-demon wanted her powers stabilized?"
With that, Raven approached him. "You better not need anything else," she muttered darkly, "because this was barely worth all the trouble these rocks have put us through."
Pentagram waggled his fingers in front of the empath a little, thought to himself, and replied, "No, this should be enough." With that, he cracked his knuckles, and drove his fingers straight into Raven's abdomen.
Trigon sighed as he shuffled the cards telekinetically. Not only did he not enjoy repressing his powers so they would only move objects rather than atomize them, he was getting rather annoyed with one of his siblings.
"Rakdos," he began, "I know you're something of a sore loser, but I'd appreciate it if you didn't incinerate the deck every time someone else won a hand."
The Lord of Rats scowled and fingered his few remaining chips. Each circular disk was actually a damned soul, pounded into roundness by the smiths of Hell, and it looked like Rakdos' more infernal cultists wouldn't have many victims torture after this game. "I just take pride in contests of luck and skill, that's all."
"You act like a petulant child with a flamethrower every time someone else gets a full house," Junior sneered. His hat had been scorched during one of the Defiler's earlier tantrums.
"Besides, we're down to the last deck," noted Martha, "and I handcraft these cards out of berry juice and the tanned, flayed skins of those who ran crooked casinos in their time on the material plane." She sighed. "Berry juice isn't cheap, you know."
"Thought I saw nostrils on the ace of spades," muttered Trigon, dealing out the new hand. His musings were interrupted by two glowing handprints, void black in color, manifesting themselves on the Terrible's pecs. They detached themselves from the archdemon's chest to form shadowy hands that grabbed him by his newly regrown antlers, and pulled. Trigon was quickly yoinked out of Hell, and his hand fell to the table.
The other offspring of Satan were silent and still for a moment, until Him examined Trigon's hand. "Royal flush," cooed the lobster-clawed fiend, "Just his luck."
"Wanna split his chips?" Nicky offered.
"Raven!" cried Beast Boy, rushing for his love.
"Don't worry, BB," said Pentagram soothingly, "this isn't actually hurting Raven. Right, my dear?"
"Call me 'my dear' again," Raven replied dryly, "and you'll be the one hurting."
"See?" said Pentagram, now wrist deep within the empath's midsection, "Sarcasm. She's fine." The incarnation's eyes widened. "Oop. Got something. Hang on." He began to step backward, but slowly and slippingly, as though playing tug-of-war against a troop of gorillas.
Gradually, his hands exited Raven's body, but they didn't come alone. Pentagram's fingers were driven deep into what appeared to be antlers. As the humanoid energy continued to struggle backwards, the horns gave way to white locks that sprouted illogically from Raven's front. Eventually, the familiar, enraged visage of Trigon the Terrible sprouted forth from his daughter.
"Dude!" exclaimed a rapt Beast Boy, "this is like some sick, twisted version of that one scene from Alien!" Each Titan without his or her father's head sliding out of his or her inguinal region nodded slowly.
With a shouted "HEAVE!" Pentagram plucked the rest of Trigon out of Raven's form like a stubborn weed. The massive demon crashed into the bay, sending a huge wave over the island and Jump City's coast. (Thankfully, it was the weekend, and no dockworkers were present at the time.) Dusting off his hands, the magical being wiped his forehead and smiled. "Not bad, if I do say so myself." He considered this. "Which I just did."
"Uh," Cyborg articulated, "How'd you pull a sixty-foot demon out of a four-foot girl?"
"Four foot five, thanl you very much." said Raven, happy to latch on something normal to scorn.
"One, though the prophecy was debunked, Raven is still the Portal of Trigon," explained Pentagram, seamlessly dropping in the capitals, "Two, since I had access to his interdimensional portal, the necessary knowledge, and the prerequisite energy, I was able to summon forth Trigon unto this realm." Noting the confused looks on not just Beast Boy's face, but Starfire's and Robin's as well, he clarified. "Father and daughter are connected. I used that connection."
"And since you have," began Trigon, rising from the sea like a crimson Godzilla, "I shall once again lay claim to this universe! The Time of Mortals has ended once-"
"Oh, shut up," Pentagram said testily, waving his hand. In moments, Trigon was bound and shackled in white energy. Pentagram floated over to the even more furious demon. "Be thankful I didn't put a muzzle on you."
Trigon's response to this was another one for the Shift key and the top row of your keyboard.
"On second thought," said the magical entity, and with these words came a white energy ball gag, silencing the archdemon's expletory tirade.
("Robin," Starfire said, "you must tell me the meanings of the many loud and angry words Raven's father said before the Pentagram silenced him."
"Err, now really isn't the time, Star," Robin responded.)
"Now then," Pentagram began, "here's the situation. Your daughter has found a boyfriend. She would like very much to feel unbridled love for him without running the risk of caving his skull in. You are going to allow her to feel emotion without fear of destroying her surroundings, and I," with this he raised a hand roiling with white energy, "will not purge you from existence. Oh, and let me just remind you that by forfeiting all but your genetic link to Raven, you forfeit any influence you might have had over her kids. Or spawn, depending on your outlook." Pentagram drew back the white-charged hand, now a fist glowing with more white energy than a Deep South country club. Grinning maniacally, Pentagram asked, "Deal?"
All four eyes watering and widening, Trigon nodded desperately.
The maniac grin quickly shifted to a satisfied, sane one. "Good!" With that, Pentagram rose up to Trigon's face, and flicked the archdemon's monumental nose with a blue mana-charged index finger. The Terrible One was returned to the infernal planes with a sound best recorded as "poof."
Returning to the Tower's roof nonchalantly, Pentagram turned to Raven once more. Raising his hand, he smiled and said, "Now that that's taken care of-"
"Hold it!" All eyes turned to Beast Boy. "You aren't gonna stick your hand in her again, are you?"
"I assure you, my good changeling," replied the incarnation of five magics, "the only ones sticking things in Satan's favorite granddaughter henceforth will be you and her gynecologist." Now that everyone else present (Starfire excepted,) was thoroughly embarrassed into silence, Pentagram proceeded.
Waving his hands out, he called the Moxen to him. The gems obeyed immediately coming to his left hand. With the right, he gestured toward Raven. The empath's jeweled belt unclasped itself and came to the extremity. Raising both hands in the air, Pentagram intoned, "Let the relics of the past be forged into the treasures of tomorrow! RESHAPE!"
With this, the Moxen and Raven's belt came together, and emitted a brilliant, yet colorless light. As the nonchromatic glare faded, Raven's belt had only five circular gems on it, but each was one of the colors of Pentagram's magic. As the accessory reattached itself around the sorceress' waist, its creator smiled and said, "One power-regulating, Moxen-powered magic belt, made to order. Wear it for about a month, and your powers will be stable for well over a century."
"A…century?" gasped Raven, examining her new belly band.
"Part of the whole demonic gene suite is incredible natural longevity," said Pentagram. "On average, a half-demon with your sort of pedigree is guaranteed about five hundred years of life. Plus, you'll age like an elf." The expression on Raven's face made it clear clarification was needed. "Quick puberty, but after that your biological clock runs at a massively decelerated speed."
"Cool," said the empath, allowing herself a small smile. A realization then hit her like a Cinderblock sandwich. "What about Beast Boy?"
Pentagram came closer to her and whispered. "As long as he keeps eating, exercising, and altering his species like he does now, the grass stain may actually outlive you," he said, "Just don't let him eat any more meat. Any foreign animal DNA introduced into his system will further destabilize his own genetic structure, and I don't think you want to be making out with a puddle of primordial soup anytime soon."
"Why are we whispering?" Raven asked softly.
"Because knowing him, if I let him know he was functionally immortal, he'd become ridiculously reckless and end up getting himself killed within a week. You don't want that, and I try to ensure my clients' satisfaction."
The incarnation then moved away from the empath and turned to the shifter. "BB, be careful, stay healthy and keep using your powers, and you and Raven will enjoy your golden years together." Turning back to Raven, his smile widened. "Now then, there is the small matter of your new wish."
Raven blinked in surprise. "New wish?"
"Yup. The control I just granted you was what you wished for last time, and you followed the procedures necessary to attain it. You summoned me again, and are therefore entitled to another wish. What will it be?"
Raven considered her options for a moment, but her thought processes were interrupted by a number of her emotional avatars. Pink, orange, purple, yellow and green all gathered together to inform her of her subconscious desire, and a few accessory tidbits that would help. Blushing, the empath whispered this new wish to Pentagram.
"Oh ho," said the incarnation, waggling his auric eyebrows.
"Just shut up and do it," muttered the flushed half-demon.
With a snap of fingers, a manipulation of red and blue energies, and a cry of "Done!" Pentagram did as bidden. "Have fun," he said with a wink, and faded away from the Titans' reality.
"Well," said Robin, "that was an interesting way to spend an afternoon."
Cyborg nodded his assent. "Not every day you get to see a human light show and your friend's dad is yanked out of her."
"Indeed," Starfire said hesitantly, "But, where are friends Beast Boy and Raven?"
As the two boys quickly found, their teammates were unexpectedly absent from the roof. When Robin attempted to find them via locator, an apparently prerecorded message played on his communicator:
"Hi. This is Pentagram, Master and Incanration of the Five Magics, Fist of the Suns, etc., etc. The person or persons you are attempting to find are not currently in your dimension. I've placed him, her, gender-neutral third person singular direct object pronoun, or them in a pocket plane as part of his, her, gender-neutral third person singular possessive pronoun, or their wish. He, she, gender-neutral third person subject pronoun, or they should return shortly. Thank you for using Pentagram, granter of wishes since time immemorial."
The message began to repeat itself until Robin shut his communicator. "So," said the leader, "anyone want pizza while we wait?"
As Pentagram moved away from the plane of existence he just left, he was reminded of an important final errand. He quickly found what he was looking for, orbiting the greater structure of the hypersphere he'd just exited.
"I'm surprised they never noticed," he said to himself, as he examined the spherical space in which he'd sealed all of the Titans' enemies to prevent an interruption of the search for the Moxen. Everyone from Dr. Light to Slade himself was within this space, stopped in time. With a simple flick of the finger, Pentagram sent them hurtling back to their home dimension. They'd arrive right where they'd been plucked from reality, with fabricated memories of taking the last few days off to prepare plans, vacation, or, in Control Freak's case, geek out at VillainCon '06.
"I love a job well done," Pentagram said to himself, and swam off into the æther.
Well, that's odd.
"Sorry, part of the request."
What do you mean?
"'I wish I could be alone with Beast Boy to consummate our love without any outside observers.' That was her second wish, verbatim."
She never meant omniscient narrators when she said "any outside observers."
"Sorry, O.M., them's the breaks."
"End the story."
All right, all right. Readers, use your imaginations (or write a companion lemon.)
"I heard that."
Yes, so ends "Mox Quest." It's been really fun, but all things must end, including fan fictions. My thanks go to each and every loyal reviewer, and anyone else who enjoyed this story, whether you've silently followed it since its second inception or happened to find it buried in the ff archives. Feel free to draw inspiration from it, whether as that companion lemon, a continuation story, or even fan art. (Say, the Omega Beast vs. Mega Raven.) Just be sure to tell me you did it, so I can see it for myself.
Now then, I'll miss saying this: You had enough free time to read this tale. You have enough to review it. Thank you for that investment of your time, and may your own literary efforts be as rewarding as this has been for me.