I don't own the TT
Story By StormDancer
It is not light that we need, but fire; not the gentle shower but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.
The irony, that these are the same words spoken as before, at our last confrontation. This time, though, it is her who speaks the words in incredulous shock, and I who state a fact with condescending grace.
"What are you doing here?' she asks, "I haven't- nothing has- why is a Titan here?"
Clever, very clever. The automatic sinking into her school girl persona, the fear that comes with being confronted by a superhero, was all done very well. But she made one mistake: she forgot that I can sense what she is really feeling.
"To find you, Terra," I tell her. She hides her fear well, better then she ever has before. But it is still there, smoldering beneath the surface.
"I've told you before!" she insists, "I am Tara. Not Terra."
I chuckle quietly, and she betrays herself by glancing around, waiting for something to explode. She has spent years as stone, how is she to know that my emotions are freer now? And no civilian would expect my power to break out.
"Terra, Terra, Terra," I shake my head, "Your amnesia act may fool the other Titans, but you forget," I lean in close to meet her eyes, "I know every thing you are thinking."
She drops the act immediately, knowing full well that I have broken through any shields she might have had.
"I thought you believed that that was unethical," she protests.
"I'm not searching for any secrets," I shrug away her concerns, "I'm only sensing what you choose to let through. And Slade no longer has his shields in place to hide you."
I laugh again. I could almost pity her, the poor, naïve girl.
"Did you really think there was any part of you Slade left unprotected? He swathed your mind in protections from my empathy."
She puts a hand to her mouth, huge blue eyes widening in shock.
"He went into my mind? He saw those things?"
"Of course he did," I snap, "He knew everything about you there is to know, probably more then you know yourself."
Her eyes harden, and I can see she has put aside the matter to be considered later. Now, she has me to deal with. We stand, the blonde girl in her school girl out fit and me, dark cloaked and vaguely menacing.
"Why are you here?" she asks, "Why do you even want me back?"
Still arrogant, still so confident that she can control the world. That if she only lifted a finger, the Titans would take her back. That she could manipulate Slade. She always was foolish.
"I don't," I explain, taking a malicious pleasure behind my cold façade at her shock, 'I want you to pay for what you did."
"I saved the city," she retorts, "I spared Beast Boy."
"Because that was best for you," I respond, still calm despite my anger, "The other Titans may be young and innocent, but I'm not. I saw what they wouldn't let themselves see, that you only turned because Slade's service was getting too confining for you. That you saw that Slade was going to lose, and you would go down with him if you didn't help us. You only spared Beast Boy because you know that we would have killed you if you had killed him. You stopped the volcano because you were quite aware that otherwise, hero or not, you would have had to pay. Better to have one good, heroic act under your belt before that? You didn't know you would turn to stone, but it didn't turn out too badly for you, did it? You get to live a normal life and not have to pay for what you have done."
Her blue eyes flash, and I can see a hint of gold flickering around her hands.
"Cyborg's older then you," she points out, controlling her fury, "And both Robin and Beast Boy have done more crime fighting."
"Azarathian time moves differently than earth time. I am mortal years younger then him, but in Azarthian years, I am a few years his senior. But I wasn't speaking of that." I tap my charka, "I hold the memories of my people in here. All the wisdom, the fights, the thoughts of millennia of people in my mind. I have no room left for illusions. I am no innocent, just like you."
"You don't know what it's like," she spits, her anger flaring back, "Don't you dare to judge me!"
"No," I retort, my own eyes flashing black, "Don't you judge me. When was the first time you killed someone?" she opened her mouth to respond, but I cut her off, "Your powers probably manifested at puberty, so maybe 10? 11? Do you know when the first time someone was killed because of me was?" I lean in very close, "It was before I was even born. Do you know the first time I killed? I was 5, and a monk made me very, very angry. So do NOT speak of not knowing what it was like."
"Then you know what it's like!" she cries, her rage outwardly shifting to joy as she grasps at straws, "You can tell why I don't want to go back to that. My powers, I can never control them, they're impossible to control without Slade. I wouldn't want to risk you guys. And anyway," her face falls with practiced skill, "you would never accept me back."
I laugh; one of the real laughs that Beast Boy tries so hard to get out of me. Terra stares at me in astonishment.
"You think you're so special," I chuckle, "But you aren't. I've met other geokineticists; people more powerful than you could ever hope to be and with more control than you could ever hope to have. I've seen other traitors, whose crimes were worse than yours. I nearly destroyed the world, not just a city. You aren't unique at all."
"Is that why you never tried to reverse the effect?" she snaps. I grab her shoulders and shake her once, hard.
"Do not say that. You know perfectly well why my spells failed when they should have succeeded. It wasn't me, it was you. Those spells need the person to be willing, and so you pushed them away. You felt my probes, me searching for your consent, and you didn't give it. So never say I didn't try. Never."
She flinches, but she knows that every word I say is the truth. My words sink into her cracks just as her dagger words once cracked my control.
"I know," she mutters, "But I don't want the responsibility. I don't want to be able to kill, or anything like that. I don't want to be tempted to turn again."
I look down at her, and there is none of the pity or regret or grief that was in the other Titan's eyes when they looked at her. There is only scorn.
"Can you ever not be acting, Terra?" I ask, "Can you ever not be lying? You lied about being in control and about not having it, you lied about not remembering and you lied about remembering. You lied about having no regrets while you lied about wanting to return. You said you were our friend, and you lied. You said you were Slade's apprentice, and you lied. So what are you, Terra? Which one is true?"
She falls to her knees, a tear dripping from one eye.
"I don't know," she says into her hands, "Which one am I? Do you know, Raven?"
"I know," I reply, my cold, contemptuous eyes glaring at her, "Beast Boy once said you were the bravest person he knew. But he lied, too. You aren't brave, Terra. The only thing you are is a coward."
I left her there, the one word echoing in her head. Coward.. ...Coward… Nothing but a Coward. Her new title, the one I have given her that fits better then all the others. I leave her for good this time, lost in what she could have been had she any bravery at all.