Teen Titans: Alternate Reality
Prologue: Tara's Fate
Author's Notes: This prologue is the result of my having rewritten the first chapter at least five times now. Each and every time it turned out that, to establish and rationalise Terra's rather extreme and perhaps even violent emotions at the time of the volcanic eruption, I was constantly forced to explain some of her life story. As one can imagine, this makes it extremely difficult to keep the narrative flowing nicely, as every second paragraph has to be the rationalisation of the one that came before it.
So, to solve this problem, I have decided to neatly split the narrative and life story in two, and thus save any breaks in the narrative flow. Many of you Teen Titans fans will already know of the events chronicled in the cartoon series' version of the Judas Contract plot arc, which is explained towards the end, but I have also included details of Terra's earlier life.
The history detailed in this prologue is, by and large, invented by me. Although Terra's earlier life is explained quite sufficiently in the comic book version of her life, the alternate Terra presented in the cartoon is a lot different, and no sufficient explanation of her early life is given; or at least, if there is, then I couldn't find it. Translation: Wikipedia didn't have it.
So, because there is no already existing history of her life in the cartoons, I have written one here. I have based the events on how we find her in the cartoon, and I have tried to avoid deviating from the comic where at all possible. I took the nervous but lovable Terra from the cartoon, and thought; 'What kind of life could make someone become like this?'
Well, what follows is the answer that I came up with. Read on, intrepid reader; do what you do best.
It is a dilemma that faces all authors; the constant reminder that there are any number of ways in which the plot could go. Usually events turn out best for the good characters, if any, but even so there are myriad permutations even with just this simple haze code.
Take the life story of one Tara Markov, for instance. To look at her, an averagely pretty blond-haired and blue-eyed teenage girl, you wouldn't find much to remark upon. This is why you must never fully trust what your eyes tell you.
She was the latest generation of the royal family of Markovia. One would have assumed Tara, or Terra as her superheroine moniker was, to have then led a comfortable life amongst the luxuries afforded her by royal status.
The sad truth is that her father saw fit to carry out experiments on his own daughter to see if he could develop within her the same terrakinetic powers belonging to her half-brother, Geo-Force. Although having powers like Terra's may be great, the attitude of her people and even her own family was less than desirable.
The more powerful Tara became, the more others pushed her away, or more sinisterly in the case of her own family held her close, locking Tara away from the world as the experiments continued. Her difference was to be hated and exploited, not to be enjoyed and developed.
It was only a matter of time before Tara could take no more of this. She hoped that by fleeing her own people she could find someone abroad who would care for her; people who did not fear and hate her just because she was different. After all, it was an official secret that Tara Markov was only half royal. Her mother, whomsoever she may have been, was definitely not of Markovia. Perhaps if Tara found her mother's homeland…?
It was at long last that Tara reached the far shores of the United States, determined to find who her true parents were. Although some reacted to her in the customary fashion of prejudiced revulsion, it seemed that fewer people feared her power here. Tara learned that there were many superhumans in this country… people like her.
Although she had never purposely meant to meet the Teen Titans, it was difficult to imagine a group that better suited her needs. The instinctive anonymity Tara's travels had forced upon her was a slight hindrance, but it seemed that Fate had finally decided to let Tara off the hook.
These were people just like her. The Titans had superhuman powers as Terra did, and everybody in their city treated them with the utmost respect and admiration. Tara had never imagined such a state of affairs as being possible; this was utopia for her.
If that wasn't enough, the Titans also took a liking to her, and there was no question whatsoever that Terra was to be one of them. Here was a place where she could finally relax and not have to care about such things as food and shelter. Tara was now among people who not only liked her, but treated her as though she was normal. For the first time in her life, Tara Markov felt as though she belonged, and not just to somewhere.
There was this boy. Beast Boy, the others called him. From the first there was something about the way he perpetually smiled that pulled on her heartstrings. Their becoming best friends was inevitable… or at least, it should have been. Fate was indeed fickle, and some might have said cruel, for now that Tara was truly happy she was to find once again that her fortunes had turned for the worse.
Tara, despite the accepting circle of similar friends she had found, still had insecurities. She placed her trust entirely in Beast Boy concerning the tendency for her superpower to sometimes break from her control, and when the secret somehow got out Terra construed this as a breach of that trust.
Once again, Tara was alone of her own volition, having run from the boy who had broken what trust there had been between them. For the socially crippled Tara, even this slightest hint of rejection was enough. Just when it seemed as though there was nowhere left to turn to, he appeared.
Slade promised Terra the utter destruction of those who had so uncaringly driven her away. Indeed, he was going to let Terra finish them herself. The feelings of hurt and rejection she felt were more than enough to overcome any liking Terra had ever had for the Titans, even for Beast Boy… for the moment.
Slade's plans involving Terra's deceit of the Titans only barely failed. In the end, her feelings for Beast Boy had led to the plan's downfall. Being so close to Beast Boy reminded Tara exactly what it was she saw in him, but she was not the only one who was easily hurt. They had grown closer over the time Terra had rejoined the Titans, and the revelation of her betrayal was more than Beast Boy could forgive. Once again Terra found herself rejected, and with only Slade to turn to.
Another stratagem was formulated; this time to remove the Titans' main advantage of numbers and teamwork by the old idea of 'divide and conquer'. Again, it came within a hair's width of success. Terra's hate for the Titans was such that she drove each of them into the abyss, believing each and every one of them to be dead. For a terrible few days, Slade had free reign of the city.
Then the Titans seemingly resurrected, chasing both Terra and Slade back to the volcano within which their base of operations was housed. Beast Boy arrived first and, even though the Titans had chosen to give no mercy, he tried to give Terra the chance to redeem herself, offering his life to her should she want it.
However much Tara hated Beast Boy and the Titans, she could not bring herself to kill her one and only ever best friend, especially now that he had shown her that their friendship was still very much intact. So it was that Slade was to be the final receiver of Terra's betrayals, leading to his death.
However, because of the nature of her powers, Terra had inadvertently triggered the volcano to erupt. Sharing one last precious moment with Beast Boy, possibly the last person she'd ever see, Tara Markov attempted to stop the eruption, her terrakinetic power meaning that she was the only possible saviour of Jump City.
This story starts here, at the end of a capricious and callous chain of events. So far, Tara Markov has lived a life that has only ever presented her with good fortune so that it can be taken away.
One particular version of this story deviates from this point, claiming that Terra was in fact petrified as a result of the overuse of her powers. That should have happened here, but it did not… and all because of a single decision that was made in a time and place that no human could ever exist in, let alone hear of.
…Because, somewhere up there, there really is somebody who likes Terra.