Disclaimer: DC Comics owns all rights to the characters within

Disclaimer: DC Comics owns all rights to the characters within. They are used without permission and not meant to infringe on copyrights or meant to generate income.

Also, if you have not read my other stories, it would be helpful to do so before reading this one. The chronology goes: Brothers in Arms, Where Do We Go From Here, Tragedies of the Past, Betrayal From Within, Future Sins, Reestablishing Bonds, Parents and Children, New Allies, Rivals or Friends, Public Enemy Number One, Double Date, Mind Games, Solar Complications, Mentors and Pupils, Brother Against Brother, Calm Before the Storm, Opening Moves, Isolation, The Great Father and Son Contest, Fugue State, Fallout, Holidays, and Confidence and Envy.

Betrayal, prologue

Location: Titan's Tower

It was a regular day for the Titans. Kid Flash was playing videogames with Beast Boy. Cyborg and Robin were overhauling the computer system. Match was reading in his room. The rest were watching television.

Suddenly, every window in the building shattered and blew outward.

"What was that?" Cyborg shouted.

Kon recognized the power signature and swallowed. "That was Match."

"I sense his emotions upstairs," Raven said. "He is disturbed."

"Everybody, get to him!" Robin ordered.

They dashed there to find Match sitting in his room with his book open on a desk in front of him. He turned to face them with a dead look in his eyes.

"What's wrong?" Kon asked. "What happened?"

"I apologize for the outburst," Match said in a monotone. "I need to go."

He got up and started to walk out. Kon put his hand on his shoulder to stop him.

"You blew out all the windows," Robin said. "What's going on?"

Match jerked his shoulder away. "I don't want to talk about it."

"We're your friends," Wonder Girl said. "If there's something wrong, we want to help you."

"None of you would understand. None of you could understand."

"Maybe it's best if Match has some time to cool off," Cyborg suggested. "After you've had some time and space to yourself, you might be ready to tell us what's on your mind."

"Yeah, whatever."

Match walked off. Everyone looked at Conner, and he gave a helpless shrug of his shoulders. He didn't understand what was going on any more than they did.

Robin took a look at Match's book. "He was reading this, so maybe it's a clue to his behavior. It seems to be a diary of some sort. It's not in English...I think this is Latin?"

"Let me see it," Kid Flash said. "I ate a Latin dictionary; I should be able to read it."

Kid Flash flipped through the diary. "That's odd."

"What is it?" Kon asked.

"It's in Latin, but a really odd version of it. I didn't understand even half of it. I think I see what got him upset though; or, at least, I can point out the passage."

"What is it?" Wonder Girl asked.

Bart pointed out a paragraph. "I don't really understand it, but I see Match and Superboy's name, in addition to Luthor's. There's also 'death' and 'devoted' in there. The diary was written by some countess."

Kon paled. "It's the Contessa's diary."

Robin looked grim. "She controlled the Agenda. I'll contact Oracle to get this translated."

A little while later, Batman's face appeared on the Titan's monitor. He looked grim.

"Where's Match?" he asked.

"He hasn't come back yet," Cyborg said. "I thought it was best to give him some time to cool off."

"What was the translation of the diary?" Superboy asked.

Batman said, "We need to find him. I'm mobilizing everyone."

"What did the diary say?" Superboy asked again.

"It read as follows, 'Luthor had staked several of his plans around his creation, Superboy. I cannot allow them to take place, for I shall never stop seeking to spite that man. As a contingency, if I am to ever fall into death's embrace, then Match shall become devoted to Superboy and will protect him from Luthor's schemes.'"

The Titans were stunned. Was it possible that Match was merely conditioned to protect Kon? They didn't want to think that their friend was forced to act that way.

"I can't believe it," Kon said. "He's not programmed to be like this. He can't be!"


Any and all comments welcome!