cRaZyMaN676 Reportin' 4 Duty!
Alright, people, totally sorry about the delay! This has been sitting up here for bout a month now; BB tried to run away with the story for a while there. When I finally figured out he took it... he had forgotten where he buried it. SORRY!! Just for that, BB, you do the disclaimer.
Raven: It's your own fault.
BB: Whatever. cRaZyMaN676 does not own the Teen Titans in any way, shape, or form and if you copy this plot somewhere (and he finds you) he will end you.
Nice finishing touch there.
BB: Finally! Someone who appreciates humor!!
Wasn't a joke to me, and I'm still gonna kill you when this is all over. So stop smiling.
BB: Aw, man...
Okay, guys, lets try something DEFINITELY different. Arc 2: The Sleepy Hollow, BEGIN!!
Chapter 3: Clear And Presently Rescripted Insanity
When she heard the motor crank, list, then suddenly roar to life, the first words to cross her mind were: 'Damn those idiots and their love of loud racing games. Can't you see I'm meditating here?!'
When the sun burned it's way through her eyelids, forcing her to see red (the motor long-since having toned down to a pleasant hum), she thought: 'Either I've been sitting here for a while or somebody's about to get hurt. And I don't mean me.'
When the pins-and-needles sensation that came with body parts falling asleep hit her limbs full force, she rolled over in her sleep. 'Guess it's about time to join the circus of my life. Fan-freakin'-tastic.'
When the hole in her torso made itself known, prompting the memories of her last conscious moments to come flipping through her head in black-and-white movie style, she jackknifed into a sitting position, eyes wide. 'Trigon's guts, I'm alive?!'
She immediately winced, closing her eyes and laying back down in a resting position at the sensation of a two-by-four being driven all the way through her torso. Unfortunate that she knew what that felt like, and recognized the feeling, but moving on.
"Excuse me, miss?" She gulped on instinct, partially to soothe the pain away, partly in reaction to the sudden voice. When she had jerked up a second ago, she hadn't seen anybody around... As a matter of fact, it looked like she was on a moving bus somewhere, not even in the Tower anymore. Which would explain the sounds of an engine starting earlier.
That did not explain everything. Hadn't she just been attacked? Where were the others? Were they safe? Why did she feel like something was terribly wrong? She might not have openly voiced these questions, but it was implied.
"Could you help me with this?" The voice continued, ignorant of her inner train of thought. "I can never seem to get past the fifth column of squares..."
Hearing what might have been paper shoved close to her face (or at least, her ear), she decided her best option would be to fake being dead. Shouldn't be too hard with the hole in her body, right?
"Come on, pleeeease? I know it probably isn't the best time, but I really need your help." Being sarcastic and unable to resist responding for too long by nature, her reply was sharp, instantaneous.
"Are you dying?"
"Then ask someone else."
"Come on, 'ask someone else'? Believe me, I would, but they always act like they don't see me! Been that way for a while, but hey, if they wanna play, I can play dammit." The whining, the off-handed, somewhat uncaring way of speaking, the underlying heat behind the words; why did they seem so familiar? "Besides, you're the first person who has obviously heard me in a long time! Help a guy out here!"
"And why not?"
"You might be finally going crazy and I'm just a figment of your imagination, luring you into insanity?" She tried. It had sounded good in her head. He (since the voice was definitely not feminine enough to be a she) snorted in disbelief.
"I would trust you on that if I hadn't gone crazy a long time ago! But even assuming that I wasn't already loony, what's your point?"
She sighed, winced at the pain that simple action caused, and finally cracked her eyes open again to see... a half-filled sudoku puzzle hanging down in front of her face.
She stared, blinked.
"No wonder nobody will help you, you're doing it in pen," she groaned, eyes betraying her tone by continuing to scan the page appraisingly.
"Well, duh. What, girls these days don't like guys that have confidence in themselves?"
"I am not the girl to ask, but from what I've heard? No, not really."
"Hmm. I think you're right about not being the girl to ask about this." She resisted the temptation to roll her eyes. "But even you gotta admit, Rae, it's pretty cool how I got it all right so far, huh?"
"Don't do that."
"Right, sorry Raven."
"No, I mean about sounding so sure about yourself. Don't do that." She sat up on the seat, grabbed the paper herself, engrossed in the puzzle now. "It's disturbing, especially so since you do seem to have been on the right path. Impressive, as you said, considering... your pen?" A black pen dropped into her waiting hand and she began immediately.
"So, where you from?"
"Another dimension. Where am I now...?"
"Well, leave it to say that you're not in Cali anymore!" She paused for a second, projected a silence that said 'Are you kidding me?' After a moment, her companion continued.
"Fine, fine, welcome to Darkside, the flipside of the Brightside!" Another silence. "Seriously. I didn't name it, and I don't question why it's named that. My advice? Don't ask. Probably stays cool that way." She shrugged, continuing the puzzle.
"So, how long you been playing the game? You're pretty good."
"Heard of it a while ago, never really saw it being played. But playing it personally? Just since last week."
"Well damn, you some kind of prodigy or somethin'?" She had finished the eighth row already, showing no signs of stopping.
"Or something. Just a girl who likes solving puzzles, here. I like them; puzzles, mysteries. Fun to figure out. Not like humans." A laugh from the seat behind her.
"Oh I can see that much!" Ninth row, last two squares.
"Can you, now? Done." She cleared her throat, handed the puzzle back to it's owner without looking up. "Got any more?"
She was disappointed in herself; here she was, having done someone else's brain-work, played their whole game for them, and she was asking for another. The only brightside was that she'd kept the anxiety out of her voice. She wasn't altogether sure the same went for her facial expression.
She blinked, a little depressed as an empty hand was presented to her. Then she blinked again, realizing that it was offered for her to shake. Raven raised an eyebrow as she looked to the side, spying a dirty-blond, dark-skinned teen grinning at her from across the isle. He shrugged apologetically.
"Don't have anymore today, but I'll get them to you next time we see each other, eh? Name's Gar." She stared for a moment before taking his hand with a small smile.
"Raven. Nice to meet you, er, Gar. And when might I see you 'again'? Are we parting ways anytime soon?" A single, solid question nagged in the back of her brain, past the fuzziness that had taken refuge in her mind; why did he look so familiar?
"Aw, I don't know..." He looked down bashfully, probably blushing as he scratched the back of his neck. "Hey, are you okay?" She blinked at the sudden concern in her voice, the growing sense of panic on his face. She gave him a look that said 'I'm sorry, what are you talking about?'
He pointed at her stomach.
She looked down.
Saw the hole, something white that might have been her spine, something dark that had to be the seat behind her.
Thought to herself, 'Hmm, shouldn't my powers have started healing that by now? Scratch that, shouldn't I be dead from blood loss? What blood loss?'
Had enough time to say, "Not sure. That doesn't look good--"
Felt what had to be her heartbeat, but amplified by a hundred, pounding one (final?) time.
Blacked out to the voice of her new friend, screaming bloody murder for someone to help her.
When the junior-assassin-slash-monster-hunter (in training) normally made her way to her scene, she did not truly expect to find anything worth reporting, let alone fighting. She could hope for it, dream of it as much as she wanted, yes, this was true; however, the odds were against her catching anything stronger than a low-level grunt of a monster. On a normal day, at least.
Professionals in what passed for psychiatry would initially classify this as a case of self-conditioned low self-esteem. Nel would much rather call it the story of her life. The reason why? What, a perfectly healthy teenage adolescent hitting puberty isn't allowed to make reasonable assumptions based on past experience?!
Yeah, you better back away slowly/roll your eyes and say "whatever."
However, as should be apparent, today is not a normal day, least of all for her. As she leapt through the trees, twin blades strapped to her back and twin chains of throwing stars looped over her shoulders, it could be said that she was truly dressed to kill.
Hands pressed together with eyes wide open on her path, she prayed to whatever gods were listening that whatever her target was, that it gave her a good fight. After all, it wouldn't do for her to come back only to find she had gotten rusty in her absence.
Will it be a big one? Please let it be a big one. They usually aren't half-bad for a good challenge, and if there's anything left, they always taste good... well, no, not the bugs, those things are nasty. Maybe a nice-sized bird-thing...? Nah, this one's in the graveyard trap... that's a grounded one, isn't it? Even then, those things are not as stupid as they look... Hmm...
Wonder what Seth's doing right now? We're gonna eat good tonight!
Even if she lived a million years, she could not have prepared for what was about to happen. Might have predicted it happening to someone else, but never expected.
The first thing Logan noticed when he woke up was the cold. Well, not the cold per se, seeing as it was warm outside; rather he noticed his lack of clothing.
Except for the swimming trunk/jean shorts he'd been breaking in just today (trial by salt-water, also known as the beach), the goggles around his neck (Cy and Rob had challenged him to a "fair" race in the water whenever they got there; this included the non-usage of powers), and the fingerless gloves the others had forced on him for his birthday, he was pretty much, well, naked.
Of course, this is not what he found strange. Rather, what the heck was he doing outside, obviously not at the beach? Better yet, when and how had he fallen asleep?
He shook his head to clear it of the fuzziness that came with just waking up. In doing so, he remembered that, last time he checked, he had been in Raven's room. Which he wasn't now. Well, if the strangely-colored sky and the hard surface against his back were any clues.
A quick glance around ascertained another theory of his; if he was no longer in Raven's room, he had to be in her mirror-slash-portal-to-her-brain-thing, right? Wrong. At the moment, there were no evil toucans from Mars trying to eat his heart out, or swirly portal-slash-door-things in the middle of nowhere, or multicolored clones running around/moping/totally beating the (bleep) out of anything that moved, so that was a pretty good assumption for the time being.
The presence of aging tombstones and several uprooted trees would have only done half the job in reassuring him of this undeniable fact. However, Logan did not take the time to register this (nor the fact that he was in a formerly-closed coffin lying next to a skeleton), seeing as he was still stuck in the "Wait, why was I in Raven's room?" phase.
After eliminating the theory that he had been trying to offer the dark Titan some tofu, he muttered "Pardon me," to the skeleton and hopped out of the casket to pace.
After deciding that coaxing her out for a game of laser tag with the others had to be a little far-fetched, he took up a thinking pose atop one of the grave markers.
After reasoning that it definitely had something to do with pie, the green teen took a nap in the middle of the open space, thankfully not on top of one of the graves.
After roughly three seconds of that, he jerked up, hands in front of him in a strangling motion, face set in a dark scowl.
"That stinkin' lizard-humping bastard!! Where-- uhhh..." He blinked, stared blankly at the unbelievably long, brown legs reaching over the headstone in front of him, close enough that he could count the individual hairs on the legs... well, if they hadn't been completely covered in fur, that is. Stared as eyes trained on him, legs all solidly on the ground, head hovering towards him.
Stared at the... six... eight... no, ten milky grey eyes that were now only a foot away from his face. His eye twitched when the mandibles clicked, dripped something dark that most definitely wasn't drool. He glanced to the sides again, up, and down with a growing frown on his face as the "face" swayed lazily from side to side. The scale wasn't exact, but he could have sworn he recognized it from one of his animal books... It clicked suddenly.
"Rhabidosa rabida?" The eyes focused on him. He blinked, cocked his head tot he side as he saw a tail swinging behind the head. "Dude..."
That was as far as he got before it lunged forward.
Malchior stared at the reflection in the crystal-clear lake, two-toned hair falling into unbelieving eyes. Shocked at the appearance. Ignorant of the cautious glares from the inhabitants of the forest around him.
After such a long time with no definite form (not counting the thing with Raven, that could bear being forgotten), one would think that the dragon would still be in the throes of registering all six senses instead of just one. Even if they were the senses of a human, and a small one at that.
However, with what could only be tears building behind the eyes, the one sense of sight may have been too much.
Believing that the demoness would probably destroy the book upon discovering that the boy was missing (regardless of the consequences), Malchior was taking a big risk - after all, willingly falling under the control of a cursed spell-book while imprisoned within it was just asking for trouble.
However, so was tricking a shape-shifting creature of questionable sanity into going inside said book (although truth be told, that had not been completely the dragon's fault). After a heated debate with survival as the subject -which took all of a minute, all consequences be damned- it became apparent that the only viable course of action was... to go rescue the green moron. Which required going to sleep on a wholly spiritual level (something Malchior had refrained from up until now, mind you).
Which left little chance of waking up without outside help.
Translation: very dangerous for all involved, namely Malchior and the shape-shifting idiot. But mostly Malchior.
However, having taken the necessary rushed precaution (substituting an amnesiac-yet-awake Rorek to look out for Raven in his stead), the dragon not only thought itself to be in control and out of danger, but quite the genius to boot. For all of a second.
That's how long it took to hit the virtual "ground" of the book's world. At which point a humanified mythical creature took a much-needed-yet-short nap.
Upon waking up, however...
The young, pale figure roared defiance into the air, disturbing several... things -things that had no business existing- into taking flight. However, as much opposed to the battle-cry any semi-immortal dragon would envy, although it reverberated through the air for miles, it was several tones higher pitched than it should have been, resembling a shriek more than anything.
Oh, that, and it ended in pitiful sobs any creature anywhere (except maybe an emo crocodile) would be ashamed of. The gist of the meaning of these actions is most accurately translated as the following:
cM676: Ah, that was nice.
BB: o.o What have you done?!
Raven: (whacks cRaZyMaN676) Are you TRYING to kill me?!
cM676: Er... I'm in control here?
Raven: Why is that a question?!
BB: (reading letter) If you want to see us alive by the next chapter, review or... the green one gets it. (stops reading) What? Gets what?! And why me first?!
Raven: Anyway, that's all for today. Who are all these strange people coming out of nowhere?
Malchior: WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME?!
cM676: WE ARE NOT TAKING INTERVIEWS, SO STOP IT!! (turns to readers) Sorry bout that. Ja ne!
cRaZyMaN676 Out, yo!!