AUTHOR'S NOTES: 1. Spades Neil is not a "self insert" character. I had one (unnamed) person complain about that. I know it's my screen name, but it's also my own original character, who IS allowed... Seriously, who names their kid Spades? That's a cruel joke on children. If you read the actual story, though, you'd know that... I just finished chatting with a moderator to verify this thought. Also had to edit my profile since I said the character is based off of me. That can be taken out of context... So I edited that too so it says he's loosely based off me, but still not in violation of the rules here. The kind of influence Spades gets from my real life is the same influence I could give Beast Boy, or Raven, or Robin for example... Good writers use real life events or other stories they've heard to influence writing. Works in both fan fiction and normal fiction.

2. Also, in response to a recent critique of Titans North's location in Boston, when "Titans East" is allegedly in NYC... One, the original Teen Titans was in NYC and later moved to Jump City in both the comics and TV show, don't know why. Two, Titans East is in Steel City, which is allegedly somewhere in New Jersey, though it can be debated that this is still not original I suppose. Three, both teams have dissolved anyway. Fourth and finally... the culture of Boston may interest you. Boston lives in the shadow of New York City after all. It wouldn't surprise me for a Titans North to sprout up just a few miles up the coast even in the comic series. Also notice the unfriendly Bostonian characters here? :P Yup, that's how we Bostonians are. Not very friendly. We're just jealous. That's my opinion anyway.

That is all. Enjoy the story.


Titans North

It was a cool and cloudy afternoon sometime in mid-October in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. A new group of vigilante crime fighters had arisen, inspired by a group out west once known as the Teen Titans.

The original group had long since broken apart. Their leader, a boy named Dick Grayson who's alias was Robin, had gone off as a lonewolf hero called Nightwing. Meanwhile, other members of the group had turned down their own individual paths. Rachel Roth, known as Raven, had secluded herself from most of the world, slowly slipping into a deeper and deeper state of isolation aside from a few close friends. The youngest of the group, the green-skinned changeling named Garfield Logan, or Beast Boy, had also grown up and disappeared. Rumor has it that he had gone to work for the circus, the only people who would hire such a freak. Cyborg, the half-man half-machine, who's true name is Victor Stone, was one of the few seemingly active members of the old team. Still, that was only because he still lived the original tower, still in Jump City, California. Finally, the alien princess merely known as Starfire had also left, allegedly having returned to her home planet Tamaran in some far off galaxy.

Despite the dark demise of the original group, there were still heroes of a new generation who wanted to revive the Titans under a new leadership. This vision had evolved over the past year to become reality, under the watchful eye of a now seventeen year old boy who only calls himself Spades.

There upon the rooftop of the John Hancock tower in Boston, Spades stood and gazed into the New England horizon. The tower had been changed drastically, and modifications done to it had shaped it into a gigantic letter T. The top twenty or so floors of the building, which were widened during the renovations, had been given to Spades and his group known as the Titans North. However, the group was still small, comprising only of four members including him.

Spades of course was the leader. He was a pale-skinned, tall boy, with dark indigo eyes and hair. He often wore black clothes and sometimes a blue cape or cloak. People familiar with the old Teen Titans compared him to Raven, who, like Spades, dressed in such a manner. Spades even wore a red gem on his forehead. However, that is where the similarities end. In personality, Spades and Raven were polar opposites…

As he observes the reconstruction of the tower, Spades notices a strange plume of smoke rising from the harbor in the distance. A few minutes earlier, he had heard rumors of a possible super villain attack.

Spades looks up toward the overcast skies, figuring he could do this mission without the rest of his team. He took a step forward off the edge of the building, and leapt from its peak.

As he began to freefall, he calls out his famous Latin spell; "Patefacio prolixus porta of Abyssus!" which translated roughly to, 'Open wide gates of Hell!' With those words, a great energy spirals around him and strikes the pavement below.

A portal in the streets, encircled in flames, opens up. Spades dives straight through it into the pit of fire.

This was merely a mode of transportation. After soaring through an inferno, another portal opens in Boston Harbor, and Spades emerges from the blaze and lands on the pavement. The portal seals its self soon afterward.

Spades stands upright and looks around. He could hear alarms going off from the navy yard, and people screaming, then an explosion in the water. He sees a white ocean spray leap up over the docks and soak the ground close to the famous old wooden ship called the USS Constitution, which started listing soon after.

"Sh-t," Spades mutters to himself, "Where are these attacks coming from?"

His question was quickly answered by an obnoxious yet familiar voice.

"Blimey, Boston harbor is filled with such rubbish these days! Gone n' dumped all that good tea so long ago, eh? Well 'eres PAYBACK!" called Mad Mod over loudspeakers throughout the port. Spades was all too familiar with him. Mad Mod, a recent prison escapee, was a red-headed, slim, short man, with a sharp English accent and a disturbingly obsessive British Nationalist motive. Now, one of the more modern navy vessels is struck by an explosion similar to what had hit the now sinking USS Constitution.

Someone yells out, "Torpedoes! Everyone get topside!"

Spades overhears, and quickly makes a run toward the dock's edge. Already a navy destroyer which was docked in the harbor had begun to sink. In the shallow waters, it doesn't get far, but the ship had been scuttled, rendered combat ineffective.

Out in the water, Spades spots a periscope over the waves. He had an idea to force the ship to the surface.

Spades had the ability of aerokinesis, the power to manipulate air. He also had the power to manipulate fire with pyrokinesis. When the two powers were combined, they allowed for an explosive effect.

Figuring Mad Mod had to be close enough to the surface to use the periscope, and the fact that a sub can only go so deep in a harbor, Spades prepares his spell.

"Saaa-taaa Naa-maaa…" he chants, gathering a powerful wind until it whirls around him. The concentration of wind compacts smaller and smaller until there's a visible orb held between his hands of pure, swirling oxygen. Then, he speaks again, "Incendia tentatio!" A fireball appears next, and joins the orb of compressed air before being shot out over the water.

Just as it reaches the periscope, a powerful and incredibly loud air-burst explosion sends a shockwave through the waves with more than enough force to smash the object protruding from the surface. The strength of the blast also went down through the water and damaged the hull integrity of the submarine it belonged to.

Spades procures a near by police boat. The police officer who owned it didn't much appreciate that. He had no time to react, however, except to scold Spades as he drove off.

Mad Mod's ears meanwhile were ringing after the painfully noisy 'thud' that went through his small submarine when Spades set off the blast. In addition, the top of the sub was now dented and damaged. Water was leaking in, and red lights started flashing. "Buggah! You li'ile knat! I'll teach you better!" He surfaces the submarine in an emergency.

Spades watches as a yellow painted submarine emerges from the depths. "Yellow? … Seriously?" his only reaction is a face-palm at The Beatles reference Mad Mod was going for.

Mad Mod pops out from the hatch on top of the crippled sub. As Spades closes the gap on his borrowed police boat, he could see the full extent of the hull damage.

The tower structure on the submarine was smashed over to one side. Spades couldn't help but wonder how the thing was even still afloat.

Mad Mod stands upon the sub and watches as Spades cruises toward him. He leans on his cane, topped with a red decorative gem, and lets out a bored yawn, "Time's a-ticking my duckie," he said aloud out to taunt Spades.

Spades jerks the steering wheel of the boat and rams up against the sub's bow. After the collision, Spades realizes the police officer might not be too thrilled about that damage…

"Mad Mod," Spades declares, "I'll give you one final chance to surrender." He stands upon the steel hull of the submarine and begins walking forward.

Mad Mod only laughs, "You're not like the other Titans, are you? Or does Moddy just frighten you?" he asks before swinging his cane at Spades, trying to strike him.

Spades backs away and uses a spell to summon a cane of his own. This one was his black staff, the handle in the shape of a dragon's head. Concealed inside the cane itself was a short and thin yet razor sharp sword, which he quickly draws from within.

Mad Mod observes the blade before smiling, "I didn't know those were used 'ere in America. Gone off and stolen the Brit's ideas again, 'ave we?" he asks before his own cane turns into a saber it's self. Once again, Mad Mod attacks Spades with a slash.

Rather than backing off this time, Spades blocks it. Using the sheath of the staff with one hand, and the sword with the other, he retaliates immediately after.

Mad Mod chuckles and effortlessly defends against Spades, all the while talking, "You think I'm here just to show off, do ye? On the contrary lad, ol' Moddy is just a messenger today!"

"Quite a message," Spades sarcastically remarks, certainly far from excited about Mad Mod's destruction of several navy ships, including a national icon.

"No, no, silly boy!" Mad Mod tells him before using a good few offensive attacks to push Spades back, "I'm just doing that for fun! Can't a tourist 'ave a bit of harmless fun?" he asks jokingly, "But no, no, I'm not in the neighborhood for sight seeing."

"Then what are you here for?" Spades had gotten some distance between them, now standing on the stern of the submarine and staring at Mad Mod.

"To let you know that you've inherited a world of rubbish!" Mad Mod tells him, grinning, "You're the new Titans, after all! Except one problem; … You're weak! You're rookies! People want you out of the way!"

Spades mostly ignores him, figuring this was just Mad Mod's mad ranting. Mad Mod had never been a major villain to the old Teen Titans. Rather, he was a nuisance.

Mad Mod slips a little on the soaked hull of the submarine, but remains confident by appearance. "You're just a mop-up! A joke! A wannabe, as you Americans call it! Go back to your mum' and pop and stop trying."

Something about that last statement got Spades rather angry, which probably was the worst thing Mad Mod could do to him. Spades looks at him and walks forward with a look of darkness in his eyes, throwing down the sword in frustration. Spades threatens him, "You've pushed my patience far enough… However, I'm feeling merciful. Last chance to surrender, so choose wisely…"

Mad Mod only laughs, "You should know better!" he says. In the background, Spades spots an unmanned speed boat with a British flag emblazoned on the hood. It was obviously Mad Mod's escape vehicle. Mad Mod grins at Spades and tells him, "By the way… The message, you'll understand soon en'uff. Dawn is breaking laddie! Dawn is breaking!" With that, he turns and runs.

Spades frowns, "You're a fool." His voice suddenly started to change and his nails began to grow. White scales started to cover Spades's body, and his teeth became fanged like that of a demon.

Mad Mod was fleeing. He jumps up on top of the submarine's tower and then makes another leap to the speedboat that had pulled up. After quickly putting on a pair of goggles and a stylish scarf, Mad Mod throttles it.

Spades meanwhile was no longer standing there. Instead, a new figure watched Mad Mod with slit yellow eyes, cyan blue long hair, and a body covered in scales with white on his back and an ocean blue-green underbelly. Clothing was also gone, but nothing vulgar was exposed, as if clothing was unnecessary. Finally, a long and twisting tail swished behind him, tipped with fur colored the same as his hair.

This was Avro, the alter form of Spades. He was half demon, half dragon, and not at all human. Avro is quick to react to the escaping British lunatic once the transformation is complete.

Mad Mod was already starting to speed away when Avro suddenly darts across the water with amazing speed. At first, he appears to run across the surface, but then he's simply gliding like a hawk in low flight, closing in on its prey.

The speedboat rocks violently when Avro lands on the engines. Mad Mod turns quickly, "What the devil!? Aye! Buggah off!" He turns to strike Avro with the cane.

Avro catches it and jerks it away, snapping it in one hand before taking the two halves and smashing the plastic protective cover of the engines. Avro reaches in to rip out a fuel line.

"Your stupidity will be the death of you… A chance to surrender, and yet you decline? I hold no pity." Avro tells Mad Mod in his deep, clear, penetrating voice.

Mad Mod only had time to stare before Avro jumps away. Less than a couple seconds later, the fuel ignites and causes an explosion that completely disables the boat. It coasts down the harbor for a moment longer until it came to a stop, helplessly drifting with the current. Minutes later, police sirens can be heard… The Boston Police department's harbor patrol and the Coast Guard had finally caught up. They were quick to arrest him.

Meanwhile, Avro had used another portal much like the one Spades used earlier, retreating to a near by building rooftop and watching as Mad Mod was arrested. Avro speaks to Spades, "Do me the fortune of informing me; such incompetent fools with fancy toys will not be the majority of my challenges."

Spades retakes control of his body, and Avro transforms back. Clothing returns as if by magic, and in no time Spades is the only one standing there. He'd reply to Avro none the less, "I would like to hope not, but they say to be careful what you wish for." Spades turns away and starts down the fire escape.

"True, but I am certain that I wish for more of a challenge, as should you… Do not squander your potential on such foolish endeavors," Avro argues.

"Another day I suppose," Spades decides. The day was his, and the pride of victory was sure. It was time to return home for tonight.