Once more, I am the proud owner of Teen Titans. Bow to my glory. I put even more references in this chapter, so someone please get them!
Please dont hate me, but once again a proper explanation of Gar's condition is moved off to the next chapter... sorry. I just had way too much to write down.
Once again, a very sincere than you to all my reviewers. You guys are great, and make me super happy. I promise the next chapter will be a big sciency explanation of Beastboy's condition.
Now, I'm gonna go throw up. I just got done with a brutal 2 hour workout.
Gar flew fast to the tower. He hated leaving on Raven's birthday, but the excitement of the previous night meant Gar hadn't made the cake yet. So he pumped his wings, feeling a burn building up in his chest and wings. He finally made it and bolted to the kitchen. "Time to get to work." Gar thought, getting out all the ingredients.
In the Goth club, Carpe Noctem, The Titans all sat in a corner booth. Amazingly, none of them were recognized as the super heroes they were. Although they did get plenty of stares, particularly Kori in her bright clothes. After they had gotten a few drinks (White Russian for Victor, Appletini for Kori, a Jack and Coke for Richard, and tea for Raven) one of the other regulars approached their booth.
"Hey Arella, your friends don't seem quite dark enough for our little club. What are they doing here?" The strange youth asked Raven. She had told them all ahead of time that in the club, she used her mother's name, so none of the others were surprised. "It's my birthday, so I invited my friends to come to this poetry slam. Got a problem with that Johnny?" The young man, quite thin and psychotic-looking shrugged. Victor spoke up. "Yo man, what do you mean we aren't dark enough for the club? I'm black for chrissakes!" Johnny gave a small laugh at this. "I like your attitude friend of Arella." Richard couldn't help noticing what Johnny wore. Steel tipped, long leather boots, tight black pants, and a strange stripped shirt. On one side of the shirt was a smiling face, and the other had a question mark next to a "Z."
"Question sleep huh?" Richard said. He continued with, "Yea, I can see that. Because in wakefulness, we know what is there and real. But when we sleep, it all goes away into blackness or dreams. And how can we know what's real then? Where is the confirmation of what happened before? Is it all a dream?" Johnny smiled strangely at this and said, "Well Arella, I should have expected this. Your friends are fun. Ok, I will leave you guys alone. The Lizard King is up, he's always entertaining." With that, Johnny left the group, sitting closer to the stage with a pale woman dressed in dark clothing. She smiled when he put his arm around her, and the Titans barely heard him say, "Arella has some entertaining friends Devi…"
Richard let out a sigh. "Glad I read that guy right." At that moment, a young man approached the stage. He was wearing leather pants, and a white shirt. He had long, wavy hair, and his facial features were statuesque. He approached the microphone and said,
"Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as raven's claws." He deliberately looked at the titans when he said this, and then continued, "Hi everybody, you all know me. I usually have a poem to say or a song to sing, and usually it's about death, magic or fire." He walked back a little and said, "Today I'm doin things a bit different. I'd like to do something, a song or a piece of music that is just a pure expression of joy… A celebration of... uhh Existence. Like, the coming of spring or the sun rising, you know, pure unbounded joy, which I think we deny too often. So, bear with me my dark brethren, and listen." The strange man known as the Lizard King turned around and picked up a guitar. He began to play a few soft, somber notes. He spoke again. "Of course, I was joking before. Because everyone knows…" He began to sing, in a baritone voice that sounded like silk running through your mind,
This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again
Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need...of some...stranger's hand
In a...desperate land
Lost in a Roman...wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah
The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and...then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door...and he looked inside
Father, yes son, I want to kill you
This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end
It hurts to set you free
But you'll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die
This is the end
He stepped off the stage, putting on a pair of mirrored lenses before he left. It was quite a performance.
In the tower, Gar was furiously cooking up a storm. He set the cake to cool off before he could add the frosting. He then also checked the ice cream, taking out of deep freeze so it could be soft enough to serve when they all got back.
Raven was enjoying herself, wishing that Gar could have been there also, though he might have gotten them kicked out of the club. Just as a slightly less amazing poet was getting onstage, a loud explosion rocked the building. As people started panicking, the Titans simply looked at each other. Richard nodded, and Raven teleported them out. The Titans had gotten used to this sort of thing interrupting normal activities, though Raven was still miffed that an emergency happened on her birthday. They all dressed into their uniforms, and Richard, now Nightwing, said, "Ok team; let's see what's going on now. Cyborg, call Beast Boy and tell him to get here ASAP. Raven and Starfire, let's go!" With that the Titans ran (Or flew) out of the alleyway, running back toward the source of the explosion.
Gar was just getting the finishing touches done when his communicator went off. "What's up?" he asked the grim image of Victor. Cyborg sighed and said, "We got trouble. Get to the Carpe Noctem club right away. Cyborg out." With that, the screen blanked. Gar sighed and put on his uniform. Right before he morphed to go, an overwhelming wave of nausea hit him, and he threw up a bit on the floor. A headache followed, but he shrugged it off. His friends needed him. Raven needed him. This thought drove Beast Boy out the window in the form of a peregrine falcon. He needed speed.
The scene was familiar. Destruction and creatures. Three of them, one of which was the demon they had fought before. When he saw Raven approaching, he chuckled. "Daughter of Trigon, you have Awakened. Do you feel the compulsion to join your demonic brethren?" In answer, Raven hurled a piece of rubble at the monster's face. It collided hard, leaving a smattering of blood in the street. The demon seemed only slightly phased. "I see." It said. "Clearly you have been tainted by humans. Trigon did not raise his daughter well, though several others of his progeny were more competent. Very well, we of the demon world have no use for a defect." Turning to his comrades, the demon said, "Kill them all." With that, the monsters rushed forward, the main one going for Raven. He was repulsed by a sonic cannon, while the other two were hit by starbolts and birdarangs.
The main demon seemed only interested in Raven. So, after several grunts and snarls, the demons picked their opponents. The leader went straight for Raven, while a large red demon with a lion's head and mane, goat feet, chiropteran wings, and large black bull horns went for Nightwing and Starfire. Cyborg tried helping Raven, but a demon with a spider lower body and a female upper body blocked his path. She smirked and said, "Where are you going handsome? Trigon's seed has a playmate. Don't you want to play with me?" the she-demon asked teasingly, swaying her body in a seductive manner. If not for the disgusting arachnid parts, Cyborg might have been swayed by her beauty, for the upper part was incredibly alluring. Unfortunately, Cyborg was focusing on the spider part. With a yell of fear (Cyborg, it turns out, is arachnophobic), Cyborg blasted the she-demon with a very powerful blast of white sound. The impact sent her into a building, screaming in agony.
"Booyah! That's how you squish a spider!" Cyborg yelled, pumping his fist in the air triumphantly. Unfortunately, the spider was not done. With a roar, she sprayed web at him. "This is not good," Cyborg thought as he struggled for freedom.
Starfire and Nightwing were having no better luck with their demon. The hulking behemoth, it turned out, could breathe fire. Nightwing was singed slightly, but his years of acrobatics had given him amazing agility, so he was mostly dodging. Starfire shot the beast, but the Starbolts seemed more of an irritation. Even her eye lasers did little damage. The monster charged at her, trying to gouge her with its horns. Nightwing took this opportunity to hit the beast with bombs. It stumbled, but not much else. "Starfire, give me a lift!" Nightwing yelled to his lover. She immediately flew to him, and said, "What's your plan?" He told her to fly higher, which she did, quickly. The monster on the ground unfurled its massive wings and took off. As Nightwing predicted, its immense bulk made it a slow flyer.
"Alright Star, build up as much speed as you can, and then hurl me straight at that thing. Shoot starbolts at its eyes to blind it." Starfire nodded, understanding what Nightwing was planning. She did as asked, and watched her love sailing away from her at a ferocious speed.
Nightwing controlled his flight, making sure he was going where he wanted. He kept his body tight to decrease drag. When he neared the beast, he connected his escrima sticks into a Bo staff, and swung with all his might at the creature's neck. At the last moment, the demon bowed its head, blocking the soft neck. The impact still made a sickening cracking noise, and the monster fell out of the sky. Nightwing had to catch his escrima stick, as the staff had disconnected on impact. He reached up, and Starfire caught him, bringing him safely to the ground.
The monster groggily stood up, half its face caved in. Nightwing noticed one of its eyes had ruptured. Snarling in anger, the monster threw a fireball at Starfire, who wasn't paying attention. The flare hit her square in the chest, and she fell from the sky. "Starfire!" Nightwing yelled, anger burning through him. He took out two birdarangs, and attached them to form a sword. "We Titans try to avoid killing, but you, demon, have just crossed the line. DIE!" Nightwing yelled as he rushed the savage monster. He dodged one claw swipe, but was backhanded. As he flew away from it, Nightwing through a flash grenade, effectively blinding the monster. When he hit the ground, Nightwing rolled to absorb the impact, and then stood, dashing back toward the monster. He jumped up it back, and managed to slash its throat before being batted away by a wing. As he fell away this time, Nightwing threw the sword, stabbing the other eye. Now the beast would rampage blindly, but he could check on Starfire.
Raven was struggling against her foe. She still wasn't fully aware of her new powers, and she didn't want to show her demonic form. She didn't even know if she could change into it, as Gar only helped her change back. She was dodging the demon's swipes, and she would retaliate with hurled objects, but these weren't very effective. The demon roared, and Raven saw a light in its throat. At the last second, she jumped away, narrowly avoiding a stream of superheated plasma. She landed hard, and barely had time to bring up a barrier before the demon attacked again. Raven was shocked to see the monster's claws pass right through her barrier and gash her upper arm and shoulder. She gasped as she backed away, clutching the bleeding wound. The demon laughed at her pain. "Little Raven, it is pointless to fight us. You are a defect, and clearly you don't have your father's strength. We weren't trying to kill you before, but now you and your friends will perish. And your chakra will make a fine meal." The demon advanced slowly, smoke and light coming out of its savage jaws. "Gar, where are you?"
"Starfire, are you ok?" Nightwing asked when he reached the alien. She looked up at him and said, "I will be. That just surprised me." At that moment, they were interrupted when the beast screamed, "DAMN YOU! Wretched human, how dare you blind the god of fire, IFRIT! I will end you, and this whole planet!" The monster began shooting fire everywhere, causing massive collateral damage. He stopped, sniffing around. Growing frustrated, the beast jumped into the air, glowing like a dark star, and then he crashed a fist into the ground. On impact, columns of fire started erupting from the ground. Starfire grabbed Nightwing and the couple flew out of range. "Starfire, I have one other idea!" Shouted Nightwing. "I need to get the sword back. Get in the air, and absorb as much solar energy as you can before I give you the signal. When I do, pick me back up, and fly me up as high as you can." Starfire nodded, and let Nightwing go about his business of expertly dodging the flailing creature's limbs, and hoping against hope it wouldn't use another mass area damage attack. It shot fire randomly at the sounds of his movements, but he managed to avoid most of the damage. One blast badly burned his side and back. Ignoring the pain, Nightwing ran to the sword, and ran away from the beast, signaling up to Starfire, who swooped down and picked up the Titans' leader. They sailed up into the air, leaving a fiery trail behind them.
Cyborg was still struggling with the web. Fortunately, the spider lady couldn't figure out where to sink her fangs. Unfortunately, she decided to just rip him apart. She ripped off an arm, and was going for the leg next when Cyborg activated his boot thruster. The web caught fire, and some of it burned away, just enough to allow Cyborg to tear himself free. He jumped up, kicking the spider in the face, and then he ran to his arm. He reattached it while running away, and then began rerouting a few of his systems. He looked behind but didn't see the spider. Thinking he lost her, Cyborg slowed down to focus on his task. Unfortunately, Cyborg forgot spiders can climb walls. She appeared next to him, and swiped at him with a clawed hand. The attack managed to tear his shoulder armor open. Cyborg growled in frustration, but then smirked. He pointed his finger at the spider and said, "You thought the white sound was bad before; let's see how you handle a little laser!" His finger changed slightly and shot a focused steam of white sound. By rerouting some of his arm cannon's components, Cyborg was able to focus the white sound. The focusing of the sonic managed to create a plasma which, when hit with that much friction, became a laser. The beam slashed across the spider lady's shoulder, burning it open, and then Cyborg used it to cut off her legs. Just as he was about to finish her, the laser fizzled out. "Damn, I used up too much power with that. I'll have to work on that more later." He instead ran forward and began pummeling the spider with his fists. The body scraped against the ground, bleeding neon green blood.
Cyborg finally stopped and looked at the beast. She let out a shuddering breath, and collapsed. "Booyah! One down, two to go." As Cyborg was leaving, the body convulsed. Looking back, he saw it rupture, sending out thousands of oversized spiderlings, which proceeded to chase him. "Damn!" He shouted as he ran away.
In the sky, Nightwing said, "Ok, when I throw the sword, shoot it with all the power you have." Starfire nodded, and the couple prepared for the attack. Nightwing took careful aim, and then threw the sword like a spear. The weapon cut through the air like an arrow. Immediately, Starfire let loose a powerful starbolt stream, absorbing sunlight as she released the beam. The force of the bolt turned the sword white hot, and propelled it to much greater speeds. Observers of the incident would later say that the attack looked like a "star was falling from the sky and so this little improvised attack would later be known as the falling star. Both Nightwing and Starfire's aim was true, and the sword/starbolt combo tore through Ifrit's body. The couple gently landed a good distance away from the corpse, which began to glow and smoke. The body burst into flames, and finally exploded. A red light flew from its ashes, and slowly winked out of existence. Breathing heavily, Nightwing said, "We should… go help.. Cyborg and Raven…" He tried to take a few steps, but collapsed. His burned side was cracking and bleeding. "Richard!" Starfire yelled, forgetting they were in public. "You cannot fight. Just stay back, I still have enough strength." Nightwing nodded, and went to sit down somewhere out of the way.
Cyborg was still running when he heard the familiar sound of a starbolt behind him. More accurately, a storm of starbolts. Looking back, he saw the spider horde being decimated by the solar bursts. "Thanks Star!" Cyborg shouted as he kept running. He saw one spider still after him, so he crushed it and burned it with his boot. "Come on, we should go help Raven!" He shouted as he about-faced to get to his friend.
Raven was having a bad time of this fight. While she could dodge, she couldn't inflict major damage. The monster was cut and scraped in a few places, but it was nothing compared to the collection of wounds Raven now sported. She was breathing heavily when the monster rammed her with its shoulder, knocking the wind out of her. She jumped backwards, landing heavily and falling to her knees. "You are a disappointment… Oh well. Time to die little one." The demon raised its claws high in the air, looking for the right angle to slice Raven's head off.
Gar had finally reached the battle. Using his hawk eyes, he could see the demon from weeks ago was back, and was about to kill Raven. His heart racing, Gar dove at the demon. A few feet away from it, he quickly shifted into tiger, extending his claws at the demon. For those who don't know, a peregrine falcon could dive at speeds exceeding 200 mph. A male tiger can weigh in excess of 660 pounds. When a creature going over 200 mph suddenly gains several hundred pounds, the impact force is suddenly greatly increased. Thus, when Beast Boy hit the demon, his forearms cracked and the demon's chest was torn open, and a few of his ribs were cracked. Gar landed next to Raven in his human form, gritting his teeth against the pain.
"Hey Rae, how you holdin' up?" Gar asked as he put his arm around Raven's shoulder. As soon as his skin touched her demonic blood, massive pain shot through his body. He flinched slightly, but didn't react otherwise. He helped Raven up, and looked at the beast he just assaulted. "Damn, that thing can take a beating! He should be dead!" Raven shook her head, saying grimly, "It is much more powerful than it is letting on. It has been toying with us this whole time. The demon began laughing at her statement, and then said, "Right you are child. But now you will die!" A black aura surrounded the demon's body. A strange growling and a vicious wind filled the air. With a small explosion, the magic dissipated, revealing a new form.
The demon now stood ten feet tall, and looked more humanoid. His well muscled body was covered in spikes. From his elbows, two blades extended out. The head had three horns, all swept back. In the center of the forehead, a large, electric blue jewel shone brightly. The monster spread a pair of beetle-like wings, and growled at the two Titans in front of him.
"Rae." Gar said grimly. She looked over to him. "The only way to kill this thing is if you show your true power. You have to change. Now." Raven nodded, and began chanting her mantra. She focused on her demon form. Suddenly, her jewel began glowing bright crimson, and her eyes burned the same color. An eruption of dark magic surrounded her, and her demonic form was revealed. Unfortunately, Beast Boy was in the transformation flux, and the magic coupled with the demon blood on his body caused him to drop to the ground, screaming in agony. Raven looked back at him. "Beastboy!" Raven yelled, concern in her voice. She quickly turned back to the other demon, shouting, "What did you do to him!" The monster grunted and said, in a condescending tone, "I did nothing. Something is wrong in the body of your friend, his DNA is altered. Coming in contact with your demon blood and your transformation flux did something to him." Raven looked back and was shocked to see Beastboy warping and twisting. It looked like his body was unsure of what form to take, so just kept shifting around. Finally, his struggles ended, and Beastboy lay still, a slight green glow surrounding him.
"Beastboy… No…" Raven whispered. She turned her full attention back to the demon. Anger, guilt, and sorrow were flooding her mind now. With a scream she rushed to the monster, slashing at its face with her claws. The demon was taken by surprise, and its face was left with bloody furrows, a ribbon of skin dangling off the exposed bones. "BASTARD! You will be the one to die!" Raven screeched as she continued her onslaught. The monster blocked some attacks, but raven slammed the heel of her palm into his chest, focusing her power into the hit. A blast of dark energy sent the creature flying backwards, and Raven noticed it was bleeding. Before the demon could get up, Raven narrowed her eyes, hoping she had inherited her Father's death stare. She had. The top pair of eyes began smoldering, and then a focused beam of heat shot forth, burning off one of the demon's arms.
"Damn you Trigon whelp! You are more powerful than I thought. Truly, you are your father's daughter." The demon stood, and then flew into the air. "Time to end this before you get lucky again." He lifted his hand in the air, and a large ball of fire appeared. He threw it forward, and a demonic dragon appeared, rushing toward Raven. Raven's eyes widened as she desperately thought of what she could do. Then, an idea clicked. "Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos!" She yelled, holding her hands up. Red markings appeared all around her body, and a black vortex materialized before her. The dragon was swallowed by the blackness. "WHAT? How did you do that?" the demon screamed in rage. Raven smirked up at him, and held up her hand. The black vortex reappeared in front of the demon, and the dragon came roaring out. It consumed its maker, and quickly faded out of existence. Raven smirked in triumph that her plan worked, and then she turned back into a human and went to Beastboy.
The green glow around Beastboy had shrunk until it only surrounded his head. It then coalesced into a green gem on his forehead. When this happened, his eyes snapped open, and an eruption of green energy surrounded him. The transformation flux receded, and what stood there was no linger Beastboy. "Gar…?" Raven asked, slowly approaching. The creature snapped up, and looked straight at her. Its eyes were deep emerald green, and the face was still Gar's, just more angular. More refined. His ears were longer, he still had his normal fangs, and his face was framed by a pair of horns that curved downward. Another large pair curved back and up. Gar's hair was now hardened into swept back spikes. The rest of his body looked encased in dark green armor. Around his neck and shoulders was a slight mane of green fur, which was also present on his legs and arms. A large pair of chiropteran wings grew from his back, as well as a smaller pair of insect wings. Gar's feet were now cloven, and so were his hands. He had three fingers now, and the fingers looked like claws, only they were as flexible as normal fingers. His eyes and forehead jewel flashed briefly before the transformation reversed, and the now-Human Gar collapsed in front of Raven.