Nightwalker, Robin and Cyborg bunched up together, sticking close to each other, and turned into the left corridor, Nightwalker in the front. The others headed into the other corridor as directed, keeping close and completely alert to everything in their surroundings. Though the two corridors looked like they diverged, Nightwalker had assured them that the rooms they would eventually reach at the end were directly next to each other.
"How long will it take to reach Raven?" Robin asked, keeping his voice low.
"Just a few more minutes." Nightwalker was working on his mind every step, breathing in and out slowly, keeping all his nervousness and unease at bay. Fear was nothing but their enemy now, and would only hinder him in the critical moment. Everything was depending on the team now. Get things wrong, and they could say adios to the whole world.
They soon reached the end of the corridor, where a single door stood. It was simply a chunk of shiny metal embedded in the walls, with no handle or knob on it. Cyborg and Robin paused, eyeing each other questioningly. Nightwalker sensed their thoughts and unease clearly, and quietly said, "Yes, this is it. The room where Raven is."
"Is she alright?" Robin asked immediately.
"She's fine. Still meditating. For now, she's…" Breaking off his sentence, Nightwalker laid his hand on the door for several seconds, eyes closed. "Keep things simple. Our only mission for now is to extract her and get her to a safe place."
"Safe place such as…" Cyborg began.
"You can leave that to me," Nightwalker replied. "If I must, I'll take her to another dimension for now."
"Will we encounter any obstructions in getting Raven out of there?"
"Don't think so. But we still should be prepared for anything. Ready, guys?"
"Ready," Robin said.
"Ready," Cyborg echoed.
"Let's do this." Planting his left hand firmly right in the centre of the door, Nightwalker murmured words in a foreign tongue, his voice almost a chant. There was a light surge of energy following that, rays of pale blue light spreading out from Nightwalker's hand. Slowly, he withdrew his hand, and drew it downwards, holding that hand several inches away from his hip. His other hand came up gradually, palm facing upwards. With deliberate, graceful movements, Nightwalker rotated it once, then withdrew it, at the same time using his other hand to form an odd pattern with his hands and fingers, as if he were cupping an invisible ball of energy between them.
The door opened.
Nightwalker lowered his hands slowly, his eyes fixed on that spot ahead of him. Robin and Cyborg both drew in deep breaths, then inched forward, peering into the room beyond the door.
All they saw from that angle were part of the walls and floors. Everything was a dull shade of grey, except for the floor, which was now illuminated by a brilliant shade of radiant blue, marked by a thin series of red lines forming a flowery-shaped pattern.
"There she is," Nightwalker said softly.
Robin and Cyborg advanced again, and this time, clearly saw Raven in the middle of the circular-shaped floor, levitating several feet above it. Her eyes were closed, her hood was drawn over her shadowed head, body in a meditative pose. Her lips were moving, no doubt changing Azarath Metrion Zinthos over and over again.
"Don't startle her," Nightwalker instructed the two others. "She's in a mixed state of calm and unease; she might be somewhat volatile. Let me handle this. Move in only when I give the signal."
Slowly, Nightwalker floated forward in silence, landing several feet in front of Raven, crossing his legs underneath him as he levitated where he was. Raven paid no attention to him; if she knew he was there, she gave no indication that she knew it.
Raven. Here I am. We've come to get you out of here.
I know you're here. I can feel you all. Leave me and get out of here. Raven's telepathic voice was surprisingly calm and emotionless.
We're not letting Trigon use you! Raven, it's not too late to act. Come with us now. I can take you back to Azarath. Trigon can't touch you there.
Raven did not stop her meditation, though she continued, You know this was always meant to be. Of all people, you should know this, Nightwalker. I cannot change my fate, nor can you. Take the others as far from here while you still have the chance.
Not going to happen. Since when were you this compliant anyway?
Raven opened her eyes at last, staring straight back at Nightwalker. And since when did you try to convince yourself that anything could be otherwise? If you want to help me, leave me be!
If you don't come with us on your own, I'll have no choice but to bring you along by force.
You want to try?
Don't think I'm kidding you.
With no warning whatsoever, Raven gave her hand a light, quick flick, expelling a sharp, sudden blast of dark energy that promptly knocked Nightwalker backwards, sending him against the wall behind him. Before he could react appropriately, Raven had pinned him to the wall with an almighty burst of energy.
Stop it! Nightwalker ordered. We're only trying to help you!
You know it's going to happen anyway.
And we're supposed to just sit around and watch it happen? Nightwalker felt his temper rising. Damn it! You know we can do anything if we just try!
Goodbye, Nightwalker. Get the others out of here and keep them safe. And…I'm sorry. This is my destiny and you know it.
"Nooo!" Nightwalker shouted aloud, as Raven released him, extending her arms upwards. "Don't…"
At that moment, Robin and Cyborg burst in, no longer able to sit back in silence. They were just in time to see Raven surrounded by a ball of black energy, disappearing into nothingness.
"What on earth…"
"Damn it!" Nightwalker snarled, his fists clenched. "She's going to do what she thinks she has been destined to do all her life after all! She's going to let Trigon use her as a portal!"
"How do we stop her?" Robin demanded.
"We go down to the lowest level where she'll be. If we hurry, we can still stop her."
"What about the others?"
"Let them…" Nightwalker froze suddenly, his face paling even more. "Oh no!"
"Slade's disappeared from next door! And he's gone down to join Raven!"
"What's he doing there?" Cyborg exclaimed.
"He intends to speed up Trigon's entry into this world!"
Robin and Cyborg glanced at each other with pure horror, their hearts freezing within. Only one thought was coherent in their minds now, and it was not a pleasant thought at all.
If we don't stop Raven now, the world as we know it will end forever!