Hello, and welcome to the next episode of TT Season Six. Episode 2 continues the story from Episode 1, and expands on some of the issues with Slade's family. But I'll stop talking and let you read it.
Disclaimer: I'm on Fanfiction, of course I don't own TT!
Private H.I.V.E. collapsed, and the two heroes he had been fighting stood over him. One of them nudged him with his foot.
"Yeah, he's out," said the Herald, spinning his horn around his finger in an idle manner. "Good job, kid." He reached out and ruffled the blonde hair of his partner. Jericho ducked and batted away Herald's hand, shaking with silent laughter.
Not the hair, signed Jericho.
The Herald smiled. He'd met Jericho when he was on the run from the Brotherhood of Evil a few months back. Jericho managed to defeat Private H.I.V.E. and Fang, and the Herald had found him in the mountains where he lived. They'd hit it off and had been inseparable ever since.
"We'd better get this idiot back to Jump City," said the Herald.
Yeah, signed Jericho. I can't believe he came all the way to Obsidian City (1) just to fight me again.
"You'd think, after you beat him twice, that he would have learnt he's no match for you," said the Herald.
Well, yes. But then again, signed Jericho with a grin, I'm not Private H.I.V.E.
The Herald laughed. "True that." He put his horn to his lips and blew a single note, opening a portal into Jump City. He grabbed Private H.I.V.E. by his left side, and Jericho grabbed him on the right, and they lifted him up.
"On three?" asked the Herald. Jericho nodded.
"Okay, then. One!" The two heroes swung Private H.I.V.E. forward and back in time with the countdown.
"Two! Three!" They let go, and the villain soared through the portal, landing face down on Jump City pavement. Jericho and the Herald stepped through calmly and lifted up the private.
"All right, we'll drop off this guy at the cop shop, then I reckon we could swing by the Tower for some lunch," said Herald. "That okay with you, kid?"
Jericho nodded. I didn't have anything special planned for this afternoon, he signed.
"Well, then what are we waiting for?"
Unbeknownst to either hero, someone was watching their arrival. The young woman's white-blonde hair swayed gently in the breeze. Her one visible eye tracked the pair on their way to the police station.
"Looks like I've got more than I bargained for," whispered Ravager. "Never mind. I'm sure they'll die just like the other Titans will."
When there's trouble, you know who to call. TEEN TITANS!
From their tower they can see it all. TEEN TITANS!
When there's evil on the attack,
You can rest knowing they've got your back,
'Cause when the world needs heroes on patrol,
Teen Titans, GO!
With their superpowers they unite. TEEN TITANS!
Never met a villain that they liked. TEEN TITANS!
They've got the bad guys on the run,
They never stop till the job gets done,
'Cause when the world is losing all control,
Teen Titans, GO!
One, two, three, four, GO! Teen Titans!
Ravaged: Part II
Wintergreen sat down gently. His old age made his movements look stiff, but he still kept himself in good shape. Slade's former butler surveyed his modest apartment as he raised a cup of tea to his lips. He took a sip, then lowered the cup with a smile.
"Rose (2)," he said into seemingly empty air. "I knew you would come someday."
A dagger slammed into the table beside him. "My name," hissed the young woman, "is Ravager. I would be grateful if you would remember that."
Wintergreen placed the cup on the table. In one smooth movement, he pulled the dagger out of the table, spun around, and held the blade to Ravager's throat. (3)
"And I," said Wintergreen calmly, "am not as helpless as you think I am." He spun the dagger around and presented it to her hilt first. "I would be grateful if you remember that."
Ravager accepted the dagger, and slid it back into her belt. "I assume you know why I'm here," she said.
The butler nodded. "Your father was not a man to write things down. The only place he kept his plans was here," Wintergreen tapped his temple. "However, his technology was another matter. The blueprints are on the laptop," he gestured to the other side of his apartment. "I am sure you will find what you need there."
Ravager crossed the room and opened the laptop. She powered it up, and was met with a request for a password.
"The password," she said. "What is it?"
"A-D-E-L-I-N-E-K-A-N-E, (4)" spelt the butler.
Ravager typed the letters in, not noticing their significance, and document files filled the screen. She clicked one and scrolled down until she found what she was after.
"Yes," she whispered. "These will do nicely. Do you know if there are any of these left?" she asked Wintergreen. He looked over her shoulder at the blueprints of the neural remotes that Slade had used on Cinderblock, Plasmus and Overload.
"I believe you will be able to salvage the ones he left in his old lair," said the butler. "If not, you will have to build your own."
Ravager nodded. "Sorry to bother you, Wintergreen."
"Oh, it was no trouble," he said. "After all, I live to serve your family."
Robin groaned, and lifted his head off his desk. He opened his eyes, and peeled off the piece of paper that had plastered itself to his head.
"I have got to stop falling asleep in here," he said with a sigh. He looked at the photo once more. It was of Ravager, and had been taken by a security camera during the fight in the Tower yesterday afternoon. He'd given a copy to Lieutenant David Mallory, the liaison between the Titans and the Jump City Police Department, affectionately known as the JCPD. Mallory had asked the Chief of Police to post a search and detain warrant, but so far there was no luck. Even though she'd thrown herself out of a broken window, Robin knew she wasn't dead. He only hoped he could save her before it was too late. There was also something about the way she fought, how it seemed she knew where he would strike before he'd even launched the blow...
A hesitant knock on the door brought Robin out of his musings. He stood up, muscles screaming in protest, and opened the door. Starfire was standing there.
"Robin?" she asked, her voice full of concern. "Are you the okay?"
"Starfire, I..." his voice faltered, and he held his arms out. Starfire embraced him very gently. She let go and held his hands.
"What is wrong?" she asked. "Is it Ravager?"
Robin sighed, and nodded. "If she really is who she says she is, then she'll want to kill us to avenge Slade's death," he said.
"But there has been no sign of him since Beast Boy defeated that robotic clone," she said. "We do not know whether he is alive or dead."
"Yes, but she doesn't know that Trigon resurrected him," said Robin. "All that she knows is that he died in Jump City, and that a Titan killed him. Now she wants to kill us, all of us, possibly even Titans East and the Honoraries."
"But that is not all that is worrying you, is it?" Starfire asked.
Robin sighed again. "You're right, it's not." He paused for a second, then started to speak again. "If she's working for Slade, then she believes she's doing the right thing, but all she's really doing is turning herself into a monster. I could show her she's wrong, make her realize that what she's doing is—"
"Robin," said Starfire forcefully. "She has made her choice, even if it is wrong, and you must accept that you cannot change that." She laid a hand on his shoulder. "The only person that can change Ravager's mind is Ravager herself. Forcing her to do so will just cause her pain." She kissed his lips gently. "Staying in here will not help. You must get out in the fresh air."
"Yeah, you're right," he said. "Sitting here moping won't help at all."
Starfire smiled in an uncharacteristically mischievous way, and slipped her hands behind Robin's neck. "I believe I could find a way to make you feel better."
Robin started to grin as well. "I bet you could," he whispered, leaning closer to her. They kissed for what seemed a long time.
"Well, I hate to interrupt you two," said Cyborg, causing the two to jerk away from each other in shock and embarrassment. "But we've got visitors." Cyborg walked away from the two flustered heroes. Messing with them was just so much fun...
Jericho and the Herald flopped down onto the couch in the main room.
"So what brings you two to our fair city?" asked Beast Boy.
"Well, Jericho here," said the Herald, pointing a thumb at the hero in question, "was attacked by none other than Private H.I.V.E., whom Jericho has bested in combat several times. In the same fashion, every time." Here Jericho pointed to his eyes. "The kid just possesses him and makes him punch himself." The Herald grabbed his arm and pretended to hold it back. "Stop hitting myself! Unh!" The Herald swung his fist at his face, acting as if he'd punched himself. Beast Boy was laughing uncontrollably, and even Raven was smiling slightly. "So Jericho beat him, and we dropped him at the police station, and we decided we'd swing by for lunch before we went back home." The door to the common room opened, and Cyborg walked in with a smug grin on his face.
So, where are Robin and Starfire? asked Jericho.
Cyborg puckered his lips and made kissing sounds. The Herald grinned.
"Well, it's about time," he said. "By the way, if you need help getting blackmail pics—"
Jericho tapped him and shook his head.
"What, not even one?" asked the Herald sadly.
Jericho shook his head again, and the Herald sagged, his face in a ridiculously exaggerated expression of sadness, then broke down laughing, joining Cyborg and Beast Boy in uncontrollable laughter. Robin and Starfire walked in, hand in hand, and the three mischief makers sobered up for exactly three seconds. After that, they burst into more peals of laughter.
"What did I miss?" asked Robin as he sat down next to Jericho.
Oh, nothing much, signed Jericho.
"Ah," said Robin. "They were making fun of us, weren't they?"
Jericho radiated innocence. Possibly, he signed.
Behind his mask, Robin rolled his eyes. Eventually, the trio settled down, with Beast Boy still giggling a little.
"So," said the Herald, wiping a tear from his eye. "How're things here in Jump?"
The atmosphere in the common room chilled by several degrees, and Jericho got the feeling that his buddy had just asked a really, really dumb question.
The Herald seemed to realize that. "That bad, huh?" he asked.
"No," said Raven. "It's worse." (5)
"We've got a major problem," said Beast Boy.
"A woman who calls herself Ravager," said Robin. "Slade's daughter."
Jericho stiffened. That couldn't be possible...could it?
"Jericho?" asked Raven. "What's wrong?"
That's impossible, signed Jericho with stiff fingers. Slade doesn't have a daughter.
"How do you know?" asked Robin.
Jericho swallowed. It's because I'm—
Sirens began to wail, and static appeared on the screen.
"Titans Tower, come in," said a voice over the speakers. "Titans Tower, do you read me? Respond!"
Robin killed the siren and answered the call. "Titans Tower here, what's wrong?"
The static cleared to reveal one of the Jump City cops in full gear, sans helmet.
"That Ravager girl you told us about is attacking the prison," said Mallory. "We need your help, now!"
"Copy that, we're on our way." Robin hung up, and looked at the Titans. He got a nod from each of them, and the Herald readied his horn.
Three policemen rounded the corner. The one in front had the number one embroidered on his shoulder. The two behind him had a three and an eight on their shoulders (6). The front cop knelt down to give the two behind him a clear field of fire. The three raised their rifles and took aim.
"There she is! Open fire!"
Blue stun beams soared down the corridor, ricocheting off the walls. Somehow, the young woman managed to dodge all the beams, and closed the distance between them. She punched one in the chin, causing him to sag. She kneed the second one in the stomach, and all his breath came out in a rush. Ravager slammed her shoulder into the chest of the third policeman, then grabbed him and shoved him into the wall. His head bounced off the wall with a loud crack. Another cop arrived, but this one wasn't wearing a helmet. The cop drew his pistol and fired. Ravager spun away from the blue bolt, then threw a dagger at the cop. The policeman tried to dodge, but he wasn't quite fast enough; the dagger slammed into his shoulder, and he dropped the gun. He grabbed the dagger but didn't pull it out; if he did, blood would pour freely from the wound. Ravager walked up to him and looked him in the eye. The policeman met her stare without flinching. She booted him in the head, and the cop's eyes rolled up into his skull as he fell into unconsciousness. Without thinking, she lifted her hand and caught the bird-a-rang that had been flying towards her.
"I was wondering when you would show up," said Ravager. She threw the bird-a-rang behind her carelessly, and then turned to face her opponents. "You'll have to introduce me to your new friends," she said, looking at the Herald and Jericho. "Unfortunately, I don't have time to stay and chat." Ravager pressed a button on her belt, and three explosions rocked the building. An animal-like roar echoed through the corridor. Outside, three massive creatures rose from the rubble. The first one was a massive human-like creature made completely of stone, appropriately called Cinderblock. The second creature was a biped made completely of toxic sludge, and had several glowing green eyes. This was Plasmus. The final creature was composed completely of electricity, and had a large weapons chip in the centre that served as the brain. It was known as Overload. All three of them had a device attached to their chests, a large circle with Slade's logo on it. These devices were neural remotes, and would compel the wearer to obey the user's commands. The order Ravager had given Cinderblock, Plasmus and Overload was simple: Rampage through the city, and battle any Titans they encountered. Policemen tried to fire at them, but Overload launched tendrils of his electrical body into the guns, fusing their components. Cinderblock picked up one of the police cars and used it like a baseball bat, knocking away the other cop cars. Plasmus launched a spray of toxic goo at the cops. He missed, and the goo started to eat away at the surface of the road.
"You have a choice, Titans," said Ravager. "Save your city, or catch me." With that, she turned and ran, firing a grappling hook at a nearby building and hoisting herself up.
"You guys deal with Cinderblock, Plasmus and Overload," ordered Robin. "Starfire and I will chase down Ravager."
"Be careful," warned Raven.
"Same to you," said Robin. He watched as the Titans raced off to fight the three creatures. Robin turned to Starfire. She nodded, and took off after Ravager. Robin fired his grappling gun, and the hook caught and held. He activated the winch and started to ascend. Starfire fired a starbolt at Ravager, but she swung away, and the starbolt blasted a hole in the side of the building. Robin managed to catch up to Ravager and swung out, then turned and swung back at her, feet first. The blow hit her in the gut, and she punched Robin in the chest, knocking him away. She made it to the top of the building, and tried to dislodge Robin's hook. An eyebeam from Starfire persuaded her that was a bad idea. She avoided a flurry of starbolts, and watched as Robin pulled himself up over the edge of the building. She turned and ran, jumping off the roof of the building and landing on the next one, with the two Titans in hot pursuit.
Beast Boy morphed into a triceratops and charged Cinderblock. He smashed into the golem-like creature, sending it flying. The Herald opened a portal behind Cinderblock, and opened another one above the street. Cinderblock fell through the first portal and out the second, hitting the road so hard he stunned himself. Jericho scrambled onto Cinderblock's chest and ripped the neural remote off. Then he made eye contact. Jericho's eyes changed; the whites of his eyes became jet black. His body faded into Cinderblock's, and when Cinderblock opened his eyes again, they were green, the same green as Jericho's.
"Y'in there, kiddo?" asked the Herald.
Jericho sat up. "Yeah, I'm in," he said through Cinderblock.
The Herald smiled. "Good ol' brick-brain, eh? C'mon, we'd better help the others."
Down the street, Cyborg was battling Overload. Overload launched several tendrils of electricity, but Cyborg managed to avoid them all. He had transformed both his hands into sonic cannons, and he fired them as quickly as he could, keeping up a constant stream of fire. Raven was trying to fend off Plasmus. Plasmus launched huge lumps of sludge, but they impacted against the shield of dark energy Raven had created. Beast Boy morphed into a tyrannosaurus, and smashed Plasmus with his head. Jericho used Cinderblock to grapple with Overload, forcing the electrical creature down the street, closer to the Jump City Bay. Cyborg and Raven glanced at each other and nodded. Cyborg ran down to where Beast Boy and the Herald were fighting Plasmus, and Raven went to help Jericho with Overload. Beast Boy morphed into a wolf, and leapt out of the way of a lump of sludge, and the Herald opened a portal in the sludge's path. The lump of sludge disappeared into the Herald's dimension, and he opened another portal above Plasmus. The sludge poured out of the second portal, and slammed into Plasmus, but it had little effect. It distracted the sludge monster long enough for Cyborg to jam a sonic cannon into one of Plasmus's many eyes and fired. The beast reared back screaming. Cyborg shoved his sonic cannon into Plasmus's mouth and fired once more. This time, there was a massive explosion of sludge, and the man that was, for lack of a better term, the heart of Plasmus collapsed to the ground. Cyborg got to his feet and attempted to wipe the sludge off of his sonic cannon.
Jericho phased out of Cinderblock, and the massive rock-like creature collapsed. Overload tried to grab him, but he dived to his right, putting the Jump City Bay behind Overload. A wave came out of the Bay and smashed into Overload's back. Jericho saw Raven levitating over the Bay, using her powers to propel another wave at Overload. Overload staggered, and it started to shrink as the water interfered with its circuits. It got smaller and smaller as Raven bombarded it with water, until all that was left was the central weapons chip.
"Well, that was easy," drawled Raven. Jericho smiled. The two of them met up with the three who had been battling Plasmus.
"Overload?" asked Cyborg.
"Blew a fuse," said Raven. "Plasmus?"
"He's outta commission," said Beast Boy.
"Where's Cinderblock?" asked the Herald.
Taking a nap, signed Jericho.
"What'd he say?" asked Beast Boy, clueless as always.
"He said Cinderblock's down for the count," translated the Herald.
Cyborg nodded. "With those three out of the way, we need to find—" He trailed off and his eyes tracked the sludge moving behind him. The Titans turned, and saw Plasmus reforming incredibly fast.
"Uh-oh," said Beast Boy.
Cyborg glanced at where Overload's chip was resting. Electricity was flowing into the chip from a nearby streetlamp. Cinderblock was also staggering to his feet. Within seconds, the trio were back on their feet. As the three monsters approached, they got closer to each other, and Jericho couldn't believe what he was seeing.
"Oh, no," whispered Cyborg. "Not again..."
Robin leapt on to the rooftop, rolling as he landed. He came up and threw an explosive disc at Ravager, and she threw one of her daggers at the disc, detonating it in mid-air. She threw another dagger at Starfire, but she vaporised it with a starbolt. She fired a second starbolt at Ravager, but she managed to avoid the blast. She leapt to another building, and Robin and Starfire followed. Robin threw one of his bird-a-rangs, and Ravager drew one of her katanas and sliced the bird-a-rang in half. She leapt onto the roof of the next building, throwing a dagger at Robin. He whipped out his bo staff and batted the dagger away, then used the staff to pole-vault over the gap and catch up to Ravager. He threw another explosive disc, but Ravager smacked it out of the air, and the disc impacted in front of Robin. It exploded, and the force of the blast knocked Robin down. Starfire landed beside him and helped him to his feet.
"Robin! You are hurt!" she exclaimed. Robin felt his cheek, and felt the cut on his cheek from the flying debris.
"It's not bad," he said. "Just a scratch." He picked up his staff and spotted Ravager a few rooftops away. He jumped onto the next rooftop, throwing his last explosive disc. Ravager ducked, and the disc soared over her head. She reached the edge of the rooftop, ready to jump, and then backpedalled rapidly. She'd reached the end of the line. Robin came charging at her, swinging his bo staff. She sidestepped, and Robin managed to stop before he went over. Ravager pushed him in the back hard, and he fell off the edge. He dropped his bo staff in surprise, but he recovered and fired his grappling gun at the roof. The hook dug into the wall, and Robin jerked as the line went taut. Ravager got ready to slice through the line, but was knocked aside by a starbolt. Starfire blasted her with her eyebeams, forcing Ravager away from the grappling hook. She landed on the rooftop, placing herself between Ravager and the rope from which Robin was dangling. Ravager drew her katanas and charged at the Tamaranean woman. Starfire launched a starbolt, but Ravager dropped down onto her knees and slid. Starfire jumped over her as Ravager swung her katana at her. The questing blade did no damage, but sliced open the fingerless glove on Starfire's right hand. Ravager thrust at Starfire, and she ducked under the swing. The Tamaranean woman punched Ravager in the chin, and her head snapped back. She staggered a few feet, and spat bloody saliva out of her mouth. Ravager closed the distance between her and Starfire, and swung her katana down. Starfire dodged right, then dived under the second blade as it swished overhead, cutting some of her hair. She rolled and came up firing starbolts. Ravager dodged them, but ran straight into the eyebeams. She was knocked down, and landed on the ground with a grunt. She groaned as she levered herself into a sitting position. Starfire approached warily. Ravager threw her last dagger with a yell. Starfire blasted the dagger to pieces with a starbolt, taking her attention of Ravager for a split second. But one split second was enough. Ravager closed the distance and slammed the pommel of her katana into Starfire's upper arm. The bone shattered, and Starfire screamed in pain. Ravager smashed Starfire in the side of the head, and the Tamaranean woman slumped to the ground, unconscious. Ravager heard a bone-chilling scream behind her. She turned around as Robin came flying at her, another bo staff in hand, attacking her in primal fury. She barely managed to block his blow. Robin launched into a series of blows, not stopping for anything. He was lost in his anger, unleashing the full strength of his fury on Ravager. She managed to block the blows, but she couldn't keep up with him forever. The bo staff smashed into her hand, and she opened it reflexively, dropping one of her katanas. Robin swung again, and Ravager caught the staff on her blade. Robin kept the pressure up, forcing Ravager back. She broke off, rolling to one side. She came up and swung her remaining katana through the staff, slicing it in two. Robin threw away the useless weapon, and pulled out a pair of bird-a-rangs. He slammed the two bird-a-rangs together, and they fused, forming a sharp, straight-edged sword. He swung the sword at her head, and she blocked the blow. She thrust at him, and he knocked her to the side. They fought across the rooftop, neither fighter giving any quarter. They were equally matched, but Ravager was starting to tire. Robin though was still fighting hard, tapping into hidden reservoirs of strength. Robin and Ravager's swords clashed together again, and the hilts locked. They struggled across the roof, and Robin slowly forced Ravager to the ground. Ravager twisted her katana, slamming the hilt into Robin's chin. The Teen Wonder staggered back, but he managed to hold onto his sword. Ravager swung her katana, and the blade sliced him in the gut. He screamed in pain and covered the wound with his free arm, trying to staunch the flow of blood. Robin sank to his knees, almost collapsing in exhaustion. Ravager stood there panting, then straightened, and prepared to deliver the final blow...
"What the heck is that thing?" yelled the Herald, staring at the hideous creature before him.
I don't know, but it's big, replied Jericho.
"Perceptive, for a mute kid," muttered the Herald sarcastically. "Now how do we beat it?" (7)
Cyborg's hands transformed into sonic cannons, and he took aim at Ternion, the creature that was a disgusting combination of Cinderblock, Overload and Plasmus. It had the eyes and mouth of Plasmus, but its arms and legs were weird fusions of Cinderblock's and Plasmus's.
"We kick its butt," growled Cyborg. "Hard."
Ternion stared at them, and moved ponderously in their direction.
"Titans, GO!" yelled Cyborg. He charged at Ternion, firing both sonic cannons rapidly. The sonic blasts rocked the massive creature, but Ternion smashed the ground, and the shockwave knocked Cyborg over.
"Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos!" chanted Raven, and used her powers to hurl a fuel tanker at Ternion. The tank struck the creature, and sparks caused by the scraping of metal on metal ignited the fuel, creating a massive fireball. A long sludge tentacle shot out of the smoke cloud, and wrapped itself around Raven, immobilizing her. Electricity flowed through the tentacle, causing all her muscles to tense. Beast Boy morphed into a bear and slashed the tentacle, cutting it in half. The half that was still attached to Ternion slithered back to the monster, and the half that was cut off writhed on the ground, eventually becoming still. Behind Ternion, the Herald and Jericho jumped at the monster, and they landed on its eyes. Ternion screamed in rage and pain, and threw the two Honorary Titans off. Beast Boy morphed into an elephant, and charged the creature, knocking it down. Ternion got to its feet and picked up Beast Boy and hurled him down the street like he weighed nothing. Raven fired a blast of dark energy at Ternion, gouging a huge chunk out of the stone in its right arm. Sludge flowed over Ternion's skin until it reached the wound and filled it in. Raven hurled a car at Ternion, and Cyborg fired sonic blast after sonic blast. The Herald and Jericho were punching the slime that formed the body of Ternion, and Beast Boy thundered down the street as a rhinoceros. Suddenly, Raven winced, as if she had been hurt.
"Raven!" yelled the Herald, running up to her side, with Jericho trailing behind. "You okay?"
She nodded. "I'm fine," she said. "But Robin and Starfire are in trouble."
Jericho tapped the Herald's shoulder. I need to get up there, he signed. It's personal.
The Herald sighed. "A'right kid, I trust you." He looked back at Raven. "Where are they?"
She pulled out her communicator and activated the tracker. "Corner of Pass Street and Central Road."
"Got it." The Herald put the Gabriel Horn to his lips, and blew a single, clear note. As the portal opened, Jericho jumped through. The portal closed, and Raven and the Herald turned their attention back to Ternion. Beast Boy had morphed into an eagle, and was flying around Ternion's head, distracting it. Cyborg was getting behind the creature. The Herald opened a portal behind him, and he and Raven stepped through to join him. Cyborg opened his shoulder mounted mini-missile launcher, and fired a stream of missiles. Raven fired a blast of dark energy at Ternion, and the magic blast and the missiles all hit the same spot at the same time. Ternion fell to its knees, groaned, then collapsed. Cyborg walked up to it and prodded it with his foot. The monster didn't stir.
"Boo-yah!" he yelled, punching a fist in the air. "Take that, you stupid Franken-thingy!"
"Very nice, Cyborg, but we've got to help Robin and Starfire," said Raven.
Cyborg nodded. "Herald? Take it away."
"With pleasure," said the Herald, blowing a note on his horn.
Jericho leapt through the portal, and took the scene in at a glance. Starfire lay some distance away, still breathing, but her arm was bent in a place it shouldn't normally bend. Robin was kneeling on the ground, one hand gripping his bird-a-rang sword, the other wrapped around his gut, with blood staining his green glove. Ravager stood there, catching her breath, getting prepared to deliver the final blow. Jericho looked around wildly for something, anything, he could use as a weapon. He spotted Ravager's second katana, resting where it had landed when it was knocked out of her hand. Jericho scooped up the katana and ran towards Robin. He thrust the katana out as Ravager swung hers at Robin's neck. The blades collided with a resounding clang. Jericho pushed Ravager away, but he knew he'd only managed that because he'd surprised her. He wouldn't be so lucky next time. Ravager looked him up and down, and then she swung her sword at him, aiming for his head. Jericho barely managed to block the blow in time. She came at him again and again, and Jericho was forced into retreat. She kicked him in the stomach, and he fell to the ground. She swung the sword in an overhead blow, and Jericho held his sword out horizontally to block the blow. Jericho winced with the effort of holding the sword up, and then he looked Ravager in the eye. Her one visible eye widened as Jericho's eyes changed, then she screamed as he phased into her body. Her eye changed colour, becoming the same colour as Jericho's, and she clutched the sides of her head, squeezing her eye shut.
"Get out of my head!" she shrieked. Even with her eyes shut, she could still see what Jericho was showing her; a memory of a horrible day...
I felt the cold steel of a knife pressed against my throat. I tried to get free, but the man just tightened his grip on me.
"Hold still," growled the man. "Or I'll cut your throat now and leave you here for him to find."
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," said a quiet voice. Two people were walking down into the warehouse, and I recognized them instantly.
"Mom!" I yelled. "Dad! Help!"
The man pressed the knife harder against my throat. "Shut up, kid!"
"What do you want, Jackal?" asked Dad.
"Information," said Jackal. "About why you killed the Colonel of Quarac."
"Why did you kidnap my son?" asked Dad, his voice getting dangerously low.
"Leverage," said Jackal. "Now tell me why you killed him or your son dies." The knife being held to my throat was cold, but it was nothing compared to the ice in my father's stare.
"Who are you working for?" asked Slade, his hand starting to drift ever so slowly to the holstered gun on his belt.
"The President of Quarac," said Jackal. "Now tell me why you killed the Colonel!"
"One hundred thousand dollars can buy a lot of reason," said Slade.
"Who paid you?" asked Jackal.
"Unlike you, Jackal," said Slade, reaching for the gun, "I never reveal my clients."
"Tell me who hired you!" yelled Jackal.
"Release my son," said Slade, still not raising his voice.
"Only if you tell me who hired you to kill the Colonel."
Slade lifted the gun out of its holster. "Then you leave me no choice," he said, pointing the gun at Jackal's head. Jackal yelled, and raked the point of the knife across my throat. I heard a scream, maybe mine, maybe my mother's. I definitely heard a gunshot. I definitely felt Jackal jerk back as the bullet hit him in the head. I fell to the floor, one hand pressed against my throat. It hurt so much. My whole body felt numb, except for that one burning spot in my throat. Then I collapsed, and the world went dark. (8)
Ravager's eyes snapped open, and her hand flew to her throat, checking for scars.
"No," she whispered. "Th-that's not possible."
Yes, it is, said Jericho, his voice echoing in her head. This is what Slade is really like. Is this really what you want to be?
Ravager tried to speak, but her throat seized up. Jericho gently phased out of her body, and she looked him up and down.
"Did, did that really...?" she trailed off. Jericho pulled down the collar of his shirt, exposing the faint, ragged scar that was his reminder of that terrible day.
Slowly, moving as if she was in a dream, Ravager reached behind her head, and untied the bandanna that obscured her face. She removed the cloth, revealing two perfectly good eyes, and tears started to fall down her face. She let go of the bandanna and sank to her knees, sobbing, burrowing her hand in her face. Jericho had his mind on other things. He ripped the bandanna in half, and picked up two loose planks of wood. He ran over to where Starfire lay, and gently twisted and slid the broken bone in her arm back into position. He then used the planks as splints, and wrapped half of the bandanna tightly around her arm. She groaned, and her eyelids fluttered open. She looked at Jericho, then Ravager, and then finally she saw Robin. The two of them moved as quickly as they could over to Robin. Amazingly, the Teen Wonder was still conscious, although that probably wouldn't last much longer.
Robin groaned. "Feel...dizzy," he moaned, head starting to droop. Robin leaned over and vomited. Jericho rested his hand on Robin's forehead, and the skin felt cold and clammy. He checked the pulse in the carotid artery, the main artery in the neck. Robin's pulse rate was way above normal. Jericho swore in the privacy of his own head. Robin was going into shock. The best way to help a shock victim was to keep talking to them, but, unfortunately for Robin, Jericho had been rendered mute by Jackal's knife.
"What is wrong?" asked Starfire. Jericho pulled out a notebook and a pencil, and quickly scribbled down a note.
He's going into shock. I'll patch up his wounds, you talk to him.
Starfire nodded, and took Robin's free hand in hers. "Robin? Can you hear me?" In the background, Jericho folded the remains of the bandanna into a pad, then pried Robin's arm away and tore away strips of Robin's uniform around the gash.
"Star?" he asked weakly. "That you?"
"Yes, I am here," she said.
"Don't go," said Robin. "Feel so cold..."
Tears started to form in her eyes. "I will never leave you, Richard," she whispered in his ear. "I promise." She kissed his cheek. "I love you."
"I love you too, Kori," whispered Robin. He moaned as Jericho squeezed the edges of the gash shut. Jericho grabbed the makeshift bandage and pressed it hard against the wound. (9) Behind him, a portal opened, and the Titans stepped through, along with several cops. Raven gently pushed Jericho aside.
"I'll handle it from here," she said, and Jericho nodded in relief. "Good job, by the way." Jericho smiled. He was glad that his mother's lessons in first aid had paid off.
The Herald took Jericho aside. "Hey, kid, I don't want to pry, but you said earlier that it was personal, and, well, I was wondering..."
Why it was personal? signed Jericho.
"Yeah," said the Herald. "I mean, I don't want to upset you or anything—"
No, its okay, signed Jericho. He glanced over at Ravager, who'd been pulled to her feet and cuffed by the police. He sighed. She's...she's my sister.
The Herald nodded. "Ah. One of those kind of family reunions, huh?"
Well, I've never actually met her before today, signed Jericho, blushing.
"...oh." The Herald's brain finally made another connection. "So, wait... your father is Slade?" he whispered. Jericho nodded.
"That's rough, buddy."
Starfire staggered to her feet, but she groaned and collapsed, and was caught by Cyborg. Raven and Beast Boy were half-dragging, half-carrying the injured Robin. The Herald opened a portal, and they stepped through.
Robin lay on one of the beds in the Tower's medbay. After receiving some professional help, he'd been transferred back to the Tower. Raven had spent the last week using her healing powers to speed up the healing process, but it had left her tired and exhausted. Starfire was in the bed next to him, her broken arm in a sling. Neither of them would be back to full strength for some time, but the Herald and Jericho were staying in Jump City for a while. Starfire was asleep, snoring gently. Robin, however, was wide awake. He turned his head and looked out the window. It wasn't quite dawn, but Jump City was bustling with activity. The door opened quietly. Robin looked over and saw Jericho walk in. He sat down on a chair at the foot of the bed.
I want to talk to you about something, Jericho signed.
"Ravager?" asked Robin.
Jericho stiffened. How did you know?
"I guessed," said Robin. "She's related to you, somehow, isn't she?"
Jericho looked down sullenly, and then he nodded.
"How is she related to you?" asked Robin.
Older sister, signed Jericho. I didn't know about her until she first arrived here, though.
"Have you talked to her, at all?"
Jericho shook his head.
"Jericho? Thanks for helping me up on the roof."
Jericho smiled. So you're not upset that I didn't tell you I was Slade's son?
"If you wanted to help Slade, you could have just left me up on that rooftop to die," he said. "I trust you because you didn't leave me, even though you are Slade's son."
Jericho's grinned widened, then faded. I'm worried about her, he signed.
"Well, since she didn't actually kill anyone, I reckon the judge will let her off lightly. A few months in prison, maybe just a few months house arrest in the Tower. She could even be let off the hook completely for temporary insanity."
"Well, she was Slade's apprentice," said Robin. "I think that counts as insanity."
Jericho laughed, and Robin smiled. Behind them, the sun started to rise into the sky, and the two heroes turned to watch it light up their home.
1. Obsidian City is where the Titans South will be based, but I'll cover that in another episode.
2. Yeah, the Ravager's real name is Rose. I am not making this up.
3. Back in the day, Wintergreen served in the army with Slade. I figure he'd keep himself in shape.
4. Spells out the name of Slade's wife and Jericho's mother.
5. The traditional response to a question like that.
6. These are the same three guards from the beginning of Divide and Conquer. The numbers are also a 1138 reference, a number that should be familiar to major Star Wars fans, like yours truly.
7. A reference to similar dialogue between Starkiller and General Kota in Star Wars The Force Unleashed II, when the Gorog appears in the arena.
8. I'm taking a few liberties with Jericho's powers here. I'll file it under creative license.
9. Jericho is using proper first aid. Isn't it amazing what you can find when you do your research? (Hint, hint, fellow writers.)
So, that's it for the Ravaged story arc. The next episode is Titans North, and I think the title is self explanatory. The members of Titans North and the location were first listed in Titans Reunited, and those who reread it carefully will spot them. I'll see you then.