Any one who thinks they've read this before, you probably have. This is my 3rd time editing and reposting this. I'm too much of a perfectionist.
I'd like to thank MGD who was Beta for the first 2 chapters.
DISCLAIMER: All characters belong to DC comics.
Early Morning Howls
There it was again- a horrific howling that sent shivers down their spines. It was human sounding in an unnerving way, even though, the Titans had never heard a human make a sound like this. However, the sound wasn't made by just any human. This howl came from the young changeling standing in the early light of dawn. A limp figure lay in his arms covered by a torn cloak. One pale arm hung lamely almost scraping across the tall grass, which glistened moist with early morning dew. Nightwing, Starfire, and Cyborg closed in around Beast Boy as he collapsed to his knees.
Beast Boy looked up into the faces of the three remaining Titans. The anguish was evident on his face. He removed the cloak to reveal a girl about the same age as him. Her hair was a deep royal purple, and her skin was ghastly pale. The Titans simply looked on in horror as they drew closer. Beast Boy's howls became sobs as he held the frail figure of Raven in his arms tightly, afraid to let her go fearing the worst.
Starfire turned and cried into the shoulder of Nightwing, who remained still, shocked by Raven's appearance. Realizing that Starfire was burrowing her head into his shoulder, he wrapped an arm around her.
"Raven," whispered Cyborg with an ounce of hope that her appearance looked worse than it actually was.
"No, this isn't right. It shouldn't have happened." Nightwing said under his breath. "What happened to her?" Nightwing asked looking over her body, assessing the wounds that she had sustained in a battle that she had undoubtedly lost.
Despite her usual nature pallor, they all saw that Raven was entirely too pale. The amount of blood soaking through her cloak was alarming.
Disturbing the quiet sorrow, a device on Cyborg's arm started to beep. He looked at it and did a double take realizing what it meant. The distraught look on his face turned into a solemn smile.
"She's alive," he spoke softly. The other three looked at him with tear-stained faces.
"What?" Nightwing said meekly as his voice quivered with emotion.
"She's alive! There's a faint heartbeat and very little brain activity, but she is definitely alive!" he exclaimed. With that, he pressed several buttons.
A moment later, they heard the faint hum of the T-car racing over the hills towards them. Before the car completely stopped, all the doors flung open. Quickly, everyone clambered into the vehicle. Beast Boy sat in the middle with Raven on his lap. Starfire was on his left with Nightwing on the right. Nightwing leaned over the seat to get blankets from the trunk to cover Raven's battered, half-naked body.
"We need to get back to the tower now! She's already lost too much blood, and isn't breathing properly!" shouted Cyborg reading off the scanners on his arm, "Star, use her cloak as a compress to slow down the bleeding. BB, keep her head tilted back so she can breathe better."
"Cy, we need to call the Doc. This is more than you and I can handle," said Nightwing pulling out his communicator.
"Call Dr. Mid-Nite and tell him to get to the Tower. A.S.A.P." Cyborg replied not taking his eyes off the road.
"Oracle! It's Nightwing. Contact Dr. Mid-Nite. It's urgent! Tell him to get to Titans Tower immediately. Raven was attacked. It's really bad. I'm afraid that she could die without the right help. Thanks Ba- Oracle." Nightwing hung up and focused on Raven.
Cyborg greatly exceeded the speed limit using the nitrous-powered engines to go as fast as possible. They reached the tower in less than ten minutes. Starfire carried Raven flying as fast as she could through the multitude of winding stairs and corridors to the infirmary. Gently, she placed Raven down on a bed. Starfire continued to apply pressure to the visable wounds while she waited for the boys to get there. Beast Boy arrived first in the form of a cheetah followed by Nightwing and Cyborg.
Cyborg ran to the medical fridge pulling out a bag of blood with RAVEN on the label. Then, he headed to the cupboard next to Raven's bed. He pulled out tubes and needles and hooked up to her right arm to replace the blood that she had lost. Next, he slipped a tube down her throat, so she could breathe. Finally, he placed an EKG clip on to her left index finger, which brought the monitor on the side of the bed to life. It showed a faint heart beat at about 20 beats a minute-faint but consistent. At last, Cyborg set up the surgical sheets and operation instruments.
"BB and Star, we need you two to wait outside while we work on Raven. It could take quite awhile," Cyborg quietly said, as he started to cut away the bloody and tattered unitard that still clung to her body. Seeing that both were about to protest, he said softly, "I don't want you to see Raven like this."
"Heads up, Titans. Dr. Mid-Nite is teleporting in," said a computerized voice over the P.A system in the Tower.
"Who's that?" asked Beast Boy looking at Starfire. She just shrugged and motioned for him to follow her out the room.
"Thanks, Oracle," replied Nightwing giving a quick smile to one of the cameras around the room knowing Oracle was watching.
A brilliant flash of light lit up the center of the room. Standing next to Dr. Mid-Nite, an elderly lady exclaimed, "Oh my lord! Never again, Oracle!"
"Leslie? What are you?" Nightwing started to mumble.
"Oracle rang me saying that you needed immediate medical assistance," she answered his unfinished question, "Hello, I don't think we've been introduced. I'm Dr. Thompkins, but please, call me Leslie."
"I am Dr. Mid-Nite, Pieter. Perhaps we should leave the formal introductions until after the patient is away from death's doorway," replied the JSA Doctor looking over Raven's vitals.
"Quite right," Leslie concurred preparing for the long surgery ahead.
"Let's see what we're dealing with here," said Leslie as she lifted a blanket to reveal Raven's naked, war-torn body. They shuttered in horror when they saw three bullet holes-two in her abdomen and the third almost in the center of her chest, a multitude of scrapes and fresh bruising.
"We need to do an X-ray," said Nightwing.
"Already on it," said Cyborg waving his left arm over Ravens entire body. The screen above Raven's head turned on with the x-ray image. Then, they saw the internal damage, two broken ribs with one dangerously close to puncturing the right lung. Her right arm was broken in three places, and there was a fracture on the back of her skull.
"She took quite a few hits. We're going to be here for awhile. First, we need to repair the ribs before they puncture the lung and remove the bullets while we have her open. After that, we will stitch up any holes that they made. Then, we'll set the bones back in place in the arm." said Dr. Mid-Nite in a monotone voice.
"Alright. Let's get started," replied Leslie.