A short update, but I'm getting the blood vessels in my nose cauterized tomorrow (that's getting them burnt off with silver nitrate for those who don't know), and I'm too nervous (*cough* scared shitless *cough*) to concentrate on writing. Should have the next chapter to 'Changes' up soon though, and I'm working on the next chapter to 'Hunted' whenever I can spare the time :)
Discb: Got to say, I am quite fond of that pairing myself haha
Concolor44: Glad you thought so! Yeah, that might not be so easy…
Faded Flight: Yeah, I noticed them when I re-read it. Glad they're not too bad.
Silently Watches: No. At least not meet in the fashion where they know they're both undercover 'spies'. Not as far as I've planned, anyway. Glad you are! Hopefully the actual moment won't prove to be a letdown.
Stormplains: Ahah glad you liked. And thanks xD
Spikesagitta: No rush, but apparently my muse is still managing to find opportunities to get in an update here for there (I should probably concentrate on one of my other stories that hasn't been updated in a while…)
Juniper Night: I quite like this new box actually. It is convenient. Ahah good for you – you have more self discipline than I do – I finished an entire story when I SHOULD have been revising for my A-Level exams. Both years, actually. I probably should have done something like that instead. Oh well. And not yet. She will get her time though.
I'm a Lover not a Hater: Hope it isn't a disappointment
Fury Munroe: Ahah glad you do! And well, that's nice to hear. I remember when I was new to the couple (you can thank Concolor44 for introducing me to them in one of his fanfics). I DON'T remember what I did with all my free time before I started writing Rae/Jinx fics though… Thanks :) and hopefully you'll continue to like the rest of the upcoming chapters too!
Angelic Toaster: Glad you liked :) and fun? I never moved house before, never mind country. I don't really know what to expect haha.
Layab The Dark Saiyan: Well, thanks for leaving that review anyway lmao. Wait, what's this? Another update? (Yeah, I wasn't expecting it either.) And oooooooh I am so eager to get to that bit. Just imagine all the juicy, tense, and angst emotions! xD
strangeR XD: Maybe. Just a little bit. Though I doubt she'll admit it up front :'D Glad you liked, and so do I! xD
GinsengH: Loved the chapter. I'm really interested to see how Cyborg's infiltration plays out this time around.
Glad you did :) Hopefully the reading proves interesting to you :)
Merophe: Can't wait for the update!
It's killing me :[
Drama queen :P Here it is :)
Cyborg backed up, quickly making sure his arm was covered by the image the holographic ring gave him.
"Don't bother trying to run." Jinx grinned.
"You won't get far." Mammoth added. "The whole school's in on it."
"In on what?" Stone frowned as he came to a stop.
"What do you think, pie-for-brains? Your initiation." Gizmo answered, holding out a pink dress and unicycle, an evil glint in his eyes.
"Haha! That's it?" His relief made his voice hitch up several octaves as he stopped worrying his cover had been blown.
"Don't laugh. You have to eat the unicycle."
Stone looked at Mammoth in disbelief. "You've got to be joking."
"Wait… if this is some kinda initiation, shouldn't Raven be here?" He asked, grasping at straws in an attempt to avoid the situation.
"You're not makin' the rules here snot-brain. We are."
Okay, so here's what I got; apparently it's meant to like, duplicate the strength of whatever energy passes through it. From what I can gather, it'll only work on energy that's wielding like a projectile."
"So, say we gave it to someone like Jinx?" Raven asked.
"She could topple a building with… let's say two hits? Give it to someone like me, an' one if my stings could probably stop a guy's heart." Bumble Bee answered. "We're lookin' at a seriously dangerous thing here, if it got into the wrong hands."
"It's started in the wrong hands. But he's only made one?"
"For the moment. So, figured out how you're plannin' on stopping Blood?"
"I've got one or two ideas." She shrugged. "Nothing solid yet. It's not exactly going to be easy."
"So if we're done? No offence, but I don't feel like hangin' around here. Apparently your friends have got somethin' planned for the new guy; somethin' involving a pink dress, an' I'll be damned if I miss that. I'm surprised you aint with them. He's a big guy – figured they'd need your help to convince him into it."
"Hmph." Raven followed Bumble Bee as she moved towards the doors leading out of the library.
"What? You don't like him?"
The empath admitted to herself that she'd spent a great deal of time trying to avoid the teenager, despite her plan of getting his help. She shrugged, "What do you think of him?"
"He's kinda skittish, but nice enough for a bad guy. He aint exactly hard on the eyes either." She grinned. The girl wasn't surprised when Raven didn't reply, quickly becoming used to her quiet nature. "Your friend's taken quite a likin' to him, aint she?"
Raven shrugged. "Apparently he's very likable."
"So why don't you?"
"I don't dislike him. I'm just indifferent. Why?"
"He's a new guy in a school I'm trying to keep an eye on, and I know everyone else. Thought you might 'ave something useful to tell me since your friends are intent on dragging him into their little group."
"I don't think you'll have to worry about him much."
"Right." She forced Raven to come to a stop. "Before we leave here, you still owe me for the information on the weapon thing, and you'd said you'd answer that question for me last time."
"You wanted to know where I knew Brother Blood from." Raven spoke after a moment's thought.
"Yeah. I mean, the way you talk 'bout him, I'd say you hating him so much is due to something personal."
"I never said I hated him."
"You never said you didn't." She shrugged,
"Hate is a dangerous emotion. I try not to hate anything."
"Okay, whatever. Just answer the question."
"I believe I told you he is the head priest of the Church of Blood. My … family has links to them."
"Umm, no, actually. You aint mentioned that before."
"Then the Church of Blood is a religious group."
"And they worship..?"
"Riiight. So, they're just as crazy as every other religious crackpot."
"Perhaps more." Raven replied with a small smile. "I may hold a bit of a personal grudge against him, but that doesn't remove the fact that he's still a dangerous individual."
"I got the memo, don't worry. Now, how about we go watch some six foot three guy parade around in a dress? Obviously, I won't be stood next to you though."
"Actually, I'll be staying here. I have some work that needs finishing."
Bumble Bee shrugged. "Suit yourself."
"…so, that's why any good doomsday threat needs, what?"
Raven frowned at Gizmo as his hand shot into the air enthusiastically, the boy fidgeting as though it would make Brother Blood more likely to choose him.
Everyone turned to look at the new kid as his head snapped up, having been caught off guard by the question. "Eerrrmmm… Effective misdirection?"
Stone grinned sheepishly at Jinx , who was sat beside him, while Gizmo glared at him from behind, sinking down into his seat.
"Moving on; I'm sure you all remember that little test we had the other week on the Chaos Theory." Brother Blood grabbed a stack of papers that had been sat on the desk next to him. "I must say, I am very disappointed with how many of you achieved low scores. I expected better from my top class. That's why anyone who achieved lower than 50% will be re-sitting the paper next week. That gives you enough time to … refresh your memories. Kyd Wykkyd, if you could hand these out? Mr Stone, you shall be taking the test along with those re-sitting, since you missed it. Someone with your intellect shouldn't struggle, even if you are at a setback, having only a week to prepare."
Gizmo impatiently watched the silent boy hand out the papers, all but snatching his off Kyd.
"One mark off 100%? But…" He grabbed for Raven's paper as it touched her desk, ignoring the scornful look she gave him. "How the hell did you get full marks when I didn't?"
"Well, at least I don't have to re-sit." Jinx muttered after giving her own paper a quick glance, before looking behind her at Mammoth. "How'd you do?"
"…39%." He answered unhappily.
"No surprise there." Gizmo replied as he scanned Raven's paper for the mark he missed. "I'm just surprised you didn't get lower."
The empath grabbed her paper off the boy, neatly folding it before tucking it inside one of her books.
Brother Blood regained the class's attention. "We'll have one more class covering the various advanced threats that can be used, before having a test on the subject. Your grades better have improved by then. Class dismissed."
"Two tests?" Mammoth frowned. "Hey Raven, think you could..?"
"Hey!" Gizmo leapt to his feet, and waved his arms about. "Heelloo. Genius over here, not there! Why aren't you askin' me? I'm the smart one!"
"Because you can't explain anything without sounding condescending." Raven answered, before looking back at Mammoth. "I suppose I could try."
"Right, well looks like I have some serious catchin' up to be doin'." Stone stood up. "I'll catch y'all later."
Raven watched him leave the classroom, before she stood up, gathering her books. She held her hand out towards Mammoth. "Give me your paper, and I'll look at where you went wrong."
"Thanks Rae. I owe you one."
She shrugged, putting the paper beside her own before moving to leave the room. She picked up speed as the door closed behind her until she'd caught up with Stone.
"We need to talk."
The boy jumped, turning to look at Raven in shock. "When did you..?"
"Are you going towards the dorms?"
"Umm… yeah. Why?"
Raven didn't answer, her eyes glowing white as she gathered Stone and herself in dark energy, teleporting to her room within the academy.
The boy jumped back the moment the energy vanished, shivering violently. "No offence girl, but that is fucked up." He glanced around the room. "Where are we?"
"My dorm room. Like I said, we need to talk."
"And we couldn't have done it in the hallway, because?"
"I'm sure you've noticed how heavily wired the academy is. Here there are no cameras or recorders Brother Blood or any of his… lackeys could be monitoring." She moved towards her desk, turning her back on him as she put her books down.
"Wait, what exactly did you wanna talk about? Because I think I'm missin' something."
"Come now Cyborg, you're a little slow, aren't you?"
She heard his sonic cannon activate, and turned to face him. The titan's holoring was still in effect apart from around his right forearm, which had turned into the sound-powered weapon.
"If I wanted to harm you, or reveal your true identity to the school, I would have done so while I had you within the folds of my soul self. In fact, if those were my intensions, I would have done so the moment I saw you sat in the cafeteria on your first day here."
Cyborg watched her warily, keeping his sonic cannon aimed at her. "How'd you work it out?"
"Stone shares your energy signature – an energy signature that is fairly distinctive, due to the fact that you're half machine."
"Energy signature?" He frowned.
"I am an empath, among other things." Raven glanced at his weapon. "I knew Robin placed that tracker on Jinx, during the bank robbery. I could have easily removed it, but I didn't, and it wasn't so we could lead you into a trap."
"I had gone with the intention of cornering one of your team mates and attempting talking to them, to… well, ask for your help. Now, could you please disarm? Despite putting me on edge, any attack would probably alert and attract unwanted attention, and would have little success in injuring me anyway."
Cyborg slowly lowered the sonic cannon before powering it down, the weapon folding back down into a mechanic hand, which was quickly covered by the image the holorings gave out. "You want our help?" He clarified, somewhat sceptically.
"I had tried to find alternative means first, trust me. But now that you're here… I had been expecting your entire team to show up, and if they had we wouldn't need to have this conversation, but here we are. I'm going to assume you're here to find out why our raids have almost doubled recently, and that you're not that interested in the headmaster himself."
"You assumed right. Any chance you'll tell me what this 'class project' is?"
"The depends. I need Brother Blood out of this school. Any chance you'll help me with that?"
"You want to get rid of your head teacher?" The titan frowned. "Why?"
Raven pulled her legs up and crossed them underneath her, leaving Cyborg bewildered at how effortless her transition from standing to levitating appeared. She motioned towards the single bed behind him. "You can sit down, you know."
"This gonna be a long story?"
"Perhaps. That depends on how many questions you have."
"Okay…" He glanced around the room before backing up slightly and perching on the edge of the bed. "So, why do you wanna get rid of this guy?"
"You might have noticed from time to time the students act out of character."
"First day, during combat practice." Cyborg nodded. "I mean, so way is a school of teenage criminals that… organised or together."
"It wasn't. Although our previous headmistress kept everyone in line most of the time, the school had its fair share of fights between students, even students and teachers. Usually over objects that had gone 'missing'. Brother Blood arrived here perhaps two months ago, after our late headmistress went missing. He's a telepath. He hadn't been here long before he started using mass mind control."
Raven nodded. "As far as I'm aware, currently only three of us remain unaffected."
"You, me, and..?"
"Another 'student'. They're here to spy on the school, much like you are."
"I promised I wouldn't reveal their identity, and I won't."
"A thief that keeps her promises?" Cyborg frowned, before shrugging. "Okay. Any idea what's keeping us… immune from this mind control shit?"
"I know why I remain unaffected, although I don't know why you and this other student aren't. They claim it's because they're strong willed, which could have something to do with it, and mentally he can't control the cybernetic parts of your body."
Cyborg leaned forward slightly, suddenly looking anxious. "He doesn't know, does he? I mean, Blood doesn't know we aint controlling us like everyone else?"
"He knows he can't control me, as for you two, I'd assume he doesn't. That's the downfall of trying to control large groups of people; you don't get any insight on how it's effecting each individual."
"Okay, so you want me to do what exactly? Fight off this guy? You're not exactly powerless. I mean, we know you can kick butt, from experience. Why don't you do it?"
"I can't. He's… threatened my teammates. If I moved to oppose him while he was still in control of them, I'd be risking their lives. Hence why I'm asking for your help."
"Man, my brain's still five pages behind. This was just supposed to be some recon thing. You know, grab info and get out."
"So you're not going to help?" Raven asked, before shrugging slightly. "I suppose realistically, I didn't think you would."
"Hang on now, I didn' say that. What about this other spy? You been talking to them?"
"We trade information regularly."
"You really are serious 'bout this aren't you? Working with the good guys to get at this dude?"
"Why wouldn't I be?"
Cyborg shrugged. "I dunno. There's a first time for everything, I guess. What can you tell me about the class project thing?"
"I don't really know much about it and I'm guess there are only a select few who do. It's some kind of weapon. I do know that much. It's compact, and there's only one that's been built so far. It's supposed to enhance the energy output of an individual or something."
"You're not in on it? But you're like, one of the school's best students."
"I told you earlier, Brother Blood knows he can't control me."
"You two are on bad terms or somethin', aren't you?"
"We don't exactly get along, but that is irrelevant. What matters is that he has an entire school under his control, and he will shortly have control of an extremely dangerous weapon."
"You sure you don't know more about this thing? Like, I dunno, some way to shut it down?" Cyborg asked.
"An' so long as you don't do anything stupid, your team mates are safe for the moment, yeah?"
"…I wouldn't call it safe, but Blood will have no reason to harm them."
"Okay then. Let's just continue as normal for a little while longer, before we decide what we're doing. I mean I wanna know as much as I can about this weapon. Not to mention we'll need a good plan if he really has got all the students here under his control."
"So you're going to help?" Raven asked, relief flooding through her, though there was little outside change, her voice still as monotone as ever.
"I mean, I'm not promising anything, but yeah, I'm gonna try. Bad guy or not, that's kinda what our job is, aint it?"
"… Thank you."
Cyborg stood up and made his way over to the door. "It's cool."
"I'll let you know if I find out anything more on this weapon."
"Ditto. Blood seems to like me – who knows, maybe I'll be able to get in on everything." He turned to look at the empath, one hand on the door handle. "I'm still tryin' to make sense of all this, but I guess weirder things have happened. You know Rae, you… might wanna consider changing sides. You aint all that bad a person."
She glared at him. "My name is Raven."
"Right. Sorry. I'd just heard the others callin' you it, and thought it was okay."
"They're my friends. I don't believe you are, however."
"Sorry." He repeated as he started to open the door to leave. Raven stopped him.
"One more thing." She waited until Cyborg was looking at her before she continued. "Apparently Jinx has… taken quite a liking to you. If you hurt her, I will return the favour."
"I'm not planning to hurt anyone." He replied, and Raven shrugged, her face unreadable.
"Planned or not, hurt her and I'll hurt you."
Cyborg didn't know how to reply, so left the room instead, frowning as he made his down the corridor.
Sorry about any typos. If I can't concentrate on writing, there is no way I can concentrate enough to edit it!