Guest: As always, wonderful. Again, some spelling errors, this time it kinda jarred me as I was reading. Well Raven, now you know what the shadow's after. If you'd break the fourth wall more and listened to us, you'd know that. Or you'd ignore us...
I'm sorry to hear that :/ hopefully there will be less spelling errors in this chapter. I'm glad you enjoyed it otherwise though.
discb: Jinx meeting the in-laws... God that could be a fic all on its own.
Good stuff as always.
Ahah that it could. Hmmm… do I see a future short story on the horizon for this series? :P
Elemental Hybrid: I like it. I wasn't quite sure whether Raven would forgive Jinx or not. Keep up the great work.
Neither was I, though I think the fact that Jinx didn't freak out too badly when Raven went all demonic helped her make her decision.
Spikesagitta: Aww, I hope your not getting bored of the pairing! :( I would be a sad shipper if that happen!
And Jinx is a wonderful kisser eh? ;)
Not getting bored of the pairing just…. I'm too interested on the action side of the storyline, so that I get impatient when writing chapters that focus on Rae/Jinx lovey-dovey time haha.
Mttmercado: i am happy? kinda well yes, happy but like flinched when jinx hit the wall and that creep creep was creeping home gurl jinx oh my heart is starting to feeeeeeeeel
Yeah, Jinx hitting that wall wasn't exactly pretty.
nada129: Damn go raven and jinx lol no sexytimes but what a awesome chapter keep up the hard work
Ahah this is probably where I wander away from the original plot and what happened around this time in a way that people won't like xD
Dak Hamee: And shadow man gets owner! Hell yeah. Lol Jinx u best thank whatever god u pray to for raven forgiving u... But u can do that after celebrating with some sexy time XD lololol go Jinx!
Yeah! Go Rae! That she can. I don't think it's just the cat eyes she has. I think she perhaps just used on one of her nine lives :P And celebrating with some sexy time is always a good way to celebrate xD
Stormplains:Good chapter as always and ACK! Shadow man! That was frightening. The change in interest for you is playing out smoothly I thought. Only typos I found were their instead of there when the Shadow was talking and two instances if 'both' becoming 'bother' by accident in the last scene. I am super psyched for more!
Keep writing strong.
Glad you liked. And that's good to hear. I'm trying to make there as little typos as I can but hey, I'm only human.
Izuru: Wow, this is so much better than the original, I'm not saying the original was that bad but this has a lot more detail and a deeper plot you could say. I also noticed a whole chapter was dedicated to the detail maybe even more than a chapter. But with all this new detail in one of my most favourite stories to ever be written on here, I'm reliving a dream with even more detail! I cannot wait for the chapter, but till then keep strong!
Come on, no lies here now. You know the original was crap. I know it was more than crap. I'm glad you're enjoying the re-write though, and hope you continue to enjoy it!
YuriPrince: *Snicker* haha jinx basically gots Rea around her finger when she gets to kissin'. Love When Rea sliped control to protect jinx. If the shadow man is in the Hive's base while Rea puts up the barriers- what would happen to him? Would he like teleport outside or get stuck in?
Pretty much haha. No idea xD Hadn't even thought about it. He'd probably get stuck inside if he wasn't quick enough.
Robin trailed behind the empath unhappily as they wound their way through the crowd of people in the mall.
"Of all the places and times you decide to meet up, it an hour after schools have closed for the day, on a Friday. In a mall. Did you not think there were better times – better places – that wouldn't leave you to waste magic on disguising yourself and wouldn't leave me and my identity in a… delicate situation?"
"Don't worry - you'll see in a minute why Cara decided to meet us here. Just remember, if anyone recognises her and asks, we're her cousins."
"I still don't get it. I mean anyone in this mall could listen in at some point, upset this… deal you with her."
"Not if we look like everyone else." Raven shook her head. "No one's going to really notice us, never mind make the effort to listen in to our conversations."
Robin had noticed the empath had made more of an effort to dress conservatively in blue jeans, a white top and black All Stars. With her skin tone, hair colour and chakra gem covered will illusion magic she looked like any other post-graduate. If anything it was Robin who drew attention with his dark sunglasses and steel-capped boots.
"So exactly who is she? I'm guessing she's a practitioner of some dark magic."
"You know I can't discuss that with you." Raven frowned. "And unlike William, I doubt Cara will share."
"I need to know what we're dealing with."
"You were trained by the world's greatest detective. You'll probably figure it out for yourself."
"Can you at least give me her full name?"
"She currently goes by the name of Cara Shipman."
"Currently?" Robin asked, but Raven didn't expand on her answer.
Reaching Starbucks, Raven took a seat at one of the outside tables, motioning for Robin to sit with her.
"Here?" He frowned, and she nodded. He sighed and shrugged, before saying, "Then I might as well get a coffee. You want a pot of tea?"
Raven considered it a moment and nodded. "Please."
As Robin left her and went inside, Raven kept her eyes on the crowd, looking for Cara's face among the crowd of teenagers and after-work shoppers. She felt the girl's unnatural energy before she saw her, and dressed in a school skirt and blazer, the tie around her neck at half mast with the top two buttons of her shirt undone, she looked like twenty-five percent of the people in the mall. She took the seat opposite the disguised titan, placing her backpack by her feet.
"You know, I was actually surprised when you called. It's been a while since out last little talk." Green eyes glanced around. "I thought you were bringing a friend?"
Raven watched as Cara pulled the elastic band from her blonde hair, running her fingers through it in an attempt to get rid of tangles that weren't there. "He's inside, getting coffee." She answered. "You're early."
"The bus was early." Cara smiled. "So, what did you want to talk about?"
"We'll wait for Robin to join us. I didn't bring him here for nothing."
The girl's eyes narrowed, her face going from pretty to dangerous. "If I'm too late getting back, Cara's parents will begin to worry. It really does make me wish I'd chosen an older body sometimes, but I suppose it's all part of the experience."
"Well, you know the alternative."
"And you know it isn't an option for me. They think I'm perverse – I have no standing among the others. They treat me like a lesser being." She leaned back in her chair and smiled. "But I suppose that makes two of us."
"I have more standing than you."
"Only because of who your daddy is. Of course, if I'm perverse, you're a real freak. Born from a sack of meat…" She shook her head and grinned. "If it weren't for your daddy, you'd have become someone's pet or meal a long time ago."
Raven growled softly and leaned forward, whispering harshly, "Remember whose territory you're in. Talk as much as you want, because that's all it is. If it were true, we wouldn't be here, would we?"
"It's simply courtesy." Cara smiled, but it didn't quite reach those green eyes that wearily watched the empath. "It's rude to enter another's house and act as though you rule the roost, so to speak."
Her glaze slid off Raven and over her shoulder, spotting the young man who walked towards them carrying a tray laid with a mug, cup, tea pot, and a small jug.
"Here comes your friend. Good. We can get down to business. I have two essays that need writing. Sadly, homework doesn't do itself."
Robin was quick to notice the tension radiating between the two girls, and kept his eyes on the school girl as he placed the tray down and took a seat. "Cara, I presume?"
The girl smiled, her face pretty again with the absence of the cruel glint to her eyes. "Robin. It's a pleasure to meet you." She looked at Raven again, watching her make a cup of tea. "So, what did you want?"
"A man who goes by the name William Palmer pointed me in your direction."
The smile left her face once more. "Of course he did."
"The recent murders. In the first body, lack of bruising showed her blood didn't settle as it should have done." Raven spoke quietly, and Robin had to strain to hear her, though Cara seemed to have no such problem. "William confirmed it was something to do with Blood Magic, but not necessarily a spell. He said you'd know what caused it."
Robin stared at Cara as they waited for her reply, his eyes taking in her school uniform, then remembering how… civilised and polite William had been, and how he hadn't looked like a Blood Mage. He looked out at the crowd around them, wondering how many dangerous people were hiding behind society in Jump City.
"Bastard. Only interested in keeping his own ass safe. I'm surprised you haven't figured it out for yourself. Why does blood magic prevent the blood of the sacrifice from settling?" Cara asked, her voice even quieter, and Robin had to lean across the table to hear her.
Raven thought back to the book the Blood Mage had given her, before answering, "It keeps the cells of the blood alive via magic until the caster has used all the energy out of it because dead blood is no good. But it's a high talent, most people have to use whatever power they get from the sacrifice immediately, or waste it."
"The pit in the Church of Blood has been there for hundreds of years. It isn't sheer volume and temperature that keeps the blood warm and red. It's Sebastian." She told her.
"Sebastian?" Robin frowned. "Who?"
"Brother Blood." The empath answered, before telling Cara, "That doesn't answer my question."
"If I knew you were going to be asking these sort of questions, I would have arranged to meet with you somewhere else." The girl muttered. "Perhaps we could do this another time?"
"We're doing it now." Raven growled.
Cara sighed, but shrugged and asked, "Are you aware of how Trigon was given a human vessel in order to procreate with your mother?"
"Only that it involved quite a few human sacrifices and the Pit."
Cara laughed. "More than 'quite a few', Raven. The plan was hitched when the Church of Blood first contacted Trigon while fishing around for a demon that doesn't exist. They started to build their main church shortly after."
Raven's eyes widened. "But that was… a few centuries ago, at least!"
"Closer to a thousand years, I think. Between then and your conception, Trigon had taken two other brides, neither bearing him a child. In fact, I do believe one died during the coupling. Even bound in human flesh, we're a lot stronger than the meat suits."
Raven paled slightly, thinking of the hole she'd punched through the wall the day before, then thinking of Jinx. She's always accepted her emotion-based abilities would make it difficult for her to become emotionally or physically close to another person, but after seeing Robin and Starfire make it despite Starfire's inhuman strength, Raven had forgotten it wasn't just the powers she gained from her soul self that she had to worry about. Starfire had to feel specific emotions to trigger her strength. Raven didn't have to feel anything.
Cara smiled, noticing the change in Raven's expression. "You have someone in mind, Raven?"
Robin frowned when Raven didn't rise to tell her otherwise – something the empath would have usually done – but saved his questions for later, asking instead, "You said 'we'. You're a demon too?"
"Hopefully, that information gave you a idea on how many deaths it took to give Trigon a fully functional body created from scratch." Cara ignored Robin. "So, how many deaths do you think it would take to accumulate the energy to give your murderer his half formed body?"
Raven didn't answer, seeing in her mind Jinx hit the brick wall again and the damage she'd done with a shove she hadn't even meant to do. Robin waited a few seconds, before trying again. "How do you know what he looks like?"
She ignored that question too, answering her own instead. "A couple of years if they worked quickly. How long has it been since you ruined that first apocalypse?"
"But there hasn't been an influx in missing people or deaths." Robin told her, "Anywhere in America within the past few years."
"What does Gotham have an abundance of?" Cara asked, finally acknowledging the leader of the titans, and he scowled at her.
"What does any of this have to do with Gotham?"
"It's the location of the main church." Raven muttered unhappily, before answering the girl. "Homeless people."
"We've been looking for the completely wrong thing." Raven cringed. "Are you saying that whatever he is, he's a creation of the Church of Blood?"
"You're the one who said it, not me." Cara said, but she smiled.
"…How does that explain what we found with the first body?"
"Well, he is a walking body of energy created by Blood Magic Raven. Maybe that's causing it. Or maybe the bodies you've found, he's killed to extend the time his body remains 'solid', so to speak. Trigon never had more than twelve hours in his human shell. Long enough to mate and hold council with his followers, but that's all."
"Twelve hours? But we haven't been finding that many bodies." Robin frowned.
"Different bodies burn energy at different rates." Cara answered. She looked at Raven, noted the faraway look on her face, and stood. "I think I've given you more than enough information to work with, so I'll be leaving. If any of this gets back to me…"
When Raven didn't respond, Robin nodded. "We know. It won't."
"Make sure it doesn't." She smoothed out her skirt and picked up her back before leaving, almost instantly melting into the crowd.
Robin looked at the empath, then at the tea in her cup, hardly touched. "You okay?"
"How did I miss this?" She asked quietly. "I've been watching them so carefully. I should have-"
"Told me the main church was in Gotham. I could have helped – informed Batman and have him keep an eye on them too. New York is the other side of the country. It's humanely impossible to keep a close eye on something so far away."
"Exactly." She stood, stepping to one side and neatly sliding her chair under the table. "Come on – we should get back to the tower, tell the others what we've learnt."
As she walked past him, Robin stopped her with a hand on her shoulder. "Whatever they're trying to achieve, we don't let them."
"It's not like we've been able to stop them so far." She muttered.
As they made their way from the garage to the common room, Robin stopped the empath, a light frown on his face. "Before we go any further, I want to clear up a few things."
Raven nodded. "That's understandable. She gave us quite a bit of information."
"Well, first of all – and don't lie – are you okay?"
Raven scowled at him. "There is a serial killer on the lose that isn't human, seemed to be targeting me for some reason, and was apparently created by the cult that worships my father. How do you think I'm doing?"
"We'll stop him." Robin told her.
"Was there something else you wished to mention, or did you simple want to ask stupid questions?"
"Cara. What is she? A Halfling?"
The empath frowned, thinking a moment before saying, "You didn't hear this from me. You worked it out yourself, okay? Cara Shipman was in a coma until four years ago after a bad car crash. She had been declared brain dead and they had been about to pull the plug to her life support when the Cara you met took possession of the body. I have her two options four years ago. To be Cara, or to get out. In her defence, out of all my contacts she needs watching the least. She… enjoys playing the human."
Robin stared at her in disbelief, asking, "You know a demon had possessed a young girl and you did nothing about it?"
"She'd been declaired brain dead, Robin. She wasn't coming back. So long as Cara plays model daughter and citizen, I don't see what the problem is."
"The problem is that a couple are unknowingly living with a demon they believe to be their daughter." Robin told her, before he sighed and let the topic drop. "What's done is done.
"Now, if that's sorted..?"
"You're seeing someone." Robin said, a statement, not a question.
Raven couldn't seem to decide if she should turn paler, or blush. She shook her head. "I am not having this conversation with you."
"What do you expect me to say? That you can't date?" Robin frowned. "I wish you had told me, then I wouldn't have had to worry so much during the last few weeks, because you have been disappearing for a few hours at a time quite a lot, and with the Shadow out there… Anyway, I saw your face when Cara talked about-"
"Oh no." She interrupted quickly and started walking. "I am certainly not having this conversation with you."
"Star had worried about it too, you know." Robin said, and Raven hesitated, before stopping and saying,
"Just spare me the details."
"She said in order to access her alien strength, she has to be feeling strong confidence or something. I know you have more strength than you like to let on, a lot more. And I know what Cara said worried you. Why don't you… talk to Starfire about it?" Raven let out a breath of relief, happy Robin hadn't taken it upon himself to do anything more than mention the topic. "I mean, she hasn't crushed me yet."
Raven resisted the urge to bang her head against something, thinking she needed to listen to her own advice for once and not be like Beast Boy and jinx everything. "I really do not need the mental images that are coming with this conversation, and I am not talking about my personal life with either of you."
"Is he a civilian?" He asked, and Raven didn't answer. "Well, civilian or not, you realise you need to be able to talk to him about-"
"Not having is conversation." She started walking again. "Who do you think you are, my Mother?"
"I'm your leader and your friend. I'm trying to help."
"I don't need your help. Not with this. Definitely not with this."
"Then tell me you'll speak with Star. If you're thinking about sharing a bed with someone-"
Raven groaned and tried to walk faster. "Why would you even start this conversation? You've only just clicked on I'm seeing someone and you already feel the need to-"
"I want to know you're fully aware of the differences between-"
Raven stopped walking, and turned to face Robin. "Fully aware of everything that could ever go wrong? You're many years too late – the Monks made sure I knew all about that a long time ago, so please, can you just drop this conversation?"
"I just don't want to see this go… badly for you." Robin frowned.
"Okay, thanks. Your concern is… remotely appreciated. Now, when are you going to turn back into the guy who is completely oblivious to people's feelings and way to manly to even consider having a serious conversation about something like this?"
"You'll talk to Starfire?"
"Yes, if it'll shut you up."
"And in the future you'll let me know when you'll be leaving the tower t go out on a date?"
"Yes. Are we done?"
Robin nodded. "So, when do we get to meet him?"
"You're as bad as Starfire." Raven muttered in reply, hesitating before saying. "I'm not sure who 'he' is, but you'll be waiting a long time if that's what you're expecting."
She moved ahead of him, letting him frown to himself as she entered the common room. Looking up, they found everyone stood around the main computer, a grim, sedated feeling to the room, both Raven and Robin instantly picked up on it.
"What's wrong?" Robin asked as he moved to join them.
"You just missed a call from the police." Cyborg said as he turned to look at them. "Three more girls have been reported missing, and another body, the same as the rest, has been found." Raven and Robin's embarrassment from the conversation just had disappeared under the weight of the news, Cyborg saying, "Please tell me your 'meeting' with this girl has given us something we can use, or given us a lead, or something."
"We have a lead." Robin nodded. "The word is, our Shadow was created in Gotham. By the Church of Blood."
"But I thought… Raven I thought you said you had been observing them and they'd done nothing particularly suspicious in nature." Starfire frowned.
"I missed something." Raven told her.
"And you just believe this girl?" Beast Boy frowned. "What if she's just tryin' to stir things up?"
"When I was out yesterday, I ran into the shadow. He… mentioned my father."
"You ran into him yesterday?" Robin asked, "And you didn't think to tell me? Didn't think to call for backup?"
"I handled it." Raven shrugged. "My point is, you were right, and I refused to see it. Somehow he is targeting me in his own long winded way. And now we know why. At least, we have a link between him and me."
"So Trigon's trying to make a comeback then?" Cyborg asked unhappily.
The empath frowned. "I'm not sure. This seems a little long winded for my father, and I don't know what he'd gain from the creation of this creature. If it is the Church of Blood, I think this is a new game they're playing."
"But what game?" Robin frowned.
"It could be some… experiment." Raven shrugged. "Just because the Church of Blood created them, doesn't mean they sent him after me. He could have chosen to do this himself."
"Which would leave us without a motive." The leader of the titans muttered.
"I think me being half demon is motive enough. Or for the Church, the fact I reversed Trigon's rein on earth."
"Still, that doesn't help us narrow it down any more." Robin sighed. "So, three more girls missing? For how long?"
"One, a Mary Fellett, has been missing for over twenty-four hours. The other two were last seen no longer than six hours ago. It's only been reported because they match the profile. The police will call us if they find them alive, or dead. Fingers crossed the Shadow doesn't have them."
"And the body?"
"Found in a children's play park. Same as the rest – no outside trauma, a brunette… body drained."
Robin frowned at Raven. "Something Cara said, about Blood Magic sometimes keeping the blood used 'alive' via artificial means if it's going to be used over a period of time. Does that mean if we look at the first body again – the only one that still had blood – we'd see it acting normal, as it should have done in the first place?"
"In theory." Raven nodded slowly. "And it would confirm why he's been killing these girls."
"Shall we see if we can get another look at the first body?" Robin asked.
The empath nodded. "It would confirm what Cara told us. About the Church being involved. Let us know we're going in the right direction."
"And I think we need to do something in order to keep people safer. Too many people are going missing too quickly. We need to talk to the police and get a temporary curfew or something set into place. We have to be able to do something."