Hey guys! I'm back!
First of all, thanks to everyone who has read Titans Alone and the rest of my season six stories. Thank you very much. I hope you guys had as much fun reading them as I did writing them.
Now, here's something I promised when I finished writing Titans Reunited. That's right, a sequel! This story is set, I don't know, about three or four months after TR? Anyway, about the only real important thing that's happened between then and now is that Nightwing and Starfire are now married. YAY!
*Ahem* Anyhoo, this story focuses more on Raven and her past, but I'm also going to delve a little into the other Titans lives. This story might also be a bit darker than the rest of my season six stories. I'd better shut up now, or I'll spoil the big surprises.
Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, shape or form, own the Teen Titans. They, and everything that comes with them, ultimately belongs to DC Comics. I am not making any profit in any way by using their properties in this fashion.
Now, with that out of the way, let's get started, shall we?
Teen Titans: The Seven Deadly Sins
Chapter One: Twisted Reflections
There was a gaping hole in the wall of the Bank of Perez. This hole had not been created by an explosion, but by magic; specifically, the magic powers of Mumbo Jumbo. Mumbo was a stage magician who had stumbled upon a real magic hat and wand, giving him magical powers... at the cost of his sanity. He had since reinvented himself as a master (horrible) thief, and was an enemy of the Titans West... who had just shown up to take him back to prison.
"Mumbo," said Nightwing, a small smirk tugging at his lips. "I was wondering where you'd disappeared to."
Mumbo gasped, a comical expression of shock and dismay passing across his blue face. He pulled off his hat and shoved the bag of cash into it, and rummaged around for a few seconds, eventually pulling out a gun. He aimed the gun at the Titans, and Raven created a shield of dark matter to protect her friends. Mumbo pulled the trigger, and the gun fired... and a small rod slid out, and a flag unfurled. The flag had a cartoon explosion drawn on it, and the word "BANG!" written across it. The Titans all sighed in relief, and Raven lowered her shield.
"Whew," said Changeling, pretending to wipe sweat of his brow, "For a second there, I was actually worried."
Mumbo growled, and whacked the gun against his thigh. "Why doesn't this thing ever work properly?" he asked no-one in particular. He aimed the gun again, the flag still exposed, and fired again. This time, the flag was fired out like a spear, striking Cyborg's metal shoulder.
"Ow," moaned the half-mechanical man. "That hurt."
Raven looked at him, raising an eyebrow.
"What?" asked Cyborg. "I got built-in pain sensors, okay?"
Starfire fired a starbolt, knocking the flag gun out of Mumbo's hand.
"The Joker called," said Nightwing. "He wants his flag gun back." The masked hero threw one of his discs at the gun, now resting on the floor. The disc exploded on impact, destroying the gun. "I told him it was confiscated."
Mumbo muttered something under his breath, and rummaged around inside his hat again. This time, he pulled out a deck of cards with razor sharp edges, and started hurling them at Nightwing. Nightwing pulled out his collapsible bo staff, and started spinning it, blocking the cards that came flying towards him. Starfire used her starbolts to vaporise the few that he missed. Mumbo pulled out a bouquet of flowers, with a rather obvious lit fuse sticking out of it, looked at it, shrugged, and tossed that at the Titans. Cyborg fired his sonic cannon at the poorly-disguised bomb, blowing it up into a shower of confetti. Mumbo angrily jammed his hat on his head and pulled out his wand, waving it theatrically.
"Mumbo Jumbo!" he shouted. "Abracadabra! Alakazam! Hocus Pocus! Whatever!"
A white light emanated from the tip of the wand, lancing out and passing harmlessly through the five Titans. The light retreated, and five blobs appeared between Mumbo and the Titans. The blobs expanded, growing arms, legs, and faces; familiar faces.
Starfire gasped, her hand covering her mouth.
"Wh-wha...?" Changeling stuttered in confusion.
Five people stood between Mumbo and the Titans. The first man was dressed in a leather jacket and pants, with a bullet-proof vest visible under the jacket, a utility belt not unlike the one Nightwing wore, and wore a red hood that completely obscured his face. A woman floated in the air just behind him, her black hair contrasting with the blood red Tamaranean royalty outfit she wore, her eyes glowing purple and her hands surrounded by purple energy. The middle figure could only be called a man because it was based on a masculine model: a robot with red eyes and a slit for a mouth, built almost exactly like Cyborg, only slightly bulkier, and now without the flashy red circuitry. Next to him was a woman, wearing a red sleeved leotard, red boots and a red hooded cloak, with four red eyes glowing ominously under the hood. The man kneeling on the ground in front of them had obvious claws on his hands and exposed feet. His uniform was shredded around the lower parts of the sleeves and pants, exposing green skin. He gave the Titans a feral grin, showing razor sharp fangs. They were Red Hood, Blackfire, Gadget, Rage and Beast. They were—
"The Teen Tyrants," gasped Nightwing.
"But that is impossible," said Starfire, slipping into her old speech habits from shock. "They are from another universe, and Rage is—"
"Tyrants, attack!" yelled Red Hood, pulling out two bird-a-rangs and combining them into a sword.
"No time to talk!" said Nightwing. "Titans, GO!"
As the two teams clashed, Mumbo looked at his wand in amazement. "It's never done that before," he said to the reader, his insanity allowing him to break the fourth wall. "Oh well." He shrugged and waved his wand at his hat. "Time for me to disappear." He waved at the reader, and then grabbed the brim of his top hat and pulled it outwards, expanding the hat. He pulled the large hat over himself, and once the brim of the hat touched the ground, the top hat shrank back to its normal size, before disappearing in a puff of smoke.
Red Hood slashed his sword at Nightwing, and Nightwing tried to block the blow with his staff. The sword smashed into the staff, sending shockwaves down both combatants' arms. Nightwing tried to twist his staff around to hit Red Hood with it, but the criminal squirmed out of the way. Red Hood pushed against the staff with his sword, causing the masked hero to stagger back a step. Red Hood swung at Nightwing again, this time knocking the staff out of his hands. Red Hood attacked again, his sword swinging in an overhead chop. Nightwing dodged the blow, and kicked Red Hood's hands, and Red Hood instinctively dropped his sword. The criminal's hand flew to his belt, and he pulled out a knife, lunging at Nightwing. Nightwing pulled out a bird-a-rang, and blocked the blow.
"New outfit, I see," Nightwing said. "It suits you."
Red Hood just snarled, and attacked again. Nightwing leant to the side, and a stab that would have punctured his heart instead gouged his right shoulder. Nightwing punched Red Hood in the temple, and the criminal staggered past.
Nightwing glanced at the cut on his shoulder. It wasn't serious, and he was pretty sure the bone was fine; it didn't hurt yet, but it would when the adrenalin wore off.
Nightwing pulled out a second bird-a-rang, and returned the one he was already holding to his belt, replacing it with another one. He connected the two bird-a-rangs, and hidden mechanisms caused a straight-edged blade to shoot out, creating a sword not unlike the one Red Hood used.
Red Hood tossed the knife he was holding at Nightwing, and dove back to grab his sword. Nightwing dodged the knife, and charged at Red Hood. Red Hood picked up his sword, rolling onto his back. He held the sword horizontally, blocking Nightwing's blow. Red Hood lashed out with his foot, tripping Nightwing. Red Hood, from his position on the floor, swung at Nightwing. Nightwing blocked, and rolled sideways to get away from Red Hood. Red Hood rolled sideways after Nightwing and lashed out again. Nightwing blocked the blow, and tried to sit up, struggling against Red Hood. Red Hood punched Nightwing in the throat, and the hero fell back, choking. Red Hood scrambled to his feet, and tried to slice Nightwing in half. Nightwing rolled to the side, and then rolled back, smashing Red Hood's sword hand with his elbow. Red Hood yelped in pain, dropping the sword and backing off. Nightwing stood up, picking up Red Hood's sword. He flourished the two swords, and started to walk towards Red Hood menacingly. Red Hood looked around, and spotted Nightwing's bo staff. Red Hood grabbed the staff and swung it at Nightwing. Nightwing caught the oncoming blow between his two swords, and used the swords like a pair of scissors, slicing the staff in two. Red Hood spun the broken staff around, and smashed the blunt end into Nightwing's head, stunning the hero. Nightwing staggered back, and Red Hood tossed the broken staff at Nightwing. Nightwing batted it aside with his sword, and Red Hood picked up the other half of the staff and threw that at Nightwing as well. Nightwing dodged the broken staff, and threw Red Hood's sword like a javelin. The sword flew straight and true, puncturing Red Hood's chest. The criminal collapsed to his knees, clutching the sword to his chest, trying to stop the blood flowing out. Nightwing walked up, and pulled the blade out, causing blood to come gushing out of the wound. Nightwing then swung the sword in a clean arc, decapitating Red Hood. The headless body collapsed, and Red Hood's head rolled a few times, leaving a small trail of blood. Nightwing dropped the criminal's bloody sword, and wasn't surprised to see Red Hood's corpse glow white for a few seconds. The light became a ball, and floated back into Nightwing.
Blackfire flew at Starfire and launched a punch, her fist surrounded by purple starbolt energy. Starfire blocked the blow with her own starbolt-surrounded fist. The two Tamaraneans started soaring higher and higher, raining blows on one another. Blackfire grabbed Starfire's hands, and the two grappled in midair, until Starfire brought her legs up and kicked into Blackfire's midsection. Blackfire tumbled for a second, before recovering and launching a volley of starbolts at Starfire. Starfire countered with her own volley, with starbolts hitting starbolts and Tamaraneans alike. Starfire fired a starbolt at Blackfire's arm, striking her just below the wrist. Blackfire drew her hand in and gasped in pain, and Starfire closed the distance and slammed her starbolt-surrounded fist into Blackfire's nose. The Tamaranean's head snapped back, blood pouring from her broken nose. Blackfire slipped the cartilage back into place, and wiped the blood on her sleeve, the two different shades of red almost indistinguishable from each other. Blackfire yelled in rage, and punched Starfire in the cheek, bruising her. She followed up with a second blow to Starfire's chest, and a third blow to the stomach. Blackfire prepared to punch Starfire a fourth time, but Starfire fired her eyebeams at Blackfire, driving her back. When Blackfire recovered, she saw Starfire soaring upwards, and Blackfire followed her, disappearing into the clouds. Blackfire lost sight of the Tamaranean princess, and looked around for her. Green starbolts hit Blackfire from nowhere, and she turned and fired a volley of her own purple blasts. Blackfire missed, and Starfire struck again and again, hidden by the clouds. Blackfire shrieked in rage, and managed to fire of a sphere of starbolt energy in all directions, clearing the clouds away and striking Starfire. Blackfire spotted the stunned Tamaranean princess, and flew up behind her, grabbing her arms by the wrists and yanking them behind her back. Blackfire's eyes glowed bright purple as she prepared to fire her eyebeams at Starfire's neck in an attempt to decapitate her. Starfire jerked her head back, smashing Blackfire on her already broken nose and stunning her. Starfire grabbed Blackfire around her waist, and flew towards the ground as fast as she could. When she was about a hundred metres above the ground, Starfire threw Blackfire down, and the Tamaranean impacted hard, leaving a small crater. Starfire landed behind Blackfire as she struggled to get up. Starfire wrapped one arm around Blackfire's shoulders, and grabbed Blackfire's forehead in the other, and twisted, snapping Blackfire's neck, killing her instantly. Blackfire's body slumped to the ground, before it was enveloped in white light and faded into Starfire.
Panels opened up on Gadget's shoulders, and missiles soared towards Cyborg. Cyborg activated his sonic cannon and started shooting down the missiles. One missile got through his defences, striking his chest-plate and sending him flying. Cyborg sprang to his feet as Gadget charged at him. Cyborg punched Gadget in the face, the sound of the blow echoing through the streets. The attack didn't seem to affect Gadget, and the robot punched Cyborg in the gut, followed by a blow to the chest. Cyborg staggered back, and Gadget raised its arm, levelling its sonic cannon at Cyborg's head. Cyborg dived to his right, and the red beam missed him. Gadget fired a constant stream of sound energy, tracking Cyborg as he ran. Cyborg shot at Gadget with his own sonic cannon, but the robot activated the sonic cannon in its other arm and blasted Cyborg's attack, all while still tracking Cyborg with its other cannon. Cyborg fiddled with a few settings on his right arm, and fired his sonic cannon again. This time, instead of a concentrated beam, he fired a cone of blue sonic energy that extended a few feet out, and used it as a shield to block Gadget's attack. Cyborg started forcing his way closer to Gadget, as the robot continued to fire its sonic cannon. Cyborg deactivated his improvised shield and jumped to his left, firing the sonic cannon built into his left arm. The beam struck Gadget in the face, causing the robot to emit an electronic groan of pain. Cyborg fired a missile from his shoulder, but Gadget shot it down. While Gadget shot down the missile, Cyborg closed in as Gadget took aim at Cyborg. There was an audible whine as Gadget charged the sonic cannon in its right arm. Cyborg activated the sonic cannon on his right arm, and jammed it down the barrel of his opponent's cannon. Cyborg smirked, as the light over Gadget's face made it seem like Gadget was looking on in shock. Cyborg fired his sonic cannon, causing a small explosion, knocking the combatants apart. Gadget was the first to recover, holding its right arm limply by its side. Cyborg stood up as he assessed the damage he'd done to himself and his opponent. The lower part of his right arm was mangled, and ended at a stump at the wrist. Wires poked out of holes in the metal. Cyborg glanced at his opponent, seeing that the robot was in the same situation as he was. Gadget raised his left arm, revealing the still intact sonic cannon. It fired, and Cyborg fired his own sonic cannon at the blast, deflecting the robot's attack. Gadget opened its shoulder-mounted missile launchers, and Cyborg noticed that the robot had only one missile left in both launchers. Gadget fired the two missiles, and Cyborg managed to shoot them down. Gadget charged while Cyborg was distracted, punching Cyborg in the head. Cyborg staggered back and tripped, falling onto his back. As Gadget approached, Cyborg lifted his leg, so that the sole of his mechanical foot pointed directly at Gadget. Cyborg fired a blue beam of sonic energy at Gadget from his foot. The blast disoriented the robot, and Cyborg leapt up, activating the cannon in his left arm. He swung his arm in a punch at Gadget's head, firing the cannon as he struck its metallic head. The sonic blast ripped a hole through Gadget's brain, exposing the complex circuitry underneath. Gadget stood there for a few seconds, before falling to its knees, and then onto its face as its glowing red eyes faded out. The robot glowed for a second before the light pulled itself back into Cyborg.
Beast morphed an elephant and charged at Changeling. Changeling dropped down and morphed into a mouse, scampering towards the elephant. The elephant stumbled as the elephant's instincts warred against Beast's human commands. Changeling used the opportunity to get under the elephant and changed forms again, becoming a stegosaurus in an attempt to gore the elephant's undersides. Beast morphed into a spider and started crawling down Changeling's back between the plates. Changeling rolled over, switching to a hippopotamus to crush Beast. Beast survived the attack by morphing into a cockroach. Changeling changed forms, becoming a lion, jumping up and moving back as Beast transformed into a cheetah. Beast dashed towards Changeling, leaping into the air and morphing into a rhinoceros. Changeling reverted to human form and dived forward, avoiding the attack. Beast morphed into an ankylosaurus, and swung his club-like tail at Changeling. Changeling morphed into an ant to avoid the attack, and then became a gorilla and shoved Beast, flipping him onto his back. Changeling then brought his fists down, but Beast morphed into a cat and leapt out of the way, before morphing into a moose and charging at him. Changeling also took on the form of a moose, and met Beast's charge head on, their antlers locking together. The two were evenly matched, so Changeling morphed into an eagle and flew between Beast's antlers, scratching his face as he flew past. Beast returned to human form and clutched at his face. The wounds healed as he changed form, and Beast looked around wildly. He felt something wrap around his neck, and he grabbed at the green snake. There was a sharp pain in the back of his neck as Changeling bit down. Beast yelled in pain, and pulled at the snake, yanking it off and throwing it away from him. Changeling, slowly and deliberately, morphed from king cobra back to human form, and Beast's eyes went wide as he realised what happened.
"I just pumped about five hundred milligrams of neurotoxins into your bloodstream," said Changeling. "Now let's see you fight."
Beast roared, and his muscles started bulging. Fur sprouted all over his body, and his teeth and fangs became even sharper. His face stretched and flattened, and his eyes changed dramatically, the pupil vanishing completely.
"Oh, crap," moaned Changeling as he recognized the creature. It was the Beast. Changeling had gained the ability to change into it after he'd been splashed with some green chemicals in a fight with Adonis. He'd only willingly used the Beast in combat once, and that was to defend Raven from Trigon's demon horde.
The Beast roared and leapt at Changeling. Changeling dropped down and morphed into a lizard. Once the Beast had passed overhead, Changeling morphed into a bear and slashed at the Beast. The Beast caught Changeling's paw in one hand, and smacked him in the face with the other. The Beast attacked Changeling again and again, slashing and beating him. Changeling changed forms, becoming a velociraptor, sprinting away from the Beast. The Beast caught up to him and slashed at him again, so Changeling morphed into an ankylosaurus again, and let the Beast's blows rain upon his bony body armour. The Beast was starting to slow down as the venom started to take effect, acting faster as all the fighting caused Beast's heart to beat faster. Changeling morphed into a triceratops and struck the Beast with his horns, gouging out chunks of the Beast's flesh. The Beast charged again, but this time it staggered, clutching its head as a dizzy spell struck. The Beast moaned as the dizziness grew worse, and it struggled to move. Beast returned to his human form, and staggered another few steps, groaning. The effects of the venom grew worse as Beast's kidneys failed and the venom ate away at his heart. Beast tried to move, but stumbled forward, tripping over his numb feet and landing on the floor. It wasn't long until he stopped moving, and soon after, his breathing stopped. The corpse flashed white, and the light faded, making its way back into Changeling.
Rage fired a volley of crimson red energy blasts at Raven. Raven shielded her hands and blocked the attacks.
"You're looking pretty good for a dead person," said Raven.
Rage growled, and used her powers to hurl a car at Raven. Raven fired her black energy in a scythe-like shape, slicing the car in half. The two broken halves passed her on either side, and Raven lifted them and hurled them back at Rage. Rage lifted herself up and over the improvised projectiles, and Raven flew towards Rage. Raven decided to take a page out of Starfire's book, and punched Rage with a fist surrounded by black energy. The blow struck Rage in the chin, knocking the sorceress back. As her opponent fell, Raven used the brief respite to massage her sore knuckles.
And that is why I'm normally a distance fighter, thought Raven.
Rage flew towards Raven, firing blasts of red energy. Raven dodged the attacks, and fired her own attack, chanting her mantra as she did so.
"Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos!" Rage batted the blow away with a shielded hand, and fired another beam at Raven. Raven created a shield in front of herself, blocking the blow. Rage intensified her beam, her four glowing eyes narrowing as she concentrated.
"Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos," Raven chanted again, focusing. Maintaining the shield, she lifted one hand, raising a chunk of debris with her powers and hurling it at Rage. Rage shifted the beam of red energy from Raven's shield to the rock, and that was when Raven struck, blasting Rage in the chest with her powers. Before Rage could recover, Raven created a huge black raven with her powers, and the bird-shaped energy construct clawed at Rage, knocking her back. Raven lifted a hand, surrounding Rage in black energy and slamming her into a wall. Raven held her there as the black energy started shrinking, turning into an ever-tightening band around Rage's neck. Rage grabbed the black energy with one hand and tried to pull it off, and fired a red blast at Raven with the other. The blast struck Raven, but she ignored the pain, focused completely on her task. Rage's four eyes went wide as she struggled to breathe, and she started pulling against the black band of energy even harder, but her attempts to escape were pointless. All she did was waste the air in her lungs, and with no air being allowed into her lungs, her arm went limp as she slipped into unconsciousness. Raven clenched her hand into a fist, crushing Rage's windpipe. The illusory copy of her extra-universal counterpart collapsed, and the body glowed before fading, the light flowing into Raven.
"So what the hell was up with that?" asked Nightwing, clutching his injured shoulder.
"They looked like our counterparts from the Teen Tyrants dimension," said Starfire.
"Yeah, but that fight was more like when Trigon made us fight our evil clones," said Cyborg as he examined the ruins of his right forearm.
"I guess Nightwing and I missed that part," said Raven dryly.
"Yeah," said Changeling. "But there's something I don't get."
"What is it?" asked Nightwing.
"Last time, we couldn't defeat our clones," said Changeling. "We had to fight each other's evil sides."
Starfire nodded. "But this time, we defeated our clones without each other's help."
"You're right," said Cyborg. "How come we were able to beat ourselves this time?"
"We weren't fighting ourselves this time," said Raven. "We were fighting ourselves from another universe."
"But they had the same powers as us," said Changeling. "We should have fought ourselves to a standstill, at least."
"Things have changed since then, though," said Nightwing. "We've grown older, and we've gotten more experienced; we've even had to fight in a war. And we were all willing to use lethal force this time."
The other Titans looked down in shame, feeling guilty for having killed, even if they only killed illusions of their dark sides.
"If it we were so willing to kill our dark sides, how does that make us any different from them?" asked Starfire, looking worried.
"They weren't actually alive," said Raven. "They were just illusions."
"That, or they all had rocks for brains," said Changeling.
Nightwing had to smile at Changeling's weak attempt to change the mood. "Come on," he said. "Let's go home."
Someone had been watching the scene unfold from the shadows. He'd watched as Mumbo had used his wand, and how, instead of whatever he'd been planning, it had created illusions of the Titans dark sides, and he'd watched carefully as the Titans murdered their counterparts. The young man, who face was hidden by his hood, turned and walked away. He carried himself angrily, his fists balled in his pockets. He looked like he was about to haul off and punch somebody. He was soon joined by another, taller young man. His friend wore a red jacket that was open at the front, exposing the white shirt he wore underneath.
"So," he asked. "How did it go, Jared?"
"I managed to make the crazy magicians wand make those clones of the Titans," said Jared. "They managed to defeat their own clones, too."
"That's weird," said his friend. "Didn't they have to swap opponents last time?"
"That's what I thought," said Jared. "But they beat their dark sides this time. And they killed their clones, too."
His friend stopped dead. "But... they're superheroes. Superheroes don't kill people."
Jared turned to face him. "Well, these ones do," he snapped. "This could be trickier than I thought."
"Why don't we start messing with their heads, try to make 'em hate each other," suggested his friend.
Jared shook his head. "Wouldn't work; they've known each other for too long for that to work."
"In that case... Phobia?"
Jared nodded. "Phobia. But be careful around her, Jesse."
"Don't worry," said Jesse, his eyes flashing a sickly shade of green. "I think I can make her see things my way."
Beneath his hood, Jared's eyes flashed red. "You'd better. We need them out of the way so we can grab Pride."
"Geez, lighten up, will ya?" said Jesse. "I got this."
Jared just started walking away, and Jesse started to go his own way as well. He had to see someone about some nightmares...
Yeah, the Titans just killed their evil clones. Kinda scary, huh? But then again, they have been willing to kill before, as long as the enemy isn't really alive, as the junked Sladebots will attest. And I noticed as I was writing this, all the killing blows in this chapter involved the head and neck: decapitation, broken necks, a head shot, bitten in the neck, and choking.
For the uninitiated, the Teen Tyrants first appeared in Season Six, in Wrong Place, Wrong Time. I blame Tari Silmarwen for their appearance here: she updated Sides of the Coin while I was writing this, so I ended up rewriting this so I could have my own Teen Tyrants appear. But I digress. For those of you wondering what exactly was going on with the Tyrants, I suggest you read Wrong Place, Wrong Time. /shameless self promotion... I mean, wait, what?
Those with some knowledge of the comics might know who those two guys at the end of the chapter are. As for those who don't, well, let's see some guessing going on in those reviews, huh? Later, folks.