Okay guys, I'll say right now that I honestly tried my best to finish the story now. But somehow, I found I just couldn't wrap up everything I had planned in one story. So yeah, that's right... There's going to be yet ANOTHER sequel. I know, I know... I really hope I'm not dragging it out more than it has to be. But TRUST me on this, okay? I have the ending of the whole trilogy in mind and BELIEVE me when I say it's going to be a good one. The next sequel probably won't be as long as this one, but it definitely will answer a lot of questions.
Thank you, all of my wonderful readers who have been with me since the very beginning. I feel so happy knowing there are people out there who respond so positively to my stories. I consider it a great honor to present to you guys my stories and I really hope you'll stay and read 'til the very end.
Please, please, PLEASE leave some reviews. I really would like to know what you guys thought of this story. What parts were good, what were bad? How did you guys feel about the story as a whole? What did you like and what can I improve on? I need these reviews to be a better author! Feel free to ask plenty of questions that you want answered in the final chapter of the 'Heart' trilogy.
I'll upload the final FanFic as soon as I can. Until then, thank you all for everything.
The President closed his eyes in deep thought, clasping both his hands together and placing them over his mouth. After a brief moment of silence, he slowly let out a long sigh and said, "And you say you cannot remember anything after that?"
"No, sir," Raven replied respectfully. "After that flash of light, I just blacked out. The next thing I knew I was at the Polaris infirmary."
"I see," the President said, once again engaging in silent thought. Raven glanced at Beast Boy, who stood beside her and smiled reassuringly. Looking back at the President, who sat behind his desk inside his heavily guarded office in the top of the Polaris building, Raven took this time to properly examine the man.
Though he was the president of Polaris, he was a very elusive and enigmatic man and Raven had actually never seen him before today. Whenever there was some kind of party or important event at Polaris, the president never showed up himself—usually sending the Vice President to be his representative. Then again, Raven thought, maybe he did show up during the events, but no one had realized it was him because very few had ever seen him before.
The man was somewhat old—somewhere in his fifties—and had dark brown but graying hair and some wrinkles on his aged face to prove it. He was not very tall, barely shorter than Beast Boy, and was fairly thin. He wore a black suit with a white dress shirt underneath and a light blue tie. His eyes were a very dark brown and often looked very tired. But there was something about this man—perhaps that small twinkle in his eyes or the warmth of his smile—that gave him an air or aura of happiness. Though he was aged and wrinkled, he seemed to still have a very youthful spirit inside him.
"And Beast Boy," the President said, opening his eyes and facing the man. "What did you say happened as Raven collapsed?"
"As I rushed over to her," Beast Boy explained, "I noticed two very strange things. One, she had some sort of magical timer on her hand that was counting down from 56 weeks, a little more than a year." Raven extending her hand to show the President the strange numbers, which were still slowly counting down. "Second," he said. "She was holding a small note—one she definitely wasn't holding before. We assume it was left behind by whatever had attacked the Conductor and saved us." With this, he pulled out a small piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to the President.
The President examined the note carefully. "Thank me later. –The Composer," he read. And though he read the message very indifferently, Beast Boy—having heightened senses due to his animalistic abilities—sensed that the President's voice trembled very slightly upon reading the word "Composer," though whether this was due to fear or shock or any other emotion, Beast Boy knew nothing of and decided it best to not question him.
"Do you know who he is?" Raven asked.
"No. I'm afraid not," the man said, his eyes still glued onto the message. "Do you, by any chance, have any clues on who this 'Composer' might be?"
"Absolutely none," Beast Boy answered. "But whoever he is, he's on our side then, right? Considering he saved our lives and all."
"Let's not jump too hastily to conclusions," the President said, placing the message down onto his desk. "Just because he had saved you once does not mean he is our ally. For all we know, he might be another foe."
"Right," Raven said. "But then why did he save us? The way the Conductor reacted so fearfully when the Composer attacked him… It was all very strange. He did not seem to be afraid as if he was being attacked by just any enemy of his. It was more like he was cowering in fear—in fear of someone or something much stronger than he."
"That might be right. It is best not to judge the Composer's true character right away, but it is indeed strange. Conductor… Composer… I very much doubt there is no connection between the two."
"Yeah," the changeling thought aloud. "But what is that connection? That's the big question."
"No," the President answered. "What they are in relation to each other should not be too important. It's what they are to us that matters most. The Conductor is our enemy, we know that for sure."
Raven nodded. "He's planning something big, something called Via Purifico."
"The Composer… is he a friend or a foe? That we do not yet know. But we cannot take any chances."
Looking at her hand, Raven said contemplatively, "This timer he left… What could it mean?"
"But now there is someone else we must deal with as well," the President said.
"Another one?" cried Beast Boy.
"Unfortunately. This letter magically appeared on my desk shortly before Raven had woken up." Pulling out a letter, the President handed it to Raven, who opened it and read it aloud.
"This is Seymour…" she read, her voice trembling with shock upon reading the name. "I am myself now and I assure you I will have my revenge. I remember everything during the time I was possessed. When the Conductor put his mind in place of mine, he left traces of his memories in me. I know all that he knows. I know who the Conductor is and I know what he is planning. I know who the Composer is. The Conductor also left traces of his powers in me as well. I have as much power as I did before and I now know how to gain even more power. I will take my revenge on the Conductor. Then I will defeat the Composer and take his power as well. This is a warning for Raven. Should she ever go against me, she will be dealt with."
"Seymour…" Beast Boy said.
"Yes," the President answered. "It seems we now have three people to take care of: Conductor, Composer, and Seymour. The Taboo could return to Azarath at any time. Who knows? They might try to attack Earth next. That is why we must be prepared." Opening a drawer in his desk and pulling out two plastic cards, he handed them to both Raven and Beast Boy and said with a smile, "That is why we need your help. From now on, you two are elite Paragon division Polaris agents. The best of the best, entrusted to the secrets of Polaris."
Raven looked at the card intriguingly—a Polaris ID card with her name and information on it, except it was marked with a gold star and labeled "Paragon Agent."
"Show the Captain your cards and he'll give you two your new uniforms. For the next few weeks, you'll be going through some training courses to get accustomed to the techniques and weapons they use. Of course, that's all nothing to you," he chuckled.
"Wow," Beast Boy gasped. "First class agents… can you believe it?"
"Mr. President," the sorceress said, staring at the word 'Polaris' on her card. Flipping it to the back and staring at the Polaris insignia—a stylized bird in flight with a star in place of a head—she said, "If we're top agents now, then we should know about Polaris, shouldn't we? We should know its secrets shouldn't we?" Now looking up at the President, she continued, "Shouldn't we know now? Can't you give us answers now?"
With a friendly face, the President asked, "What would you like to know?"
Sighing and racking her brain for the first question to ask, she eventually found one that covered most of the others that she had: "What is Polaris, truly? And what connection does it have with the Taboo?"
"Ah…" the President replied. Closing his eyes, he began to explain, "Polaris is a secret government program that deals with interplanetary investigation. That is what it is on the surface. Scrape off the surface just a little, and one would find the truth that it is actually a mercenary program, in which we send our specially trained agents into other worlds and perform any missions asked of us and receiving our pay when the mission is completed. But that, of course, is only the veil of Polaris—the mask that hides what Polaris truly is.
"Polaris in its truest form is an anti-Taboo organization. It is a program whose true purpose is to train young agents vigorously through missions to become strong enough to properly combat the Taboo when necessary. Agents rise up in the system by completing various missions and gaining more experience and strength as they do so. In essence, the various missions that you have received before was merely training. When an agent proves himself extremely capable, he is admitted into the ranks of the Paragon division—that is, true Polaris soldiers.
"I founded Polaris many years ago to act as a force to fight back the Taboo should they ever pose a threat to this world or any others. But to do this, I needed two things: soldiers trained enough to be able to fight the Taboo and money to provide funding for weapons and other resources. To obtain these two and to disguise Polaris' true purpose, I started it as a interplanetary investigation program. The only ones who know of Polaris' true purpose are those in the Paragon division."
"But why?" Raven pressed further. "Why does Polaris exist? Why did we have to be trained to fight the Taboo years before now? How did you know about the Taboo in the first place? And how do they know about you? They fear you and they fear Polaris, and yet this was the first time they've fought Polaris, right? Then how do they know so much about you and what you can do? How did you know so much about them and their strengths and weaknesses? Who are you, Mr. President? How do you know all this?"
Silently, the President took a deep breath and shook his head slowly. "I am sorry, Raven," he said to her. "Truly I am. But these questions cannot be answered now. The answer to those questions, no one in Polaris knows, not even my Vice President, the Captain. The answer to those secrets lie hidden in my past, where I intend to keep them. And the answer to who I am… that lies hidden in my memories, where they'll be locked away from others. But they are of no importance at the moment." Looking straight up at the two and beaming with pride, he said, "The most important thing at hand is to find the Taboo and stop the Conductor's plans. After all this is over, then I will tell you all everything. I promise."
Bowing their heads, both Raven and Beast Boy said simultaneously, "We're ready. You can count on us."
"Do you accept your mission, ready to face all obstacles and even death if necessary?"
"Are you ready to place your life on the line to save all others?"
"We are Polaris," the President recited as he stood up. "Our mission is to serve our world with all our might."
"To right the countless wrongs of our day, we shine this light of true redemption, that this place may become as paradise. What a wonderful world such would be."
As the President uttered these words, Raven felt a sudden rush within her, small yet noticeable, as her heart seemed to suddenly beat faster and her mind felt a strange feeling, just for a second. She ignored this, however, and raised her head as she and Beast Boy both saluted, "Sir!"
"Welcome to the true Polaris," the President said with a gentle smile. "You will be informed of your first training sessions soon. Until then, you are dismissed."
"Sir, yes sir!" the two said as they bowed to him and started out the door.
Just as they reached the door, however, Raven heard him call out to her, "Wait, Raven."
"Yes?" she asked, turning around to face him."
"You—" he said with a strange face. "Your mother… Arella. Is she alright? Is she safe and happy?"
Curiously, Raven nodded. "Yes, sir… but why do you ask?"
"Ah, no reason," he smiled. Raven then left the office. Beast Boy started to walk out soon after her, but was also stopped by the President. "B—Beast Boy?"
Stopping and turning around, the man looked back at the President. "Sir?"
The President walked around his desk and towards Beast Boy, placing his hands on the man's shoulders and examining him peculiarly. "You—you've grown so much…" he said. "Your parents must be proud."
"My parents…" Beast Boy said softly. "I'm afraid it's only my mother, sir. I never knew my father. He died before I was born."
"Did he?" the President said in a strange, yet comforting voice. "I see…" Patting Beast Boy's shoulders, he said with a smile, "Beast Boy… Garfield… Let's just say that… when all of this is over, we'll have much to talk about."
"Yes, sir," he said, trying not to sound too confused. As the President began to walk back to his desk, Beast Boy proceeded out the door, wondering what the man had meant with his cryptic words.
Stepping out of the office and closing the door behind him, Beast Boy saw Raven standing in the middle of the hall with her head down. Walking up to her, he heard her say, "Will it never end?"
"What do you mean?" he asked her.
"I've had Paen for eighteen years. Then finally it was gone. But then you had died and disappeared from my life for ten years. Finally you came back. And now… now we have the Taboo to worry about. Don't you see? It's always something isn't it?"
"It's always something!" she cried. "Why can't my life be normal for once? Why can't for once my life be the same as anyone else's? Other people… they don't have to deal with magical curses! They don't have to deal with deaths of people they love! They don't have to deal with their homeworld being invaded. They don't have to deal with—with Paens or Taboos or Via Purificos or Conductors or Composers or any of those! So why do I have to?"
"It's always going to be me, isn't it?" she continued. "Somehow it's always going to me… Always something. It's as if it was fate."
"Fate…" Beast Boy mused. "Maybe it is fate. Maybe it's like you were chosen to fill this role… As if you were meant to do all this. Like all this was meant to happen and you were the one chosen to put an end to it. Maybe it's fate…"
"Then I'll have to accept my fate won't I? I'll have to… give up having a normal life to live my fate. I'll have to give up my happiness so I can complete whatever I was chosen to do. I'll have to give up all that… won't I?"
"Now wait a sec," he said to her, looking into her eye. "Who says you have to give up anything? Who says you have to be sad?"
"Well I—" she started.
"No, Raven. You've dealt with all those other things before and you can deal with this now. But you know what the difference is? Now, we can deal with it together. See this?" he pulled out his ID card and pulled out Raven's from her pocket, lifting them up together. "We're Polaris agents. We're partners. We're in this together no matter what. Before, I didn't know about Paen and I couldn't help you until the very end. For the last few months, I didn't remember anything and I couldn't make you happy like Beast Boy did. But now it's different. Now I'm here and I'm with you in all this 'til the end. We're in this together, Raven."
Raven couldn't help but smile, even as tears starting falling from her eyes. Beast Boy continued.
"Remember what Soel said? 'Live every moment with all you've got.' Don't think about the past, it's behind us now. Don't worry about the future, it's yet to come. Focus on the now, Raven, the present. I'm here now. You're here now. What else is there to worry about?"
Sniffling softly, Raven answered, "You're right."
"Now, Raven," Beast Boy said, placing both his hands on her cheeks and wiping her tears. "Isn't that good enough? Just for now, is it enough that we're both here together?"
Raven chuckled a little and nodded with a tearful, joyous smile.
"I couldn't say it before, but I'll say it now," he said with a smile as bright as the sun. "I love you."
"Beast Boy…" she whispered softly as tears of happiness strolled down her cheeks. "I love you, too." Feeling her heart burn with love and her tears stream down her face—for the first time in her life because of happiness instead of sadness—she whispered again, "I love you so much, Beast Boy!"
Feeling his eyes start to sting from overflowing tears, he smiled broadly and said to her, "This is why we're alive, Raven. We live to find our light, our happiness, our love. That's what being human is all about." Bringing her lips closer to his, he whispered, "I think you've worried enough about the bad… so why don't we focus on the good for a change?"
Bringing her lips to his, they shared a deep, passionate kiss. And as their lips touched, their souls became one, and Raven felt as if she were being cleansed by a heavenly shower of light. For the first time in her life, she felt like she was finally bathed in the light, finally free from the shadows that tormented her past. From Paen to Beast Boy's 'death', she had been in the shadows, her heart full of sadness and sorrow. But now, for the first time in her life, she was truly free. As Beast Boy kissed her, lovingly, caressingly, she finally felt the warmth of the light, the warmth of true love. She didn't know how long she would be able to feel this warmth. She didn't know what the future had in store for her. But regardless of all that, the future didn't scare her at all because it was the present that mattered most. Live for today, she knew. And as they kissed, Raven knew that in the end, everything was going to be okay. In the end, all would be good.
"Beast Boy," she thought to herself. "You'll always be in my heart. These memories in my heart, I'll truly cherish forever. No matter what happens from now on, I swear I'll protect you and all those I love. I won't let anything come between us again. I promise you that. Now and forever…
"I love you."
~Memories in my Heart~