Princess Tutu Fan Fiction ❯ Princess Tutu and the Madrigal: Terra Rising (The Secret Six III) ❯ Chapter 2
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
The next day, the crew took their hero forms and headed for Titans Tower. With the crew were the Secret Six, the Shadow Force, and a few extras. Because Uzzura would be rambunctious by herself, they brought Nana with them, just to keep her under control. Along with that came Poe. He was not certain that he should leave the Raven's Nest without anyone tending to things, but they assured him that things would be okay, and it would give him plenty to do when they returned for the next school year. They wanted him because they knew that he could be a great asset to them in the tower, and they just didn't feel right in leaving him alone. They were also glad to know that certain alumni of the Teen Titans would be there to aid them, namely, Cyborg, Donna Troy, (the original Wonder Girl,) Starfire, and Beast Boy. They knew the city best, and they would be able to help them get the hang of things while they were there.
The team's van pulled up to a boat launch near the beach that looked straight on Titans Tower. With that, the Marvels got out and lifted the van and prepared to fly it across the water. Poe, who did not care for this, got out himself and just chose to fly across. This was not unnoticed by the beach comers, and they realized it was the Marvels, and thus knew it was superhero business. They applauded as the entourage flew to the island, and that did not escape the notice of Gaia, who was sunning herself on the beach. However, this was also noticed by her true self, because she sensed that someone was reaching to her again—the same person as before! Terra began to cry out again, but she knew it was futile. She might as well try to get her outside self to dance the hula, and she knew that would have yielded the same result. However, in the van, White Knight went pale and pressed his face against the window that looked in that direction. Tutu noticed this and said, “My prince, whatever can be the matter?”
“It's her…the one I spoke of last night!” he said, frantically looking over the ocean of people on the sand doing all the things one would expect on a beach.
“Dearest prince,” she said, “How could you ever hope to find her in all that?”
However, Raven began to sense something herself, and said, “My empath powers are not as strong as his, and yet I sense something myself, and something familiar, though faint.”
Just as she had said that, Terra also began to sense the faint presence of someone she knew all too well. “Raven,” she said, “You're with that crew!”
She reached out with all she had to try to touch her. Maybe that might her curious, and cause them to come to her. Meanwhile, Raven felt it stronger than before. “No, it couldn't be,” she murmured softly.
Claire noticed this and said, “Are you saying there is something to this?”
“I don't know,” she said, and she seemed to go into a deep meditation. She started to focus on that person, and she said, “Stay strong, Terra. Keep hoping. If you are alive, we will find you.”
As the van faded into the distance, so did the contact. Terra was saddened, yet, because of who had spoken to her, she began to have some hope. Raven had been in there. There was hope. It was a small victory, but it was the first sliver of hope that she had had since she became aware of her new situation. There had to be some release…somehow.
The van was set on the helipad atop the tower, and Beast Boy was there to meet them. Out stepped the Secret Six, Raven, the Shadow, and Magpie, along with Nana and Uzzura. “Oh, it's the funny green boy-zura!” chirped Uzzura gleefully when she saw him.
“That's Beast Boy, Uzzura, Beast Boy,” he said in frustration.
“Beast Boy-zura,” she chirped again, “Makes pretty animals-zura!”
“That's enough, little one,” said Nana, patting Uzzura on the head, “We must be on our best behavior. We are guests here.”
“Anyway, good to see you again,” said Captain Marvel, “It's the least of what we could do for all your help last fall.”
“Hey, don't think anything of it!” he said, “Hey, Raven, have you had anything to crow about lately?”
She just stared at him for the lame pun, sighed, and said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” and just drifted past him, with the Shadow in tow.
They all went inside and saw the others waiting for them. Cyborg was, however, too busy with a video game to notice their entrance, but Starfire proverbially began to glow like a hundred watt bulb. “GREETINGS, FRIENDS!” she said with all the joy of a naïve child with rose colored retinas, “Let us all have the group hug!”
She began to move in, but both Raven and Shadow gave her the death stare as Raven said, “Let's not and say we did.”
That cooled Starfire down a few notches, but she quickly shook it off and said, “Well, it is so good to see all of you again. I am happier than a gurtran in a flobnore.”
They all stared at her at a loss of how to answer that, to which Black Knight said, “Um…we'll take your word for it.”
“Aw, man!” came a cry from the couch, “I didn't think you had things like this on Paradise Island! How did you do that?”
“You don't need this to know how to fight,” came a female voice next to him, “I do that for real. Learning the controls is only a matter of technique.”
They all went over to see a dejected Cyborg and a confident Donna Troy as they competed at a fighting game. He suddenly said, “How about the best of nine?”
“How about defeating you four times in a row should be enough,” came her sly response, “Besides, I think our guests are here?”
He suddenly jumped up, now aware that they had an audience, considering that he had been so focused on the game to notice their entrance, or the shout of Starfire's greeting. “Oh, uh, hi y'all,” he said, “I'm Cyborg. I helped to build this place. Glad to have you all here.”
Uzzura came up to him, tapped his metal leg, and said, “Oh, are you like me-zura?”
Nana snatched her up, and said, “Uzzura, that was rude! I'm sorry, monsieur, she doesn't know any better.”
“Hey, man, it's cool,” he said with a big smile, already having ignored the unintended slight, “It's who I am, so I'm not embarrassed. Anyway, just make yourselves at home; just leave the pizza in the fridge alone—I'm saving that for later.”
“Yes, some things don't change,” said Raven dryly, “Is my room still here?”
“Oh yes!” said Starfire gleefully, “Everything is covered up, but it is as if you never left it.”
She then looked down, as if to fish for the correct words, and she said, “I find it odd, though, that the Titans that followed us never chose to occupy it. I am not sure why.”
“They probably feared that, if they entered, they may never come out again,” said Beast Boy, throwing in a mock evil cackle as he rubbed his hands.
Raven looked dead into his eyes and said, “And this is displaced from the truth…because…”
Suddenly, Beast Boy didn't feel so humorous at the moment. Raven looked at the Shadow and said, “You can stay with me. I think you are the only one who could bear it.
With that, the two of them turned to walk out, and their bags became covered with black and rose up from the ground, following them all the way. Starfire then looked at Tutu and Nana, saying, “You to shall be roomed with me! It shall be delightful making the talking of the girl, the putting up of the hair, and going to the mall of shopping…”
Donna said, “Um, Kory, I think they are here for a reason other than having fun? They will be doing hero work, as well as traveling the coast performing.”
However, Tutu, ever the congenial one, said, “Fear not, Amazon sister, I understand her kind intent, and indeed it is not out of her character to be like this. I am sure we shall have a wonderful time.”
“Indeed, you are as Princess Diana described you,” she said with a smile, “You indeed have the Amazon blood running through your veins.”
Tutu curtsied in a ballet fashion, thanking her for the compliment. Starfire piped up and said, “Come, and I shall show you to the bed of guests that I have put in for you two.”
With that, they went out. Donna said, “Mary, you will be with me, Magpie, you can have Robin's room. He just asks that you don't touch any of his gadgets, because some are booby trapped against intrusion.”
“Hey, I know better than to mess with another crime fighter's gear,” he answered. Cyborg piped up and said, “Black Knight will be roomed with me,” indicating the Chess Knights, “I have all kinds of workout gear in there, so you two can keep in shape while you work here.”
“Thank you, Cyborg,” said White Knight, “Such things are welcome, although we do need to use your ready room to practice.”
“Hey, no problem,” he said, “It's like the one in New York, although it's not quite set up for ballet.”
“Well, we can improvise,” said Black Knight, but Cyborg said, “Hey, just give me a few hours, and I'll have it a dancer's paradise, although I like hip-hop a bit more.”
“Actually, you'd be surprised just how much ballet is in it,” responded Captain Marvel, “You should be with us tomorrow morning. We do our Tai Chi at that time and practice a bit. You might learn something.”
“Hey, no way man!” said Cyborg, “Do I look like I'm light on my feet.”
“Yeah,” added Beast Boy, “You don't look light on anything.”
“Okay, string bean,” said Cyborg, “Just for that, you get to have your butt whooped by me on the game! Man, it's been a while, but I can still put the moves on you!”
“Give me a break,” laughed Beast Boy, “You know I am the Ultimate Combat champion.”
“Riiiiight!” said Cyborg, “You are a legend in your own mind.”
“We can save that for later,” said Donna, “Marvel, you will be with Poe and Beast Boy.”
“I'll try to endure it,” said Marvel, giving Beast Boy a knowing look. Donna said, “We have the guest room set aside for you two, Princess Claire.”
With that, they all retreated to their lodgings.
They were indeed looking forward to their tour, and they were also happy to dislodge any prying eyes to their true intent. Mr. Katt needed to go on a trip, and that took him out of the picture. He put them through some heavy training time to make sure they had enough numbers for the tour, and left it to Rue to make sure everything went well. He knew they were professionals, and they could handle it for a few weeks without him. Ahiru managed to convince her father that it would be okay without her. Besides, since the colonel was retiring anyway, and had decided to move to Kinkan Town to be close to her, she told him that there would be plenty of time after. That left them free and clear. They managed to get Nana's parents to allow her to come by assuring her that she would be doing some apprentice work with them. Thus, when they felt that she would be gaining from it, they were more than happy to let her go. Rachel went along as a guest singer, and Elly's parents were all agog when they learned that she would be learning to hone her artwork in stage craft. Besides, it would get her out of the house, and they hoped that it would get her over her introverted ways. This allowed the whole team to be together. This would be the first major actions they would take together, and they were anxious to hone their skills as a team. Having the other heroes there to help was a plus, because they still had much to learn about being heroes themselves.
Later that day, Gaia went home, but her actions were not unobserved. Deathstroke watched her on a monitor, as the brotherhood had covered the place with hidden cameras. He was going to keep an eye on her as much as possible. Even though the Brain had no concerns, he still did. Beast Boy could have blown the whole thing, and he could not help but think that he had planted something latent in there. He had observed his efforts to revive her, even though there would be no way this could happen. The body was the same, but because she did not possess the memories of Terra prime, there was nothing to recall. It was easy for her to push him away. Yet, there were moments—fleeting ones—but moments nonetheless, where it looked like she was beginning to warm to him. It could be that he was just able to charm her. He was a dimwit, but he did have a charm to him, so that should not have been of any surprise. Still, he could take no chances, and dispatched his robot twin to deal with him. It was then he learned just how powerful that Beast Boy was. The robot was trained to fight exactly as Deathstroke, but despite Beast Boy's lack of ability in fighting, he more than made up for it in his shape-shifting ability. If you got him mad enough, Beast boy was capable of anything. He was even able to observe her rejection of him. The problem was that, though she pushed him away, the words were not of one who was mad that he was making such a hard pursuit of her, but they sounded like they were more out of desperation. It was as if she said, “Please, don't make me remember what I have buried. I would rather it this way. I have a normal life now, and I like it that way.”
When he left the recorded message in the robot, telling Beast Boy that she may not want to remember, there was a tinge of sincerity to it. He wondered if the stem cells actually retained something of her memory. This, he did not want to find out, and he was glad he got the hint. Yet, he had to watch her. If anything was latent in her about her past and her old self, he would have to move in well before he was ready. Soon, it would be time, and he kept a close watch. He had heard rumors of the Teen Titans being out of town, and a contingent of Titan alumni were minding things. If that were the case, they were undermanned, and he could start to put things in place. He would have his apprentice back, but not the way the Brain thought. For Deathstroke, the Brotherhood of Evil was merely a means to an end. There was no way he would share power with a brain in a jar set on a robotic body. He would have to slowly bend the Brain's henchmen to his side, and then act from there. With Terra fully trained in her powers at his side, there would be nothing the Brain could do. If they did not want to come along, he knew how to deal with that. Yes, there would be conquest, but not the way the Brotherhood thought. He would rule, and he knew the Brain was not as smart as he claimed to be. He had smarts, but it was too mechanical. Just watching him play chess against Monsieur Mallah told him that. There was not enough humanity left in him to think that way anymore, and that would be his downfall. One day, he would have to play the Brain in chess, just to see how he thought. It would be valuable later on when it came time for his coup d'etat. He then turned on a camera that focused on Titans Tower, saying, “There is nothing you can do now to stop me. Who else would there be in there to stand in my way?”
Later on that night, the Madrigal had reverted to their standard forms, and there was a heated contest. “BOOYAH!” came the call from the couch, as Cyborg beat Beast Boy for the umpteenth time that night, “Let's face it, man, I still got it!”
Beast Boy looked dejected, but Ahiru said, “May I try?”
Cyborg looked devilish and said, “Aha, another victim! Have a seat. You ever play before?”
“No, not really,” she said, and Cyborg began to show her how the controls worked. He then said, “Okay, since this is your first time, I'll go easy on you!”
However, once the fight commenced, within twenty seconds, Ahiru had Cyborg's character on the ground. “At-a-girl, Duck!” called out Rue, but Cyborg looked aggravated, and said, “Hey, beginner's luck. Try that again.”
“Uh, okay,” she said, and they went at it again. In thirty seconds, Cyborg was beaten again. Ahiru giggled and said, “I guess I'm a natural.”
Cyborg scowled and said, “Oh really! Do that again, and this time, no freebees.”
Now Cyborg began to concentrate on what he was doing, trying to pull out as many secret moves as he could, just trying to establish who the master of this thing was. However, Ahiru was stumbling into those moves, and remembering how she did them. Time and time again, she put him down, and the Madrigal cheered her on. However, Mytho looked lost in thought. Rue said, “Baby, are you still thinking about that girl?”
“I just can't shake the feeling that she needs help,” he said, “But nothing has come up in the news or anything. I guess she may remain a mystery.”
“Maybe not,” said Raven, “I've spent the afternoon meditating on this, and there may be more than meets the eye here, mainly, because I am familiar with this life pattern.”
Now the couple stared at her in amazement. “What are you saying?” they asked.
She looked at Beast Boy, as he was smiling ear to ear, ecstatic that Cyborg was meeting his match, and decided that this would be better not to be heard by him. Raven said, “Come up to the roof, because I have a story to tell you.”