Princess Tutu Fan Fiction ❯ The Madrigal: Princess Tutu and the Secret Six II ❯ Chapter 20
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Johnny went to the now closed shop as the Magpie, wanting to know what he could find out. The shop had long been cordoned off by the police as a crime investigation site, and they were still doing that job. Magpie was not sure what he would find there when he entered, because he was certain that the police would have returned what they could to their owners, and cleaned the place of anything useful. He did know that the police had made off with all the schematics of his devices, blueprints, and other such useful things. However, that was really not what he was searching for, so the loss of those things did not really hurt him. That, in reality, was inconsequential to him. What he cared more about was anything left behind that would have indicated where he ended up. He chose to go after midnight, knowing that all that would be there was the occasional patrol of the police of the shop, and no prying eyes. He was not necessarily doing anything illegal per se. Yet, it was an official crime scene, so his fiddling around would have been frowned upon. On the other hand, he remembered how the LAPD had botched the investigation of the murder involving that football hall of famer some years back, and he knew that, oftentimes, the police are not as thorough as they could be. He just felt sorry for the head detective in the case who, because of politics, had his name soiled with some untrue accusations in order to attempt to acquit that player. He liked the fact that he told the police where they could stick his badge after that, and joined the ranks of the private investigator with him. He was a great man, and he was glad to know him as a colleague. Because of his help, he learned to look for details that the police did not know how to look for, and never to overlook what seems inconsequential. It was that attitude that helped him break an old murder case wide open, and helped to put the scumbag behind bars who did it, but who was related to a family that had been deep into politics for decades, and who used that influence to keep that man protected. He came out with dirt they could not deny, and as a result, to protect the family reputation, cut him dead. Magpie remembered this lesson, and had this in mind in going in.
The front door was taped off, but not locked, in that there was nothing in there anymore of value to steal. He pulled out his flashlight and stared to look around. There was nothing in the front that told him anything, and nothing in the draws in the front counter. He then went to the workshop, and in there too the draws were barren of anything. He then decided to go into the man's apartment to see if there was anything there. He climbed the fire escape, managed to get the window open, and slipped in. With the exception of anything that dealt with what he had created, the place was fairly much as it had been when he left it. Magpie smiled, knowing that the police left behind more than they realized that would have helped their investigation immensely. He went to the fridge, where he saw, and smelt, that they had not bothered to clean the thing out, not realizing the interesting lab experiments that they would be creating. He started searching drawers all over the kitchen, and came across a catch-all drawer underneath the phone. It was filled with all kinds of cards and papers, and he came across one that mentioned Savannah corp. He knew that that corporation was into scientific research there in Fawcett, and he wondered if he tried to find haven there. He pulled that out and set it on the counter, and rummaged through the papers some more. There were some older ones that were letters from that company with old dates, dealing with rejections for employment or selling inventions to them. At first, he wanted to dismiss this man going to these people, considering how they were refusing him at first. However, judging by the age, they were old rejections, which may have meant that what he tried to submit was only in the infant stages, and thus may have been rejected as a result. He then started to read a couple of letters, and sure enough, it was just that. However, now that he had made working models of what he proposed, that company may have seen the potential. Yet, he had to ask why they would have taken him. If they were an honest group, then they would never have taken a fugitive from the law—that is, if they were honest. He took a chance and picked up the phone. He then pushed the buttons that would dial back the last number called. After a couple of moments, a recording machine came on, announcing that it was the Savannah corp. and that they were closed at that time. He hung up before it got much further along, because he had what he wanted. He took the card, put everything back the way it was, and left.
At Kinkan, construction crews were working to clear the rubble away as the Wayne Foundation, care of the National Guard, established a tent city on the grounds, including living areas and recreation areas. Portable classrooms were also brought in, and classes resumed after a week. They wanted to get the fundraiser going, but it would take that time to get everything set up, but that time was not wasted. The creative arts class worked feverishly to build the backdrops and sets needed, as well as the stage for the show. It also allowed more people to be called in and tapped to perform in the show. At first, someone suggested the new theater, but when they realized that the amount of people that would be coming to watch would end up making the thing look like another Woodstock, they then realized that the campus of Kinkan would be needed just to hold everyone! Because of that association, they decided to call the thing “Artstock.” It was to be a three-day fundraiser, with people from all over the entertainment industry. Many in the folk music scene wanted to show from all sorts of subgenres in that form, from Peter, Paul, and Mary to the Irish Rovers and the Dubliners. Many rock bands wanted to be involved, including Queen, Arrowsmith, Metallica, Kiss, and others. Even Weird Al wanted to get involved! Many in the world of dance and comedy wanted to be involved as well. It was going to be a star-studded event, and many of them Kinkan alumni who did not want to see their alma mater go down. There were even offers from opera's best that were accepted in a heartbeat, and Bobby McFerrin even wanted to come to do some Bach renditions in his styling, wanting very much to see the school make it. For him, a school that could produce something like the Pas De Six was worth seeing saved. Some in the orchestra that he conducted were alumni, and he could not deny them. However, none of this was without its watchful eye.
The Teen Titans, along with Batman, Nightwing, Wonder Woman, Superman, and the Flash, were a formidable presence on the campus. The only reason why this even happened was the fact that something like that had never been tried before, and thus they did not know for what to look. Now that they knew what they might face, they were being far more vigil. Normally, the Titans would have felt a bit put off by the presence of some of the Justice League, for they had always felt the need to prove themselves as heroes without having to “run to the grown-ups” whenever things got out of hand. In the meantime, once things were settled down, classes resumed with relish, but one thing that everyone noticed was the change in behavior of Rachel. Normally, she was quiet, emotionless, and spent most of her time reading or meditating. However, she was taking a keen interest in helping to put the fundraiser together, and she was beginning to put together a group of songs to sing for the show. Since this was a combination of the celebrities and the annual variety show, she wanted in. Normally, she would not be in on this, but she was now adamant about it. This, however, was noticed by Ahiru, and she just needed to know what was going on with her friend.
All the students were being housed in what the military called general purpose medium-sized tents—GP mediums for short—and they were being housed in about six of them: three for each gender. Rachel was in with Ahiru, and she watched as she was laboring over the songs, which were songs that were songs of hope. Normally, she listened to things that were fairly melancholy, and this was a switch for her. The only thing that was awkward for her was that she valued her privacy, and this was something with which her old roommates were familiar. She often had to leave the tent, just to find the peace she wanted. This was also noticed by Mai, who figured that she knew what was going on, and she wanted to help her. She guessed that it had something to do with her finding herself, and something with which she was familiar. Only the year before, she was an uncomfortable tomboy, but thanks to Mary's help, she had transformed into a model of femininity, though with a few of her old traits lingering. One particular day, Rachel wanted to go off to meditate and practice, and both Mai and Ahiru independently of each other wanted to see what they could do to help the girl come further out of her shell. Mai just wanted to talk, but Ahiru had other plans.
As Rachel walked out, Elly was just coming back from the stage area, after having added some Toulouse Lautrec effects to the set for the Paris number that the Pas De Six and their friends were concocting. She saw Rachel leaving, and then watched as Mai and Ahiru followed behind her stealthily. For some reason, she smelled trouble, and she wanted to be sure that her friends were not about cause a scene. She also knew of the way that her friend Rachel had been acting, and she wanted to do what she could to help her after all the help Rachel had given her, including better health and the need for a whole new wardrobe, (which would have happened anyway due to the fire.) Thus, she used her own gifts and “vanished” in order to better follow the crew.
Rachel got to the Thinking Woods and began to meditate. Mai took a place to hide and wait for her to begin singing. Elly did not know what to do, considering that her “invisibility” did not work on Rachel. She could well see through her tricks. Thus, she also picked a spot to watch. Rachel then finished her meditation and then began to go through her repertoire, but she was so into it that she did not notice Mai slip up and sit on the stump before her to watch. After a couple of songs, Mai could not help but begin to dance to the singing. After about the third song, she then realized that she was not alone. She looked at the dancing figure before her, and at first, she wanted to reach out in anger. However, she had a better handle on her emotions than that, because she knew what would happen if they were left unchecked. The incident with the Saturday Night Killer was proof of that. Instead, she just looked at her indignantly, and with some frustration. She furrowed her brow, and said, “Are you done?”
Mai did not like the look she was receiving, but the look made her more frightened than angry. “I'm sorry, it's just that it was so beautiful that I could not help but dance,” said Mai, sad, and with her head down.
Rachel then just sighed, and said, “Its okay, I just wanted to come out here…”
“…and think?” finished Mai in a question.
Rachel cocked her head, and Mai said, “This place is often called `The Thinking Woods,' because it is often used by us as a place to practice or just think and blow off steam when things aren't going so well. However, because of recent events, many come back here in hopes of finding the White Swan, because she often comes here to help guide people's hearts.”
“You know the White Swan?” asked Rachel.
“More than most people,” responded Mai.
“Well, you're not her, and I do wish to have some privacy, so if you'll…” continued Rachel, but Mai would not have it, and said, “It's not good for you to brood over things. I think there are things you need to get off your chest and, though I'm not Princess Tutu, I am a good ear.”
Rachel sighed heavily, and she said, “If you knew what it is that I must suppress, you would understand why I do not discuss it. If you knew what exists inside me, you would run in fear.”
“It can't be all that bad,” said Mai, not knowing that she was the Raven.
She sighed even heavier, and said, “Yes…it…can…be! Go…away!”
“Then tell me about it,” came another very familiar voice. The two turned their heads quickly to see Princess Tutu standing there with a great smile on her face. She came up to Mai and said, “Its okay, I'll take over from here.”
She smiled and stroked Mai's face, and had her go back to the campus. Once she was on her way, Tutu then said, “Dearest Raven, it seems there were more things with which you needed to deal than you revealed to me on the moon. Let me help you.”
She then made the “dance with me” gesture, but Rachel, (now turning into Raven,) just stared at her. Finally, Raven said, “You don't want to come up in here. You may be finding more than you want.”
“If I could root around in Joker's and Mr. Mind's heads and come out fine, I can handle this,” said Tutu.
“They didn't have someone else living up there,” said Raven quite frankly.
“Then perhaps I need to face him too,” said Tutu, giving Raven a knowing look. However, Raven returned that with a look of, “Oh no you don't!”
“You must trust me,” said Tutu, “Because this is going to be different than any other mind link than you have ever done to another. Please, dance with me.”
Tutu offered her hand again, and with great reluctance, Raven finally took it.
Tutu found herself on a long road that seemed to be floating in the ethereal plane, and then led to a beautiful island. When she walked the road, she found, not one, but several Ravens standing there in a variety of colors. Each one had a different personality, and Tutu had to asked, “Who are all of you?”
“Who wants to know,” said one angrily.
“Chill out! She's cool,” said another that seemed more laid back.
“Oh, you're so pretty,” said yet another.
“Yeah,” laughed another, “if you like looking like a dancing tulip!”
Tutu smiled and said, “Ah! I understand now! You're all the emotions she represses!”
“That's right,” said one that seemed sad, “She never lets us out!”
“What does she fear?” asked Tutu, genuinely curious.
“Please,” asked one of them who seemed to cower a bit and stand to the back, “Don't ask that! You don't want to know.”
“Oh, but I want to,” said Tutu.
At that, what could best be described as Raven Prime stepped to the fore and said, “You are right: these are all my emotions.”
“Then come and dance!” said Tutu, and some did, while others were not so certain. Tutu then had to ask, “What is this beautiful place?”
“This is Azra,” answered Raven Prime, now speaking for the others, “This was where I was raised when my mother was rescued from Trigon. They taught me to use my powers for good.”
“Oh, such a good memory!” exclaimed Tutu, “You never mentioned it before!”
“There are reasons,” said Raven.
Tutu sensed the shift in emotions, and the Ravens that represented fear, sorrow, and anger all began to react. They said, “He caused us to destroy our home!”
As soon as that was said, the temperature dropped about ten degrees, and the paradise was replaced by a charred ruin. Raven then realized that it was some of the emotions that brought up this image, and she was angry that she had lost control of them. Tutu felt the sorrow, and the dance then shifted, as did the music, to reflect the scene. “No wonder you feel so forlorn,” said Tutu, “For I would be very sorrowful if my home were destroyed. Yet, suppressing your emotions is not healthy, for you must come to terms with it, or it will consume your life.”
The Raven that represented vengeance came up and pointed an accusatory finger at Raven Prime, and said, “She did all this, and she should pay!”
“Oh, please,” said Tutu, “Someone as sweet as Raven could never have that kind of evil in her.”
Then one of the Ravens approached, wearing all black, and that caused Raven Prime to stiffen. She then yanked away from Tutu in her mind, (though not outwardly,) and said, (along with Raven Anger,) “I told you that you did not want this. Now you dredged HIM up!”
What was approaching looked like the others, but her eyes were different. This Raven represented dark desires, and she had four red eyes instead of two, set in an over/under arrangement. It said in a deep male voice, “I am what she fears!”
The other Ravens disappeared, and the one in black began to transform before them. Now, looking like he was about 50 feet tall now, and floating in the ether just off the devastated island was the demon Trigon—Raven's father! This was being accompanied by the music from The Firebird at this point, at a point of the ballet when there was fire and devastation. Trigon then laughed and thundered and said, “You foolish girl! What made you think you could come in here and take on the likes of me with your puny abilities?”
“Leave now, Tutu, and I can get him under wraps again!” said Raven, hoping to keep Tutu's mind from being fried, “You don't understand. I defeated him, but no matter what, because he is my father, a part of him lives in me, which is why I cannot let anyone get too close. He wants to live through me.”
She was not an empath like Mytho, but when she was like this with someone, she could indeed do what Mytho could, and she looked at Trigon in curiosity. She started to probe, and he thundered, “HOW DARE YOU ROOT AROUND IN MY MIND!”
The island began to shake, but Tutu would not be deterred, and, in fact, she got a sly look on her face as she began to smile. “I root around in your mind, because it's really Raven's mind!”
“WHAT!” he thundered, “I am Trigon!”
“Wrong!” snapped Tutu in return, “You represent everything that she thinks she is guilty of, and really is not.”
Raven was now horrified, considering that no mortal other than her and the Titians ever took such impertinence with him and lived to tell about it. What Raven did not realize was that, even though it was the part of her that was her father, it was still a part of her. This was something that Tutu was going to make clear. Raven tried to protest, and said, “Please, Tutu, don't do this: he'll destroy you!”
Tutu spun around and said, “No, he won't—I guarantee it!”
Raven tried to use her own abilities to stop her, and as she did, Trigon began to move. However, Raven underestimated that of which Tutu was capable. With some pirouette piques, the area upon which they stood filled with plants, putting Raven in a cage, as Tutu said, “Raven, watch and learn, because you will see the reason why he cannot and will not destroy me.”
The whole area looked like life rising from the dead, and Tutu arose on a vine column after turning some grand fouettes. She now looked Trigon in the face, and she snapped, “Why should I fear someone who should be dead and defeated?”
Trigon's eyes began to glow, and he became enraged, as he thundered, “YOU SHALL SOON LEARN WHY, SUBCREATURE!”
He brought his hands up to try and slap her like a fly, but all his hands did was cup around her, as if he tried to crush her, but could not do it. “WHAT? HOW?” he muttered, and he strained, but his hands flung off as he was shoved backwards. Tutu was now surrounded by her astral swan, but because this was internal, it would not sap her strength. Trigon's hands were now cut, and he could not understand why. However, Raven screamed, and looked at her hands, and they were cut in the same way. Her healing abilities were closing them, but at the same time, Trigon's cuts were closing as well. He looked upon Tutu, now with fans in her hands, surrounded by her swan aura, and she had a determined look on her face. “Stop this nonsense!” Tutu said firmly, “Why would you want to fight your friend?”
“I AM NOT YOUR FRIEND!” he thundered, and he tried to swipe her off the column, but she was gone in a flash. In the next instant, Tutu was as large as he, in a ballet pose that represented preparation for combat. Tutu then said, “I am your friend! You must remember this!”
“Remember a friendship we never had?” asked Trigon, “That is foolish!”
He shot flames at her, but she pirouetted out of the way and executed a leg sweep on him. He fell and reacted as if he had hit the ground, though there seemed to be nothing below them. As that happened, Raven also fell and hit the bottom of her cage. She could not understand what was causing this to happen to her, and Trigon stood just as she did. Trigon was now enraged, wondering how he had been so easily taken down. He charged, thundering, “FOOL! IN HERE, I AM THE MASTER OF EVERYTHING!”
Tutu did a jette over him, and followed that up with a spinning roundhouse to the back of his head. He spun and hit the ground hard. Raven reacted in the same way and felt dizzy. She could not understand it. Tutu then said, “Please stop, you are my friend, and you are making me hurt you!”
“NO!” thundered Trigon, “YOU CANNOT BE THAT POWERFUL! I AM TRIGON! I HOLD GREAT POWER, AND YOU CANNOT DEFEAT ME! THE FOOLISH TITANS THOUGHT THEY DID, BUT HERE I AM!”
He tried the flame trick again, but this time, Tutu used her fans and astral aura to block the flames, and then to send them back. When that happened, Raven screamed, and Tutu said, “Please, figure it out! Can you not see who I really fight? You can control this, and make it work for you.”
“NO ONE CONTROLS ME!” screamed Trigon, and he charged again, but this time Tutu was through playing. She caught him in an arm drag take down and she put a fan to Trigon's throat. Raven did the same flip, and suddenly they were in the real world, with Raven on the ground, nose bloodied, with one of Tutu's fans at her throat. Raven was now breathing hard, and she now realized why Tutu so easily defeated Trigon. She realized something that Raven was just now figuring out. Raven relaxed and Tutu snapped her fans closed as she helped Raven up. “You see,” said Raven, “Just because he was your father, and left something of him in you because he was your father, then that does not mean that it is its own entity that can control you.”
“But…but he is what gave me my abilities,” Raven said, confused.
“That is right, and that is the part of him that is in you,” responded Tutu, “Yet, just because that is the case does not mean that he controls you.”
“But you don't understand,” said Raven, now sounding like she was begging Tutu to stop, “That spirit will take over when my emotions take over. You saw what happened not too long ago!”
“Was that him?” asked Tutu, “Or was that you? You see, when Trigon and I fought, what I was really fighting was your darker side with which you have made no effort to cope, and thus, you were really fighting me. We all have a darker side, even I do, which may surprise you to hear. However, just because that is in you, it does not mean that you do not have power over it. You are the one that can choose to use it. If you have such emotional control as you say, then when those feelings come up that want you to use your darker side, you can control that, and not do something that you should not, like last time. It then cam be a powerful weapon for you.”
Raven thought it over, and then she said, “Link with me again,” and they did. When they did, she faced Trigon the same size as he. Tutu stood beside her, and they both had their astral auras around them—Tutu with her swan, and Raven with the raven silhouette—and Trigon, more than likely with a look of terror for the first time in his existence, had a look of terror on his face. Raven then spoke, but when she did, it had the sound of many voices instead of one. She said, “You are dead, and being so, have no more power over me! You may be me, but that does not mean that I have to do as you did!”
The area around started to brighten again, and Azra started to come back to life. Trigon started to scream, but Raven uttered, “Azra Metrion Zynthos!”
With that, her hands shot forward, and the astral raven shot forth and started to wrap him up like a cocoon. Soon, his screams were silenced, and when the cocoon faded, it returned to the form that it had when it first showed up. It then took a knee before Raven, and it said, “I am your servant! Do with me as you will!”
When that happened, they were once again in the Thinking Woods, and for the first time in a long time, Raven was shedding tears, but these were tears of joy. Tutu and Raven embraced, and Raven then said, “That does not mean that I'll be going to the mall with the girls and getting my hair done.”
After looking at Tutu seriously, they both began to laugh like old school chums. However, they both stiffened when they heard a new voice speak—a calm, sinister one. “How touching! You could give Dr. Phil competition, fairy princess.”
They looked over to see Slade standing there, holding Mai in front of him, with an arm around her neck. She was struggling in vain and crying. He had caught her coming out, and decided to use her as a guarantee that he would not be attacked when he delivered his ultimatum. Raven knew well who this was, and she furrowed her brow, saying, “Slade, I swear, if you harm her…”
“Fear not, Raven,” he said, “She will not be harmed if you two behave. I just needed to deliver a message. You and your school shall leave this area, as well as the town folk. Stop this foolish show, and no one gets hurt. If not, there will be blood.”
The astral raven began to form over Raven now, and she was saying, “You know I can attack you and get her away before you can blink!”
“And I know you're not that foolish to risk it,” said Slade in return.
However, a voice that seemed to appear in his head said, “But I am.”
Out of nowhere, a hefty oaken branch that seemed to have two astral arms holding it came right across his face—HARD! He went down in a heap, not hurt per se due to the mask, but still rattled, as Mai fled to Tutu's arms. The branch was now on the ground beside him, and the voice said again, “Leave now or face your doom!”
“Who are you!” he said angrily.
“I am the Shadow,” the voice said, “and I know the evil that lurks in the hearts of all people! Crime does not pay, fool! Try to hurt anyone, and you shall feel my wrath!”
He started to look all around, trying to get a fix on the voice, and trying to use the scanners in his mask to locate this “shadow.” However, despite the scanners trying to tell him where that person was, because of the effect of Elly's abilities, he could not see it. He kipped up and said, “Only a fool fights in a burning house! You have not heard the last of this. You have all signed your death warrants!”
He fled the area, and Elly was then able to be seen as she said to the others, “I don't know who this clown is, but I sooooooooooooo pray he tries to pull something!”
Tutu smiled and said, “But dear Elly, I thought you did not want to do this kind of thing.”
Elly smiled and looked sheepish, saying, “It kind of grows on you.”
They all smiled and gave her a knowing look, and Elly just rolled her eyes as she laughed and said, “Just don't advertise it, okay?”
They all laughed as they headed back. They had a show to do.