Teen Titans Fan Fiction ❯ Astarte Of Azarath ❯ Heka Arrives ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Cyborg sighed and carried Astarte up to the infirmary. He laid her out on the bed but she floated above the surface gently, obviously healing herself. Her hair flowed about her face gently, as though she were underwater. Her cloak rose and fell in waves, concealing her momentarily only to unveil her a moment later. Star Fire clasped her hands together.
"I do not believe Astarte hates Raven. She appears to care for her very much."
"I agree." Robin said. "I think it's Raven who hates Astarte. Not on purpose of course. I think she's just hurt that this Neith person was created from her hatred for her."
"So....what'd we do?" Beast Boy asked.
"Oh! We can not send her away!" Star Fire exclaimed. "We must make Raven see that she loves her! Then perhaps Raven will help Astarte control Neith!"
"I don't know Star." Robin whispered. "This isn't our business. She's Raven's sister and we should probably trust her judgment."
She lowered her hands and her head sadly.
"Remember what Raven said earlier? She might be some kind of crimnal of Raven's world."
"Raven's world is hell, right Robin?" Beast Boy asked. "But she's human too. Maybe Astarte's from wherever Raven's mom is. Maybe she's not even demon. Maybe she's like a half sister or something."
"She's too powerful for that. She's either completly demon or atleast half."
"Oh but Robin." Star Fire pouted. "We mustn't hold that against her. Raven is partly demon and we trust her, yes? And Astarte is so kind. She would never, never do anything to harm anyone."
"Yeah." Beast Boy agreed.
"But you don't really know her." he reminded them. "She only got here last night. It could be an act."
"Robin." Star Fire pouted, poking her bottom lip out. "Please. It would perhaps make Raven happier if she were to love her sister again! And I know Astarte will not do anything bad."
"Star...."
Astarte opened her eyes a crack and tears began to rise behind her eyelids. She hated the way she was. No one ever suspected her of anything. Two of them trusted her already and she had just barely met them. Sometimes she wished she could just let Neith have her body. Maybe that would make things easier. Then people would know to stay away from her. She closed her eyes quickly as Robin turned to stare down at her. Star Fire grabbed his arm and looked down into his eyes.
"Please Robin. I know what it is like. I loved my sister very much. I still love her." she whispered, taking his hand and placing it over her heart. "I want Raven to never feel this pain."
"....Alright Star Fire. She can stay."
"Thank you." she whispered, wrapping her arms around him and leaning her forehead against his shoulder softly. "Very much."
Astarte shifted nervously. She hoped the display of affections would draw everyone's attention and provide her with cover. The jewel just beneath her cloak was growing hot and she couldn't sit still. The heat was seeping through her clothes and burning her skin like the fires of a million suns. She inhaled sharply as it burned through the fabric and skin started to bubble and melt around it. She could take it no longer and sat up with a cry of pain as she ripped the necklace from her throat. The others stared at her in surprise and she closed her hand around the jewel, grimacing as it burnt into the center of her palm. She lowered her head so that her short hair hid her face and the excuciating pain that was being displayed there.
"Where's Raven?"
"We don't know. She left."
"... Oh. Did she say anything about....?"
"She told us about Neith. Don't worry. We've decided to let you stay anways."
"Then she did not tell you enough. Otherwise I believe even your kindness would not permit you to harbor such a creature as myself."
"Astarte...we understand that this isn't your fault and we want to help you. You shouldnt be so hard on yourself."
"No, you don't understand! I have to see Raven. Where might she have gone? It's time...I tell her something she should have known from the beginning."
They looked at each other curioiusly then shrugged their shoulders. Astarte wasn't very surprised that they weren't certain of Raven's normal "hang outs". She doubted she left the Tower often enough to have many and she wouldn't tell them of the ones she did frequent. However, Star Fire was able to give her directions to a cafe of some sort where Raven often went to hear poetry. She had a hard time navigating the city but she eventually found the right cafe. Raven's anger was screaming from inside and she sighed shakily before opening the doors to reveal a dimly lit room full of small round tables. Growing from the seats were gloomily attired persons whose eyes were dark and faces expressionless. She took in the girl on stage for a moment. She had long black hair that seemed to flow like water and eyes that burned into her very soul with an icy blueness she'd never experienced before. She took her eyes off the stranger to look around for Raven. Her eyes had adjusted to the darkness quickly and she spotted the Titan not far from the door, in the very back corner of the room. She looked over just as she spotted her and stood. She watched her approach calmly, hoping that she wasn't nearly as angry as she thought she was. Instead of stopping in front of her however she continued on to the door. Astarte turned as sunlight splayed over the back of the dusty room.
"Raven, please?" she whispered.
She stopped only for a moment though and continued into the street. Astarte followed behind her, not speaking for at least fifteen minutes. Raven didn't seem to be heading anywhere in particular. If she had been planning to go back to the Tower she would have flown. Astarte sighed heavily before grabbing her shoulder as they passed a dark alley.
"Raven I need to tell you something."
"Go home." she replied stoicly as she turned. "Stay away from-"
Raven's eyes widened and she gasped as her eyes meet not Astarte's face but a deep ebony jewel of unimaginable depths. She couldn't seem to look past that jewel to see her sister. It was pulling her in. The energy imminating from it was so strong and so evil.
"Heka..." she whispered faintly, reaching for it.
"No." Astarte gasped, closing her fist around it quickly. "Don't touch it. He'll find me."
"....Astarte..." Raven whispered, pushing her into the alley where they could have more privacy. "What do you think you're doing with that? Do you know what Heka will-?"
"It's okay." she replied, cutting her reprimending short. "He made it to protect me. From him. He won't be able to use it to find me. But if you touch it he will connect with your mind and find out where I'm hiding."
"What the hell have you done now?!" she screamed so loudly that people passing stopped to stare for a moment.
"Raven, he's not like everyone thinks he is. He loves me."
"So you're hiding from him?! That makes sense!"
"No." she pleaded. "That's not it. I mean, it is but...something must be wrong with him. He gave me this piece of his heart so he couldn't find me. So he must've known he was going to do what he did whether he wanted to or not."
"And what exactly did he do Astarte?"
"He...tried to kill me." she whispered, tears spilling down her cheeks. "He just woke up one day and...."
"What did I tell you Astarte?! What did I tell you about him?!"
"He's not like FATHER!" she screamed, wind picking up and whirling around the small alley like a minature tornadoe. "Heka's not evil! He loved me! He wanted to protect me! He said he'd take care of us!"
"Us?" Raven whispered. "What do you mean by us?"
"Nothing." she gasped, wind dying down abruptly. "...Me and him. He said he'd take care of both of us."
"Who is us?" she urged.
"Nobody!" she sobbed, eyes filling with a black liquid instead of tears. "Please Raven. I just need time to recollect myself. That's all. Let me stay for awhile."
"No! You'll lead Heka to my friends! I will not let them die for your ignorance!"
"Please! Raven I promise he will not find me! Why would he look for me here?! He'll think I've gone back to..."
"Where?" she asked suspiciously at her pause.
"....The...Valley."
"The Valley of the Undead?"
"...Yeah."
"And why would he think you'd go there?"
"I lived there for a few months."
"You should never have went there. What about your human mother? Why didn't you seek shelter there? Surely you've found out who she is by now."
"...I did figure out who she was. But she...died. While she was giving birth to me. Father told me when I spoke to him last. Before I went to stay in the Valley. He said she was a failure. It takes a failure to bare a failure. That's...what he said to me."
The thick black liquid was spilling from her eyes and sliding down her cheeks very slowly, as though it were sticking to her skin. It dripped off her chin and splattered onto the street where it sizzled and burnt away the concrete. Raven put a hand on her shoulder softly and pulled her close. She wrapped her arms around her and buried her face in Raven's shoulder. The liquid didn't burn Raven's skin but it did seep through her clothes, leaving gaping holes, glaring up at Astarte as she tried to clear her vision.
"Raven...W-why does he hate me so much?"
"You know why. Because he doesn't give love to anyone. He doesn't have love to give. You don't serve his purposes and I do. That's all there is to it. What I wouldn't give to be you sometimes."
Astarte's eyes widened and she pulled away to stare at her, last of the thick, burning tears dripping down her face. Raven wanted to be her? She didn't bother asking why because she already knew but she still didn't see how anyone could want to be a failure in everything they attempted. She would give anything to be the portal despite the price she would eventually have to pay. She would have done anything to have a relationship with her only parent. Even become the key to the destruction of Earth. Raven read all this in her eyes. She'd always known it. And that's the only reason she ever had to be glad that she was the portal. Astarte's eagerness to please their father would have increased her development and there was no doubt that within a few years he would have made his way to Earth.
"We're nothing more than tools to him." she whispered in an attempt to comfort her. "One yet to be used and one too broken to even think about anymore. But you are not a broken tool. You are my sister. And I'll protect you if it comes down to it."
"Thank you Raven. I love you."
Raven stiffened a little as she pulled her closer still and buried her face in what tattered clothing still covered her shoulder. She relaxed soon afterwards however and let herself enjoy a sisterly embrace for once. She pushed her away after a few moments and suggested they head back to the Tower to discuss a few things. The way she said it filled Astarte with uneasiness. She had a feeling her hiding place was going to be turned into a boot camp. She knew as she lagged behind her that she was in for meditation, meditation and more meditation. For something so simple and easy it sure was cumbersome in large amounts. She had the feeling that by the time her stay was over she was going to be unable to uncross her legs ever again. They were just approaching Titan's Tower when an explosion rocked the ground below them. They both stopped and turned to look as a building collapsed into itself, smoke rising to fill the dazzling blue sky with horrendous grey. Astarte coughed and pulled her cloak up to cover her mouth and nose. Raven had done the same but she had also taken out her communicator and Robin was on the other line in an instant. Astarte floated to her side to look over her shoulder at his concerned face.
"What's going on?"
"Not sure." she answered, voice muffled. "A building just exploded."
"Yeah. We kinda saw it from the window!" Beast Boy shouted pushing Robin aside to get in view. "Tell us something we don't know!"
"Check it out." he replied, shoving him back out of the way. "We'll be there soon. It's probably an ordinary bank robber or mad bomber. Astarte, you'll help her right?"
"Uh...Yes Mr. Robin."
"Good. If it is something dangerous just try to hold it off until we get there but don't put yourselves in danger."
"Right." she said, snapping the communicator shut. "Astarte you just wait here. I'll take care of it."
"But....Mr. Robin said..."
"Just wait Astarte. If I need you I'll call."
"Kay." she muttered in defeat.
Raven landed in front of the destroyed building and walked around to the other side, where less debris had fallen. She stood back from the majority of it and raised all the broken pieces to make sure no one had been caught underneath. There weren't any survivors however. Those she did see were no longer living. She closed her eyes briefly before letting the boulders fall once again, making sure they didn't land on the bodies. A sobbing from behind her caught her attention and she turned to see who it was as the sound of police sirens filled the air. A small girl was huddled up against the brick walls of the building next to the destruction. She was clad in a very thin black dress and had no shoes, face dirty and sorrowful. She kneeled next to her and reached a hand out but she drew back. Sympathy filled her eyes.
"It's alright. I won't hurt you. Why are you crying?"
"Mommy got hit by the big rocks." she sobbed softly. "She won't wake up."
Raven gasped as she got to her knees to reveal a woman, half hidden behind trash cans. Her long, flowing hair spilled over her bruised face like a black waterfall and blood dripped into her blue eyes. She didn't blink and she wasn't moving or breathing either. She took the girl's hand and pulled her a few steps away from the corpse, sighing sadly.
"What's your name?"
"Alysia."
"Where's your Father?"
"I don't know." she sniffled. "I don't know my daddy."
"How about any other family. Anyone you can stay with now?"
She shook her head as she wiped at her eyes with her free hand. Raven was glad she'd made Astarte stay behind. Her big heart would have broken at the sight. She stood and lead her towards the parking police cars but she jerked back.
"Where're you taking me?"
"To the police. They'll find you a new home."
"I don't want a new home!"
"Please Alysia..."
"No! Mommy said not to trust the police. They're in the pocket!"
"The...what?"
"The man's pocket. That wants to kill us."
"....What're you.....Oh. Please don't tell me you're in the witness protection program."
She shrugged her shoulders and hugged her arm, burying her face in Raven's cloak.
"Please take me with you. So the man won't get me."
"I'll have to take you back to Titan's Tower and try to contact the FBI. Did she say anything about the FBI being in his pocket?"
She shrugged her shoulders then nodded her head a little. Raven sighed loudly. This was not going to be fun. She would have to deposit the small girl on Star Fire and let Robin figure out who could and couldn't be trusted. Trying to help Astarte control her powers and Neith was going to be tough enough. She couldn't be expected to babysit as well. She picked her up and flew off before the police could spot her. Astarte stared in shock as she rose in front of her.
"Uh...Sister...You do know you're holding a child don't you?" she asked dubiously.
"Yes. Now you take her." she replied, shoving her into her arms. "We have to take her back to the Tower. I'll tell the others not to bother coming before they get too far."
She snapped the communicator open and the rest of the Titans grumbled as they turned back around. When Star Fire heard about the girl she squeeled and took the communicator from Robin.
"Oh Raven! This is so wonderful! I wish to meet the small child. She will be my new boogala, yes?"
"No." Robin interrupted, taking the communicator back. "She's just going to be staying until we can figure out who to give her to. Don't get attached."
"Aw.."
Raven sighed in relief as they entered the Tower and Astarte put the girl down in the living room. She stood in front of the other Titans, looking frightened and bewildered. She walked over cautiously and poked at Cyborg's belly. He burped loudly and she ran back to hide behind Astarte making everyone laugh. Beast Boy kneeled beside her and put his arm around her shoulders.
"Looks like you found the burp button kid." he said laughing.
She pulled away from him, smiling slightly but still clutching Astarte's cape. Robin gave her a short pat on the head before getting to work and Star Fire smiled happily as she bent down and picked her up.
"Oh, you are the cutest little boogala I have ever seen!"
Alysia's face screwed up and Star Fire looked surprised as she began to squal. She quickly handed her back to Astarte and she wapped her arms around her neck as she hid her face in her hair. Star Fire crossed her arms and looked a little miffed that she hadn't immediately taken to her. Astarte cradled her with a smile that Raven had never seen on her face before. She let the thought seep into Astarte's mind on purpose and she looked over at her in surprise. She just shrugged her shoulders and smiled again as she took Alysia to the kitchen to eat. Raven sighed and followed her. She doubted they would be getting anything done today so she decided to let her use this time as a little break. The hours went on with Astare, Star Fire and Beast Boy entertaining their new guest. Raven simply sat to the side reading a thick leather bound book. She slammed it shut a few hours later to find that the scenary around her had changed drastically. Star Fire was beside Robin, talking to an FBI agent. Beast Boy and Cyborg were playing video games and Astarte had obviously been meditating for a long time because when she touched her lightly she fell from the air and continued to snooze on the floor.
"Where's Alysia?"
"I dunno." Cyborg muttered, tapping rapidly at the buttons on his controller. "BB's spose to be keeping up with her."
"No way! I thought Star Fire was suppose to watch her."
"No. It was you."
"Crap."
"Crap indeed." Raven hissed. "Astarte! Get up and help me find the kid."
Astarte rolled over and curled into a tight ball, muttering something incoherent. She heaved her to her feet and drug her off to the room, depositing her onto the bed roughly. She shook her head as she shut the door and went on the hunt for Alysia. She knew she would end up being the one to do all the work. She checked several of the rooms used for storage, calling Alysia's name. Not finding her she decided to check Beast Boy and Star Fire's room. She pushed the door to Cyborg's room open next and peered inside incase she'd gotten curious about his recharger or something. She searched for the light and unable to find it simply walked in, calling Alysia's name softly. She gasped and jerked back when two eyes stared up at her from the darkness. She almost had a heart attack and clenched her chest in shock for a moment. A light came on to reveal Alysia sitting on his bed, grinning malisciously.
"Hello Raven. Were you looking for me? It's not past my bedtime now is it?"
"You're no little girl." Raven growled, hands glowing black.
"That's right. Too bad you didn't figure it out sooner, isn't it?"
She screamed as the light went out and the small girl grew much, much larger. In the darkness she could just barely make out the beastly shape. Horns and large teeth, bad breath. He'd turned into some sort of demon though she couldn't be sure if it was his true form because of the shape shifting. She screamed again as he reached out and raked her side with his claws, throwing her against the wall. She hit the floor and took in heavy, ragged breaths as she tried to stand. Energy caught her wrist and pulled her back down. Down into darkness deeper than that which already surrounded her. Her eyes glowed red as she tried to pull away with all the energy in her body.
"Heka!" she cried, taking in her last breath as she went under.
Heka laughed and turned from Cyborg's room. The other Titans came running as he was heading down the hall and stopped in front of him suddenly. He just stared at them with the most stolid look he had and they looked at him inquisitively.
"What happened? We heard you scream."
"Nothing." he whispered, in Raven's voice. "Alysia decided to play a little prank. She caught me by surprise."
"Well, where is she now?"
"I put her to bed with Astarte. Now if you don't mind..." he added, pushing past them. "I would like to get some sleep as well."
The others watched curiously as he disappeared down the cooridoor but just shrugged as they continued to their own beds. Heka grinned as he slammed the door to Raven's room open and glided in. Astarte was sleeping heavily and he doubted she'd wake up. He closed the door behind him and left the light out. He didn't need it to see. He sat down on the bed beside her and sighed, letting the grin leave his face. He put a hand on her head softly and brushed the bangs from her eyes, still in the guise of Raven. He closed his fingers around the small black jewel and it shattered, the energy inside seeping back into his fingers like a homing pigeon returning to its master. Now to do what he came for.