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Teen Titans Fan Fiction Preparation (Teen Titans, fb appreciated)

Discussion in 'The Story Board' started by Pun-3x, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. DeathscytheVII

    DeathscytheVII Farewell, Daughter of Trigon

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    Way to keep building up the excitement pun :eek: i can only wonder with the rest, just what is Raven and Zerrich going to do...
     
  2. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Well, one good thing I'm happy about is that you all like how this has been building up. I've always been afraid (and have mentioned such many times :sweat: ) that I was going to drag this out too long. I still may have, but I am at least happy with how it's all piecing together.

    I needed to portray Trigon as having gathered strength. Something we all need to keep in mind is that even THIS is but a fraction of his full potential. That's what has always made him so devastating, and it was the best way to portray the Titans as at least being able to have some kind of effect on him.

    But yes, that time has come and gone. I'll be writing the entire conclusion to this battle before I post it, as I want to make sure it reads smoothly enough and ties everything together properly. Thanks for sticking with me, and I hope I don't disappoint. :)
     
  3. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Well, we're here. A very long journey leading to this final moment. I've actually had this concept in my brain for well over a year, once I realized I would write this story past its first chapter. (orginally, it was a silly one-shot. :sweat: )

    As an added bonus, I'm adding some ques to what it was that inspired this scene. This part of the chapter plays along to the CD track 16 of "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." (If you dont' have the soundtrack, it's the scene where they ride out of Helm's Deep one last time, and Gandolf appears on the east mountain, riding down with the sun on his back.)

    If you try to read what I've written along to listening to the track, they won't match--I've given too much detail. But what I decided to do (just for here) is put some time markers to indicate approximately where each part of the scene lines up with the music. If you don't have the soundtrack, ignore the numbers (they'll be on the right hand side)

    If you do, hey--added bonus ;)

    Well, this is it! The conclusion of the battle with Trigon!

    -------------------
    (first note: The first 58 seconds of the track mostly play along to Zerrich and Raven talking--kinda--about how they're going to defeat Trigon. At about 30 seconds in, the music mostly portrays them getting ready. The next segment is the dead-stop in music between 0:58 and 1:00)
    -------------------
    [0:58]

    Everything stopped.

    The air was so still it felt as though Raven and Zerrich were inside a sealed room. They hovered now over the dead ground they had been sitting when the ritual had started, though the chanting had stopped long ago. This time, they would feel no sudden fatigue. Their energy was properly balanced. Their hands were clasped together, and they hovered with closed eyes—in waiting.

    That was when everything had stopped. It truly felt as though the universe had taken pause. Even Zerrich’s breathing lingered in his lungs. His subconscious counted as seconds went by. With Raven so close by, he could tell her breath had been caught the same as his.


    [1:00]

    Suddenly, through his eyelids, Zerrich could see a bright flash. There was a second’s pause before the crackling sound of a giant dimensional portal flowed through the dead plain. It echoed just slightly from the direction of the fallen city. Zerrich kept his eyes closed, unfolding his legs and touching his feet to the ground. He suspected Raven was doing the same. Zerrich let go with his right hand, holding onto her other hand with his left. They could sense the presence of Trigon in front of them, and a thunderous boom shook the ground under them as the demon placed a large hoof against the plains.

    Yet, their eyes remained closed. They did not look to their new guest. Zerrich could picture their energy flowing between them. He concentrated on that flow, concentrating on the balance.

    I HAVE NO USE FOR YOU.

    Zerrich knew Trigon was addressing him. He remained in place, his eyes still closed in concentration.

    AS FOR YOU, MY DAUGHTER…I SENSE A NEW PROTECTION AROUND YOU. I TIRE OF PERSUADING YOU TO MY CAUSE. I AM ONLY IN NEED OF YOUR PRESENCE. ALIVE OR DEAD, IT MATTERS NOT.

    Another tremble in the ground indicated a footstep in their direction. Zerrich could feel the energy gathering in the air. He could feel the charge of power as Trigon prepared to attack them. He knew that detection ability came from Raven, and both mages stood their ground as the high-pitched sound of Trigon’s attack took over their senses.


    [1:23]


    Just as the dull thoom sounded, Zerrich opened his eyes. He held his empty hand out in front of him as the bright white and red energy threatened to incinerate them. With very little effort, Zerrich and Raven created a barrier around them. It’s colors swirled with blue and black as the mages’ defenses combined. A fraction of a second after the barrier went up, Trigon’s eyebeams smashed against it.

    Zerrich grunted as he held his part of the barrier up. He still held Raven’s other hand as she struggled with her part of the defenses. It was working. Their combined magic was more than just twice as strong. It allowed for them both to tap into their abilities far more efficiently than they could have on their own. The barrier was not just a wall of magic; it countered the assault on the other side. Raven and Zerrich were using the barrier to disperse Trigon’s energy, reducing the offensive power. What power could not be dissolved pummeled at their defenses, but they maintained their position.

    Trigon, however, was not pleased. Even with the vibrations from the attack on the other side of their shield, both Raven and Zerrich could hear as Trigon’s breath rumbled. Zerrich could sense another build-up of energy. Through Raven, he could picture Trigon’s hands extending towards them. There was a flash in his mind, and suddenly the barrier was assaulted anew. The quad beams from Trigon’s eyes continued to attack the shield around them, but a series of energy beams from Trigon’s fingers joined with them.


    [1:36]


    Zerrich winced as he felt the pressure against the shield. Raven did so as well, and Zerrich looked over to her. The defenses weren’t going to hold up for long. When she finally looked back, he simply nodded once. It was time to set Trigon up. Would she trust him? She knew what to do, but there hadn’t been time enough to fully explain Zerrich’s plan. She was following his lead completely on blind faith.

    Zerrich let go of Raven’s hand, and the barrier began to dissolve in front of them. Before it got finish dissipating, Trigon’s attack forced it to disintegrate. Four eye beams and multitudes of energy blasts from Trigon’s fingers pummeled the ground behind the broken shield, destroying everything. Ground flew into the air in a magnificent explosion, casting a dirt screen over the area. The dust took forever to settle, as there had been no wind for some time. When it cleared enough to see through, all Trigon could find was a massive crater.



    [1:47]


    He couldn’t see Zerrich where he stood. The Man from Azarath was now a good distance away, standing on Trigon’s left. Slowly, the beast turned its head in his direction. Instead of attacking again, he turned to look to his left. Raven had used a similar trick, slipping through her own portal and appearing on Trigon’s other side. From far away, Zerrich could see as Raven lifted herself into the air.

    Trigon turned his body to face her, ignoring Zerrich. She wasn’t ready yet. Zerrich gathered his energy, letting it increase within his hands. Almost the same as the last time, his energy was stable. His attacks always came in pulses because he had never learned to focus his energy enough to create the devastating beams as Raven could. He could always project solid barriers, but they didn’t require any destructive power.

    Now, that power flowed from him effortlessly. As he was building his attack, the voices returned to his mind. The words were much clearer now, their source unmistakable. It strengthened his resolve. He understood what he needed to do, but timing would be everything. He needed to buy Raven more of that time.

    When his power was enough, he aimed his hands at Trigon and let the energy fly. Without the creature even turning around, Trigon’s left hand faced Zerrich’s direction, palm-up. The beam caught against his hand, and the two stayed as they were for a long moment. The attack did nothing to phase Trigon, and the demon’s head finally looked to Zerrich.


    [2:06]


    With the slightest of smirks, Trigon pushed at the beam with his hand. The forced back-energy traveled quickly down the beam, striking Zerrich before he could discontinue the attack. The blast disoriented him, taking away his sight and hearing for all of a moment. He flew backwards for the longest time, finally hitting and tumbling across the ground.

    He would need a moment to gather himself up again. He couldn’t take too long; Raven would need him. But, had he bought her enough time?

    - - -​


    [happening at approx. 1:55]


    Raven lifted into the air. Her eyes were already glowing as she placed her arms out to her sides. Her legs were straight as she ascended to a height equal to Trigon’s chest. Her fingers stretched outward as she prepared the chant. She concentrated on the pronunciation as Zerrich’s attack distracted Trigon for a few moments longer. As she finished the spell, a white glow began emanating from her body. Trigon looked back in her direction after casting Zerrich away, and she grew concerned that whatever Zerrich had been planning would be cut short.


    [2:14]


    She chose to continue with her part. She stayed in place for a moment, the growing energy around her making her presence seem much greater. As Trigon’s entire form turned towards her, Raven clenched her fists. She put all her soul into the spell, unconsciously clenching her teeth. The white energy around them turned black, the effect sliding across the rest of her body. The bright glow was replaced by a brilliant darkness edged in white. Nearly invisible particles began streaming towards her fists like stray dust attracted to a vacuum. The black energy also began to shrink from her body and form around her hands.

    [approx. 2:20]


    With a deep breath, Raven decided it was now or never. She finished inhaling; clenching every muscle in her body tight as she practically threw her fists forward with a scream. The black energy flew from her now-open hands, specks of bright energy flickering all around the black stream. Even the sound of it all streaking across the sky was different. The sheer power of the blast blew the hood from Raven’s head and onto her back. Her cloak billowed and snapped behind her, and Raven had to fight just slightly to keep from being pushed back by her own spell.

    Trigon brought up his arm the same as he had with Zerrich, catching the blast neatly in his palm. The energy pooled against the surface, quickly growing past the size of the hand. The speckled black energy threatened to curl around Trigon’s fingertips, but just as quickly as it had been growing it stopped. Trigon held the attack in place, and Raven could do nothing more to strengthen it.

    Through the haze of the spell, Raven noticed Trigon’s head turning to look behind him. His body rotated partially away, revealing Zerrich standing once again on the Demon’s far side. The man’s fists were encased in blue, energy spikes arching sporadically. Even with Trigon’s head turned, Raven could sense her father’s smirk.


    [2:33]


    Zerrich gestured both fists to the air, and Trigon prepared to catch the new attack with his other hand. At the same time, a glow could be seen coming from the sides of Trigon’s face near his eyes—a counterattack in preparation. The fingers on Trigon’s far hand spread wide as Zerrich released his energy.

    A blue storm of energy exploded around Zerrich as the giant beam soared through the air towards its target. The blast, however, missed Trigon’s hand entirely. Raven suddenly understood where the beam was headed just before it hit, and she realized she couldn’t get out of its way in time.

    The blast was aimed directly for Raven, and it struck with a tremendous force.

    [crescendo at 2:42]


    The air around Raven exploded like thunder in all directions. She screamed from the immense force of the blast. It took her a moment to realize it wasn’t from pain. She screamed from the sheer overload of power. Energy filled her every being as the beam continued to flow into her, and it was almost overwhelming. The power was too much to have come from two beings. In fact, what she was experiencing should have been impossible.

    And then she heard the voices.

    They were clear as day, speaking over and over. She realized they weren’t simply speaking to her. It was a chant. Each voice gave her strength, reciting the incantation she had started. It was incredible; thousands and thousands of voices surrounded her. They were the people of Azarath. She felt them around her, within her, through her power.

    The energy surrounding her grew one hundred fold. Black and blue energy swirled together in a tremendous storm forming into three specific tendrils. The ones to her left and right formed into giant wings, and the center tendril formed into the head of a giant raven. The Titan was at the center of the beast with a blue beam of energy flowing into her, and a fusion of power streaming out and striking Trigon.

    The energy swimming in the creature’s palm quickly surrounded the hand, working its way around his wrist and down his arm. Raven’s avatar turned its head down at Trigon, its giant wings beginning to curl inward. Trigon fired his eye beams at the black raven attacking him, but the blast simply disappeared within the black and blue void.

    The edges of the avatar crackled with energy as it began to surround Trigon, pulling itself towards him. The energy around Trigon’s arm began to surround his upper body, traveling down his waist and around his legs as well. Trigon roared, a sound that nearly rivaled the effects of the combined efforts of Raven, Zerrich and all the people of Azarath.

    He tried one last desperate attempt at destroying the giant thing that attacked him, his eyes firing directly for Raven. It once again did nothing, and the energy overtook him entirely. A white outlining of Trigon’s form could be seen within the surrounding energy as Raven drew closer. The avator bent its head down over Trigon as the wings continued to fold around him. The form’s body, including Raven herself, closed in on the demon until the avatar was no longer recognizable. A giant sphere of crackling power completely engulfed Trigon. It was immense, easily three times Trigon’s size.

    Then, the energy sphere—power spitting angrily at its edges—began to shrink. The low thrum and sizzling sounds began to increase in pitch as the sphere closed in on Trigon. There was no way out. What the spell was intended to do was past the point of no return. Now, it simply needed to finish its course.

    - - -​

    Zerrich’s energy continued to flow into the sphere of energy as it shrunk in front of the man’s eyes. Trigon’s form could no longer be seen, as the fringes of the sphere were now far too bright. Zerrich wasn’t about to let up. While growing weary, Zerrich was determined. The plan was working, and now they would finish this.

    However, just as he could not see Trigon, Zerrich could no longer see Raven either. He didn’t have time to worry about her. The sphere of energy continued to shrink until it was smaller than Trigon’s height. The angry sounds grew louder and higher in pitch, and through it all Zerrich could hear Trigon roaring. The terrible scream added to the anger of the attack, both growing louder. Zerrich’s energy left him involuntarily, leaving him to stand where he was and watch.

    Then the sphere began shrinking at an even greater pace, growing even brighter as it did. As it imploded to the size of a small speck in the center of the sky, Zerrich could hear another scream. It was Raven’s, and it began to crescendo beyond Trigon’s roar as well as the roar of their combined energy. Then, with an anticlimactic flash in the center of the sky, the energy sphere disappeared. The sounds echoed through the dead air, Raven’s scream at the very end of it. It was very quiet for a fraction of a second.

    [3:04]


    The very next moment, the center of the sky exploded in a blast of light. A gigantic boom followed a millisecond later, nearly deafening Zerrich where he stood. A moment after that, a blast-wave tore through the valley, knocking Zerrich off his feet. He tumbled harder than he had when Trigon had last attacked him, wind slamming into him and chunks of rock pelting his entire body. He smashed into the ground, rolling along for what seemed like forever before he finally skid to a stop face down. The winds rolled past him for a few moments more before finally dying away.

    Zerrich had just enough strength in him to raise his head and look up. The landscape was completely barren. There was nothing there. There was no one left. Everything was eerily quiet. This time, however, the quiet stayed. Zerrich’s head rested back against the ground, and with a relaxed exhale the Man from Azarath went unconscious.
    -------------------

    Well, there it is. Obviously, the description is too much for the music (visually, the scene runs in pace with the soundtrack.) I hope this works. It's taken a long time to get here, and now that we're here, I'm hoping it's satisfactory. If it isn't, by all means tell me.

    Although, fair warning. If you aren't happy about the lack of dialogue, that will probably remain as such. Dialogue at this point runs the great risk of creating some really cheesy lines, and I'm shooting more for that visual impressiveness. Still, if that IS the thing you feel might be missing, do say so.
     
  4. JAG

    JAG Active Member

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  5. Arrakhat

    Arrakhat Trust me, I'm a doctor

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    Well... that... yeah...

    Words don't do this justice. A combination of my favorite music with a stunner of a battle...:raven2: :raven:
     
  6. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Cool. :)

    So...you guys like it? In the end, with the way the story has been building up...does this whole thing work? Does it fill everything in? Come up short somewhere?

    Sorry. :sweat: I don't mean to prod at anyone. This is, like, THE most important part of the story. You know, all the other little things leading to this big moment. I want to make sure it really works. Wording, plotlines, clarity, everything. If some things aren't clear, there is an epilogue to follow. (a rather long one, but yeah) So things left out can be explained. But please let me know if there's a question or something you feel got left out.

    I know I probably sound like I don't trust myself...but I'm questioning whether I've gotten this thing right. :sweat: Thanks everyone for still reading this thing. I know it's been long, and I truly appreciate those of you that stuck with it.
     
  7. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    Yeah, I'd say that works. After about a year's worth of build-up (at least, I think that's how long this story's been going for), the final defeat of Trigon could have been an epic anti-climax. In fact, considering what's gone before, it should have been an epic anti-climax.

    But it wasn't.

    Mostly, this was because I had no idea what was going to happen. No clues at all. With these kinds of victories, it's usually easy to figure how it's going to be done, and whilst this doesn't ruin things, it does sap the tension a little. But here, the suspense is sky-high, with me spending the piece once again fearing that Trigon would spoil a genius plan before it even got into gear. Because I had no idea what this plan was, I had no idea what signs of success to look for: essentially, each development in the battle could've been a setback rather than a help.

    The plan itself was a good one. I'm not entirely sure how Zerrich managed to recruit a load of dead mages, but I don't greatly care, because the idea is so ingenious. In the end, Trigon is defeated by a world he's already destroyed, not to mention the magic they both require(d) to do their respective things. It's a nice irony, but not a cloying Hollywood one.

    But what I think made the piece really stand out was the style of it. Not just the mystery and the tension, but something else as well. As you said, there was no dialogue, thus avoiding either crap or over-sentimental one-liners. By focusing on the visuals, you created a battle that still had emotion, but also scale, the kind of apocalyptic epicness that a spell-fight between two teenagers and demon wouldn't necessarily have. Even though I didn't listen to the score, I know that piece well, and its intense presence could be felt all the way through. Actually, I think that's the best way to describe the way this finale was presented: intense. It wasn't gung-ho, it wasn't cliched, it just went straight for the dramatic jugular. That kind of ambition doesn't happen often in stories, even this one.

    Oh yes, and then there's the fact that Raven may have just unwittingly given up her life. That certainly makes things a bit more tragic and powerful...not to mention making me more than a little anxious for the epilogue.

    A full 5-star work here, Pun. Congrats.:anime:

    -Matt A-
     
  8. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Thanks, man. That means a lot.

    The twists and turns, I have to say, were probably the most fun. I love making someone think one thing and then turning it on them, and I'm glad it created the unpredictability it did.

    In regards to how it was all done, the epilogue will piece together the last of it so it all makes perfect sense. I don't think it's spoiling much (as you can grab the hints in the last couple of chapters) but the recruited dead mages weren't actually recruited. They've been talking to Zerrich, but he couldn't quite put together what the hell they were saying. Raven was the piece they required, for some obvious and some not-so-obvious reasons. The reasons why, again, shall be explained. :) It makes sense to me, so hopefully it'll make sense on paper.

    Yeah, heh... :D

    One of the things I'm happy worked out was the lack of dialogue in the last segment. I guess people feel like there has to be some dialogue--if this were a movie script, you'd probably have producers, and the studios, and the actors, and some stage hands going "You gotta have dialogue! There's gotta be some really cool line in there! Some smart-ass Schwartzenegger one-liner kind of thing! It's, like, the law, man!"

    It's almost to the point you fear NOT putting lines in, but as I was writing it, I just never felt that dialogue would be appropriate at any time except Trigon's addressing the two of them as he arrived. Beyond that, there was no place for it. Any line would have felt forced, so I didn't bother. I felt like it worked, and I'm totally glad you agree. And the fact that it doesn't happen often in my story, as you say, probably makes it all the better. The last scene should probably stand out a little more than the rest of the story. ;)

    And then there are the consequences. I won't go further than that for now. ;)

    Thanks for the heavy input. reading what you wrote makes me feel like if there really was something fundamentally wrong with this segment, you'd be posting about it. Thank you so much (and EVERYONE who has read this story!) for following this thing to the end.

    And the absolute end will definitely be coming. Might take a few installments :sweat:, but we're quite obviously there.
     
  9. DeathscytheVII

    DeathscytheVII Farewell, Daughter of Trigon

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    Sorry for the lateness pun, but i deliberatly refrained from reading this update until i got an audio file of the sound track :D wouldn't want to miss out.

    I'm tempted to say that im speechless, because im really close to it :eek: it was such a powerful ending. As matt said, one of my big fears was that you spent well over a year constantly building this up and up, i was afraid of an anti-climax. You pulled off a very difficult job with that awesome update, and i applaud you. The descriptions, the pacing, the music ;) i could just feel the presence and power in there, which is further strengthed by the lack of dialogue.

    I gotta say, my favourite moment was the crescendo (2:42), where you described the blast, the power of the fallen people of azarath giving Raven comfort. Great pick of music, when the violin sol o began, i was completely engrossed at that moment. I actually felt that part of the story...if it makes any sense. Top notch stuff :D I was completely blown away. COMPLETELY.

    Now that the tension is gone, i can only wonder if our heroes made it unscathed. Once again, great job on Trigon. If only the show did HALF of what you put into his character. Omnipotent demi-god villains are hard to write, because their unlimited powers strictly limits the actions the writers can do with them. But you've done him justice, and given him a great evil and manipulative personality. I can;t praise that characterization enough.

    Great job on two points, for not only making one of the hardest villain archetypes work in your story, but also for keeping the same consistent quality, especially delivering an ending that did not drop the ball, yet did justice the build up we've had all this time.

    When i first started reading this story, it was like any other well written TT fic. I certainly did not expect it to be this....epic :O

    Propz!
     
  10. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Hehe. It goes to show, the music can really make the scene sometimes. It does help engross you just that little bit more than words or visuals can alone. Glad you waited until you could create the whole experience. :D

    Like I said, I've had that scene in my head since I was writing chapter two or three somewhere. I knew I was leading to it eventually, it was just a matter of finally putting it on paper. (I know, I know, MS Word in this case ;) )

    I'm doubly happy of how Trigon's representation came out. I was always afraid I was underpowering him, as that would be the only way the Titans could be seen as being of any kind of use. I think bringing him to a point where he no longer even flinched at anything the Titans were doing helped illustrate that you were seeing a very weakened Trigon at first. Looks like the entire package worked out. :)

    And yes, now it's clean-up time. As well as answering any 'what the hell just happened' based questions. And, some other issues I want to address, just because it's in-character for certain people. :)
     
  11. JAG

    JAG Active Member

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    Sorry for the pathetic 'review' I left earlier. I didn't have time to post a longer one, but I do now.

    I don't have the LOTR soundtrack, but this chapter didn't need music to be spectacular. Dialogue, either. I agree that cheesy one-liners or death threat-filled rants from Trigon would have seemed out of place here.

    This chapter (well, the whole story, really) would be great to see animated. I liked The End. It was a good episode, one of the best. But this is how Trigon should be handled. This story would not only be a worthy substitute, it would beat The End to death with Mjolnir and set fire to the corpse.;)

    One thing that I liked about this story was all of the curveballs in it. The whole 'who is the villain' thing, especially. First it seemed like maybe Zerrich was the bad guy. No, wait. Maybe its Slade, cool. What the-?! Chang?! No, maybe it is Zerrich. Or Slade. Oh, okay. Trigon. Sweet.:evil: I still half-expected Zerrich to be a traitor, though. When he supercharged Raven's powers, I thought he was finally tipping his hand. Obviously, I was wrong. Right? There's still another chapter to go...

    Speaking of which, the Titans aren't out of the woods yet. Jump City is a mess, so they're gonna have weeks of cleanup and evacuations and stuff to deal with. Not to mention the fact that Aqualad and Bumblebee are dead, which will mean that Titans East will probably disband. Either that, or get some new members.

    Can't wait for more!
     
  12. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    That has got to be the greatest sum-up of this plot's villain possibilities I've ever read. :D The only thing I'd add between the "Or Slade," and "Trigon. Sweet," Moments would be a "Wait, who the &#@%! is this guy?!" to flush it out. ;)
     
  13. JAG

    JAG Active Member

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    Yeah, that too.:D I forgot to add that guy.
     
  14. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Holy Crap! I wrote something! Man, I've been so burnt out on this thing, it was hard to get certain bits started. Each weekend I'd try and say "okay, I HAVE to write something towards this end. I've gotten too far to let it go."

    Then I'd let it go... :sad:

    Seriously, I always intended to finish this, but it got so hard. I don't know why.

    Anyway, I do apologize for taking so damned long with this thing. I hope to start updating regularly again until the ending is complete. And I hope we all remember where we left off. ;) :p :D

    Okay then, without further ado:

    EPILOGUE!
    ------------------------------

    At first, the air was extremely still. Nothing seemed to move, as if relaxing after the tremendous amount of exerted energy had finally dissipated. Everything stayed that way for quite some time, save one thing. Just ten feet above the ground, practically in the middle of nothing, the air seemed to waver slightly. The nearly invisible wavering expanded slightly; encompassing a much greater area as time slowly crept on.

    After some time, an intermittent flash of light began to strobe from the very center. At first, the flashes were a handful of seconds apart. Eventually, the flashes increased in both size and frequency. The expanding light source started leaving a slight glow behind every time the flash went out. Then, the light began to maintain itself, flashing sporadically around its edges. The energy grew, and the bright light in the center began to swirl inwards. The noise coming from this new energy grew louder.

    The very center of the new vortex stopped glowing, and that too began to expand with the disc of light energy. There were warbled sounds coming from the center now, sounding much like voices. The air seemed to swirl violently from the center, and the sudden appearance of a scarred brick wall from the other side contrasted with the barren wasteland.

    Zerrich’s eyes had already focused on the anomaly. He was next trying to will his body to move. There was almost no success, save for the sliding of his right arm across the ground.

    “…--I …-se-. -he ot-er …de! I d--’t …w how l-ng I can k--… -s thing op-n!”

    “H-pe i…-oes to the r..-t place!”

    “It can’t g- —ywher- else! I’m open-n thi…— …up bas-d on the extr…-eadings I got after Rav-n left! It should lead -s right t— them!”

    “I hope you’r- right, Cyb-rg!”

    Zerrich recognized their voices, even before they began to clear up. The rest of the team was coming here. How they had managed to open a portal all by themselves…I’ll have to ask them about that

    “This -s it!” Cyborg shouted. “Go! GO!”

    From within the vortex, member after member began landing against the rough and dead terrain. The last one through was Cyborg, and immediately following his arrival the vortex began to collapse. It took a few moments longer before it finally dwindled into nothing. Not one of the Titans paid any more attention to it. Their shock at the wasteland around them was overpowering.

    Zerrich again tried to push himself off the ground. He succeeded this time in getting his right elbow lifted up, along with sliding his leg slightly forward. He grunted and looked to the ground as he lifted the side of his body just enough. The sounds of footsteps rushing to his position made him look up again. Robin and Beast Boy were at each of his sides, quickly taking an arm each and lifting him to his knees. Zerrich felt slightly dizzy from the sudden motion.

    “Zerrich!” Robin said first. “Are you all right? What happened?”

    “Trigon?” Beast Boy asked.

    Zerrich took a slow breath. “Trigon,” he tested his voice. “It’s over. We got him. It’s all over…”

    Zerrich’s eyes closed from exhaustion. He didn’t see the teams’ reaction. There was a long pause as Zerrich opened his eyes again.

    “Where’s Raven?” Starfire asked. Her voice had that sound—the sound of fear. The fear of what she knew to be the answer already.

    “She…she fought him,” Zerrich said. “She surrounded him with…with this barrier. It was powerful…you could feel it from so far away. I’d never seen anything like it before. Then it shrank…with both of them inside. There was a flash, and then an explosion. The blast knocked me over, sent me…I don’t know how far away. I tried looking for her…but there was nothing. Nothing at all. Then, my strength left me.”

    “Did she teleport away?” Cyborg asked. “Maybe you missed it.”

    Zerrich shook his head, slowly. "Before the explosion…I heard a scream. I heard her scream.”

    There was more silence. The entire team simply stood there. Zerrich place his hand on Robin’s shoulder, slowly trying to hoist himself onto his feet. Robin pulled him up the rest of the way. Zerrich ignored the blotted vision caused by the sudden blood rush from his head as he took a step forward.

    “We fought over there,” Zerrich pointed. "There should be a set of craters where he nearly hit us.”

    He could sense the team’s hesitation. Zerrich had described a scenario that could only explain demise. Here he was, refusing to believe in it himself. They could read his denial as if he’d written it down on some piece of parchment for all to read.

    “Titans, spread out,” Robin ordered. “Search the area. Search for any clues…any trace of Raven.”

    The team separated immediately after. Mas and Menos sped past the group, arriving at the craters Zerrich had indicated far ahead of anyone else. They began their search at a rapid pace, but when the twins realized the dust they were kicking up in the process they slowed down. Starfire flew above the area, searching from the air. The rest of the team fanned out to look for anything they could find.

    Zerrich slowly walked to the point that—at his best guess—he had been standing when Raven disappeared. He tried to use a spell to locate everyone in the area, hoping he’d be able to use it to find Raven as well. He was far too weak to even get it started—all of his power went into that transference. It must not have been very long that he’d been unconscious, as his strength was still barely there. That, however, was mostly due to being knocked around all day.

    “Guys! GUYS!” Speedy shouted from some point just ahead of Zerrich.

    The team ran to Speedy’s position, Zerrich hobbling along as best as he could. When he got to the group, he had to wait until Beast Boy and Cyborg parted to let him by. They both still looked to what Speedy was holding in his hand. The item looked blackened, all but one spot just off the edge. It was the color of midnight blue.

    It was a part of Raven’s cloak. The remains of it had been all charred, save that one little corner. The entire team looked around instinctively, but the area was otherwise barren. There was nothing else to be found.

    Zerrich’s strength gave out in his legs as reality finally struck him. He dropped harshly to his knees, fighting hard to keep his breath steady. There was nothing left to do. Trigon had been defeated, and it had been at a terrible cost. Many lives in Jump City perished without a second thought by the demon. The Titans had lost three of their members. It was hard for Zerrich to find comfort in knowing that Trigon would have destroyed all life on that planet beyond Jump City, as well as countless other worlds. The damage had been insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

    [FONT=&quot] To Zerrich, to the rest of the Titans, it was significant. Significant was not even a strong enough word. Would there ever be a word to describe this kind of pain? Starfire could be heard sobbing quietly, Beast Boy’s sniffles hard to ignore. There were no other noises. Not even the wind. Only the sound of their pain.
    --------------------

    p.s. --hope the 'garbled voices' thing wasn't too annoying. When it's supposed to be hard to understand someone, I like to actually make it hard to understand someone. :D
    [/FONT]
     
  15. Arrakhat

    Arrakhat Trust me, I'm a doctor

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    Blasted garbled voices!;)

    Tragic, a true death for a true hero. Is that it? Is that really the epilogue, or is there more? I need more! We can't end on this note, it's far to depressing.
     
  16. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    No, there are too many other loose threads I need to snip. There shall be more. It is a rather dreary place to stop. But it doesn't feel very complete.

    And don't worry, we'll have completion.
     
  17. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    Now that was depressing. I mean, considering the bodycount thus far (ie, there's one at all), we shouldn't have been so surprised that Raven has bitten the dust: with Trigon being way deadlier than any incarnation of him I've seen thus far, her sacrifice made the most amount of thematic sense. (In point of fact, I'd been half-expecting Teen Titans to go the same route in season four, and I think they might well have done if they'd been allowed.) And you'd even all-but said it at the end of the last chapter, so when it finally got confirmed here, it shouldn't have been so hard-hitting...but, as with most things, it's only when you sit down and think about something that the stone-cold realisation really hits you. So, despite all the hints and lead-ins (well, you get the idea), that was quite a bummer.:crying:

    But hey, what's life without depressing bits? They make the happy bits worth remembering, after all. And this story isn't over yet...

    -Matt A-
     
  18. DeathscytheVII

    DeathscytheVII Farewell, Daughter of Trigon

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    Very depressing Pun :( Raven's death is in many ways similar to Boromir's from LOTR. The fact that she turned evil beforehand, but then came back to redeem herself, only to find that she'll die anyway :(

    Truth be told, i was expecting zerrich to bite the dust, but i guess that was too obvious a choice, raven was too connected with trigon to emerge unscathed. Of course, as matt said, this price makes sense considering she fought the deadliest incarnation of trigon ever hehe.

    And yes, i agree with everyone else...we need more!
     
  19. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Well, here's the rest of this particular segment. There's still more to the epilogue.

    --------------------------------

    Speedy stood over the wasteland that was Azarath with the piece of cloth in his hand, the team surrounding him. He had lost two good friends, the third a good teammate. They had come here to assist in any way they could, and they had arrived only to find that they were too late. In the ultimate sense, it meant the battle was over…and for the greater good. But just as everyone else had been going through, Speedy couldn’t help but feel completely empty. He was far too numb to appreciate the victory they had all fought for. The odds were terribly against them, and through some miracle they had won. It just didn’t feel like a victory. Speedy felt that even saying it out loud would do no good either.

    “Let me…let me see it.”

    Speedy looked to Zerrich, the man still on his knees. He held his hand out, gesturing towards the ruined material in the palm of Speedy’s hand.

    “Let me see it,” Zerrich persisted.

    Speedy paused for a moment, not sure what Zerrich could gain from merely holding it. He slowly handed it to Zerrich anyway. The man on his knees clutched it for a moment, closing his eyes again. That slight urgency in Zerrich dissolved as the man took a deep but shuddering breath. There were a few moments before Zerrich began whispering. Speedy figured the words weren’t English, though he couldn’t hear enough sound to determine that for sure.

    The piece of cloth began to smolder, eventually bursting into flame in Zerrich’s palm. The fire must have burned at Zerrich’s skin, but he didn’t even flinch at it. The emerging ashes of the cloth began circling the flame from base to tip, eventually fluttering into the air and above the team. There was no wind to carry the particles, yet they seemed to float and spread out with some sort of current. The last of the cloth burnt to ash, the last particles floating upward before the flame could snuff itself out.

    That was when the little black specks began to glow. Even in the orange sky, the little sparkles looked like a moving starfield. Speedy couldn’t help but be moved even that little bit by the site. He was no expert in culture—especially alien culture—but he figured this to be some sort of Azarath ritual for the dead. Most likely, this was the proper Azarath send off to what ever they may have considered their afterlife. It brought a sense of finality to the team, and even Speedy couldn’t stop a tear running under his mask and down the side of his face.

    The glowing specks in the air flickered, seemingly their last moments. One flashed brighter than the others, sending a streak to one of the specks in particular. It seemed to set off a chain reaction as many more of the artificial stars did the same. There were many lines of light that flashed across the sky, the entire process lasting all of two seconds. Each speck, looking as if they had finally died out, suddenly flashed unison. It blinded Speedy just for a moment, and he put his hands over his eyes. His face was forced to look down, and the ground at his feet seemed to flash brilliantly as well.

    And that was when Raven appeared.

    The light died away, revealing the girl collapsed on the ground. The edges of her cloak were tattered. Her eyes were closed, and her skin was more of a purple than its usual gray. She did not move.

    “What in…” Cyborg seemed to manage, his voice flustered with surprise and emotion.

    Nothing else was said. Speedy and Robin were the first to kneel at her side, reaching to roll her onto her back. Her skin was cold to Speedy’s touch, and it scared him. He had no idea how he was seeing what he was seeing, no idea how it happened. Whatever it was, he was now worried that this one chance at her coming back was too late.

    Robin was checking her breathing, listening to her heart. Speedy already knew what Robin would find, though the Boy Wonder had probably already known as well. The Titan leader began performing CPR, starting immediately with the chest compressions meant to get Raven’s heart restarted.

    “Help her, Zerrich!” Speedy heard Beast Boy say. “Can’t you heal her? You gotta!”

    Speedy looked to Zerrich. The man was crumpled to the ground, one hand pushing desperately to prop himself up again. Speedy rushed to Zerrich’s other side, helping him up and over to Raven. He mostly pulled Zerrich over than actually helped; the man from Azarath had almost no strength of his own.

    “Is there anything you can do?” Speedy asked.

    “N…n-no, strength…left,” Zerrich whispered. Even with those words, Zerrich still reached weakly to touch Raven’s hand. Speedy half-expected something to happen anyway—some reaction.

    “Move, move!” Cyborg bellowed, practically shoving Robin out of the way. He placed his right hand against Raven’s heart, his left in the center of the girl’s chest. Cyborg’s fingers suddenly detached from his hands, a lone cable still connecting each digit to the Titan’s palm.

    “Never tried this before,” he said, nervously. “Everyone stand back! Clear up!”

    Speedy took Zerrich’s hand away from Raven’s, everyone else stepping away. There was the sudden sound of electricity traveling through Cyborg’s arms, and a large jolt blasted into Raven. Her body convulsed from the shock, settling down a moment later. There was no other reaction.

    The electric sound built up again within Cyborg, and another jolt blasted through Raven. Her body jumped off the ground once more, landing without any response. Cyborg charged himself up for a third time, even with smoke coming out of his right elbow. The charge jolted into Raven again. She landed against the ground, her head rolling lifelessly to the side. The smell of ozone rested around the team, Cyborg’s heavy breathing the only sound in the air. The sparking at Cyborg’s right elbow and left wrist indicated he wouldn’t be able to do that trick a fourth time.

    Slowly, almost unperceivable, Raven rolled her head slightly. Her eyes fluttered half-open as she looked up. Her first breath was almost rushed, as if she hadn’t received oxygen in far too long. The following gasps concluded this, and more life returned to Raven’s body. Uncontrollably, she began to shiver.

    “Get her warm!” Robin commanded, taking off his cape and wrapping it over the girl as Cyborg stood up. Starfire quickly surrounded the girl in a very slight green glow from her eyes. They weren’t out of the woods yet, but they were doing far better than they had been. The twins were excitedly jabbering on in Spanish, a mix of concern and excitement on their faces. Beast Boy went from Raven’s side, checking her over to make sure she was okay. He was questioning Robin up and down about whether or not Raven would be all right. Before getting any answers, the young Titan was on his feet and barraging Cyborg with the same questions.

    Zerrich reached over again for Raven’s hand. Their fingers barely curled around each other’s palm, lack of strength from both of them. Raven’s head turned again to its side, looking over at Zerrich with tired eyes.

    “Your aura,” she whispered. “You set off your aura. I…I could sense it. Almost follow…follow it home. But…I could only go…so far. I…almost couldn’t break free.”

    Zerrich nodded to the best of his ability with the side of his face plastered against the ground.

    “Then, something…set me free. Something let me come back. How…”

    Zerrich smirked weakly. “You left something behind.”

    Raven seemed puzzled. Speedy could see it on her face even through the weak expression. There would have to be some pretty good explanations later. For everyone.

    “So, she’s gonna be okay, right? Right, Cyborg? Please tell me she’ll be okay!”

    Speedy looked over at the two Titans, Beast Boy tugging at Cyborg’s reassembled hand. Cyborg simply nodded.

    “Yeah. Our girl’s gonna be just fine.”
    ------------------------







    Well.



    I guess I've tricked you guys a little TOO well. :p I hope you aren't too mad at me. Now I have to worry about whether or not you guys think this works better or not. I'd always planned on this route, but now I'm wondering if I went into the 'death' too much considering where it goes from there. But I also figure, this whole story has been a rollercoaster. What, that was going to stop with Trigon? :evil:



    Anyway, hopefully this segment is written well enough, and hopefully the results are prefered. Though death of a major character can be quite dramatic and a great plot driver...it doesn't ALWAYS have to happen. I just hope the bring-back doesn't seem too convenient or contrived, though do let me know if you think so. (And I trust you will)



    Yes, there's still more epilogue. There is still one important point I need to get to, and a couple more 'mentions' that can be done in a scene or two to wrap up some loose ends. And...wow. We'll be done.



    ...now that's a sad thought. :(

    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]
     
  20. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    No, I'd say that was the right call. Whilst stories often depend on a large share of pain and misery, this is only because, when said pain and misery has finished, it makes the happiness and sunshine feel so much more rewarding. This story has indeed had the lion's share of grey skies, and whilst killing Raven off had a satisfying logic to it, bringing her back means that we get just that little bit more to show for everyone's hard work. And, as cliche as a happy ending may or may not be, there is a reason why it gets used so often.;)

    More to the point, I also have to give you maximum respect for your method. Firstly, the fact that Zerrich's weird cloak-light trick was only an aid to Raven's own efforts, rather than some deus ex machina previously-unknown resurrection spell he'd suddenly pulled from his back pocket, made sure that the spell itself still maintained the ever-vital suspension of disbelief. Secondly, and more importantly, bringing Raven back in a still-near-dead state turned a formulaic "happy ending" into one of the most nerve-shreddingly tense things I've ever read. I mean, considering the stunts you've pulled thus far, I wouldn't have put it past you to return her from the dead only to kill her off again right away: in fact, I've got half a suspicion that you might still do it. With Cyborg having to nearly blow himself up to save Raven's life, I was almost to the point of biting my fingers with the suspense. Props to you for having the cojones to attempt such a stunt, and for having the talent to pull it off.:anime:

    'Course, none of this changes the fact that two Titans are dead, Jump City is nearly in ruins and Raven's homeworld has been reduced to dust. You still gotta have those bum notes.;)

    And I can't believe this is almost over. It's kinda hard to imagine a WFWC without this story in it.:sad:

    -Matt A-
     

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