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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. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Well, I'm glad you feel it was the right way to go. And you're absolutely right about the other tragic happenings in this story. I felt like with all the other losses, this little return gives them at least the one thing to be happy about. Well, besides the defeat of Trigon. ;)

    Which was another worry of mine--making this too easy. I wanted it to be something that required Raven to be doing the 'trying to get back' part. All Zerrich was trying was this last-ditch effort with nothing but the hope that Raven was trying as hard as she could on her end, with no garauntee that she was or was even capable of doing so.


    One thing I've tried hard to be guilty of...making people not trust me. :evil: Well okay, at least in regards to the story. I really hadn't planned on making this segment so suspenseful. Really, they were going to find her passed out, Zerrich was going to be too weak to do anything, but she comes to and everyone realizes she would be okay. But I had already written that she'd disappeared, so that whole finding her bit got obliterated. That was when I decided I really wanted people to think she'd died. The return-segment was a much more built-up version of the first plan, with more of the 'is she gonna make it?' feel mixed in. Obviously. ;)

    And I'm definitely happy that the scene did what it did. Thanks for the props, and I'm glad this scene worked out this way. You've been one of those few but appreciated long-term readers that I could really count on to give it to me straight, and you have no idea how much I've appreciated it all this time.

    I do have a very small readership for this story, but the people that have stuck with it have been the intelligent ones I'd rather have than the dozens of drive-by posters who can't even type net-speak properly, forget normal English. ;)

    Of course, which I think is what warrants this return. Give the readers something back, you know? :p

    I know! Well, okay, only took me forever to finish this thing.:sweat: But yeah, that'll be all after this.

    My plans are definitely going to be on non-TT projects from here on out. I don't even know if I can post them on WFWC, being as they may not relate. And they'll be pictorial ;) But hey, I may try my hand at showing some of my other stuff off here once I decide to focus on it.

    Well, hopefully more Epilogue this weekend. I REALLY gotta push at myself to finish. We're just too close!
     
  2. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Okay then, more story! :D

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

    Getting home wasn’t the easy task, nor had anyone expected it to be. Cyborg’s little trick was out of the question, his advanced systems either drained or fried. Raven was far too out of it to be of any use creating a dimensional vortex back to Earth, and Zerrich had used up every last bit of his energy in his efforts to help Raven come back. It had been quite a bit of time before the man from Azarath had the strength to reopen the vortex and bring everyone home.

    It would, however, be a much longer time before Jump City was going to get past the clean-up phase necessary for rebuilding. A good fifty-five percent of the city area suffered damage, ranging from simple rubble in the street to total loss depending on location. The protective energy dome that surrounded the city had taken two days to collapse; Raven’s initial estimation of a few hours had been wrong. The city had been desperate for outside help, and with the long lasting effects of the barrier came increased panic from the already frightened citizens.

    Eventually, the dome collapsed. The city had managed to respond as best it could to areas that needed the most help. When outside assistance could finally race in, they found many aid and relief stations established at various locations. It allowed more concentration on increasing the relief effort than the need for organizing it, though there was still a great need to restructure and determine what was best to help the city.

    The Titans themselves found little time to rest in the first week since their victory over Trigon. While the Justice League had been a great part of the outside relief effort and had implored them on many occasions to rest and collect themselves, the Titans couldn’t abandon the needs of their city. Most of the work by the team—as was the case with the vast majority of the relief effort—concentrated on the removal of rubble and debris. Entire buildings would have to be brought down due to their extensive damage, but that would come at a later time.

    It wasn’t until two weeks after that the Titans could finally take the time to rest. The League and many other relief groups continued to work in their stead, thinking no less of the ones responsible for saving what they could of the bay area. The death toll was estimated at about 8,000. Considering the population numbered approximately 731,000 at last tally, the casualties could have been far greater. Once information about Trigon’s coming had been passed along, a great majority of the population had taken the time to leave the city. That alone had saved many lives.

    Perhaps in time, the media would attempt to look at other aspects of the terrible ordeal, asking questions about prior knowledge and why the city hadn’t been forced to evacuate instead of leaving it as a choice. Some people would become angry, casting blame on things and beings other than Trigon, such as the Titans themselves. They would have their critics, possibly because of their easy access versus a monster now vanquished. It was the way of the world, and nothing would prevent people from responding in nasty, uncalled for ways. For now, the city was grateful it had survived. Regardless of what came later, the greater population would always be thankful.

    Work continued throughout the city, the clean up seemingly endless. It was on request by Robin that Titans Tower be put towards the end of the list for repairs. The Titans leader stood in the lounge looking out at the open bay waters. A very few amount of window panels had been replaced on the Tower, just enough to allow the place to function. Final repairs would come much later.


    “Wanted a change of view?” came that raspy, nonchalant voice. To Robin’s left stood Raven, a large book under her right arm.

    “The water’s always been a big part of the view,” Robin replied. Admittedly, looking at the city from the rooftop still wasn’t easy. Over the past three weeks the Titans had gotten only somewhat used to the sight. Whole sections of Jump were sporadically leveled. Everything within a half-mile’s radius of where the observatory used to be had been wiped out by the cannon’s explosion. Certain parts of the city had every other building damaged or half-collapsed, while other regions were completely unscathed.

    The bay waters, however, were just as calm and blue as they had always been, contrasting Jump City’s overall condition. Eventually, the city would be restored to match the beauty of the bay. Perhaps looking out at the water served as a reminder of the future they were all working toward.

    Raven’s head lowered slightly. “You do know…I couldn’t kill my father. He’s far too strong. All I could do was trap him. I almost entrapped myself in the process.”

    As much as Robin had hoped it wouldn’t be true, Raven’s sudden revelation was no surprise. Three weeks had gone by, and everyone had been so busy in the repairs to Jump City that a lot of basic ‘what happened’ questions were totally ignored. Robin had to admit, that was mostly his own doing. He had gone straight into work mode nearly the instant they had all gotten back, and the team followed suit right behind him. With the rest they were getting, the Boy Wonder was positive that the long overdue discussions would finally start.

    “If your father could have been destroyed, it would have happened long ago. I guess it still can.”

    “It would take a vast amount of effort. And a couple of far-fetched miracles.”

    “It was a miracle you came back yourself. Do you know what Zerrich did to bring you back? It was amazing!”

    Raven smirked, ever so slightly. It was the most emotion she’d shown even before Trigon had showed up. “I know the spell.”

    “How was it that he could bring you back from that realm, anyway? I mean, if Trigon is trapped there—I’m assuming he is...”

    Raven nodded once.

    “What’s to keep Trigon from being pulled here too?”

    “It’s not so simple,” Raven said after a deep breath. “The magic Zerrich used depended on me to be fighting my way back. That realm…it isn’t very forgiving. But, it can understand that which does not belong…if only for a short time. I was trying to get out, but I couldn’t find my way. If I took too long, the realm would have claimed me regardless. Zerrich’s spell…it helped me find my way.”

    “Like…having the porch light on.”

    “Nice enough analogy.”

    “So, Zerrich sensed you in the other realm?”

    “Hmm?” Raven looked up. “Oh, of course not. He doesn’t even have any kind of sensing or telepathic ability like that anyway. It was that little piece of charred cloak that allowed him to link with me. Oh, and he set off his aura. He made it tag along with the spell. He couldn’t sense me, but he made sure I could sense him.”

    “Then, how did Zerrich know? How was he so sure you were there?”

    Raven shrugged. “He probably didn’t. I could have just as easily been vaporized by that last attack against my father. But what did he have to lose?”

    It was Robin’s turn to smirk. Leave it to Zerrich to save Raven’s life by a combination of chance and hope.

    “Well,” Robin sighed, “at least we have the Book of the Elders. We can make sure that no one else ever tries to…”

    “Um…” Raven interrupted. “That was what I wanted to show you.” She handed Robin the book. He looked it over, noting the cover first.

    “This isn’t the Book of the Elders,” he said. “The title…”

    “It was the Book of the Elders,” Raven stated.

    Robin instinctively opened the book and flipped through its pages. Instead of the strange Azarath text he would have expected, the words were all English. “I’m not following.”

    “The book is fluid. It…it travels.”

    Robin looked up. “Travels?”

    Raven nodded. “From one book to another. From one world to another. Or dimension. It’s not truly a book or tome. It’s a spell. It transforms the written text of any book or tome into the structure it desires. It can move on at any time, leaving the original scripture it had occupied completely intact.”

    Robin handed Raven the book back. “So no one can truly ever capture that book.”

    Raven shook her head. “My father knew what he was doing. The spell has moved on to another scripture, to gods know where. And someone will always be enticed by the false promises within.”

    “Hopefully,” Robin added, “that won’t be for quite some time.”

    [FONT=&quot] The both of them simply watched at nothing in particular out the window for the next few minutes. The bay waters remained calm as they watched. It was that same calm they’d always been. A calm that would exist for a long time to come.
    ------------------------------

    Still not done, though. Getting there...but not quite. ;)
    [/FONT]
     
  3. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    A nice little sedate piece there. After all the high-octane stuff, the running around like lunatics trying to keep The End Of The World at bay, it's good to just sit back and take stock of what actually happened.

    As it turned out, utter carnage. The description of Jump City's current state was well done, giving us a good picture of the devastation without over-egging the point. The fact that the entire Justice League had to pitch in is a good touch: it's not every day that a major American city is gagging for outside help on that scale.;) Either way, you make the necessary thing clear: despite all the carnage, or perhaps because of it, life as we know it still goes on.

    The conversation between Robin and Raven was interesting. In regards to Zerrich's spell, it told us nothing we couldn't at least figure out, but having these things stated out-right is always useful. But the thing about the Book of the Elders was cool: I like the idea of a "travelling" story. And it gives us the important note that, just as with life itself, the battle against Trigon is not yet over. I mean, as Raven said, there'll always be idiots after unattainable power.

    So, perhaps not a ground-breaking chapter (no pun intended:sweat:), but still most enjoyable to read. Good work.:anime:

    -Matt A-
     
  4. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Well, that was most of the aftermath I wanted to put into place. We obviously needed to know the overall result of Trigon's terrorizing of the city, just it put it all in perspective. And yeah, while Zerrich's spell (and what Raven was doing at the time) was rather evident, it needed its details revealed to make it believable I think. Not just something that happened for the sake of the plot.

    And I'm glad you liked the fluidic book idea. I was trying to figure out a way to come up with exactly HOW the book even arrived on Earth--and Raven's conception seemed like a perfect start. Even then, I had to get the book to Earth before THAT point, and this whole travelling book spell popped in my head. ;)

    Anyway, we still have a LITTLE more to go, but there is one other important point to touch on. I'll be posting it in two parts. Here's the first:

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

    Raven’s door slid closed behind her as she entered her room. She let go of the useless book in her hands, levitating it with her mind to her shelf. A small amount of time later there came a knock on her door. Her first reaction was to ignore it. She wanted her time alone for once, something she hadn’t gotten a lot of in recent time. She closed her eyes and sensed Zerrich on the other side. Something made her decide to see what he wanted. Turning around but not walking to the door, she concentrated her energy on the door control panel. It slid open with little trouble, and Zerrich walked inside.

    “How’d he take the news?” he asked.

    “I think he already knew,” Raven answered, flatly.

    Zerrich nodded. “I’m not surprised. Commenting on his intelligence would only be stating the obvious.”

    Raven turned back around, not saying a word. She knew he had come here to bring up some other issue than her conversation with Robin, and she waited for him to start. Otherwise, she’d be kicking him right back out of her room.

    “There was something I wanted to discuss with you,” Zerrich finally volunteered.

    “Oh? What is it?”

    “Well, you’ve still been pretty closed off the last few weeks. With this ordeal now behind you, I’m seeing…we’re seeing little change in your demeanor.”

    Raven turned around. “Um, how long have you been here? Closed off is one of my defining points. You expected me to change?”

    “That’s just it. You’ve already changed. You just haven’t come out of it.”

    “Come out of what? I’m fine, considering what we’ve all been through. Anything that might be different…I’m reacting no more unusual than anyone else would.”

    “You see there’s something…” Zerrich put his head down slightly, searching in his mind for a way to describe his thoughts. Raven could see the mental search in his eyes as they wandered across the floor. “A thought occurred to me. When I first arrived in Azarath, after Trigon had been there, it had been terrible. I mourned. The loss of everyone I knew, my loved ones…my father. They had all died, and I would never see them again. I felt such a horrible anguish I never want to experience again.”

    “I’m not a child,” Raven interrupted. “I know what death is. They were my people too. And, my moth…”

    Raven closed her eyes a moment, pushing the emotions back as best she could. It was hard reminding herself that her people had been wiped out. She tried to concentrate on the positive; that they had died for a greater purpose. In spirit, they were able to support Raven in defeating Trigon. They had known all along what their place would be.

    “Everyone else on this team, they’ve all lost someone,” Zerrich continued, “but they’ve all taken the time to grieve. They’ve all felt that pain. Except you. You…”

    “I can’t afford to. That’s just the way it is. That’s the way it’ll always be.”

    Zerrich shook his head. “I wouldn’t expect someone to ever be able to fully let go of something so terrible. But we need to feel that pain. I think it does more damage held in.”

    “There isn’t anything I can do about that. I don’t have a choice.”

    Zerrich stepped towards Raven. “I’ve been thinking. There’ve been a lot of things that seemed to have happened for a reason. Our people, they knew they would die for a greater cause. And I think they knew we would find each other. That became something of great importance.”


    That much Raven felt was true. The people of Azarath had tried connecting with Raven as soon as Trigon had arrived on Earth. There was only one problem. Raven did not contain the blood of her people—the blood of Azar. Except, of course, in Trigon, but that was a bloodline thousands of generations removed. When her people tried to commune with her, she couldn’t hear them. She couldn’t feel their presence. She couldn’t connect with them in any way.

    Zerrich’s blood was, of course, from Azarath. The problem there was that he had no telepathic abilities. Communication was quite difficult in that regard as well. Raven could only assume that their finding one another and battling Trigon side by side was some kind of fate. The instant Zerrich had transferred his power to Raven, she could feel the presence of every man woman and child of Azarath. His blood, his essence, became a part of her.

    Zerrich continued. “I would also hazard a guess that the accident with our honing spell wasn’t just some fluke. We just needed to figure out its proper application.”

    Raven simply nodded. She had already concluded as much for some time.

    “Regardless, it made me realize something. I still believe you need to let go of your pain. There is a way.”

    Raven felt like she knew where this was going. While possible, it made her very uncomfortable. “I…I don’t know if this is a good idea.”

    “Raven, I’ve been able to grieve. You haven’t. And you can do so without the consequences. Please, let me help you.”

    “I don’t…I don’t need…” Raven tried fighting it, but her emotions did begin to take hold of her again. The little furies within her that threatened to wreak small havocs on random objects around her. Or people. She squeezed her eyes shut, forcing herself to concentrate on the calming spell as she chanted it within her mind. After some time, she felt a pair of hands on her shoulders.

    “You can’t hold it in forever. I don’t have to be in the room with you once we’ve done the spell. I…I know you prefer your time alone.”

    Raven couldn’t say anything. She had no words to give back. Her eyes remained closed as she put her emotions back in check.

    “I’m not a fool,” Zerrich’s voice continued. “I know this won’t make the pain all go away. But you need to begin to cope. This is where we start.”
    ------------------------------------
     
  5. DeathscytheVII

    DeathscytheVII Farewell, Daughter of Trigon

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    A very nice aftermath chapter. With all that heavy destruction, the rebuilding effort of Jump City just feels extra refreshing. Of course, we are reminded once again of the price paid to stop Trigon. I liked that explanation of the book of elders with Robin and Raven, really tied up a lot of the lingering questions the reader may have had.

    Now, Zerrich is probably going to let raven feel emotions for the first time? :O I get the feeling that this epilogue ain't over yet, and though its not high suspense liek your battles, im still wanting to see what happens next ;)
     
  6. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Wish granted. ;) Just finished up the next segment. I'm hoping it works and isn't too hokey/cheesy. This kind of stuff can tend to be if not done right.

    And even if it is, just a little, hopefully it still works. :D

    --------------------------
    Somewhere between those last words and the current conditions, Raven had agreed. She sat just as she did not all that long ago, the two flames at her side, the plate of various powders in front of her, the traced symbol within glowing slightly, the both of them chanting in unison. She felt the rush of energy from the pit of her stomach travel up her body and through her arms. Her fingers tingled as the flow continued out of her body and into Zerrich’s.

    Then, everything slowed down. The tingling faded into nothingness, prompting Raven to slowly open her eyes. The glowing symbol in front of her died down as well, leaving the blend of ashes and powders to cool. She searched deep within her soul self, as best as she could without her powers. That was the first thing she noticed; it all felt and sounded very quiet within her. The demon was silent. It wasn’t gone, nor was it dormant. The clawing of the beast inside more than likely continued, but it no longer had its outlet through her powers.

    They both looked at each other, Raven and Zerrich. There were no words for the longest time. Raven wasn’t sure what was supposed to happen next. She didn’t like the idea of experiencing this moment of weakness, mostly from a pride point of view.

    “I…I should go now,” Zerrich broke the silence. He got up and walked towards the door.

    Raven got up as well. “What are you planning to do with all my power?” she asked. Raven knew she was stalling. She didn’t care.

    Zerrich stopped. “I don’t think it’s too good an idea to leave the tower. I don’t want this extra boost to fade on me in the middle of, say, moving a big piece of rubble over my head.” The man from Azarath turned to look at Raven. “I figure I’d best just stay here for now. I’ll probably be taking quite the nap later.”

    Raven barely nodded. When Zerrich turned back around, a nervous buzz filled her chest. This wasn’t a good idea. Raven was struck by a particular reality. With her powers stripped away, she could experience any emotion without consequence. At least, until her energy built back up, which would take some time. She’d never had that free reign before, and she suddenly realized she was very scared.

    “Don’t go,” she said, hastily as the door slid open for Zerrich to leave. He only paused in the doorway without turning around.

    “I just figured…” he started, turning his head, “I thought you’d want to be alone.”

    “I don’t think I can do this,” she admitted. She would never normally blurt that kind of thing out, but her fear was overtaking her. Her instincts made her want to start meditating. “I’m…afraid.”

    Zerrich walked a few steps back in her direction. “All of us have to face our fears and pains. You will be all right.”

    Raven pinched her eyes closed. She was terrified. It had hit her that she truly wanted to avoid ever having to feel the pain she was now facing. She wanted Zerrich to be wrong. She wanted to convince herself that she could just meditate each morning and bury those emotions for the day. That, however, was part of her fear. She knew people well enough to know it was true. She couldn’t bottle up her pain forever.

    How do I face this? It was all too much. How was she going to face the loss of her people? How did Zerrich learn to cope with it? Had he been coping at all, or was he still fighting with it? Everyone on Azarath she had ever known had been killed. Even having felt their presence when battling Trigon did little to comfort her now. She would never see them again, could never visit them back home. Her mother…

    Her thoughts suddenly concentrated on her mother. Arella. The only woman in Azarath from Earth, yet she had been accepted by the Azarath people just as Raven had. She had memories of her mother, always as neutral as the rest of the Monks. Yet, Raven could sense the emotions from her mother—always longing, desiring to express her feelings to her daughter. Setting an example, Arella never openly did.

    Raven would ask as a little girl why she let her emotions run so rampant on the surface of her mind, to which Arella replied that she did not have the training as the people of Azarath had. Growing up, Raven was instructed not to read into her mother’s mind, as it would only serve as a distraction. But, she never did forget those emotions she had gathered from her mother’s thoughts. She had unconsciously tucked those memories away in her mind.

    She suddenly longed to express those feelings back, but it was far too late. She had run from home in the hope her destiny would never bring destruction to Azarath. Yet, even without her presence, her home had been destroyed. They were all gone. Her mother was gone. Her eyes were still squeezed shut, and she was aware of the tears that had started streaming from them. Her heart raced within her chest, the pain becoming unbearable. Her breath became ragged as she tried to inhale, coming back out in broken pieces.

    A pair of hands had placed themselves on her shoulders. She collapsed forward, not entirely conscious of the fact it was an actual person in front of her anymore. Raven’s arms curled up in front of her body, her hands clenching at Zerrich’s vest. She buried her face in the material, the sobs getting louder. The pain within continued to flow unrelentingly. Her entire body shivered in a pain and anguish she had never experienced.

    The arms at her shoulders moved to her back, Zerrich drawing her in slightly. They where comforting, an odd sensation through the terrible hurt that engulfed Raven. She gave in completely to her emotions, squeezing in tighter against Zerrich’s chest as she cried. She cried for herself and for the friends whom had died. She cried for the souls of Azarath, her mother, for the people she would never see again.

    [FONT=&quot] Raven collapsed to her knees, Zerrich following along with her. She half curled up in his lap as the tears ran uncontrollably. There, the two Titans would stay until both had passed out; Raven from her anguish, and Zerrich from the effects of the spell.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    -----------------

    ...and we're STILL NOT DONE! But I think I only have one more update. Maybe two. Wow. That's hard to fathom.

    Well, let me know if this piece works well enough.
    [/FONT]
     
  7. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    First things first: sorry for not posting on the previous segment. For perhaps the first time in a long, long while, I was completely at a loss for what to say. It was a good segment-thing, but still...oh, you know what I mean.:sweat:

    Anyway, onto this one. For the most part, I think you're right: in the hands of your average writer, that scene would've been cheesy to the point of inducing vomit. However, you aren't your average writer, and you had the nerve to tackle the scene in the way it needed to be. It's an interesting thing to note, that after years of emotional oppression, her need for inexpression reduced to instinctive levels, the first emotion Raven feels when given the chance is fear. And then anger, of a sort, and grief on a truly apocalyptic scale: in other words, the three emotions she feels the most anyway, only massively ramped-up. Considering that Raven usually regards a lack of emotion as a blight on her existence, you'd have thought that a chance to "feel" would give her happiness unbounded...but, then again, that's not why she did it. She wanted grief, and grief she got. Still, my point stands: what could've been a cheesy "it's good to cry" thing (which, I dare say, was what the previous segement seemed to build up to), was instead, thanks to a little alternative thinking, a fascinating psychological evalution.

    In other words, great work once again. This doesn't look like a story that will end with a flat note.;):anime:

    -Matt A-
     
  8. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Yeah, my greater worry was the first part. And I keep looking at it and wanting to trim it back, or maybe cut to the chase a little more with it before leading to the second piece. I'll probably play around with that first piece until I get something a little more comfortable.

    But I'm glad the follow-up worked. The last thing I really wanted was for her to just suddenly start crying because she could. I think the whole thing hinges on the fact that Raven doesn't ever have "a good cry." So, we end up seeing something from a totally different perspective--someone who really doesn't know what to do or how to handle it. Which brings up other emotions I could play with. All in all, I feel like the second half turned out all right.
     
  9. DeathscytheVII

    DeathscytheVII Farewell, Daughter of Trigon

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    That was a great installment pun! Finally, we get to see Raven experience emotion for the first time, but alas, something that is supposed to be joyous is instead turned into something sad, and possibly tragic. That the first emotion she got to feel without hurting anyone ended up being feelings of sadness and pain, and grief.

    Ill agree with what Matt said, this could have gone down the cheesy 'its ok to cry' route, but you've handled this masterly, i especially like the lack of dialogue featured in this latest piece, really shows that Raven and Zerrich can communicate on other levels besides talking and telepathy ;) good show


    This epilogue is starting to remind me of lord of the rings :ROTK, where we get blasted with one emotional scene after another in the epilogue after sauron was beaten haha :)
     
  10. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Thanks. And I think the lack of dialogue helped too. It's a lot harder to come up with really cheesy lines when you don't speak. :D

    I did decide to enhance the first part of the story--mainly by removing that whole "things happening for a reason bit." I decided I'd have them discuss that at a later point, allowing that scene to flow a little better. Also, the first version had Zerrich seem a little too pleading with Raven, so I adjusted some dialogue. But it's mostly the same--just more to the point.

    And I also have the next segment completed. I also have most of the rest of the story done, but I need to finish off the last couple of paragraphs and polish the whole thing off. Here's the next segment, though.

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

    It was some time the next morning before Raven had awakened. She could feel the stirring of energy as her powers were replenishing within. She still hadn’t fully recovered from the drain, yet her demons were already clawing for domination. She had gotten up to sit cross-legged where she had now been hovering for the past two hours, meditating in her usual attempts to get her emotions under control. Her face had felt swollen just as she had woken up, the tears that had come even in her sleep having soaked into her cheeks.

    Zerrich had eventually recovered from his energy withdrawal. She was only partially aware of her door sliding opened and closed, the only sign of his stirring. That had only been twenty minutes ago. He had left her in peace to finish what she needed. It was only now that her state of mind was beginning to return to its usual neutrality.

    Another half hour would go by before Raven had completely finished the routine. She finally placed her legs to the floor, turning from her window and walking out of her room. Her mind was calm again, the emotions contained. Walking through some of the tower proved to be an interesting challenge. Glass and some structure still lay strewn about on certain levels. Raven had gotten into the habit of clearing the mess with her mind, placing the glass fragments and debris into little piles as she came across them.

    She finally arrived in the lounge, finding that Beast Boy, Robin and Cyborg were already there. The Gamestation was left alone, even though Cyborg had fixed the monitor display system some time ago. The three sat in the kitchen area, quietly eating their breakfast. There is way too much odd going on in here…

    Starfire wasn’t with the group, nor was Zerrich. Raven opened the refrigerator, pleased to find a fresh apple on one of the shelves. Black energy snatched it from its place and floated it to her open hand. She sat with her team at the same table, eating quietly amongst them.

    Cyborg was the first to break the silence a few minutes later. “Zerrich tell you he was leaving?”

    Raven looked up at him. “No. This is the first I heard of it.”

    Cyborg nodded. “I kinda got the feeling he’d made the decision right when he was telling us. Didn’t know if he’d gotten around to telling you, yet.”

    “I don’t know why he doesn’t just stay with us,” Beast Boy spoke up. “I mean…there isn’t anything left for him on Azarath. Where’s he gonna go?”

    “Did he say when he was leaving?” Raven asked.

    “Tomorrow morning,” Robin answered.

    “Did he mention why?”

    Cyborg shook his head. “He just told us there were things he needed to attend to. Dunno what, though.”

    Raven thought for a moment before taking a bite from her apple. Zerrich had mentioned traveling to other places before arriving here on Earth. Was there something about one of these places?

    “We’re all gonna see him off tomorrow. It’ll be in the lounge. Thought you might wanna be here for it.”

    “Yeah,” Beast Boy said, “and I’ll be making my original recipe, tofu waffle surprise!”

    “Okay, we’ll be having regular waffles tomorrow,” Cyborg turned to look at his friend. “free of surprises.”

    “Come on, Cyborg! They’re good for you.”

    “The last surprise you fed me had my insides trying to eat through my outsides just to get away. No surprises, because I’m the one who’ll be cooking!”

    “Cy’s got my vote,” Raven barely smirked as she bit into her apple again.

    “Bah! Fine! I’ll be the only one eating the good stuff tomorrow.”

    Beast Boy got up with his empty plate, Robin following not far behind. It left Cyborg and Raven alone as they finished their morning meals. Raven suddenly felt somewhat awkward. She really didn’t know if Cyborg was entirely over what she had done. Now, the two were alone together.

    “Have you been okay?” Cyborg asked her. “I mean, with everything that’s happened.”

    Raven nodded. “I’m doing better. I…I wanted to ask you the same.”

    Cyborg didn’t answer right away. Raven was starting to wish she hadn’t asked.

    “It’s hard. We’ve all lost good friends in this. Guess I’m doing the best I can trying to cope.”

    Neither said anything for quite some time. Finally, Raven decided it was time to ask the question.

    “Does it bother you when you talk to me? Knowing what I’ve done?”

    Cyborg put his head down. “At first. It was kinda hard, you know? But I realized you didn’t do anything wrong.”

    Raven shook her head. “I killed her. I killed Bumblebee. I know how you felt about her. It’s my fault that…”

    “No, it’s not. You didn’t kill her. That demon inside you—it got loose through some nasty tricks and schemes. Yeah, I know it’s a part of you, but it isn’t you. That ain’t the Raven I know. If you had any kind of control, you would have stopped it from happening. I know you, Rae. Besides, ‘Bee wouldn’t want me hating my friends for something they didn’t do.”

    Raven nodded. She still felt responsible for Bumblebee’s death, even though she had absolutely no control over her dark side. But, Cyborg wasn’t blaming her as she thought he would. He’d seemed to come to terms with things. Perhaps someday so would she, with everyone that had been killed.

    “Anyway, we weretrying to kill you, since we weren’t to sure we could get to the real you in time. It’s no different than any other time we’re doin’ our job. We all know the risks.”

    “I know,” Raven answered. “It still isn’t right.”

    “No, it isn’t. But that doesn’t mean you should blame yourself. I don’t.”

    Raven looked at Cyborg, and the hybrid Titan smirked. There was some comfort in knowing she hadn’t torn up the integrity of the team when she was under Trigon’s control. There really was no way to end the conversation, so Raven simply finished her apple as Cyborg finished his breakfast. Both got up from the table as the others had before, going their separate ways for most of the day.

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

    I figure this point needed to be addressed in some form, so I did. The last part will actually be the LAST part of this story. It's almost done--just needs the ending attached to it and a read-through. I should have it posted the next couple of days.
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]
     
  11. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Wow. We're here.


    This is the last installment of this story. End of the story. It was really weird typing END at the bottom of this thing. I mean, lately I know I've been slowly crawling to this point...but now it's here.


    Anyway, as I mentioned above, I cut a segment out of the Raven/Zerrich discussion to be used in this next part, as I felt it fit much better. It gave me a lead-off into Zerrich's leaving that just worked well. The rest of it closes the story.



    Here you go, the last of Preparation.


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





    The lounge was rather quiet the next morning as Raven entered it from the hallway. Zerrich stood in the middle behind the couch, looking out at the bay waters. He was waiting for the team to awaken, as they had requested he not leave until they could see him off. Apparently, the man from Azarath had gotten somewhat anxious and was already up. Raven had to admit even after her morning meditation she had become rather anxious as well.

    “So, you’re really leaving?” she asked, to which Zerrich nodded. “Where will you be going? I mean, what made you decide on this in the first place?”

    Zerrich stepped towards Raven. “I’ve been thinking. There’ve been a lot of things that seemed to have happened for a reason. Our people, they knew they would die for a greater cause. And I think they knew we would find each other. That became something of great importance. We would need each other to finish the task of bringing Trigon down.”

    That much Raven felt was true. The people of Azarath had tried connecting with Raven as soon as Trigon had arrived on Earth. There was only one problem. Raven did not contain the blood of her people—the blood of Azar. Except, of course, in Trigon, but that was a bloodline thousands of generations removed. When her people tried to commune with her, she couldn’t hear them. She couldn’t feel their presence. She couldn’t connect with them in any way.

    Zerrich’s blood was, of course, from Azarath. His problem was that he had no telepathic abilities. Communication was quite difficult in that regard as well. Raven could only assume that their finding one another and battling Trigon side by side was some kind of fate. The instant Zerrich had transferred his power to Raven, she could feel the presence of every man woman and child of Azarath.

    Zerrich continued. “I would also hazard a guess that the accident with our honing spell wasn’t just some fluke. We just needed to figure out its proper application.”

    Raven simply nodded. She had already concluded as much for some time. Somehow, the siphoning of power from Raven had left behind her demon side. When it happened in reverse, Zerrich’s blood, Zerrich’s essence, became a part of her. There was some kind of design involved. A design beyond them.


    “Maybe…my purpose is to help bring Azarath back. I suppose it really hit me while we’ve been repairing Jump City. As much as your home here needs to be restored, so does ours on Azarath. I can’t be the only one left. There were plenty that left home.”

    Raven raised an eyebrow. “You’re going to…try to restore Azarath?”

    Zerrich shrugged. “Can’t do it alone. So, I think I’ll start by searching out our fellow people. This might be a call to come home for many of them.”

    Raven shook her head. “And you’re going to lead them?”

    Zerrich laughed. “I doubt they’d listen to me for long. But, I’m sure there are those that would warrant attention. People would listen to them.”

    “And you think you know where to find them? You have specific names in mind?”

    “I think so. I won’t truly know until I search. But, I must search. I think that’s what I need to be doing right now. At least…get things going. I don’t know if Azarath will ever be what it once was, but what it may become—it deserves a chance.”

    At about that point, Raven could sense the other Titans coming from the hall behind her. “I…I think it’s the right thing to be doing,” she finally said to Zerrich.

    “You two sayin’ your goodbyes early?” Cyborg said with a grin. “Can I take a picture?”

    “If you want to risk it,” Raven said, dryly.

    “Yeh, thought not,” Cyborg replied.

    “Zerrich,” Robin said, walking up to the man from Azarath. “I can’t begin to tell you how helpful you’ve been throughout everything that’s happened. You’ve done more than earn your place as a Titan. I wish you’d reconsider staying with us.”

    Zerrich nodded. “I’d be honored to join the team. I just feel that there are things that need to be done. And, I’m not sure how long they’ll take.”

    “I understand. In any case, take this.” Robin held out a communicator. Raven watched as Zerrich slowly took it from the Boy Wonder’s hand, examining it as if he’d never seen one before.

    “Thank you,” he finally said, placing it in his vest pocket. “And, thank you for everything. You’ve been quite hospitable. Probably a lot more than I initially deserved.”

    Robin smirked. “Just remember, the next time you need our help…you might try asking.”

    Zerrich nodded. Then, he looked back to Raven. “I suppose it’s time for me to leave.”

    “We’ll see you again,” Raven said. “You…you do plan to stop by at some point?”

    “Well, it’s not as if I don’t know where you reside,” Zerrich smiled. “I think we’ll see each other again. Hopefully sooner rather than later.”

    “But you’ll…I mean, you won’t…” There was something Raven wanted to tell him. She wanted to be sure he would come back, but she didn’t want to sound redundant. The future was far too unpredictable with a universe of infinite dimensions. It had only now started to dawn on Raven that she might not see Zerrich again. It was a foolish thought, and she berated herself internally for thinking it. Just the same, she suddenly had more to say. There were things she wanted to ask, mostly, but other things she just wanted to discuss. Raven found, however, that she couldn’t say any of it.

    “Good luck,” she finally told him. It was the right thing to say in the end. That’s what she told herself. He needed to hear support for his new journey, and that’s what she would give him.

    Zerrich nodded to her, then to the rest of the team. “And good luck to you all in restoring your city. We’ll cross paths again.”

    Zerrich didn’t say anything else after that. He walked over to the winder where he had already set the candles in their proper place. He whispered a spell to light them, concentrating next on the spell to leave. It was a longer process for Zerrich than it was for Raven, but the steps were the same. The enery field surrounded Zerrich as the vortex formed over his head. His chanting grew louder as the vortex crackled, and with a flash of bright energy, he was suddenly gone. The spell died down, the candles going out shortly after.

    And, it was done. Zerrich was gone. Raven unconsciously sighed out the air from her lungs, her shoulders feeling as if they had dropped to her hips. With practiced form, she kept her facial expression straight.

    “Ye miss him already?”

    Raven didn’t turn to look in Cyborg’s direction as he asked the question. “It’ll be different, now. We’ll get used to it.”

    “Fine, but…you’re gonna miss him?”

    Cyborg was pushing. This time she did look over at him. “Not particularly.”

    “Awright, we’re just gonna come out with it,” Cyborg said with a grin as he leaned towards Raven. “You like ‘im.”

    “No,” Raven answered, flatly.

    “Wait, what?” Beast Boy belatedly piped up, looking at Raven as if she were under a different light. “Youwhatnow?”

    Raven’s tempter was actually starting to flare underneath her guard. “I said, no.”

    “Wait, how do you know she likes him?” Beast Boy asked Cyborg, completely ignoring Raven’s presence. “I didn’t see any clues!”

    “That’s because you’re blind when it comes to this kinda stuff,” Cyborg retorted.

    “No way! You’re looking at the luuuv doctor!”

    “Oh, gods,” Raven rolled her eyes, walking away.

    “No, seriously! I can see these things coming before anyone!”

    “Well, obviously you missed this one! Everyone else can see it! Back me up, Rob!”

    Raven watched Robin put his hands up, “Sorry, I think I’ll stay out this time.” Smart man.

    “Okay, fine! Starfire? You haven’t noticed?”

    Starfire, sure enough, inhaled a breath with a smile that said she definitely had an opinion on the issue, and she was going to share it with anyone who would listen.

    Then, the warning klaxon went off, bathing the room in red light.

    “Trouble!” Robin shouted. The giant view screen clicked on, showing only static for the first few seconds. Then, the image cleared, revealing a visual at the front of a building. It was a bank, and some character the Titans had never seen before came running out with money in his gloved hands.

    “It’s the Community Bank,” Raven said, “right along the coast. It’s just behind us.”

    “Close enough to go take care of,” Cyborg added.

    “The Justice League still have quite a few guys here,” Beast Boy said. “I mean…they could do it. But…”

    “But,” Robin finished, “this is our city. And some of these new criminals need to be informed of that.”

    “My kind of answer,” Cyborg grinned. “I take that to mean ‘let’s go kick some butt,’ right?”

    Robin nodded. It was time to take care of business.

    “Titans…” he shouted as the team turned for the door, “…GO!”

    [FONT=&quot]
    END​

    [/FONT]
    ---------------------------------

    ...and done. See what you think. :)

    Also, the segment just before this one, with Cyborg and Raven discussing things. Does it fit with everything else, or does it drag the story down? Should it go?
     
    #371 Pun-3x, Oct 25, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2006
  12. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    Note on previous, Cyborg-Raven segment: actually, I rather liked it. With Raven's guilt over her evil self killing Bumblebee, and Cyborg being mature enough to "tell the difference", it finally laid that particular narrative ghost to rest, but without labouring the point.:anime:

    Anyway, as key as that is, there's something even more important to discuss. It must be said, I have to agree with you: it really does feel weird to see this story end. I mean, I just checked back to the very first post, and this thing officially lasted eighteen months (and five days). Even by my standards, that's an insanely long time to be working on a story...and, truth be told, I'd kinda got used to having it here. Like I said, this board really won't feel the same without Preparation hanging around.:sad::crying:

    So, after all this time, it was pretty much a 99% certainty that the very final segment would be an anti-climax: like the defeat of Trigon, there was just no way in hell that even a 24-carat offering could do justice to all the build-up. However, like the defeat of Trigon, you've also done the miraculous and taken the 1% chance of brilliance: okay, so I wouldn't have objected to it being at least twice the length, but what is here is pure narrative gold.:anime:

    In particular, this ending struck exactly the right tone: the adventure is over, and the cost has been stratospheric, but nonetheless, the beat continues to go on. We had the hopeful side, with Zerrich going off to re-found Azarath (and I agree about the stuff in red: it worked well where it was, but it was even better served here); we had the humourous, with Cyborg and Beast Boy's double-team teasing of Raven effortlessly turning into yet another squabble; and we had the purely and simply joyous, with the Titans Go!-ing to vanquish evil-doers once again. I can't quite put my finger on why, but there's something about those last few lines that plasters a grin all over my face, even now I've read them for the fourth or fifth time. They're really quite great.:anime:

    Either way, the important thing is that, after all the death and disaster and tight-wound emotion, you still haven't forgotten to send us off with a smile. You'd be amazed at how many people don't realise how much this matters.;)

    So, here's to finally ending the Preparation chapter of your literary careear. You can be sure that I'll be around to see the start of the next one.;):anime:

    -Matt A-
     
  13. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    First, I'd like to say--Matt, thank you for staying with the story the whole way. Your input has been invaluable to the creation of this story, and I've appreciated every moment.

    Good thing. I wanted to address this bit, but not dwell on it. I'm happy to see it was at an appropriate length.

    It's even more than that. ;) If you look at the link to FF.net in the first post, this story was started in December of '04. And in reality, I first posted what would come to be the first chapter of this thing in late November on another board. That makes this thing short of two years old.

    I always loved Beast Boy's and Cyborg's squabbles. They're just fun to write. Sometimes it feels like you can go for days just on those two. (really makes me wish I'd done more with them :p )

    As for the teasing of Raven--that was something I semi-debated. I mean, most people have an OC hook up with a major character. If the OC is male, it tends to be Raven (Starfire being taken an' all). So, as I was writing this story, I really wanted to avoid that 'falling for each other' gig.

    But then we get to this end point, and it just wouldn't seem right if there wasn't even the littlest...TINIEST bit of feelings from at least one of them. And the point that they never do in fact 'hook up,' leaves it open for people to dismiss if they want, especially since Zerrich leaves. And of course, the fact that it is introduced to the audience as a tease'n'squabble via Beast Boy and Cyborg makes it really work, I think. ;)

    It does get you kind of giddy. ;) And that was something I had really wanted to do. I wanted the Titans to go back to rountine after this thing ended. Even if it wouldn't quite be the 'same,' it just felt right. Originally, I was going to have this lead into the normal Season 5--as if Preparation replaced all of season 4. But once I started killing people and wrecking Jump City, it didn't feel like it'd work.

    Thanks for that. Actually, I didn't really pay attention to that until now. :sweat: I just wanted to get the Titans 'back to normal' because it felt appropriate.

    *sigh* It's so sad. :( But I do have another project I'm working on. (That webcomic I'm sure I mentioned at some point.) I have no idea how I would showcase something like that here (on some other part of the forum, I'm sure) or if it's even possible. I'd host the images, but still...

    Ah well, I'll probably try to anyway. ;)

    Anyway, I DID have this great idea for another Teen Titans story. But I'll never end up writing it. And it's one of those that you either think is an awesome idea, or roll your eyes at. Specifically, because it has to be done JUST right. And even though I have an idea how to start it, I wouldn't know where to take it. :sweat:

    I figured, they did it with Batman. It's probably time the Teen Titans had their turn with it. Titans vs. Predator. Specifically, I would NOT call it "Teen Titans vs." because I would want to place it in that adult category. (violence/gore/the whole bit)

    I'll admit, I'd want to start off with something of shock value. Like, the Titans are looking for Beast Boy, and when they find him, he's hanging upside down, stripped naked, decapitated with his spine ripped out and blood everywhere.

    Yeah, REAL nasty start. Problem is, that kind of start might be TOO shocking for people and could drive them away. If I ever really did it, I might end up having to make it a Titan's East character, or a villain. (imagine SLADE hanging upside down, headless. :evil: )

    Ah well, ideas I'm just throwing out there. Anyone else want to pick that one up, feel free. (And Matt, of everyone here, I figure you'd probably be best suited for a story like this. :D )

    So, this is it for Preparation, but not it for me. I'll still be around, even if I'm not posting creatively.
     
  14. DeathscytheVII

    DeathscytheVII Farewell, Daughter of Trigon

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    HAHA you win the internet...for now :p

    Anyways, that was a great ending for the story. We got to see Raven going over her feelings of guilt as well as the inevitable pairing thing all TT fans go for ;) It really tied up the story nicely, tying up a lot of loose ends but at the same time, the ending gives us the impression that the story of the Titans will go on. Great stuff. I also liked how you had your OC and Raven maybe 'think' about that pairing or at least you hinted to it somewhat, but didnt have Raven or Zerrich instantly fall head over heels over each other. (like a lot of people tend to do)

    Something like that isn't just a light switch, and that's why i also liked how Zerrich made it known that its possible they might cross paths again, but for now, NO romeo and juliet stuff lol

    I also did like how this ending was lighter and had all the old fashioned TT jokes and teasing, a great way to end a story that was mostly tense, epic and serious throughout.

    Anyways, yeah, what can i say, this story has gone on for a long time, and the forums won't be the same w/o it. But i'll look forward to your next project pun...if you plan on writing again.
     
  15. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Sweet. Ah, what to do with it while I have it...? ;)

    Yeah I know. I kinda caved a little. :sweat: I always thought it was just too easy to have them pair up, so I avoided it. But I've had some readers actually call them a pairing, even though they weren't. Or at the last, they ask why they haven't really hooked up yet. But even without all that, they did look...well...possible. I had to at least point in that direction if I wasn't going to travel down that path. ;)


    Again as I told Matt, that's how I wanted it to end. Everyone will continue, Titans won't be breaking up, and the routine will continue the same as always--to at least a certain degree.

    True. If there really IS a possibility, it took the entire 22 chapters just to get to the THOUGHT of it. But at least this way the people who want to see it happen can come up with their own future conclusions, and the ones that don't can decide it doesn't come to be. I think it works this way. :)

    One thing I noticed writing these last bits was that I rather missed the banter I'd started in the very beginning. Granted, there's a lot of it in following chapters, but there does come a point where that all kinda shuts down. I really do like making the characters tease and joke, it's just too much fun. :D

    Don't know about writing. As I said to Matt, I want to see if I can present my web comic on this forum somewhere/somehow. At least until I can get a site to present it on. Perhaps I'll have all that soon, and you can decide if it's something you might like.

    DS7, I thank you very much for finding this story when you did and following it to the end. I'm glad it was such a fun ride for you (definitely fun for me putting it together). I'll still be following your writing, as you do come up with some solid ideas and present them in a fashion that feels like something you'd see in the cartoon. Here's to seeing more from you soon. :)
     
  16. Arrakhat

    Arrakhat Trust me, I'm a doctor

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    Being neither lucid, nor coherent, nor awake... let me just say that this has been one hell of a story. I'll be back to post again when I can gather my thoughts, but for now, let me just say that this is the way Trigon should have been handled, and this was the best character development for Raven I've seen. You get a kudos bar.:)
     
  17. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    I know those moments. ;)

    Anyway, I'm glad you liked how the story turned out. Writing for Trigon--after a 17-chapter setup--was a lot of fun. And Raven's character development proved to be a challenge sometimes. I'd write scenes that would make her seem out of character and would have to go back and redo them. In the end, I think she turned out like the Raven we all know...but with some hopefully realistic development.

    *places his kudos bar on the mantel*

    :p
     
  18. Arrakhat

    Arrakhat Trust me, I'm a doctor

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    Well, days late and a few dollars short, I've little I can add that hasn't already been said. Let me start by thanking you for such a twisty plot with more villains than I could keep track of, and (I think), for several hours of my life. Lord knows my eyes were shot when I first tried to catch up with six or so pages of your fic.

    One thing that really merits comment is your ending. I was worried it would border on corny, or possibly the expected lovey dovey ending, but you never even let it get close. More than anything, the fact that both Zerrich and Raven are the last of their people helps add the realism to her connection with him, and considering all he did for her and her friends, the feelings are dead on. Cyborg's reaction to Raven was also handled expertly, since I don't see him as the type to hold a grudge. Keep that section in there, because otherwise Cyborg's reaction to Bumblebee's death is a dangling idea that needs conclusion.
    ...​

    So, in curiosity, where would Titans East go from here? Speedy and Mas/Menos aren't much of a team without the others. Heck, Mas and Menos only count as half a hero each, since they've no powers without each other.
     
  19. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Hehehe! Sorry. (kinda):sweat: Hope the hours were worth it for you. As most of my chapters, the epilogue ended up running MUCH longer than I thought it would. I'm still happy with how it turned out, and everything I wrote felt like it fit..even the Cyborg/Raven discussion.

    I also agree that their feeling closer would revolve around what they've both been through. It doesn't necessarily mean, as you said, 'lovey dovey' results. But, the trauma and circumstances--especially the last moments against Trigon and that it was the two of them specifically that brought him down--would bring them close. Where it goes from there...completely left to the readers.

    Yeah, I felt the same way. When I posted this last part at FF.net, I left it in--if only because it needed to be adressed for the sake of closure (at the least)

    The neat thing about that is there are still a some canon-characters from the comic never used in the cartoon. Wondergirl is the first to come to mind. There are also the ones seen throughout season 5 that could be 'introduced' differently in this continuity, like Kid Flash. Titans East could always reform, and whether or not they will is simply left open.

    Thank you again for reading the whole story. I'm glad you stayed with it. Even if your eyes hurt a bit afterward. :sweat:
     
  20. JAG

    JAG Active Member

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    Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to this.:sweat: My computer's been broken since the end of February, so I haven't been able to get online except at the library once in a while. But, now that I'm here at long, bloody last:

    An awesome ending to an equally awesome story. I had kind of expected Raven and Zerrich to fall in love at the end, like in so many other stories, but I like this more open-to-speculation conclusion better. Cyborg and Beast Boy's argument was funny, and the whole "Titans....GO!" ending was perfect.

    I know this has been said repeatedly, but this forum simply isn't going to be the same now. Preparation's over, and the Lost Season will be ending shortly (or maybe it's already over, I haven't checked up on it lately)...*sigh*. Oh, well. There's still The Beast Within Us, and a few others I can't remember at the moment.:shrug:

    Well, anyway, a fantastic job, and I'll definitely check out any other stories you may decide to post here in the future.
     

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