Written by WhitePaw :: [Friday, 19 August 2005 15:02] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 23 December 2012 17:18]
WRITTEN FOR SGI WORKSHOP 2.1
"Can we help you?" Robin poked his head out the tower's front door, into the black pitch of night.
"I was hoping … " The girl on the porch clutched her emerald-studded collar nervously in her clawed fingers. " … You could." There was just the curl of motorboat in her voice.
"I'm Robin." He gave her a distant look-over in the light of the door. "How can we help?"
"My … " She wore a black two-piece cut along where racing stripes would have been. Otherwise, she was tiger striped from the tips of her pointed ears to her claws on her toes. " … He's hunting me."
"Hunting!?" Beast Boy skidded in a huff around the door. "We'll see abou-whoa … " His mouth hung open, eyes slithering down her fully developed curves in the moonlight. "Are you for real?"
"She's for real." Cyborg swung the door fully open. "Scanners say she's not trick-or-treating."
"Titans, outside." Robin ordered them out, closed the door behind them, and turned back to their guest. "Can you tell me more about who you are?"
"Yes." Starfire hovered by, intrigued. "Let us meet and greet one another."
The tiger girl coiled nervously against the wall as they surrounded her.
"It's ok." Raven stepped from the shadows. "Tell us what is going on?"
The buildings of the city burned into the night sky like flickering flame from across the bay.
One of them tilted.
"My name is Raja." Her eyes lifted to the flickering skyline. "Jahed hunts me."
The ground shook-once.
"He sees things … differently." She continued, absently. "He will destroy this world if you can not help me to stop him."
Thunder echoed across the bay as a skyscraper shuddered to its knees downtown.
"Aw, no worries little lady." Cyborg shrugged a grin. "Happens all the time around here. We'll get the bad guy."
Raven hovered to the edge of the water. "Just glad it wasn't me this time."
"Indeed," Starfire stepped into the air, hands pulsing green in anticipation. "Let us go kick this jaded patotie."
"Shhh!" The tiger girl hushed them. "He can hear you."
"Uh … guys?" Beast Boy watched a point of light flicker into the sky over the city. "What's – " The sparkle dropped to the deck like a mousetrap and began skimming over the harbor straight at them, a two-hundred foot rooster tail of water in its wake.
"Titans … " The team exchanged knowing nods. " … GO!"
Darkness inked over Raja as Raven's cloak swept over her. The corner where she stood drained into shadow as the two of them disappeared.
It hit just that spot like an artillery shell. The concussion tore a crater into the front of the island, scattering breakwater stone, concrete, and young heroes into the air like so much popcorn.
"WHERE … " His snarling voice shot through them like a scythe while they were still scrambling over falling debris. "Give … me … " He hovered in a shower of falling shards of glass from the front of the tower. "… the girrrrl."
He was a mountain of a tiger decked in scant gladiator.
"Maybe." Robin palmed a fist full of shuriken. "If you ask real nice."
"Whelp!" The tiger bellowed, sending a sonic shockwave in Robin's direction.
Detonations wracked the tiger's unmoving body as Robin ducked behind a boulder. "Titans, take him down!"
"You'll be safe here." Raven uncloaked Raja in the vault deep in the tower's sub-basement, and closed the door behind her.
"But – "
Thundering minutes passed. Raja sat disappointed in a dark corner, brushing the ceiling plaster off her when it fell.
"Abomination!" The tiger tore ripped the vault in half with his bare hands. The tower had been splattered over the harbor. The island was a burning apocalyptic wasteland.
"I have you … " He shuddered and fell to his knees, gasping. "...now."
He gasped for breath on all fours as she approached him. "The Kahn-Far will not protect you from me … my honor … "
"Jahed..." She approached him as he stood, catching his breath. "Let it go … I only wanted to – "
"Enough!" He grasped a sedan-sized boulder of concrete by the rebar and flung it at her. "You have broken my heart, taken the Kahn-Far, defiled the tribe … and expect me to love you again?"
"Jahed, I missed you," She dodged the debris effortlessly. "I only wanted to – "
"I do not know you woman." Jahed spat. "The council has ordered your death, defiler, by my hand." He shook his head in anger. "I have no choice."
He leapt in a snarl at her, claws first.
"Friends!" Raja pleaded as he pinned her small frame to the ground, snarling. "Help!"
One feeble star bolt skimmed from the smoke, slicing the tiger deeply across his back, knocking him for twenty feet.
He shook up on one arm … then fell, bloody and defeated.
Raja walked to his side and knelt down with him and began searching his possessions.
She found a black pouch and unrolled it to reveal a similar emerald-encrusted collar.
Robin, bruises already swelling, limped over, carrying Cyborg's charred and disembodied head.
"I'm sorry." Raja slipped the collar on Jahed. "This is not what I wanted."
"I – " Starfire winced, her arm broken from the broken rock she'd been impaled on. "… don't understand."
"Even he had his limits." Robin sputtered in his own blood.
"Anybody get the number … " Beast Boy slowly reconstituted himself from the gorilla-sized bug splatter where he'd fallen. "… on that … ASTEROID!?!"
"No … Those aren't emeralds … " Cyborg's eyes opened wide, sensors clacking. "Holy … That's kryptonite!"
"I was going to tell you … " Raja turned. "It started too quickly." She stood and chucked the heavy black pouch far out into the harbor-where it sank like a stone.
Robin sat on the couch amid the debris of the tower, stunned.
"Start talking." Robin winced, broken.
Raja glanced about nervously. "Jahed … " She knelt beside him, absently grinding a piece of concrete to gravel in her hand "… was to be my mate."