READ; First off, this is not mine. A friend of sorts decided to help me by giving me an example of how to improve my writing. He/She(Forgot to ask) said I could post this on the condision that he remain anonymous for his own reasons. So to clarify, this is completely his/her's, minus a few(very few) edits on my part.
Thoughts and Emotions talking to person outside mind
Demonic or Animalistic speak
Demonic or Animalistic Thoughts
Translating to English
non-demonic Higher Beings will change depending on mood
Robin, Raven, Cyborg, Starfire, and Beastboy were in the T-Ship heading towards Tameran, having received a distress call but were unable to make anything out of it. Beastboy however was troubled about something from the transmission, or rather something in it.
While no one else was able to hear much from the transmission, he was able to pick out a few bits and pieces of something out from the background noise, something growling. That wasn't what bothered him however, what was getting to him was that he was actually able to understand some of it.
Mostly it was just random words, but every now and then he was able to pick out a sentence or two, "Is this all the strength you weaklings have?", one disappointed voice taunted.
His eyes narrowed however when he heard the telltale sound of tearing flesh. One didn't have command over the animal kingdom without knowing that sound well. He was about to say something to the others when he caught sight of Starfire out of the corner of his eye.
It was obvious that she was worried, Tamaran was her home after all and they were heading there because of a distress call of all things.
"Dude, you've got to warn them! What if its important?" the part of his mind he rarely listened to screamed at him.
Shoving that particular voice back into a dark corner of his mind he decided not to say anything. If there was a problem it would be obvious as soon as they got there. They were still a ways from the planet and he couldn't find any reason to give his friend even more to gnaw at her until they arrived.
When the team arrived, they were shocked by the sight that awaited them. The palace was broken in many places, large sections of the ceiling knocked out and there were enough holes in the walls that they didn't need to bother flying to the landing pad to get in.
Everyone was deathly silent as Robin brought the T-Ship in through the largest hole in the palace wall, and Beastboy felt his stomach churn at the sight of so many still bodies littering the interior.
As soon as they landed and the ships canopies opened Beastboy had to force his fight or flight reflex down due to the heavy scent of blood that hung in the air. It didn't take a genius to figure out what had happened as he surveyed the area, corpses littered the palace floor, some even in small piles.
Death was nothing new to the Titans, it was part of their job though thankfully it was rare that they ever had to deal with it. They had crossed paths with a few grim sights over the years, but this was a whole different level of carnage, this was beyond anything that someone could hope to accomplish in a movie or a videogame, this was real. Just to keep himself together he was forced to no let his eyes stay on any one place for more than a few seconds. Severed limbs, broken pieces of weapons, what he thought (but hoped wasn't) bone were all laying in the thick trails of dark red blood and thicker masses he didn't even want to know what they were that coated the once white stone floor and walls.
Glancing over at the others he could see the effect it was having on them plain as day. Cyborg looked like he was about to loose his breakfast, Raven was in her 'forced calm' state as he called it shutting out everything for now to deal with later, even Robin looked like he was going to be sick.
Considering the horror stories he had heard about his friends home city of Gotham and what the lunatics they had locked up in Arkham Asylum were capable of, that was saying a lot.
Starfire was the most effected by the sight however. Her back was to him so he couldn't see her face, but he could smell the emotions coming off of her over the blood. Fear, worry, hate, anger, anxiety, rage, they were all rolling off of her in droves forcing Beastboy to snort to clear the scents from his nostrils.
Then another scent filtered though his mind, one that was different from the others. It was, strange, like nothing he had ever smelled before.
But at the same time it seemed oddly familiar.
Following the scent he came to one of the many fallen Tamaranean warriors.
"I don't like this Starfire could easily take us down if she wanted to, what could have possibly done this to an entire garrison of her people? We need to stay alert, this is no longer an assistance missions it's search and rescue."
Nearly gagging from the heavy blood scent that filled his lunges when he breathed in, he was about to give out the others orders when he noticed Beastboy moving over to one of the bodies.
"Beastboy, what did you find?" he asked as he and the others made their way to where the green changeling was now kneeling.
When his friend looked up to meet his gaze, Robin saw something flicker behind his normally cheerful green eyes.
Without responding, the stone faced teen carefully rolled the fallen warriors body over to reveal a second body under it.
Years of detective work and training immediately kicked it.
The body was humanoid but certainly not human. At the same time however it wasn't Tamaranean either. In fact, it looked nothing like any alien species he was familiar with.
Its entire body was covered in dark blue scales, not like the ones on some little lizards but more akin to their bigger cousins, alligators and crocodiles. Just as the scales had suggested, the head was reptilian in appearance and had several spiny horns growing from it. The most striking thing he noticed however were the creatures pointed triangular teeth.
"Just like a sharks what is this thing?"
Shifting his gaze downwards he found what must have been the cause of the creature's death, five deep stab wounds into the creatures torso, the dagger having caused said stab wounds still burred in it with the Tamaranean warriors hand still gripping it firmly.
Following the warriors arm back to its body Robin winced, grateful that part of the warriors uniform included a long cape. He could see the reptilian creatures arm shoved deep into his chest, somehow breaking through what he knew to be very thick and very sturdy armor from his one short battle with the guards before.
Looking back at the position of the hands and the angle of the dagger, Robin was able to figure out what had happened. The creature had shoved its hand through the man, and with his dying breath he must have taken it with him.
It wasn't much of a victory, but given the number dead Robin hoped the man at least survived long enough to know he had taken the creature with him.
Snapping out of that line of thought something clicked in the back of the young leaders mind.
The only human characteristic the creature had was that it had two arms two legs and a head, but the clothing it was wearing was distinctively human.
Brown traveling pants, a hooded cloak not unlike Ravens, and what looked like a cotton T-shirt shirt (though the color would never be known from the blood stains). Robin's eyes were drawn back to the cloak. Just as with Raven's it was clasped together with a medallion of some sort, but there was too much blood covering it for him to make out the insignia.
"Star, do you...do you know what this is?" Cyborg's normally calm and controlled tone was shaking like a leaf in the wind.
Not that Robin could blame him.
Hearing his girlfriends gasp his eyes shot up to her now terrified face.
"Something's wrong, she doesn't even look this shaken when she wakes up from one of her nightmares. Whatever it is it must be something bad," Robin reasoned as his frown deepened.
"It is a Beastan!"
Again Robin's training kicked in, taking into account her sudden shift in stance going from worried to a defensive even as she spoke out of reflex.
"What is a Beastan?" Raven asked, her voice as monotone as ever but her expression was just slightly pensive.
Before she could answer Beastboy spoke up, "I think were going to find out soon."
Looking over to his friend Robin reached for his Bo staff when he saw Beastboy's ears twitching and shifting as he scanned over the area with narrowed eyes.
"They are still here?" Starfire half whispered with wide eyes.
Pausing, Beastboy slowed his breathing and took deep long breaths, letting the various scents blend together so he could pick out the few different ones easier.
"This is bad, I can smell them, they're close but why are they so close too "
Something in the back of his mind snapped and once again he was forced to suppress his instincts.
A part of him, a deep, ugly part of him that he hated was almost looking forward to the chance to fight these things.
Looking back over to the others, he spoke.
"Good news is that there are still some survivors, bad news is their scents and mixed with these guys, so they're in the same room or at least close to each other," Beastboy thumbed towards the dead Beastan."
Willing his lip not to pull back into a snarl, he continued.
"They're female, all of them."
"How is that bad?" Cyborg asked not seeing why it mattered if the survivors were male of female.
Beastboy's only answer was a pointed look at Raven.
It took a moment before they realized what he meant, but the change was more than noticeable.
"Y-you mean their going to..?" Starfire left the rest hanging.
Having no other choice, Beastboy nodded. The fear and worry disappeared from her scent instantly and were replaced with rage. He wasn't surprised that Raven's scent was just as strongly laced with rage, along with hate and pure malice.
"Beastboy, can you tell how many of them are here?" Robin asked, going into 'command mode'.
Beastboy closed his eyes for a moment as he separated the scent his brain now knew to be the Beastan's from the other scents he was able to detect.
Opening his eyes Beastboy's expression fell.
"About a dozen."
"That doesn't sound too bad." Cyborg said, confused as to why Beastboy sounded defeated.
Moving his arm to the sight around them Beastboy glared at his friend as he spoke with a completely deadpan tone. "Cy, they took out all the palace guards here...and only three of them are dead."
"Beast-Beastboy, can you tell h-how many are alive besides the ones with the Be-beastans? Starfire asked hesitantly.
Lowering his head so that his face was hidden by the sadow of his hairline he answered her.
"About fifty of them I'm sorry Star but I don't know how long they've got left."
It crushed him to have to say those words, but it was true. From the heartbeats he could hear and the scents the bodies were giving off it wasn't a matter of if, it was only a matter of when.
"I'm sorry Starfire, but I need you to tell us, what exactly is a Beastan, and do they have any weaknesses? Anything you can tell us would make it that much easier when we rescue the others," Robin asked while comforting Starfire as beast he could.
Beastboy was glad to see her straighten up if only slightly. Robin just had that affect on people, he might not have any powers like the rest of them, but his confidence was like a living thing and it's power was as great as any of their own unique abilities.
As their leader pulled her tighter to himself her shaking died down a great deal but it was still present and leaked into her voice as she spoke.
"I-I am not aware of any w-weakness they possess friend Robin, but as to what a Beastan itself is-"
The voice screamed through his mind louder than anything he had ever heard before in his life. He didn't have time to think, only react. Raven might have been the only 'true' psychic on the team but at times his instincts were more than a match.
Throwing himself forward with as much force as his scrawny body could muster, Beastboy tackled his two friends and wrapped one arm around each of them.
He might have shifted form, but he couldn't tell, it was too fast. In the blink of an eye he went from standing there listening to Starfire planning on trying to figure out just what could hurt these things they were going to fight, the next he's in mid air least ten feet away from where he had been and had Robin and Starfire held securely in each arm.
Scents and signals were firing off like mad now. There was something close that he must have missed before, but what was really confusing him was that everything was suddenly much much clearer, like his senses had been turned up to their max all of a sudden.
He could smell the hair gel Robin used to slick his hair every morning, he could smell the orange scented shampoo in Starfire's hair, he even felt her heart beating against his chest.
His ears twitched, locking onto a quiet mechanical weering sound from somewhere behind him and something else, something that sounded like pulling apart two socks stuck together out of the dryer. He could even hear Raven's breath hitching from behind.
A thunderous crash sounded behind him, louder than any thunder he had heard in his life.
Landing he looked over his right shoulder to see what had almost turned his friends into bean paste, and for once he didn't fight off his instincts. Before they had been yelling at him, shouting to be let loose, but now they were howling, snarling, roaring for blood.
Beastboy was only dimly aware of the deep guttural rumbling emanating from his chest as his lips pulled back barring his large canine teeth.
He couldn't see a thing through all the dust the impact had kicked up, but the scent was unmistakable.
When the dust settled a large shadow emerged, gradually taking on a more solid and realizable shape.
Crouching with its fist buried into the newly formed crater where his friends had just been standing was something that looked remarkably similar to the dead Beastan they had been examining just moments before.
Remarkably similar, not identical.
There were differences, some subtle, others not so subtle. Its scales were a dusty earthen brown color, almost like mud. The horns that ran along its face were also noticeably longer. Beastboy's attention was immediately drawn to the clasp holding its cloak together, the clearly polished insignia seeming oddly familiar to him, a gold colored dragons head.
Closing his eyes for only an instant and taking a deep breath, Beastboy was able to hear the slow deep pounding of its heart, he could almost feel the raw power that one organ alone was exerting.
Again the scent flooded his system, blended with the others, now even stronger than before. The eggs and bacon Robin had eaten nearly twelve hours ago when they left the tower to answer the distress call, and just the barest hint of mustard on Starfire's breath.
But despite how close they were to him, the room's newest occupant's scent all but drowned everything else out completely. It was a deep rich scent, one that he recognized well to mean power. If the scent alone was actually enough to base one of these creatures strength on, then it was at least twice as powerful as the one they had examined earlier.
Beastboy watched as its large head swiveled around and examined each of them, occasionally flicking out its tongue tasting the air. Despite its reptilian visage, he could see the emotions play across its face like he would any human. Disdain at the sight of Cyborg and Robin, hunger at the sight of Starfire, and oddly enough, curiosity when its head turned to Raven, flicking out its tongue several times as if it was unsure of her.
When its head turned back to Beastboy however its expression changed considerably, showing a mixture of emotions the strongest of which was confusion. This quickly changed to surprise, then an almost polite friendly expression.
"Aren't you a little young to be all the way out here?"
Raven frowned just slightly when the creature began 'speaking' to them, it sounded like nothing but a bunch of growls and grunts with an occasional hiss. She didn't know why, but something told her that this was actually very important and that they needed to know what it was saying.
For all they knew, this one might have been on their side. It wouldn't have been the first time after all, the situation with Bumble Bee at the Hive's underwater academy came to mind.
"If we can't understand it how are we supposed to-"
Raven's line of thinking was cut off when Beastboy began speaking in the same 'language' as the creature before them.
"Super, our one possible translator in this mess and he's just as likely to dig us in deeper. Please actually know what you're saying Beastboy," Raven thought to herself as she began summoning up her powers just in case.
"What are you doing here and why did you kill all those people?" Beastboy demanded. There were a lot of things he didn't like, but only a few things he could actually claim to hate. Senseless violence (outside of videogames and movies) was at the top of his list.
The creature seemed surprised for a moment, but then a look of realization spread across its face, like it just found the instructions for how to plug in a new gamestation.
"Ahhhh, so you haven't yet fully awakened. Well, I can help you with that." He had an smirk on his face by the end.
Before anyone could react, the Beastan raced forward on all four before jumping right at Beastboy.
Knowing he didn't have time to do anything in his own defense, Beastboy used the split second he had to release and push away Robin and Starfire, shoving them in opposite directions and turning to face his attacker.
When the creature landed it stood at his full height of well over six feet before bringing its hand back and forming it into a claw like position.
"Something tells me this is going to hurt a lot," Beastboy thought as he steeled himself for the oncoming blow.
The Beastan's clawed hand slammed into Beastboy's head with the force of a runaway freight train, causing him sway for a moment before collapsing into a boneless heap.
Pain was nothing new to Beastboy, he was a Titan after all, one that lacked any ranged fighting capabilities other than throwing stuff, and whose favorite pass time was annoying Raven, the half demon daughter of Trigon the Terrible.
But this was beyond anything he had felt before, it wasn't like getting knocked out by Cinderblocks fist, no that was actually pretty painless at least until you woke up. This started as an itch on his forehead, an itch that became a slight burning sensation.
Then, the floodgates opened.
Heat, upon heat, upon heat. It felt like someone was trying to slow fry him over an open flame, or like his blood had been turned into molten lava, it spread through him like a wildfire. He tried to open his mouth to scream but nothing came out, the pain was too much, it filled his senses and blocked out everything.
Then he saw it, red, only this time it was much darker and much stronger than when he first turned into the beast, it was even beyond when he changed into it again to fight Trigon's army to protect Raven.
His eyes darted around, coming to focus on a pair of worried forest green eyes, similar to his own but not as dark, more innocent in nature.
"Sta..r help," was the last thought he managed to form before the red completely overtook his sight.
"Titans Go!" echoed through his head as he fell deep, deep, deeper into the red.
"Titans Go!" Robin shouted as he pushed himself up from where Beastboy had pushed him and charged the creature to defend his friend.
"Yo! Nobody does that to the grass stain but me!" he heard Cyborg shout quickly followed by several bursts from his sonic cannon.
Robin was surprised when the large creature proved to be surprisingly agile, not blocking any of his attacks or Cyborg's, instead it actually dodged them.
"How on earth can it be moving that fast? That thing's at least as big as Bain used to be, it shouldn't be anywhere near this fast!" he thought as he threw several explosive disks, which to his surprise and aggravation it caught between its fingers and threw back him forcing Robin to evade his own weapons.
"Cyborg! Immobilize him! Raven, Starfire, bring him down!" Robin ordered as he prepared to attack the creature from behind.
Just as he had planned, Raven and Starfire rained black and green destruction on it from above, pinning it long enough for Cyborg to reach it and the two were soon deadlocked.
Whipping out his staff, Robin began building up momentum as he charged with the full intent of knocking the Beastan across the skull with his titanium staff.
Right before he could reach them however it through Cyborg to the side slamming him into the wall at the opposite end of the palace with enough force to leave an imprint of his friend in the wall when he fell back to the ground, ,then pivoted to face him.
Leaping with all of the grace of a white crane, Robin brought his staff up high, knowing the creature wouldn't have time to react to his attack.
A solid 'thunk' sound echoed and Robin's arms suddenly felt like they had been shattered.
"What is this things skull made of, rock?" was his last through before the creature retaliated with a strong blow to his midsection, throwing him back into the same wall Cyborg had been thrown into just moments before.
If the blow alone hadn't broken at least four ribs, the impact with the wall had.
Starfire and Raven were likewise quickly neutralized when the large creature sprouted a large pair of leathery wings and took to the air, knocking Starfire to the ground with a two handed hammer slam and Raven with a backhand swipe that was strong enough to shatter her shield in one hit.
Tired and injured but not beaten just yet the four teen hero's pushed themselves back up only to be stopped by the last thing they would have expected.
"Now are you four going to listen to me or am I going to have to kill all of you? It doesn't really matter to me, but I think your green friend here might." The brown scaled Beastan said, sounding mildly annoyed.
Pushing the shock and surprise of the Beastan speaking perfect English aside Robin glared at the creature.
"And why should we listen to you at all?" Robin demanded, barely even wincing from the pain of his now broken ribs.
The large creature looked mildly amused as it crossed its massive arms before responding.
"The fact that I could easily kill all four of you should be reason enough, but there is also the fact that we really don't have a reason to keep you here. You are of no concern to us and can provide nothing more than a waste of my time. You are free to leave so long as you don't attack anyone else," pausing the large creature tapped its chin before continuing "I figured you might want some answers before you did anything, though." the scaled humanoid added almost as an afterthought.
Hot with anger, Starfire's eyes glowed greenish white.
"You invade my home, murder and capture my people, hurt my friends all for no reason and you believe that I will simply allow you to leave here unharmed!" she fumed, surprising the others as she shouted in her native tongue and stomped one foot with enough force to leave a small crater.
Starfire was surprised when the large Beastan shifted its gaze directly to her and then spoke perfect Tamaranean.
"You look familiar, have we fought before?"
Feeling her anger grow even further, Starfire's lips twisted into an animalistic scowl as she replied. "I try to avoid associating with slaughterers and rapists to the best my abilities, Beastan," she hissed the name as if it were the vilest thing she had ever tasted in her life.
The Beastan raised a single eyebrow at that and switched back to English before replying, "My name is Akreuss Merren and I have never raped anyone. Slaughterer, on the other hand, is a matter of opinion." He turned away from them before they could say anything else and moved towards the unmoving form of Beastboy. Before he could get to him however a wall of crackling black energy appeared blocking his path.
"Don't you touch him!" Raven growled, eyes glowing white with the barest hint of glowing red lines appearing above her eyes.
"Listen, when that kid wakes up he's not going to be a good mood, at least not good for you. So either I leave him here and you can get yourselves torn to pieces or I take him so me and the others can try and keep him from turning you into decorations for the palace walls. Which do you prefer?" Akreuss asked somewhere between mocking and annoyed as he gestured to the 'red painted' walls around them.
"He didn't did he?" Starfire thought as her eyes shifted to the prone form of her friend before shifting back to the Beastan.
Clinching her fists when she was unable to see any form of deceit in his eyes, she spoke.
"Very well." Her eyes hardened at the next part, "But we are accompanying you, and I shall warn you now that it would be most unwise for you to try to harm him," she threatened, her eyes still glowing bright green but no longer blazing with uncontrollable furry.
This was focused, and not so much of a threat as it was a promise he realized.
Akreuss took in the small form before him with an eye of amusement and curiosity at hearing her words.
'Small build, oddly strong for her size, smells a little different then most Tamaraneans, and wasn't on the planet when we got here. Add the red hair and green eyes that would means she's...'
"High Princess Koriand'r?" Akreuss voiced his suspicions.
Her eyes jumped slightly at hearing him speak her 'native' name. It was small, but he still caught it none the less.
"You know me, Ragonder?"
Akreuss snorted at her chosen barb.
"Ragonder? They couldn't even figure out how to use a spear," ignoring the insult for now he answered her question.
"I saw you in a passing I had with the Psions. I had heard rumors that they were performing some experiments on you and you sister. It appears that those rumors were true," his tone was one of indifference but then changed to one of obvious interest as he continued, "the question now however is are the rumors about what the experiments were for true, and if they are, how successful were they?"
Noticing the shift in her angry glowing eyes becoming one of pure hate he continued, "If it offers you any closure over the matter, you won't have to worry about them ever again."
When her eyes stopped glowing all together and showed nothing but confusion he smirked.
"We happened across their laboratories and killed most of them about two earth years ago, it was by pure chance that they happened to be passing by the Citadel's home planet at the time. It isn't often that we conquer two races in such quick succession, but it was welcome just the same," he informed her with a smug grin at the memories of the fierce and prolonged battle against the quadrants two dominating forces.
Starfires eyes widened at that, she wasn't sure how she should feel about this. The Citadel may have enslaved her and had been enemies of her people for as long as history had been recorded, but there must have been innocents among them. Even the Psion's, easily the most notorious race in the entire Vegan system didn't deserve to be driven to extinction.
In the end she decided to feel relieved that she wouldn't have to worry about them coming after her again, but she felt pity for the innocent ones lost in the fighting and aftermath. Try as she might, however, there was a piece of her that was feeling great satisfaction that were dead or worse. She hated that part of her, it was also part of the main reason she hated the Psion's. She recalled Beastboy explaining the humorous concept of 'irony' to her once after the Titan's first formed, and she supposed that this would be an example of it.
The Psion's own 'children' would be the only ones to even care of their passing, and she had little doubt that her sister wouldn't do so in the same manner she was now.
Starfire nodded to Raven, telling her that it was ok to lower her barrier protecting him.
Once again approached the prone shape-shifter, just as he reached out for him Beastboy's hand suddenly grabbed Akruess by the wrist before Beastboy slowly rose up to his knees. Eyes moving from the small hand clamped onto his wrist like a vice to its owner, Akress watched as he raised his head and looked up at him with dull, lifeless eyes.
It took a moment for Akress to realize that Beastboy wasn't awake; his body was simply acting without his conscious awareness. It was an uncommon trait among unawakened Beastans, but it wasn't unheard of, similar to what was commonly known as 'sleep walking' but was more of a reaction to danger than anything subconscious.
It was however seen as a sign of great potential by most, something Akreuss kept in mind as he looked directly into the young being's emerald green eyes. Beastboy, or at least his body seemed to get the message that Akreuss wasn't planning on hurting him. After that, Beastboy's body relaxed and tipped into Akreuss's large shoulder.
'Well that's a first for me. Creepier than I expected it to be though.' Akreuss thought to himself as he picked Beastboy up and started walking off in one direction. He stopped and gesture for the others to follow him and was not surprised that they did at a distance. He took note of their attempts to avoid stepping or walking on the dead bodies as they passed them by with mild amusement.
As the others followed the being who identified himself as Akress, Raven kept a close eye out for any potential ambushes that could be lying in wait for them. She was only partially listening to Robin as he grilled Starfire for what was going on however as her attention was being divided bet more than enough already. As she kept her senses open for any would be attackers she was also trying to reach Beastboy's mind, but every time she tried to it blocked her out, something he had seemed impossible of doing before.
At the same time however she had another task that was taking a great deal of her concentration to perform. As they passed the many bodies that lined the palace, her empathic powers were detecting and relaying the pain of those that had little time left. She knew her powers might be able to save one at the coast of her own life, but she had no way of fairly choosing which one to save if she had chosen to do so.
With this in mind she did the only fair thing she could for them.
"If they are going to die, I can at least make it painless for them," she thought as she willed her powers to reach out and dulled the ability to feel pain in those she knew had little time left.
"Star, why in the name of all that is holy, did you agree let this...thing take BB to wherever it is we're going?" Cyborg demanded violently, upset that his friend might be in danger.
Closing her eyes she took a deep breath before speaking.
"Because friend Cyborg, if I had not we would no longer be alive," she replied evenly.
Cyborg was about to protest to this, but stopped when he saw Robin shake his head warningly.
"Before we decide to get mad, could you at least explain to use exactly what a Beastan is Starfire?" His voiced carried a slight twinge to it as he unconsciously held one arm across his aching ribs.
Sighing, Starfire hovered off the ground and turned to face the others but continued moving behind Akress as she spoke.
"A Beastan is essentially what Beastboy is."
Seeing everyone's surprised expressions she clarified.
"They are shape-shifters, they can look like humans but the coloring of their eyes and hair is usually unnatural to humans. They can transform into an earth animal, or into any composite form between humanoid and that animal they so desire. What makes them unique among shape shifters however is that they are only able to turn into that one animal. Other species with shape shifting abilities have a greater deal of I believe the word would be 'flexibility'. They are also capable of self healing and even a form of regeneration. On some occasions they are known to have unusual energy based powers similar to friend Raven's. However I am not completely sure on any other abilities they might posses or even if what I said is completely true."
She paused to see any if they had any questions, knowing there would be at least one.
"Do they have any weakness's? Do you know of any way to take one down?" Robin asked what he thought might be the most important question at the moment.
"The only way to defeat a Beastan is to kill it and their healing abilities make that a difficult task to perform. It is said that only another Beastan can defeat a Beastan, but there have been exceptions, warriors of great power and skill have been known defeat a Beastan on rare occasions," seeing the pensive look on Robin's face she continued. "I am unsure, but I believe that a demon, or possibly an angel could kill them if our experience with Raven's father is a suitable example to use as a basis." Starfire explained hoping they would grasp just what she was trying to tell them.
"But...you said they are like Beastboy, and he can turn into any animal. Doesn't that mean he's not one of them?" Raven asked, her monotone voice carrying the barest hint of emotion.
Starfire shook her head as she responded. "Though I am unsure of why is able to change into so many creatures, you must believe me when I say that friend Beastboy is a Beastan." Her voice then lost much of its strength as she continued speaking. "When he awakens, he will no longer be the same as he once was."
Seeing their confused and somber faces she elaborated.
"The Beastan's, at least the 'Unawakened' ones as they are called, are similar to Tamaraneans biologically in that their powers and abilities are fully realized only after undergoing something similar to the transformation of my people."
"Is there any way to stop what is happening to BB?" Cyborg asked, his voice just barely above a whisper.
Starfire's eyes glowed angrily as she moved directly in front of the large cybernetic teen and fixed him with a look that was just short of a scathing glare.
"Do you know what is happening to him?" When he shook his head in response Starfire reached back in her mind to the lessons she had been taught what seemed to be many life times ago before responding.
"Right now he is inside of his own mind and coming to the realization of what he truly is. Once he realizes this he will be forced to make one of two choices; either to leave what he is to slumber permanently, or to become what his was blood grants him the right to be."
She moved back from Cyborgs face and fixed all of them with a stern expression.
"Now tell me, who are we to deny him that choice even if we could? Who of you has the right to decide for him what he is to become?" she asked before turning around and closing the distance between herself and Akreuss.
Needless to say the others were shocked at what Starfire had said, but at the same time they were each worried for their own reasons. Cyborg was worried that his best friend would no longer be same person he had almost come to depend on, maybe not even his friend anymore. After the accident and what happened at S.T.A.R. labs, the small green teen had been the first person in a long time that made him feel normal again, like he wasn't some kind of monster.
Robin mentally sighed in frustration; he always thought that Starfire had her own secret, after all they each had at least one if not more, and he wondered if this was somehow connected to hers. Just how did she know that Beastboy was a Beastan? She had confirmed that there were other species of shape shifters among the cosmos, but the way she had spoken, the strength of her conviction was absolute, she didn't think Beastboy was a Beastan, she knew he was, and based on her choice of wording, she had known for quite some time. Why hadn't she told them? A part of his mind argued that it wasn't important, after all they hadn't learned about Raven until her dear old dad had come knocking. The part of him that had been trained by the Bat told him otherwise, that some things should be known if they could lead to a situation like this.
But there was something else, she was right about Beastboy making this choice on his own, even if he didn't understand most of it. He and Bruce might not have split on the best of terms, but the man had respected his decision to leave and didn't try to dissuade him after making it.
Raven however was different, she was worried about Beastboy 'becoming what he was born be' as Starfire had put it. She had been raised to believe in 'destiny' as being an inescapable monster that could not be stopped or defeated, yet her friends, Beastboy especially had fought to and eventually had proven that to be a false assumption on her part. Though she didn't show it well, especially as of late, she really did appreciate the efforts the green changeling had put up to try and get her open up to the others, to help her change who she was by choice. That was where her conflict laid with Starfire's words. If a person wanted to change then so be it, but only if it was by choice.
The image of a young woman in her early twenties, with a face so similar to Raven's that she could have been called her sister flashed across her mind.
Clenching her fists Raven had to force her emotions back under control, especially when the faded image of her mothers face was replaced with one of a young blond haired blue eyed teen.
She wasn't sure what was to come, but she hoped that she would be able to help him should he need it. It was nothing less than what he would have, and had done for her. She knew better than anyone the results of when someone was forced to change into something they were not.
Starfire herself only allowed a single thought to pass through her mind as she floated closer to her unconscious friends side.
"Whatever may happen, I shall always be your friend," she thought as she forced down anything else that tried to rise up from the deepest darkest recesses of her mind. As she had told the others before, she was uncertain as to how much of what she had learned about the Beastan's was truly accurate, but there were a few things that she knew to be beyond any shadow of a doubt, and she was not going to allow there to be any chance of those thoughts rising to the surface where Raven could detect them.
They turned around what seemed to be the hundredth corner in the mazelike palace that Akreuss had just a moment ago when they came to stop at the sight before them.
Beastboy's earlier estimation was freightingly accurate as there were at least two hundred Tamaraneans seated on the ground bound in chains made of a metal that was obviously unlike anything they had ever seen before.
Save Starfire, whose eyes glowed momentarily as several festering memories flickered across her mind.
There were few males among the group; however they were able to spot a few children mixed within their numbers.
Robin noticed Starfire's eyes showing both rage and sorrow at the scene before them as she surveyed the area. They were standing in the middle of so many people yet he doubted that any of them even knew they were there, not one of them looked up, it was hard to even tell that they were alive at all.
Lifting up his gaze Robin spotted a few large tents not too far away from the captives and noticed that Akreuss had stopped just a short ways from one of them when what appeared to be a completely human teenager stepped out to great him. He guessed that she was close to their age, fifteen, no older than sixteen at most. What Starfire had told him earlier came to mind as he continued to observe her however as even from this distance her dark purple hair stood out like a beacon and he could easily make out her cobalt blue eyes.
She was wearing an outfit similar to Akreuss's, but it was cut differently, dipping in the front to display a modest amount of cleavage. Since her black cloak was currently pushed back over her shoulders like a cape he was also able to get a good idea of her build. Her B cup chest was framed by a rather athletic figure and sported a decent tan. The apparently ripped off sleeves also displayed her arms which he noted were more muscular in appearance and had a higher definition of muscle tone than most women, far fro making her unattractive it did however destroy the notion that she was anything less than a professional military type.
"Hey Akreuss, whats..."she paused when she saw Beastboy in his arms, initially curious about the four individuals that had followed him into the camp, but the instant she saw what he was carrying she was standing right in front of him the blink of an eye If it had been a slave or another 'addition' he would have been dragging the person whoever it may be, but he wasn't, instead he was carrying the person as a father might a sleeping child.
Starring at the motionless figure for a moment, she was able to pick up his scent with little effort. "Is he a newly awakened?" she asked with a cold emotionless tone.
Akreuss nodded and raise an eyebrow at her behavior. Though she was far from being the preppy energetic type, she wasn't one to be called 'somber' either. The next thing he knew, she was jumping excitedly and cheering.
"Yes! We got a new hotty in the group! Oh, Reama better not go after him! She gets all the attention from the really good men...and quite a few women now that I think about it," she spat bitterly as she continued to rambled and not notice (or care it was hard to tell which) the shocked look on Akreuss's face.
'Almost every dragon she's met below High Twelve has hit on her and she's turned them down faster than a hatchling falling from its nest, yet this green sleeper shows up and she's sudden a lovestruck yearling? You must have a lot of potential to get the attention of Ferninia Zefera before even regaining consciousness' Akreuss thought amusingly as the young woman started blushing at something.
"Keep your head out of the gutter Ferni. I need you to keep an eye on him until he's awake," seeing her excitement only increase at this he quickly added an additional order "If you molest him, you'll probably be the first on his list if he goes completely berserk."
Ferninia's eyes went wide before she began stroking her chin in thought as she examined him closer,
"Do you think he would kill me or just rape me?"she asked in a husky tone.
Akreuss's eye twitched.
"Just take him already!" He shouted as he dropped Beastboy into her arms.
"Of all the squads I could have been assigned to I had to end up in the one that has a masochist for a medic. I don't know what's worst, that she enjoys inflicting injuries to others to see what she can most likely survive, or that she seems disappointed that she's the one doing the testing and isn't the one being tested," He muttered as he watched her going back into to the tent.
"Akreuss, who are they?" a new woman coming out of another tent said. She had dark red hair and sharp yellow eyes. Unlike Zefninia would could at least pass for a human, this one had short claws on her hands and matching sharp teeth. Her slim waist sported a solid four pack and the beginnings of a six. Her small frame was lined with hard defined muscles, C cup breasts and an overall pale complexion.
"Ah, Sigma Reama Taris. They were with an unawakened I found. Before you ask, Ferni is watching him, and she's oddly...excited about him being here."Akreuss finished with a chuckle.
"Best go make sure she doesn't try anything. I don't want or need another mentally scared newly awakened,"she paused before giving a wistful look at her friend. "or to have to find a new medic."Reama added with a small chuckle.
"Would you mind doing that? They only need a few details since the princess explained most of what they need to know." Akreuss explained.
"Hmm, so one of the princesses returned to see the end of her people. Very well, if you can convince them to leave, I see no reason for them to be reported. Keep an eye of the half-demon though. They always cause some kind of trouble when we need to kill one." Reama reminded him as she made her way to the medical tent where Ferninia had gone.
"Also, Reame, keep an eye on the kid. I got a feeling that there's somehing more to him then we think." Akreuss warned as she turned to leave. Reama raised an eyebrow but didn't comment on the remark. Akreuss's instincts had saved him on several occasions over the years.
Akreuss turned to the four titans who were now only a few feet away. The one he had figured to be the leader of the group was the first to speak, "So what now?" he asked.
"Well, while we're waiting for the kid to wake up, I thought I would explain the only important thing Red here left out."
Seeing anger twitch across her visage he suppressed a smirk.
"That ones got spirit alright, her name fits," he mused before continuing. "Now listen, your friend is something we see every now and then. He's a being with Beastan heritage in him, a half blood at the very most since not too many of us bother with your world anymore. Since he probably hasn't been around any Beastans his whole life his powers have remained dormant," seeing that they understood what he was saying so far he continued.
"By the looks of things however he was Semi-Awakened. This means he has came close to waking up on his own, a fairly extraordinary feat in of itself I might add. This resulted in him gaining his transformation abilities. Now-" Akreuss was interupted by Cyborg.
"Wait a minute dude, hold it, back up. Just how do you know about his powers?" Cyborg asked suspiciously.
Akreuss rolled his eyes, "I overheard you tin-man. Higher than human hearing is something all Beastans have, now be silent so I may continue," Akreuss snapped, annoyed at the interruption.
"Now where was I? Oh, yes, when a Beastan fully awakens we're not the best of things to be around. We tend go a little berserk for a while. Do you have any questions?" Akreuss finished.
"What are we suppose to do now?" Raven asked. She didn't like this at all, for all they knew they were preparing to torture Beastboy when he woke up. She might not have been able to pick up anything from Akreuss or either of the female Beastan's minds by 'skimming the surface' and she wasn't willing to risk anything invasive enough that she would be caught, but the emotions and few pieces she had put together from the trio were not what she had been hoping for. She had only gone along with this because of the absolute certainty coming off of Starfire when she said that Akreuss could kill them.
Sighing Akreuss shook his head. "I was hoping you would just leave, but I'm guessing you want to talk to your friend when he wakes up, right?" Akreuss asked, seeming a little glum at that particular idea. Seeing their unified nods and smelling the raw determination rolling off of them in droves he again sighed.
"Well, just stay out of the way when he wakes up. I don't need you lot added to the dead on this planet and I don't feel like adding more than I have to today."
He paused again before a particular detail he had forgotten came back to the front of his mind. He turned and faced the preadolescents with an expression of unabashed curiosity. "I know I probably shouldn't be asking this, but why is he green?" Akreuss asked with an honestly confused look etched across his face.
The others stiffened at that. It was one thing to cooperate with someone that was probably an enemy, but it was another to reveal a friends secrets, especially one that struck so close to their friends heart.
"Why do you wish to know?" Raven broke the silence with a cold, almost daunting tone of voice.
Akreuss shrugged, "There are few things that can turn a human green like that, Beastan blood or not. If it's that big of a secret though just give me an idea of what happened, was it an experiment, an accident, what?" Akruess figured they'd at least give him a rough idea knowing they probably wouldn't give the exact specifics.
"Not that it really matters, so long as it wasn't a-"
"It was a disease." Robin finally answered thinking it best to satisfy the dark brown scaled Beastan's curiosity at least partially.
Akreuss's went wide at hearing that.
"Sa-sakutia?" His voice seemed drip fear at the very name, a fact that didn't go unmissed by any of them.
When the only response he got after that was a solemn nod, he quickly turned on his heel and made a mad dash for the medical tent.
"Reama! Ferninia! Get out of there!" That was he was able to do. Right as he reached the tent a large explosion engulfed it in flames.
A dark chuckle that continued rising until it became a booming cackle filled the air and echoed across the dead capital of Tamaran.
End of chapter