Categories > Anime/Manga > Princess Tutu > Princess Tutu and the Madrigal III: Terra Rising (Secret Six III)
In San Francisco Bay sat Alcatraz, which had since been refurbished and transformed into the west coast outlet of the United States Metahuman Detention Center. It was once known as the most secure maximum security prisons in the world; for there had never been one to ever step forward to speak of a successful escape from the place known infamously by prisoners and former prisoners alike as The Rock. Now, the prison was more secure than ever, and it was a place where the worst of the evil metahumans were detained. It was there that one Vanessa Kapatelis, also known as the third incarnation of the Silver Swan, was recently transferred and detained. She had been true case, considering that much of her crimes were done when she was not in her right mind. "Neisse", as she had been known by friends and confidants, had, at one time, been used by some crafty super villains to get at Princess Diana, also known as Wonder Woman. Diana had once acted as an older sister to Vanessa after she had rescued her from avillain named Decay. However, after time, two villains name named Doctor Psycho and Circe used the girl's low self-esteem against her and caused her to be jealous of the very one that had done so much for her. By implants and psychological conditioning, they had transformed her into the new Silver Swan and unleashed her against Diana and Donna Troy. After several attempts to reform her, all of which seemed to fail, (she even trying her hand at learning ballet, as the first swan had been a ballerina,) it seemed that she had no conscience for her crimes, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Now, she was in a hellhole in the middle of a bay filled with stormy water that was such that, if the attempt to swim to shore did not kill you, the sharks probably would finish the job. Equal to the gloom of the water as black as ink into which she stared was the darkness of the bare, cold walls of her cell, specially designed to withstand her sonic attacks. She sat on her bunk, knees drawn to her chest, arms around her legs, alone in the quiet cell which seemed to amplify the splashing of the unforgiving bay on the jagged rocks, and her own pounding heart. She stared into the water, because the only other thing to see besides the bridge which crossed the expanse was the sight of Titans Tower: a constant reminder of what she could have had, and threw away. It was bad enough that the tower was set so close to the prison; it was made worse when your cell was put adjacent to it. Shattering the mournful silence was the sound of something breezing by her window, and as she looked out, she saw the stone surfboard heading to the tower. Upon further inspection, she spotted the blur of a person mounted on top of it, and she could only think that it was one of the Titans heading back to the tower. She just growled under her breath, and curled up on her bunk in a fetal position, wondering if there ever could be freedom from her torment as she lay there.
At that moment, Beast Boy walked on the roof of the tower, on the helipad, pacing a grove into the tarmac. His face was so long that his chin might as well have been scraping on the ground. He pondered all that had happened that day they met again, and he was more worried than saddened, wondering if what he had suspected all along had been true: she had come back, but cared not to remember her past at all. He wanted to find her again; just to find out what had happened that day, but he then wondered if that would do more harm than good. Of all the people in the world, she was the only one that had bypassed his elfin ears, green skin and hair, and beanpole skinniness, and took him for who he was. The others tried to assure him that it was only because she had wanted to use him, and that added more weight to his already low self-esteem, considering that it seemed to be a left-handed way of reminding him that he was unattractive, and no girl in her right mind would come near him. He refused to believe them, and instead held onto the hope that it had all been real; for there was no way that she could have shown that much affection so genuinely if there had not been something there. Just as those thoughts hit him, he heard a voice say,"Garfield, I'm so glad to have found you."
He swung around one way and then the other, as the voice seemed to move around him, but he could see nothing. At first he said, "Cute joke, Elly: now let me see you."
There was a giggle, and the voice then said, "Silly, you can't recognize my voice?"
He did, but he did not want to acknowledge it, as if he believed that he was superimposing her voice over what he heard. "I know what I hear," he said, "but if you are trying to play a joke, it's not very funny!"
It was then that he saw something he thought he'd never see again: Terra on her stone wakeboard, with that smile that made him melt in his boots. He just stood there stunned as she started to move across the tarmac, walk fast, run, and then wind up at adead sprint as she leapt onto him. They tumbled over, and though it hurt Beast Boy a bit to hit the ground the way he did, the pain quickly subsided as she planted a long, wet kiss on him. His tense body suddenly turned to mush as his eyes rolled back into his head and his arms slowly embraced her. When she finally let him come up for air, he said, "But I thought...but you can't be...you said..."
She then gently placed a forefinger onto his mouth with a grin and a vulnerable pair of eyes as she then said, "Shh, Garfield: its okay. You were right: I didn't want to remember...well, the personality that has been running the show doesn't want to remember."
"I don't..." Garfield tried to say, but she put her finger back again and said, "Please, don't try to understand right now. Just come with me for a while, would you?"
She stood up and put out her hand. He hesitated only for a moment, and then he took it as she helped him to his feet, just as the flat rock came up to them.
As this was going on, Raven, Magpie, and the Shadow all materialized in the day room where everyone else was, and Raven immediately asked, "Where's Garfield?"
"Hey, he's upstairs," answered Cyborg, "He was too down in the dumps to let me kick his butt on the system, which means he seriously has got some issues!"
That was all she needed to hear, as she started to sprint for the roof and said, "There's trouble!"
That was it for everyone else. They all dropped what they were doing and ran to the roof. Just as they arrived, they got there just in time to see Beast Boy getting on the back of the rock with Terra. "GARFIELD, WAIT!" hollered Raven, but it was too late. Terra saw what was happening and she was not about to let them stop all that was happening. Immediately, they took off like shot through a gun. Everyone was frustrated, because there was not much that could be done, but Kori figured that she could at least follow. She took off after them, and Raven just let it go, because she could not fly as fast, and if she tried to materialize on the stone, she might knock them off balance and get someone killed, and that was the last thing she wanted. However, the Batsons took the hint and both shouted, "SHAZAM!" and transformed into the Marvels. They took off in hot pursuit, hoping to come up with some answers.
Terra had aconfident smirk on her face as she tore off, with Beast Boy clinging on for dear life, shouting, "Its okay, Terra, I think you can slow down now!"
"Can't," she responded, "We've got bogies on our tail!"
Beast Boy looked back to see Starfire trailing behind the Marvels, both of whom were closing ground fast. "I can't let them catch us!" she said, with a sound in her voice that echoed both determination and fear. Beast Boy then said, "Look, they're friends! You can trust them!"
"They don't trust me, Garfield, remember?" she responded, still thinking that they hated her despite the sacrifice she had made for them. However, he said, "It's not like that! You should go to the place where we had the last fight. You'll understand then!"
"There's no time for that," she then said, panic beginning to set into her voice. Yet, there was no outrunning the Marvels as they flew right into her path. "Hey, hold on there, Speedy," said Cap, "We just want to talk to you for a minute."
"No!" snapped Terra, "I can't let you take this away from me!"
Just as she was saying that, boulders and dirt came from all directions and quickly encased the Marvels as she took off again. However, that would not be nearly enough to stop the Marvels, who quickly smashed their way out and continued pursuit. Billy was a bit perturbed, but Mary kept it calm as she said, "Say, that was aneat trick! Hey, how would you like to land over there and we can talk about that for a bit?"
"You don't understand," she said, "They want to take Garfield away from me. I cannot allow that!"
It was after that that a rain of baseball sized rocks began to pelt them in earnest. It wasn't that it was hurting them, but the sheer amount was making it hard for them to see or negotiate their movements to catch her as she took off. Because of the activity, Starfire was finally able to catch up and intercepted them. She then said, with all the care and worry on her face that she could muster, "Please, friend, you have nothing more to fear! Please come back with me, for there is much need of discussion. You have been missing to us for so long, and we want to assure that all is well."
Terra looked confused at her and said, "How can you call me friend after what I did?"
"Terra, all is forgiven," said Starfire, "You gave everything for us to defeat Deathstroke. How could we hate you?"
Terra still did not trust her, and she said, "You lie! You just want to put me away as a freak!"
Boulders started to fly up now as her fear and rage increased, and now Starfire had all she could do to shoot them down with her energy bolts. Terra took off again and said,"Wait, friend Terra, this is not the way!"
By that point, she was making distance, and the Marvels pulled her away, as Cap said, "Let them go. If she had meant him harm, it would have happened by now."
By that point, Donna came up to them and said, "Sorry I'm so late. By the way, how are you so sure that harm won't hit them?"
"I don't know,"said Cap, shrugging his shoulders.
"Let me tail them,"responded Donna, "Maybe at the right moment, I can talk some sense into her."
Once she felt it safe, Terra began to relax a bit, and then she laughed a touch, saying, "Well, that was close! So, what do you want to do tonight?"
However Beast Boy said, "Terra, why did you do that? They wouldn't have hurt you."
She then stiffened again, and said, "After what I did, they would try to take you away from me. Icannot let that happen again!"
She set them down, and she then looked at him tenderly, saying, "Look, I was so wrong for using you like I did. I really do like you, Garfield. You have to believe that."
"I do," he said, "I never doubted that. Yet, well, things have changed. The Titans are a new group now. I'm not quite a Titan anymore, and I work off and on with the Doom Patrol again. Sometimes, they even call me Changeling now. I still respond to Beast Boy if the others say it, though I'm about 19 now."
"But, what were you doing at the tower?"
"We're babysitting for the Titans while they are on a mission."
"Still, I can't let anything get in-between us again."
"I don't care about the past, and neither do they. I'm telling you that all is forgiven."
She looked at him skeptical, and then she said, "Okay, prove it."
He had her take them to the place where the last battle with Deathstroke had taken place. They went in and he took them to the spot where the statue had been. Changeling,(Beast Boy,) took out his flashlight and showed her the plaque. She stood there at a loss for words, and she muttered, "You said this about me, even after what I had done?"
"You did wrong, but you made it right, Terra," came a new voice from behind, "Don't make a new mistake."
They both wheeled around to see Donna Troy standing there in the cave mouth. She then said,"Terra, all this just does not seem right. We want to find out how this is, and help you if we can."
She started to back off, not sure of what to think now. Donna then said, "Terra, there should be astatue of you standing there. Really, it should be you still standing there. Don't you think that is odd? I mean, what do you remember after you were petrified?"
"I...I..." was all she could say, and then she started to weaken, and said, "I...feel...tired."
She fell over as Donna caught her and then cradled Terra in her arms. Just as she did, the eyes fluttered open, and a groggy voice then said, "Where am I?"
"You're okay,"responded Donna, "You're safe, Terra."
"Wha..." she gargled out, still half-asleep, "My name is Gaia."
Donna thought for amoment, and then she said, "You have had one whale of a spell of sleepwalking, honey. If it wasn't for Changeling here, there is no telling where you might have ended up.
"Sleepwalking?" she muttered, becoming more awake, "I don't understand."
Donna hushed her and said, "Don't try to think right now. Just go ahead and rest. Tell me where you live and I will get you there, and you can wake up in your own bed, okay?"
"Uh-huh," she said, starting to tremble, but Donna said, "It's okay: there's nothing to be scared of, it happens to the best of us. Just go ahead and sleep: you're safe."
Gaia told Donna where she lived, and Gaia curled up and started to fall asleep again. As she went out, Donna said, "I and some friends will come by tomorrow afternoon and check up on you."
"Thank you," she muttered weakly, so sleepy that her subconscious must have told her she was dreaming as a self-defense mechanism. Donna then said, "Go ahead back to the tower and we can all talk about this. I think this girl has more problems than we would dare wish on anyone."
He looked sad, and Donna said, "Don't worry, if there is a problem, you know we can handle it. Chin up: if this is Terra, you have some good days ahead of you!"
With that, she took off and took Gaia home. Changeling stood there pondering all that just happened, wondering what to make of the whole thing. He turned into and eagle and started to fly back to the tower at a loss for what to do now. It seemed that Terra had indeed returned. However, how had this had happened? Worse, it was what she had said that disturbed him a bit: her other self would not acknowledge Terra. What did she mean by that? Was she possessed? Was her mind sick? Now he was more concerned than ever before. One thing was certain: he had to protect her now, no matter what, no matter how much the Gaia side protested.
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