Changeling murders his henchmen...Raven makes her return and Changeling renues his obsession to avenge himself.
Raven swooped out into the dark night. Leaping from rooftop to rooftop she made her way around Jump City. There wasn't much going on, a pity, she thought. Just when she was ready for anything, this is stupid, she thought, why did she bother to do this? She was about to turn back when she heard a strange noise coming from the wilderness reserve. That's odd, she thought, the place is closed. She silently swooped down, settling among the trees.
She recognized the man immediately as the one who had robbed the cafÃ© and shot Katie. There were three other men with him, she watched silently. They threw him on the ground and she watched in horror as a bear came out of nowhere and attacked him. His screams pierced her heart but she couldn't do anything to help him. The bear had finished its attack before she could move. She swore she heard the bear laughing, but bears don't laugh, people do! She thought as saw the bear change shape and become a man! She blinked trying to convince herself that it was an illusion. Then she heard a voice say, "Fool. You were so useful for a little while. Why did you have to fail me?" He let out a derisive chuckle. Some men stepped out shaking in complete fear and horror from the shadows of the trees. "Come, my business is done." And the man let out a derisive chuckle that sent shivers down her spine. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she thought she recognized the voice and the laughter, although it was twisted and cruel, she thought she knew the voice, but couldn't put her finger on it.
She silently lowered herself onto the ground and began to follow them at a distance. She shuddered as she saw the dying man's lips gasp his last breath of air. Raven's eyes hardened with determination. No one, no matter who they were or what they'd done disserved a death that cruel. Yes, he had robbed and killed but still, a merciless death was far much more than he disserved. She would bring this mysterious shape shifter to justice. She would bring this coldhearted killer to his knees. She'd make sure of that. Suddenly, she stepped on some twigs that snapped beneath her. Raven froze; she knew he'd heard that.
Changeling's ears twitched and his head snapped to attention as he heard some twigs break. He knew it wasn't natural, someone was there watching him. He knew they'd seen the murder, and they knew what really happened there. He scanned the area, sniffing the air. There was no one. It was just his imagination.
He climbed into the back of the car and told one of his men to drive. He smiled wickedly, no one knew what he'd done, not that the police cared much, they were too busy trying to solve all the other 'mysterious' death cases he'd already done. They would have just another body on the caseload. They couldn't even find him let alone catch him.
Suddenly, he heard a loud thud on top of the car roof. "Shall we pull over sir?" his driver asked.
"No," he replied, "try and knock it off!" The car began to swerve and zigzag, but still, the stubborn person would not let go. Changeling growled in frustration, "Pull over! I'll deal with this myself!" The driver did as he was told. He was satisfied when he heard a loud thud and a grunt as the person hit the ground hard. He rolled down the window, and morphing into an eagle, flew out to see just who this person was.
Raven hit the ground with a grunt. Scrambling to her feet, she managed to dodge a great eagle that was charging her claws extended. She whirled around kicking it hard; she heard it cry out as it fell to the ground, morphing into a shadowed form of a human. "This has all been quite amusing," he said, "but now its over and someone is going to get hurt." He lunged at her. Raven was amused, such bravado was unimtimidating to her, "And I suppose that someone is you?" she asked as she blocked a fierce punch.
"Ah," the man said, "A humorist, you amuse me." He said as he continued raining down blows at her.
"I'm glad to receive such a compliment from a coldhearted killer like you," Raven's voice was cold.
The man flipped back, kicking her. Raven staggered back slightly and met his attacks with her own. Changeling was impressed. She was good, very good. He admired her for her skills and how she cunningly evaded his detection earlier. He smiled, pleased, "What's your name?" he asked.
"Does it matter?" she asked in return.
Changeling couldn't help a chuckle, "Somewhat," he replied, "Of all my 'opponents' I have fought here, I have never fought a woman. Now," he pressed in closer, "who are you?"
"Who I am doesn't matter," the mysterious woman replied. "All that matters is justice."
"Fool, there is no justice! Not anymore!" He laughed, aloud.
"What of the Titans?" his opponent asked.
"The Titans!" Changeling roared with laughter, "The Titans were fools, all of them...they were weak and useless!" He punched and ducked from a ruthless blow towards his head.
Suddenly, the moon came out from behind the clouds, giving some light to the road. Changeling looked up at his opponent as the moon shown on her face. He couldn't see much beneath the hood that she wore, concealing her face. But what he did see was a pair of violet eyes staring at him through the darkness. Beautiful eyes, he mused to himself as he blocked another blow. She kicked him hard, sending him to the road with a grunt, as he rose up he saw her draw her dark cloak about her body and simply vanish into the night.
He walked back to his car. His two silent companions stared blankly at him as he got in, fastening his seatbelt. Changeling smiled, amused by his mysterious attacker. Obviously, she considered herself a vigilante. He'd teach her a lesson. Vigilantes never evaded him for long; he was too good at finding them. Still, he found her mysterious and decided that he would find out what or who she was. "Intriguing, very intriguing," he chuckled. Those beautiful violet eyes were burned into his memory. He wondered whose face lie beneath the hood
The Titans, Changeling shuddered. He did not like to think about the Titans. He had been a Titan, known as Beast Boy. They had been his friends. But he learned the hard way that not all who called themselves Titans were true Titans. He had fallen in love with a girl named Terra only to discover that she worked for their enemy, Slade. Her death had broken them all and strained his friendship with Robin, Cyborg, Starfire and Raven.
Raven...He shook his head. His memories washed over him. She had never liked him, not really. He couldn't tell with her, the unemotional Goth. He'd always tried to make her laugh at one of his obnoxious jokes, but that would just make her angry. At least, that's what he thought she was, anyway. Still, he loved her, in his strange little way, and when he'd tried to tell her, she'd broken his heart, rejecting him, at least he thought it was rejection. He hated her for that, and in a way, he'd blamed her for his actions. He'd been left alone and soon turned to crime because of it. Now he was Changeling, the Ruler of the Underground gangs of Jump City. Feared by all, he enjoyed his place of power among the riff raff.
He put Raven out of his mind and tried to think of who his opponent was. She was a woman and he found her attractive. He mused to himself that if his friends were here they'd tell him that he was girl crazy and that he should just put it out of his mind. He sighed washing those memories away; they were gone now. They were the past; he would have to look to the future. He could tell by the way his fight went that night that his opponent wasn't some vigilante wannabe. This girl was serious and he would enjoy the pleasure of watching her beg for mercy before he put her out of her miserable existence.
Raven enshrouded herself deep within the folds of her cloak. Using her powers, she rose up and flew silently home, not once did she look back on her opponent, who didn't try to follow her. She wondered who he was. He wasn't some low life on the street; he knew how to fight. She'd barely managed to block some of the ferocious blows he'd sent her way, but she managed. She continued contemplating who he was as she arrived home. It was four in the morning. She would go to work at nine o' clock the next day. She needed some sleep. She changed into her nightgown and flopped down exhausted into her bed. She'd have to survive the day on four hours of sleep. Tired, she drifted into the beautiful blackness of unconsciousness.
Angel woke with a snap as the blaring alarm clock screamed at her to wake up. Growling, she switched it off, wishing in vain for a few extra minutes of sleep. She forced herself awake and got ready, still exhausted, for work. Arriving at the Brewers, she saw the police everywhere.
One of them turned to her and said, "Ms. Anderson."
"Yes?" she asked.
"We found the man who robbed the cafÃ©." "Really? Where'd you find him?" she asked but she already knew.
"Someone reported a body in the wilderness reserve at seven this morning. The guy got mauled by a bear, we couldn't recover the money, though."
"That's too bad," she said in reply, both about he mauling and the money, but more about the mauling than the money.
The officer smiled, "Ms. Anderson the investigation's over. We've come to inform you that we read her will and since Katie who was both a waitress and the owner, she left the cafÃ© to you."
"Me?" Angel asked, "why me?"
"I don't know, maybe it's because you were her friend, we informed the family of what happened and they told us that they had her will, it says you inherit the cafÃ©. Well, good luck, Ms. Anderson, I'll be by for something to eat."
"Don't mention it officer," she said in a state of shock.
She smiled to herself. This would be kind of nice, owning a business. This would be a way for her to find out what was going on in the city, so she could help as much as she could.
She walked into he cafÃ© in silence and prepared for work. Another employee had opened already and people were coming in. Putting on her work clothes she began serving and waiting costumers. Most of them didn't say anything about the robbery, although it had made news earlier that morning. It was close to closing time and Angel was starting to close up when she noticed the man she had seen the night before, the one who referred to himself as Gar, was staring in her direction.
She walked over to him. "Back again, hmm?" she asked.
"Best coffee this side of Jump City," Gar said, smiling slightly. "I saw the cops. What happened here?"
"A man robbed us last night. The owner was shot dead and I guess she left this place to me."
"That's too bad about your friend," Gar looked sympathetic, "did they find him?" "Yes, he was attacked by a bear."
"That's strange," he looked thoughtful, "very strange." He gave her a smile. "I better let you go back to work. You must be busy."
"Thanks, it was nice to see you again-Gar," Angel smiled at him as she walked off. He seemed kind of nice, but she had to wonder why he always sat in the dark. She smiled as she put him out of her mind and went back to work. "Thank you, Angel. "She turned back to Gar, "I think I shall be seeing more of you."
Gar looked intently at his waitress, a small smile played at his lips. His eyes roamed her frame, taking her image in. She was beautiful, and intriguing. He needed to find out more about her, he thought. He found the fact that she had been a witness to the robbery interesting. John Thomson had been so careless, he should have been more aggressive, and instead, he was a weakling. But now he was dead, a victim of an unfortunate 'accident', thanks to Changeling, Gar Logan, formerly known as Beast Boy, Titan turned gang lord, he chuckled as he sipped his coffee deep in thought.
He didn't feel any sympathy at all as the conversation continued, at least, not toward John Thomson, the robber. He put it out of his mind as he finished his coffee. Angel noticed he was done and brought his bill. He said nothing as he slipped a few dollars out of his pocket and left them on the table for her. Gar smiled as he stretched his legs walking out of the cafÃ©. He simply got in a no name car and drove back to the warehouse that was his headquarters. He pulled in, got out and walked through the door unhindered by guards that were shaking in fear at his presence.
Gar walked into his spacious office and sat down in silence. He looked at a monitor and saw one of his spies waiting outside the door. "What do you have for me?" he asked, simply.
"Information," came the man's reply.
"Come in," Gar said, pushing a button, the door slid open. The man came in and stood silently, waiting for orders. "What do you have for me?" Gar asked.
"They are coming back." He said and was silent.
"They, who are they?" Gar sneered, "I need more information."
"The Titans," the man replied. "The Titans are returning."
"Why?" he asked, hiding his surprise well.
"The Raven has summoned them." He said in reply.
"You may go," Gar said, pulling out a large amount of cash, "You've done your job well, you are free to leave." Saying nothing, the man took the money and walked out. Gar shut the door behind him. He let out a small chuckle, "So Raven, you show your face at last. It will be nice to see you again, after all this time." He chuckled louder, "You broke my heart; so I'll break your neck and enjoy watching you die." Changeling envisioned the Goth struggling for air as he felt her neck cracking beneath his hands. In his mind he saw the light leaving her violet eyes and he let out a maniacal laugh. His laughter reverberated through the warehouse, striking fear into the hearts of the gang members who were within earshot. They had no idea what had made their mysterious leader so amused.