Categories > Cartoons > Teen Titans > Paladin: Bitter Beginnings

Chapter 1: Rematch

by Acenra66 0 reviews

After telling the titans who he is, Adam decides to repay their kindness by helping to stop a crime in progress.

Category: Teen Titans - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Humor,Romance - Characters: Raven,Robin,Slade,Starfire - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2008-12-08 - Updated: 2008-12-08 - 4089 words

Robin, the leader of the famous Teen Titans, watched the young man sit and shiver in his sleep. The Icicles on his goatee had melted, and his coat and hat were drying on the side. Under his coat was a turtle neck sweater, a pair of stone wash jeans and a pair of black walking boots. Cyborg, the half man, half robot member of the team walked in with a pile of blankets
“How is he?” he asked
“He just managed to recover from hypothermia. He’s still unconscious, but stable,” Robin explained as Cyborg wrapped the blankets around the resting boy, “is there any identification on his clothing?”
“No, nothing to suggest a name, but bio scan gives his basic details. He’s a Caucasian male, aged seventeen, height of five foot ten inches. Blue eyes, blonde hair, blood type OB negative,”
“Is that even possible?”
“Incredibly rare. BO types are possible, but OB negative?” Cyborg asked, “if I didn’t know better, I’d say he’s the only one in the world.”
“Could that have anything to do with what happened tonight?” Robin asked
“Well, his attacker had super powers of his own, but his uniform suggested something organised. I think someone must have been after him. Maybe there was a profit in it,” Cyborg answered, “other than that, the only other things that we know about him are his possessions, which are a pair of crystals and a first aid kit.” At this point, Beastboy wandered into the room, his night-cap still on his head, yawning and stretching. His ability to sleep through a nuclear holocaust was to be admired, and he managed to snore through this event rather well. It wasn’t until Starfire shook him awake that he decided to do something.
“Who’s he?” the changeling asked, still incredibly drowsy
“We don’t know, but he was attacked earlier, so we’re taking care of him until further notice,” Robin explained. Raven entered the room at this point, scanning over one of her many books
“None of the books I have contain anything about these crystals he has. He only has two left, so that doesn’t help me,” she stated. Starfire knocked on the window outside, and Robin let her in
“I could not find the intruder. He has managed to elude me,” Starfire stated. The room went silent as the boy managed to stir
“Ugh… not now mum…” he muttered, “school isn’t for another hour…” he hugged the blankets and rolled on his side while saying this. After a second or two, his eyes fluttered open and he started to observe the room, the look on his face sceptical, “where am I? Did I die?”
“I hope not. I’m not a big fan of zombies,” Beastboy stated. The boy chuckled at this
“Well, that’s a first,” Raven stated, “Beastboy actually made someone laugh” Beastboy scowled and the boy’s chuckle turned into a small laugh
“I apologise. I’ve been known to be easily amused when I’m tired,” he explained, “I thank you for your hospitality. I expect that it is rare for you to receive people yelling sanctuary at this time of night, even for your occupation,”
“We’ve been through stranger events than this,” Robin stated, “well, you seem to know us, care to tell us who you are?” the boy smiled and gave a nod
“I’m sorry, I should have said sooner. My name is Adam Hastoria. Middle name Julius,” he explained
“No way… you’re Adam?” Beastboy asked, “dude, I read your comic every month!” Adam sighed
“Damn, I hate publicity,” he stated, “I don’t write for them. I work as a private eye, and a small group of artists and writers publish my cases. I don’t really stay in one place, and neither do they. I’m kind of wishing that I didn’t let them do that bloody comic.”
“Wait, are you the same Adam as the murder case Adam from eight years ago?” Cyborg asked. Adam didn’t answer. His smile left his lips and he looked to the ground, “oh… I’m sorry, I didn’t mean-”
“It’s ok. I get it all the time. The days just go by, and you wish it didn’t happen you know? But hey, I could have done a lot worse. I could have been deported to a country where I’d be spending the rest of my days learning their language. I mean, I wouldn’t mind going to France, but being forced into speaking French that early in my life? I don’t need that sort of pressure,” Adam explained
“We’re getting side tracked,” Robin stated, “who was that guy, and why was he after you?” Adam stood up and looked out the window, as if looking for someone
“He calls himself Agent Ebon. He looks like me in every way, and can manipulate this energy which is like a purple vapour. It can either be used as concussive blasts or energy shackles. He also uses some items if needs be. Why he’s chasing me is a question I want answered myself. Thanks again for saving my life,” Adam said, turning to meet the gaze of the others. Raven walked a little closer
“What are these crystals you have, I don’t have any information on them,” she asked. Adam jogged over to his trench coat and pulled one out. It was a deep red
“These are crystals I got a few months ago. A shifty salesman gave them to me for a hundred dollars. They work by crushing them then using thought to manipulate the energies that are now passed into your body. Apart from my martial arts, these are my only defence so far. I only have two left so, I’m not going to give you guys a demonstration just yet,” Adam explained
“Oh yeah…” Beastboy muttered, “issue fifty three. You used a fire one on those smugglers.”
“Yes… anyway, it would be swell if I could have your assistance for a while. I won’t be any trouble. I can even find my own place if needs be,” he explained. Raven looked at him with an odd expression. She could sense more to him, much more. He seemed to have a form of holy glow to him. Like he possessed a power, which he didn’t need the crystals for. She thought that if he harnessed this power of his, he would be able to a much more formidable power against villainy instead of being a standard private eye with a few toys
“Raven, what do you think?” Robin asked. It seemed that while she was thinking, Robin was asking what the team’s thoughts were on Adam’s temporary placement in the team
“Oh, uh, sure. He can stay,” she replied
“Brilliant!” Starfire exclaimed, “welcome to the Titans!” Adam then received a trademark hug from the Tameranian
“Thank you… Starfire,” Adam wheezed.
“We have a spare room available. It’s not as advertising as the other rooms,” Robin stated
“But it has a sink!” Beastboy exclaimed
“Guys, relax. As long as it has a bed and a working door I’m fine,” Adam stated after being released from the vice of Starfire’s hug.

The room Adam was shown to fitted the description quite well. It was a slim rectangular room with a single bed, a wardrobe, and indeed, a sink, with a mirror hanging over it. The walls were dull and unpainted, and the single light bulb lit the room well
“Wow, this is… familiar,” Adam stated
“Sorry. We were going to deal with this room, but since the incident with the Brotherhood of Evil, it was kind of thrown aside,” Cyborg explained
“Don’t worry. I’ll be fine. I’ve been through worse, trust me. Besides, I’ll be outta here as soon as we find out what Agent Ebon wants with me,” Adam stated, “Look, you guys are pretty tired. We should get some rest and figure this all out in the morning.” There was an agreeing murmur as they all made their ways to their rooms. Adam closed the door behind him and walked over to the sink. He started a steady flow of cold water, and let it run as he took off his shirt. His body was riddled with scars and bruises, one scar in particular ran from his left shoulder to the centre of his chest. He took a look at his right arm and saw that the large scar on his right hand was splitting. Taking the first aid kit out of his coat pocket, he washed the wound and started to wrap the bandages around it before it started to bleed. After this, he took another, longer bandage and started to tie it over his shoulder and around his chest. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door
“Come in,” Adam stated. The door opened to reveal Raven in the doorway. She walked in and the door slid shut behind her
“You ok?” she asked, her eyes fixed on the bandages
“I’m fine, just a few old scars, that’s all. What brings you to my door?” Adam asked, grinning a bit. He reached the end of his bandages, which ended at his back, “ah nuts. Could you do me a favour and tape this for me?” Raven gave a nod and walked over. Taking the bandage tape from the kit, she taped the end to the rest of the bandages
“I just came to see how you were,” she stated, stepping back. She could still feel this aura of light that radiated from him. If it were any stronger, it would be blinding
“Well, I’m ok, how ‘bout you?” Adam asked
“I’m fine, just a little tired,” she replied. Adam raised an eyebrow
“That’s not what you came to talk to me about, is it?”
“Come on, I’ve been in this situation hundreds of times before. And plus, your pupils are smaller than they should be. That’s a sign that you’re holding something back,” Adam explained
“How do you know?”
“I’m a private eye, remember, comes with the job,” Adam stated. Raven sighed
“Adam, I’m sensing a lot of magic coming from you. I think it’s light magic. I might be wrong, but I think it would be a good idea to control it,” she explained. Adam looked in no particular direction and stroked his beard
“…You’re saying I’m not entirely human?”
“It’s possible,” Raven replied. Adam once again looked in no particular location and thought about the proposition.
“Sounds good. I mean, no point bottling this up until its too late,” Adam replied, grin playing his lips again.
“Ok, I’ll start teaching you the day after tomorrow. We won’t do it tomorrow, you should become more at home in your surroundings. Now, I’m going to bed, see you in the morning,” the goth said, before heading out the door and off to her room. Adam stood and smiled. It had been eight years since he had a teacher.

The next morning, Raven awoke with a subtle sound in her ears. The sound she heard had a form of rhythm to it and different notes quietly played through the air. Curious to find the source of this sound, she put on her cloak and wandered through the tower. No matter where she went, she would always be led back to her room. Assuming a different tack, she made her way to the roof. The cold air hit her hard as she neared the closed door. Her hand was hit harder as she reached for frozen handle. As the door opened, the calm, winter weather greeted her senses in a bitter way. Taking a moment to adjust to the way, Raven scanned the scenery from the doorway. She found the source as her eyes set on Adam, in hat and coat, playing a guitar while sitting on a deck chair. The notes that he was playing were almost hypnotic.
“Any minute now, my ship is coming in,” he sang, “I keep checking the horizon. And I keep checking my machine, there’s sure to be that call. It’s gonna happen soon, soon, oh so very soon. It’s just that times are lean. And you say, be still, my love. Open up your heart, let the light shine in. don’t you understand, I already have a plan. I’m waiting for my real life to begin…” his voice echoed in the air, as if it were calling to the gods themselves. Raven assumed this was an extension of the dormant power inside of him, and it was influencing his talent
“That’s quite a talent,” Raven called from the doorway. Adam stopped playing and turned to look. With a smile on his face, he stood from the chair and wandered over
“Thank you,” he replied, “I woke up early, so I went to the motel I was staying in and grabbed some stuff. Before you ask, I used one of the rowboats to get across the water. The hell with swimming.”
“Come on, it’s cold, let’s get inside,” Raven said.

As the two walked inside, Raven started to wonder how someone with such a misfortunate past could sustain such a normal attitude. Surely they’d have some stereotype or abnormality to their psychology, but Adam seemed to be just as normal as your everyday teen. Sure, his lifestyle isn’t exactly on track at the moment, but he seemed to be taking it rather well. Her thoughts were interrupted when the tower’s alarm system went off she levitated to the main room, and Adam ran after her
“What’s going on?” Adam asked
“We’ve got trouble,” Raven replied.

In the main room of the tower, the other Titans were watching Robin type a break neck speeds to put the information on screen. Eventually, the map of the current area came onscreen and a marker was in a specific location. The marker itself seemed to be in the shape of a sinister S
“Slade…” Robin snarled, “He’s back”
“Someone special?” Adam asked
“You’ll find out soon,” Cyborg replied
“Titans, move out!” Robin ordered.

Adam sat in the T-car as it rocketed through the streets of Jump City
“You should have stayed at the tower,” Cyborg stated, his eyes fixed on the road
“It would have been wise, but you’re helping me in something important, the least I can do is offer my assistance wherever it is needed,” Adam replied. Cyborg felt a little sceptical, but made no effort to convince the young investigator otherwise. Upon arrival, Adam set his eyes on a swarm of black and orange robots, all of them causing the many helpless citizens. There wasn’t any defining individual in a similar outfit to suggest the leader, but until they did reveal themselves, it would have been wise to deal with the current issue at hand. Adam got out the car and stared at the scene
“What’s the plan?” he asked
“We’ll deal with Slade, you make sure no one gets hurt,” Robin ordered, “Titans, go!” Adam ran off to do what he was told. Coming up to the first part of his task. As soon as he reached the robot, he slammed a fist into its metal face. The blow was substantial enough to receive the desired effect, and Adam rubbed his knuckles while the robot stumbled back, dropping its laser gun. Picking it up, Adam fired a few rounds into both the chest and head, to make sure that it was no longer mobile. He then proceeded to save a few citizens. He climbed on top of a jeep and took a steady aim. He then fired continuously at all the pre-selected targets, managing to land heads and shoulder shots. His luck was phenomenal as each robot he hit fell to the floor lifeless. Reading the counter on the side of the gun, he had one round left. Looking around for suitable resources, he resorted to using the final round on the pole of a stop sign. Throwing the pistol to one side, he threw a kick to the stop sign. The weakened pole buckled and snapped, allowing Adam to grab it. For weapon purposes, it wasn’t balanced, but in a situation like this, anything would do. Taking the sign in hand, Adam had started to cleave his way through the crowds of robots.
I’m starting to get the hang of this, Adam thought, maybe I should do this sort of thing in the near future. It was at this point that one of the robots managed to catch the incoming sign. It was also at this point that Adam noticed that said Robot was taller, bulkier, and only had one eye. It also had the capability of complex speech
“There you are, Acenra,” it stated. Adam came to the conclusion that this was the infamous Slade. Letting go of the sign, Adam stood in a casual manner, as if they were discussing something
“I’m afraid you have the wrong name. I am Adam. A, D, A, M,” he replied
“You’re quite confident. I like that in a bounty,” Slade replied
“Bounty? Wait, wait, wait. Agent Ebon hired you didn’t he?” Adam asked
“You live up to your occupation. I am surprised, however, that you haven’t discovered who you really are yet,” Slade answered
“Who or what I really am is nothing concerning yourself,” Adam replied. As he said this, he slipped a hand into his coat pocket, “now, if you don’t mind.” He took his hand out of the pocket and forced his palm to Slade’s chest. A second later, a powerful shock wave of flame threw the bounty hunter back. Adam then ran forward, rearing his hand back for a punch. Slade, however, was prepared, and caught the incoming fist with ease. He then flung the boy over his head, who landed on his back on the hard concrete where the snow had melted. Adam choked in pain, Allowing Slade to pick him up by the lapels of his coat and throw him into a lamppost. Adam regained control of his body, allowing him to grapple the large pole of steel and swing himself around. Using the momentum, he threw a scissors kick, causing Slade to topple back. Flipping over, Slade used a handspring to land back on his feet. Adam landed on his knees, and quickly stood
“Impressive, yet your potential is still lacking,” Slade stated
“Thank you for whatever support was in that sentence,” Adam remarked
“Slade,” said a voice the exact same as Adam’s, “that is enough. I will take it from here. Go deal with your little nuisance.” Agent Ebon formed from the purple and black vapour he controlled and stood in a graceful pose, like a vampire. Slade gave a nod and leapt over the wrecked robots to partake in the other battle
“Here we are again,” Adam stated
“Yes. Tell me, how are you so resistant? I have been chasing you for over a year now, and yet you still live. How do you do it?” the agent asked
“Well, I eat my fruit and veg, I don’t have late nights-” Adam started
“Enough of your foolery. It is time for you to die,” Ebon snarled.
“I’m guessing that you’re not big on being social, right?” Adam asked. It took only a second for him to be hit by the purple vapour. The blast threw him back far, but Adam managed to find his balance and landed on his feet soon enough. He took the final crystal out of his pocket. It was a dark green. Without hesitation, he crushed it. After this, he brought his hands across his face. A tremor ran through the ground, and soon, Ebon was encased in rock. However, this didn’t win the fight. Five seconds later, the rock exploded, and Agent Ebon stood there. His right arm raised. The other arm was dislocated and motionless, and his jaw was once again hanging off his face. With several sickening cracks of bone, Ebon shoved his arm back into place and then slotted his jaw back to the rest of his skull. Taking the now shattered glasses off his face, Ebon stared with deep intent at Adam. A now more obvious difference was that he had no pupil, or iris. His eyes were a bone white
“What the hell are you?” Adam asked
“Just after you were born, your parents, being superheroes themselves took part in a mandatory Cadmus screening, along with you and other meta-humans in your family. This included you. The screening was to make sure that no one contained a power, which could put the world in danger. Your family’s super DNA, as it were, was random, at best. So it was no surprise that when we scanned you, you contained something that could be a potential threat. We didn’t tell your parents, of course. We just took a DNA sample,” Ebon explained. The way he explained it, the fluency, the grace, the concentration, the lack of fillers and utterances. It was as if the message was pre-recorded, “the very next day. I was born. However, the purpose of my cloning was to contain a rival power to you, so that if you used your power for evil, I would be around to stop you. Unfortunately, your super gene couldn’t be cloned. So, we took the measure of your power, and fashioned a new one.”
“But I’m not presenting a threat. I’m not even using this power I’ve been told that I have,” Adam exclaimed, “why are you chasing me?”
“When Cadmus was at risk with the justice league, the cloning program was let go. The scientist who lost their jobs kept me under their wing. I, along side other cloned beings, were to make sure that beings with such power, dormant or other wise were to be eliminated. I was given the name Agent Ebon and commissioned to find you,” Ebon stated, “since the incident, and considering a possible mental state after the event, it was a wise decision.”
“They took away your child hood. You may have been a clone, but you’re still a living being. And they took away your life? And you still fight for them?” Adam asked
“The mind is a fickle thing. Isn’t it, brother?” Ebon stated. Before he could continue, a Starbolt hit him in the gut, followed by a strong punch from Starfire. Ebon flipped back and stopped in the air. He stared at the Tameranian. Her determination was obvious, and her power was overwhelming. He couldn’t fight her now. It would be suicide. He had to leave, and come back. His many parents would be able to fashion new skills for him. Abilities that would help him fight back. Without hesitation, he flew off into the sky.

An hour later, Adam had explained what had just happened from his end. What he had been told and what Slade had called him
“What does it mean…” Robin muttered
“Whatever it is, it has now become lethal. Ebon is recruiting new villains to his cause just to take me down. He seems to be branching out to the ones who have something to settle with you,” Adam said, “as my clone, I think it’s fair to say that this organisation has been making more of other people. Because you guys are now involved in this, be prepared for possible clones of yourselves.” There was a silence before Beastboy broke in
“Man, this is gonna be one wild Christmas…” he stated, rubbing his head


told you the next chapter was going to be fast.

so, that's as far as I can explain this without spoiling any of the plot. I don't know how many different stories I intend this to be. I have another plot twist in mind, but I have to wait until I'm done with this.

so, eat, drink, be merry, and I'll see you soon. if it gets really near christmas, I'll make it a special, christmassy chapter.

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