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January 18th, 2022

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01/13/2022 04:20 PM 

[Utopian Nightmare] Post #1

Utopian Nightmare
"Maybe you haven't noticed, but my emotions are dangerous. I can't afford to feel anything."

YEAR: 2036

”LIVE! From the California State Prison! I’m Janet Williams and CCTV is bringing you the most talked about event of the season!

The blonde reporter in the center of the screen smiled widely into the camera, a microphone held beneath her mouth as she addressed the world. The spectacle was an unprecedented event on so many levels, but no one seemed to bat an eye as the teenage boy was walked out with shackles on his wrists and ankles. He was solemn with his head dipped down, refusing to look in the direction of the news camera or the guards escorting him to a chair in the center of the room. With hands coming down to his petite shoulders, the guards shoved him down into the chair, working to secure the straps on his arms to prevent him from escaping his own fate.

The woman stepped out of view of the camera, her voice overhead through the microphone as the cameraman panned into the boy restrained to the chair. He’d finally lifted his head as they tightened the leather strap around his forehead, pressing it firmly to the headrest of the chair to reveal a set of frightened eyes filled with tears. His gaze darted from one guard to the next as they finished restraining him and all at once the dam broke and hot tears spilled over his cheeks.

“Isn’t this riveting? Fourteen year-old Bradley Martin has been sentenced to death for petit larceny in the state of California. You’ll get to see it here first and I promise you won’t want to miss this.”

The camera quickly panned to the crowd of people seated beyond the glass barrier, all watching intently as the terrified boy was bustled around by a woman dressed in white from head to toe, including the surgical mask that covered her face. She worked alongside a nurse that seemed to inspect the boy as they both prepared the injection that would take his life.

“Here we go! The moment of truth. And let this be a lesson to anyone else that thinks stealing from the Pacific French Bakery will be tolerated.”

The focus pressed in on the boy’s face and despite the fact that the camera couldn’t pick up any audio besides the reporter’s voice, the audience could see his mouth moving as he begged to be spared. Round eyes jumped between the two medical personnel administering the lethal injection, his cries falling on deaf ears as they moved methodically to do their work. Slowly his frantic spirit faded as his body relaxed, the camera panning back to the blonde reporter who’s smile stretched from ear to ear across her face.

“And there you have it. Justice has been served. I’m Janet Williams and you’re watching CCTV.”

The screen cut off in Rachel’s small apartment, a pale hand still holding the remote with her finger pressed into the power button. Her face reflected her usual stony exterior, but the turmoil that crashed within her mind was practically leaping to escape. It was hard for her to imagine that someone would be so chipper over something so awful. And to disguise it as justice? This was never the justice she’d fought for her whole life. As much as the woman’s time with the Titans had come to a halt years ago, she still worked to actively make sure that the world was a better place, albeit from the shadows.

This was not a world she ever wanted to see.

At first the changes came slowly. It all felt like it would be for the greater good to inflict harsher punishments for crimes across the nation in hopes of discouraging wrong-doers, but this was too far. She remembered seeing the headlines everywhere only a few weeks prior. The teenager stole a lousy loaf of bread for his starving family and in three short weeks he was condemned to death for something that should have been a slap on the wrist. Or at least that’s what it would have been fifteen years ago. Now nothing was right, but what could Rachel even do about it? She was but one half-demon alone in the world. She hadn’t even seen most of the Titans in ten years.

There were certainly clues to her whereabouts, though she was selective as to who received them. There were far too many of her heroic friends that followed the letter of the law and the ex-Titan didn’t feel they should be trusted anymore. The only person that had been reassured that Rachel was alive and well was Tim. On the first of every month, she took her trip to Smallville where she knew he resided. There she left a single amethyst feather within his interior coat pocket where only he would find it. He’d know it was her and he would respect that she didn’t want to be found. That much she trusted. If there was anyone in the world that would be able to figure out her whereabouts, it would be Timothy Drake-Wayne.

Violet hair hung over her face as she simply stared at the tv from her seat on the couch, her legs folded beneath her and a steely gaze unmoving. The world had fallen into a totalitarian state and there wasn’t a single thing she could do about it.
(c) powered by taste the blood

01/04/2022 10:08 PM 

[Dear Leyla,]

Dear Leyla,
"Maybe you haven't noticed, but my emotions are dangerous. I can't afford to feel anything."
Rachel was absolutely crushed when yet another mission came up that would force her to cancel her holiday plans. Usually, the Titan took pride in her work and her ability to help people whenever they needed it, but in this particular moment, it felt like yet another time where everyone else came first and those around her that she cared most for had to suffer.

The mission was urgent. She could already hear the others packing up their belongings so they could all jet off, but instead of gathering her things together, Rachel sat quietly at her desk with her phone directly in front of her. She had to do it. She had to call her mother and tell her that the feast and festivities she’d been planning for the whole family would have to go without her youngest daughter. The thought broke her heart knowing how much it meant to Leyla to have them all together, but what other choice did she have? As always, Rachel’s life took a backseat to her heroic duties.

Pale fingers slid over her phone, taking the device into the palm of her hand and staring at it through violet eyes. What was she supposed to say? That the Titans once again had to come before her adoptive family? It felt unfair and even worse to do so in a hasty phone call. On a whim, the teen pulled open one of her desk drawers and grabbed a piece of lined paper, her other hand reaching for a pen. Her mind ran faster than her hand was able to maneuver her words onto paper, but she only hoped she would be able to capture everything she wanted to say.

Dear Leyla,

I’m so sorry. For every canceled plan, for every missed birthday, for every time you’ve asked me to come and I’ve been unable to be there for both you and the rest of the family. I so badly wish that there was some sort of compromise between the Titans and my Rashid family, but I’ve accepted my destiny to help and protect others that need it. This is what I was meant to do with my life and with my lineage. I hope you understand why I will again miss another family holiday.

It feels so unfair that you’ve given me everything and I’ve been unable to be the daughter I know you’ve wanted me to be. My life has been filled with so much anguish and in a sea of chaos, you brought me light. You’ve given me the only thing I’ve never been able to have on my own. You gave me the opportunity to be a normal teenager when I never thought it could have been possible. You gave me a family I’ve been able to depend on even in my darkest days, you’ve given me a home away from home where I can relax without feeling like the weight of the world rests on my shoulders.

I will never be able to repay you for all of the things you’ve given me. This life outside of the Titans means everything to me and the fact that I’ve been unable to enjoy your company pains me greatly. Hopefully one day I will be able to show you that the good you’ve done for each one of us has caused the best of ripple effects on the rest of the world. We wouldn’t be here without you.

All my love,

A small sigh escaped the girl’s lips, setting the pen down on top of the filled page before finally lifting her hand to wipe away the tears that had formed in her eyes. She didn’t dare let them spill over and fall to the page, for her mother would know and her heart would ache. Carefully folding the page in half, Rachel slipped the letter into an envelope and sealed it, neatly scrawling Leyla’s name on the outside. Now she just needed to deliver it discreetly without anyone knowing she’d been in the house.

“Rachel! Let’s go! We need to head out!”
“One minute!”

The teen called back to her fearless leader, getting to her feet and adjusting her cloak to hang loosely around her body. Without a second thought, Rachel opened a portal, the other side leading directly into the bedroom of Leyla’s New York mansion. If she knew her mother like she did, the Allmother would be in the kitchen preparing for all of her guests to arrive. Forever the host.

Setting the envelope down atop her pillow, Rachel blinked back another set of tears. It was difficult to see it sitting there and waiting for her mother, but her team needed her. Jump City needed her. That had to come first, even on Thanksgiving.
(c) powered by taste the blood

10/01/2021 01:15 PM 

[A Date with Destiny] ft. xBeetle

A Date with Destiny
"Maybe you haven't noticed, but my emotions are dangerous. I can't afford to feel anything."
It was perfect. Everything was perfect. The scene had been perfectly set, filled with dim mood lighting and small candles staggered about the kitchen just the way Rachel liked it. The kitchen table within Titans Tower was neatly staged with pillar candles in each candlestick, lit and illuminating the place setting with a soft glow. A folded napkin was set beside the place, neatly arranged flatware nestled next to it and prepared for an evening of feasting.

Rachel’s violet eyes bounced from one area to the next to inspect each element of her arrangement. Everything needed to be just so in order for her to properly enjoy this the way she was always meant to. The way it was intended.

Gingerly taking a seat at the table, the teen folded her pale hands in front of her, her gaze admiring her own handiwork. It was something she felt quite proud of, if she was being honest. It wasn’t too often she put the kind of time and care into anything other than heroism like she had done tonight. It was a special occasion, after all. Pursing her lips, she leaned in closer, her words soft and gentle as she spoke.

“This is everything I had hoped it would be and more. You’ve exceeded my expectations and I just wish I could savor this moment forever. Nothing has ever made me feel so…”

Her voice trailed off as the Titan tried to collect her thoughts. It was so unusual for her to find herself unsure of what it was she was feeling. Rachel was usually so acutely aware, but lacked when it came to expressing such. This seemed to be another one of those moments.

“I wish I could give you what you’ve given me. I wish I could be whatever you want, as well.”

Rachel exhaled a small breath, her hands finally moving to the center of her plate as she slipped her hands around the crisp edges of her enormous sandwich and took a large bite. The flavors danced over her tongue and distracted her from the sound of footsteps approaching behind her, making her unable to stop Jaime from bumping her shoulder and causing the sandwich to drop from her fingers. It seemed to happen in slow motion, the food falling until it finally hit the floor. The teen stared in disbelief as her perfect sandwich lay in shambles on the floor. A small perky voice spoke up from behind her, Rachel’s attention slowly turning to look at Delicious, the adorable corgi.

"...ah..wow..I've never been to a live murder."
(c) powered by taste the blood

05/24/2021 08:05 PM 

[Deep Disappointment]

Deep Disappointment
"My home will always be Azarath... but I've found a new home here with the Titans, too..."
D*ck. Kory. Gar. Victor. Jaime.

These were the voices that Rachel overheard from the main control room in Titan’s Tower. Certain voices could be heard louder than others, but namely she heard the bickering going back and forth between D*ck and Jaime. The longer the teen stood outside the door, the more she came to understand the situation at hand and why there was such a debate. It wasn’t unusual for D*ck to send one of them off on a mission alone if it seemed to be a simple task on the surface, but on more than one occasion the initial plan didn’t come to fruition. The Titan didn’t have enough fingers to count the amount of times she’d come close to being fatally injured on a mission she was assigned to take alone, but D*ck always ended up being the source of the issue here. They shouldn’t be fending for themselves when they have a team to lean on.

The current argument seemed to revolve around a mission Jaime had been sent on alone, but far too much of the information regarding the case was missing when he was sent out. It was utterly irresponsible of D*ck to make such a call, but even worse, Jaime had come close to not making it back in one piece. Sure they all joked around and razzed Blue Beetle, but at the end of the day they were all friends. They were all family. They were a team and teammates stuck together. The sound of D*ck’s vicious words cut through the chatter inside the room, bouncing off the walls to echo in her head.

“You had one job, Jaime!”

Even in Rachel’s mind, she felt it was a harsh comment to make. They were people first and heroes second. Jaime had put his life on the line for D*ck’s mistake and now he was being blamed for it. Just the same moment that the thought crossed her mind, a blur that happened to belong to Jaime whizzed by on his way out of the control room, leaving the rest of the Titans alone inside the room to squabble.

Steeling herself, Rachel stepped into the doorway, arms coming across her chest as she just stared at them all until the room finally fell silent. She said nothing.

Taking a few steps forward, violet eyes bounced from one to the next, the tension in the room rising the longer she chose to remain silent. Her gaze finally stopped on D*ck.

“You’re one insult away from starting a war. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

She watched as his mouth opened to speak, but quickly closed and thought better of it. In a single blink, her normally violet eyes flashed a deep crimson before returning to their normal hue. Raven was a force to be reckoned with and each of them knew what would happen if things got out of hand with her.

“He’s your friend and he’s your teammate. We don’t point fingers at the people we care about when he was only doing exactly as you directed him. You may have grown up as Robin, but this isn’t the Batcave. We’re equals here.”

Her body remained unmoving as she stared into the blue of D*ck’s eyes. Out of the corner of her gaze, she could see the other three slink backwards to retreat behind him. The weight of her words slowly started to sink in, especially given the fact that it was Jaime she was defending, of all people. Without another word, Rachel slowly turned and walked out of the room, leaving the four of them to stare at her back as she left them with her final thoughts.

She needed to find Jaime.

05/17/2021 08:08 PM 

[MMM: A Freed Woman]

MMM: A Freed Woman
How many times would they have to go through this? How many times would she need to explain herself and her whereabouts to a man who pointed dirty fingers in her face and raised his voice at her? Svan was growing increasingly tired of the man she called ‘Husband.’

Galin had never been kind to her. It was a trait that he didn’t seem to possess and most of their community was well aware of such. If anything, he brought her great shame. She knew that so many looked upon her as a strong and powerful woman, but where Galin was concerned, she felt weak. So many times behind closed doors had she been banished from their bed and condemned to sleep on the cold floor for actions he assumed were true, but were not. Her words made no difference to him. The more she denied the relations between her and her childhood friend, the angrier he became. Though she had always loved Ranvir, the two hadn’t acted on impulse since before her arranged marriage to Galin.

It was something that her father had set up before his death. As just a girl, Hermundr had promised his daughter’s hand to a friend’s son, dashing her hopes of being able to choose her own suitor in her future. Though disappointed with the arrangement, Svan respected her father’s wishes and when he did not return home, she knew it was the last thing she could do to honor him. It was only unfortunate for her that his friend’s son grew into the hate-filled man she came to know as Galin, her husband. He’d turned her otherwise cheerful and pleasant demeanor into a sour one.

After a long day of training, Svan returned home to find her husband waiting for her. The fair and freckled skin of his face had turned beet red when she walked in the door, her eyes taking in his obviously defensive stance. Her absence had brought on his rage yet again, Galin’s imagination running wild of all the things he believed she’d been doing while out training with the other warriors and shield maidens. She didn’t dare remove the belt where her weapons hung, keeping her distance as her eyes followed the oversized man approaching her.

“Where were you?”

His words bellowed across their hut in a deep bassy voice. She refused to flinch despite knowing the blow would be inevitable.

“Training, as I said I would be.”

Galin lifted his hand, striking Svan across the face with his open palm. Her head ricocheted off his slap, her skin stinging and turning a bright red, the imprint of his hand slowly rising to the surface of her pale skin. Enough was enough. She curled her hand into a fist, launching herself and her weight at the male to deliver a barrage of punches at his face, neck, and stomach. It was enough to send him reeling backwards to catch his breath to which she pulled the axe from her belt and brought it up to strike him again. The downward blow was interrupted by Galin’s swift punch to Svan’s chest, knocking the wind out of her lungs before prying the axe from her fingers. The next few hits were a blur to her as her husband proceeded to use his fists to bloody her face. Surely no man would want to bed a battered woman and that had been his goal, after all.

Later that night, once Galin had tired himself out, Svan escaped their hut and fled to the one place she always knew she would be safe and her secrets kept from the rest of the community. Silently creeping to Ranvir’s door, she let herself inside to find him seated at the table enjoying a meal. She knew instantly she shouldn’t have come, shouldn’t have interrupted his meal and burdened him with her problems again. He’d seen her enter though, and it was too late to turn back. Slowly stepping forward into the dim light of his hut, the flicker of candles illuminated her face and revealed the deep purple bruises and blood that still coated her lips. She didn’t want to discuss it, she just wanted the distraction of his company.

“Did he…”
“I’m here to help plan for England.”

The rage that crossed his face as he began to pace the hut was obvious. This hadn’t been her intention. She’d never come to a man to help solve her problems. She felt herself capable on her own and though Ranvir was a dear friend, she didn’t want him involved in her marital problems. Truth be told, she was concerned about how he’d fare if he were to go after Galin. Her husband was a large and vicious man.

“England is not my worry right now. I’m ending this right now.”

Without thinking, Svan’s hand shot out to grab Ranvir’s forearm tightly, holding her grip as her piercing blue eyes stared into his. She couldn’t let him run off and fight her battles for her and surely it would only result in further beatings if he were to intervene.

“He believes what he wants to believe. I cannot change that. I’ve already taken care of it and he did not come out of our fight unscathed. If you strike him, things will only be worse, I’m afraid. Swear to me that you won’t challenge him. Swear it.”

Though he did promise her, Svan knew better than to believe a man with such a look in his eye. It was better if she took her leave now rather than make anything worse for either of them. Galin could kill her, sure, but if something were to happen to Ranvir because of her foolishness, surely a punishment from the Gods would not be enough for what she believed she deserved.

She’d returned to her hut only to find that Galin had awoken from his slumber angry of her absence again. His wrath knew no bounds, striking her across the face and sending her to the floor. With her head bowed and prepared for another blow, she hadn’t seen Ranvir burst in, only heard the scuffle of the two and his voice. Finally lifting her head, she caught sight of the two men on their way out the door in a flurry of punches and blades. Clamoring to her feet, Svan took off outside after them, her eyes frantically following their motions in utter chaos. To separate them would surely be suicide, though she wasn’t sure who she would be helping if she did. Initially she’d thought that Ranvir would be in grave danger to challenge Galin, but she’d clearly underestimated his strength and endurance.

When he stood victorious from the water’s edge, she couldn’t resist the smile that began to stretch over her lips, her legs moving toward him before she even knew she’d taken a step.

“He’s dead. I killed him for you.”

The words only made her smile grow wider as she closed the distance between them, her mouth opening to speak and express her relief when she saw Galin emerging from the water behind Ranvir. Lifting her hand to point at the oncoming charging brute, she didn’t even need to say a word to signal Ranvir to duck. Svan proceeded to watch with a stoic expression as her husband was bloodied to death, her hands remaining still and clasped together in front of her. Not a single part of her felt remorse for her fallen husband. She’d never loved him and had only remained with him as it was her father’s wish. To say she was relieved to be rid of him was an understatement.

Reaching out to take Ranvir by the hand, she turned and led him back inside her hut so she could sit him down and tend to his wounds. Though she was certainly not a healer by any means, she’d seen her fair share of battle wounds and knew how to care for them. Fetching a bucket of clean water, Svan dipped her cloth into the water before gently dabbing it along the male’s face to remove the streaks of blood and dirt. Once she was satisfied that the cuts he’d acquired during their fight were properly cleaned, she draped the cloth over the side of the bucket and turned back to face him, her hands coming out to cup his cheeks on either side before leaning in to plant a kiss on his forehead.

“Thank you.”

Her voice escaped in a hushed whisper as she looked down into his big blue eyes, her heart swelling with the love she’d been harboring for years. Without another word, Svan reached for Ranvir’s hands, pulling him along as she walked backwards toward the small room where she’d shared a bed with Galin.

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