The New Titans: Quest, Chapter 6: Seeds of Chaos

by Libbylawrence

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On the world of New Cronus, a shrouded figure cradled Diana. The infant’s keen eyes held a secret — Jericho was within the baby.

Joe Wilson had possessed Knockout and had searched her memories to find Diana, and had arrived in time to see the shrouded figure teleport in and pick up the child. Granny Goodness’ guards were stunned with ease by the mysterious figure. Joe had tried to make contact with the figure, but no features were revealed beneath the shroud, so he did the next best thing — he locked eyes with the infant Diana and rode within her tiny body to this odd new world.

Once there he ventured out just long enough for his signal to register on the com-link. The baby was thus left alone for only a brief time as he marveled at the wonders he saw. Greek architecture rose with ancient splendor on this alien planet. He wondered if this world could be tied in with Lilith’s Olympian heritage or with Donna’s Amazonian past. Either could explain why the infant that was once Wonder Woman had been brought here.

A new figure entered, apparently some servant or nursemaid sent to tend to the baby. She cooed to the child and said, “Fear not, precious. Here you’ll join the other Seeds and grow in power to better serve the Master.”

Joe listened intently to the mention of the Seeds and the Master, wondering what madness this was. Switching bodies, he possessed the nursemaid, whose memories then became his. He learned what Hippolyta had already explained to the others. This world had been a Titan experiment in which they had saved a generation of Seedlings as worshippers, while they gifted a handful of them with power as the Titan Seeds, planning to raise them in their image to become godlings that would help the Titans prevail over the rebellious Olympians. The end of the War of the Gods had disrupted all such plans when Zeus prevailed, and the Titan Seeds project had been suspended for eons.

This had changed when he had come, bearing all the power and authority of a Titan of myth but being separate from them somehow. Who was this Master? Joe could view a regal form, but no name beyond the Master came to his searching mind. He also began to realize that there was a difference between what the Seeds were now and what the Titans had originally intended them to be — Earth children cast aside in ancient times and given wonderful powers by the Titans before their fall some 30,000 years ago.

In the eons since then, the original Seedlings and their descendants had thrived as very long-lived children who lived for centuries in that immature state, until they finally reached sexual maturity. When that happened, a Seedling became an Elding and would live out a normal but relatively short human lifespan as an adult, giving birth to new Seedlings who would then live for centuries as nigh-eternal children before they, too, grew up to become the short-lived Eldings. The nursemaid and those like her were a handful of such Eldings who had been entrusted to take care of the youngest Seedlings until they could join the others to partake in centuries of playtime. The civilization on New Cronus had remained relatively stable in this way until three years ago, when everything changed. That was when the Titans awoke from their eons-long slumber and escaped from Tartarus itself to wage war upon the Olympians who had imprisoned them so long ago. (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See “When Titans Clash,” The New Teen Titans #11 (September, 1981).]

Before the Titans could begin this new War of the Gods, they needed to plan for the battle and its aftermath. To that end, the Titans turned back to their Titan Seed program to prepare an army, not composed of abandoned or unwanted infants this time, but teenagers who would be battle-ready much sooner. Thus the Titans (all but Hyperion, who was preoccupied with Wonder Girl at the time) abducted a handful of teenagers from Earth who had been rejected by their families in some way and brought them to New Cronus while they slept. There the Titans transformed the teens into a new generation of Titan Seeds, each with unique powers of their own. A few of the nursemaids were charged with preparing the new Titan Seeds for upcoming battles with the Olympians should the Titans need them. All this was accomplished in mere moments thanks to the Titan Cronus himself, whose domain was time.

Thus it was as if little or no time had passed when the Titans finally traveled to Olympus itself to attack the usurpers led by Zeus. (*) Joe recalled hearing about what happened next from his fellow New Titans, though the nursemaid knew nothing about it except that the Titans failed to return for their Seeds, just as the original Seeds had been left behind by the Titans long ago during the original War of the Gods 30,000 years ago. The nursemaids simply continued working and using their gifts to fully empower the sleeping Seeds, cultivating new, heroic identities based on their personalities and cultural upbringing.

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Clash of the Titans,” The New Teen Titans #12 (October, 1981).]

As for the original generation of Titan Seeds, they had apparently lived and died out on New Cronus many centuries ago without ever being used by the Titans in battle against the Olympian usurpers or for any other purposes. Though their true fate was lost to history, legend held that some of those original Seeds still slept in chambers beneath the earth in a type of suspended animation until the Titans needed them, much like King Arthur was held in legend to still sleep beneath a mountain until the day that Britain would need that Once and Future King.

Then, less than two years ago the Master arrived and took over, freeing the new Titan Seeds from their slumber in order to make use of their god-spawned powers for his own purposes, as well as begin a vast search for the original Titan Seeds.

Joey gasped as, in a moment, he recognized the image of one apparent Titan Seed in the nursemaid’s memories that he had already met.


Queen Hippolyta pointed at the columns and said, “This world is clearly the one from my old legends. This world has the feel of Olympian glory about it! If Diana has been brought here, it must be related to our gods and goddesses. Perhaps they mistook her for another abandoned child.”

Artemis patted her mother’s arm gently. “We’ll find her.”

“I hope so,” said Kole Weathers. “Plus, we must be getting closer to Jericho, even though we’ve lost his signal.”

Speeding off, the Flash returned within seconds and said, “As we already detected, the atmosphere is like that of Earth. My powers work the same here, too. We should be okay. I searched everywhere I could, but I didn’t see Joe or Diana. While I was racing across this world, I saw settlements and wrecked battlefields that look like something out of a post-Apocalyptic movie! There are storm trooper types called the Force Elite putting anyone who resists their rule into huge P.O.W. camps, drugs called numb-dust or nummers laced throughout the food supply to keep everyone under mind-control, and there’s just one company on the whole planet called the U.G. Corporation that runs everything out of a headquarters shaped like a pyramid! The weirdest thing I noticed is that almost all the rebels fighting the storm troopers are little kids from five to twelve, with no parents in sight! Also, the uniforms and futuristic technology look almost fake, as if it’s a Hollywood movie set imposed over a natural landscape. This ancient city like something out of an Edith Hamilton book is the only place that seems not only real, but also completely untouched by war and battle. There are very few people around here — mostly just some scattered servant types who spoke of ‘tending the Seeds.'”

“Seeds?” said Arsenal. “Great. We’re on the Home and Garden planet.”

Gar Logan grinned. “Pod people!”

“Can’t take you anywhere,” muttered Cyborg.

Lilith turned to her companion and said, “Azrael, I feel this place really was designed by Thia and the other Titans just as Hippolyta said. This is a real chance to experience my heritage.”

Azrael held her tightly. “Something about this world calls to me as well. Have I been here before?”

The shrouded figure called the Master appeared in a thunderous crash of lightning. “Indeed, my winged pawn, you have!” he said. “You were among the early Seeds rescued and brought here by the Titans before their fall. They gave you your wings and empathic gifts before placing you in suspended animation. And you would have remained asleep had I not found you myself. Then I implanted within you your tracking abilities and sent you off through time and space in a star-faring chariot to find the one I sought. You did so — at last!”

Azrael gasped. “I-I… believe he speaks the truth. Can it be that, at last, I know my past? But why did you use me to seek Lilith? She and I have such a bond because — I now realize — because of our common Titan-influenced past, our heritage… our very formation! Still, why send me so unerringly to her? She is my love, not yours!”

Lilith’s eyes widened in understanding. “Because he did not send you to find me,” she said, “although we were drawn together as you said. He wanted you to locate–”

“I wanted you to locate the infant Diana!” said the man as he cast aside his cloak to reveal a tunic and armor of Olympian design. “You did that indirectly, as I saw all that you witnessed through my control of you, my loyal if unknowing bloodhound.”

“You’re mistaken in this case,” said Hippolyta. “Diana is not one of the abandoned children in need of rescue. She is not a Titan Seed for you to use.”

Laughing, he said, “Indeed, she is not, Grandmother. She will be much more someday. She will be my mother.”

Artemis gasped. “You’re from the future?!”

“Correct, Auntie Donna,” he replied. “Only, rather than saying I come from the future, let us say the future belongs to me — to Lord Chaos!”

“You do have a masculine version of Diana’s features,” noted Hippolyta, “yet of what madness do you speak?”

“Diana will give birth to you?” Artemis questioned. “You’re her future son? She is just a baby now. She was returned to her infant state after the Crisis.”

Lord Chaos sneered in disdain. “The Crisis! The Crisis! It was that insanity that caused me such trouble. I fully expected to find my mother as an adult and my birth occurring at a specific time. Yet the Crisis ruined all! Mother vanished. Steve Trevor — the man I believed to have fathered me — vanished as well. (*) My very birth became problematic. I realized that in some timelines I was born, while in others Diana died, became an infant, or only became Wonder Woman much later. Thus I journeyed back to one possible timeline to make certain my birth would still occur as it had in the history I knew, for that history would lead to my conquest of our world. Then I found this planet and freed the Titan Seeds for my own uses. The Titans had created this new generation of Seeds for warfare, but had abandoned and forgotten them just as quickly as they rejoiced over being reconciled with their own children, the Olympians.” (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See Wonder Woman: Odyssey and “Crystal Nightmare,” The New Teen Titans v2 #9 (June, 1985).]

Artemis frowned as she tried to make sense of this chain of events, which was difficult to follow, and needed to clarify things. “So, if I’m getting this straight,” she said, somewhat uncertainly, “you freed Azrael, an original Titan Seed, from suspended animation, and artificially aged him to adulthood? Or was he already his current age before the Titans placed him in his sleep? Either way, you then empowered him with tracking skills, equipped him with his vaguely Olympian garb, and put him in a ‘chariot’ or spaceship that was then buried under tons of ice on Earth a thousand years ago. Then he was discovered by scientists in the present who had him thawed him out of that frozen amber pod in which he’d been kept in suspended animation, all to find and protect your mother?”

“Indeed, you have said it!” laughed Chaos. “I seek to make her life follow a path of my choosing. Since she did not give birth to me in this one timeline, I shall still benefit from her.”

“You will not harm my child,” vowed Hippolyta.

“Of course not,” Lord Chaos replied. “In my own timeline my father had been a mortal with the spirit of a god, and thus the child he had with the Amazon champion — herself imbued with powers of the gods — was destined to be a god as well! (*) However, in this timeline the body of Steve Trevor, reanimated by the spirit of Aphrodite’s son Eros and using a false name, was struck down too soon for their wedding to occur, or for Robert Howard, the future Lord Chaos, to be born! (*) Mother instead ended up marrying the fully mortal Steve Trevor from another universe, and had no progeny at that! (*) Since events have so changed in this timeline, I have decided to age her to womanhood and mate with her myself, thus ensuring — because I am a god — that our child will become the very same god that I am! The Olympians have never shared the mortal repulsion at such acts. She will help me secure my dynasty, since it was alterations to her fate that first endangered it.”

[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman,” Wonder Woman #105 (April, 1959), “Welcome Back to Life, Steve Trevor,” Wonder Woman #223 (April-May, 1976), “Bid Time Return,” Wonder Woman #322 (December, 1984), and “Of Gods and Men,” Wonder Woman #329 (February, 1986).]

“He thinks he can become his own daddy?!” whispered Gar Logan. “Reminds me of that old song, ‘I’m My Own Grandpa.'”

“This guy is a flake,” said Arsenal. Kole nodded in agreement as she searched for any sign of Jericho.

Ignoring the mortal’s remark, Lord Chaos turned to Hippolyta. “You are my grandmother. Thus, I shall forgive your impudence.”

“I want Diana,” said the Amazon Queen, brandishing her sword in a battle-stance. “And I will have her!”

With a smile, Chaos waved his hand, and Hippolyta vanished from view.

“Mother!” cried Artemis. “What did you do to her?”

“Oh, I put my darling old granny back in time,” he replied. “She is reliving her last few weeks, oblivious to what has since occurred.”

“This dude’s better than a wake-up call,” muttered Cyborg.

“Yeah,” said Gar. “Trouble is, with a nut like him, you could be sleeping for a thousand years!”

“I tell you, I knew nothing of this,” said Azrael. “He may have freed me from the suspended animation that the Titans placed me into and sent me to find Diana in some strange, indirect manner, but I recall nothing of my past beyond some vague memories of being bound by rope before I awoke in that pod in a cryogenic chamber to see your beautiful face.” He referred to the fact that he had been discovered in a starship buried under the ice of Mount Michelson in Alaska. The STAR Labs scientists had thought him to have been the alien pilot of this ship from the stars that they estimated to have crashed to the earth in the time of the Vikings almost eleven hundred years ago. (*) “I could speak nothing but some strange alien tongue at first, until those painful few weeks I was forced to be away from you, when I suddenly found that I could understand English completely, even as that alien language was forgotten!” (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Jericho Imbroglio,” Tales of the Teen Titans #51 (March, 1985), “Jericho’s Story,” Tales of the Teen Titans #52 (April, 1985), “Devil on the Wing,” Tales of the Teen Titans #53 (May, 1985), and “Titansmania,” The New Teen Titans v2 #6 (March, 1985).]

“We believe you,” Lilith assured Azrael. “He is clearly a madman.”

Lord Chaos frowned. “Were you not the spawn of my ancestors, I’d teach you manners, you nubile nymph.”

“‘Nubile nymph’? I thought that was Kory,” joked Gar.

“Your power is great, but you are also quite ill,” said Raven. “The power has driven you mad. Let us help you.”

“Let me help you — to your grave!” Chaos retorted, and attacked her with the power of a god.

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