The Flash raced forward and tackled Raven as energy flashed and missed the girl by less than an inch. “That was too close!” sighed Wally West.
Raven remained in his arms, enjoying the sensation as she said, “Thank you, Wallace.”
Starfire flew toward the mad god and said, “Let’s stop him now!”
“Alien, I will let you vent your animalistic rage upon my Titan Seeds!” replied Lord Chaos.
A pale beauty in black rode forward on a silvery shield. Next to her was a woman all of crystalline clarity and sheath. A blond youth in green charged forward near a black teen and a vampiric youth. A redheaded girl with wings soared into sight as well.
“Argent, Prysm, Risk, Joto, Mirage, Nightrider, Redwing — these are the new generation of Titan Seeds now under my thrall,” he said. “I would introduce them, but you may just consider them to be your murderers.”
Arsenal reached for an arrow. “Pick a target,” he said. “This could get rough.”
Meanwhile, Jericho had already departed from Princess Diana’s body and scooped her gently into his arms. He had hurried out from an underground chamber to see the battle raging between his allies and Lord Chaos, and gasped as Queen Hippolyta vanished in a flash of light. He prayed Diana had not just lost her mother.
During his time in the nursemaid’s body, he had experienced her memory of the winged young man who would later be named Azrael by Mother Mayhem of the Church of Blood, who had manipulated the youth for Brother Blood’s use by claiming that he was a real angel. (*) The Master, whom he now knew to be Lord Chaos, had showed the nursemaids images of the original Titan Seeds preserved for 30,000 years in bas-relief wall sculptures in a hidden chamber in the original ancient settlement the Titans had built for the Seedlings. One of the Seeds, an angelic-looking child with birdlike wings, looked eerily like a younger version of Azrael. Chaos had boasted that the now-grown winged youth would soon prove to be quite useful to him, but the nursemaid knew nothing more about the matter. Still, Jericho hoped he would live long enough to give the mysterious winged man some scant answers to his clouded past, however incomplete they might be.
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Sins of the Past,” The New Teen Titans v2 #12 (September, 1985).]
Catching Garfield Logan’s eye, Jericho indicated that he had Diana. Gar smiled, turned into a large bird, and flew up to meet him. “You found her!” said Changeling. “Good work!”
Joe Wilson grinned and handed her to Gar, who changed form again, but not to a larger beast who could carry both down to safety. Instead, he shimmered and became an attractive South American woman with dark hair and copper skin wearing a revealing white costume tinged with black and yellow. The most striking thing about her, though, were her eyes — they were completely black eyeballs, with white corneas, which reminded Jericho of the way his own eyes looked when he took over another person’s body.
“Sorry, handsome,” she laughed. “I’m just Mirage, not that there’s anything just about me.”
Jericho tried to grab her, but she dodged and vanished, and he realized that she could control what he saw or where he saw her. He figured that she had concealed the infant as well.
The real Changeling gasped as the pale beauty called Argent sent slivers of silvery energy toward him. She had short black hair with chalk-white skin and wore a very revealing black outfit tinged with a pattern of red, yellow, and blue on her left thigh, with red, yellow, and blue streamers trailing from golden gauntlets. Turning into a rabbit, Changeling bounded clear. Man, she looks like Ally Sheedy or Brooke Shields minus a tan, he thought as he looked at the teenage girl.
Cyborg punched directly at Risk, an overconfident teenage boy with unruly blond hair who wore an aquamarine jacket, gloves, and boots over a black bodysuit. The devil-may-care youth shrugged off Vic Stone’s best effort and smacked him down with apparent ease. Shoot! This punk is strong, thought Vic. I’m the one at risk here, not him.
Arsenal sent a net-arrow toward the flying Redwing, who twisted agilely to dodge it. The teenage girl who flew with the help of large red-feathered wings wore a red and white costume over her torso, along with red and white gloves and boots, and sported pointed ears and a severe haircut that swept her strawberry-blonde hair up into something akin to a horned owl. These kids are under his spell, thought Roy Harper. They aren’t to blame. Still, they’ve made us look bad so far. We gotta regroup. Maybe Dick is the only leader for us, after all.
Raven vanished in smoke as the girl known as Prysm flew toward her. She was well-named, as the girl’s semitransparent crystalline body, which pulsated with electricity and glowed with an inner fire that changed color with her mood — she currently glowed red with rage — acted as a human prysm. Raven sensed within the girl’s mind a bizarre image of fantasy and sitcoms mixed together in her emotional composition. “She lacks any tie to actual reality,” Raven noted. “I suppose she is that way thanks to Chaos and his mind-games.”
The Flash frowned as he sped toward Joto, a muscular black teenage boy with short dyed-red hair, who wore a yellow and gray bodysuit with a gray hood, short white jacket, and silver gauntlets. “They’re victims, too,” said the Flash, “but I need to shut them down fast to help Donna cope with this.”
Artemis had tossed her lasso toward Lord Chaos, who stepped through it and slapped her to the ground. “I never liked you, Auntie Donna. You were so-o-o prim and proper. Perhaps you need to let down your hair and see life on the wild side. Yes! Let me use my time-powers to make you live a few dozen lifespans as women of rather looser circumstances.” He laughed at the thought.
“Never!” she cried, even as his touch sent Donna Troy Long spinning through time.
The black teenager called Joto seemed to generate heat and was stronger than a normal man. Thus the Flash vibrated his own body as Joto sent both heat and a huge rock toward him. The speedster allowed both to pass harmlessly through him as he delivered dozens of super-fast blows to Joto’s chin, causing him to fall forward at Flash’s feet, unconscious.
At that moment, Donna returned to the present with her eyes wide and a silent scream on her lips.
Raven rushed to comfort her, as did Starfire. “Artemis is full of pain,” explained Raven as she held Donna in her arms. “She — she has lived several lifetimes full of pain and hurt within seconds! Let me take away her pain.”
But the empath called Raven could only gasp as she truly experienced what could only be called generations of suffering in one concentrated dose. Nevertheless, she refused to stop until she had drawn all the pain from her friend’s body and soul. As she completed the painful work, she fainted at Donna’s feet.
“Raven?” muttered Donna. “Raven, th-thank you. What have you done to yourself? That — that fiend! He made me fall in love, again and again — and lose all those I loved. He gave me hope — then snatched it away.”
Flying skyward, Starfire blasted the girl called Redwing to earth without slowing before she began targeting Lord Chaos himself. “You monster!” she cried as she blasted starbolt after starbolt at him. “You sick monster!”
A vampiric figure was bent over the prone Changeling, drinking deeply of his blood. Nightrider looked for all intents and purposes like a typical vampire from pop culture and had pale white skin, pointed ears, red eyes, and long black hair. Accompanied with his black leather trenchcoat and pants, along with an open red shirt revealing a bare chest, Nightrider could have stepped out of the pages of an Anne Rice novel.
Seeing his teammate in trouble, Arsenal kicked the vampiric Nightrider off of Changeling, then rolled aside to fire a flare arrow. The brilliant light sent the toothy youth reeling as his nocturnal senses suffered from the flash of light. “Always works in the films,” quipped Arsenal. “If Cushing had had one of these babies, Lee would have been toast.”
Struck by a blast of colorful energy from Prysm, Kole was knocked flying across the field until Cyborg caught her.
Jericho managed to make eye contact with Risk, and took control of the youth’s body, immediately belting Nightrider and shoving Argent aside.
Kole smiled weakly and caught the girl called Argent in a quickly spun crystal cone. “That should hold Little Miss Personality,” said Kole.
Jericho signaled his approval with his J gesture.
Lord Chaos watched as Mirage was struck down by white sound, when Cyborg’s mechanical sensors detected her masked heartbeat. “Bah!” he cried. “These striplings are useless to me. I’ll try them again in fifty years or so. To me, Diana!” Immediately, the child materialized in his arms.
“No!” cried Artemis, who leaped toward her sister and her supposed nephew, but too late. A look of despair passed over her face as both vanished.
Suddenly, Lilith Clay appeared in a flash of light. “I have brought help!” she cried, dropping to her knees from the strain, while Azrael guarded her as always. He idly wondered what these other Titan Seeds, these ostensible siblings of his, were truly like when not under the spell of Lord Chaos.
“Where’d you go, Legs?” asked Arsenal.
“To Olympus — to get the true Titans!” she replied.
All those present watched as the looming figures of the surviving Titans of myth appeared and reclaimed their world once more.
“By Saturn!” said Themis. “I had little dreamt of this place during our eons of imprisonment.”
“That was because I used my gifts to block the memories from us all, including our most recent visit,” said Mnemosyne. “I thought it all too painful for us to stand when we were forced back to Tartarus so soon after our awakening in this epoch. And after we reconciled with the Olympians and ended the war, these Seeds were no longer needed for those purposes.”
Lord Chaos reappeared with baby Diana, looking utterly shocked as the sheer power of the true Titans came to bear upon him. “Mother!” he cried aloud once, then fell senseless to the ground.
“Is he dead?” gasped Artemis as she held Diana.
“No,” said Rhea, “we merely clouded his mind so that he has no sense of self or memory. We shall tend to his needs, and perhaps someday restore this misguided godling.”
“What about this wartorn place and all of the other Seeds?” asked a concerned Azrael. “Must they and all the people here suffer for his actions, too?”
“No, my child,” said Rhea. “They are free as well. We will bring peace between the Seedlings and the Eldings and restore New Cronus to its former glory! As for the Seeds, you may help them cope with their new roles as you return with them to the world from which they came, where they may do many good works using our gifts.”
And that’s about the only apology they might get for kidnapping these teenagers in the first place, Donna thought to herself. Like the Olympian gods, the Titans of myth were too proud to recognize what impact their past actions had on mere mortals.
“Mr. Jupiter would make a perfect teacher for these mighty teens,” suggested Lilith. “Though I’m sure some if not all of them have families on Earth who’d like to be reunited with their lost children.”
Embracing her emotionally, Azrael then swept her up into his arms. “I have found myself, dearest one!” he cried. “The birthright I claim is tied to your own. Thus was I drawn through time and space to find you, even though that was never Lord Chaos’ true intent for me!”
Tears in her eyes, Lilith kissed him and said, “The amnesia must have been a side-effect of your journey to Earth in that odd craft — your chariot, or so he called it.”
“Let’s get back home, folks,” said Arsenal. “The fruitcake is on ice, and the kids are in good hands.”
Artemis nodded, looking shaken but relieved the ordeal was finally over. “I agree with you. A calm homecoming is all I want — peace, quiet, and a night in Terry’s arms.”