The Beast Inside

The Titans have united with old allies to defeat the great threat that is Slade once again but it is not a simple task, for the masked mastermind has assembled an army of fearsome villains to help his cause. Robin's plan was simple: find a way to breach the walls of the citadel and then unite their strength to defeat their nemesis. It was going quite smoothly until Raven got taken away before Beast Boy's eyes. Then it went from bad to worse when Robin got captured as Starfire was supposed to watch his back. Both the green teen and the tamarean princess are deeply affected by this. Cyborg, who is barely able to fight after being injured, can only hope to calm them down and get the team back on tracks. The Teen Titans' power does not reside only in their powers, and the half machine man knows that all too well, but will he be able to convey this to them? He can't help but wonder, however, what Slade's plan is and why some of the Titans are behaving strangely...


9. Chapter 9 - The Man and the Machine

When Cyborg saw his friend beginning to convulse he didn't know how to react. The green teenager's body started to rapidly grow and becamse completely covered in thick hair, or fur, he wasn't sure. He saw his teeth grow out to become long razor sharp fangs and immediately understood what was going on. He had already seen this before and it hadn't turned out well. He had been about to react when his transformed friend let out a deafening roar, stunning the whole battlefield momentarily. The creature turned to him and he was sure he had seen it give him a small reassuring look before running off towards the huge building before he could react.

"What the-?", he started but couldn't finish.

He didn't have time to linger and think as he remembered the reason he had shaken Beast Boy out of his daze. He turned around, searching for the alien princess and saw her viciously fighting the rock giant alongside Bumblebee. He quickly checked his systems. Seventy percent had been recovered. Enough to help her out, he thought. The tall Titan started running towards her and took out three of the Slade bots that were about to attack her from behind as she punched Cinderclock once more. The hit was carried with such strength it threw the villain off his feet and to the ground, where he remained, unable to move.

"Wow, nice punch!", Cyborg exclaimed with a smirk as Starfire touched down on the ground again. She turned towards him and a smile crept up on her face too.

"Oh! Friend Cyborg, you are awake and fine! This is glorious!", she yelled, hugging him tightly.

"Yeah.", said the cyborg, chuckling. "I'm awake Star. Not really fine right now, my systems were damaged, but it'll be okay!", he added quickly, seeing a frown starting to replace her smile.

An explosion surprised them on the right, they quickly turned around to see what had caused it. They found a smirking Bumblebee tugging her weapons away and half a dozen robots, or at least what was left of them, lying in pieces on the ground.

"Quite tough these tin men…", she simply commented as she stood next to them. Cyborg chuckled.

"What was that just now?", asked the black girl looking at him.

The Tamarean princess turned towards the half-machine man too. 

"Yes friend Cyborg, earlier we heard a roaring sound, was that…?", she couldn't finish her sentence, her worry evident.

Cyborg breathed deeply before answering.

"Yeah Star.", he sighed. "It was BB… Or at least it was him until he turned…"

Starfire shot an anxious look towards where she had last seen the green titan and Bumblebee made it clear she was lost.

"Um… what are you talking about?" Cyborg turned back to her and with a cringe explained the situation.

"It's complicated but to make it short Beast Boy was somehow transformed into a vicious beast, like a werewolf, some time ago. He kept destroying everything on his path. We managed to help him and found a way to transform him back but the creature we now call  the Beast, the dark and animal instincts that surface from time to time, is still there inside him. And when he gets angry he lets it loose…And let's say right now he is very angry."

"Oh…", simply answered, shock evident on her face.

"But… something was different this time…", said Cyborg, more to himself than for the others.

Starfire looked at him with a quizzical look.

"What might you mean?", she asked.

"Well, he transformed right after… well you know, we all heard it…", he explained, his eyes betraying his anger. "But it seemed he somehow had control over it, as if he wasn't completely gone like the last times… It's weird really, but I could've sworn he nodded at me before running off…", he added.

"Yes, this is strange indeed…", muttered Starfire.

Bumblebee also looked as if she was deep in thoughts.

"So, the… the scream, earlier", she started uneasily, "that was Raven?"

Cyborg nodded darkly at her, hoping she and Robin were alright.

"And you say Beast Boy only… um… 'turns' when he really is angry?" Cyborg nodded again, not understanding why she was repeating what he had just said a few seconds before.

Then, something he didn't expect happened, a small smile crept on the winged girl's face. It quickly faded away, only visible for an instant, but it seemed like she had understood something that he had missed.

"What?", he asked, confused.

"Nothing…", she replied a bit too fast, which made him even more suspicious.

He didn't have time to push her for answers however as she whipped around suddenly.

"Well, let's go then!", she exclaimed, giving Cyborg a playful wink. "Our friends need our help and we have lost too much time already!"

She took off in direction of Aqualad who was struggling against Overload. Cyborg turned to Starfire once more, about to tell her something, but suddenly stopped himself when he saw tears rolling down her cheeks.

"Star?", he asked.

She quickly wiped her tears and hid behind a smile, but the cyborg could clearly see it was fake.

"You okay?"

"Yes!", she exclaimed at first, with a bit too much spirit for it to be real.

But she quickly dropped her act as she saw Cyborg's serious look.

"No… I don't know friend… I have no physical injury, but it still hurts…"

She started sobbing lightly as Cyborg brought her closer into a hug.

"They'll be fine Star, we'll save them. Robin is not our leader for nothing and Raven can defend herself. Plus we're still here to fight aren't we? We can't give up before we even try, girl!" The alien princess hugged him in return, her sobbing slightly fading away. "We'll get them back, I promise! But we need to be strong Star."

"Yes!", she exclaimed, straightening up and wiping away her tears. "I shall be strong, friend Cyborg, for Robin and Raven!"

Cyborg gave her a small smile.

"Good, now I want you to go help Beast Boy. He will need your help.", he said before wincing slightly as an electrical discharge ran through his body.

"Are you okay friend?", asked Starfire, once again looking concerned.

"Yeah. My systems were a bit damaged earlier, though I don't remember how. I have to make some repairs and recharge myself but I'll be fine Star. Meanwhile you have to go to Beast Boy, I'll manage, don't worry!"

He could see she was hesitating to leave him alone.

"Go Star, I'll be fine, really.", he smiled reassuringly. "Now go!"

And so the Tamarean nodded slowly and, after another quick but powerful hug, took off to the green Titan.

Cyborg looked around, trying to suppress the constant beeping he could hear, signaling he was almost about to shut down again. He needed to find a way to charge his batteries and fast, otherwise he wouldn't last long out in the open like that. He felt defenseless. True he was half machine and that could be a great advantage but it also meant he worked like a machine and if he ran low on battery he had to recharge himself immediately, he couldn't afford to push it as far as a normal person. Plus he couldn't use any of his weapon in this situations and it wasn't like his metal skin would protect him for long if Cinderblock woke up again. He looked around and decided he had to get away from the battlefield to get a clear view and maybe, just maybe, then he would be able to find a solution to his problem. And who knew, he might even come up with a plan. The tall black man covered in electronics sighed as he slowly walked away from the stone giant still lying on the ground, his uncertainty of making it out of this alive growing by the second.

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