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 The Next Generation

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:00 pm

Neal raised an eyebrow as he heard Raven talk about Sarah's powers. Without practice she might end up hurting others? What could she do, call out explosions from heaven or something? Whatever it was, Neal was certain that it was probably really cool. He kept listened as he heard that Sarah would be staying with the Titans in order to train her gift. God she was so lucky, to have powers and to be trained by the Titans personally, it was like a dream!

He glanced over at Sarah as she sat down next to him. He heard her out and gave a tiny nod to show that he was listening. "Well, I guess what happens next is all up to you. Nightwing said that they weren't going to make you stay, it was still your life to decide what to do with", he pointed out as he looked towards Sarah. As she asked how it had been out here, Neal merely gave a shrug. "Pretty boring, just hung out with Nightwing and took a look around. I didn't really touch anything so that they wouldn't think I was a spy", he said jokingly before turning to look at her directly.

"So..........is this power something your planning on truly using?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:12 pm

"I, uh... I don't really know," Sarah said, placing her hands on her knees. "I'm still having a hard time believing it at all, you know? As far as I'm concerned, I'm still juts an ordinary girl from Maine, small town and everything. But now I have super powers? How the hell do you explain that one to your parents, right? Oy, I don't know what I'm going to do... I mean, I just graduated college, I should be looking for a job, not training to be some kind of crime fighter. But... it would be kinda cool, I guess... maybe."

A moment later, Raven appeared at her side. "Have you decided what you wish to do, yet?"

Sarah shook her head slowly. "Um, no, not yet... I need some time to think about it."

"Take your time," Raven said, moving away from them and exiting through the hallway.

Shortly after Raven disappeared, Nightwing looked up at the left corner of the large screen and clicked a button. Security footage of the front of the tower popped up, showing the other three members of the Titans arriving at the island. "Well, looks like the rest of the bunch finally decided to show up."

"Yo, Nighty," Cyborg said, his voice coming in over the intercom from the front door. "Let us on up."

"Sure thing, just a second," he replied, pressing another button. The locks on the front entrance clicked open. "Oh... and don't call me Nighty."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:18 pm

"Yeah I could see why it would be hard to take in. I don't know how I'd react in your shoes", Neal said. That of course was a lie, unless it was some freaky thing that mutated him into some kind of monster he would SO be happy about it. What guy didn't want super powers after all? Plus fighting crime would be way cooler than going to some dead in accountant job. "I'm sure your parents will be fine with it. I'm sure they'll be a bit confused but they'll come around", Neal said hoping that it would be some level of comfort to Sarah.

Neal glanced up as he heard that the others would be showing up soon, they would all have to be filled in on what was going on. Neal let out a small bit of air from his lungs before pushing himself up. "Well, I guess that my work here is done", he said as he glanced at Sarah. She was among the Titans after all, she wasn't going to need him there anymore. Plus, he was certain that Nightwing wanted him out of there ASAP. "So do you guys have a boat or something that I can use to get back to town........I don't really wanna swim the whole way"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:27 pm

"Oh, you're going?" Sarah said, standing up with him. "I, uh... well, okay then, see you around I guess... Thanks again for coming with me and everything." So, she supposed she would be on her own now... well, on her own with the Titans, anyway.

Nightwing glanced back at Neal. "We have a ferry that takes us to and from the island. Find Cyborg on your way out; he'll shuttle you to shore. Go through the door over there and find the elevator, it'll take you to the round floor." With that, he went back to the computer to look over... whatever it was he was looking over.

As Neal would head to the door, however, he wouldn't quite be expecting it to swing open so fast, and with such a thunderous force. "We are back!" Starfire exclaimed, holding an arm up and waving in greeting. "Our fans were most excited to see us today, you should have been there, Nightwing!" She then noticed Sarah standing over by the couch; Neal was no where to be seen, probably because he was most likely squashed on the other side of the door.

"Oh! I did not realize we had company!" Starfire said, flying over to greet Sarah. "You are most welcome here, friend! I am called Starfire. What's your name?"

Sarah blinked half in shock, staring at where Neal had been a second ago. "I... I'm Sarah... Neal? Are you okay?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:32 pm

"Yeah, now that you're in good hands it's probably best that I do. There's nothing that I can contribute here after all", Neal said with a tiny smile. "Still, it was nice to meet you and everything. Good luck in........whatever comes next I guess", he said before taking her hand and giving it one more shake. At least this would make a good story for the guy's back home.

"Alright, I'll make sure to go and talk to him", Neal said before giving a tiny wave. "Thanks again for everything, we'd probably be dead if it wasn't for you guys", he said before turning and heading for the door. Dang, they had a bit doorway, he couldn't help but wonder how much it would take to ope-, but Neal's thinking was cut short as the door suddenly flung open and smashed him against the wall.

He didn't feel anything for a minute, nor did he hear Sarah talking to him. Without a word he just sorta fell out of where he was, landing face first on the ground. "ow..........my head", he muttered as he tried to push himself up with little success. "God is something wrong with my nose?", he asked as he tried to feel it. It would be obvious to everyone but him, it was clearly broken and blood was seeping out of it.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:41 pm

"Woah, shit," Cyborg stated, as Neal fell out from behind the door. "I think you busted this one up up pretty good, Star."

"Wow, I think you flattened his nose," Beast Boy said, leaning in close to examine the guy. "I've seen more dimension on a pancake."

Starfire shrieked out with surprise as she saw Neal fall into view. "Oh my!" Flying over to him, she picked him up in her arms and started flying off down the hall. "I am so sorry! I did not know you were there! We'll fix this, just hold on! Raven! Raven! Your assistance is required!"

Raven poked her head out from her bedroom door, staring at the two as they arrived. Neal's face was a bloody mess. "What is this?"

"Please Raven, you must heal him!" Starfire insisted. "I opened the door too hard again, but I did not know he was behind it!"

"Do you think I enjoy taking in a person's pain to heal them?" Raven asked, glaring. "I'm already suffering from an arm laceration, I don't need a broken nose in the same day. Just take him to a hospital."

Raven went to close the door, but Starfire held it open. "Oh, but please, Raven! It is just a broken nose! If you help him, I will take your dish duty for the next month!"

Raven stopped, looking back at her, then at Neal. "Six months."

"Yes, for the next six months, I promise," Starfire assured, nodding fervently. "Now, please help him!"

"Alright, I'll be right out," Raven said, letting out a sigh and going back into her room to grab her hooded cloak. She returned a moment later and came back out in the hallway, where Sarah, Cyborg, and Beast Boy had now arrived to see how things were going. Raven then held her fingers to Neal's nose, siphoning out his pain.
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:48 pm

Neal wasn't exactly thinking straight by the time that everyone began to talk, his head was ringing and his mind was not acting as clearly as it should. He kept feeling his head bob back and forth as if he was trying to stay awake. He did hear mention about how bad his nose was. "Oh god, not my beautiful nose, I love that thing man", he said in his mostly delirious state. He barely even realized that he was in the air before they were all the way towards Raven's room. He looked over to the Empath, giving a very weak smile in his stupid looking state.

"No no no I'm sure it'll fix itself it's all good", Neal said in his muffled voice. It was clear to everyone that the blow was probably a bit too much for his head to handle, considering that he was acting more like a drunk than an injured patient. Neal took in a deep breath as his headache and nose began to ease up from the pain, it was like a vacuum that was just taking away all the pain. He began to get a better clear of his senses, beginning to see what exactly was going on.

Once the process was over he took a deep sniff of the air to make sure that his nose was working properly. "God it feels as good as new!", he said in excitement. "Raven, thank you so much and I'm sorry for all of that. I swear I just didn't see the door coming", he said as he looked at the Empath once again.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:01 pm

When it was over, Raven took a step back and teetered a little on her feet, holding a hand to her nose. She suddenly didn't think six months of dish duty was worth the throbbing in her face, but there was no taking it back now. Besides, there was something far more striking and troublesome on her mind now.

"Curious..." she muttered, lowering her hand. "You too? ...come with me." She then grabbed Neal by the hand and dragged him into her room, shutting the door behind her.

Starfire blinked, looking back at the others. "I wonder what is the matter?"

"Don't look at me," Beast Boy said with a shrug. "She's just weird some times, you know that."

"What did she mean by 'you, too'?" Cyborg wondered, scratching his head. "Anyway, I'm hungry. Who wants to order pizza?"

"You know I'm always in the mood for pizza," Beast Boy responded with hungry grin. "Just as long as there's no meat on it. I remember when you ordered the meat lover's... that wasn't funny, dude."

Cyborg chuckled. "Oh come on, it was a little funny. The look on your face was priceless."

"You try staring at the cooked remains of animals you've actually been," Beast Boy retorted with a frown. "It wasn't amusing."

"Oh come now, let us not fight," Starfire said with a happy smile. "I would also like some of the pizza. It is my favorite of your earth foods. Sarah, would you like some, as well?"

Sarah blinked. "Uh, what? Oh, yeah... sure, I suppose. I guess I am a little hungry..." What was that Starfire had said? Earth foods? What other kind of food would there be?"

---

Inside Raven's room, she pointed at the floor in front of her bed. "Sit," she said, getting down in a cross legged position. "This is most curious... you, too, possess something inside you, a gift that must be awakened. You, along with that other girl, in the same place, at the same time, both coming to us on the same day. That is... a remarkable coincidence."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:12 pm

Neal couldn't help but feel guilty as Raven had to now deal with the pain that he had only faced moments ago. It wasn't even a healing really, it was more like Neal was being selfish and giving his pain to Raven to deal with. He wanted to say something more, but what else could he say but sorry and thank you? Plus, she got out of six months of dish duty........so that made it okay right?

Neal was about to say something else when Raven cut him off. "Wait what?", he said before she suddenly grabbed him and pulled him into the room. He had no idea what was going on. HE was in a lot of pain when she did her healing thing! If he had any negative emotion it wasn't to her, it was because he had a giant door slammed in his face. However, what she said next was going to catch him completely off guard.

"Come again?", he asked as he raised an eyebrow. If he was hearing this correctly, than things were about to get a whole lot interesting. "Are you.......being serious right now?", he asked as he stared right at Raven. He couldn't help but let a smile come onto his face. If she was serious, this was going to be an awesome day. If she was kidding though..........it really wouldn't be that funny.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:25 pm

Raven just stared at him. "Do I look like I'm joking?" she asked, her expression unchanging. She waited for him to finally get seated and then took in a deep breath, trying to ignore the pain in her nose. Placing her hands on his temples, she continued, "I am quite serious... now, please relax and close your eyes. Allow me into your mind, and follow me towards a better understanding of yourself..."

---

"So, you got powers, huh?" Cyborg asked, sitting down on the couch. he tossed the phone over to Beast Boy. "Hey, B, order the pizza, will ya?"

"Oh sure, make me order," Beast Boy grumbled. "Spinach and tofu pizza, it is."

Cyborg made a disgusted face. "On... second thought, give me the damn phone."

Sarah glanced back and forth between them for a second, looking a little nervous in their company. After all, they were close friends and heroes, but she was just an outsider suddenly thrust into their world. Kind of nerve wracking. "Um... yeah, I guess so. Raven, she 'awakened' them, I think. But... I can't control anything, so she wants me to stay here and... learn, I suppose. From you, actually." She looked over at Starfire."

"Oh, that would be most marvelous!" Starfire declared, flying over and holding Sarah's hands in friendly greeting. "You will really like it here, I promise! I can teach you everything you need to know, I am sure of it!"

Sarah smiled a little, not sure whether to be grateful, or creeped out by the woman's over zealous hospitality. "Well, thank you, I'll think about it."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:27 pm

"Right........good point", Neal said with a tiny laugh as he realized that it was a stupid question to ask. He had heard a lot of pretty crazy stories about the Titans, none of them involved Raven cracking a joke. He should have known better. He wasn't quite sure what to expect from all of this, so he'd just have to trust her. It worked for Sarah after all, so he was certain that it would work for him. He slowly closed his eyes and took a deep breath, before he knew it everything went blank.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:36 pm

After an unspecified amount of time, Raven began to drift back out of Neal's mind. It was a much different place than Sarah's, but then, everyone's mind was very different. She seldom liked venturing into those unknown planes, but in this case it was necessary. To do it twice in one day, after taking in two people's pain, left her exhausted. She almost couldn't even keep her eyes open as she came back into her own body.

"It is done..." Raven muttered. "You, too, I would suggest staying here for a time, until we can be certain of your abilities and that you can safely use them. But now I must rest... please, leave and rejoin the others."

---

When Neal returned, he would find the other Titans sitting around the kitchen table, eating from several pizza boxes. They had changed out of their uniforms by now, wearing simple civilian clothes. Sarah was there two, looking every bit as nervous as she felt. She looked up and felt a wave of relief as Neal made his return.

"Hey!" she said, getting up and walking over to him. "What, uh, what was that all about?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:41 pm

Even if someone offered Neal twelve million dollars to recount what just happened, he didn't think that he could. It was such an unknown feeling, it was unlike anything that he had ever felt before. When he came back he just felt........different. He slowly stood up and looked towards Raven as she said that he should rejoin the others. "Right.....I'll fill them in", he said as he slowly left the room. The moment that the door closed his smile returned and he punched the air. "HELL to the YES", he said before quickly running back towards the living room.

As he entered he looked to see that everyone was eating pizza. Dang, it was even starting to get dark outside. How long was he gone for? His attention quickly turned towards Sarah as she moved over to him and asked what had happened. He gained a tiny smile before taking a deep breath. "Apparently I'm like you", he finally said.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:53 pm

Sarah blinked in surprise at Neal's answer. "Wha- seriously? You mean you have... an ability, too? Do you know what it is?" Really, what were the odds of that? Two people having latent super powers both meeting and being taken in by the Titans, and having their powers awakened all on the same day? She couldn't imagine the infinitesimal odds of that. "That's.... I mean, wow. So what are you going to do now?"

"Hey, new guy," Cyborg called out, holding up a half full box of pizza. "You hungry or what? Food's getting cold."

When Neal and Sarah approached the kitchen table, Nightwing looked back at them. "Raven already told me everything. So you have a gift, too, huh? Well, I guess you're welcome to stay here along with Sarah, until you learn to control it, in that case. Both of you. Just remember that while you're here, you follow our rules and do what we tell you. Understood?" A mystery, how Raven already told Nightwing when Neal had just left her room... but then, it wasn't really surprising.

"Oh, this is most wonderful!" Starfire declared with a happy smile. "Two new friends on the same day!"

Beast Boy was too busy stuffing his face to respond, so he simply gave a thumbs up at the two.

"Oh, uh, yeah, forgot to mention..." Sarah started, with a nervous laugh. "I guess I'm going to be staying here for a while... I decided it would be best. Called my parents and told them I happened to stumble on a job here in the city, and that I'd be moving out to a new apartment next week. They actually bought it. Feels weird though, lying to them like that..."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:58 pm

"I.......forgot to ask actually", Neal remarked as he realized that Raven didn't mention anything about what his power was. Still, it had to be there and she must not think it too dangerous otherwise she would've had to say something right? He couldn't help but wonder what it was. He'd have to wait and ask her when she was fully rested again, she had enough work to do today after all. "I don't know, I guess I'll be staying here as well. I hope so at least", he added before moving to the table with the others.

Neal just blinked as Nightwing said that he'd already been informed of the story. Well that was......interesting. Could Raven speak to people directly through the mind or something? He had no idea, but he didn't really feel like asking right now. As Nightwing explained the conditions of their stay Neal gave a nod. He was certain that it wouldn't be a problem. After all, how bad could the restrictions be?

Neal grabbed a piece of pizza and took a bite as Sarah explained that she'd be staying here as well. "Awesome", he said with a smile after swallowing his bite of pizza. "I'll call my people a little later, I'll come up with something", he added before taking another bite. It was amazing how exhausting this day had been, and now that he had some time to enjoy it he began to feel the weight of the day's events.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:12 pm

"Well, in that case, you will be shown to your quarters after we're done here," Nightwing stated, turning back to his food. "There are a couple of spare bedrooms up on the top floor that I think are available. We'll deal with how to move your things here later. Tomorrow, you'll start your training."

"Welcome to the club," Cyborg said with a laugh, taking a bite into a large slice. "Enjoy your stay."

Sarah stood awkwardly and rubbed the back of her neck, smiling nervously. "Well, thanks, everyone. I think I'm actually kind of full right now, though. And I am a little tired..."

"I will show you to your room!" Starfire declared, literally flying out of her seat. "And until you move your possessions here, you can borrow some of my clothes. I think they should fit quite fine!"

Sarah felt her eye twitch a little as the woman dragged her off down the hall. The thought of borrowing some of Starfire's clothing wasn't exactly an exciting one. Even her civilian clothes were much more revealing than what Sarah normally wore.
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:17 pm

Neal just gave a nod as Nightwing gave them their instructions. He wasn't quite sure how their training would begin, he didn't even know what his powers were! Perhaps Raven knew and was merely too tired to mention them, he'd have to ask tomorrow apparently. "Looking forward to being part of the group", Neal said with a smile. They were definitely a friendly bunch, it was clear that the team as a whole had worked together for quite some time. They weren't just allies, they were friends.

Neal watched as Starfire dragged Sarah away to her room. "See ya tomorrow", he said with a tiny wave before turning back to the rest of the group. He suddenly realized why Sarah wanted company and looked relieved every time he showed up. Being around these guys was intimidating, just knowing exactly what they were capable of seemed to weigh on Neal's mind more. He couldn't explain it either.

"I should probably get some rest too", Neal said before another thought struck him. Starfire was going to mainly train Sarah, but who was going to train him?

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:07 pm

The next morning, Sarah awoke to an excited red, purple, and orange blur flying into her room. "Good morning, friend!" Starfire exclaimed, throwing open the blinds and letting the sunlight stream in.

Sarah jolted upright with a surprised shout, half falling out of her bed. "Waah!" she shouted, trying to calm down her thumping heart. Before she knew it, Starfire was pulling her up and out of bed.

"It is time to begin the day!" she said, with a big smile.

"Starfire!" Sarah shouted, trying to hold the blanket up over herself. "Please, I'm not dressed!"

"Oh, that is fine," Sarfire replied, holding up a bundle of clothes, while simultaneously tearing the blanket away. "I brought these for you to wear. Here you go! I think our sizes are similar enough."

Sarah stood there covering herself with her arms, staring at the clothes she was being offered. "I, uh, thank you? Just, l-leave them over by the door?"

"Oh, you silly humans and your prudishness," Starfire groaned with a roll of her eyes. "You cannot get dressed without first taking a shower! Come with me, I will show you to the women's bathroom."

Before she knew it, Sarah was being yanked half naked through the hallway to the bathroom. She knew she should probably a bit more concerned about it that she was, but her thoughts focused on something else Starfire had said. 'You silly humans'? Wait, what?

---

Neal was awoken in a slightly more pleasant manner, by a simple knock on the door. "Yo, Nealy boy, up and at 'em!" a voice on the other side of the door said. It's time to get up!" It was Cyborg. "Shower's down the hall, clean clothes are by the door. Hurry it up!"

---

When finally they everyone was ready for the day, Sarah and Neal were taken to the main room of the tower. There, the Titans had gathered, all in full costume. They stood in front of the two, giving the pair a long look. Sarah shifted a little uncomfortably, not only because it felt like they were being judged, but because, after being forced to shower with Starfire, she was now standing there in low-rise jeans, a midriff exposing shirt with a low cut V chest area, and wearing underwear that looked more like a few barely attached strings that were poking up from the top of aforementioned jeans. That Starfire was definitely a... free spirit. That was one way of putting it.

"Alright," Nightwing said, walking back and forth between the Titans and the new couple. "Now that yo both are staying here and will be training with us, I think introductions are in order. I'm sure you know us all from the news and such, but I'd still like us to be formal. I'm Nightwing, leader of the Titans. This is Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy." He allowed them each to say their own greetings to Neal and Sarah, before continuing. "Those are our public names, anyway. Our 'secret identities', as you could call them, are still confidential, and will remain that way outside this tower. Though you know our faces, you will not know our true names unless we fully trust and accept you as one of us. That doesn't come easy, trust me. You'll have to work for it. Training will be hard, no doubt about that, but we'll make sure to help guide you as best we can. Are we clear on that?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:18 pm

Neal's eyes slowly opened up as he heard the knock on the door. It took him a moment for all the words to full reach his brain, it always took a moment after waking up to begin to have his mind take in information. "Thank ya", Neal called simply as he wasn't even sure that Cyborg was near the door anymore. He got up and stretched out, letting out one last yawn to fully wake up. He had to give these Titans credit, they sure know how to lived. That was probably the most comfortable bed that he had ever slept on. It took only a moment to drift off back to sleep.

Neal went out and showered before putting on the jeans and purple T-shirt that had been provided for him. It was a simple outfit, but that was all that he needed right now. He spent the next few minutes making calls to anyone of importance. Mainly friends, family, and his current job. He'd have to quit, after all it looked like he was currently going to have a better one.

Once that was all taken care of, he joined Sarah down in the main room of the tower, watching as the entire squad was there and ready to go. They were in full uniform, just as they had been yesterday. He allowed everyone to make their introductions before giving only a small greeting in return. After all, for Sarah and himself there wasn't really that much to say was there? "Sounds fair", Neal finally said as Nightwing went through his full introductions. "We'll do the best that we can for you"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:34 pm

Sarah nodded as well. "Yeah, understood. Uh, sir."

"Good," Nightwing said. "You'll begin your training immediately. Sarah, you'll go with Starfire. Neal, with Raven. Oh, and don't call me 'sir'. Just Nightwing is fine."

"Oh, right, sorry," Sarah said, blushing a little. She suddenly felt like an idiot, being singled out like that. Stupid, stupid.

Starfire came over to her immediately, all smiles. "Let us get to work, Friend! I have a lot of ideas to help you with your gift. Come, let us go outside to the pool around the back. I find it a most relaxing place."

And just like that, Starfire grabbed Sarah by the hand and dragged her off again. This woman's strength was really remarkable... almost inhuman, really. Sarah couldn't break away if she tried, literally being pulled along; her feet weren't even touching the ground anymore, as Starfire started flying.

Raven, on the other hand, seemed much less enthused about taking on a pupil. She walked forward slowly and merely waved a hand for him to follow her. "Come," she said. "We're going to the roof."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:12 am

Neal couldn't help but stare as Starfire literally dragged/flew Sarah to their next destination. The pool? What kind of training were they going to do there? Well, they were the professionals so he supposed that he'd just let Sarah tell him later. He was hoping that after the day's training they might have a minute or two to chat and see how each other was doing. While they were among the team, they were still the two new guys.

Neal quickly glanced over as Raven mentioned that they'd be going to the roof. He was glad to be able to walk there. At least Raven didn't just open up a portal beneath his feet or something like that. "So......you never mentioned to me what my power was", Neal said as they began to walk.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:46 pm

"That's because I am still not certain what exactly it is," Raven replied, opening the door that led to the rooftop of the tower. The sun was just coming up over the horizon; the Titans liked to get an early start. "From what I could sense while in your mind, I believe it to be some form of astral projection, only with the mind. An ability to project your presence in another, possibly to cause hallucinations, or other forms of illusions. There is no way to determine the extent of it's potential except through constant practice and testing."

She waved over to the center of the roof, where she took a seat, crossing her legs. "Because your gift deals with the mind, I am best suited to guide you through that practice. Firstly, we will begin with meditation, and not that nonsensical new age yoga garbage that seems to be popular these days. This is true meditation, a way to travel deep into your own consciousness and become one with the world. Now, sit as I am and close your eyes. Clear you mind of anything and everything, then count down from ten. When you reach zero, count down again from nine, and so forth, until you reach only zero."

---

"What kind of training are we supposed to do here?" Sarah wondered, looking around at the pool. It didn't exactly seem like the most intense place to learn about her ability. It looked more like a place to kick back and relax.

"Oh, do not worry about that," Starfire insisted. "You will not be using the pool; that is for me. You will practicing control over your power, as I instruct."

Sarah scratched her cheek. "I... guess so." With that, Starfire casually began to strip out of her uniform and step into the pool, prompting Sarah to recoil in surprise. "Wha-! Hey, what are you doing?!"

Starfire just gave her a look of confusion. "I am going swimming."

"B-but... you're not wearing anything!"

"No, I am not," Starfire affirmed, with a small shrug. "I find it much more relaxing than being restricted by the so-called 'swimwear' that you humans seem so fond of."

There was that phrase again. 'You humans'. What was that supposed to mean? Sure, Starfire looked a little off, but... surely, she was still human, right? "I- but- well- still... how are you that comfortable just throwing off your clothes like that in front of someone? And always wearing so little... I mean, we just met..." She kept trying to avert her eyes, not wanting to gawk at the naked Titan. It wasn't that she was intimidated by the obviously better endowed female, but... it was still off putting.

"And how are you not?" Starfire retorted. "For a species so preoccupied with sex, you humans are so easily disturbed by nudity. It is an irony that I have been unable to understand in all my years here."

Sarah blinked, trying not to show her embarrassment, while also trying to think of some way to respond to that... Instead, she asked a different question to change the subject. "You keep saying that: 'you humans'. What are you talking about? You say it like you're not human or something."

"But I am not human," Starfire explained casually. "I am from the planet called Tamaran, many lightyears away from Earth."

"...oh," Sarah said, suddenly feeling stupid. She also found herself quite amazed that she was simply accepting that explanation as fact. Then again, with superheroes that could fly, blow things up with their minds, create portals, and so much else, what was so hard to believe about aliens? "Of course... seriously?"

"Oh yes, I am quite serious. I came here ten earth years ago, though I will not go into details on why. But, to answer your question, being from Tamaran, I am not bound by your earthly inhibitions. In fact, I find it quite annoying how heavily guarded about something as completely natural as sex you as a society are."

Sarah shifted uneasily. "I...see..." There was a long moment of silence. "So... about my training? I think we should start on that..."

"Oh, yes!" Starfire happily agreed, instantly shifting back into her cheerful tone. "I think that is an excellent idea!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:57 pm

"Astral projection?", Neal questioned as he heard Raven use the term. He wasn't quite familiar with the phrasing of the terms, it wasn't until the terms of 'illusions and hallucinations' came up that he felt like he was beginning to understand what was going on. "Sounds like I could make a killing of being a magician in my free time", he said with a slight chuckle to himself as he sat down and crossed his legs. He didn't really enjoy the feeling, it wasn't a position that he was used to despite the fact that Raven took to it like a natural.

"Alright, I never did yoga so no worries", Neal said as he eventually closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He wasn't sure how this was going to work, but Raven said that he needed to clear his mind of everything and anything and just focus on the numbers. It took him a minute to calm his heart and to truly focus. Once he did he began to count the numbers out loud quietly to himself, constantly reaching the lower numbers as Raven instructed. He kept counting, waiting for Raven to give any sort of further instructions.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:31 pm

Quite a few hours later, the meditation session finished. Raven came out of her own inner mind, waiting for Neal to do the same, assuming he was able to enter it in the first place. It wasn't the easiest thing to do, total and complete meditation, though some were able to accomplish the feat on their first attempt. Still, he would not be able to learn much about the control of his power if he did not first learn to master his own mind. As such, it was necessary for him to master meditation first.

"That will conclude today's practice," Raven said, standing up. "It appears to be after lunch time, so I would advise you to get something to eat soon." She then walked over to the edge of the roof and peered downward. "It seems that Starfire and Sarah are both still working by the pool. Go and tell them that they can come in now." With that, Raven disappeared through another portal, presumably returning back inside, probably to her own room.

---

"That is very good!" Starfire proclaimed, excitedly.

Sarah frowned. "But all I did was make the rock twitch. I mean, I felt something... but it didn't do much."

"That is great progress for your first day," Starfire assured. "You are beginning to feel the energy around you. Your power gives you the ability to control that energy, and you are starting to grasp how. I am very proud!"

"Well, yeah, I guess," Sarah said with a shrug. "But it's still different from how you do it... I don't know how well your methods will apply to me."

Starfire was able to absorb solar energy and store it in her body. This gave her the ability to project that energy in the form of concussive blasts that she called 'starbolts'. it also explained why her hero costume was so revealing, not just because she 'enjoyed the attention she received from others', but because the more skin she revealed, the more energy she could absorb and store at a time. So, apparently her skimpy attire really was practical.

Sarah, on the other hand, could not store energy of her own, but instead manipulated the energy around her, which was really a broad term to refer to just about anything around her with matter. She found it easiest to control air particles at the moment, though her control was so little that any air blasts were quite weak. She could barely even make the rock that was her target move an inch.

"I am sure that you will learn more on your own as your control develops," Starfire said, lounging still naked on the pool chair. "It will come in time."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:42 pm

Neal slowly opened his eyes as he came out of the meditation sequence. He wasn't quite sure if he had done it right, he definitely felt different than he had before but he wasn't able to tell if he was doing it right. For all he knew, he might have just fallen asleep and felt like it was meditation. He supposed that he'd just have to keep it up and hope that it came more naturally over time. He wanted to ask Raven if it was difficult for her at first, but thought better of it and kept his mouth shut.

"Right, I'll see you later. Thank again", Neal called after her as she moved into the portal that most likely head to her own room. Neal moved over to the doorway that lead back inside before beginning to head down the long flight of stairs. He allowed his mind to begin thinking about how he might use illusions and hallucinations to stop criminals. He supposed that tricking them would be the easiest thing, the only problem would be once his power was discovered. After all, who was scared of something that they knew wasn't real? He'd have to ask Raven about that later, perhaps his power included more than just illusions?

Finally, Neal made it to the door that lead to the pool before slowly opening it and walking outside. "Hey, Raven says that you both should come.............in", Neal said after a long pause after walking in on what appeared to be a bad time. Starfire was naked...........and she didn't appear to be bothered about it that much. "Am I.........interrupting something important?", he finally asked as he wasn't able to think of anything else to say.

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