October 9th, 2004
Haunted (Teen Titans)
(Opening shot: the moon hanging amid wispy clouds in a night sky whose lower altitudes are tinged with green. Pan/tilt down to a large, half-ruined castle that sits on an island in the middle of a lake. Inside, as flames lick across the floor in one hall, a distant figure with long white hair and glowing hands faces off against some creature whose clawed foot is in view near the camera. Extreme close-up of its glowing red eyes, panning slowly across to the sound of a growl, then cut to a similar shot of the figure's eyes. These are light blue, set above a wide black scarf that covers the face from the nose down, and narrowed in steely determination. Pull back; the creature is a dragon, its opponent a young man in a suit of armor emblazoned with a black M, and the scarf's long ends hang down behind. This is Malchior.)
(The beast opens its slavering jaws wide for a roar and prepares to belch fire; the warrior stands pat as the flames shoot out and conjures a shield to block them. This is pushed slowly forward, plowing the inferno aside, and Malchior advances across the stones. More fire blasts out, smashing through the shield, and the smoke clears to show the steel-clad feet intact. Tilt up; he hurls a ball of energy that detonates against the dragon's chest, sending sparks all over the body and seeming to freeze it in place. However, it is still able to breathe fire, and it sends out a new burst. Leaping backward, Malchior retaliates with a broad beam that hits home hard enough to throw up dense gray smoke.)
(He lands on a high ledge only to get knocked down by a sweep of that long tail. After a moment to collect himself, he stands and finds himself facing off against the monster again. Those blood-red eyes narrow to slits as a soft screech issues from the reptilian throat, and Malchior readies a new spell. When he speaks, it is with a British accent.)
Malchior: Necronom Hezberek Mortix!
(Glowing fissures open in the stones at his feet and lace toward the dragon; the entire floor caves in, dropping the beast out of sight amid a great cloud of dust. Long shot of the area, pulling back slowly; the entire castle has crumbled, leaving Malchior standing alone on a ledge.)
Malchior: (voice over) And so it came to pass that I, Malchior of Nol, did lay siege to the dread dragon Rorek.
(Cut to a close-up of him during this line; after it ends, he walks away. He does not get far, however, before a pillar of flame boils up from the smoking depths, Rorek is raring to go around again. One mighty leap carries it up to the ledge; it leans threateningly down toward Malchior and snakes the tail in for another sucker punch. He notices it too late and is wrapped up for a little face-to-face.)
Malchior: (voice over) But it did seem the power of Rorek was greater than my magics could defeat. (Rorek warms up its throat.) And as the fell beast struck...
(It breathes fire on the end of this last, after which the action stops with a freeze-frame and the alarm of Titans Tower goes off. The entire screen flashes red, matching the warning lights that accompany the signal, and the camera cuts to inside Raven's room. She is deeply immersed in a book, everything we have just seen was recounted in its pages, and does not look up.)
Beast Boy: (from outside, through the door) Hey, Raven, put the pedal to the metal! We gotta go!
(Head-on view of her during this; the volume has a white cover, different from all the others she has read up to this point in the series. Through her window, the night sky can be seen. She looks up with clear irritation at having been interrupted and slams the book shut, the view snapping to black at the same time.)
(Opening shot: a patch of bushes. As the camera zooms in, these part to show a playground on the other side; it is daytime, and kids are having all manner of fun. Near the camera, a large jack-in-the-box slides into view, the crank turning on its own. The box is white with red trim, and a heart is painted on each face. Several curious kids stop their play and gather around the new toy; after a few seconds, the lid pops and a pink stuffed bunny poops out on a spring, its back to us. Assorted happy murmurs from the youths, after which the camera cuts to behind them as the box is lifted on the end of a flexible metal tube. The bunny's chest is also marked with a red heart, but this soon disappears as it stretches out and becomes one of several metal tentacles that snake up from the ground to leave their open upper ends squirming. From behind the bushes, the thing they are attached to rises into view; a colossal human heart, sporting these heavy-duty arteries and veins. This is Kardiak.)
(It floats toward the playground; the onlookers panic and scatter in all directions. One boy is unable to get away despite his best attempt at running, Kardiak is trying to vacuum him in. He falls flat, digging his fingernails into the dirt to anchor himself, but the giant organ steps up the suction and he is dragged screaming toward it. Just after he is pulled in, three birdarangs whistle through the air; a flash of their impact, and the steel aorta has been cut to pieces. The boy tumbles out just in time to be caught by Starfire, who flies across the screen so fast that she is visible only as a violet streak. A blast from Cyborg's sonic cannon strikes Kardiak next, and the three birdarangs return to Robin's hand so that he can catch them between his fingers. Cut to the Titans and the rescued boy; the T-Car is parked behind them, having been rebuilt since Terra squashed it flat in Part One of "Aftershock.")
Robin: Kardiak, you're under arrest.
(Cut to the overgrown heart; it beats a couple of times before vacuuming up the severed blood vessel lengths and reattaching them. That done, it rises into the air and lashes down at the Titans. Cut to them on the next line.)
Robin: Titans! Go!
(All leap forward, just in the nick of time to avoid being smashed, and Robin brings out his fighting staff.)
Robin: Starfire! Launch!
(Close-up of his ankle on the end of this. She grasps it, swings him through 360 degrees, and lets fly as if going after a gold medal in the Olympic hammer throw. With that much momentum behind him, Robin has no trouble driving Kardiak flat in one blow of his staff. Close-up: his eyes suddenly go wide, and he is seized by the steel veins and flung upward to crash into Starfire. Cyborg drops into view from high above.)
Cyborg: T-rex Takedown!
(He lands neatly on Beast Boy's shoulders, the weight dropping both out of view for a moment, and quickly rises on the snout of this move's namesake. The cannon is primed to fire, but before he can get off a shot, Kardiak wraps up both Titans, slams them to the turf, and heaves them out of sight. Raven moves in, levitating several wrecked streetlights; these go flying toward the disembodied body part like giant buzzsaws, but it swats them away with ease. Conjuring up her "soul-self," she wings away in it to avoid a counterstrike, and Starfire takes her place in the offensive, only to take one across the jaw. Next, Cyborg is bashed to the grass, Robin is hit and loses his staff, and Beast Boy, in human form, wedges himself in the end of the vena cava. Finally, Raven gets slapped down, crashing to the grass on her face, and the monstrosity's shadow falls across her. She takes to the air an instant before a blood vessel whips down at her. Extreme close-up of her face.)
Raven: This has gone on long enough! (Pull back.) Azarath Metrion Zinthos!
(The spell hits home, spreading across every square inch of Kardiak, and she tears the vessels off with a sweep of her hands. For a few moments, the black-washed fragments twitch in midair alongside the "body" to which they were attached; the lot finally explodes in a terrific flash, and a few sparking bits slide toward and into the sewer. Cyborg rubs his head as Beast Boy comes up.)
Beast Boy: Dude! Way to take him apart!
(Robin moves closer to make sure his eyes are not deceiving him. Cut to just behind the T-Car; the rear driver's-side door is open, and the body bounces slightly under the weight of someone who has just climbed in. That someone is Raven, as evidenced by the hand that reaches out to pull the door shut. Cut to her inside, impatiently fastening her seat belt, then to just outside her open window and pull back.)
Raven: Can we go now?
(The other four trade a slightly puzzled look and head for the car; a screech of rubber on asphalt, and they are on the way home. Well after they have driven o.c., the sky above the playground darkens into nighttime, and the camera tilts down to the end of a large drainage pipe that protrudes from the ridge on which the park sits. Just inside it is the de-veined Kardiak, which glows and starts to beat again as the camera zooms in slightly. The snapped arteries and veins break the surface of the collected drain water and writhe as the view fades to black.)
(Fade in to the exterior of the Tower, standing quiet under the full moon, and zoom in slowly. A dissolve puts us outside a closed door; zoom in a bit, then dissolve again to Raven on the other side of it; her room. She sits on her bed, holding the white book she was so engrossed in before having to go to work, and she opens it to start reading again. Dissolve to Rorek, still holding Malchior wrapped up in its tail on the rocky ledge surrounded by flames, and pull back slowly.)
Malchior: (voice over) But it did seem the power of Rorek was greater than my magics could defeat.
(As before, the dragon warms up and lets go with a fiery belch.)
Malchior: (voice over) And as the fell beast struck...
(A knocking interrupts the narrative. Freeze frame, accompanied by the VCR "pause" symbol in the upper right corner-two parallel vertical bars, as if this were a tape being played. A couple of static blips, and the camera cuts back to Raven. The knocks continue from outside, revealing someone at the door; she looks up, really annoyed, and moves to open it a bit. Robin is in the hall.)
Robin: Hey. When we got home, you kind of ran to your room and locked the door. Anything you want to talk about? (Cut to Robin's side.)
(A drop of sweat appears on the back of his head as she shuts the door. Inside again; she sits back down on the bed and dives into the pages once more. Dissolve again to Malchior being held fast in Rorek's tail.)
Malchior: (voice over) ...greater than my magics could defeat. (Warm up, breathe fire.) And as the fell beast struck, I...
(More knocking. This time, the image starts to jump like a film coming off its sprockets, and it finally tears apart. The screen is left white, with a hair hanging down from the top edge-a modern variant of Tex Avery's famous "hair in the projector" gag. Back to Raven, now supremely fed up with all these intrusions, then to outside the door. Starfire is here, her long hair teased up into a style that could rival Marge Simpson's for sheer defiance of the law of gravity. Raven opens up a crack to peek out; cut to a close-up of the beaming Tamaranean's face, against a bubbly pink field, and tilt up. She has apparently bought out the local shops' supply of barrettes and hair spray. Cut to just behind Raven.)
Starfire: I have journeyed to the mall of shopping and discovered the joy of Earthly hair ornaments. Do you wish to--? (Cut to Starfire's side.)
(Slam; one of the clips pops out of Starfire's hair and clatters on the floor. Inside, Raven sits on the bed, sighs wearily, and gets back to her reading. Dissolve to an extreme close-up of Rorek's burning red eyes and pull back on the next line.)
Malchior: (voice over) And as the fell beast struck... (It warms up.) ...I summoned the forces of my enchanted book.
(He conjures it up between his raised hands; it is an exact duplicate of the one Raven has been trying to finish. The fire lances toward it and is met by a beam that shoots forth from the cover.)
Malchior: Aldruon Enlenthra Nalthos Sola Narisnor!
(The white power starts to overcome Rorek's incinerating breath.)
Malchior: (voice over) And with a curse more ancient than foul Rorek himself, I... (Knocking on the end of this.)
Cyborg: (voice over) Yo, Raven!
(Now the image burns away as if the film has just caught fire; Raven is left wishing she could hide inside the pages and stay there until everybody will just leave her alone. The pounding at her door continues.)
Beast Boy: (from outside) Dude, open up!
(Her hair stands on end as she lowers the book; judging from her expression, she is ready to eat them alive and spit out bones and circuit boards. Cut to her perspective, rushing toward the door, then to the two boys outside it. As soon as they get a look at the frightful countenance, they back up with a yell; a moment later, though, they have straightened up and are grinning broadly, hands behind their backs.)
(Sight gag: the background behind the pair goes yellow, and two panels slide in to cover the bottom and right edges of the screen. The bottom panel contains the Titans' insignia and the words "CALL NOW!!", while the side one displays product information. The overall impression is of a home-shopping channel such as QVC.)
Beast Boy: We're here tonight with an exclusive offer.
Cyborg: A once-in-a-lifetime chance to get in on America's fastest-growing sports sensation...
(During the previous line, he points o.c. to his left and the hand comes in just above Beast Boy, showing the same gesture; he then retracts it and holds up a small American flag in his other hand, while the green goof-off salutes.)
Beast Boy: (as Cyborg gives thumbs-up) The hot new game we just made up...
(He thumps a hand against Cyborg's chest, the word "KLANG!!" appearing there briefly, and both slide away as the gag ends in a puff of smoke. They immediately move back together, Cyborg holding up a large wad of smelly laundry.)
Beast Boy and Cyborg: ...STANK BALL!! (Cyborg gets a good whiff.)
(He passes out, whereupon Beast Boy holds up a cloak in Raven's style, but it is marked with black and white stripes.)
Beast Boy: Want to be referee?
(Cyborg is back on his feet and holding that nasty ball as if it were the Hope Diamond. Now violet flames rise from Raven's hair as she glares at the two jokers, wondering which one she should disembowel first. Long, tense pause.)
Raven: (levelly, but menacingly) Go away.
(She backs into the room; the door starts to close, but Beast Boy wedges himself in to keep it open and Cyborg pops up underneath him.)
Beast Boy: But, pleeeease?
(Pull back inside to frame Raven. The flames have disappeared, and her hair has settled down.)
Cyborg: Everybody loves a good game of stankball.
Beast Boy: And we need a referee to play the lightning round.
(A black bolt shoots from the gem on her forehead, driving the door shut and pushing them out. In the hall, they get up and Beast Boy addresses it.)
Beast Boy: Oh, Raven, come on! Why can't you just have fun like normal people?
(Cut to inside the room. Something now weighs very heavy on her mind as she clutches the treasured book to her chest.)
Beast Boy: (from outside) Why are you always locked in your dark room, reading your nasty old books? Why do you have to be so creepy? (She grips it even tighter.)
Cyborg: (from outside) Forget it, B. Leave her alone.
Raven: (softly, to herself) I'm not creepy. I'm just different.
(She sits on the bed; cut to a long shot, the window behind her showing the full moon, and zoom in slowly.)
Raven: And I wish there were someone around here who understood that. Someone I could talk to. (Close-up.) Someone more like me.
Voice of Malchior: There is.
(The violet eyes pop at these two words, and she stares down at the tome in her hands. Standing up, she tosses it away in surprise with a small gasp; it lands a short distance away on the floor. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: Raven staring at the book on the floor. Malchior's voice comes from it.)
Book: Ow. (She gasps.)
Raven: Uh, did you just--?
Book: I did. (Zoom in.) And then you dropped me on my spine.
Raven: Oh. Sorry. (kneels) Books aren't supposed to talk.
Book: True, fair maiden, but I am no book.
(It opens, flipping quickly through the pages to stop on one whose bottom half has been torn out. Malchior's eyes are in the upper section, seen in black and white.)
Book: I am a man. Malchior of Nol, (Cut to Raven; it continues o.c.) at your service.
Raven: The wizard who faced the dread dragon Rorek?
Book: (from o.c.) The wizard who defeated Rorek-- (Back to it.) --and who was trapped within these pages by the dragon's final curse.
Raven: Trapped? But that battle was almost-- (Close-up of the page; zoom in slowly.)
Book: --One thousand years ago. And I've been waiting for someone to find me ever since. Raven...
(The pages flip to a picture of the young Titan, hands glowing against a shimmering background of moon, stars, and the birds for which she was named.)
Book: ...I've been waiting for you.
(This, then, is the same book that appeared in the story sequences. Her face flushes a bit at its last pronouncement. Extending a black-shining hand toward the book, she is met with a blinding flash that shoots toward the ceiling. Close-up of her as it fades away.)
Raven: The curse is strong. I'm sorry. I don't think my power can break it.
Book: (from o.c.) I know. (Back to Malchior's page.) But perhaps we could just talk?
(That question sets her brain reeling. Dissolve to the exterior of the Tower, zooming in slowly.)
Book: (from inside) Stank Ball? You're joking.
Raven: (from inside) They wanted me to referee. (Cut to a close-up of the page; pull back slowly.)
Book: (dryly) Smashing. You must be the luckiest girl in the world.
(Pull back to frame Raven as well. She has propped it open on a stand at eye level in her room.)
Book: And this Beast Boy sounds like an absolute genius. (She laughs a bit.)
Raven: That's funny. You're funny.
Book: And you're the best thing that's happened to me in a thousand years. (Cut to her.)
Raven: (surprised) Then...you don't think I'm...creepy?
Book: (from o.c.) Certainly not. (Pull back to frame both; slow pan.) You are dark, and darkness is often misunderstood. (Back to it; slow zoom.) But I feel like I understand you.
Raven: (smiling warmly) I feel that way, too. (She yawns.)
Book: It's late. You should sleep.
Raven: Do you promise you'll still be here when I wake up?
(The preceding page forms into a gray-paper rose.)
Book: I promise.
(She crosses to the stand and closes the book, the origami flower still protruding from its upper edge. As she settles down with it to sleep, a blissful expression settles on her face, the sort of look we have never seen her wear up to this point. She keeps her cloak on, as opposed to "Fear Itself" in which she took it off. Pan to the window of her room and dissolve to the sun in a patch of clear blue sky. It is now the next morning; pull back to frame the Tower while a rooster's crowing is heard. The source is revealed when the camera cuts to the edge of the roof, Beast Boy, making as much racket as he can while in this form.)
(After a couple of crows, he struts away. Cut to a close-up of a locked door; he reaches into view, back in human form, and knocks on it. Pull back to frame him, his next words give away his location immediately.)
Beast Boy: (sweetly) Hey, Raven... (nervously) ...um, it's, like, almost noon and you haven't come out of your room. So, just in case you're mad, I'm gonna go ahead and say, "Sorry I called you creepy last night."
(Pull back. Dead silence within and without.)
Beast Boy: Raven?
(He puts an ear to the door to listen in. Extreme close-up of it against the metal.)
Book: (from inside, softly) Perhaps if we're quiet, he'll just go away.
(Soft laughter from Raven, which causes Beast Boy to straighten up in shock.)
Beast Boy: Um, Raven, is everything--? (Door opens a bit; she glares out.) Hi. Um, you were...laughing, and I thought I heard... (trying to peek around her) ...is there someone in there?
Raven: Just me, and a really good book.
Beast Boy: Oh. Well, I just wanted to make sure you were okay.
Raven: Better than okay. Way better.
(She closes the door in his face.)
Raven: (from inside) Sorry, Malchior. He won't bother us again.
Beast Boy: (to himself) Malchior? Who's Malchior?
(Dissolve to inside her room, the camera pointing at the door; rotate downward to put Raven in frame before the book's stand. She sits cross-legged on the floor, her back to us, and has set up a ring of chalices and lighted candles. Close-up of one hand as she extends it and lets some flower petals fall, then tilt down to follow them into a vessel filled with powder. Sparks dance in the cup, giving way to a small blast that leaves wisps of dust floating in the air. Now she pours in glowing blue liquid from a flask as the camera tracks around her in a circle; it stops after one full circuit, at which point she adds a pinch of some other ingredient. This causes a brilliant spot of light to flare up in the chalice briefly.)
(Raven picks up a second flask, sets it aside after eyeing it critically for a moment, and picks up a beaker of white powder. It sparkles faintly as she stirs it.)
Raven: (pours into the chalice) I've never even heard of this spell. (Smoke boils up.) Where did you learn it?
Book: It's in the Galleon Scrolls.
Raven: (impressed) You've read the Galleon Scrolls?
Book: And the Mornal Archives, and the Stones of Syr. (Soft chuckle.) I've been trapped in a book. Not much to do but read. (Raven pours in another potion.)
Raven: I think it's almost ready.
Book: Good. There's just one more ingredient.
(Pull back as one page flips backward and lashes out like a serpent. There is a brief flash of lightning; when it clears, the camera is following a few snipped bits of her hair, which drop into the mixture and set it sparkling again. Tilt up; Raven touches the strands hanging over her right cheek with a bit of alarm.)
Book: (from o.c.) A lock of hair from a beautiful girl.
Raven: Beautiful? (Back to the page.)
Book: I truly appreciate all that you are doing for me, Raven.
Raven: I might not know how to break the curse, but at least I can get you out of that book.
(She pours the contents of the cup into her hand and blows them toward the stand, the camera panning to follow the gusts. Pages go flying everywhere, suddenly freed of the book's binding, and circle around her in a thick swarm. As she looks around, completely at a loss for words, a second circulation pattern establishes itself within the main one. The pages here fly in a very tight circle and reach a height of several feet. Close-up of the floor; a pair of feet assembles itself from the whirling papers, and the camera tilts up as the rest of a human figure is pieced together. The whirlwind dies out after its head and closed eyes are complete; this one feature is all that we can see. As Raven stares dumbstruck, the last couple of pages fit themselves in and the figure opens its eyes, they are an exact match for the ones in the book. Raven's own eyes go even wider; pull back to frame both, the new figure standing in a circle of light with the book. After a millennium, Malchior has found some kind of freedom.)
Malchior: Thank you.
Raven: You're welcome.
(He steps out of the circle, which fades away as he walks over to her. Both raise a hand to touch, but Malchior's falls apart in a pile of papers before their fingers can meet. She gasps softly; he just glances down at the remains of that wrist.)
Malchior: Silly me. Of course. (Pull back to frame the book.) I remain bound to the book. (He steps to it; the hand reforms.)
Raven: Because the curse is still in effect.
Malchior: Indeed. If I am ever to be truly free, well, it would require magics of much greater power.
Raven: Then teach me the spells. I want to help you. I want to learn.
Malchior: (puts his arm around Raven's shoulders) To break this curse, I must teach you more than just a few simple spells. (his other hand crackles) I must teach you everything I know.
(White light pours from that hand; when it clears, we see a close-up of her, now with tall stacks of books in the background. She looks up in alarm, and the camera pulls back to within the piled-up collection that has suddenly appeared in her room. Dissolve to a slow zoom in on them among the stacks as hundreds of open books float around them.)
Malchior: (points) The Book of Nord. The Endreal Verses. The Romanomicon. The Bursean Chronicle. More than six thousand pages of spells, charms, and incantations.
Raven: That's a lotta reading.
(Dissolve to the two, elsewhere in the massive instant library; the books have settled down. Raven, now clad in a lavender cloak and outfit, approaches one stack as Malchior stands at a short distance.)
Malchior: Those are just the basics. Now, for more powerful magics, we turn to the works of O'Riordan the Strange.
(A couple of volumes float into the air and open up on the end of this line. Dissolve to a close-up of the new student, reading to beat the band; behind her, a fresh stack slides up and Malchior pokes his head out. She laughs at the prank, and the view dissolves to a shot of the two in the center of the floor. She has both hands partly raised as if meditating.)
Malchior: And let the energy flow through your entire body. (A ball of green light forms above them as he says this.) Feel your thoughts giving it power and form... Good, Raven! You've...
(It explodes, setting his head on fire; she gasps at her misstep.)
Malchior: ...almost got it.
(She beats out he flames as forcefully as she can, then turns away with an embarrassed little smile. Dissolve to a shot of her, studying several books that float at eye level under her control, but there is no black aura around them as one might expect. Two close and move off as he walks up, and another takes their place.)
Malchior: You know, there is a better way.
(At a gesture, green light pours from every set of pages and into her forehead gem, knowledge passing directly from the reference works into her brain. Dissolve to her, levitating another ball of light as he looks on, and tilt up to follow it toward the ceiling. It stops, crackles for a moment and bursts into a brilliant green version of her "soul-self," hovering in the starry sky as fireworks explode around it. Back to the pair; he puts an arm around her neck and caresses her hair gently, letting that gesture convey his pride at how quickly she has been able to master all this complex spellwork.)
(Dissolve to the exterior of the Tower. It is now the following morning. Pull back slowly, then cut to the operations center. Beast Boy and Cyborg have the GameStation fired up and are playing their favorite racing game, while Robin and Starfire are in the kitchen. Raven floats into view, her back to the camera and her clothing now pure white as during her fight with Trigon in "Nevermore." Close-up of the backs of the two players' heads; they turn to look in her direction and instantly lose their power of speech. Cut to a slow pan across Robin and Starfire, neither of whom can find any words as well, then to Raven. Her arms spread wide to expose the new outfit, she sighs blissfully and hums to herself on the way to the kitchen. Starfire's hair is no longer teased up as when she visited her teammate in Act One.)
(Snap to black, which resolves to the interior of the refrigerator as she opens it. An apple on the top shelf floats neatly into her hand, and she closes the fridge to black out the screen. Snap to her munching happily away in the kitchen; the other four Titans slide up a moment later.)
Robin: Um...hey, Raven. Haven't seen you around much lately.
Beast Boy: Yeah, 'cause she hasn't left her room for a week. (Cyborg clumps him over the head.)
Cyborg: I, uh...like your new look.
Robin: So, when do we get to meet this friend of yours?
Raven: Soon. (Starfire zips over.)
Starfire: I am unable to wait! (shaking Raven's shoulders) Beast Boy has told us much about the Malchior and how he remains trapped within a book, but--
(Cut to just behind Starfire; on the next line, pull back to frame the green Titan sitting on the counter. Sweat drops of all sizes pop out on his back and head.)
Raven: (suspiciously) Now how would Beast Boy know something like that?
(Head-on view: one of those drops is on his temple, and his jaw hangs halfway to his belt as Cyborg smirks at him. He gets himself under control with a nervous little laugh.)
Beast Boy: I may have kinda...been, ah...a fly on the wall in your room?
(He turns into the buzzing insect. Cut to Raven and zoom in to an extreme close-up on the next line.)
Raven: Funny. You look more like a rat to me.
(She concentrates for a moment and turns him into a scrawny green rodent. He tumbles to the floor and reverts to human form, ending up on his head and very surprised at the involuntary quick change.)
Beast Boy: You morphed me! How did you do that?
(A small alarm starts up o.c. Pull back to show the source as the computer console that sits on the counter. Robin runs over and does a quick bit of typing, not liking whatever he sees. He then turns to face the team.)
Robin: Titans! Move!
(All but Raven bolt for the door; she just floats up off the floor a bit and hums to herself. The call to action has not disturbed her in the slightest. Beast Boy, the last one out, stops short of the exit.)
Beast Boy: Hey! We gotta go!
(This throws a monkey wrench into her peaceful reverie. Cut to the exterior of an ordinary-looking house in the suburbs of Jump City and zoom in slowly. It is now nighttime. Inside, the camera zooms in on a small girl, fast asleep in her bed and snuggling with a teddy bear. A loud heartbeat starts up, startling her awake in a, well, you get the idea.)
(She sits up and looks around with obvious fear. Cut to outside her window; she peeks out as the beat is heard, much louder now, and accompanied by the hiss of machinery that instantly marks Kardiak's arrival. Its huge shadow throws itself over her, and the camera zooms in as she screams. Cut to a hilltop stretch of road, over which everyone but Raven charges into view: Robin on his R-Cycle, Starfire toting Cyborg, Beast Boy keeping pace as a vampire bat. They arrive at the girl's house, whose front door has now been bashed in, and brace for battle: handful of discs, cannon, starbolts. Cut to the gaping hole in the architecture and tilt up slightly as the overgrown heart clomps out of the house, The youngster has been sucked in by those vacuum-cleaner veins; her terrified face is clearly seen through the red atrium wall. The sight of this apparition, and its hostage, paints surprise on the faces of the three armed Titans and sparks a small gasp from Starfire.)
Cyborg: Oh, man!
Robin: (puts his discs away) Hand-to-hand. We don't want to hurt her.
(Cyborg lowers his cannon as well. Close-up of the girl's face, eyes full of tears, and pull back as Kardiak leaps to strike. The reattached blood vessels lance toward the four Titans, who scramble to avoid the hits. Cut to inside Kardiak; Beast Boy flies up and resumes human form as he perches on the surface.)
Beast Boy: Don't worry! (Cut to his side; he is addressing the girl.) We're gonna get you--
(Her scream cuts him off, and he turns to look over his shoulder. Pull back to show an artery trying to suck him down; he becomes a hippopotamus, too big to be vacuumed up, but the thing just heaves him out of the way. When he hits the ground, the force of the throw sends him skidding all the way to the end of the block. The dust clears to show him back in human form and badly dazed from this bit of animal abuse. Robin comes up behind him, as do Cyborg and Starfire, and all stare intently ahead. Pull back to put Kardiak in frame at a short distance; above the tableau, a black vortex forms and Raven emerges from it.)
Raven: This time when I break you, stay broken! (Her cloak billows up on the end of this.) Necronom Hezberek Mortix!
Robin: Raven! Careful! (Profile-close-up of her; he continues o.c.) The girl!
(Black energy pours from her mouth, as during the final confrontation of "Nevermore," and a terrible, grating screech comes with it. Pan to follow the stream as it angles toward the ground and tears a path straight toward Kardiak; slowly but surely, the aura works its way up the massive organ and the innocent little one inside it.)
Beast Boy: Raven, stop! (Tilt up to her.)
Raven: (agonized) I...CAN'T!!
(Energy starts to pour from her eyes as well. Snap to black.)
(Opening shot: the same shot of Raven, still in the throes of the uncontrollable full frontal assault she has just set loose. As she slowly backs up into the air, the view dissolves to a long shot of the battle zone; her energy has now covered the street like pea-soup fog and is about to completely wash over Kardiak. Inside the ventricle, the little girl screams as it starts to cut off the last of her view; overhead, Robin leaps down to the one remaining clear spot.)
Robin: Hang on!
(He whips out a folded birdarang and stabs it into the heart muscle like an ice pick, trying to hack a way out for her. A black hand begins to form behind him, but a shot from Cyborg's cannon slices it away; now Beast Boy charges in as a bighorn sheep, nailing Raven broadside to drive her down, and Kardiak is freed from her grip. Robin finally tears a hole big enough to pull the girl free, and Raven moans wearily as the green ram resumes human form.)
Beast Boy: (angrily) What is wrong with you?
(Her only response is to drop through the pavement, leaving everyone else to stare in undiluted confusion at her bizarre behavior. Dissolve to the exterior of the Tower, zooming in slowly, then to Raven's room. The book that had imprisoned Malchior sits on its stand; he gazes at it as her powers wash over the door. As soon as it slides open, she moves to him in one swift swoop, and her face twists into a look of pure rage.)
Raven: It's dark magic! You've been teaching me dark magic!
Malchior: Is it dark, or is it simply misunderstood...like you? (No immediate response; he paces around her.) True, the spells I've taught you are very powerful. There are those who fear power, so they call it dark. But for people like us... (Close-up of her hand; he takes it and continues o.c.) ...such distinctions do not exist. (Pull back to frame both; they move to the book.) Without these spells, we can never truly be together. Enchanted pages or no, I'm still trapped within this book, and you're still alone. Is that what you want, Raven? To be alone?
(Her anger melts into uncertainty, and after a valiant attempt to meet his gaze, she turns her face away and closes her eyes tightly. Tears slide out from beneath the lids.)
Raven: No. (She wipes them away.)
Malchior: My sweet Raven, it's time.
(Cut to a close-up of her and zoom in as she looks toward him, then dissolve to the book's stand. She walks cautiously up to it and finds him facing her; he stands within a ring of open volumes on the floor.)
Malchior: The incantation, just as I taught you. (Raven leans over the pages.)
Raven: (gestures) Hezberek Et Morine... Gost Wenthen Verbis Nex... (Overhead view of Malchior; she continues o.c.) Ind Obrium, Bis Pendrule... (The books glow; back to her.) Paran Sic Cortis Rex!
(Pull back as she finishes the spell. On the last word, thick tendrils of black power stream up behind her, stretching up to the ceiling and nearly the full length of the room, and the light shining from the books intensifies until Malchior is hidden from view. His paper body flies apart within this; as the light washes over the entire room, the book's pages flip madly and Raven gasps in sudden shock. Close-up of a picture on one of them, Malchior's black, long-haired silhouette whose white eyes are the only visible feature. It backs up into the frame, hunching over with a moan of pain as white light envelops it, and a pair of long wings sprouts from the back.)
(She is hurled backward in one split-second flash. When the pages stop turning, the radiance retreats back toward them; lifting her head from the floor, she finds a loose one nearby and picks it up. Close-up: a full-page drawing of the wizard and dragon facing off, each labeled with the appropriate name. After a second, though, the two words fade away and switch places; the one we have known as Malchior is actually Rorek and vice versa.)
Raven: (flabbergasted) You changed it. Malchior wasn't the wizard, he was a... (leaps toward the book) ...No!
(She is flung back by a second blast. Within it, a large, horned, red-eyed silhouette starts to take the shape of the beast she did not name. As she stares in horror at what she has just unleashed, Malchior the dragon extends its forelegs from the maelstrom and digs their claws into the floor. The wings extend as well, their tips digging into the ceiling, and finally, the fire-eyed head emerges to breathe a blistering jet that drives her all the way back to her bed. An instant later, Robin kicks the door off its hinges and leaps in, the rest of the Titans close behind.)
(The entire room shakes; now Malchior has bashed a large hole in the ceiling and is exiting through it. Choking clouds of dust slowly part to reveal a large, black hemispherical shield, which promptly collapses to show Raven kneeling on the floor. She is physically unharmed, but the set of her face says plenty about how torn up she is inside. Her back is to the door.)
Raven: (softly) He lied to me. He lied. And I gave him what he wanted.
Robin: (leading the others to the hole) Come on!
(Starfire airlifts him and Cyborg out; Beast Boy is left alone with the white-clad Titan.)
Beast Boy: Raven, are you--?
Raven: (not moving) Please. Just get out of my room.
(Another tremor hits the place, dropping some debris from above, and he clears out as a falcon. Cut to the exterior of the Tower; the sky has taken on the same green tint as in the prologue's story sequence. After a couple of quiet seconds, a big chunk of the roof blows out, and in a close-up, Malchior climbs out of the structure and belches fire skyward. A cannon shot across the kisser stops it short; here come Robin, Cyborg, and Starfire. She throws the big man straight ahead as he lets go with another blast. The shots put the dragon off balance, but that snaky tail soon whips up to smash him away. He goes flying past Robin.)
(The naturally airborne Titan now flips her other passenger overhead, then heaves him forward. Drawing a birdarang with each hand, he puts them together to form a long sword and scores a fierce slash against the long snout. His next move is a three-disc throw that detonates on the scaly chest, but Malchior gets in a cheap shot that drops him to the roof. It is promptly peppered with starbolts; the shooter is on a strafing run and dodging fire. As she keeps throwing fastballs, Beast Boy dives past and begins a transformation from falcon form. He comes down as a tyrannosaurus rex, landing squarely on the long neck to grapple with Malchior. The battle is short-lived; a smack and throw, and the huge green dinosaur goes skidding across the roof toward Cyborg. The collision sends both flying over the edge in a shower of broken masonry.)
(More starbolts burst on the thick hide, and Starfire zooms past only to get caught in Malchior's snapping jaws. Close-up of her, straining with every bit of energy to keep those deadly teeth from coming down on top of her. A sick glare washes over her, and the camera pulls back as the creature warms up and breathes fire. Cut to a patch of Jump City Bay; she drops into view, screaming and smoking, and splashes gracelessly into the water.)
(Malchior stands triumphantly on the roof of the Tower, but crackles of black energy lance up to strike the snout. They are emerging out of an intact patch, from which Raven rises to meet the challenge.)
Raven: Azarath Metrion Zinthos!
(The bolts explode across Malchior's skull, and it counters with a roar and jet of fire. She flies across the roof, staying just ahead of the incendiary stream, and fires off a shot that explodes against the body. Now a circular section of the architecture is cut away from beneath and levitated so that Raven can rise beneath it; she dived through the roof to take cover, and she heaves the mass forward. It shatters to dust against Malchior's incredibly robust skeleton, whereupon it retaliates with a fresh blast of fire. Follow this over to Raven, who has put up a shield in front of herself; the flames ricochet downward and disappear in a boiling cloud as soon as they hit the water.)
(Taking the shield down, she gains altitude to avoid the next blast and sends a handful of black bolts straight at Malchior. In an instant, they have wreathed the enormous body from head to toe and gone white; it writhes futilely against the bonds, and she dives in for another go. These beams meet a fire breath, and the camera pulls back to a long shot of the smoking Tower to show the two attacks canceling each other out high above the roof. Little by little, Malchior begins to overpower Raven, and then, as she groans under the supreme strain, the standoff ends.)
(She is seized in one giant fist and held high above the Tower as Malchior drifts slowly away from it. Close-up of her, struggling to break loose. Now, when Malchior speaks, the voice is deep and grating, nothing like the cultured tones we have heard throughout this episode.)
Dragon Malchior: (from o.c.) Oh, dear. (Pull back to frame it.) You're not going to cry now, are you? I know it hurts, but you'll just have to accept the truth. It's over. I got what I wanted, and I don't need you anymore.
Raven: It's not over, not yet.
Dragon Malchior: (chuckling derisively) Sweet Raven, you can't possibly hope to defeat me. I taught you everything you know.
Raven: You taught me spells...
(Cut to the hole in the roof. Something floats up out of it under her control; as it moves closer to the camera, it is revealed as Malchior's book.)
Raven: (from o.c.) ...but I just learned a curse. (It lands neatly in her upraised hand.)
Dragon Malchior: NOOOOO!!
(It rears up and unloads an inferno calculated to barbecue her to kingdom come. Long shot of the roof; her power and his again cancel out between them, and as before, she starts to lose the tug-of-war. In a close-up, pulling back slowly, she fends off the fire with one hand and holds the book in the other.)
Raven: Aldruon Enlenthranel Vosolen Lirus-nor!
(The tome glows black as she recites the same spell that imprisoned Malchior ten centuries ago; as she finishes, she thrusts it forward and a wide beam pours from the cover. It plows through the fire, ramming itself down the long throat, and the dragon screams in agony as that dark force breaks out through its thick hide in several places. It hangs in the air for a long moment, then goes entirely black and starts to be pulled toward the open book. Raven is driven backward by the force of this rush; close-up of the pages as the last of the demonic creature is suctioned into them. Finally, she slams the covers together, slowly descends to the roof, and collapses, utterly spent by the magnitude of this showdown.)
(Robin takes a cautious step; cut to an overhead view of Raven and pull back slowly. Her white clothing returns to its normal colors, black outfit and wrist guards, blue everything else, and, as everyone else gathers around, the view dissolves to a long shot of the smashed roof and keeps backing up. A second dissolve puts us in an enclosure devoid of all furniture and features. Raven reaches down into view and sets the white book within it, and the camera cuts to within a chest, pointing up at her. She has just put the thing in here, and now she closes the lid to black out the screen. Snap immediately to her, kneeling in the back corner of her room by the receptacle; she locks it and stands up. A knock at the door shakes her out of the deep, blue funk she is mired in.)
Beast Boy: (from outside) Raven? (Cut to him at the door.) It's me. Look. I'm sorry. (She crosses the room.)
Raven: For what? You're not the one who--
Beast Boy: No. I'm sorry that...he broke your heart.
Raven: I know it was all a lie. But he was the only person who ever made me feel like I wasn't...creepy. And don't try to tell me I'm not.
Beast Boy: Okay. Fine. You're way creepy. But that doesn't mean you have to stay locked in your room. (Cut to Raven; he is heard from outside.) You think you're alone, Raven, but you're not.
(She finally raises her eyes a bit. Cut to the hall; the door opens, and she catches him by surprise with a hug that brings to mind the image of a drowning man clutching a thrown rope for dear life. After several seconds, he disengages himself.)
Beast Boy: Uh...
(He gets no further, as something large is thrown into view to squash against the side of his head. Down he goes, the camera shifting to frame his supine form, with that wad of malodorous clothes from the Stank Ball "commercial" in Act One as the object that laid him out. Cyborg stands a short distance down the hall, one fist raised.)
Cyborg: Whoo-hoo! Stank Ball!
(Beast Boy sits up with a small groan. Pan to Raven as she plucks the dirty clump free and regards it silently. This gives away to a wicked little smile, and she puts her powers over it, she has decided to join the game and take these two jokers to school. Cut to the exterior of the Tower; it is now nighttime, and the sky is its normal color.)
Cyborg: (from inside, unnerved) Now hold on, Raven, don't-- oof!
(Her soft laughter and his disgusted groan overlap. Fade to black.)