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City of Heroes Fan Fiction by: DaShuk2381

Chapter 1: Origins and Discoveries

I.

“Come on girl, you know this,” she said to herself as she re-read the
question for the 4th time, “you just read 3 chapters on it.” Titiana Mayes
was stressed. She had a psychology final in an hour and as usual she had
waited until the last minute to review her notes and practice exam. She had
thought the Paragon University Library would be a haven for her to get some
work done, but so far she was having problems concentrating. “Who
implemented the first study of psychoanalysis…..oh the hell with this, I
give up,” she thought and abruptly closed her textbook, a tad too loudly
apparently, as several other students glanced in her direction with general
looks of distaste. “What the heck was I thinking, choosing this major,” she
thought to herself as she removed her wide framed wire rimmed glasses and
ran her hands through her long auburn hair. She noticed that one of the
students who had glanced at her when she closed her book was shooting her a
glance every once in awhile. “Oh lord, he’s checking me out,” She thought,
“I hope I look ok in this get up.” She quickly glanced down to ensure her
outfit looked proper and to make sure the young man wasn’t staring at an ink
stain or something else on her shirt. She was a bit overdressed compared to
most of the girls on campus, who enjoyed running around in short skirts and
revealing tops. Titiana enjoyed dressing up, she loved the feeling of exotic
fabrics and always tried to dress as nicely and as neatly as she could.
Tonight she had decided to go a little casual and was clad in her favorite
white button down shirt with a light blue v-neck knit sweater and a pair of
blue jeans. The top two buttons of her shirt were unbuttoned and she wore a
tan colored choker around her neck. A brown cloth belt and a pair of white
tennis shoes completed her outfit. Her shirttails hung out from under her
sweater as she had felt too laid back to tuck them in. After ensuring she
looked ok she glanced back at the young man across the room and caught him
checking her out again. He flashed a smile and she smiled back, then blushed
and quickly looked away. “Oh I’m so darned awkward,” she said to herself as
she re-opened her book to a random page and attempted to fake that she was
studying.


II.

He had been caught and he knew it. He gave her a sheepish smile and then
laughed to himself as she blushed and went back to reading her textbook.
Derek Jackson was bored. He had come to the library to try to read a few
chapters of his history assignment and to meet with his calculus tutor. The
tutor had phoned him and said he couldn’t make it tonight and his history
book was still sitting on the first page of the new chapter. Instead of
studying he had wandered around the library, checking out the newest
additions in the periodicals section and seeing if there were any new books
in the sci-fi area. He had grabbed the latest issue of Paragon Sports
Monthly and had returned to his table to catch up on the latest sports news
when he noticed an attractive young woman sitting a few tables away. She was
neatly dressed in a pair of jeans and a button down shirt with a blue
pullover sweater, and had the most beautiful auburn hair. Unlike most of the
guys on campus, Derek wasn’t interested in the stereotypical blonde haired
girl, dressed in the most revealing outfit. He was attracted to women who
could hold a conversation past the word hello. The young lady looked
stressed out and appeared to be cramming for a test. “What the heck, maybe
it’s something I can help her with,” he thought to himself for a minute,
before sliding out of his chair. “Hmm…now if I can just think of a good
opening line,” he thought. Derek was horrible at this. He was shy when it
came to the opposite sex and for good reason. He had been burned in the past
for being too nice. “Ah excellent,” he thought as he spotted a conversation
starter. He gathered himself and leisurely strolled towards the pretty
auburn haired young woman.


III.

“Oh lord he’s coming over here,” she thought nervously. “Oh well, at least
he’s cute and he’s not some knuckleheaded frat boy, maybe this is the guy I
can’t scare away with intelligent conversation for once.” She was still
nervous, she always was. She had only been out of the orphanage for about 4
months and was still getting used to interacting with people on an everyday
basis. She shuddered at the thought of the orphanage and silently hoped that
the looming conversation wouldn’t head in the direction of where she was
from. “Kind of hard to read with out these ya know?” She looked up and
realized he was holding her glasses which she had taken off before slamming
her book shut. “You are such a dork,” she thought to herself, “pretending to
read without glasses…nice move girl.” She looked up at him. He was about six
foot four inches tall and was wearing a heather gray fleece sweatshirt and
gray sweatpants, which his athletic and muscular frame filled out nicely. He
wore a silver chain under his sweatshirt. He had short red hair and a full,
but neatly trimmed beard of the same color. “Thanks,” she said and paused as
if searching for his name. “Derek,” he finished her sentence for her and
handed her the glasses. “Derek Jackson, but you can call me Derek or D or
whatever you like,” he said. “Thanks Derek,” she said, “I’m Titiana, care to
join me in my wonderful world of psychology?” He chuckled for a minute and
then responded, “well I normally wouldn’t turn down an invitation from such
an intelligent and pretty young lady, but you look like you have something
important to study for.” She was disappointed that he had turned down her
offer, but was surprised as he suddenly said, “however, after you finish up
whatever it is you are working on, I was wondering if you might want to grab
a drink or two, or something to eat.” She fidgeted nervously for a minute,
but found her voice and replied, “well sure, my exam probably won’t be over
until nine thirty or so, but it is Friday night and I don’t really have any
plans.” “Great,” he said as he smiled, “meet you at the Hole n’ The Wall
around ten?” Her mood improved instantly as he mentioned the Hole n’ The
Wall. It was one of her favorite places to eat and relax. “That sounds
great!” she exclaimed. “Looking forward to it, it was very nice meeting you
Titiana, and good luck on your exam,” He said as he excused himself from the
table. Her eyes followed him as he left the library and she blushed again as
he turned and smiled at her before walking out. “This may prove to be an
interesting night,” she thought to herself.


IV.

Titiana hummed to herself as she walked home from the Hole n’ The Wall. Her
night has been interesting to say the least. The psychology exam had gone
ok, she didn’t think she bombed it, but wasn’t sure that she did all that
great either. She hadn’t cared though, all she could think about during the
test was her late night rendezvous with her new friend. Her date with Derek
had gone surprisingly well, compared to what she was used to. Since she was
still getting used to her new life, Titiana wasn’t used to the opposite sex
and was afraid of their motives and methods of achieving them. Most of the
guys she had dated so far had tried to move way to fast for her and when she
tried to explain why she was uncomfortable they usually disappeared never to
be heard from again. Derek had been a pleasant surprise. He was pretty laid
back and easy to talk to. He made her feel comfortable and seemed to have
the perfect sense of humor. He had charmed her all night with his silly
jokes and assortment of compliments ranging from how pretty her smile was to
how interesting her topics of discussion were. He had revealed quite a bit
about himself rather than just give her the run of the mill background
information. He had told her how he was adopted before birth, that he didn’t
know his real parents and his adopted parents died in a car accident on the
way home from the hospital. Somehow he had miraculously survived the
accident unscathed, but he spent the majority of his life in an orphanage as
she had. After listening to his story she herself had opened up and told him
her tale, how her single mother had died during childbirth and since she had
no surviving relatives she was forced to live with foster parents. Her
foster mother was an alcoholic and her foster father had beaten and abused
her. When she was eight years old, a social worker removed her from her home
and placed her in an orphanage, where she had stayed until the age of
twenty. She had only now begun to live on her own and experience what life
was like outside of foster care. The orphanage had provided her with a
donation to get her life started and Paragon University had offered her a
scholarship with full room and board, which she had quickly accepted. Most
people had shied away from her after hearing about her past, but Derek was
interested and supportive and she didn’t mind discussing it with him since
he had dealt with almost the same thing. After a few drinks and shared
basket of nachos, she began to get a little tired and suggested they head
back to her apartment to watch television. Surprisingly Derek had turned
down her offer and instead asked her if she would join him for dinner the
next evening. She agreed and they went their separate ways after she turned
down his offer for a ride home. It was a nice evening and she wanted to
enjoy the moon lit night. She gave him her apartment phone number and told
him to let her know the plans for the next evening


V.

“Well at least that went well,” Derek thought to himself as he walked
towards his car in the parking lot of the Hole n’ The Wall. “I hope she
doesn’t think I’m weird because I didn’t go to her apartment,” he thought to
himself. Most guys would kill for the chance to go home with a girl like
that on the first date, but he knew better. He understood how she was
feeling and how lonely she had been her first few months out of the
orphanage. He didn’t want to seem like he was trying to take advantage of
her situation or make her feel uncomfortable. It was interesting how similar
their life stories were and he was glad he had found someone he could talk
with about his experiences and not feel judged. He strolled towards his car,
a 2005 Dodge Neon SXT. He unlocked the driver side door and got in. He was
about to start the car when a strange feeling came over him. “That’s weird
he thought….I haven’t felt like this since…oh boy.” Something bad was about
to happen, he was sure of it. Every so often he had these feelings of
unrest, which were always followed by a disaster or accident or an event
that wasn’t very good for anyone involved with it. “Ah maybe it’s nothing,”
he thought as he fired up the ignition. A good drive was all he needed to
relieve his anxiety. Driving his car always calmed him down, the sound of
the engine and the wind whipping through the windows just made him feel
better. That and thoughts of his new friend, Titiana. Derek couldn’t wait to
take her out to dinner the next night. He happily turned up the radio and
rolled down his windows. As he started to pull out of the parking lot he
thought he heard something, a woman’s scream perhaps. He turned down the
radio and listened intently. Again he heard a woman’s scream. It sounded
like it was coming from the sidewalk down the street. “I hate being right
all the time,” He thought to himself as he re-parked his car. He got out of
the Dodge and stood still for a minute, almost as if he was concentrating on
something. Suddenly there was a brilliant flash and he leapt into the night
sky.


VII.

“AUUUUUGH,” Titiana screamed out, as an intense burning sensation exploded
in her left shoulder. Her peaceful moon lit walk home had been abruptly
ruined. “Oh my God,” she said weakly as she noticed the butt end of a metal
arrow protruding from her left shoulder. A large, visible bloodstain was
already appearing on her sweater, emanating from where the arrow had buried
itself into her flesh. She began to feel light headed and her knees buckled.
She collapsed on the cold, hard sidewalk and lay there motionless. As she
frantically looked around for someone to help her she noticed something
horrifying. Three humanoid figures emerged from the shadows, two of them
holding loaded crossbows and the third reloading what appeared to the one
she had been shot with. They wore long dark brown robes and had no visible
facial features, save for their evil greenish eyes. “Whh…Who are you,” She
stammered, as the figures approached her. One of them began to laugh
devilishly as he lowered his crossbow towards her. “Nuh…No, pl…please don…”
was all she could manage before he sadistically pulled the trigger.
“AHHHHHHGH,” she screamed in pain and recoiled as the second arrow buried
itself into her flesh, just to the left of her belly button. The pain was
incredible and unlike anything she had ever felt. Her body went limp and
sank back to the sidewalk. Her mind began to glaze over with thoughts of
death and pain. The robed figures stood over her and glared down on her
motionless form with their piercing green eyes. “Should we finish it, or let
her suffer in the final moments,” one of them gurgled to the others, in a
voice amazingly human like. “Let her suffer,” one of the others gurgled
back. “We’ve spent far too much time and effort trying to locate the chosen
one, watching her life force expire and stealing her soul is our reward.”
“Indeed,” the third figure said, “if not for her powers finally beginning to
manifest on her twentieth birthday, we may never have found her.” Titiana
barely heard any of their strange conversation, she was too focused on the
pain that was wracking her body. She began to cough up blood and she could
feel her senses leaving her. “She is nearly ready for soul extraction,” one
of the robed men said. Suddenly one of the robed figures glanced into the
sky. “Wait, I sense…” He never finished his sentence as a flaming sword bore
into his face with blinding speed and amazing accuracy. A strange demon like
wail came from the figure as his body slowly melted away. The sword vanished
and the other two figures frantically scanned the skies in disbelief.
“GRRAAAGH,” one of the men howled as the sword reappeared, this time
protruding through his stomach. His body caught fire and vanished into ashes
in mere seconds. The third figure decided it was not worth waiting around to
find out what was going on and fled. The bizarre turn of events had barely
registered with Titiana as she was quickly fading away. She sensed another
person looming over her but her vision was too blurry to make him out. “This
is going to hurt just a bit, but hang in there for a few more minutes and
the medicopter will be here,” he said. The incredible pain Titiana had felt
before flared up again as the strange man reached down and carefully removed
the metal arrows from her tortured flesh. “Oooohh,” a soft moan was all she
could manage, she was too weak to scream. After removing the arrows the man
placed his hands on her wounds and it felt as if she was on fire for a brief
moment. “Sorry about that, but I had to cauterize those wounds of yours
before you lost too much blood,” he exclaimed. Tears streamed down her face
as her battered body was gathered up and cradled into a pair of strong arms.
“Hang in there kiddo,” he said before speaking into some type of radio
device, “Azuria, I’ve found her and she’s in bad shape, but I think she’ll
make it, get the chopper over here now!” Titiana had no idea what was
happening, all she could think about or feel was pain, everywhere. Slowly
she began to lose consciousness and the merciful slumber of death began to
pull her into its grasp. Titiana’s world went black.


VIII.

“Well it looks like she is going to pull through alright after all,” the
young woman in a purple robe remarked. “Thank you for your timely
intervention Flame Scythe, I will see to it that she is well taken care of
and will explain everything to her when she has recovered sufficiently.” “No
problem Azuria,” he replied, “I just wonder why the Circle of Thorns wanted
her dead so badly that they were willing to tread this deep into Atlas
Park?” “All in due time my dear, but for now we will let her rest.” Derek
was confused to say the least. After hearing the woman’s screams he had
quickly morphed into his other identity, Flame Scythe, an invulnerable hero
who had the abilities to manipulate fire into formidable weapons. He had
come upon a trio of Circle of Thorns archers as they attacked a young woman.
He was shocked and enraged when he saw that the woman was Titiana. Acting as
quickly as he could he took out two of the archers with almost no effort,
but was unable to do so before they were able to inflict great bodily harm
to Titiana. Her injuries were enough to kill most normal people, but somehow
she had survived, although it had been hit or miss on the ride to the
hospital aboard the medicopter. He had accompanied her to the hospital and
stayed in the waiting room with Azuria until her condition stabilized.
Azuria was being awfully hush hush about everything and he didn’t bother to
inquire as to why. He knew how most mages and magically gifted people were,
they kept the details to themselves because normally what they would have
say was too complicated or horrifying for one to even fathom. As he left the
hospital he waited until he was out of sight and switched back to his
everyday alter ego. “I guess this means our date is off for tomorrow night,”
he thought. He was worried about Titiana. He knew she would pull through ok
at the hospital, but he sensed that her life was about to take another
unwanted turn. “I just hope I have the chance to be there for her and help
her deal with this,” he thought. As he neared the parking lot of the Hole n’
The Wall, he thought about how this night had suddenly taken a turn for the
worse. “I have a feeling we’re just getting started,” he said aloud before
getting into his car. He backed out of the parking lot and hammered the gas
pedal, speeding off into the darkness of the night.


IX.

Light. Intensely bright light. As she slowly opened her eyes she was
bombarded with the bright lights of the hospital room. Titiana slowly came
to and her senses began to register her new surroundings. “Ah excellent,
you’re awake,” came a friendly feminine voice. A woman dressed in a purple
tank top and gray sweatpants strode into the room, a multicolored necklace
dangling around her neck. “My name is Azuria, and I am one of the many mages
who oversees the protection of Paragon City,” she said. Titiana was in no
mood for small talk and quickly asked, “What is going on here, what’s
happening to me?” “Well my dear, this may take a while to explain, and you
may not like what you are about to hear, but please listen to my words,”
Azuria remarked. “This woman is crazy, I’m crazy, what the hell is going
on?? I hope I didn’t miss my date with Derek, ugh I’m a mess,” were the
thoughts steamrolling through Titiana’s mind. “Alright, I suppose I don’t
really have anything better to do, spill it,” She exclaimed.

“No…it’s not true, it can’t be, No!!!” Titiana cried as she tried to make
sense of the story Azuria had just told her. “This is impossible, you can’t
possibly expect me to believe this, or pretend to believe it!!” “I’m sorry
my dear, but the fates have chosen you and you cannot refuse their call, I’m
afraid it is true and there is no alternative, you will begin your training
tomorrow afternoon,” Azuria remarked. Titiana buried her face in her hands
and began to sob as painful reality sank in. “I’m sorry Titiana, I know you
are confused and feel alone, but I assure you that you will see this is for
the better, all in due time.” “For now I must leave you, but I will see you
again tomorrow to begin your teachings, farewell.” Azuria’s words barely
registered in Titiana’s mind, she was too busy recalling the details of the
story she had just been told. The story of how she was somehow related to an
ancient all female guild of mages known as the Necromancer’s, a guild that
had long against the Circle of Thorns, a group of evil mages hell bent on
summoning ultimate destruction to the planet Earth and Paragon City. These
were the men that had attacked her. Azuria explained to her that the
Necromancer’s had long protected the planet against the Circle and told her
of their sudden and horrific end at the hands of the Circle and their
spectral demon lords. She listened in shock as it was explained to her that
her mother, the last surviving Necromancer, had died while they performed an
operation to prematurely remove her from the womb, that her mother had been
hunted by the Circle and had barely survived their latest attack. Azuria
told her she had been placed at the orphanage as a form of protective
custody, hidden away so the Circle could not find her and kill her before
she was old enough to be a threat to them. On her twentieth birthday her
powers began to manifest as was customary for mages in the guild. The
Circle’s mages had sensed her powers and sent out a team to kill her before
she could be told who she was. Now she was expected to take up the mantle as
the last surviving Necromancer. She was so confused and lost. “Powers?? What
powers??” she thought to herself. “I’m not a hero or a witch or mage or
whatever the heck she thinks I am!” “Ugh, everything in my life is always
out of my control, and just when it seemed like things were settling down.”
The way she looked at it she really had no choice. Azuria had told her that
she would be able to resume her normal life after her training was complete,
but that she would have new responsibilities as a hero of Paragon City.
Everything had been worked out with the university and she had been given
passing grades for the semester. There was actually a small hint of
excitement in her mind as she wondered what these powers were that she
supposedly possessed. “Well, at least I get to pick out a new outfit,” she
thought to herself, somewhat amused.


X.

Titiana was tired, dog tired. Her training had been rigorous and
frustrating. Azuria had become more of a drill instructor to her than a
friend in the past ten days and Titiana was growing tired of being
constantly ridiculed. “Oh well,” she thought, just one more thing to do and
I’m done…hopefully.” She was in what appeared to be a small shooting range,
in the back of Azuria’s office in Paragon City Hall. There were lifelike
targets all around her, mostly Hellion and Skull gang members and a few
Circle of Thorn mages. “GO!!!” Azuria suddenly barked over the intercom.
Titiana concentrated for a second and then extended her hand towards the
group of Hellions. There was a wooshing sound and the floor beneath took on
a black, mucky appearance. She extended her hand again and several blasts of
dark mystical energy exploded from her hands and enveloped the targets. She
quickly spun around and threw her arms out towards the group of Circle
mages. The floor opened below them and several dark, serpentine tentacles
exploded upwards and entangled the mages. She finished them off with her
dark blasts and stood ready for the next threat. “Excellent!” Azuria
exclaimed as she ran into the room. Relief flooded Titiana’s mind. She had
done it, she was finished with her training, at least for now. Under
Azuria’s watchful eye she had mastered the basic powers of Dark Miasma and
was now ready to learn on her own. She was expecting some type of ceremony
with bells and whistles and the whole nine yards, but Azuria simply told her
congratulations and that she was proud of her for sticking it out. Titiana
was disappointed because despite her mastery of her new powers, she didn’t
really feel anything at all. “Remember, don’t forget to call Serge and make
an appointment at Icon over in Steel Canyon tonight to pick out your
costume, then you’re all set.” “You can of course contact me anytime you
need help with your powers or need someone to call a friend,” Azuria said.
Titiana’s mood suddenly changed for the better and she smiled as she thanked
Azuria for her help. “I hope I don’t let you down and I will do my best to
carry on the mantle of the Necromancer’s,” she said. “Go now my child, and
may the spirit of Titiana Moon Shadow burn brightly amongst the darkness of
evil!” Azuria exclaimed as Titiana walked out of the room. It was the first
time anyone had used her hero name. Titiana smiled as she took out her new
cell phone and dialed the number for Icon.

“Welcome my lady,” exclaimed the well dressed middle aged man from across
the counter. “My name is Serge and Azuria has told me to help set you up
with a costume of your liking!” He had pointed her in the direction of the
changing room, pressed a few buttons on a wall panel and the next thing she
knew, the room was filled with rack upon rack of clothing selections. There
was spandex galore, capes, helmets, hair pieces, boots, pants, belts,
everything. Titiana was in heaven. “I might need….just a few minutes,” She
happily said. “Take your time my dear, and remember, each piece you select
will automatically be custom fit to your body size and type, have fun and
let me know when you have made your selection!” With that Serge left the
room and closed the door behind him. It took her almost an hour, but Titiana
finally found an outfit she liked. She had seen a lot of Paragon City’s
female heroes, and most of them flew around in skin tight spandex with
revealing shorts or mini skirts. While she wanted to make a fashion
statement, Titiana wanted something a little more practical. After laying
out all the pieces of her costume, Titiana peeled herself out of the catsuit
she had been wearing for her training and took a quick look at herself in
the mirror. With nothing but her sports bra and panties on, she could see
the changes her body had gone through. She now had a well defined yet petite
six pack and the rest of her body looked healthy and toned. “Too bad I’m
going to be covering this all up,” She thought to herself, “well at least
most of it anyways.” She pulled the white dress shirt from the costume rack
and slipped her slender arms into it. She buttoned the sleeve cuffs and then
buttoned the shirt all the way up to the collar. She was amazed, as the
fabric seemed to change to form a perfect fit with her body. She pulled a
dark brown tie off of the rack next and slipped it through her button
collar. She tied it off with a perfect windsor knot and snuggled it up to
her collar button. Next she took a light brown and gray plaid skirt from the
rack and slipped it up her well toned legs. After tucking in her dress
shirt, she fastened her skirt and it immediately formed to her slim waist
and hips. She slipped a metallic V belt around her waste and buckled it with
a secret closure near her waist. Then she pulled a custom-made brown and
gray leather vest from the rack. The vest had built in armored shoulder pads
that were intimidating, but did nothing to detract from her sophisticated
and classy look. Finally she pulled on a pair of gray calf length leather
boots. She laced them up with black laces and tied them off. The boots had a
barely visible  flame pattern stitched into them, in recognition of the hero
who had saved her life a few weeks back. She had thought about fishnet
stockings with her boot and skirt combo, but decided that she didn’t want to
look like a school girl or worse. She took one final glance in the mirror to
check her costume. She adjusted her tie so that it was more snug against her
neckline and then shrugged her shoulders a few times to get the feel of the
armored shoulder pads on her vest. Satisfied she opened the fitting room
door and slowly walked into the main area of the Icon store. There was a
note from Serge on the desk she had come to at first. It read, “sorry, but
Ms. Liberty stopped by for a tailoring session, good luck on your hero
career and be sure to stop by Icon again for your costume needs.” “Well I
guess this is it,” she thought to herself, “I’m official.” Feeling much too
tired to patrol that night, she decided she would head home and relax, after
all, she deserved it. Soon though, Paragon City would learn the name of
Titiana Moon Shadow.

Character info: http://www.geocities.com/eternalserenity23/titiana.html




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