* app has elements of abuse and suicidal thoughts towards the end
There has never been a moment in your life where you have known yourself. You have always been lost and confused, searching for something you cannot possibly hope to find. A sense of yourself, a place to belong. You have never had that, and at this rate, you never will.
You start off life lavishly with pretty dresses and the lofty title of “princess.” You’re just a normal girl with a big title attached to your name. You can vaguely remember a family -- a father, a brother, maybe a mother? What you do remember is being told who you’re supposed to be. You’re supposed to be royalty, you’re supposed to act like this, you’re not allowed to act like that. Negative feelings stick out, not so much positive ones. Much of your early life has been forgotten and you’ve been forced to move on past it. You doubt that you’re welcome back there anyway, so what’s the point of trying to keep a hold on something you can no longer have?
You could cope with life until the experiments. Needles and injections, incubating in tanks. Those memories are ones you cannot purge as much as you would like to. If it weren’t for those experiments, maybe you could have had a normal life. Instead, you’re turned into a freak. Your body becomes an Earth-charged weapon, able to manipulate earthly elements with ease. You’re not normal. You’re not normal. You’re not normal. Having these powers thrust upon you, a mere child, so carelessly leaves you unable to figure out how to use them properly. Fear overrides everything else -- specifically, the fear of hurting everyone around you.
You would be unable to forgive yourself if you destroyed your family with your new powers. What if you brought your own home crumbling down into pieces? What if you ended up killing someone? You could not afford to stay around and find out; you run.
You could not have made a worse choice.
From riches to rags, you become a drifter simply known as Terra. You abandon dresses and tiaras for more practical, easy to carry gear. T-shirts, shorts, sneakers. You didn’t exactly acquire such things legally, but that’s hardly here nor there. A nomad, you simply call the Earth itself your home. There is no one place you belong to -- not anymore. At first, you looked for a new permanent home, though.
You met some fine folks in your travels. Families who were willing to take you in and look after you as if you were one of their own, organizations who offered you sanctuary, people your own age who offered to find a home together with you. Everyone you stayed with had their life ruined by you. You created literal earthquakes. You hurt people. You would offer a helping hand only to make a mistake and make everything so much worse. Settling down was simply not an option for you thanks to your hellish powers. You could not stay with anyone for long.
You could not afford to fall in love, you could not afford to see someone as a surrogate parent, and you could not look at anyone as if they were a new family. As much as you yearn for those connections, you cannot put them at risk. You’ve hurt too many people by accident to trust yourself to stay with anyone. Every time you’ve tried to settle in, you’ve inevitably caused a catastrophe and you’re forced to go on the move again.
You meet new people all the time. They always ask for your story. With a cocky smile, you always give them the bare bones of your story: you’re a nomad traveling the world. They don’t get to hear about how you’ve destroyed so much, how you’ve severed ties with so many others, how you’re a freak who’s out of control. Some are drawn to your powers like moths to a flame. They see your abilities as something flashy and cool, but the moment you lose control over them, you panic and run away again. That, or they run first.
You have seen this scene play out too many times. It always starts with someone thinking you’re interesting and they admire you for your powers, ask you for a demonstration. You build a wall of false confidence in an effort to assure yourself that you can safely use your powers. Every single time, something goes wrong and somebody gets hurt, leaving you to flee as far away as you possibly can. You cannot stomach watching yet another person look at you in horror, you cannot stomach hurting someone again. All you have are your feet and the wide open world around you.
And then you meet them.
You’re running yet again when you find the Teen Titans. You show off your powers and immediately, they’re impressed and invite you to join their motley crew. You’ve been running for a bit longer than you normally do, and God, you’re desperate for just a shred of human contact. You need someone to be around. You decide that you’ll stick around with them without too much convincing, at least for a while. You know how it’ll go: you’ll run away again eventually. But for now, you just want to rest and feel like you’re part of something bigger.
They make you feel like family. They treat you like one of them. You get especially close with one particular named Beast Boy. He makes you laugh, he makes you smile, and you can tell her cares about you. You care about him too -- to what extent, you’re not entirely sure -- but you’ve also met plenty of other teens like that in your travels. Boys who make you laugh, girls who tell you you’re pretty; boys who scream at you to get away from them once you can’t control your power, girls who shriek and run in terror once you lose yourself to your power. Relationships have never worked out for you in the past, and they’re unlikely to work now.
Still, some part of you wants to believe something will work this time. You want to believe everything will be fine.
And, as always, everything becomes unraveled.
Beast Boy finds out the truth. He finds out that you can’t control your powers, but before you have the chance to run away, he tells you to stay. He tells you it’s okay. You’ve heard that before. You know what follows. He’s going to leave you. He’s going to regret what he said. Yet, contrary to every experience you’ve had before, you believe him.
He might have been okay with your lack of control over your powers, but would the rest of the Titans? You were doubtful of that. You could have left right then and there and saved yourself some heartache, but instead, your yearning for real friendships won out: you simply asked Beast Boy to not let the rest of the Titans know. If they knew, they’d throw you out for sure. He promised he wouldn’t reveal your secret.
With your secret safe, you accompany the Titans to ambush Slade, a notorious villain the Titans were incredibly familiar with. You attempted to corner him on your own. He doesn’t fight. He only tells you exactly what you want to hear: he can help you. He can teach you how to control these powers that have been thrust upon you so unfairly. You think about taking his offer for a moment. He could help you turn your life around. He could make everyone stop running away. He could make everything hurt so much less.
But you care about the Titans, and so you decline his offer.
He reminds you that once they all find out about your little problem, though, it’s all over. They’ll throw you out, just like everyone else has. That one little reminder sends you into a panic and makes your powers go haywire, flinging rocks everywhere. You’re comforted by Beast Boy, and all of you return to the Titans’ base.
And that’s when you find out Beast Boy lied to you.
The other Titans found out about your lack of control. Furious, you barked and berated him, not willing to believe him when he said he never told them anything. You can’t trust him. You ca’t trust these people. You were so naive, you were such a fool.
And so you run off again. This time, you run right to Slade. You want control. You want to feel welcome. You want to feel safe. You want something that’s like family, a replacement for a father you can barely remember. Slade is all you have right now, and you’ll take what you can possibly get.
He lives up to his offer. He teaches you how to control your powers in exchange for your loyalty. Such a small price to pay, you agree to his terms.
Not a day goes by when you don’t regret taking that offer.
He orders you to return to the Titans. This time, you’re confident with your powers. That’s not fake. But treating them like your friends? That is what is fake. You do not return to them to be their friends. You only return because Slade wants you to infiltrate their ranks. While there’s some difficulty in getting their utter trust, you eventually win them over and they don’t suspect a thing. Guilt eats away at the back of your mind, but you cannot disappoint Slade. You play the part of their friend and in secret, deliver vital information to Slade.
You hate it. You hate that this is the first time in a long time that you’ve had family, and you’re lying to them constantly. They don’t deserve this. You want to come clean so desperately but you absolutely cannot.
One evening, Beast Boy asks you out on a date. At first, you don’t accept. You can’t afford to have feelings right now, you can’t afford to start something, and you sure as hell don’t want to compromise the mission, but your craving for some sort of affection takes over and makes you rethink your decision, and you end up going out with him anyway. A poor decision on your part, as the entire night you worry about Slade finding you and revealing your secret.
Your fears come true, and exactly that happens.
The Titans are no longer your family in a snap. They never really were, though, were they? You have nobody to go to but Slade. In return for your loyalty, he makes you even stronger. He outfits you with an all new suit and trains you even further. You’re far stronger now. You’ve been built to be the Titans’ worst nightmare.
You repeat a mantra to yourself, saying that you’ve done bad things, and you don’t regret it. You think that if you say it enough times, maybe you’ll start believing it.
The next time you meet the Titans, you demolish them. You are merciless, and in your head, you keep telling yourself that they have to be defeated, they have to be stopped, they are not your friends. Slade is all you have left, not them. They try to convince you otherwise, pleading with you, begging for you to stop, but you cannot. It is almost as if you are no longer the host of your own body, working on autopilot as you pummel them and leave them for dead.
You reunite with Slade to tell him the good news, and together, you take over the city. You watch people run from you, and it’s a chillingly familiar sight. People have always run from you in fear, but this time, you were intentionally terrifying them. Such a sight makes you stop and think for just a moment, forcing you to wonder if this is who you want to be. Does it really matter now? You’re stuck like this, and you can’t go back now.
You can’t go back anywhere.
Your victory against the Titans is short-lived, as they return and defeat you, leaving you to limp back to Slade. You’re not met with the praising figure you had grown familiar with. Instead, it is a cold, harsh man with brutal, painful hands that slam across your face. In an instant, you realize that whatever relationship you had wanted with Slade had never existed. There was only ever a shell of what you wanted. Upon this discovery you try to leave, you try to run because running is all you’ve ever known, only to realize that, for once, you physically cannot.
He has you in his grasps. The suit he outfitted you in? It’s connected to your nervous system. He can overtake your every move.
You do your damnedest to fight against him and oh God it’s the most painful thing you’ve ever endured. Trying to fight against this suit grafted into your skin is horrific and you want it to stop. You feel like that same little girl who was made into a scientific experiment years ago, full of pain and wanting everything to stop.
You want to stop.
Against all odds, you still manage to overcome his control through sheer willpower, using your powers to put a stop to him. The earth itself shudders in your wake, forcing an underground volcano to spill from the earth. Slade loses his life to the volcano, and you can’t identify what emotion you feel when you watch him die. You don’t know if you want to know what you feel. Sorrow? Anger? Glee? You don’t know.
You do know that you have to undo your mistake. There is nothing left in this world for you. You are tired of running. You are tired of trying to trust people. You are tired of screwing up consistently. You have to sacrifice yourself to save everyone else. You’ve made so many mistakes and you just want to fix one thing. You don’t think it’ll make up for all the wrong you’ve done. You just want everything over with.
The more you use your powers, the quicker your body becomes one with the earth. It starts with a loss of feeling in your feet as they become stone. Slowly, your whole body becomes encased in stone as you stop the volcano.
There is no more pain. There is no more Terra. There is only a shell that remains.