Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (58/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Lex/Jamie (Jamie does not appear in this chapter), Lana Lang, Lois Lane, Mort Sawyer, Dick/Roy (Roy does not appear in this chapter), Clark/Bruce, Barry Allen, Alfred, Lionel Luthor
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. Clark begins training under the Bat and secrets are uncovered as the Abolitionist Movement makes rapid progress with old and new methods. Can Freedom outrace rumors of War as the Galactic Empire rushes headlong to a new future?
The entire series can be found here.
Genres: AU, Drama, Slavefic
Rating: (this chapter): PG-13
Summary: The lifting of the Kryptonian Hunt Decree affects everyone.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): November 25, 2011
Date Of Posting: March 1, 2013
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2321
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Statement of the
Hunt Decree Committee
22 -- C.E.
Everyone gathered around the TV as they watched Lex make the stunning announcement. Lana stood at his side, looking radiant in a Kelly-green tailored suit. Clark looked at his old friend and was proud. He felt a twinge of guilt at not letting her know that he was alive, but how could he explain remaining as Bruce’s slave without revealing that he was Kryptonian?
“We have lifted the Hunt Decree on all Kryptonians.”
Lois called out, “I thought the Hunt Committee was under investigation?”
“The Kryptonian Control Committee is, not the Hunt Decree Committee.”
The reporters were packed in front of a podium on the steps of the Capitol Building. The golden Statue of Freedom glinted high atop the dome.
“Why was this decision made?” Lois persisted.
“We no longer find the Kryptonians to be a threat.”
“That’s crazy!” shouted a reporter from the back. “Once they get under a yellow sun, it’s curtains for the rest of us!”
“There are very few Kryptonians left. It is a better use of our resources if we concentrate on real threats to our security.”
The persistent reporter came into view as the cameraman found him. He was a stocky man in a rumpled suit, a shock of brown hair tumbling over piercing brown eyes. He wore a loud, ugly tie and at first glance appeared to be a total buffoon, but that was far from the case.
“Isn’t that Mort Sawyer, the right-wing talk radio host?” asked Dick.
“You’re right.” Bruce grimaced. “Not a pleasant sort.”
Sawyer asked, “What could be more threatening than a super-powered Kryptonian?”
“Mr. Sawyer, it’s time to start looking ahead to the future with hope, not fear.”
Bruce could read the small telltale signs of irritation in Lex, though his old friend was good at covering them.
“That’s a load of bullcrap and you know it.”
“Let’s try to stay professional, shall we?”
Bruce’s sympathy factor for Lex went up another notch. Dealing with fanatics of any stripe was taxing.
“We are moving forward, Mr. Sawyer. The Kryptonians’ stance against slavery was a nuisance to the Empire. Let them bloviate. There are too few of them left to make any difference.”
“It only takes one,” growled Sawyer.
“And we have studied the problem and have deemed the threat negligible.” Lex smoothly cut off Sawyer’s objection. “Now let’s give some other folks a chance.”
“Poor Lex,” giggled Dick. “You just know he wants to thump that guy!”
“I don’t blame him,” Bruce said in amusement.
“Isn’t it great, Clark? You’re not under that threat anymore. Lex said the Decree is rescinded and goes in effect immediately.”
“I’m very happy,” Clark said with a smile.
Bruce kept smiling but also didn’t voice his cynicism. Why now? Because as much as he disliked Mort Sawyer, the man was right: all it took was one super-powered Kryptonian to wreak havoc. Clark and Kara were living proof. Were there truly only a handful of survivors? Kara had assured them there was still a considerable number out there, just very well-hidden. Could Lex and his fellow Committee members have been fooled?
I highly doubt that. Lex is relentless in digging out the truth. He looked at Clark. I’m sure he knows about Clark, otherwise why send me all that information? But it’s best that I don’t acknowledge that. With Lionel in the picture, discretion is definitely the better part of valor.
A beeping noise brought him to full alert. “A communication from one of our colleagues.”
The four of them went down to the Batcave, Alfred shutting the TV off as he followed. Bruce keyed in the communication on the computer.
“Hi, guys. I could use the Blur’s help on this one. Gorilla Grodd is causing a bit of trouble here in Central City.”
“I’m on my way, Flash,” Clark assured him.
It was a transformation that never failed to intrigue Bruce when he saw it. Clark whirled at super-speed and ended up in his black costume. He wore the lenses down in his domino mask, hiding his ethereal blue eyes. Bruce would have preferred to see his beautiful eyes but had been the one to suggest the lenses. It was partly vanity, as he liked to be the only one to see those eyes, but partly practical. The less known about superheroes, the better.
Clark said, “I’ll be back soon.” He drew Bruce into a kiss, not of goodbye but of promise. Bruce responded fervently. When they parted, he said, “You’d better be.”
Clark grinned and flew out of the Cave.
“This network of heroes you have seems to be working,” Alfred observed.
“It is, but I’d still like to see more organization.” Bruce sat down at the computer while Dick changed and did some work-out moves on the mat. “A name, for one.”
“I assume names have been bandied about?” Alfred asked as he tidied up the workstations with characteristic efficiency.
“They have, but none seem to quite fit.”
“A pity. A name is essential to group cohesion.”
Bruce smiled. “Yes’ you’re right.” He tapped the keyboard as he brought up The Daily Planet site, reading the news on the dropping of the Hunt Decree and comparing it with The Gotham Gazette’s coverage. “I suppose eventually we’ll come up with something.”
Alfred stood just behind his chair. “A momentous day.”
“Yes.” In the flurry of activity surrounding Flash’s S.O.S., the full import of the news hadn’t sunk in yet “We’re living in interesting times, my friend.”
Alfred put his hand on Bruce’s shoulder and squeezed.
After the press conference, Lex and Lana went to her Senate office. Once away from the press of reporters, Lex flopped into the chair in front of Lana’s desk and accepted the glass of Saurian brandy that she handed him. The burning felt good as it went down his throat.
“Who let that twit Sawyer in?”
Lana laughed. “Power of the press, Lex.”
Lex grimaced and took another drink. Definitely good stuff. “Yeah, well, he’s a right-wing demagogue, not a reporter.”
“He can yammer all he wants but it’ll do him no good.” Lana sat behind her desk and took a sip of brandy.
“He can stir up the nutcases.”
She waved a hand negligently. “There are plenty of those out there already.”
“They can cause trouble.”
“Let them.” Lana took another sip. “The tide of history is turning, my friend.”
Lex smirked. “You don’t feel guilty about our ulterior motives?”
“Nope.” Lana’s green eyes glittered. “If that ulterior motive helps the Cause, I’ll use it.”
“Spoken like a true politician.”
“Hey, watch the insults.”
Lex smirked and swirled the brandy in his snifter. “Truly, Lana, you play the game well.” His eyes were shrewd. “You sniffed out the Kadoran threat.”
“I have my sources,” she said smugly. “I know the Kadorans are always saber-rattling but this time the evidence is pretty strong that they’re amping up for actual invasion.”
“Not surprising.” Lex started down into his drink. “If the Kadorans do attack, having Kryptonians on our side could help.”
“Of course, people would say, why should they after the Government Hunted them for years? But even if one of them helps, it’ll be worth it.”
“I wish I could have seen Elias Stark’s face when he heard the news.”
Lana laughed. “Me, too!” She finished her drink. “But lifting the Decree on the Kryptonians is the right thing to do. We’re finally moving forward as a society. Executing people simply because they advocate freedom for slaves has always been barbaric and with the Abolitionist Movement finally starting to make headway, it’s even more absurd.”
Lex considered that. “But what if the Kryptonians decide to ally with the Kadorans out of revenge?”
“They could, but I’m banking on that throughout these years since Krypton exploded, they’re formed ties here and would be willing to help defend us.”
Lex thought immediately of Clark. There was a good possibility that he would do what Lana hoped.
He certainly has ties to Earth.
“Well, let’s hope this removal of the Hunt Decree doesn’t blow up in our faces.” Lex finished his drink and stood up. “We do good work together.”
Lana stood and shook Lex’s hand. “Glad doing business with you, Lex.”
“I’ve got to get back to Jamie. My chauffeur’s protecting him but I don’t like to have my slave out of my sight too long.”
“Understandable. Keep in touch.”
After Lex had gone, Lana swiveled her chair to look down the tree-lined avenue in the direction of the White House. She swirled the brandy in her snifter, the ribbons of light rippling in the amber liquid.
Lex had done good work. He had spearheaded the drive to lift the Hunt Decree on Kryptonians. The Kryptonian Control Committee was in a shambles, so he had been able to devote his energies to his original committee. When she had shown him the evidence of the probable Kadoran invasion, he had been all in.
You’re safer now, Clark.
She sipped the brandy, enjoying the warm, burning sensation sliding down her throat. When she had seen the documentation listing a Kryptonian being sold to Bruce Wayne by Silas Bracken, she had quietly investigated further. It had been extremely lucky that she had been the only one to see that document. Any unscrupulous person could have ruined Bruce. No one would have believed that he hadn’t known that his cherished pleasure slave was a Kryptonian right from the beginning.
Further digging had uncovered something even more astonishing: her old friend from Smallville was the Kryptonian! The missing Clark Kent was the drugged, de-powered slave illegally sold to the unsuspecting Bruce Wayne.
Talk about trying to wrap you head around something!
Lana sipped her brandy. She had remembered the shy, gentle Clark from their lives together in the idyllic small town, even dating for awhile in high school. She had never suspected his Secret, but looking back, there had been signs.
Her first instinct had been to immediately tell Martha and Jonathan, but had held off. They had to be privy to the Secret, of course. They had raised Clark since he was a baby.
They probably already knew where he was.
Lana had noted the visit of Bruce Wayne and his Household to the Kent Farm, his pleasure slave in tow. And when he had departed, the slave had remained behind. That had merely confirmed her speculation.
She could guess why Clark remained with Bruce. Technically, Bruce could not free him since he no longer had a homeworld to direct a petition to, but she knew Clark. He was a romantic at heart, and she had no doubt that he had fallen in love with his Master.
Just like you, Clark, she thought in fond amusement.
She would let him keep all of his Secrets and protect him.
Lionel shut off the TV in satisfaction. Truly Lex had exceeded his expectations.
He sat back in his chair. He had to give his son credit in the way that he had handled the press conference, especially that cretin Mort Sawyer. Lex had a quick tongue and quicker mind. He had shown himself to be worthy of the Luthor name, at least this time.
Lionel poured himself a glass of Aldebaran wine and savored its rich, full-bodied flavor. Working with Lana Lang had been a shrewd move on his son’s part. Of all the movers and shakers in Washington, she was one of the craftiest. He had kept an eye on her for years.
Redheads seem to get things done, he thought with a smirk, the images of Martha Kent and Kathy Kane coming to mind. His own Lex had been a redhead before he lost his hair.
Society was changing, and it behooved a man to know his place as the tide turned. Despite the powerful forces aligned in slavery’s favor, he knew that the cause of freedom was a tantalizing one. Minds were beginning to be changed, partly due to the cleverness of the redheads.
A pity they don’t use all those brains and savvy to amass power.
Still, they were useful to him. Their success could bring him more power than even he had dreamed.
Oh, Lex, as brilliant as you are, you let sentiment get in the way of power. That will be your downfall but my advantage.
Lionel sipped his wine. It was not overly sweet. Its rich, full body appealed to his palate.
You have great power in your hands right now, Lex, but you’re too weak to use it. He chuckled. You must be slipping, son. Surely you realized that I have ways of getting information.
Lionel clicked on his sound system, the sounds of the renowned coloratura Maria Rossetti singing opera filling the office. He looked out over Metropolis as dusk began to fall over the city, stars beginning to twinkle in the violet sky.
Lex concerns himself far too much with his pleasure slave’s welfare. He misses vital information or pieces of the puzzle because he’s so concerned with that comely piece of ass.
He had to admit that the slave was worthy of distraction. And as long as Lex worried about his Prize’s safety, more distraction would ensue. And if Lionel threatened to take Jamie, Lex would be consumed with being a White Knight.
Lionel took another sip. He had to use his information wisely and at the right time.
Lex, Lex, Lex. Surely you know that there are ways in this world to get secret documents. I don’t know for sure, but I’d bet that Lana Lang has obtained certain documents from the beleaguered Kryptonian Control Committee. After all, I did.
Lionel laughed as dusk turned to evening and dreams of great power danced like glittering sugarplums in his head.