Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Hal/Steve, Iris West, Althor and his slave
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. As Bruce and Clark try and adjust to being lovers as well as Master and slave, on a warm spring night a new member of the Wayne Household is added: a little boy whom Bruce sadly identifies with. Dick Grayson further pushes Bruce along the path of Abolitionism as the child brings further Light into the Manor. The entire series can be found here.
Genres: Drama, AU
Rating: (this chapter): PG-13
Summary: Steve and Hal are on a mission in the Outer Rim.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): September 13, 2007
Date Of Posting: May 19, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 793 + 859 + 1327 (Total: 2979)
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Of The House
THE STARS FLY BY
“Royal Family? Is Althor a Prince?” Steve asked.
“He’s a cousin of King Jodelle. He’s a Favored One, and will be helping with the planning of the Royal Wedding this fall.”
“That’s right, it’s been the buzz of the gossip circuit for months.” Hal looked at his companions. “What? It’s all over the news!”
Iris and Steve snickered.
“Javelin, request ETA,” crackled the subspace radio.
“Cestus III, we’ll be there in six hours.”
“See you then.”
“Well, looks like we’ll have plenty of time for dinner.” Curiosity lit Steve’s eyes. “Is the word Ja’zel Jovaran for slave?”
“It’s more like their word for Prize.”
“So this slave is a pleasure slave?”
“Definitely, the way he’s dressed.”
“How can you tell it’s a male under all those robes?”
“The heavier set of headdress beads are on the right. A left set indicates a female.”
“Jovaran society is interesting. Like just about every society, they practice slavery, but they value slaves far beyond just monetary value. They treasure them, and not just pleasure slaves. They have laws protecting them from abuse, for instance, as in beating them simply on a Master’s whim. Punishment is allowed, but there has to be a reason.” Iris crossed her legs. “An owner has tremendous power over a slave, but it isn’t as total as a Human Master.”
“So they can’t mutilate their slaves just for the hell of it?” Hal asked bitterly.
Irish shook her head. “And no underlegal sex.”
Steve frowned. “We don’t allow underlegal sex.”
“Don’t be fooled, Steve. A lot more freemen than you think don’t honor that rule.”
Steve sighed. “I suppose.”
“Jovarans have strict rules for slave and Master behavior. The freemen value their slaves, though they don’t allow disobedience.”
“Is Veiling common?”
“Yes. Alll Ja’zel must be Veiled.” She smiled. “Unless it’s a Ja’zzana Banqua.”
“What’s that?” Hal asked in amusement.
“Let me guess. Translation: orgy.”
Iris laughed. “One hundred percent correct.”
“Well, can’t fault ‘em for having a little fun.”
Althor joined them for the meal Steve and Iris prepared. Hal put the ship on autopilot and joined them as Althor’s slave did, too. Steve wondered if Althor would direct his slave to sit at his feet, but the Jovaran asked, “Any objections to my slave sitting at table?” There were none, so the Veiled slave sat beside his Master.
Conversation was light and easy, Steve glad that Althor was so personable. He’d been around royalty before, and it could be an uncomfortable situation.
Althor reminded him of Bruce. While the title Prince of Gotham was an honorific because he was an American, Steve recognized the man’s descent from a noble lineage.
Bruce could be haughty, but he was respectful of other people. While he was accustomed to a wealthy lifestyle, he seemed able to relate to people of different classes. He treated his slaves well, too.
Althor was pleased by the food, a collection of Earth and Gemonese fruits and vegetables.
“So, Ambassador, I assume your mission went well?”
“It did, Lord Althor. I suppose my appointment was all over the news.”
“Yes, it was. They did not want to keep it a secret, I see.”
Iris smiled. “If they had, I would have been picked up in cloak-and-dagger style.”
“Lucky for us, then.”
Iris smiled again, plying her charm. Steve decided her boyfriend was lucky, too.
“So the wedding is the big item on the social calendar,” Hal observed.
“Quite easily the social event of the season,” Althor said with a smile.
“Now, is King Jodelle marrying royalty?”
“Yes. Prince Jovan is from another branch of the House of Jorelle, but far enough away that intermarriage is not an issue.”
“What will the couple do for an heir?”
“Adoption from elsewhere in the family, or a woman of royal blood will become a surrogate. She would be a Queen-Regnant and occupy a rare place of honor.”
“Sounds very practical and workable,” Steve said.
“Very.” Althor sipped his wine. “In the distant past, there were bloody wars of succession until someone was smart enough to realize how wasteful it all was. It became traditional for either the King or Queen of the Ruling House to marry the same gender and then pursue the avenues I mentioned. Since a direct blood heir was not required, there was less intrigue, and the Queen-Regnant has a position of honor, not power.”
“Sounds like you’re satisfied with this cultural arrangement.”
“Very much so. Our planet has been at peace for a hundred years.”
“But you’ve provided Warrior s for Galactic wars,” Hal said.
“Yes. As part of the Empire, we have an obligation to protect it as well as share in its bounty.”
“Admirable attitude, m’lord.”
« Yes. A pity not all races believe the same. »
Hal raised his wineglass. “Do you mean the Vulcans and Kryptonians?”
“Well, they are two different cases.” Althor toyed with a slice of cucumber. “The Vulcans practice slavery but dislike the militaristic aspect of the Empire. They prefer resolving disputes through diplomacy and intellectual means.”
“But they’re great Warriors.”
Althor smiled. “The fiercest we have.”
“Some do serve in Starfleet.”
“Some.” Althor pushed the salt shaker toward his slave. “Because while the general society adheres to the Tenets of Surak, some are devoted to the old ways.”
“Doesn’t Ambassador Sarek’s son serve in Starlfeet?” Steve asked.
“He does. And he and Sarek haven’t spoken in eighteen years because of it,” Iris said.
“The Kryptonians present different challenges.” Althor accepted a plate of fruit from his slave.
“Power and their disinclination to use it in the service of the Empire,” Hal said.
“Correct, Major Jordan.” Althor sliced a rosy passion fruit. “The Empire does not fancy a race of beings capable of obtaining superpowers and predisposed to opposing slavery.”
“Their powers are formidable.”
“Extremely. We’ve seen them fly, exhibit great strength and invulnerability, use heat vision. I’m sure there are many other powers that aren’t generally known.”
“Do you think the Hunt is going to be ultimately successful?” Steve asked.
“Unfortunately for the Kryptonians, yes.”
Silence fell over the table, then Iris asked, “Do you think the marriage will be successful?”
Switching gears, Althor said, “I think so. The King has been dating Prince Lorel for quite awhile. If it wasn’t going to work, they would know it by now. Besides, they keep things fresh with their pleasure slaves.”
“Always a good marital aid,” Iris laughed.
Althor smiled as he patted his slave’s hand. “Best one I know.”
After the meal was finished, Steve and Hal returned to the cockpit while Iris entertained Althor, his slave sitting at his feet while he talked. He idly stroked his slave’s head, the beads jingling as he combed over the soft fabric.
Iris and Althor kept up their conversation for the rest of the evening, then Althor and his slave retired. Iris joined Steve and Hal, stars gliding past the viewscreen.
“Althor seems like an interesting person,” Steve said.
“He is. Jovarans in general are pretty interesting.” Iris sat back, crossing her legs.
“They sure seem pretty laidback.” Hal adjusted a setting.
“They are, but don’t let their mild natures fool you. They can be savage Warriors.”
The intercom crackled. “Javelin, this is Cestus III. ETA still on schedule?”
“Still on schedule, Cestus III.”
“Good.” A burst of static cut off any further words, then a new voice said, “Whoo hoo! Hunt’s on!”
Steve, Hal, and Iris frowned. Steve flipped a toggle.
“Sorry about that, Javelin. Our frequencies got crossed.”
“What’s going on?”
“One of our pilots is on a Hunt. He’s just a little overexcited.”
“We’ll be ready for you.”
“Thanks, Cestus III. Out.”
Steve was still frowning as he signed off. “How many Hunt Decrees are on the books right now?”
“A handful, but the one that’s hottest right now?” Iris paused. “The one against the Kryptonians.”
Silence fell over the trio as their ship headed to Cestus III.
Part 3 of 3