Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Brendan, Brad Stryker, King Faraday, Amanda Waller, Selina/Lois/Kathy, Hal/Steve/Diana (Hal & Steve do not appear in this chapter), the Lord High Executioner, unnamed slaves
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. New superheroes appear on the scene as the Abolitionist Movement gathers strength. Meanwhile, Lex gets his heart’s desire while long-held secrets begin to spill out of the Manor. Nothing will ever be the same again.
The entire series can be found here.
Genres: AU, Challenge, Drama, Slavefic
Challenge Category: Section E (Slavefic)
Rating: (this chapter): R
Warnings: Allusions to sadistic torture.
Summary: When Bruce can’t prevent an atrocity on his own, he turns to his fellow heroes for help.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): March 2, 2010
Date Of Posting: June 11, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1556
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author's Note: Written for my 2010 DCU Fic/Art Bondage Challenge.
The sounds of despair?
Can you smell
The stench of fear?
Can you see
The horror of man’s
To my nightmare.
Sir Alec Saxon
The crowds were growing in Gotham, Bruce’s stomach churning. The people were in a festive mood, vendors hawking sausages and popcorn and candy and soda, balloons being given to eager young children by indulgent parents as calliope music played. He grabbed Clark, his face white.
“I’m having Brendan take you home. Don’t watch any TV or visit any news websites, understand?”
Clark nodded, biting his lip. “Bruce…”
“Clark, trust me, you do not want to watch a slave execution.” His grip was bruising and Clark tried not to wince. Bruce looked at Dick, who had hurried over with Brendan right behind him. Dick was pale, close to wringing his hands.
“I’m sending you home. Complete black-out, okay?”
Dick nodded, taking Clark’s hand and holding on tight.
“Bruce…” Clark began.
“No.” For a moment, the Prince stared at Clark, then he grabbed his lover’s shoulders. “Just do as I say, please.”
Clark nodded. “Come on, Dick,” he said quietly. Their bodyguards were close by, and Brad nodded to Bruce.
Relaxing slightly, Bruce knew that Clark and Dick would be well taken care of. He turned to head for the park’s headquarters.
Bruce saw the silver-haired man dressed in a pearl-gray suit and said, “Hello, Agent Faraday.”
“Hello.” King Faraday slipped off his sunglasses. “I heard you tried to stop the execution.”
“That’s right. The park that bears my family’s name should not be the site of such a sadistic display.”
“That’s right. What else do you call the method of execution?”
“You obviously don’t approve.”
“No.” Bruce crossed his arms. “Even if I approved of executing slaves for the ‘crime’ of wanting to be free, I wouldn’t approve of this method. Hell, even serial killers are shown more mercy.”
“Well, at least the free ones.”
Bruce arched an eyebrow. “My request for a delay has been denied, so it looks as if the odious work will go ahead on schedule.”
“You can be sure of that.”
The new voice grated on Bruce as the newcomer appeared. Short and husky, the African-American woman’s eyes were cold as they bored into Bruce.
“Agent Amanda Waller, Bruce Wayne,” said King.
“Agent Waller.” Bruce inclined his head slightly.
“Save your condescension, Mr. Wayne. I know you bled your liberal heart all over the place trying to get this execution delayed.”
Bruce’s eyebrow rose. “Yes, I did.”
“You’re quite the Abolitionist.” Amanda said the word as if it was something loathsome.
“I support the Cause.”
Her face twisted up. “Whatever your leanings, Mr. Wayne, the law is clear. Runaway slaves who are captured must be put to death.”
“Harsh punishment, but even if I agreed with that sentence, which I don’t, the method of execution is extremely disturbing.”
“Disturbing?” Amanda snorted. “Slaves who run away upset the order of things. If we didn’t put the fear of God into them, they’d all try and run.”
“How presumptuous of them to desire freedom.”
Amanada bristled at the sarcasm. “Mister Wayne, you may be a Prince in this town, but to me you’re just another citizen. As a citizen, you will obey the law of the land.” She turned on her heel and left Bruce fuming.
“That woman is…”
Bruce looked at King. “Interesting you should say that, Agent Faraday.”
“Why not? It’s true.” King watched a robin hop across the grass. “She believes in keeping order. She serves our Government, and believes in the law.”
“So do you.”
“I am in the employ of the Government.”
“So you approve of the execution?”
“I work for the Government and uphold the law.”
Bruce noticed that King had not really answered his question.
“Good try, Mr. Wayne. ‘Fraid you’ve lost.”
King Faraday walked away.
“We’ll see about that,” Bruce muttered. He flipped open his cellphone, speaking in his Batman voice. “Ms. Lane, it’s time to get the gang together.”
A grave Alfred met Clark and Dick at the front door of the Manor. Brendan drove off to the garage and the security car followed.
Clark felt a little queasy. Dick had a deathgrip on his hand.
“Alfred…” Clark said.
“Sit down in the living room, Clark, and do not turn on the telly.”
Clark felt jittery as he allowed Dick to come with him. Once stretched out on the couch he looked at his pale young friend.
“Dick, do you know about the method they use for…for execution?”
Dick nodded his head quickly. “I saw one in a city the circus was playing. Just a few minutes.” He looked like he was going to be sick.
Clark squeezed his hand. “It’s okay.”
“Not for those poor slaves.”
“Bruce will figure something out.”
“He can’t go up against the Government, Clark.”
Clark had never seen Dick so despondent. He opened his arms and Dick embraced him, curling up onto Clark’s chest. Clark held onto his boy and caressed his hair.
Batman grimaced. He disliked the daylight, but there was no help for it. The executions would start at high noon.
He stayed as much to the shadows as he could. He climbed up to a modest little tower overlooking the park. He heard the rustle of silk and a purr. He smiled, then composed his face to a Bat-like expression as he turned around.
The redhead inclined her head.
The leather-clad woman smiled. “Batman.”
“We don’t have much time.”
Batwoman nodded. “Wonder Woman will be here momentarily.”
As she spoke, they could see the Amazon approaching in her invisible plane. She leaped out, ordering her plane away, and landed lightly on the rooftop.
“Let’s begin,” said Batman.
Knickerbocker Hall was empty of people except for the three naked slaves in one of the cages. The woman rocked back-and-forth, her arms tight around her knees, little noises of despair coming from her lips and echoing throughout the cavernous hall.
The other two slaves sat huddled together. The larger man was bearded, his broad back scarred, his meaty fists clenching and unclenching. His smaller, sandy-haired companion appeared to be in shock.
Footsteps sounded, a woman’s high heels and several pairs of sensible shoes.
“Ms. Lane, why are you so interested in these slaves? There’s nothing more to say.”
The speaker was a large, broad-shouldered man nearly bursting out of his dark-blue suit. He was bearded and wore his black hair in a ponytail, his coal-black eyes obsidian-hard.
Lois was crisply-dressed in a red suit, her hand holding a pocket recorder. Amanda Waller, King Faraday, and two Hall guards completed the group.
“Don’t you think that the slaves are an important part of this story? You are the Government Executioner, which is fascinating in of itself, but the people you’re going to execute are important, too.”
“It’ll be done properly, in the Old Way.”
“Do you disapprove of the proceedings, Ms. Lane?” asked Amanda.
“It’s not my place to offer an opinion, just to report the facts.”
“And what do you consider the facts to be?”
“The facts are that the Lord High Executioner is prepared to carry out the sentence.”
Amanda raised an eyebrow at Lois’ use of the traditional name. “Yes, for the crime of being runaways.”
Lois’ eyes flickered.
“You don’t approve,” Amanda said.
“I told you, I don’t offer opinions.”
“No, just professional.” Lois looked at the woman in the cage, auburn hair tumbling over her eyes as she continued to rock. “So high noon is the appointed hour?”
“That’s right,” said the Executioner.
A wail rose up from the woman.
“Can’t you shut her up?” Amanda snapped.
“Oh, let her vent, Amanda,” said King. “Considering what she’s facing, I can’t blame her.”
Amanda shot him a venomous glare. “If you have no further questions, Ms. Lane, let’s go.”
Lois gazed into the cage, the burly slave scowling at her, fear skittering across his eyes, but she said, “I’m finished here.”
“Good. I have to change,” said the Executioner.
The group left the Hall, their footsteps echoing as the lights were shut off. Only a shaft of sunlight streamed in through the skylights as the sun inexorably climbed higher.
A whisper-soft sound slipped along the rafters, liquid shadows rippling at the edges of the sunlight.
The door opened again, gold glinting off the tiara and Lasso. Boots clicked on the floor.
“Wonder Woman!” the smaller male slave gasped.
“Yes.” The Amazon reached the cage. “Stay back.”
“The security cameras…” said the burly slave as he and his companion pulled the female away from the door.
“…are taken care of.” Wonder Woman easily peeled the wire back, creating a wide hole. “Come, we have little time.”
The men helped the woman out of the cage, stumbling as they tried to hurry. They recoiled as a figure dropped to the floor.
“Put these on,” said Batwoman.
She and Wonder Woman helped the slaves put on pants, shirts, and shoes. Up in the rafters, Catwoman and Batman kept watch.
Batwoman and Wonder Woman hurried the slaves out of the Hall, and their sentinels followed.
Nothing but silence and a twisted cage door in the beam of sunlight remained.