Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Lex/Jamie
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): PG-13
Summary: Jamie makes a startling discovery.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): March 8, 2010
Date Of Posting: June 12, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1037
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author's Note: Written for my 2010 DCU Fic/Art Bondage Challenge.
On the horizon,
Ready to howl
With thunderous glee.
"Storm Clouds Gathering"
STORM ON THE HORIZON
Jamie sat cross-legged on the library floor, print-outs spread out all around him. He studied the information, making notes on a datapad.
A storm was blowing up from the coast, rattling the windowpanes. Autumn was hurricane season, and everyone was in battening-down-the-hatches mode.
A fire crackled in the fireplace, and he was glad of the Harvard sweatshirt of Lex’s that his Master let him wear. He hugged his arms to himself, a little smile on his face.
He hummed quietly as he turned a few more pages.
He frowned as he read one page, his mind racing. Butterflies fluttered in his stomach as the words danced on the page.
He flipped more pages, and consulted his notes. Was he crazy, or…?
He gathered up the papers and datapad and hurried to the study. He waited patiently while Lex finished up a business call. When he hung up, his Master smiled.
“Hi, Green Eyes. What’s up?”
Jamie came around the desk and held out the papers. “Lex, did you read these symptoms?”
“Symptoms? Oh, you mean about what the drugs and K do to the prisoners?”
Jamie nodded. “Loss of memory, suppression of powers, all resembling various diseases with the frequent headaches, muscle weakness, exhaustion…”
“Yes, that could be a number of illnesses.” Lex looked over the papers. “So what’s the problem?”
“Look at that report that was buried in the last batch of papers from your last Committee meeting.”
Lex pulled out a paper and read, his gray-blue eyes widening. “What the…?”
Jamie nodded. “It says they discovered that a rare form of Kryptonite also suppresses powers in addition to the Blue.”
Jamie nodded. “Just like Clark wears.”
Lex bit his lip. “He just wears exotic slave jewelry.”
“His Wertham’s Disease symptoms are the same. He’s prone to bouts of exhaustion, headaches, and he can’t remember who he was!”
“Due to a head injury, not the drug the Committee’s using to suppress memory.”
“But we know nothing of his background. His life literally starts four years ago when he awoke in the slavers’ camp.”
Lex looked at the papers again. “But why would slavers go to all the trouble of suppressing Clark’s memory and powers to sell him as a slave? If he’s Kryptonian, they’d risk an awful lot to sell someone under a Hunt Decree.”
“But it would be very lucrative.” The wind howled around the corner of the house as the fire crackled in the fireplace. “Look at this.” Jamie thrust his datapad into Lex’s hands. “I’ve been researching the stories on the slave-smuggling rings that have been in the news lately. There’s been an upsurge in the exotic trade. Pleasure slave trade is off the charts in the last few years, and showed signs of an upswing a few years before that. Just around the time Lord Bruce purchased Clark.”
Lex looked pale. “We can’t be 100% sure, but Bruce can.”
Jamie nodded. “All he has to do is remove Clark’s rainbow collar and manacles. Under our yellow sun, the powers of a superman should come naturally to him.”
“Wow.” Lex smiled. “Hard to believe that Clark might be a Kryptonian.”
Jamie smiled, too, then sobered. “It’s going to complicate their lives an awful lot.”
“True. Even if Clark has superpowers, he’s under a Hunt Decree. If the Government find out, they won’t believe or care that Bruce didn’t know. They’ll send him to prison and confiscate his possessions…including Alfred, Dick, and Clark.”
“Who would be slated for execution.”
Lex nodded, looking worried. “He might be able to get away with his powers, but he’d be leaving his family high-and-dry. Clark’s not the type to just go to save his own skin.”
“I agree.” Jamie felt a sickness in his stomach. “They have plenty of Green K to take him down.”
“More than enough.” Lex sighed. “And even if Clark left and Bruce covered with a good story, it’d break his heart.”
“I know.” Sadness washed over Jamie.
“But, Bruce has to know.”
“Yes.” Jamie shivered. “I can’t believe that Lord Bruce never knew.”
“He didn’t.” Lex separated the papers. “I’ve seen Clark when he’s sick. Bruce would never allow him to suffer for the sake of a cover.”
Jamie suddenly felt ill. “Lex…”
Their eyes met.
“Yes.” Lex rubbed his face. “The shot he’s getting once a week…it’s suppressing his memory and in addition to the Rainbow K suppressing his powers…”
“…and is putting a strain on his heart and other major organs.” Jamie’s voice was horrified. “Lex, we have to let Lord Bruce know!”
“We will.” Lex handed Jamie a sheaf of papers. “Print out these pages, will you? My computer’s running a diagnostic, so you’ll have to use the one in the library.”
“Right away, Master.”
Lex sat back in his chair. He tried to process everything he had just learned.
Was it a possibility that Clark was a Kryptonian sold into slavery instead of turned over to the Government in order to make a ton of cash? The Govs paid out reward money for those who brought them information on Hunt Decree victims, but it paled in comparison to the sum Bruce had spent on Clark.
Maybe he and Jamie were wrong, but Lex did not think so. And what would happen to their friends if Clark was truly Kryptonian? The danger…
Lex shivered. He knew that everything would change for his old friend.
Sighing, he pulled out a piece of paper and wrote a quick note. Jamie re-appeared with the new print-out.
“What aren’t you sending this to Lord Bruce electronically?”
“Too risky. The Govs snoop too much on computers and the same goes for cellphones.” He took the letter and placed it in a manila envelope, along with the print-outs. “Contact my private courier service. I’ll send this off tonight.”
Jamie nodded and picked up the phone.
Lex brooded as he looked out at the developing rainstorm on the horizon.
He hoped that he and Jamie were wrong about all this, but if not, he would help Bruce any way he could.