Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Alfred, Selina/Lois/Kathy (Lois does not appear in this chapter)
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: The bust of a slave-smuggling ring yields some disturbing information.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): March 14, 2010
Date Of Posting: June 18, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1083
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author's Note: Written for my 2010 DCU Fic/Art Bondage Challenge.
Against the wind.
In the wind.
The hurricane tore through the Northeast up and down the coast as it knocked over trees and uprooted shrubs and brush. Roofs were sent flying across the skies, and water began to rise. People began humming the theme of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz as they half-expected their houses to go away in a swirl of wind.
Bruce stayed at the Manor during the day instead of going into the city, and did quick patrols at night, helping the police and fire departments as much as he could. Dick fumed at being stuck at home, but his ankle was still swollen and unreliable out in the bad weather. Clark helped him keep his mind off things by spending time with him. They talked, played chess, checkers, and video games, and Alfred was nearby reading when not keeping up a steady supply of milk and cookies. Things were cozy at the Manor, a haven in a tempest-tossed world.
Batman placed the little girl safely on the gurney, the paramedic quickly checking her out.
The Dark Knight nodded. “She was unconscious for about five minutes.”
Batman melted back into the shadows of the tenements. The Narrows had been hard hit, power out and damage to the decaying buildings.
Batman turned. “Hello, Batwoman.”
Teeth gleamed in the darkness. “The police and fire department are handling things. Jim Gordon’s got the GCPD doing a great job.” She twisted a lock of red hair. “Are you up to busting a smuggling drop tonight?”
“They’re moving slaves during the hurricane?”
“No better time. I’ll give ‘em points for chutzpah.”
Batman grunted. “Let’s go.”
“Where’s the pixie?”
Batwoman launched a grapple hook. “Your sparkling shadow.”
“He sprained an ankle.”
“Oh.” They swung up to the rooftops, the wind whipping their capes flat out. “Hope he’s nice and warm tucked away at home.”
They were careful leaping from roof-to-roof as the rain slicked the surfaces. Batwoman stayed in sync for a time, then took the lead.
They arrived in the East End, and Batwoman hissed, “They arrived yet?”
Catwoman emerged from the shadows, black leather glistening from the rain. “They just did.” Green eyes flicked over to Batman, who noted her small smile.
He stalked to the edge of the roof, looking down at the alley below.
Activity was quiet but continuous as the smugglers streamed into the building. A half-dozen pushed a group of slaves into the building, the bondsmen dressed in jeans and sweaters, thoroughly soaked by the rain.
Batman’s jaw tightened. He was ready for the fight. Catwoman leaned an elbow on his back and he smiled.
Batwoman flanked his other side and they leaped lightly to the roof of the warehouse. Catwoman padded over to the dingy skylight.
“They’re out in the open.”
“May not be everyone,” Batwoman said.
Batman nodded. “We need a diversion through the skylight while the other two slip in on ground level.”
“I’ll do it.” Batwoman said. She smiled at Catwoman. “The cape makes for better theatrics.”
“A whip is pretty good, too.”
Batwoman smirked. “Don’t I know it.” She sauntered over to the skylight. “Time?”
She nodded as her comrades synchronized watches.
Batman was glad for his partners’ help. Robin would always be his primary partner, but the Bat and Cat were excellent substitutes.
If he really investigated, he could probably find out their identities, but for now the mystery suited him just fine.
He listened for activity on the other side of the door but it was quiet. He slipped inside.
There were no guards. As Batwoman had said, the gang and slaves were out in the open.
All the easier.
By now Catwoman would be in place. Now just for Batwoman to make her grand entrance…
It came spectacularly as Batwoman crashed through the skylight, shards of glass raining down as cries of surprise and pain went up from the smugglers and slaves.
Batman and Catwoman rushed in, kicking and punching their way through the smugglers. Bat-ropes and cat-o-nine tails did the job of trussing up the fallen smugglers. The slaves ran off to a corner of the warehouse.
In ten minutes, it was all over.
“Good work.” Batman nudged the leg of one of the smugglers with the top of his boot.
Catwoman smirked, her boot resting on the thigh of one crook.
Batwoman went over to the slaves. “It’s all right now.”
Catwoman went to the office and started shuffling through papers while Batman worked on the computer. A list of names began to scroll on the screen.
He frowned. There was the name Jeremiah Bracken again. Why was that so familiar?
His eyes widened.
Was he related to Silas Bracken, the man who had sold him Clark?
No, there must be plenty of Brackens around.
He did a quick Galactic Google search. His stomach fluttered as he read that Jeremiah Bracken was Silas’ cousin. Uneasy, he also read that Jeremiah was on the same Committee that Lex was serving on: Kryptonian Control.
He bit his lip. Just because Jeremiah was involved with slave smuggling did not mean that Silas was. Silas was a reputable slave dealer!
“Damn, these smugglers and their mindwipe drugs,” Catwoman said.
“They erase memories from the slaves, making it easier to control them. There’s always something new coming down the pipe, too.”
Batman remembered Lex mentioning the Committee using drugs to control the Kryptonian test subjects. Did that include mindwipes?
Stomach tightening, Batman searched for the amnesia drugs.
“What did you find?” Catwoman asked.
“Oh, a list of the smugglers.”
“They’re not too careful, are they?”
“The smugglers. They keep leaving lists of names around.”
“Sounds like arrogance to me.”
Catwoman laughed. “Not a surprise. Criminals are often arrogant.”
The door opened and Batwoman entered the office. “Jim Gordon’s here.”
“Good.” Batman stood.
“Time to make my exit,” said Catwoman. She sauntered over to the redhead, sliding a clawed finger along her cheek. “I’ll see you later.”
Batwoman smiled. “I look forward to it.”
Catwoman slipped out and Batwoman turned to her namesake.
“I have to go,” Batman said. “Can you deal with Gordon?”
“Of course.” She put a hand on her colleague’s arm. “Is everything all right?”
Batman disappeared into the shadows with his lie.