Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (19/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): King Jodelle/King Jovan, Sefran, Idron, Lex/Jamie, Lionel Luthor, Eleanor du Maurier, Etta Candy, Hal/Steve/Diana (Hal & Steve do not appear in this chapter), Jonathan/Martha, Lana Lang, Kathy Kane
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 Abolitionist Movement touches everyone.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): April 10, 2011
Date Of Posting: June 15, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2236
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
And woe unto those
Who try and stop it.
Sir Percy Blakely
"The March Of Time"
THE MARCH OF TIME
Jodelle rubbed his eyes. He was not just beginning to hate this hospital room, he already despised it. His heart was heavy. If Jovan did not wake up soon…
“Your Majesty.” Sefran’s voice was soft as he entered the room.
Jodelle blinked bleary eyes at his loyal Chancellor. “Yes?”
“The plotters of the assassination have been discovered.”
Jodelle immediately sat up straight. “Who?”
Sefran named them, Jodelle’s expression darkening. “There are names from the nobility there! Friends of Senator Maxim.”
Jodelle’s hands curled up into fists, his rage barely stoked. Sefran quietly waited for his orders, glancing at the comatose figure in the bed.
”You say the plotters have been uncovered? Not arrested?”
“Not arrested, at least not yet.”
“I want the head of the Royal Guard sent to me at once.”
Sefran bowed. “At once, Your Highness.”
After Sefran departed, Jodelle took Jovan’s hand. “We will bring your assassins to justice, my love. This I vow.”
The Head of the Royal Guard was a large man with impressive bulk, all of it muscle. His dark-purple skin marked him as a member of the Illian tribe, fierce Warriors who were prized for their military-type skills. Idron was one of the finest Warriors of the tribe. In fact, it was widely acknowledged that he was its greatest.
Idron stood in full uniform, the crisscrossed straps barely able to hold the muscles of his torso. The short skirt showed off legs with the solidity of tree trunks as the straps of sandals wound up strong calves. His dark-purple hair was plaited in a dozen braids, and he carried a ceremonial dagger in his belt.
Jodelle always felt impressed by his fearsome Chief. The man’s Warrior blood was tempered by a keen, analytical mind. He was often underestimated, which suited him just fine.
“Sefran tells me that you have uncovered the plotters.”
“Yes, Majesty.” His voice was like thunder rumbling in the distance.
“Can you arrest them?”
“Not yet, Majesty, but we will have the proof very soon.”
Jodelle nodded. This was not a stalling tactic. If Idron said that he would have proof soon, he would have it soon.
“Very good. I wish to be kept personally informed.”
Idron bowed. “Of course, Your Majesty.” His coal-black eyes glittered. “My finest men are ready and waiting for the word to go in. The plotters will not get away.”
It sounded like a vow. Jodelle was not surprised. Idron was a man of honor who did not promise what he could not deliver.
Idron faced the bed and bowed, Jodelle’s eyes misting. The Warrior left the room and Jodelle said softly, “Justice will be served, my love.”
Lex frowned as he studied the figures glowing on the computer screen. There was trouble at the Smallville plant. Phone calls, texts, and e-mails were not getting the job done. He might have to take a trip to see the manager in person.
Which isn’t such a bad thing. It’s usually pretty peaceful there, and the Castle is certainly comfortable enough. It’s good to get a change of scenery now and again. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea.
“Coffee and cake, Master.”
Lex smiled as Jamie set the plate and cup on his desk. “Thanks.”
Jamie nodded, setting his own coffee and pie down on the endtable by the couch. He curled up on the couch, glowing with fresh-faced beauty in the brilliant winter sunlight that streamed through the library window. The sensuous grace that he exuded even while just sitting made him fascinating.
“What’s so interesting?” Jamie asked.
“What’s so interesting on the computer?”
“Oh, the figures from the Smallville plant.”
“Still not matching up?”
Lex shook his head. “Looks like we may be taking a trip to Kansas.”
“That’s great! I like it there."
“The country is always invigorating, I agree. And that’s endless prairies, unlike our countryside.”
“Our countryside is soothing, too,” Jamie said with a smile.
Footsteps could be heard in the hall. When Lionel appeared, Jamie tensed but didn’t go to his knees. Lionel was not completely happy with this arrangement but Lex had requested it while in privacy.
“It’s a family thing, Dad,” Lex had drawled, knowing that Lionel like the fiction of being a good father so he permitted Jamie to refrain from the usual kneeling when he entered the room as long as no one but the three of them were present.
Of course, it was a different story if it was just Lionel and Jamie, and Lex could imagine his father throwing in a little extra humiliation as payback, but he had not taken Jamie either in his mouth or ass, so that was something.
“So, Lex, what’s the word of the day?”
Lionel sat in front of the desk, crossing his legs and steepling his fingers, looking completely relaxed. Lex had to admit that his father exuded power even just sitting in a chair and was one of the secrets to his success.
Lex nodded. “Too many numbers don’t add up.”
“So it’s time to air out the Castle?”
“Just a small area. I don’t want to heat the whole castle. Wasteful.”
Lionel’s teeth gleamed. “You can afford it.”
Lex chuckled. “Oh, I know, but it’s not ecologically sound.”
“Of course not,” Lionel tossed his mane of hair back, every inch the predatory lion. Lex might admire certain traits of his father’s but was always aware that a lion could never be completely trusted.
Oh, well, keeps me on my toes. Warn ‘n’ cuddly just isn’t the Luthor way.
“So when will you be leaving?”
“Tomorrow. The weather forecast is good, so I can take the jet.”
Lionel glanced over at Jamie, who was taking a bite of pie.
Dad, you ought to know better. I would never leave Jamie here while I flew to Smallville. That would be like leaving an open bottle of Saurian brandy in front of a recovering alcoholic. Way too tempting!
Lex noticed a news bulletin on the WGBS website. He swiveled the monitor so that Lionel and Jamie could see.
“We are live from the Boston Common here in Boston, Massachusetts. As you can see, there is a dais set up and officials of the National Abolitionist Society will be out soon to take their seats for an important announcement. Present will be Etta Candy, head of the Boston chapter of the N.A.S., and Martha Kent, head of the Kansas chapter and well-known circuit speaker. There is always a possibility that we will see Kathy Kane, head of the Gotham chapter. Senator Lana Lang will be present.”
“All the heavy hitters,” Lex said.
“It appears the most recent rumor is true.” Lionel sounded amused.
Jamie took a sip of coffee, but his eyes never left the monitor.
Eleanora du Maurier looked well-groomed, as always, her ash-blond hair perfectly coiffed and her blue suit impeccably-tailored. She turned as a flurry of activity began behind her.
“We can see the N.A.S. officers coming to the dais with a Boston Police escort.”
“They’ll need it,” Lionel said.
Lex agreed. “Yes, there’s a ring of protestors off in the distance.”
“The Boston police will earn their money today.”
“I’m sure the Green Lantern will be around.”
“There’s a man with a great deal of power. What a man of vision could do with that Ring!”
Lex hid his smile. Of course his father considered himself the man of vision. “I wouldn’t mind that Ring myself, though it’s almost a form of cheating.”
“Cheating?” Lionel cocked his head.
“Yes, a quick shortcut. Where’s the challenge if you can literally conjure up whatever your mind thinks up?”
“Don’t limit yourself, son. It’s just as much hard work to control that Ring as it is to work the old-fashioned way.”
“Oh, I’m sure, Dad, but I still like the challenge I have right now.”
“Like the Smallville plant?”
Lex smiled. “Like the Smallville plant.”
“That’s good, son.” Lionel adjusted his gray silk tie. “Did you hear the latest about Edmund?”
Lex’s stomach clenched but he managed to ask, “No, what?”
“A slave of his was stolen.”
Lex raised his eyebrow. “When was this?”
“How come it wasn’t in the news? Old Man Caldwell would have been screaming from the rooftops.”
Lionel smirked. “You’d think so, but Edmund wants it kept quiet.”
Lionel shrugged. “Maybe he thinks the authorities will suspect he killed the slave. Which, of course, is not beyond the realm of possibility, with him being on probation for Bruce’s Prize’s kidnapping.”
Lex felt uneasy. “But what does he care? Even if he killed the slave, he couldn’t be prosecuted for it, as long as it was his own slave.” He felt sick at the thought but had to be aware of reality.
“True, but he doesn’t like authorities snooping around at any rate, and a stolen slave brings in the police. I highly doubt Jim Gordon would be easy to bribe.”
“Like Eliot Ness?”
Lex laughed. “Yes. He doesn’t take bribes, Dad, and rousts coops who do.” He sat back in his chair, watching the anti-slavery demonstrators. “Caldwell won’t get far with him.”
“Especially with his special connection to Bruce.”
Lex frowned. “Special connection?”
“Of course.” Lionel adjusted his gold cufflink. “The night his parents were murdered, Jim Gordon was one of two patrol cops who responded and took care of the shell-shocked boy.”
Lex had hoped that his father had not known about the connection between Bruce and Jim. It was not common knowledge, and kept the Commissioner free from aspersions like this. People would assume that he would give Bruce special treatment and use that against him.
“Well, Dad, Jim Gordon’s always been on the up-and-up.”
“But he despises Edmund Caldwell.”
Lex shrugged. “So do a lot of other people. What’s that got to do with the price of coffee?” Lionel merely smirked. “Where’d you get this information?”
“I have my sources.”
“I bet you do.” Lex could not help but be amused. His father was never dull, he had to give him that.
“Now the press conference is about to begin,” said Eleanora.
Etta Candy tapped the microphone. A slightly plump woman, the strawberry blond smiled and said, “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It is my great pleasure to introduce Wonder Woman.”
The crowd applauded as the Amazon Princess swept through their midst, taking her place behind the podium after shaking Etta’s hand. She wore her long, star-spangled skirts and cape, her smile exuding her usual confidence.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I am honored to be here on this platform with the officers of the National Abolitionist Society. It is no secret that I believe in the cause of Abolition.” Applause scattered through the crowd as the chants from the protesters grew louder. “Freedom is not just for the rich or privileged or free-born. Freedom is for all.”
The applause grew louder as the anti-Abolitionists became more strident. Wonder Woman was the epitome of serenity, which often infuriated her opponents. Lex knew a master psychologist when he saw one.
“From this day forward, my friends, we shall march as sisters and brothers in the cause of Freedom!” She raised a clenched fist and the crowd went wild. So did the demonstrators, but for a different reason.
Martha Kent took the podium next. Lex could see Jonathan in the audience, right in the front row. He was scanning the crowd and then focused on his wife. Martha was looking especially radiant in her green suit.
“My friends, we welcome our newest ally in the fight against slavery. We must move forward. Slavery must end!”
More cheers and applause.
“Martha seems more fervent than usual.”
Startled, Lex realized that his father had voiced what he was thinking. “Maybe she figures it’s time to ramp things up.”
Lex looked curiously at Lionel. “What about you, Dad? I’ve never heard you express an opinion one way or the other on the issue.”
“That’s because I don’t have any strong feelings either way.”
“You don’t?” Lex thought of all the slaves who Lionel had bent over his desk and his membership in Metropolis’ Key Club, the most exclusive brothel in the city. “Forgive me if I’m a bit skeptical.”
Lionel laughed. “Understandable, son.” He ran a hand through his mane. “I enjoy slaves very much, but if slavery was outlawed, I’d merely hire them to play slaves for me.”
“You mean like Jovara’s contract slavery?”
Lionel nodded. “Whether I pay a slave broker, a madam, or a freeman willing to enter into slavery for a specified amount of time doesn’t matter to me.”
“Wow, I thought you’d consider Abolitionists pie-in-the-sky types.”
“They are, but they’re tenacious.”
“That they are.” Martha was finished and Lana took up the torch, rousing everyone in her best stump speech fashion. He could see Kathy Kane seated on the dais, too.
“I’ve got to give you credit, Dad. You never fail to surprise me with something new.”
Lionel smiled a genuine smile. “Thank you, Son. Good to hear that your old man can keep you guessing.”
Lex smiled. He would not let his guard down but who said he couldn’t enjoy his father’s company?