Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (41/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Hal/Steve/Diana (Hal and Diana do not appear in this chapter), Sam Lane, Roxy Redd
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: Steve and Sam go out on the town.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): August 2, 2011
Date Of Posting: October 20, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1943
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Is life on the Rim."
"Life On The Rim"
The people of Cestus I liked their nightlife. The city was lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree, Steve observed in delight as the hovercar skimmed over the capital. Sam set the car down at the small helipad reserved or the Empire military and they took a cab into the heart of the nightclub district.
Sam led Steve on a walk down the brightly-lit street. It was the planetary equivalent of Saturday night, the crowds raucous and ready to party, civilian-clad military mixing in with the natives.
The flashing neon lights and constant chatter reminded Steve of many a night on a pass with Hal during their Academy days. He looked at Sam, who was laughing.
“Didn’t think the staid ol’ general had it in him, didja?”
“Well, sir, I figured that a four-star general knows his way around a good time.”
Sam smirked around his cheroot. “Good answer, Major.”
Steve grinned. “Thank you, sir.”
“The people of Cestus I know they’re living on the edge.” Sam waved his hand at the clubs. “They know they’ll be the first to be attacked if the Kadorans or the Collective decide to start something with the Empire, so they live life to the fullest.”
Steve nodded. “Guess it’s not hard to understand.”
“No.” Sam put a hand on Steve’s elbow. “In here.”
The neon sign flashed the words The Scarlet Club, and it lived up to its name as the interior was bathed in a red light. Steve was glad to see that strobe lights were not in use. They always gave him a headache.
Sam led him to a table on the second floor, which was an open deck that overlooked the dance floor. Dancers gyrated and the music pulsed, Steve enjoying the show.
A buxom waitress came over to the their table, her skin flushed pink by the lights. She might have been an actual redhead, but it was hard to tell.
“General, your usual?” she purred.
“You bet, Roxy.”
Roxy smiled seductively at Steve. “What about you, Blondie? Is a Bluefall in your future?”
Steve felt a thrill go through him. The code! “Sure, I’ll take a Bluefall. And with a twist of lemon,” he responded.
She fluttered long, thick lashes. She really was beautiful, but she could not match his Angel.
“Coming right up, Blondie.”
She sashayed away to Sam’s chuckle. “Quite a woman, eh, Major?”
“Very much so, General.”
“I wouldn’t recommend anything but the drinks.”
“I have a woman and man back home, General.”
“Yes, I’ve seen pictures of your lady. Lovely.”
Steve was not surprised. When you worked in Military Intelligence, you expected to be under surveillance.
“But you needn’t worry about stepping out on Horndog Hal,” Sam chuckled.
The remark stung. Steve was well aware of Hal’s reputation. He had seen it in action in the early days of their friendship, and when t hey had started sleeping together, Hal had made it clear that he didn’t want to be exclusive. Steve was certain that Hal was committed to him and Diana, though they had never discussed exclusivity. It had just never come up.
And if he is having good times with someone besides Diana and me, well, we haven’t gone over any ground rules.
Steve smiled at Sam. “Hal is one-of-a-kind.”
Sam’s shrewd eyes observed everything, Steve knew, so he deliberately kept his cool. He respected and liked Sam Lane, but the particulars of his relationship with Hal and Diana were private.
Though I bet even he would be surprised to know that Diana is Wonder Woman.
The waitress returned with the drinks and Steve took the glass from her, pocketing the napkin she had wrapped around it. The microchip he had come to pick up was safely within the napkin. She looked him over and winked, sashaying away.
“Ah, beauty,” Sam sighed, and Steve laughed.
They drank the Bluefalls, Steve impressed by the drink’s kick.
“Better nurse it, Major. More contacts to make,” Sam said.
A waiter approached their table. “Some food, gentlemen?” Purple eyes glittered in a violet face as the light momentarily went white.
Steve decided that food on his stomach would help him nurse his drink. “Sure. What do you recommend?”
“The Rigellian firepeppers are good.”
Steve and Sam smirked. No doubt that the firepeppers were a staple. More drinks would have to be ordered!
“What else?” Sam asked.
“Oh, there’s Andorian fletva and Jorellian appledip and Klingon meska.”
“Oh, yeah, the Klingon meska is cool stuff,” Sam said dryly. “How about an order of those firepeppers and the Jorellian appledip?”
The waiter went to the next table and Steve asked, “Klingon meska?”
"Chili that’ll blow your head off.”
"Stick with the firepeppers. Put them in the appledip and you're good."
"But I thought Rigellian firepeppers were head-exploding, too?"
“Thy can be, but they taste better. Klingon food tends to be hot and spicy just for its own sake, like Klingons.”
Steve laughed. “So you don’t trust the peace treaty we have with them?”
Sam guffawed. “No more than I’d trust the Romulans, but they mainly keep to themselves. The Klingons like to cause trouble, but any intelligence reported that despite saber-rattling, the Klingons prefer prosperity. Their Emperor’s a shrewd one, figuring the people are better off with peace, not war.”
“Good for us. All we’d need is to end up in a war with the Klingons and the Kadorans snapping at our heels.”
Sam chewed on his cheroot. “You speak the truth, Major. And we can’t leave out the Romulans and the Collective.”
Steve shuddered. “Good thing we have a Green Lantern now.”
“I guess those legends about the Corps and the Guardians of Oa are true.”
“It appears so.” Steve smiled at the waiter who brought their food.
After he had left, Sam dug into his firepeppers eagerly. “Mmm, delicious!”
Steve was more cautious, spearing a firepepper carefully with his fork and taking a small bite. “Wow!”
Sam laughed as he watched Steve hastily take a big gulp of his drink. “Toldja, use the appledip.”
Steve took the advice and dipped the rest of the firepeppers in the Jorellian dish that resembled applesauce. The cool sauce lessened the sting of the fiery peppers.
“Mmm, you’re right. Good combination.” Steve laughed. “I don’t think Dick would approve.”
“A slave boy I know. He loves these peppers, especially on pizza.”
“Sounds like a boy I’d like. Whose brand does he wear?”
“Makes sense. You and Jordan go to his place every year for Gotham’s Halloween Week, right?”
“Yes, sir.” Steve was not surprised that Sam Lane knew this detail. He doubted that much got by him, much like not many things got by his reporter daughter, Lois Lane.
“What’s Wayne like?”
“Oh, very gracious and accommodating, but aristocratic, too.”
“He’s pretty outspoken for Abolitionism.”
Sam’s brown eyes shrewdly looked at Steve. “Yet he owns slaves.”
“That’s true. He can’t free them under current law, so he keeps them safe with him.”
“Until the Day of Jubilee?”
Steve ate another pepper. “I expect so.” He had to be careful. Pro-Abolition sentiments were not kindly looked upon by higher-ups.
“He’s pretty clever.” Sam ate two peppers. He only dipped one.
”He doesn’t want to see his slaves put in undesirable situation. Besides, Alfred has been with him since he was born, and he’s not going to send away his Squire.”
“Or his Prize?”
Steve took a sip of his Bluefall. “Especially with Edmund Caldwell out of prison.”
“Wow, that old buzzard’s a piece of work, huh?”
“That video of his went viral once it was shown in the Senate.” Sam drank his Bluefall. “He could give the Klingons torture lessons.”
Steve shuddered and finished off his drink, nearly choking at Sam’s next words.
“I hear the Amazon is in tight with the National Abolitionist Society.”
“Um, she is.”
“Wonder how long Washington will allow that.”
Steve did not like to think of the Govs targeting Diana. “I don’t know.” He grimaced. “Do you know where the bathroom is?” Sam pointed and Steve said, “Be right back.”
Steve went into the men’s room and did his business, washing up at the sink. The man next to him was wearing a gaudy purple outfit and chuckled. “Wow, glad to get away from that light for a moment. I thought I was on Mars.”
Steve laughed. “Me, too. The techno beat is a little much, too.” Another man entered the room. “The menu’s pretty good.”
“Yeah,” said the first man as he dried his hands.
Steve noticed the second man right behind him.
Sam happily finished his firepeppers and put in another order, including fresh drinks. Lois loved firepeppers and had gotten her nickname from her love of the food.
Trevor looked like he could handle the assignment. Hotshot pilots rarely made good intelligence officers. Too full of themselves, but Trevor seemed to have a well-regulated ego instead of a runaway one.
Sam watched the dancers on the floor below. It was impossible to guess which ones, if any, were their agents. A good agent used a disguise that you would never dream of, in Sam’s opinion.
The waiter brought his new order and he happily dug into the firepeppers, scorning the appledip. The only way to appreciate a good Rigellian firepepper was without any fancy-dancy side dishes, he thought with a smirk.
Bet that slave boy knows what I’m sayin’.
Sam took a sip of his drink. It was interesting, this connection that Trevor had with Bruce Wayne. Wayne was known as the Prince of Gotham, and Sam knew that it was more than just a catchy title cooked up for the celebrity press.
As he ate, Sam wondered about the domestic arrangement that Trevor had with Jordan and Prince. Threesomes were not uncommon in Earth society, of course, but it was trickier to keep permanent. Most threesomes did not enter into marriage contracts. Threesomes were usually a safety valve that allowed the married couple to let off steam. The third party was usually fine with that.
Were Trevor and Prince the committed couple and Jordan the wild card? He knew guys like Hal Jordan, had seen ‘em by the dozens in his long career: afraid of commitment in relationships, preferring a girl or boy in every port, a man who would run at the word ‘commitment’.
Horndog Hal will never last with those two.
Sam frowned. Where the hell was Trevor? He was gone long enough to let his firepeppers get cold and his Bluefall warm.
How long does it take to take a leak? Sam drank his Bluefall. Maybe an agent made contact with him.
He decided to check things out. He could use a trip to the bathroom, anyway. He left his table and entered the men’s room.
Frowning, he did his business and washed up, noticing a piece of paper on the floor. It was a print-out of a list from a store, dated a week ago. The store was Filene’s, and Sam recognized it as the biggest department store in Boston. His late wife had mentioned it as a place she always visited when in town.
Trevor was based in Boston. Could this receipt be from his pocket? In of itself, it could mean nothing.
Or it could mean something.
Sam left the bathroom and made a quick circuit of the club and went out back to the alley. It was empty.
Steve Trevor was gone.