Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (43/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Hal/Steve/Diana (Steve does not appear in this chapter), Lois Lane, Sam Lane
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): G
Summary: Bruce makes inquiries while Hal searches for Steve.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): August 14, 2011
Date Of Posting: November 5, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1089
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
In the vastness of space,
For once found,
It is a Jewel
Of Great Price.
A JEWEL OF GREAT PRICE
Bruce frowned as he hung up the phone. “I still can’t make any headway.” He thumped his desk in frustration.
Clark watched through the study window as Dick performed a perfect cartwheel on the lawn, stopping just before the seawall. “A complete stonewall?”
“Yes,” Bruce growled.
Dick was now performing handstands on the seawall. Despite knowing the boy’s perfect sense of balance and confidence in his judgment, Clark always felt a little nervous. He turned to Bruce, backlit by the sun.
“What about Lois Lane?”
Bruce’s eyes widened. “Of course! Her father is the general in charge of the Cestus I base. Maybe she can get some info for us, or at least connect me to him.” He grinned as he looked up Lois’ number. “Always knew you weren’t just a pretty face.”
Clark smiled as Dick somersaulted on the seawall.
Green Lantern combed the Outer Rim, unable to detect where Steve might be. Adjusting his mask, his brown eyes glared from behind the green nimbus protecting him in space.
He hovered around Cestus I and made a decision.
Wonder Woman had no patience for persuading criminals today. She seemed eager to punch and pound, even innocent bystanders reluctant to approach her as they usually did after such incidents.
When she finished her patrol she went home, entering the quiet house. She closed the door behind her, feeling the emptiness acutely.
A tear rolled down her cheek, her fists clenching in frustration.
“You need information? What are we talking about?” Lois asked as she struggled to open a package of Ring Dings. The Daily Planet newsroom was the usual controlled chaos: phones ringing, copy boys running, Perry White yelling. It was music to her ears.
“I’m talking about Major Steve Trevor missing in the Rim.”
Lois paused. “Let me guess. He was last seen on Cestus I.”
“Always said you were a smart woman, Ms. Lane.”
Lois smirked as she tore open the package. “Thanks, Mr. Wayne.” Her smile turned to a frown. “Is Dad all right?”
“As far as I know.”
“I better check,” she mumbled. “Why was Trevor on Cestus I?”
“Hmph.” Lois grabbed a bottle of Sunbright and twisted off the cap. “Inspection, huh?”
“Yes,” Bruce said blandly.
Lois snorted. “Yeah, right. Okay, Mr. Wayne, let me see what I can dig up.”
Lois hung up and opened a program on her computer that would allow here to send a subspace message to her father as she took a bite of her Ring Ding.
“Hal Jordan? Okay, send him in.”
Sam Lane chewed on his cheroot, his eyes narrowed. The door to his office opened and Hal stepped in.
“Hello, General.” He saluted.
“Hi, Hal.” Sam stood and they shook hands after he returned the salute. He indicated the chair in front of his desk and Hal sat down. “So, what brings you here?”
“I’m here to see Steve.”
Sam leaned back in his chair. “He’s not here.”
“He’s supposed to be inspecting this base.”
“He was here. He moved on to the next…”
Hal leaned forward. “Listen, General, I know the score. Steve was here to make contact with our agents. Now he’s missing.”
Sam glared but didn’t bother to deny it. “He disappeared from The Scarlet Club a few nights ago.”
“I’d like to see your report.”
Sam hesitated. “Listen, Hal…”
Hal held a hand up. “I know, I’m not officially part of this, but I’ve got the security clearance. I know the set-up. Steve and I are part of the same unit.”
Sam sighed and called up the file on his computer, Hal studying it intently. “Not much.”
“Tell me something I don’t know,” Sam said sourly.
Hal continued studying the report with worry in his eyes. “What about the local gendarmes? Have they come up with something?” His left hand twitched.
Sam snorted. “They’re all corrupt. The local black market ring pays them off to look the other way.” At Hal’s raised eyebrow, he added, “No, we can’t bust any of ‘em unless they get greedy and start nickin’ our stuff from the base. The Empire wants us hands-off, unless espionage is involved, and the yahoos running this operation are too smart to get involved and get our muscle coming down on their heads.”
Hal frowned. “I want to see this Scarlet Club.”
“I’ll be happy to take you, but I have to ask, are you here in an official capacity?”
Hal set his jaw. “No.”
The office was silent for a moment, then Sam said, “Okay. Until the place opens, let’s go over some of the facts.” A ping went off on his computer. “Oh, hey, I got a message from my daughter.” He cued it up and the audio message was crackly, as all subspace messages were, and Lois’ cheerful voice echoed in the tiny office.
“Hi, Daddy. How’s life on the Rim? Earth and Metropolis are pretty much the same, meaning things are hoppin’.
“So what’s up with you? I heard you’ve had some trouble out your way. You’re fine, I hope, but what about a certain golden-haired war hero?”
Sam laughed. “My daughter is amazing! She sure chose the right profession.”
“How did she know about Steve already?”
“Who knows? She’s more plugged in than a toaster.”
Hal couldn’t help but laugh despite his worry.
“So get back to me, you ol’ teddy bear, and let me know you’re all right. Also, give me the scoop on Golden Boy. Love ya. ‘Bye.”
The message ended and Sam shook his head fondly.
“Are you going to a answer her about Steve?”
“’Course not. At least, not out in the open.”
Diana walked through the empty house, despair in her very movement. If Steve was lost to her…she dropped to her knees and clasped her hands together.
“Great Hera, Mother of All, please do not let Steve be lost to me. My suffering of four centuries past would be of little consequence compared to what I would suffer at Steve’s loss. I would still have Hal, but that would not mean I would not mourn Steve with all my heart and all my soul. Grant me this, Hera, you who know the power of love just as strongly as Aphrodite.
“Please, Great Mother.”
She began to sob, her heart breaking.