Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (46/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Aaron Melkin, James Regan, Clark/Bruce, Two Unnamed Slaves, Alfred, Dick, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Hal/Steve/Diana (Hal and Diana do not appear in this chapter)
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 Underground Railroad chugs along as the search for Steve continues.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): August 27, 2011
Date Of Posting: November 29, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1359
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Goes the bell,
The train chugs along
And all’s well."
As the next day dawned, Aaron continued his regular routine. He was always on call, just as Regan was, so their planned lunch could go by the boards.
Fortunately, no call came, but they took their cellphones, anyway. They rode their horses to the same bucolic spot they had enjoyed yesterday, casting their lines into the clear, sparkling stream. They didn’t speak, but it was a comfortable silence.
The sunlight glinted on the water, and they ate turkey sandwiches with alfalfa sprouts and mustard. Beer was their drink of choice. Birds sang in the trees while a light breeze blew, and all together it was a fine autumn day. A rustling sound alerted them to a newcomer.
Two newcomers, Aaron thought.
The black-cloaked figures emerged from the trees, the slightly taller man coming forward and rasping, “Where are they?”
Regan whistled and two slaves stumbled out into the clearing. They were not Caldwell slaves but were still cut and bruised. The man looked to be around twenty, his brown hair cut short while the girl appeared to be sixteen, her blond hair pulled back into a ponytail.
Regan pointed toward the mysterious figures. “It’s okay. They won’t hurt you.”
The slaves timidly headed over to the hooded figure in front. He reached out a black-gloved hand and gently took the girl’s.
“We will take care of them,” he said to Aaron and Regan.
He and his companion melted into the woods with their new charges.
“Cool costumes,” said Aaron.
Regan snorted and paid attention to his fishing line as it tugged in his grip. Aaron watched him play the fish and finally lifted it out of the water, placing it in the water-filled bucket. Cook would clean and fry their catch.
It was a good day all around.
The slaves were brought to the caves under Wayne Manor, though blindfolded and sedated so they wouldn’t realize the passage of time. When they awoke, they were already in the cave used as the Underground Railroad way station.
Once they had take care of the slaves’ needs and assured them that they would only be staying a few days and had closed the entrance to the cave, Clark and Bruce slid their hoods back.
“I hate putting that boulder over the entrance. They must be terrified that we’ll leave them sealed up there,” Clark said worriedly.
“I know. That’s why as soon as Alfred prepares lunch, one of us will take it to them, and we’ll make frequent visits during the next few days. We can’t risk them leaving that cave and finding the Batcave.”
”I know.” Clark sighed. Bruce’s logic was impeccable, as always. But he still didn’t like it.
Upstairs, Alfred was making lunch while Dick was working in the gardens, using his dark glasses as sunglasses. Bruce watched him as he weeded.
“As much as Dick hates those glasses, he’s got the common sense to use them instead of squinting in the sun.”
“That’s true.” Clark smiled at Dick’s vigorous weeding. “He’ll complain, but he’s almost a teenager.”
Bruce shuddered. “Don’t remind me.”
Clark laughed as he stood in the sunshine streaming in through the library windows.
“Yes, if he is anything like Master Bruce, we are in for it,” Alfred said dryly in the entryway.
“Hmph! No tall tale-telling, please,” Bruce said.
“Quite, sir. Lunch is ready.”
“I’ll take it down to our guests.”
Bruce followed Alfred to the kitchen while Clark watched Dick. The boy was quick and efficient as he weeded, soaking up the sun. Dick loved the outdoors and the freedom of being out in the fresh air and working in the garden.
Clark crossed his arms. He hoped that they could get those slaves away safely. It was dangerous, of course, not just for them but for the slaves as well. Their fate would be gruesome if caught.
It’s why we have to be successful.
Lois chewed on the end of her stylus, her fingers typing rapidly. Words appeared on the screen on her computer, Perry breathing down her neck for this story.
While she typed, she was running through ways she could find out more about the missing Steve Trevor. Her father had tried to give her the runaround, but she wasn’t some rookie.
Damn it, there must be some way I can find out about Trevor.
As she pounded out her article, her mind raced. Her father was playing it cozy, but of course he had to do so. Generals who blabbed to their reporter daughters generally found themselves in trouble.
Jimmy ran by with a sheaf of papers, heading for Perry’s office. Lois smirked.
Why in a hurry, kid? He’s not going to chew you out. Well, not much, anyway.
She fielded phone calls while typing, assuring her sister Lucy that their lunch date was still on for tomorrow, and Ben from Printing that her article would be sent to him as soon as she got it proofread.
Thank the Gods for barren Muses.
Her lack of novel ideas had driven her to work in a more regular basis here at The Planet lately. Perry was glad of her interest, that was for sure.
She frowned. She knew how to decipher military-speak after a lifetime of practice. This disappearance was bad news.
She finished her article and hit ‘Send’. Her spellchecker would look it over, send it back to her, and she would send it to Perry. It sounded like an endless cycle before Bob in Printing got it, but it would go fast. Her spellchecker was a speedy one.
The Government had long ago decreed that newspapers and magazine make some of their content available in paper form. Since cellphones were only allowed to make and receive calls without picture-taking ability or Internet access or a hundred other apps, the Government wanted paper access. On-line editions were allowed on the publications’ websites, but the only other way to get access was through the old-fashioned way.
The Govs are clever. They allow the masses their technological toys and yet don’t let them have too much. They keep a tight rein on us peons.
She was under no illusion that her digging and poking went unmonitored, but after years in this business she knew how to work around things.
Now she decided to use one of those workarounds. Glancing around, she hit a combination of keys to bring up a special program. All computers were Government-monitored unless you knew how to evade it.
Lois Lane did.
She began tapping the keys even faster.
Kara pursed her lips. She was going to need help on this one. Her trusted lieutenants were scattered across the Empire, and a Kryptonian execution was going to take place on Cestus III.
She needed help now, and she knew where to get it.
The sound of water dripping down stone walls at least let the prisoner know his hearing was still intact. He had been a little worried about that after the brutal interrogations.
He rubbed his aching forehead. A headache, hunger, and pain were all making an interesting cacophony of problems.
But they were the least of his problems.
One side of his stone prison was bars, and the cell was empty. He was not sure if he was glad or sad about that. Company would be nice, but he was not exactly feeling sociable right now.
“Steve Trevor, right?”
Steve nearly jumped a foot. He peered into the cell and saw a figure come out of the shadows partway.
I thought I was being watched, but I thought it was my captors.
“Who are you?”
The man came out more fully into the weak light from Steve’s barred window, his face bruised like Steve’s, rags on his powerfully-built body. He had undergone the same kind of interrogation by the looks of his cuts and bruises.
The most striking thing about him was his silky white shock of hair and his beard, an eyepatch protecting one eye. He smiled.
“I’m Slade Wilson.”