Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (49/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce (Bruce does not appear in this chapter), Kara Zor-El, Slade Wilson, Hal/Steve/Diana (Diana does not appear in this chapter), 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): PG-13
Summary: Escape is the word of the day.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): October 22, 2011
Date Of Posting: December 22, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1534
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Captain Avery Rogers
"An Escape No Greater"
THE GREAT ESCAPES
Clark looked at Kara as they flew to the target. Cestus III was more barren than Cestus I. At least that planet had some vegetation. This planet below him was not-so-affectionately referred to as ‘that ball of rock’. Clark was inclined to agree.
His stomach churned as the memories of his last time here rushed back at him. It had been an utter disaster, but he had been working alone. This time he had his cousin by his side and that meant a great deal to him.
He glanced at Kara again. She was in full Warrior mode, determined to save their people from execution. He was just as determined, but for the moment he reveled in the concept of family.
While he was uncomfortable with her zealotry, he understood it. Who knew if he wouldn’t be the same if he had seen Krypton blown up as she had seen Argo City, the colony of Kryptonian refugees who had been destroyed by the Empire’s Death Star. Kara had lost her parents and friends in one brutal operation and had been cast adrift on her own instead of growing up with loving parents as he had enjoyed.
He returned his thoughts to their mission. If he could save even a handful of people from execution he would consider it a success.
Kara tapped his arm. She pointed below and Clark used his telescopic vision to check out the base. It was a base with more alert status due to its location on the Rim, but like most sentient species, familiarity bred laxness. Routine dulled the senses, even in the Outer Rim.
Luckily for us, but I wouldn’t count on too much laxity. We’ll have to be sharp.
He gave Kara credit for not gloating over finally getting him to take part in this operation. She also had never once mentioned the Sal-Vor.
They had worked out their strategy and both wore simple black clothing and domino masks. Kara had agreed that it would be wise to keep their identities secret.
Clark gave Kara a signal, and they flew down to the base, the holding pen filled with Kryptonian men, women and children doomed to die.
Green Lantern flew through space, protected by a nimbus of green energy. He felt despair as he searched, feeling terribly insignificant in the vastness of the cosmos.
In all this infinity, how can I find Steve?
His heart broke.
Slade Wilson was either military or had served once. He strategized like a military man and moved with deadly stealth. Steve considered himself lucky to keep up with him.
The name Deathstroke bothered him. He was certain that he had heard it before. His uncertainty kept him wary of this man even as he worked with him.
They left the prison after Slade had taken care of his guard, knifing the Kadoran in the stomach. Steve followed him as soon as Slade unlocked his cell. They took the guard’s gun and Slade kept his knife.
Sticking to the shadows, they made their way out of the compound, Slade in the lead. They avoided the guards and managed to reach the nearby airfield undetected, but Steve wasn’t sure if that was due to their stealth or the skeleton crew assigned to this base. Either way, they had a good chance to steal a ship and get away into space.
Slade motioned for Steve to take the north side of the field while he slinked from the south. Steve nodded and made the circuit of the field, glad that the compound seemed to be low-tech. Surveillance equipment was either scant or defective, otherwise he was sure there would be an alert by now. He just hoped that the guard Slade had knifed would not be found anytime soon.
They worked well together, though Steve was not so foolish as to trust Slade completely. He suspected that this man was more mercenary than straight military, but he was willing to trust Slade just enough to get off this planet.
They approached the scout ship from different angles, keeping their eyes out for guards. Steve hoped that they could make this escape before the alarm was sounded back at the prison. Slade reached the ship first and popped the lock in seconds. Steve reached the hatch just as a guard rounded a corner and shouted for them to stop in Standard. Slade held out a hand and Steve took it as Slade yanked him inside just as the hatch closed and the guard fired, the beam of energy hitting the hatch.
“Take off, pilot!”
Steve ran to the cockpit while Slade used the turret guns, driving the guards back. Steve was glad that the control panel was standard design since everything was labeled in Kadoran.
“Got it figured out, flyboy?” Slade yelled.
“Here goes nothin’!” Steve yelled back and Slade laughed uproariously as he continued to fire. Steve started the engines and they lurched upward, Slade running into the cockpit and sliding into the co-pilot’s seat as they cleared the airfield.
They soared high into the stratosphere, clouds giving way to stars as they reached space. Steve was ecstatic until he saw the heavy cruiser rising up from the planet and bearing down on them.
Clark and Kara dodged missiles and energy beams, the few that caught them exploding harmlessly against their bodies. They zeroed in on the holding pen, ripping the barbed wire away as they allowed the yellow sun to flood in, cutting off the red sun lamps that had kept the prisoners’ powers suppressed.
Clark thought it risky, but maybe the soldiers had no Blue Kryptonite to suppress their powers. His own experience with Rainbow Kryptonite proved that particular form of K could do the same, but it had been deemed experimental so was not widely available.
Having the sun lamps made it easier to re-energize the prisoners with their powers. Kara switched the settings to yellow sun for a concentrated dose of sunlight to amp up everyone. They had no time for a gradual release of powers.
As they regained their powers, the ragged Kryptonians lashed out, crushing weapons and injuring and killing soldiers with their heat vision and super-strength. Clark regretted the savagery of the escape but they had no choice. The Empire would not pull any punches, and neither could they.
Clark kept an eye out for any weapons capable of launching Green Kryptonite missiles or liquid. He was surprised that the base didn’t seem to have either weapon but was grateful as he blinked, trying to suppress flashbacks of his last rescue attempt here and the suffocating sensation laced with pain as the Green K liquid had coated his skin…
“Kal-El!” Kara said sharply, and Clark snapped out of it. The other Kryptonians followed Clark and Kara as they flew off, leaving rubble behind.
“We’ve done it, Kal-El!” said Kara exultantly.
“We did!” Clark was feeling the rush of excitement and success.
A young man with tangled brown hair flew up to the cousins. “We can’t thank you enough!”
“We will always help our people,” Kara assured him. Suddenly a woman screamed behind them as a liquid green firestorm headed their way at dizzying speed.
“What the hell?”
Green Lantern saw a Kadoran scout ship speeding out of Kadoran territory into the Neutral Zone. A heavy cruiser was right on its tail, and he took stock of the situation to see whether or not he should intervene.
“Ring, show me the pilots of the scout ship.” Something was fishy. Why would a Kadoran cruiser be chasing one of its own scout ships?
The image of two men appeared in an emerald globe of energy and Green Lantern’s mouth dropped in shock.
Well, that settled it. He knew what he was going to do without a doubt.
His first instinct was to attack the cruiser, but he decided to shield the scout ship instead. He aimed his Power Ring and created a barrier between the ships.
Inside the scout ship, Steve exclaimed, “Holy…! It’s Green Lantern!”
“Never saw one of those guys up close before.” Slade watched as Green Lantern created the barrier.
“I hope you’re strapped in, Mr. Wilson, because we’re going to kick it into high gear!”
Steve maneuvered the sleek ship with all the skill he possessed, grateful for his lover’s help. It had been a close thing but now he knew that they had a fighting chance. The captain of the cruiser kept his men firing, but it was no use against the power of a Green Lantern. With a whoop of excitement Steve piloted the ship toward Cestus I, Slade laughing beside him.
“Man, glad that Lantern showed up. I…uh, oh.”
“Looks like they might have clipped our boy in the head.”
Steve’s heart was in his throat as he looked at the monitor showing the aft section.
On Cestus I, Sam Lane saw the bright flash in the sky as he was walking toward the command center. He broke into a run.