Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (51/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Jonathan/Martha, Lana Lang, Selina/Lois/Kathy, Dick, Clark/Bruce, Hal/Steve/Diana
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
Date Of Completion (First Draft): October 24, 2011
Date Of Posting: January 8, 2013
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1469
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
There’s no place like home."
Old Earth Saying
19th Century C.E.
“Are you sure, Lana? Oh, that’s wonderful!”
Jonathan came in from the kitchen nibbling on a square of pumpkin bread, whipped cream and a cherry on top. “What’s wonderful?” he asked.
“The Slave Protection Laws Bill is going to come to a vote by the end of the month,” Lana said from Martha’s laptop screen.
Lana grinned. “It’s a bill with teeth, too. People are coming around. We can thank that old bastard Caldwell for helping turn the tide of public opinion.”
“Won’t it be fantastic to see him brought up on charges of slave abuse?”
“That would be a red-letter-day,” said Martha.
“The Day of Jubilee is coming, my friends.”
“Can’t come soon enough for me,” Jonathan muttered.
“We’ll see it in our lifetimes, I’m sure.”
“That would be one of the happiest days of my life,” Martha said fervently.
“I’ll keep you informed.”
Martha thanked Lana, who signed off. “What great news.”
“I’ll say. Clark won’t have to play pleasure slave to Bruce Wayne anymore.”
“I know that Clark loves Bruce. Wouldn’t you rather see them married instead of as Master and slave?”
“Of course I would. I’m just hopeful that he comes back successfully from space.”
Jonathan looked down at his plate. “I wish we could get some word.”
“Bruce will let us know.”
Jonathan took a bite of bread. “I want to be in the Senate gallery for the vote.”
Martha smiled. “I wouldn’t miss it.”
“Yeah, well, you’re my best contact. Can you lift the veil of secrecy?” Lois tapped her foot impatiently. “C’mon, Vinnie.” She rolled her eyes. “Okay, okay.” Lois sighed. “Call me if you get anything.”
“Trouble?” Selina asked lazily as she ran her foot up her leg, sitting comfortably in a chair in the Kane Manor living room.
“I’m juggling two hot stories here.”
“Care to share?” At Lois’ hesitation, Selina smiled. “Oh, don’t worry, dear. Unless your stories involve magnificent pieces of jewelry or basalt cat figurines, I won’t do anything about them.”
Lois smirked as she flounced onto the couch. “Oh, what the hell. There’s a disappearance and a rumor going around.”
“Major Steve Trevor.”
“The hero of the Virillian War?” Selina’s green eyes glittered.
“The one and only.”
“Here on Earth?”
Lois shook her head. “From Cestus I.”
“The Outer Rim, eh?”
“Yeah.” Lois wished that she had a cigarette. It was terribly old-fashioned to smoke, but screw ‘em. She wanted a ciggie. “He’s been missing for several days now.”
“And the rumor?”
Lois frowned. “There was an execution scheduled on Cestus III.”
“A bunch of whos. Kryptonians.”
“My contacts say subspace chatter is indicating a raid.”
“A rescue?” Selina leaned forward.
“By those Rebels?”
Selina studied Lois’ face. “You’re not sure?”
“Could be Rebs. The rumor is that only two Kryptonians pulled off a rescue, but…”
Lois swung her leg back-and-forth. She really wanted a cigarette. “The rescue mission may not have been successful.”
“Really.” Lois looked at the painting over the mantel. It was a picture of an English foxhunt, which struck her as appropriate. “I figure maybe the Govs got two extra victims for their guillotine.”
“I wonder how many Kryptonians are left.”
“It’s been a very successful Hunt.”
“What about the Hunt?” asked Kathy as she entered the room. Like Wayne Manor, it was finished with traditional furniture and family heirlooms, such as the 600-year-old grandfather clock in the corner.
“There might have been an attempted rescue of Kryptonians scheduled for execution,” Lois answered.
“Could have been a wash-out.”
“Damn.” Kathy sat next to Lois on the couch. “We should push for that superhero society that we were discussing.”
“I like that idea,” Lois said.
“I’m still not sure you’ll get a guy like Batman to join,” said Selina.
“If we get the Blur to join, we’ll have to get him or her to get a better name.”
The women laughed and Kathy’s cellphone rang. She checked it and stood. “I’ve got a call from Lana. She wants me on my laptop.” On her way out, she tossed over her shoulder, “Oh, Lo, there’s ciggies in the ivory humidor but you’ll have to smoke outside.”
A startled Lois looked at Selina as the cat burglar burst out laughing. Lois stuck her tongue out and lunged for the humidor.
<center>& & & & & &</center>
Dick sat on the seawall, kicking his legs back-and-forth. He looked out over the sea, trying to stave off a sense of melancholy. He understood that he should expect feeling sad sometimes now that he almost a teenager, but he would really rather be cheerful. He was never one for dark and brooding.
The sky was overcast and Dick shivered, glad for his red jacket. He wiped away a tear.
Oh, Clark, please be all right.
Depression settled over him like the clouds on the horizon. He hated the feeling but couldn’t seem to shake it.
He wasn’t wearing his dark glasses. Bruce said it was not necessary on the estate. He really wished that Bruce hadn’t declared a Veiling, but Dick wasn’t stupid. He understood why. Even at his tender age, he wasn’t safe from predators.
He watched a seagull wheel out over the ocean, screeching as it surveyed the sea, diving to catch a fish in its beak. It flew off triumphantly as the fish flapped helplessly.
Dick sighed. He was too worried to try and attempt to dredge up any cheer. His mood fit the overcast autumn day.
Footsteps scuffed through the leaves and Bruce was at his side, hands jammed into his jacket pockets. He said nothing at first, the two of them watching a freighter chug from Gotham Harbor out to sea. A flock of seagulls shrieked and landed on the water and bobbed on the waves. A flock of geese honked as they flew in strict V-formation as they headed south for the winter.
“Alfred’s baking pumpkin bread.”
Dick quirked a smile. “He’s also baking pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, apple pie, apple crisp, lemon pie, chocolate chip cookies…”
Bruce laughed. “We’re certainly the beneficiaries of his baking jag.”
“He’s worried about Clark.”
Bruce put a hand on Dick’s shoulder. “We all are.”
Dick tried to keep the tremor out of his voice. “What if he doesn’t come back?”
Bruce squeezed his shoulder. “He’ll be back.”
Dick hoped so. He shivered and Bruce asked concernedly, “Should you go inside?”
“I’ll be all right.”
Bruce sat down on the stone wall next to Dick. “It’s not easy, this waiting thing, is it?”
Dick shook his head. “I know why Clark had to go.” He squared his shoulders. “If I could save my people from execution, I would.”
Dick kicked his legs out again. “Clark has a good heart.”
They elapsed into silence again.
Diana entered the house, tired after a long day at the Atheneuem. She loved the research and was glad to contribute to the household with the salary she earned, but the house itself was achingly empty. She set her purse on the hall table and wondered if she would have the energy to cook dinner tonight.
The front door opened and she whirled. “Hal?”
Her lover stood in the doorway. For a moment she couldn’t read his face, then a hand went to her mouth as she knew the answer. Hal stepped aside and Steve appeared, Diana crying out as she ran into his arms, mindful of her strength as she hugged him.
“Beloved, my darling! Oh, thank Hera!”
“Angel,” Steve whispered, crushing her to him as Hal smiled.
A small dot on the horizon swiftly grew larger, transforming into a man dressed in black. Dick and Bruce were stunned as Clark hovered before them, then flew over the seawall and landed lightly on the lawn. Dick and Bruce twisted around and Dick leaped off the wall, nearly flying into Clark’s arms as he cried out in joy. Clark laughed and hugged him hard.
When they broke apart, Dick’s eyes danced with excitement. “Are you and Kara all right? Did you save your people?”
“We did. Kara got a little banged up but she’s fine.” He looked at Bruce. “She saved my life.”
Dick bounced on his toes. “You’ll have to tell us all about it! But first I’ll go tell Alfred you’re back.” He dashed off toward the kitchen.
Clark and Bruce shared a look of amusement just before Clark crushed Bruce to him, the two of them hugging tightly. When they parted Clark said softly, “I told you I’d come back to you.”
Bruce’s eyes glistened with tears as he cupped Clark’s face, the wind off the ocean ruffling their hair.