Banner by alxnhnt22
Disclaimer: Smallville: Superman the Early Years, and Superman, the comic and all their relevant characters, places and items, are the direct property of Warner Brothers Inc, The CW and DC comics.
A/N: I am well aware that it has been radio silence on my end for a little while now, and i sincerely apologise to all readers. I have been putting off and putting off and putting off this chapter because... well you'll find out when you read it. But I just wanted to say that I am so grateful for all the feedback this story has received. I want to thank all my reviewers so far, you guys keep me going.
Special thanks and blessings from heaven go to those who reviewed the last chapter. Namely, babydee1, saurina, smallvillefics, and yhrcmg, . You guys are amazing and all of your wonderful reviews are keeping me motivated.
So enjoy this chapter, and do feedback, leave a review, make my day (however you want to put it)
My heart has joined the Thousand. For my friend stopped running today.- RichardAdams
Shaking fingers hovered over the keyboard. Chloe stared into the screens viciously working to figure out what was going on. Her head began to throb from looking at the frozen screens for too long, and the frustration was beginning to turn into panic.
Licking her lips nervously, she tried once more to reboot, hoping that it was a simple hardware problem. But no. It seemed providence had turned on her at the most inconvenient time, as usual. So far all she could ascertain was that the connection to the satellites that Chloe thrived on, was broken, or jammed or...
Chloe bit down on her lip anxiously... or blocked, she hesitated to think. If blocked, there was only one feasible reason, and Chloe wasn't willing to abandon hope just yet.
Knowing from IT 101, that you should always have a back-up, Chloe was close to punching herself for relying too much on the satellite connection. It was her only way of viewing the active heat signatures within the tower, and the only way for her to remain in contact with the others. Now the only information she had was from nearly twelve minutes ago. As Chloe had learned a long time ago, a lot can happen in twelve minutes.
Chloe took a deep breath and forced herself to calm down. The team weren't novices, they'd run operations without her before, and they would again. Just because they couldn't hear her, and she couldn't see them didn't mean that they were fishes out of water, it just meant that SONAR was no longer an option.
Breath Chloe... she told herself. Breathe...
"Where are the others?" Oliver asked Dinah, as the group made their way out of the building.
Dinah appeared to be very much in thought, but answered. "Boyscout took Aquaman, and Cyborg up to the top to face this Zod guy head on. They're trying to stop these aliens getting their powers. Impulse lost communication with Watchtower a long time ago. We've been running blind."
"Where is Impulse?" Oliver said looking around him.
"That happens to be what I'm trying to figure out." Dinah said, glancing round a corner before leading everyone down it.
Oliver glanced back at the hostages; No one appeared to be having any trouble keeping up. The doctor did seem a little distracted, but after watching a man die after hours trying to keep him alive, what could anyone expect.
Suddenly, Oliver felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning he saw it was Friar. Oliver had to say he was a little disappointed. He had hoped that Bart would sneak up on him. In all honesty he was more on edge, when Bart wasn't surprising him.
"Listen, Queen" Friar said, a stern look on his face. "Just who are these people, Cyborg, Boy scout... It just sounds like some kinda circus to me."
At risk of sounding defensive about the names he'd help pick out, Oliver simply said. "Look, i know it's a little strange but trust me, they're friends. They're gonna get us outta this."
"Oliver..." Dinah said suddenly, sounding all too panicked. "You need to get over here now."
Oliver was there in seconds "What- Oh my God..."
Lying facedown in a heap on the floor, was Bart's unconscious body.
Oliver immediately felt panic set in, like a punch to the stomach. He knelt down next to Bart. "Bart! Can you hear me!"
"Is he..." Dinah began, not wanting to say it.
Oliver felt around for a pulse. Bart's skin was warm, and Oliver could feel him breathing laboured, heavy breaths. "He's alive... We need to get him outta here. Now."
He rose and pulled Bart up with him. Blood dribbled over his face from his scalp, and there were charred marks over his costume, where it had burned through and blistered the skin underneath. Perhaps it was the fact that Bart was so much younger than everyone else, perhaps it was just the degree of his wounds, but Oliver felt something rise up within him, gritting his teeth together and locking his jaw in anger. Realising Bart needed help, Oliver turned his attention to Dinah who was staring at Bart's body in horror.
"Dinah!" he said "Snap out of it."
Dinah blinked up at him.
"Take him, and get him to Watchtower." He said, handing Barts body over.
Dinah hesitated. "But... I need to be here... AC-"
"Will be fine." Oliver finished, "Take him and go. Now!"
Friar stepped up, and took Bart's body from Oliver. "I got him." He said to Dinah.
"Dinah. Take the others, and get them outta here." Oliver said
About to argue, Dinah noticed the look in Oliver's eyes, and nodded instead. She flipped open a pocket, and handed Oliver a little lead box. "You should take this. Watchtower thought it would keep us safe."
Oliver nodded. "Go with her." He said to the others.
"Why do I feel like you are about to do something foolish?" asked one of the French ladies
Oliver said nothing. Amanda filled in for him. "We should just go. Be careful Oliver."
Oliver watched as they turned down the corridor and ran, the body of his former comrade bouncing in the arms of Grayson Friar. If he was a contemplative man, he would have wondered why after so long hiding from his hero complex, he was suddenly acting the hero, and running around in a Versace suit. But Oliver was not a contemplative man, and simply put it down to survival. He was going to make sure that his old friends stayed alive.
He flipped open the lid on the little box, and his eyes narrowed. Somehow he'd been swindled into doing what Chloe wanted anyhow. That sounded about right actually, everyone ended up doing what Chloe wanted eventually. It was one of them Sullivan-Lane mind-games. Though he did wonder how Chloe would know that they would need kryptonite.
Before he could think about this, the green rock began to glow, and Oliver smiled.
Well, he thought, If I'm gonna end up doing what Chloe wants, I might as well enjoy it.
Fisting the rock, he turned and swung. And boy did he enjoy it.
The sound of footsteps echoed along the corridor, and passed Victor. Hiding in a small room, he and AC didn't dare breathe until the footsteps faded into nothing; AC was keeping a firm hand over Clark's mouth and nose, barely noticing that he was beginning to turn red. Apparently, Zod didn't pull his punches like Clark did. So, when Zod sent him hurtling into a wall, Clark felt it everywhere, and his organs and ribs were still recovering. When silence fell on them again, he let out a sigh of relief, and cracked open the door a millimetre. Across the hall was the door to the elevator. AC and he had deliberated that the quickest way down was falling... or something to that effect. With Victor's gloves he could make the descent with little trouble. But they would have to find some way to protect AC's hands, along the tough cable.
"Delicate, little girl hands..." Victor had muttered under his breath.
They had decided the best way would be to rip part of Clark's shirt, and use it like bandages. Needless to say, AC did not have much confidence in this.
"If it spontaneously combusts-" AC began
"Stop being a girl." Victor hissed. "Look, you said so yourself, the elevator shaft is the quickest way outta here, right?"
"And I told you that it's only about 700 feet down from here."
"And," Victor continued "Did we, or did we not stealth down fifteen flights of stairs already to save your precious little hands?"
Subdued, AC relented, and allowed Victor to wrap the black fabric around his hands.
"Guys-" Clark began, pained
"It's alright man, we got you covered." AC said. "Victor's gonna go down first, with you on his back, 'kay?"
Clark nodded, Victor cracked the door a little further, "I think we can make it now." He said. "You ready?"
AC pulled Clark up, and they made a break for it, dashing over to the other side of the corridor.
"Gimme a sec, and we'll get this door open." Victor said, tearing off his glove, ready to jack in.
"No time." AC said, tearing the doors apart, with a loud creak.
Victor looked horrified. "Did you forget superhearing?"
"Just get him outta here already!" AC fired back, holding the doors apart.
Victor heard footsteps far along the corridor, and grabbed the cable. "Get Clark on my back." He hissed.
Victor felt Clark's weight pull on his shoulders. "Gonna be honest. Never thought I'd have to do this."
AC groaned. "Shut up and go!"
"Don't rush me!"
"Now," AC hissed "is definitely the time to be rushing!"
Victor ignored him, and began descending the cable carefully, well aware of the footsteps along the corridor. Letting a bit of cable out at a time, the descent was a lot slower than he thought. But of course there was more to think about than simply getting down. Clark's groaning was a little distracting. Victor was honestly worried about Clark's state. He never figured that anyone would ever give Clark lasting pain. Not to mention, he still hadn't recovered. There was the possibility that whatever Zod did to get his powers had affected Clark's powers too. Victor swallowed. If that was the case, Victor had every reason to be afraid.
Suddenly there was a lot of noise above him. Victor looked up and saw that the light from the open elevator door was gone. He started to track back in his mind, and wonder if he ever felt the weight of AC's body on the cable.
"AC?" he called into the darkness. "Are you in here?"
There was the hum of the building, Clark's heavy, laboured breaths... and silence. Victor switched his visual to night, and looked up the cable. There was nothing there. Nothing except the elevator above them.
"What's going on?" Clark asked. "Where is he?"
Victor swallowed nervously, as he felt his stomach churn sickly. "I don't know."
It just so happened that after ten minutes, they reached the bottom of the shaft. Waiting for AC to turn up took another ten minutes. Victor was sure that AC wouldn't be so stupid as to stay up there, in plain sight for all Kandorians to see... Then again... AC was also the same guy who got arrested at a "Save the Whale" protest... and went back to the same protest to get arrested again.
"Victor, I don't think he's coming down." Clark said hesitantly.
Victor's eyes narrowed and he hissed into the darkness "Come on, you fish faced bastard."
"Vic." Clark said. "We need to get outta here."
"I know you're not used to being part of a team Clark." Victor began, "So let me lay this out for you real clear. We. Are. Not. Going. Without. AC."
Clark nodded. "Victor, believe me, I don't want to leave him." He said. "But... we're sitting ducks here."
Underneath his anger, Victor felt himself relenting.
"We can't stay here any longer." Clark said. "We have to get back to Watchtower."
And finally he relented. Victor didn't know what else to do. Knowing that Clark was right, and waiting for AC would just mean to get picked off like prey, he knew that they had to go. "This doesn't feel right." Victor murmured.
"I know." Clark said. And looking over at his face, Victor could actually believe it. Victor could see on Clark's face a loss... Something that cut him to the bone, glazed his eyes over, and forced him to care. It seemed that he was feeling more than physical pain.
"So what's that look?" Victor asked.
And immediately it was gone. "What look?"
"Look, Clark," Victor began, "If you don't wanna talk about it, I understand. But don't shut yourself off, and pretend there's nothing wrong."
Clark watched Victor for a minute before turning toward the doors. "I think i can get these open-"
"Um..." Victor interjected. "Why don't we try this, my way?"
Oliver had been searching for what felt like hours, and in his wake lay the unconscious bodies of nearly a dozen Kandorians. Apparently once they were out, they were safe. He crept along the corridor, wondering where on earth the others were.
Suddenly there was a noise around the corner. Oliver immediately slipped into assault mode. Raising the kryptonite, he got ready to strike. Hugging the wall he inched closer and closer to his hidden adversary.
On a breath, he leapt around the corner, grabbing the opponent by the neck. Poised to strike, he was frozen. His eyebrows drew together
in a frown, and his mouth dropped open
Tess, having recovered her wits, reached up and knocked the rock out of his hand, before pinning him to the ground with her knee.
He hit the floor with a grunt, as Tess' knee winded him "What the hell are you doing?" he asked incredulously.
"What does it look like?" she said on a breath. "You released those bloodsuckers?"
"I think I was one of those blood suckers-"
Before Oliver could finish his sentence, Tess drove her knee further into his gut, and Oliver let out a loud groan of pain.
"You were always the sadist-" he said, his voice strained with pain.
Tess looked altogether more disappointed than angry. "You were supposed to join us."
"Us?" Oliver asked. "What are you talking about Tess?"
Tess' eyes narrowed, and she said nothing.
"Are you working with them?" Oliver asked, his eyes widening in amazement. "Tess-"
"Finish him Tess." Oliver looked to the side, and saw Zod standing afar off, looking oh so menacing.
Tess raised a fist, as though adhering to his command. Oliver turned to face Tess and noticed her lips press together, and uncertainty cloud her eyes
Oliver raised a hand to cup her face. "You don't have to do this," he whispered. "What good will it do?"
Tess looked back at him, her eyes narrowed suddenly, as though her mind was made up. "I'm going to save this world Oliver. You would have seen that if you'd only joined me."
Oliver lowered his hand, "If this is what you have to do, go ahead." He said. "I won't stop you." He raised his hands over his head, as though proving a point. Seeing her fist lower slightly, out of the corner of his eye, he saw his moment, and took it.
Quick as a flash, and with a cry of surprise, Tess was on her back, and Oliver had her pinned down, with her arms over her head.
Tess was still trying to figure out what happened, as Oliver grinned. "Stay..." he commanded, before jumping up, and grabbing that precious green rock, and dashing at Zod.
The closer her got, the lower Zod's body fell. When he reached him, Zod was on his knees, but still defiantly stared Oliver down.
"This... is for old ladies." Oliver said, before swinging the rock across Zod's face, and watching him slump to the ground.
"Oliver!" Oliver turned to see Victor appear out of nowhere and jump across the corridor, before collapsing in a heap against the wall.
It took a few seconds for Oliver to process what had happened, but one must assume that it was seeing the gun in Tess' hand that solidified his decision to move out of the way of speeding bullets. He slammed to the ground, just as a bullet caught him in the arm. The adrenaline racing through his body meant that he wouldn't feel it for a while. But damn, was it gonna hurt in a few minutes.
Oliver looked up again, when he stopped hearing bullets, and saw Clark wrestling the gun away from Tess. More importantly, Victor's body was shaking on the floor in front of him.
"Vic!" he cried, noticing that his eyes were slowly closing. "Vic, Come on man!"
Blood, blood, was all Oliver could think. too much blood.
It seeped too fast into his costume, and moving it away, the blood spurted out and hit Oliver in the chest.
No... Oliver screamed "No! Dammit Vic!"
Desperately, he fumbled his hands around trying to stop the blood, but it hissed past his fingers, and Victor's body grew heavy.
"Come on!" Oliver yelled.
Clark managed to get the gun from Tess, and knock it across her face. She fell to the floor in a heap.
But it didn't matter. Victor's body was now lifeless, Oliver's hands fisted in Victor's costume, as though clinging on for him to stay alive.
He felt Clark's hand descend on his shoulder. "He's gone, Oliver."
"He..." Oliver began. "He saved my..."
A/N: I feel so terrible now. I need to watch something funny... like Merlin. Although, that's also a bit sad now (stupid Lancelot)... Sigh. this is why I was putting it off, and putting it off and putting it off. ARGH!
So... who wants to cheer me up with a review?