Friday, September 19, 2008

Land of Confusion, Chapter 8

Clark/Chloe
Season 6, following my story "Wherever You Will Go"
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Read Chapter 7 here.

Chloe leaned her head back against a leather headrest and uttered a long sigh at the unaccustomed comfort of being in a luxury car. It had been a long time since she'd ridden in a car at all, and she hadn't ever spent a lot of time riding around in Lexuses. Economy cars had been more her style.

It figured, though. Pretty much the only people with any access to gas nowadays were people who had money-- and that meant people who supported the Luthor administration, since most other wealthy people had had all their assets stripped from them when Lex took over. The Luthor administration called it redistribution, but it was simply confiscation of assets-- assets that enriched Lex, and no one else.

If this fat guy still owned his car, that probably meant he was a Lex supporter. And that in turn meant he might know who she was, or at least have some idea.

She didn't care for the way he was eying her, anyway. Since society had fallen apart, it seemed like almost everyone was a predator of some sort. With no police force to protect the weak, people had reverted to their worst and most brutal instincts.

Like Lord of the Flies, she thought, remembering a book she'd read in middle school. Deep down... everyone's a savage.

They'd driven for about twenty minutes when the guy pulled over on an empty stretch of highway, edged by dense trees. She turned her head and looked at him warily.

"I thought you said you were going all the way to Metropolis?"

"I am." He leered at her. "But first, I have some other plans."

Great. Just great. She was pretty sure she wasn't going to like his ideas. She wasn't about to let herself be raped. She had the baby to think about. Anyway, she was no one's prey, and never had been.

"Back off," she said, narrowing her eyes at him.

He laughed, unconcerned by her dangerous glower, and reached out his big beefy hands, grabbing for her. She sighed, pulling the Taser she always carried out of her pocket, and pressed it against the rolls of fat on his neck.

He stiffened, then collapsed onto the steering wheel, unconscious.

She got out of the car, went around to the driver's side, and opened the door. She didn't want to do any more heavy lifting than she had to, so she just sort of shifted his weight so he fell heavily out of the car, then rolled him to the side of the road. He was out cold, and when he awakened, she intended to be a long distance from here.

She slid in behind the steering wheel and put on her seat belt, out of long habit. Then she cracked the window open.

"Thanks for the ride," she told the unconscious form, and hit the gas hard, taking off in a cloud of dust and a spray of pebbles.

*****

Clark felt strength flowing back into him. He was far enough away from the kryptonite to recover, and he could feel his bleeding lip knit back together, could feel his powers being restored. After a moment, he sat up, giving the blonde woman a grateful look, and then glared up at the guy with the green arrows.

"I could kill you, you know."

"You could," Green Arrow agreed, apparently unconcerned. "Except for the fact that I've got another one of the meteor rock arrows in my quiver. I'm betting that means you can't touch me."

It didn't mean that, not exactly. He could easily incinerate the guy with a blast of heat vision. But he really wasn't into incinerating people, not even when they tied him up and scared the piss out of him.

So they were at something of an impasse here, and administering an ass-kicking really wasn't an option right now. Too bad. He could just superspeed out of here, of course, but oddly, he wasn't inclined to do so, because his native curiosity compelled him to find out what this guy's story was.

He rose to his feet and looked at the other man, holding back any residual impulse he might feel to snarl.

"Look," he said, "believe it or not, we're on the same side here."

"Right. I forgot. You're one of those kinder, gentler aliens."

Clark gave up restraining himself, and bared his teeth. "You already know Lex has people trying to find me. He wants me dead or alive. Obviously we're both on the same side."

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend, huh?" Arrow looked thoughtful. "So tell me, alien, why are you helping people in Metropolis?"

Clark sighed.

"Because the people there need help," he said simply.

"But you're not from Metropolis," the woman said.

"No. I told you, I'm from Smallville. But I used to spend a lot of time in Metropolis. I guess I sort of got to thinking of it as my city. And my girlfriend and I-- well, we were a hundred miles away, but I could hear people calling for help--"

"You could hear them calling for help from a hundred miles away?" Arrow repeated skeptically.

Clark nodded. "And like I said, everything that's happened is my fault, sort of. So I... well, I took up coming to Metropolis at night to help."

"Where's your girlfriend?"

"Out in the country, where it's safer."

The woman cocked her head, looking bewildered. "Are you telling us you travel a hundred miles every night? How fast can you move, anyway?"

Clark looked at her, then blurred across the cavernous room.

"Pretty damn fast," he said from thirty feet away.

Arrow's eyes went wide. "Just like Impulse," he said to the woman.

Clark frowned. Impulse. He'd once known a guy who could run even faster than he could, a kid named Bart Allen. He wondered if this guy had somehow stumbled across him too. But he tabled the matter for now and blurred back.

"So that's what I'm doing," he said, standing next to the woman, and carefully maintaining enough distance from the man that the kryptonite-tipped arrow didn't bother him. "That's my whole story. I'm just trying to save people. What do you do?"

Arrow frowned at him. "Your buddy Lex--"

"I already told you, we quit being friends a year ago."

"Well, that was a couple years too late. Your buddy Lex has been abducting people with superpowers and running experiments on them for years."

Clark nodded. He'd learned that recently, to his immense dismay. It was, he thought, a miracle that he himself had never wound up in one of Lex's labs.

"I took it upon myself to rescue some of them. And since then, we've been helping people who need us. We call ourselves Justice."

"Nice name," Clark said. "Are you really out for justice, or revenge?"

Beneath his mask, the guy's teeth bared in sudden anger, as if Clark had struck a nerve. He ripped the remaining kryptonite-tipped arrow out of his quiver and fitted it into the bow, in what was a very fast move, for a human.

But to Clark, a human's fastest move was pathetically slow. He narrowed his eyes, and the arrow burst into flame. Arrow yelped, flinging the bow and arrow to the floor with a clatter.

"I really don't like meteor rocks," Clark said mildly. "Now answer the question. Are you and your people about justice... or revenge?"

Arrow stared at him for a long moment. Beneath the dark glasses, his face was as cold and hard as granite.

"Both," he said.

Read Chapter 9 here.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

*claps hands* Awesome! I love this story and am so excited to see an update. Keep going, Ellie!

Deborah

rakushi said...

never was there a better way to wake up than with a chapter update. :D
i love this series, elly! so awesome to see you getting to it. XD

Frostykist said...

your know i love you right?

DeeDee said...

You know I agree with frostykist, right? :-)

Anonymous said...

Catching up with what I missed while I was sick. I loved this. It was great. I think you're giving us a complicated view of Ollie and who he is and being very honest about his version of Justice being far too close to revenge. Clark continues to surprise and to be strong, which is a nice contrast and forwards the making amends aspect following out of the previous segment with his torture and weak moment.

Of course, also have to love Chloe and her taser.

Toby

Alex said...

OMG. I LOVE YOU.

I haven't read this story for a very long time and I got all caught up last night and I LOVE IT.

This is easily my favorite fanfiction series of all time.

I remember two years ago being apprehensive of reading it, and then I decided to and I read the first three books in one day and now I LOVE YOU.

Elly said...

Awwww, thank you so much, Alex. So glad you're enjoying it!

Sarah said...

It's been so long since I read this story, but I decided to read the whole thing again today as a little Hanukkah present to me. It's still just as amazing. I hope you decide to keep going and finish this book too!

Elly said...

I'm hoping to update this one soon, Sarah. I always come back to this series sooner or later. I'm delighted to know you enjoyed it, even on a second reading.

Happy Hanukkah!

Anonymous said...

I read all of the earlier books in this series, but since I usually am not a big fan of really crazy AU (or Chlark children, yick), I stopped once Chloe went to fix time with older Clark and yeahh...

Then I figured, since I've read pretty much everything else of yours, why leave this out? I just got finished, and it looks promising!

-T

Anonymous said...

ahhhhh, I just read all this and now I'm crying you haven't updated in a while. Elly, please finish this soon, please.

sandy_tm said...

i finished the whole series in one sitting! it's brilliant. you've gotta update soon! please! :)

Elly said...

Thanks so much, sandy. As I said on my front page, I'm in the process of moving, but this is one of my first priorities to update. (One more week and I'll be moved, yay!)

This blog needs links and stuff added, too, but I've been too busy to do it. There's one more chapter that isn't linked here:

http://ellyfanfiction.blogspot.com/2009/02/land-of-confusion-chapter-9.html