Elseworld (inspired by The Princess Bride and the Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom books)
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Read the previous chapter here.
Read the story from the beginning here.
A terrible sound echoed through the dungeon, a distinctive mixture of hissing and roaring, and Chloe felt fear strike into her heart. Not just for herself, but for Clark, and all the people confined here, helpless.
Thanks to the green stones in the walls, Lana had transformed into the lizard. And as long as she remained in the darkness of the dungeon, she would remain thus.
Chloe glanced around at the green glow of the stones. Possibly, she thought, the green light, which seemed to be generated when Clark got near the stones, might be enough to keep the lizard out of this cell. But that was small comfort. She couldn't bear to sit here, listening as the lizard rent human flesh and devoured the helpless occupants of Level 3.
There was a crashing sound, and Chloe peered through the bars, seeing that the lizard had pushed its way through the iron door as easily as if it were parchment. The lizard lifted its head, and its beady dark eyes glinted as it stared at her. At the look in its eyes, her heart went cold in her chest.
The lizard took a step toward her. But before it could come closer, she heard a shout.
"What is that thing?"
A wavering yellow light illuminated the passage, very feebly. One of the guards had come to investigate, bearing a torch, Chloe realized. The lizard hissed and spun, pressing up against the iron bars in an effort to evade the faint circle of light.
If only, Chloe thought. If only that is enough light to force her to transform...
But apparently it wasn't, quite. The lizard's skin rippled, and it shuddered in pain, but no transformation occurred. Chloe was unsurprised, as the men the lizard had attacked in the woods had certainly been carrying torches, too. The lizard opened its mouth in what looked almost like a smile, and then charged at the hapless guard.
Chloe could see nothing of what occurred. But terrible screams of agony echoed off the stone walls for a long moment.
On the floor, Clark groaned. She knew he felt the same helpless anguish and rage she did. If not for the rocks glowing emerald in the walls, he could so easily have saved the guard.
But he was too weak to move.
Desperately, she began trying to dig the glowing chunks of rock out of the wall, thinking that she could throw them out into the passageway, away from Clark. If she could get them all away from him, his strength would return.
The mortar was relatively soft, and she managed to pry one of them loose fairly readily, although she broke several nails in the process. But there were so many of them, and she had so little time...
The screams stopped, and there was a terrible wet sound, as of flesh being torn apart. Softer cries and sobs echoed down the corridor, and Chloe knew the prisoners who had seen the lizard kill the guard now feared for their own lives.
There was nothing she or Clark could do to save them. They could not even hope to save themselves.
Despite the blood oozing from her torn nails, she began to scrabble at a second rock, but hesitated as she heard the lizard's clawed feet against the stones of the floor, scuttling toward their cell. Time had run out.
"Chlo." Clark gasped out her name as if the single syllable were an immense effort. "The flame... the blue flame..."
Abruptly Chloe remembered the woman they'd passed, who'd been able to create a little blue flame in her cell. It hadn't been much, but perhaps... perhaps...
The scuttling stopped, and the door suddenly burst open. The lizard stood there, its hideous mouth gaping open, showing all its dagger-like teeth. Chloe instinctively stepped in front of Clark, trying hopelessly to protect him.
"I need light!" she called, loudly. "If any of you can create flame or light-- do it now!"
Nothing happened. The lizard's tail slashed from side to side, and it stepped toward her, all its teeth glinting in the eerie green light.
Chloe tried again, knowing these people had no reason to trust her, and likely saw no reason to comply with her request without explanation. "Light hurts the lizard!" she cried, more loudly than before. "Please, if you can create light--!"
The lizard took another step toward her. It was so close that she could smell its fetid breath. With all her strength, she flung the single rock she'd managed to pry loose from the wall. It happened to be a very good throw, and it struck the lizard directly in the eye. It fell back a bit, hissing, and a small dribble of ichor oozed from its eye.
She'd hurt it. But it was far from a mortal wound, and in all likelihood all she'd succeeded in doing was angering it.
"Light!" she called again. "Please!"
The lizard opened its mouth, and a hideous roaring sound filled the cell, a sound of animal rage and pain. Chloe held her ground and stared at it, knowing she was about to be ripped to shreds.
And then a brilliant golden light filled the dungeon, and the lizard fell back, screaming in pain.
Read Chapter 16 here.