My take on the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow series based on the preliminary trailer. It starts with Sara Lance's resurrection via the Lazarus Pit and then moves forward as the various members join the team.
Author's Note: As always, I own none of these characters. I am merely borrowing them while waiting for Legends of Tomorrow to start.
White Canary – War for Redemption
Chapter 1 – Resurrection
The sudden light was blinding. Before that moment there had been nothing but darkness. Darkness and never-ending pain.
The girl awoke having no idea where she was or even who she was. All she had were fading memories of having been somewhere hot, hard, horrible.
"Sara, Sara, my Sara, you are back."
The words registered, but not their meaning. But they were enough to draw her more fully into the world.
She was floating in some kind of a pool filled with an oily liquid that slithered across her skin almost as though it was alive. Opening her eyes, she realized the blinding light was nothing more than a half dozen torches mounted around the perimeter of the pool, which was located in some underground chamber or cavern carved from living rock.
And leaning over the edge of the pool was the most beautiful creature she had ever seen, a raven-haired girl with eyes brimming with tears. Even with the tears, the girl looked like an angel.
The girl looking down at her was unlike anything in the girl in the pool's limited memories, which only held shattered glimpses of creatures of horror: monsters and demons with distorted, disfigured bodies. All of them had viciously tortured her for what had felt like endless, countless millennia. But none more than a red-skinned demon who had looked like a twisted caricature of a woman with giant obscene breasts, hideous raptor-like claws in place of fingers, and wild horns protruding from her forehead.
That demon had been the final one to torture her and it had been bad. Her body had been broken to bits and then reformed only so the torture could begin again in some new and even more horrific way. And it had lasted an eternity. From somewhere a name floated to the surface of her thoughts even as her body shuddered at the only vaguely remembered horrors. Blaze. And then the demon's final words, 'This is not over. I WILL have your eternal soul.'
The girl at the pool's edge leaned out and caught the floating girl's shoulders and pulled her over to the edge of the pool. Gently, as though she was some impossibly delicate thing, the brunette carefully lifted the other girl from the waters and pulled her into a tight embrace.
"Sara, my love, after all this time, I finally have you back," the brunette keened as she slowly rocked the other girl, her tears falling on the blonde's still wet cheek.
The girl from the pool, Sara, could feel the other girl's joy almost like a physical force radiating from her body, but it meant little to Sara and did nothing to alleviate the remembered pain that still racked every inch of her being. Where was she? Why was she here? It must somehow involve this other girl, but she had no idea who the girl was or why she was so happy to see her. And happy was a concept Sara could barely comprehend and certainly didn't feel. Well, maybe she could feel it just a little in the sense that no one had been burning her flesh or breaking her bones these past minutes. Yes, perhaps the lack of pain could be regarded as happiness.
As the brunette continued to rock Sara and with nothing else on which to affix her attention, Sara's eyes swept the room. The place felt old and regularly used, with dark soot stains from the torches covering the intricate carvings on the walls and pillars supporting the tall ceiling.
Lying near them on the floor was a large piece of coarse cloth that obviously had once been white, but was now a dingy tattered grey, stained and thickly matted with dirt. From somewhere the term death-shroud popped into Sara's head. Death-shroud, a cloth used to wrap a dead body before it was interned into the earth. Staring at it, Sara felt a sudden powerful connection to the ravaged piece of cloth. It had been her death-shroud.
It seemed to take forever for her brain to take the next logical step – if she had a death-shroud, then she must have been dead.
"I was dead," Sara whispered.
"Yes, Sara, you were dead," replied the other girl quietly. "But now you are returned to me."
She had been dead. And that had to mean the memories had to be of Hell. She had been in Hell. She had no idea for how long, from her perspective it had seemed like eons. The concepts of Heaven and Hell were barely within the grasp of her shattered mind. But if she had been in Hell, then she must have done some great evil.
But now she was back among the world of the living, whatever exactly that meant.
"Is this real?" Sara whispered.
The other girl pulled back until she could look into Sara's face. "Yes, Sara. It is real and you are alive."
Sara. It must have been, no, must be her name, the blonde thought. But it triggered no memories.
"Who . . . who are you?" Sara whispered, as she searched the other girl's face.
The other girl's fingers had risen and swept Sara's wet blonde hair away from her face. But now, as a frown creased the brunette's gorgeous brow, her fingers froze in place just lightly touching Sara's cheeks.
"Don't you remember me?" the brunette asked in a pleading tone. "I'm Nyssa. You're my best friend, my paramour. We were meant to be together forever. It has taken months to bring you back."
A harsh shudder shook Sara's body. Forever was a term she now associated with her time in Hell and the eternity of pain and suffering.
Sara didn't know exactly what the other girl, no she must now think of her has Nyssa, what Nyssa made of the shiver, but she abruptly pulled Sara back into a tight hug. Somehow the closeness helped to calm the blonde, to still the racing heart she hadn't even noticed.
"Everything will be alright. I'm sure your memories will come back with time. And if they don't, then we'll make new ones, happy ones," whispered Nyssa.
Sara hoped this Nyssa was right, but she had serious doubts. She could feel a coldness, a darkness deep inside. And she could still faintly hear Blaze's words echoing in her mind, 'I will have you.'
They sat there and Sara let Nyssa hold her. Sara had no idea for how long. Compared to the time in Hell, it felt infinitesimally short.
Abruptly, the tranquility of the moment was shattered when the large, heavy wooden door at the far end of the chamber slammed open and ten heavily armed men streamed in and formed a double line between them and the door. They were followed by another man who was obviously their leader. He swept down the corridor of men before pausing a dozen feet from them.
Nyssa scrambled to her feet, pulling Sara with her, and then reached down to retrieve a black cloth bundle. She shook it out and it was apparent it was a robe. It wasn't until she moved to drape it across Sara's shoulders that Sara noticed she was naked.
The robe should have relieved any fears about being naked in front of these men, but it didn't. No, to Sara the black cloak felt suffocating. It carried unbearable associations with her dark times in Hell. Naked was better than being clothed in the suddenly hated black. She quickly stripped off the cloak and threw it as far from her as she could. One corner of it landed in the pool.
The leader only permitted himself one quick glance at Sara's nude body before speaking in a commanding tone. "Kneel before Ra's al Ghul."
Something about his voice tickled at some almost forgotten memory in Sara's damaged mind in a way even Nyssa hadn't done. She knew him from somewhere. She had had dealings with him in the distant past.
"You're . . . you're Al Sa-Her," Sara stated with more confidence than she felt.
Sara could feel Nyssa smiling. Obviously, if Sara remembered Al Sa-Her then her memories weren't all gone forever.
"I once was Al Sa-Her, but now I am Ra's al Ghul," the leader said. "Now, bow down to ME!"
Nyssa dutifully got down on her knees and then lowered her head to the stone floor. However Sara couldn't follow suit. Something about him didn't seem worthy of her subservience. She didn't know what it was, but at some time in the past he had done her a great wrong. She had no idea what it was, but simply knew it was true. And until she knew what it was, Sara would never kowtow to this man.
But then Sara's attention was drawn to the third guard in the left row. Something had simply felt wrong about him from the moment he had entered the chamber. Now, as she stared directly at him, his countenance seemed to shiver. One second Sara saw a hooded man with a fighting staff in his right hand and a sword at his belt. In the next, she saw a hellish figure with cloven feet, a long tail, and a serpent's forked tongue.
"Demon!" Sara screeched and rushed forward. It had to be a minion of Blaze sent to keep her under observation. And any creature of hers had to be destroyed.
For a second the blonde's unexpected action took everyone by surprise, even the leader. As she raced passed him, she snagged the sword from his belt.
Then Sara charged at the demon. He barely had time to get his fighting staff up to parry her first blow. Sara felt strong, fast, and powerful in a way she doubted she had ever felt in her prior, forgotten life.
Her first blow sliced cleanly through the hard wooden shaft and nearly took the demon's right hand with it. But the creature was fast. It tossed the remnants of the staff in her direction and by the time Sara swept it clear, the demon had its own sword out.
Blows rained back and forth. The demon was inhumanly fast, but so was the girl. She didn't know if it was a lingering aftereffect of her resurrection or her time in Hell, but Sara, too, fought like some possessed demon.
Slowly, Sara stripped away the demon's defenses. Piece by piece its armor was ripped away. Then she began landing blows on its arms and legs and torso. Finally, she managed to deliver the coup de grâce, a sword thrust directly through its black heart.
The demon crashed to the floor, its body bursting into intense blue flames that in seconds utterly consumed it. The demon was well and truly dead – sent back to its master in Hell.
Sara allowed the tip of her sword to droop to the floor as she stood trying to catch her breath.
"Seize her. No one kills one of my assassins," shouted Ra's al Ghul.
Sara turned towards him with what she was sure was a dumbfounded expression on her face. Hadn't he seen the demon? Hadn't he seen its fiery immolation?
But then, when Sara flicked her gaze back to the spot where the demon had been, all she saw was the crumbled body of the guard. Had the demon been real? Was she going crazy? Was she still trapped in Hell only now a different looking one?
One of the guards armed with a bow fired an arrow in Sara's direction. She swept her sword up in a blinding arc and easily blocked it. Then the other guards were on her and she was fighting for her life. And regardless of what this place was, it was infinitely better than the place she had been. No way was Sara going to allow them to send her back.
Sara fought and fought. And the guards died and died. And every time one of them died, she watched as a giant ethereal demon hand reached up through the floor and dragged their souls kicking and screaming down to Hell. And over it all, Sara heard Blaze's insane cackling as her own actions just added to the demon's horde of minions.
But it was either continue to send the guards' souls to Hell or end up there herself. And once in Hell was definitely more than enough.
The fight didn't last more than three minutes. By the end, bodies were strewn everywhere and only Nyssa, Ra's, and Sara were still standing.
Sara pointed the tip of his own sword in Ra's direction. "Leave this place now or join your men in Hell!" she snarled.
He took one last look at the destruction the girl, the former Ta-er al-Safar of the League, had wrought. She had died as a victim of one of his old schemes when he had been at odds with the League and before his return to head the League. Now she had been reborn through the powers of the Lazarus Pit. He had seen others use the healing powers of the Pits, hell, he had even used them himself. But he had only heard old legends of their power to restore life to the dead. And he had assumed it would be like what had happened to his daughter, Thea, when she had been submerged in those mystic waters at the last cusp of life. But he knew Sara had been dead and buried for at least six months. Six months. How was that possible? The legends he had heard said the longer the recipient was dead the more the Pits changed them. And from the way she had simply crushed his best men and from the crazed look in her eyes, he knew this portion of the old stories also had to be true.
Ra's al Ghul, the former Malcolm Merlyn, always put his own interests first. And he knew when retreating was the best option. He would gather sufficient forces to truly overwhelm her and then return. It was obvious from the girl's actions and words that her memories of her old life were incomplete or surely she would have attacked him in retribution for his daughter's having killed her. But at some point, her memories would return or someone would tell her of the circumstances of her death. If he let her survive, he and Thea would always be at risk. Therefore Sara had to be destroyed this very night.
And perhaps it was time for Nyssa to go, too. The daughter of the former Ra's had always followed every order he had issued. But if she had gone behind his back to recover Sara's body and then brought it to Nanda Parbat to restore her to life, then the League no longer held her ultimate allegiances, which alone was sufficient grounds for her execution. Yes, it was time to eliminate both of these girls and then make certain their bodies were in no condition to ever be brought back by the Pits again.
All these thoughts flashed through Ra's mind in the time it took him to reach into his cloak and pull one of the smoke grenades he always carried as part of his personal arsenal. He threw it at the floor halfway between his and Sara's locations. When the smoke cleared, he was gone.
Sara lowered her sword and cast her gaze around. She had just sent nine mortal souls to an eternity in hell. Perhaps ten souls, if the first had merely been a man and the demon only a figment of her damaged mind. It left a foul taste in her mouth. When the day finally arrived that she was killed and once again found herself at the gates of Hell, how much worse would be her punishment? What had she done in her prior life, she wondered, that had landed her there in the first place?
Slowly, in her peripheral vision, she saw Nyssa approaching. When Sara turned and looked in her direction, Nyssa momentarily ground to a halt with obvious fear in her expression. Then, as Sara watched, the tall brunette took a deep breath, straightened her back, and walked slowly closer.
"Sara, are you alright?" she asked almost timidly.
From Nyssa's expression, Sara wasn't certain if she was asking about her physical condition or her mental state. And she didn't blame her.
"The first man I killed, did you see a man or a demon when he died?"
"A . . . a man," Nyssa said, hesitantly.
'Great,' thought Sara. 'So either only I can see demons or I am crazy.' Neither was a pleasant thought.
Sara was just staring blankly in Nyssa's direction, obviously her thoughts were elsewhere. Slowly, Nyssa raised the cloak she had retrieved somewhere along the way.
"You need to put this on and we need to get out of here before Merlyn rounds up more troops and tries to take you again."
Sara's thoughts were dragged back from her memories of Hell, where they had once again wandered. Would she always be plagued by those horrid memories? But then the glimpse of the black robe threatened to pull her back into that time of darkness and the associated never-ending pain. "No. I can't wear black. It brings back too many horrific memories of my time in Hell."
"Hell?" Nyssa echoed at barely more than a whisper.
"Where do you think I have been while I was dead? Sitting on some cloud strumming a harp? No, I spent endless eons in Hell being continuously tortured."
Nyssa took a step back. She took in the expression on Sara's face and her words sank in. Sara truly believed she had been in Hell while she was dead. And perhaps she had been. Who knew what really happened to your soul once you died. Nyssa had traveled to every secret corner of the world as part of her assignments for the League and had encountered countless religions and their associated beliefs about the afterlife, but had no idea, which, if any, were true. But Sara had really been to the afterlife and had returned. Perhaps she had been in Hell; the haunted look in her eyes since the moment she had first awoke in the Pit made it impossible to dismiss.
Sara took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and then slowly let the breath out. When she felt more under control, she opened her eyes and looked at Nyssa again. She tried to force a smile, but she wasn't sure she was completely successful.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have been so harsh. It's just my time in Hell still feels more real than being here. And, at least to me, that first man I attacked really appeared to be a demon. And then I was forced to watch as each man's soul was dragged down to Hell as I killed them. I don't want to be sending people to Hell. And I don't want to go back there myself."
By the end, Sara could feel tears running down her cheeks. And that was the first moment she really felt alive again.
Nyssa dropped the robe and pulled Sara into her arms. For nearly a minute, Sara clung to her.
Nyssa gently stroked Sara's back as the blonde sobbed. Feeling tears welling up again in her own eyes, Nyssa finally pulled back. "We still need to get out of here before Merlyn returns with more men."
Sara nodded and taking Nyssa's hand stepped towards the door.
"And you are still going to need clothing," Nyssa said in a forced attempt at levity. "You can't spend the rest of your life wandering around naked, as much as I love the view."
Sara nodded with a forced smile of her own. "Okay, but just nothing black."
"What color would you prefer?"
It took only a second to decide it needed to be the color farthest from black. "White. I think I can wear something white."
Nyssa grinned. "The only thing I think I have in white is one of your old negligées. It will be barely a half-step from being naked, but it will have to do for now."
Sara still had no recollection of the girl walking next to her. She wondered if a frilly, lacy scrap of cloth would trigger any memories like the death-shroud and Ra's al Ghul had. Hopefully, if it did, they would be more pleasant ones.
End of Chapter 1
Since they have announced Legends of Tomorrow, I thought I might do my own take while we are waiting for the show's arrival. It will probably follow the general path of what we saw in the trailer with a disparate group of individuals being forced to work as a team. And in this story Sara is definitely not going to be the Sara Lance/Canary from the earlier seasons of Arrow.
Back in the day, when Buffy died, she was in heaven until she was brought back to life. Given some of the things she had done in her past, I don't think Sara ended up anywhere as pleasant. Per DC canon, anyone who has been dead for a long time before entering the Lazarus Pits comes back to life damaged/changed. I thought it would be interesting if Sara believed she was in Hell during that period of time and now has a connection to Hell that no one else who hasn't been dead can quite believe or fully grasp. Therefore she brings a unique ability to the team that none of the others have and which might be useful against some of the opponents they will face. I am trying to use the DC universe's version of Hell where the demon Blaze was one of the demons continually battling for control of that dark realm. Her human guise, Angelica Blaze, may eventually make an appearance in this story.
Coming Soon – Chapter 2 – Timemaster