Author's Note: Oh hey. This story is not abandoned! And neither are my other stories. Eventually, I plan on tying my Arrowverse fics together. But that's like...waaaaay down the line. Anyway, Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there!
It's hard to say. Hours? A day? Two? I really haven't a clue.
He grunts and tries to ignore the stabbing pain in his head as he and Imra speak telepathically. A-are you...okay?
Yes, I'm fine. Really.
Imra...He knows her well enough to recognize a lie.
...I'm in a bit of pain, but truthfully I am absolutely starving. I'm fairly certain we've skipped lunch and tea by now.
He smiles briefly and the action causes him to wince due to his swollen, split lips. When we...get out…
We're going straight to the D.E.O., Imra's voice is firm. You are not tracking down that buffoon who hit you.
He wants to protest but doesn't bother with the argument. Mere moments ago a man had slammed open the door to their prison, stalked directly to Imra and had wrapped his meaty hand around her throat. Querl lost his temper and thrashed in his chair, cursing in every language he knew until a fist shot out and connected with his mouth. His head snapped back, cracking the chair's headrest.
Imra had shrieked and choked as the grip around her tightened.
Querl only shook his head, spat blood and continued to insult his attacker until the man released Imra and socked the Culuan enough times to break his nose and knock him out for a few moments. He came to after Imra's panicked shouts and mind probes broke through to him.
I couldn't penetrate his mind, she answered once he'd woken again. They were alone again. He had some sort of shield blocking me. I'm sorry.
He'd dismissed her apology, responding only that he was glad she was not harmed.
And now they sat, chained to chairs, waiting for either their eventual doom or the DEO. It was difficult to say which would come first.
It wasn't long until he blacked out again. The intensity of the foreboding lights directed at him and the high-pitched noise screaming through his head was increasing with every passing second. Each time, Imra brought him back from the blessed nothingness of unconsciousness. He gasps awake, blinking and shaking until his mind is able to return to him and he grasps where he is.
He grits his teeth, keeps his eyes screwed shut, and ignores the sweat dripping down his face and neck.
Next to him, Imra is whimpering quietly. He can hear the slight crackling of the electric chair she sits in. The constant frying having now burned away the fabric of her thin pajama pants where she sat. Her skin was burning. And the smell was sickening and heartbreaking.
I-I'm s-sorry. He struggles to communicate with her now. Every effort he has goes to fighting the severe pain coursing through his head. He pushes a portion of himself to offer her whatever comfort he can.
She sniffles and it kills his heart to realize she's crying. It's not your fault that we're here.
They...kn-know m-me...Th-they want me...f-for s-something. He groans, feeling a wave of nausea coming over him as the ringing - screeching? Whistling?- in his head grows louder. I-I don't...know w-why...B-But, I'm so... s-sorry they took...y-you too.
It's my own fault, Imra answers. I wasn't paying attention and didn't notice the...You're shaking, Brainy? What's happening?
He can barely hear her over the noise in his head.
Louder. Higher. Filling his head. Making him convulse. Snapping him.
Brainy?! The lights on your forehead, they're so low. Brainy!
It's too much. He screams in agony and throws his head back to smack it against the headrest over and over again.
And then all is black.
"Brainy!" Imra shouts for what had to be the thousandth time. Her voice is hoarse and tears are rolling down her cheeks.
Her friend is slumped in his chair. The three lights on his forehead no longer shine and she can see blood in his white hair.
Sprock, Sprock, Sprock! She fidgets against her restraints. Gathering every bit of concentration she can, Saturn Girl wills her telepathy to surge beyond the four walls surrounding her and Querl. She searches, stretching and stretching and stretching. Someone...anyone...help us! Please...please...please…
Kara paces. Hands in fists, cape swirling behind her. She chews her bottom lip, furrows her brow. "I can't just stay here," she grumbles.
"We know," Alex answers calmly. She's watching Winn's computer as she leans on her crutch behind his desk, one hand tapping a pen against her chin. "But if you want a lead, you'll have to wait."
"What good is a lead when I can see through walls?"
Alex holds her breath, counts to three, let's it out and turns to her sister. "I know this is difficult for you. I know, Kara. But you have to put some trust in us, in me. We're doing everything we can to find Brainy -"
"-and Imra." She fights the urge to smile at Kara's correction. "Winn is scouring the internet for any kind of surveillance footage we can use. Mon-El has gone to inspect Imra's last known location. J'onn is questioning every agent who was on the premises over the last twenty-four hours. And I have agents searching every block from here to your flat."
"I know, I just," Kara sighs and slumps her shoulders. "I feel so helpless. I'm the superhero."
Alex props her pen behind her ear and gently grabs her sister's shoulder. "Yes. You are. But sometimes the best course of action is to observe. You want to fly through the city and bust through every building until you find him. But you can't do that yet."
"I can't just - my anxiety - I," Kara stammers.
Alex gives her shoulder a squeeze. "I know," she says tenderly. Her sister had always been plagued with high anxiety. And though Alex had her own over analytical-sometimes-paralyzing brain to deal with, she'd always did her best to act as a soothing place of safety for Kara's meltdowns. "We're going to find him." She pushes loose strands of blonde hair behind Kara's ear. "Alive."
Winn glances over his shoulder at them. "Not to ruin everything, but the chances of that being true is...not good."
"What?" Kara yelps at the same time Alex barks, "Why?" and the two watch the computer Winn sits at.
"Because," Winn runs a hand over his face. "Every single camera in this city has been wiped clean of any activity that occurred over the past two days." He leans back in his chair, arms crossed over his chest, glaring at the screen.
"How is that possible?" Alex frowns.
"Well, whoever did it would need access to footage from literally thousands of security cameras." Winn tapped at his keyboard. "But, since we know Brainy left the D.E.O. around four in the morning and was heading towards Kara's flat in downtown, I ran a second search and narrowed it to fit within those parameters."
"And?" Alex prompted. She glanced at Kara, ready to dive in with more encouragement and hope in case her sister wanted to burst through the D.E.O. roof like a shaken bottle of Coke.
"And," Winn sighs. "There's nothing. Absolutely nothing. All footage stops at 3:30AM Friday morning."
"It's," Kara chokes. "How?" She turns away from the others and runs a hand through her hair. "How did this happen? Why?"
"Kara," Alex follows her, hobbling as fast as she can. "Kara, listen to me. It's going to be okay."
Her lips quiver. "How? We have no idea where Querl and Imra were taken, or why! Who even knows about them? They're not from this century!" She can feel herself shake with pent up adrenaline. "This…is this my fault?"
"No!" Alex cups Kara's cheek with both hands while she balances her injured leg and the crutch gripped in her armpit. "No, Kara. Why would you think that?"
"I practically begged him to come over. I was being so selfish and needy and because of that he's been kidnapped - or worse!"
"Needing your boyfriend isn't bad, Kara." Alex soothes. "Whatever happened that night, I'm sure you're not the reason that Brainy is missing." She tilts Kara's chin up. "We're going to get him back. I promise you. I will make sure that every pebble in this city is turned over. Every pebble. We will bring him home."
He's not dead. He's not dead. He's not dead. Imra chants to herself. She stares at Brainy in horror; blood drips from his nose and oozes down the back of his neck. She's seen him heal before, but he's never had such a severe head wound and she is unsure how much longer he'll last without medical help. His body hangs like a puppet whose strings have been cut. His face is a mess of welts and bruises and blood. She can see where his skin has rubbed raw against his restraints.
She's tried to probe his mind with her telepathy, to no avail. He's completely unresponsive. And it makes Imra nervous.
Oh, my friend. I'm so sorry. She watches his chest, straining to see if she can detect even the slightest rise to signify breathing.
And then the door swings open and Imra feels cold dread spread through her. Two burly men stride into the room, ignoring her. One man begins unhooking all the wires that'd been attached to Brainy while the other rids him of the restraints. Brainy's head lolls as they sling his arms over their shoulders and drag him back across the room.
"Wait!" Imra shouts, panic rising. "Where are you taking him?"
The only answer is the door slamming.
Shit! Fuck! Shit! Anyone! Help, please! She screams her telepathy. Please someone, help! HELP ME!
Miles away, in the D.E.O. War Room, J'onn J'onnz is suddenly struck with a searing headache. He blinks, shakes his head, applies pressure to the bridge of his nose. But the pain is there...and with it...a voice...as if from far away...