AN: This chapter is cut in several scenes all from different times and presented in chronological organization. The following chapters will take place in the year 2006 only. This chapter explains the pasts of Clark, Chloe, Oliver and a bit of Tess. It is a lot summarized this is why I will maybe write some companion pieces to this story which will explain the past of every major character of the story. I haven't taken a decision about that right now but I'll let you know if I'll do it or not.
Year 1986 (according to the human calendar).
"Here he is!" Faora's excited voice rose in their cockpit.
Zod and Faora's ship were catching up Kal-El's spaceship when a red streak appeared next to the baby's ship.
"Ah !"exclaimed Zod. "I should have known that Jor-El wouldn't have left his son without any protections. Of course he asked this stupid Martian to watch on him." He paused, enjoying the moment. "J'onn J'onzz shouldn't have accepted, he's gonna be in serious trouble because of his choice." Zod sneered.
Of course, thought Faora admiring her husband's strategy skills, he thought about that too, he always has a back up plan, no one can fool Zod!
He pressed a button on the dashboard. Under his ship, two doors opened, and an aspiring sensation was felt by both Kal-El's spaceship and J'onn J'onzz. This one didn't have time to make a move that he already was aspired inside Zod's ship. The doors closed right after the baby's spaceship entrance and blazes of fire emerged from the ground, encircling the Martian. He was trapped. He knew that. He also knew that he wouldn't be able to fulfill his promise to Jor-El. Zod had him and would never let him leave. The fire, preventing him to move forward, was already starting to weaken him, he could feel the sweat emanating from his body and the slight pain appearing inside of him. There was no way out, Kal-El's destiny was going to be either stopped or corrupted and he couldn't do anything, only watch and undergo.
The journey didn't last long, hardly two hours later, the planet Sedna was insight. A big red-brown sphere orbiting around a shining red sun similar to Rao, on which lived a humanoid race. They were a lot like humans on Earth, their appearance and anatomy were the same and their technology level was estimated to ten year better than humans. The only difference is that the Sednians knew about the other alien races, living in the twenty-eight known galaxies. They were in contact with Krypton and accepted that Kryptonians could use Sedna to store some military material. According to Jor-El, there were three billions of people living on the "Big Red" as some of them called their planet. There was only one huge ocean on it, water was covering around forty percent of the sphere due to their dry climate. The average temperature there was 27°C by day and 4°C by night. The degrees' drop at night was explained by the planet composition which erased the warmth when the sun disappeared in the horizon. Sedna was the opposite of Krypton's cold and wet usual weather. Although Krypton was much more populated than Sedna before its destruction, it didn't have lots of cities due to the ice cube's giant size. But on the Big red, cities were popping everywhere, the planet was much more smaller than Krypton was, It only had 36 000 km of circumference. Even Earth was bigger with more than 41 000 km. That didn't prevented Zod to think that this planet could do another Krypton as well as Earth would do but, the only problem was that Earth had a yellow sun which gave kryptonians amazing powers and Sedna had a red sun, rendering them powerless like every mortal humans.
One week before Krypton's ignition, Zod succeeded to send 1300 of his best and most loyal of his soldiers to this planet via the only functioning portal left. This planet would help Zod to gather his troops before heading to Earth and rule it to fulfill Rao's prophecy. The Sednians were a pacific people so they didn't have to fear any attack from them. Zod was glad for it considering that his troops, even if they were very-well trained, were much more vulnerable without their powers.
Their ship landed in the middle of a field where Zod's army was silently and respectively waiting for him. As Zod and Faora stepped outside of the ship, the soldiers knelt before them and shouted "All hail Zod ! All kneel before General Zod !".
He gestured them to stand up and was about to make a speech for them when a loud blast was heard and a dark cloud of smoke rose in the air next to Zod. Everyone was staring at it, ready to attack in case it was hostile. Zod's eyes went wide with fear, -a feeling he usually never felt- when he saw a very tall cracked rock-like figure stepping out of the cloud and staring at him with two glowing red eyes.
Everyone was silent. Although they never met him, they all knew who he was, some of them even thought the rumor of his existence was a legend, something invented to scare kids at night. They were wrong, he was real: They had just met the master of fear, the god of the darkness.
"I am Darkseid." he spoke up with his natural distorted voice. "Lord of Apokolips!".
He could feel the kryptonian soldiers emotions and at that moment, they all felt the same: fear. It would be so easy to infect them and control their bodies, but he had another plan in mind.
"I am here," he continued. "to propose you... a deal."
Zod was speechless. Darkseid, one of the most powerful entities in the universe had just appeared out of nowhere to propose him a deal?
"I- a …. deal?" Zod managed to said, he was feeling utterly powerless and weak, he hated himself for displaying his fear before his own soldiers.
"I promise you the dominion over this planet's population if you accept to solve one problem for me." His face was totally emotionless, his tone was cold, never wavering. Darkseid was the best living example of self-control. According to the rumors, inside of him was bubbling a terrible rage but he always managed to stay still, he had never showed any sign of his rage, his rock features had always been emotionless.
"And that would be?" Zod asked, finding inside of him the force allowing him not to flinch in front of the god of evil.
"I want you to create on this planet a giant prison which would keep out of my way my future opponents on the planets I am going to rule."
"But, we weren't planning on staying here." Zod explained. "We wanted to go to Earth, we-"
"Earth is mine." he cut him off. "You, kryptonians only want to fulfill your stupid prophecy of Rao on Earth only because of its yellow sun." his words were harsh but his voice was still, so still that it sent shivers through everyone's body. "I give you the possibility to rule this planet, I can even give you abilities under the red sun if you really want it. But in exchange you create a prison here to detain my enemies."
Zod's interest was stung when he heard Darkseid's words. "You could give us our powers under a red sun?" he asked.
"Would you accept my deal if I gave them to you?"
Zod didn't think it twice, he accepted. A few seconds later, they all had the powers they would normally get under a yellow sun. Darkseid's proposition was very interesting, he gave him the possibility to fulfill the Rao prophecy by building a new Krypton on Sedna while he would have dominion over every Sednian. Only a handful of them was capable to fight this dominion, that was because their souls were strong enough to fight Darkseid and his omega symbol. Zod first thought about killing them but he then decided to keep them alive so that they would become the first guests of his prisons.
Moreover, the people he had the dominion over would be extremely boring, considering they wouldn't be able to disobey him. Zod decided to materialize Brainiac and told him to find the people who weren't infected with omega symbols and to bring them to him. Meanwhile, he told his soldiers to have some fun by killing the most part of the Sednians, he ordered them to leave around 1.5 million of them alive so that he would rule only prisoners. Besides, he needed a lot of place for the future prisoners knowing that Darkseid was planning on ruling every planet on the 28 known galaxies.
A few hours later, the job was done and it was time to settle. Zod decided to use only four cities on the planet. The rest of the place would be used for the cells. He renamed the capital to Kandor in reminder of Krypton and then, he picked up three cities not far away from the new Kandor: Lankhmar, Tanelorn and Solenear.
The cities were composed of human-like buildings which gave a little charm to them, it changed from the cold constructions of Krypton. Zod's family settled in a 17th like huge mansion. It was an imposing construction in the heart of the city which was encircled by countless modern buildings. In front of it was a giant beautiful place. A large place, its concrete ground was drilled at some spots to allow some trees and vegetation to grow there. In the middle of it was a big and splendid fountain.
This place will be perfect for my future speeches to my soldiers. Zod thought.
The mansion had countless underground cells probably used once to hide and torture some opponents of their leaders. Zod decided to hide J'onn J'onzz there. He couldn't take the risk of letting him and Kal-El communicate. He would never let the martian reveal to Kal-El who was his real family. Kal-El, no, Kal -as Zod was going to rename him- was Zod and Faora's son. No one else must know that. That would be his revenge against Jor-El.
A few days later and the kryptonians invaders were all settled on Sedna. Zod was in the main room of his mansion when Nam-Ek and Aethyr, his most loyal soldiers and now captains of his army entered.
"Sir ?" Nam-Ek asked as they both knelt before him.
"We've had enough time to accustom ourselves to our new home, now is time to prepare the cells for our future prisoners." He started. "Tell Brainiac to destroy the useless cities to make some place for the future cells. I'll command the slaves to build the prisons."
"Sure General." Aethyr agreed.
"A few years ago, I've heard that the Sednians built a formidable machine capable of transporting people through the universe without killing them. We need to find this machine so we will use it to kidnap Darkseid's opponents of his future planets." he finished explaining his plan to his disciples and ordered them to go.
Darkseid had already communicated to Zod the name of the planets he was going to rule and the name of his opponents. Earth was the last one on his list because taking over this planet was much more difficult to Darkseid than any other one. Apparently, the composition of Earth and the yellow sun rendered Darkseid incapable to materialize himself without having infected a certain number of people before. He had to take over more than six hundred planets before heading to Earth. He ordered Zod only to kidnap the opponents a few weeks before ruling the planet targeted because, kidnapping these people too early would only attract attention on a possible alien invasion. Attacking all this planets would take him almost twenty years but neither Zod or Darkseid were in a hurry, time only makes their objectives more tasty when they're achieved.
The universe would have no chance against them. Billions and Billions of people are doomed.
Year 1989 (according to the human calendar).
"So ?" A middle-aged man clad in an expensive suit asked.
"It is done Mr. Luthor." The younger man answered.
"Wonderful! Today will be the day the respectable Robert and Laura Queen die! I already feel sad for their poor little boy!" Lionel Luthor's voice exclaimed, the sarcasms in his word made his employee smirk before he asked him to leave.
Thousands of miles away from Kansas, were in a plane Robert and Laura Queen, heading to Equator where they had to meet an influent diplomat. The flight was calm, the plane was flying over the pacific ocean when a violent explosion was heard at the back of the plane, rendering it utterly uncontrollable. The Queen Industries plane crashed on a little island in the middle of the pacific waters, killing every person on board.
A few days later, the people of a little city in the middle of Kansas, called Smallville were about to live the most horrible experience of their lives when hundreds -maybe thousands- of asteroids of different sizes were falling from the sky, hitting the ground with loud sounds and making the entire city shake like it was earthquakes. Lots of people were dying, either crushed under a meteor or buried under pieces of concrete, buildings and everything else that was hit by the asteroids.
October the seventh of 1989 was the worst day ever lived by a city on Earth. After hours of meteor shower, people were finally able to get out of their refuges only to discover a spectacle of death and desolation. Lots of people were killed that day, no one would ever forget theses terrible moments, ever.
12 Years later.
Chloe Sullivan was making her way through the crowd gathered in front of Smallville High when she spotted a redheaded girl that she recognized as her best friend.
"Tess! Hey Tess!" She exclaimed
"Chloe!" She ran toward the little blonde and they hugged while squealing.
"I'm so happy to see you! It's been so long!"
"Come on Tess, it's only been three days since we last saw each other!" Chloe witted.
"Hey! Don't I have the right to miss my best friend?" She protested
"Don't worry Mercy, I missed you too" She smiled. "Now come on it's time for our classes, You wouldn't miss our first day in High School, would you?"
"Oh surely I wouldn't!" Tess happily said. "Plus, I've spotted some hot guys in there!"
Chloe rolled her eyes at her friend. Of course she would say that, Tess Mercer, always the first ready to flirt with guys! She thought, her friend's behavior making her smiling while they entered the building and got ready for their first class in High School.
A hundred miles away, In Topeka, a seventeen years old Oliver Queen was bullying some new students at Excelsior Academy. Since his parent's death, he was on his own, he was taken care of by some employed nannies but not one of them would love him as much as his parents would. He had to learn to be an adult sooner than any other teenager but the lack of parent's authority had turned him into an arrogant boy who used to bullying the pupils of his schools and to spend his money in alcohol, parties, women and even sometimes drugs. He convinced himself that all the people he loved would one day leave him so he decided to keep people out of his heart by acting like a jerk. He was at his worse when, Duncan Hellenmayer, one of his most favorite targets was beaten to the blood by his only friend: Lex Luthor before being crushed by a car, killing him. The shock of his death made Oliver realize that he was living life in the wrong way, he had to stop before reaching the point of no return. He promised himself to stop bullying people and to focus on his studies to later take over his father's company to make his parents proud.
Year 2006 (according to the human calendar).
It has been two weeks since Oliver Queen had moved to Metropolis. The tabloids were already picturing him as the newest "Metropolis bachelor". His playboys ways had always preceded him but now, he did it on purpose, to hide his real personality so that no one would guess about his alter-ego: The Green Arrow. A few days after graduating High School, Oliver sailed away in a private yacht to say goodbye to his parents. Unfortunately, his yacht was attacked and he was forced to escape. He was lost during two years on an island in the middle of the pacific ocean. There, he met some native indians who taught him how to use a bow and arrows. He quickly became one of the best hunters of the island. Not long after, he discovered the crashed plane in which his parents died. Inside of it, he found his parent's skeletons, his mother's ring and a letter written by her. She was telling him that loving someone entirely and putting other's needs before his owns were the truest path someone could ever walk on. Oliver clearly remembered every line of the letter:
There is something I wish I had told you last night. Every decision we have made about you was done with an unconditional love. There is nothing more powerful in caring for someone more than yourself. Know, that putting others ahead of yourself will bring you all the peace you'll ever need.
With all our love, Mom & Dad."
Her words had warmed his heart. He was five when his parents died, he didn't have lots of memories of them and knowing that they loved him was important to him. He too wanted to have what his parents had: someone to love. But with his life, his fortune, his celebrity, and now his alter-ego, it was something almost impossible to get. So he was waiting, for the right person, Who knows? Maybe one day he would find her.
His journey on that island also taught him that life deserved to be protected at all cost. The moment he realized it, he swore to himself to protect all the people he could while putting their needs ahead of his owns, like his parents wanted. That's when Green Arrow was born. He trained himself hard, both physically and mentally to become strong against his enemies. But eventually, he realized that it wasn't enough, he needed help. Fighting alone could only lead him to failure or death. That's when he recruited Bart Allen. The young teenager had an amazing ability, he could run faster than a speeding bullet. Hell, he could be faster than everything that existed. He came across him a year ago when he was patrolling in Star City. The young speedster was helping himself to a free meal. Oliver realized that he wasn't a bad kid so he gave him the possibility to join him, saving people instead of stealing them. He accepted. It was easier for Oliver because he didn't have to go on patrol every night, Bart could do it sometimes so he could rest a little. And also, knowing that someone has your back is always reassuring, no matter how strong you are. A few months ago, the two young men discovered some strange disappearances in the area of metropolis. Every victim seemed to have some weird abilities which could be related to the meteor rocks located in Smallville. Those kidnappings were the real reason of Oliver's arrival in Metropolis. He managed to give the reins of his company in Star City to his trusted VP while he ruled the Metropolis subsidiary.
Today, he was standing on the balcony of his penthouse, waiting for a journalist from the Daily Planet called Chloe Sullivan who was going to join and interview him. He had already given an interview this morning to the Metropolis Inquisitor's journalist: Lois Lane, the Inquisitor was the most influential tabloid of the city and didn't hesitate to publish compromising articles about the famous faces of Metropolis no matter if their informations were true or not. Oliver only accepted the interview with Ms. Lane to maintain his playboy reputation. The woman herself was a very attractive brunette with endless legs, she was beautiful. A few months ago, Oliver would have jumped on the occasion to bring her to his bed but now, he was fed up of whoring around only to protect his identity. Besides, it was ruining his reputation and also his company's. It was his father's legacy, and he promised himself he would do anything to protect it. Plus, Lois seemed to have a straight and harsh opinion on the Green Arrow who she considered as a "bandit". This woman clearly had done lots of researches on his alter-ego and didn't even notice the huge donations he anonymly gave to charities right after stealing goods from the richs. She seemed too hardheaded and stubborn to realize that the Emerald Archer was not one of the bad guys. The journalist was annoying him with her opinions so he decided to cut short the interview by simulating a phone call from his VP who was "asking him" to go to his office as soon as possible. He excused himself and asked his doorman to escort Lois out.
Now he was waiting for the interview with Miss Sullivan, he knew that the DP was a serious newspaper and she told him by phone that the interview was mostly about Queen Industries. He wasn't worried. In fact he was impatient, a year ago when he took the reins of the company, he learned how to work in business, to rule this huge international group and to always consider the economic situation before always making a decision. He liked talking business and economy with people, it was making him feel normal while his alter-ego was the adrenaline dose he needed almost everyday to balance his life. Again, he realized that the only thing he lacked was someone to share his life with and not only his civil side.
He was sent out of his thoughts when he heard the door of his lift opening and a woman's voice calling him. He found himself looking at a beautiful petite blonde woman, he was used to meeting attractive women, and he often slept with them and then left. He didn't care about them because they only wanted him for his money or celebrity. Usually, he would go for the tall-brunette type of women and he'd never been interested in short women but this one had two huge beautiful green orbs, a very cute face and her body seemed to be perfectly modeled, curvy in all the right places. It was hard for him to take his eyes off her body. Giving himself a mental slap for eying her like she was a piece of meat, he finally found his voice.
"Miss Sullivan, I presume?" He asked with his most charming smile.
"Mr. Queen.. It's a pleasure to meet you." She flushed a little while a shy smile appeared on her lips, she seemed a little uncomfortable by his presence, a sign that she wasn't immune to his charms. He took her hand and brought it to his lips to kiss it.
"Please, call me Oliver. The pleasure's all mine." He paused, savoring the feel of her skin. Realizing he was still holding her hand, he gave himself a new mental slap. Behave Queen! What's going on with you?- He thought. "I was thinking about taking this interview outside," he pointed the balcony while letting go of her hand. "The sun is shinning and it's warm enough to go on the balcony, What do you think?" he proposed.
"Well why not?" She smiled and tried to get her face's color back to normal. "After all, I never have time to take a sunbath so It could only be good for my skin." She showed her pale skin and seemed a little bit unhappy with her tan.
"You know.." Oliver started with a smirk, "I find you very beautiful even with a milky skin." he charmed her. She looked down and her face turned red again, which made her even more cute than she was. In an attempt to hide her face from him, she walked past Oliver and settled herself on the balcony. He followed her and sat at the table. They started the interview with the usual questions about him, his journey on the island, his company, how he managed to learn to rule it and they began to talk about economy, the influence of Queen Industries on Metropolis, on the country and of his principal rival, Luthorcorp. She seemed to know the Luthors personally and apparently didn't like them at all. She seemed to share a lot of opinions with him and he found it surprising, usually, journalists didn't care about the people, they only wanted their informations no matter what but she was different and that was something Oliver was looking for: someone who's different from the crowd, someone who's unique.
"Okay, enough with business Mr. Queen, I have all I need about it now." Ms. Sullivan stated.
"Come' on" he said playfully, "I've already told you countless times to call me Oliver since we've started the interview." He grinned.
"Fine Oliver" She smiled. "Let's finish this by your opinions on the new heroes and especially since you're from Star City, on the Green Arrow. What do you think he wants?"
"Well I've never had the occasion to ask him since we've never met." He joked. "I think he's trying to help. You know, he steals people but if you take a closer look, you'll realize that he only steals rich people. He's kinda the new Robin Hood." He finished seriously.
"Yeah I know that." She said before he could continue speaking about his alter-ego. "I've done a lot of researches on him and I discovered that the goods he steals are all from Black market and that a few hours after every stealing, an anonymous donation is given in order to cover the stolen goods. He's not a bandit like everyone thinks, he's a hero."
Good girl-He thought, he was grinning from ear to ear, this woman was definitely not like everyone else.
"And I share your opinion, Chloe." he said while taking her hand in both of his, the warmth of her skin and the pink color of her face when she blushed mesmerized him. They hadn't even noticed that the sun had started to set when she started shivering.
"You're cold?" he asked, she nodded. "Well it will be dark here in a few minutes, I propose we call it a night."
They stood up and he helped her gathering her things which gave him the possibility to be closer to her. They hadn't even finished regrouping her papers that they heard a baffling sound, they both turned round and remarked a red glowing bubble in the sky which seemed to grow bigger and bigger in seconds. Realizing that the UFO was falling from the sky in their direction, he took Chloe's hand he started leading her inside.
"We gotta get out of h-" He didn't have the time to finish his sentence that the bubble was in the room and trapped them inside of it before disappearing with them, leaving the Queen penthouse empty.
Chloe's world was still black when she sent some movement and noises surrounding her body, she tried to open her eyes but her vision was blurry and she had to blink a few times before seeing clearly again. She noticed she was lying on some red-brown soil in the middle of a small enclosure, circled by some wires. Her muscles were too weak to make her stand so she rolled her body to her right but stopped when she came in contact with something that felt like a body. She looked down and noticed the tall frame of Oliver who was still unconscious. She moved her hair away from her face and let out a gasp when she saw his blood dripping from a cut on his forehead.
"Mr Quee-I mean Oliver, are you okay?" She asked worriedly.
Her words seemed to have waken him up because he started to move slowly him limbs before opening his eyes which locked on her owns.
They two young people didn't have time to share another word when a tall black-skinned man entered the enclosure. He was wearing a dark khaki sleeveless t-shirt with what looked like military pants and ranger boots. He also had a dog tag on which was inscribed some unreadable patterns.
It looks like chinese. thought Oliver.
The man stepped forward and bowed his head down to look at them. The corners of his mouth twisted in a grin and he spoke up: "Welcome to hell, humans!".
Next chapter is the first time the future Justice League will be gathered in one room!