Chapter 3 – Kill or be Killed

The silent fell on the nine humans who had settled themselves in a circle formation, sit on some wooden chairs, dangerously eaten by probably some alien termites; and also, some hay which seemed to be the only comfortable thing that could be used as a mattress in this little cage.

They were all again staring at each others, asking silently who should start talking. They felt like staring contests on this planets were a habit they would have a hard time to get rid of. Either they stared at their captors, trying to prove them they weren't their personals puppets or, they stared at each other in wonder of what the other was feeling.

Seeing that it could last for hours and failing to see the point of wasting time in this hostile world, Oliver gave in.

"So.." He cleared his throat nervously, capturing all the attention on him. "Since it seems that our time is counted here, I think the faster we do this, the better." he proposed, getting nods of approving from everyone. It felt weird to be in this situation, having to present yourself in front of people disposed in circle. It was like a first meeting at an Anonymous Alcoholics reunion he assumed.

"Since apparently we're gonna spend every days of our lives together till we die, I guess there's no point of hiding anything from the others. Besides, we already know some secrets of each others, right?"

My god, that's pretty awkward there! I hate awkward moments! - He complained internally.

"Well," He cleared his throat once again. "As you know I"m Oliver Queen... and also the Green Arrow" he lowered his voice on the last part, still not feeling comfortable with his exposed identity.

"I'm pretty sure everyone here knows me, and.. not that I'm egocentric or anything but.. I'm glad there are no paparazzi out there!" He tried in a desperate attempt to lighten the mood which seemed to work since he was getting some chuckles and little grins here and there. He went on with a more serious tone, matching with the sadness of his next statement. "I've grown up in Star City till my fifth birthday and then.." he gulped. He hated speaking about that topic with most people. "My-my parents died." He looked down. Even after all those years, it was still a very painful memory. "In a plane crash." He explained and quickly continued when he saw the sad faces of the guys in front of him. He didn't want to face their pity, he had given enough about that all his life. "Then I've been tossed from cities to cities first, then from state to state and finally country to country. I've lived in every continent on the world, in nearly every country. The only good things about that is that now I can speak fluently fourteen different languages." He smirked at the incredulous eyes in front of him. "Well after a few years I went back to Uncle Saw's and I arrived in Kansas from which apparently some of you come from." He looked on his left to see Tess and Chloe nod and share a look. "There I met my old buddy Bruce." he smiled and waved at his brunette peer who returned the same face. "A few years went by, and me and Bruce found ourselves graduating high school." he smiled. "That's when it all started." He carried on with a dark expression. "I decided to have a trip on my yacht, after graduating, so that I could tell my parents a last goodbye. I sailed to the place where their plane was last seen, since the authorities weren't even able to find it." He huffed. "But then, the same night, my boat was attacked by pirates. Their plan was to kidnap and ransom me. Unfortunately for them, I managed to escape the yacht but, I was lost on sea for days under a storm. After a few hours, I was starving and exhausted and I passed out on the lifeboat I had used to flee my captors. When I woke up, I was aground on an small island. After hours of fruitless searches, I came to the conclusion that I was alone in this piece of land lost in the middle of pacific ocean. So, I tried my best to survive for a few weeks. Luckily, I wasn't actually alone on the island since there were natives on it whom I met after a few adventures with a monkey." he smirked at the funny memory. He had to run after the stupid critter who stole one of his coconuts and he ended up finding a tribe of Indians. "Thankfully, they weren't hostile. In fact they accepted me like I was one of them. They taught me everything they knew. That's where I learned how to shoot arrows." He told the group. They looked totally fascinated by his story. "I owe them a lot, without them, I would have my skeleton pieces being used as toothpicks by the macaques of the island right now." he laughed nervously. "I promised to myself that if one day, I was able to leave this island, I wouldn't waste my life anymore in alcohol and women and actually, help people in need." Oliver counted. "And thank god, I was saved. Two years after my arrival, A boat came by and picked me. I was back into civilization and - so I honored my promise. I trained myself for months, both physically and mentally to become the Green Arrow." He smiled. "I started a year ago. It was tough I can tell you." he chuckled. "I had a hard time dealing with the lack of sleep and in the end, It became almost unbearable, a few times I nearly ended up killed during night patrols. That's when I realized that I couldn't 'save the world' on my own." He looked in the direction of Bart, everyone imitated him making the young speedster grin and rise his chest proudly. Oliver smirked before going on. "A few months later, I met Bart, I discovered the amazing things he can do and offered him to work for me as my partner in crime. He patrolled in streets the nights I slept and vice versa." he winked at the teenager who beamed in response. "After that, time went by and we discovered strange kidnappings in the Metropolis area so we decided to go there and investigate. That was the real reason I went to Kansas." He looked at Chloe apologetically. "Then, Chloe you know the following." She nodded. "A week later, I was having an interview with Chloe when we both got kidnapped by some sort of red glowing bubble, coming out of nowhere. Next thing we know, we were on this planet." he gestured for the ground, earning some noises of recognition from the others as he mentioned the 'red bubble'. "I think that's the best summary of my life I've ever done!" He laughed causing the others to follow his example, they still haven't completely realized what was really happening to them yet.

"Okay I think it's my turn now," Chloe spoke up and looked at Oliver who nodded. "I'm Chloe Sullivan, contrary to Oliver, that's totally normal you don't know me because I'm not famous nor billionaire." She looked at him with a bright smile, he smirked in return. His emotional outburst with Chloe a few moments earlier had helped him regain control over his emotions and find his smile again, even if it was a little forced because of the situation. "I'm a Metropolis native but I moved to a little town nearby my birth city when I was a few years old. It's called Smallville. There I met Tess." She grinned radially at the redhead who was seated close to her. "Over the years we've become best friends, and we've never left our sides for long." They shared a knowing glance. The bond they had built over the years was strong between them, they were like sisters. "But, When I was seven, my mom left and never came back, she didn't give any reasons about that and I still don't know where she is." She looked down, as Tess slid a hand on her shoulder to support her. She knew how hard it was for her because she was there a few moments after it happened. But the worst came later. "And then," she sniffled "three years later, my dad died in an accidental explosion at work." Everyone seemed to feel sad for her, and Oliver felt his heart tighten a little at her revelation, he knew way too well how much pain it caused to loose their parents. "My family couldn't take charge of me so I was adopted by the Kent's in Smallville." She smiled sadly while Tess continued to support her. "They've been wonderful parents, the best on Earth you could come across." Chloe grinned with teary eyes. "Thanks to them, I was able to get my life back on the road. I've become a good pupil and after graduating, I joined the Daily Planet as an intern. Journalism has always been my dream and I was so glad to join what's considered as the best newspaper in the world. My life has been still for almost two years when my editor ordered me to interview the newly arrived billionaire in town: Oliver Queen!" She smirked at him. "That's during this interview that we've been kidnapped together, and then.. we woke up here. Simple as that." She ended her resume. Everyone nodded in understanding and Tess went on. Everybody spoke till no one was left. In the end, they all knew almost everything about the others. Tess was born in Smallville, the only child of a poor family of farmers. There, she spent all her childhood with Chloe till they graduated high school. Since Tess was a brilliant student, she was sent to Harvard, to study biology. She spent a few months working hard trying to get a diploma and living a normal life. Then, she'd been kidnapped by a red bubble when she was on her way back home after a long day of work.

Arthur, had an unbelievable story. At first, everyone was skeptical but he had strong proofs. The guy was what we could call a hybrid, half human, half fish. Apparently, his mother was an Atlante and his father a human. He lived till he was 9 in a realm underwater. But, because of some sort of political conflict, a war was declared and he was forced to exile. His mother was killed during the war so, he had to leave the water and went on lands. From there, he was raised by his father. He lived in Miami for most of his life and after graduating high school, Arthur joined a local university in purpose to learn about marine biology but he hardly came in the classes. After discovering the pollution level of waters and the lack of reaction from the governments, he decided to fight people who caused harm to his vital environment. While traveling around the globe, he became some sort of ecological terrorist, by blowing up every polluting facilities he came across, always checking the building twice in case anyone was left in before the explosion. As he was swimming in direction of Australia, the bubble plunged underwater and took him in. When he regained consciousness, he was on Sedna and the soldiers, injected him a chemical substance he assumed was a product which prevented his body from becoming too thirsty since he needed to drink a full bottle of water every hour if he didn't want to be weakened. After that, he was sent to the room where they all first met.

Dinah, from her side, had had a very still childhood in Gotham City before moving to Metropolis in her teen years because of the increasing level of crime in Gotham. After her mother died in unknown circumstances, a man went by looking for her and proposed to train and teach her everything she would need to fight for justice. Her mentor turned out to be Ted Grant, a former heavyweight boxing champion who apparently had known her mother in the past. She had hardly completed her training with him that, she was kidnapped by the kryptonians. When she arrived here, they quickly installed a device around her throat. A sort of necklace made in hard metal from which two needles stood out and were plunged in her vocal cords, rendering her unable to use her sonic scream that she had developed since she was twelve.

Hal, seemed to be an older version of Bart. The guy was full of life and joking around. It contrasted with his dreary past which became with a mournful event. Once, his father was a successful pilot for the Air Force basement near Coast City. Hal took him as model. When he was very young, he saw his own father burn alive in an accident during a test flight for the army. From there, his mother raised him and his two brothers alone in their house of Coast City. He swore to himself he would one day become pilot like his father, and he did. He joined a specialized school for pilots when he was fifteen. Hal was very skilled in the matter and quickly became a very good test pilot for the Air Force. Months later, he was in flight with his comrades when the red bubble appeared right in front of him and absorbed Hal by passing through the plane like a ghost would do. Right now, the army should have found his plane crashed in the middle of the sea with no one inside and wondering how Hal could have disappeared like that. If only they knew about Darkseid, Hal would be the last thing in their minds.

Victor was probably the one who was the less affected by his kidnapping. He seemed to have suffered a lot in his life and before the kryptonians kidnapped him, he was completely alone. He spent all his childhood in Granville near Metropolis, his young years were calm and full of happiness when one day, his parents, his little sister and he had a car accident a few weeks before his eighteenth birthday. They all died in the accident except him. In fact, when he woke up, he found himself being tied on an operating table and a crazy scientist telling him he had saved him. In reality, the guy had replaced all his damaged organs by robots parts. Now, most of his body was composed of metal and wires. The scientist turned out to be paid by the one and only Lex Luthor who had had found a test subject for his newest project in Victor. Fortunately, thanks to the help of a laboratory assistant, he succeeded to evade the lab he was being held in. The cyborg then went to find his girlfriend Katherine and they together fled and hid from Lex. But, the changes in Victor's body, were too much for her, she became afraid of him and they broke up a few months after his evasion. It nearly destroyed him. Not caring about his safety anymore, he went back to Metropolis where he lived as a homeless for months, wandering alone in the dark streets of the city and waiting for death to get to him. At one point, he was captured and sent on Sedna. For him, living as homeless on Earth or prisoner on Sedna, didn't change anything. He was from far, the most destroyed of them.

After Victor was Bart's turn. The speedy-guy was born in Chicago were he spent his first thirteen years peacefully with his family. One day, an unexpected event changed his life forever. He was very stubborn and curious and this day, he couldn't resist, picking a look inside a private lab. He ended up drinking a strange red drink which tasted like a horrible chemical substance. Having a hard time breathing, he exited the lab with difficulty and crawled in the middle of an empty street nearby, hoping that someone would see him. A few minutes earlier, a storm a storm had risen and when Bart was feeling his last breath coming, a thunder struck him and he was magically healed from his breathing issue. Feeling relieved and still not believing his luck, he happily ran back to his home but, oddly his legs were kicking violently and he left his spot with an amazing speed, leaving behind him only a blur of red since he loved wearing this color. A few more tries later, he found he could run faster than light itself. Thrilled with this power, he used it all the time but his parents became afraid of him and a few weeks later, they kicked him out of home. Bart became a petty thief, in hope to survive he was stealing food. One night at Star City, Oliver found him enjoying the meal he had just stolen from a luxurious restaurant. The Green Arrow told him he was capable of doing much greater things than becoming a thief and managed to convince him to join his team. They quickly became friends and worked together to protect Oliver's birth city. A year later, he was captured by the bubble when he was in Mexico, looking for the local food he was craving.

Finally, Bruce talked. He explained how quiet his life was till his parents were murdered in front of him by some drug addict. He was then raised by his family's butler; Alfred. As Gotham was a very dangerous town, Alfred decided to send him to Excelsior in Topeka instead of one of Gotham's high school. There he met Oliver. In a matter of weeks, the both of them became best friends and developed a brother-like relationship. But, after high school, Oliver was declared missing for two years and Bruce had to go to Princeton University. He asked Alfred to fund an expedition to seek for his lost friend, but the team showed up empty-handed several times. Thinking his brother was dead, he buried himself in studies when one day, the district attorney of Gotham, demanded the judge to liberate his parent's murderer. Bruce went to the audience intending to kill the bastard but a woman hired by the Gotham's mob boss preceded him. Later, his childhood friend, Rachel showed him how the city was affected by the economical crisis, and the main mobster of the city: Carmine Falcone was destroying everything his parents stood for. Bruce went to confront Falcone about what he was doing to Gotham but he ended up being kicked out of the old man's personal club. A few minutes later, he was running toward a boat in hope to leave America and travel around the world so that he could learn more about criminals and fight them. But, at that moment, he was kidnapped by the bubble.

Most of their stories were unbelievable, they all shared several common points, they had all been abused by life at some point and were all going to stand for justice. Now they were united in a cell on an alien planet but still, they felt they've found what could be great allies, friends, and even perhaps, a new family.

If Zod's words were right, they were destined to be heroes, which meant they probably would have met one day even if Zod had never captured them. Maybe they would have become a team, who knows?

They've know each others only for a few hours but already, a feeling of mutual respect and friendship was going through them all. They all knew it would be the only good thing coming up on this hostile territory. A smile crept on their lips. They may be in deep trouble but at least, they were not alone anymore.

"Rise! Rise!"

The two words echoed in the cell as the wire doors were slammed open. From his position, Oliver saw by the corner of the eye the alien inmates quickly stand up before the soldiers. He figured they should do the same or things were going to get ugly for them.

"Stand up guys, we should stand up!" he whispered as they all quickly obeyed.

Steps were heard approaching, they were all wondering what the guards were here for as Basqat appeared in the room.

"You!" He pointed at Oliver. "General Zod would like to see you."

He stared at the soldier, trying to see what was coming for him, he turned to look at his peers who all nodded in support and looked worried for him.

Basqat losing patience, grabbed him forcefully by the neck and shouted, "Come! Now!".

As he dragged him towards the doors, the soldier looked at his subordinates and nodded toward the humans. "Take them to the arena! General Zod wants them to watch." He ordered. "Don't forget to tie up the kid by the ankles!"

"Yes Sir!"

The humans were placed as spectators, in the middle of a hysteric crowd. People were yelling and going all crazy at two people engaged in a hand-to-hand fight in what could be defined as the fight zone, surrounded by the mass of people. The arena itself was pretty simple, it was delimited by barbed wires coming at knee-height, it was the only thing that stopped the spectators from invading the arena besides the guards who were probably kryptonians too.

They arrived right at the moment when one of the fighters was given a dagger by a guard, the other one who apparently lost the combat was stabbed without pity right into the heart by the winner who after killing the guy threw his arms in the air, shouting cries of victory. It caused the crowd to go crazier and clamor even louder at him. Some of them where cheering the champion, other were cursing and insulting him, grabbing handfuls of sand from the ground and throwing it at him, in a pathetic attempt to hurt the winner. The guy didn't even bother to look at the offending crowd and moved in front of the elevated place where a throne made in bones could be seen. Due to her small height, Chloe wasn't able to see who was sit in the throne. She pushed one or two people to take a closer look. She rolled her eyes at the sight. Of course, it's obvious! - She thought. She should have known that none other than Zod was seated in this throne. The so-called General seemed to enjoy exhibiting his apparent superiority.

The fighter knelt in front of him in a strange way, his left arm thrown behind his back and the other one across his chest, his fist right above his heart. That was the first time she saw someone kneel that way. But then again, it wasn't in her habits to make everyone kneel before her like Zod did.

The latter waved at his guards who led the fighter out of the arena, leaving it empty and making the crowd agitate in impatience. She could hear some people making their bets on the next fight when she eavesdropped two men talking about the fighters.

"So who's gonna fight next?" an unshaved, thin man asked to another one, his voice sounding like a caw. "I was told a human will be part of it." the fat one replied.

"A human?" The first guy echoed with wide eyes, surely he had never seen any human in his life.

"Yeah, I heard they're all pretty faces with hot bodies and are all woman magnets but their fighting skills aren't worth anything." He snickered.

"Oh yeah? And the other one?" He was excited, Chloe could tell it. It was the first time he was going to see a human fight and die.

The fat man groaned in pity, "He's a tough one!" He confessed. "It's one of the fighters Master Zod has personally trained, he's already won several fights."

"Oh I see!" The smirk on the guy's lips was unmissable. "The human doesn't stand a chance, does he?"

"He'll be lucky if his pretty face is still in one piece when it's over! Not that it really matters anyway, he'll get killed in the end, face in one piece or not!" they both laughed at their sinister joke while Chloe felt fear invading her system, there was only one human that was going to fight in any seconds now, the others were all with her in the crowd. This human was Oliver.

"Chloe, you okay? You look so pale" Tess fussed when she reached her. Noticing Chloe was looking everywhere as if she were seeking for something, or someone. She didn't answer her and looked paler and paler by every second. "Chloe!" She put her hands on her shoulders, trying to make her look at her. "Chloe!" She shook her and finally succeeded at making eye contact with her friend.

"What's going on?" Her concern was unmistakable as she looked deeply into her eyes, trying to find out what was worrying her blond friend

"I-.. Oliver!" She managed to say between her attempts to breath, starting to hyper-ventilate. "Ollie!" She jumped out of Tess's arms and tried to reach for the barrier. Tess turned round and saw Oliver being dragged in the arena. She felt her body stiffen as she realized that one of her newly found friend was going to fight and probably die in front of them and they wouldn't be able to do anything to save him.

"Tess!" Hal's voice interrupted her thoughts, "Ah Tess you're here!" he smiled but quickly took a grave expression when he noticed her face.

"What's happening guys?" Dinah reached them, followed by the other humans who were making their way through the crowd, Arthur was helping Bart walking since he was completely handcuffed.

Tess nodded toward the arena, they all felt silent for a few seconds. Inside, was Oliver, standing alone and scanning the crowd. He was waiting for his opponent. Gone were his dark-blue and white striped dress shirt, his black pants and his expensive shoes. The business-like appearance he had had when he was kidnapped had been replaced by a used sleeveless shirt and jeans. It was the way the fighters were dressed, a simple outfit, unlikely to cause any trouble during the fight.

A guard came to a halt in front of him and removed his handcuffs. The young hero patted his wrists as they were freed from the tight grip of the metal ties.

He tried to figure out what was going on but she incessant cries of the excited crowd were getting him a headache and unsettling him.

"Ollie!" He heard a soft voice, he knew way too well now. Turning round, he saw Chloe in the crowd, looking at him worriedly. Oliver moved toward her quickly but was stopped by one of the guards.

"Not this way." he blocked him and nodded behind him as the crowd went wild with excitement.

He turned back toward the throne. In front of it, his opponent, who had just entered the arena, was standing calmly, thirty feet or so away from him. The guy was seriously imposing. Oliver remarked he must have been 7'' tall, he looked slightly stocky, heavily muscled, and some scars were covering his bare chest as a proof that he wasn't inexperienced in the matter. The fighter had long dark-brown hair, a tailback beard and scornful eyes expressing all the rage bubbling inside of him that he was barely able to contain. He was the typical idea of the wrestler: A giant piece of meat ready to crack every bone in your body.

The crowd's shouts surrounding them became almost overwhelming. Oliver was sure he was going to be deaf if he stayed for too long in this place.

The guy turned his back on Oliver so that he was looking toward Zod. They exchanged a sadistic look and he nodded toward Oliver. Immediately, the giant looked back at him and laughed darkly as he paced slowly toward him despite the pressing cries of crowd who wanted more and more. He stopped when they were a few feet away from each other. Both turning into a circle around each other, both trying to decipher their opponent as the crowd was booing them in impatience, still shouting.

"Fight! Fight! Fight!" Their cries never stopped.

Several dozens of seconds passed by slowly, the two fighters never breaking eye contact as they continued pacing in circle. Both of them were gauging each other, seeking in the eyes of the other any sign of fear or weakness. Finally, the guy lost his patience and attacked. Quickly, he thrust himself forwards. Oliver felt a strong fists grab his hair painfully. His head was forced forwards, giving his aggressor more access to his back. The next second, Oliver was sent on the ground by a hard elbow jab in his back. Gasping in surprise, Oliver tried to find his balance back by using his forearms as support on the ground. The pain on his back testifying of the immense strength of the man.

The blond human laughed as he stood up. "You know, you're fast for a big guy!" He sneered. "Didn't think an oaf like you was capable of moving so quickly!" Oliver tried to make him angry which seemed to work as the guy clenched his jaw and charged towards him again. As quickly as he could, Oliver dodged the attack, moving sideway. Not giving the guy time to realize what was happening, he kicked him swiftly on the ribs, forcing him to cry out of pain. His right hand covering the hurt area of his body as he forced his tall frame up. Oliver smirked.

"I knew you couldn't avoid this one, you're too fat!"

He screamed in frustration and once again threw his figure toward the billionaire. Succeeding at catching Oliver's left shoulder, he punched his face twice and finally grabbed his body. Lifting him up, He furiously tossed Oliver in the air behind him. The crowd went all excited as Oliver landed on the floor with a dull thud.

God, I didn't think he was so strong – Oliver immediately regretted, unnerving the guy.

He tried to get on his feet but was kicked hard in the guts, forcing him to groan loudly as he felt the pain spread into his belly. Rolling on the ground, He tried to force some air into his lungs. A strong hand caught him again. The fighter lifted him up by the hair and elevated his unused fist in the air in purpose to hurt him more. He didn't have time to register what was happening when Oliver promptly pushed with his legs and escaped his grip. Quickly, the hero snared his lower legs. Oliver groaned loudly as he transferred all his strengths in the task of lifting the 260 lbs weighted frame of the bastard. Using his trained abs, the muscles of his lower back and his muscled thighs, he sharply pushed and leaped up. The next second, the guy felt himself being utterly lifted from the ground under the surprised noises of the people watching incredulously the scene playing before them. Oliver was holding the man up several inches from the floor, standing straight as he did support his weight. The fighter's eyes went wide as he felt his body bend dangerously forwards, in direction of the floor. He bent in the air head forward as his weight was sent to his upper body, losing his balance he fell to the ground. His face hitting loudly the barbed wires delimiting the arena close to the crowd. A long piercing scream of pain and horror emanated from him as he felt his face being crushed by the barbed fences. The sharp points of the wire cutting deep into his flesh as easily as a knife would into a beefsteak. Blood flowing over the iron fence. Several people shivered as they tried to imagine the pain he was suffering.

Oliver fell to his knees, exhausted. Supporting his upper weight with his arm pressed on the ground as his chest heaved rapidly, he felt heart beat incredibly fast in response at the effort he furnished to beat the fighter. Lifting a such weight had sucked all strengths out of him. He took deep breaths in purpose to calm his, now sensitive body. The man had been quite the challenge for him, and he had been once more given the occasion to prove his worth on the battlefield. Oliver lifted his head up as the crowd quickly adapted to the reversal of situation and already the first deadly requests were screamed.

"Kill! Kill! Kill!"

Oliver stood up, turned round and stopped dead in track at the sight of his opponent standing in front of him.

He had managed to remove himself from the wires and stand up, anger dominating his bleeding features. One of his eyes was drilled and deep cuts were scattering his face, making him unrecognizable. Blood pouring from everywhere on his neck and chest. Screaming in anger he charged towards the blond human and grabbed him by the waist. Once again sending him flying in the air behind him. Oliver hit the ground once more. Unable to find enough force, Oliver didn't move, he was still lying on the floor like a dead body.

He felt his forearm being caught harshly.

"I'm gonna make you cry your mom, you piece of shit!" the man exclaimed.

He extended Oliver's forearm and prepared himself for the next blow. Suddenly realizing that he was willing to break his arm, Oliver reacted quickly. He grabbed a handful of sand and threw it in his already damaged face. The scornful combatant cried out of pain as the offending grains of sand came in contact with his only left eye and penetrated inside the several cuts on his face, accentuating the pain he was feeling. The man loosened his grip, letting Oliver fall backwards. Helped by the adrenaline pumping through his veins, the young billionaire gathered all his strengths left and stood up.

"My turn now! No mercy for you, big fat slob!" Oliver huffed as he breathed loudly in anger and pain. The guy had really unnerved him, he was not a doll he could threw around like that. Jaw clenched, eyes narrowed and temples stiffened, he drove his fists intensely in the fighter's guts, not letting him any time to recover between the punches. The guy couldn't take it anymore and fell backward against a pillar, taking it as support. He tried to get up again but was stopped by Oliver's fist as it connected with his cheekbone. His head hitting the pillar, sending him to the edge of unconsciousness.

"Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!" The crowd went on again.

Seeing that the fighter wasn't going to move, one of the guards stepped toward a weakened Oliver and presented him a long dagger. "Take it, and kill him." He ordered.


"No?" The soldier raised an eyebrow.

"I'm not a killer!" He answered and looked toward Zod. "I'm not a killer!" He called again.

It caused the crowd to fall silent which had never happened before. Everyone was staring at him as Zod stood up and smiled from his elevated place.

"In the arena," He spoke up. "We answer failure, with the only thing suitable..." He paused, accenting the meaning of the following word. "death!"

The crowd agitated once more, shouting and cheering from every side their leader. It was obvious those people were controlled by Zod. The real inmates weren't violent nor bloodthirsty.

Zod descended the staircase from his throne and moved closer to Oliver, getting his dagger out of its sheath. Looking at him directly in the eyes, he pointed the dagger at the blond man before quickly turning and stabbing the loser of the fight in the heart, killing him outrightly. The crowd went crazy in response, cheering Zod for his kill as the latter looked back at Oliver.

"You didn't have to kill him!" He shouted.

"In any arena, one fighter walks away." he calmly responded. "Kill or be killed is the rule here!" Zod voiced out in an higher tone, putting an emphasis on every word.

"You bastard!"

Zod laughed and began to walk away but stopped before even getting two feet far from him and turned back.

"Oh and consider this your one free pass." He warned him. "If you fail to finish the job again, it will be you dragged along by your heels!" he finished before leaving all while laughing.

The guards stepped toward him and led him out of the arena. "Come on wimp! Let's get you back home!" One of them sniggered causing the others to chuckle.

On the way back to the cell, Oliver was stopped by his escort when they saw Kal approaching them, the same contemptuous look on his face that he had when they first encountered. Looking fixedly into the billionaire eyes, Kal smirked and spoke up. "I can't wait to fight against you, Queen! That's such a shame you haven't brought that stupid little green suit of yours," He looked at him as if he were a steak seconds away from being eaten in two bites. "It would have been so spectacular to see the mighty Green Arrow fall in front of me, begging for my pity!" Kal and the guards laughed as he allowed them to drag him to his cell. Oliver didn't say a word, he knew that if he had beaten the other guy then, perhaps he was able to win over Kal but the problem was that the kryptonians had powers. He decided not to think about it and first concentrate on recovering before heading to fight the kryptonian.

"Do you think he's okay?" Bruce demanded.

His peers remained silent despite his question, it was clear they were as concerned as him for Oliver's health. They had been sent back in the cell a few minutes ago, they had seen Oliver fight against what should be called a real mountain of muscles but yet, he managed to win without any other weapons than his own hands. It made no doubt that Oliver was very skilled, they all knew that if someone else were in this cage instead of Oliver, he probably wouldn't be here anymore. Of course, they had learned hours ago that their billionaire friend was the one and only Green Arrow which meant that his physical shape was almost, if not, perfect. They felt like they hadn't given him any credit, it was surely the most impressive fight they've seen in their lives and it will always remind them to never ever, underestimate the hero.

"I told you, he was gonna win!" Bart assured in a jovial tone. Over the last year of partnership with Oliver, he had seen him doing things he never thought a simple human could do. The first time they went on mission together, they had to capture a mob boss of Star City who was heavily guarded. When they broke into the luxurious house, Bart was busy locating their target while Oliver had to take care of the guards. The problem was that they didn't think there would be so many guards. So while Bart was away, running around the villa, Oliver took down twenty-three guys alone in a giant fight inside the main hall. When the Flash came up with his target tied up beside him, he was still fighting against five men and still managed to knock them all.

Seeing a green leather clad vigilante walking toward him with almost thirty bodies lying on the floor, had seemed completely unrealistic to the young speedster. Yet, it was real, Bart knew it too well. Before that event, he only thought this kind of things were possible in movies like Matrix or The Transporter. That very day, he was proven wrong by Oliver and at that moment, Bart swore to himself he would always respect his mentor, because he knew what he was capable of. Green Arrow always managed to accomplish his tasks as well as him, even sometimes better than him, without any powers. Oliver was the perfect example of what a plain human was capable of when it came to fights.

"He win against a nearly 7'' tall beast and you knew he was gonna win? C'mon short-stuff, What are you gonna tell me next? That you have another power and it consist in seeing the future?" Dinah snorted.

In response, Bart only stuck his tongue out at her as the guards were dragging a very beaten Oliver. It didn't stop the kryptonians from launching him on the ground without caring if it hurt him or not.

Everyone rushed to his side as he tried to get up. "Whoa, slow down brother, you've just been beaten up by Hulk Hogan himself so just sit up, don't push your luck too far by trying to get up." Bruce stopped him.

Oliver laughed in response and cringed as it hurt his already damaged ribs. "Very kind of you to take care of me like this daddy, but I'm a big guy, you know?" He smirked playfully at the man he considered as his brother who returned him an unconvinced look.

"At least, I'm happy to see that your humor is still in one piece!" He smiled as he patted him on his shoulder.

"Don't worry, this isn't the first time I'm going through the whole David against Goliath thing." he winced as he felt his jaw ache while speaking.

"I can confirm that guys!" Bart happily exclaimed, he made a face when everyone turned toward him. "What? Hey it's true! I gotta back him up, since you appeared so unconvinced that he was going to make it!"

The others rolled their eyes at him before getting their attention back to the billionaire.

"You need to be nursed, man." Hal pointed at the several cuts on his face, as 'yes' of approval were spoken by Victor and AC.

Chloe who had remained silent here, had time to notice all the cuts and bruises over Oliver's body. She needed to make sure he was okay, she couldn't see this man who deserved to be considered as a savior, looking so hurt physically.

"You sure you're okay?" She asked, her teary eyes locked with his. His smile faltered slightly at the pain displayed in her big green orbs before he forced a new smile on his face again and nodded. "I still could use some nursing."

Chloe smiled weakly at him and looked at the others who were silently studying the two of them. "Can you help him get here while I get some water to tend his wounds?" She nodded toward a quiet corner of the cell. They agreed and began helping him walk to the place indicated by the little blonde.

"Do you want some help Chloe?" Tess asked her as she held her out some compresses left by the guards to them.

"No it's okay." her shaky voice surprised the redhead, who began to look worriedly at her best friend. Chloe breathed deeply, trying to control her emotions and spoke up again. "I got this." she said firmly before walking toward the wounded man whilst Tess watched her with a knowing smile.

Chloe and Oliver were alone in one of the few rooms in their cell. Thankfully, it had several rooms delimited by thin panels of woods, acting as walls. It wasn't a real chamber but it could still give them some privacy.

Oliver watched the young woman who was carefully tending his wounds on his chest. Her touch was gentle, almost hesitant, as if she was afraid of hurting him even further. All she had to nurse him was water, a few clean compresses and bandages yet, she did her best to tend him.

It felt good for him to have a beautiful woman here, all for himself, who was almost completely bent over him with her hands on his body. It reminded him that it had been a long time since he had had the occasion to feel the touch of a woman since he's stopped his playboy habits. Despite all of his attempts to not focus on her closeness, he couldn't stop the heat spreading through all his body.

No words were spoken between them since she had started her task and it wasn't helping ease the tension in the room. Chloe had been carefully avoiding eye contact with him, in attempt not to show him her concern and pain but, it became more difficult as she moved towards the cuts on his face. There was something in his deep brown eyes that made her heart flutter, she didn't know why but she felt attached to this man.

Oliver felt her little hands shake as she was tending a cut on his bruised lips. He gently grabbed them, causing her to jump in surprise and look him in the eyes. For a moment, they simply stared into each other's eyes as they felt heat welling inside of them and some other things like... Were this feelings?

Oliver couldn't help but move his face closer to hers slowly as he stared into her eyes, he looked down at her lips and it hit him! He furiously wanted to kiss her, maybe because of the situation, the heat between them, maybe because of something else, he couldn't think about it anymore or he was going to turn crazy. She was making him crazy with her beautiful green orbs which looked at him tenderly.

Their lips were now inches away from each other's, already parted and waiting for the inevitable. Neither of them ever breaking eye contact, holding their breaths, and slowly closing the gap between them. As Oliver was about to finally reach her lips, a high pitched sound coming from the next room where the others were gathered reverberated, causing them both to back away quickly from each other and increase the tension higher between them.

In the room next to theirs, voices came through. "Geez! You scared the life outta me dude! You know you're pretty scary in those dark corridors man?" Bart placed a hand over his heart, slowly recovering from his outburst as he grabbed the pile of iron pans he had pushed down during his surprised moment. The grasshopper who had nearly bumped into Bart as they both came across each other in a corner of the corridor excused himself.

"S-sorry, dude?" His last word was voiced in a question tone, asking the meaning of it.

"You don't know what 'dude' means?" the smaller man asked.

"No." The other one simply answered.

"You're hopeless dud- Whatever!" Bart lamely snorted as he realized he was going to use the same word again. "You know it means buddy, friend, basically it is kinda a nickname, okay dude?" He smirked.

"Kay-Okay!" The alien stammered.

"How can you be so clumsy, green-bug?" Bart stared strangely at him. Once again, Condo Arlik came to his rescue and talked for his friend to Bart.

"Actually, He's very shy because he's been here since he's very young, he's seen a lot of shocking things in there." He explained.

"Ah okay, sorry buddy, I didn't know."

While Bart was busy chatting with his aliens friends, he wasn't aware that he's just ruined a moment of intimacy between two blondes of the band. They both carefully averted looking into each other's eyes as Chloe blushed deeply and Oliver loudly cleared his throat in a futile attempt to make things a little less awkward. Chloe tended his wounds as quickly as she could while still making sure that her job was nicely done. When she was finished, Oliver tried to look into her eyes one more time but she cautiously avoided his gaze as she moved toward the exit. She turned toward him while still looking at her feet, offering him a shy smile before leaving and trying to dissipate the heat in her cheeks.

Oliver smiled widely at the cuteness she was displaying when she felt embarrassed, before his face went darkened by frustration. He dropped his head down, letting it fall against the table he was lying on with a thud, and sighed loudly. Cursing after Bart and his unmistakable ability to ruin things without even knowing it.

Hope Bart sleeps with an eye open or he's not gonna wake up tomorrow! - Oliver swore to himself, knowing that even if he wanted, he could never do that.

Oliver closed his eyes, savoring the fresh memories of the moment he had shared with Chloe while she was nursing him. He let himself fall into a restful and restorative sleep with the image of Chloe smiling at him in his mind.

Tess noticed the little blonde leaving the room where Oliver was, and moving to a lone place of the cell where the red sunset could be seen. She saw her friend grabbing gently the wire fence as support and looking at the sunset. The redhead checked over Oliver who was apparently sleeping on that table, a grin on his lips. He looked much better now that Chloe has nursed him. She knew she would take good care of him. She reached her best friend as she heard her mumble something to herself. The little blonde was visibly having one of her usual internal struggles.

"What's happening to me?" She heard her whisper.

"I don't know, maybe you could share more with the rest of the class?" Tess grinned at Chloe's sudden jump of surprise. "Judging by the expression on your face, I conclude something must have happened between you two in that little hideout!" She smirked while Chloe rolled her eyes at the redhead enthusiasm.

"There's no way I'm gonna talk to you about that!" She pointed her finger at Tess, daring her to try getting more from her.

"Come on!" She groaned in exasperation. "I've seen how you were acting when you saw him fight in the arena, I was afraid you would faint in the middle of this bloodthirsty crowd. You're feeling something for the handsome Mr. Queen, aren't you?" She grinned as she noticed a smile escaping Chloe's control as she said her words.

"I don't know.."

"Chlo, listen to me." She waited for her blonde friend to look up into her eyes. "I saw you hurting for years over a guy who finally turned out to be a bloody psychopath. This guy never noticed you because he was out of his mind, but that doesn't mean that Oliver will be like him, you understand?" Chloe nodded silently, fighting the tears that welled up at the mention of her past love life.

"Usually it's Lois who take the role of the big sister, but you're actually filling it well you too." Chloe hugged her best friend. "I miss her you know.." She let her tears fell from her eyes as Tess comforted her.

"I know, Chlo. Me too.."

"Twenty years!"


Zod shouted as he prepared another blow, ready to hit again the Martian hidden in his dungeon.

"It has been exactly twenty years since I first locked you up here!"

His whip slammed loudly on the already bleeding back of J'onn J'onzz. Another yell of pain resonating in the room.

"And you know what?" He hit him again as he went on. "I still enjoy very much proving you how useless you are in Kal-El's so called 'destiny'" He mocked the Martian. "Do you really think he was going to be earth savior?" The whip slammed again and J'onn's cries never ceased to increase as the pain he was feeling was piercing through his entire body.

"You were wrong! You were wrong!" Zod huffed, striving on the black-skinned man's poor back.

"One day you will fall Zod! Kal-El will discover his true origins sooner or later and you will fall!" the victim croaked, feeling his throat hurt with every word he was saying because of its dryness provoked by his incessant screams.

"Really?" the whip connected once again with the Martian's damaged skin. "He's ruling hell with me! By my side as the good puppet he is!" Zod continued to make the tied man scream in pain. "And the day he discovers the truth, he will realize his entire life was just a bad lie and he'll beg me to kill him like the weak person he should be if he were being raised by Jor-El! Ow!" He shouted as he hit him again and again and again.

Finally, when he had enough of hearing the Martian's cries and pleas, Zod dropped the whip and moved toward his front face. Grabbing his chin painfully, he forced him to look into his eyes.

"Kal-El has embraced his dark side." He whispered to him. "And once you're in, there is no. coming. Back." He paused between the last three words, giving them a deeper meaning as he was leaving the room. A hand over the knob, he turned towards the Martian a last time and grinned. "See you tomorrow my friend."

And with that he left, locking the room and securing the door as another little blast of fire lightened up the room for a few seconds before disappearing again.

J'onn was left hanging a few feet from the ground for the night in the dark room, alone.

He let his emotions take the better of him as he cried, salvaging him of twenty years of incessant torture, confinement and humiliation. He had an amazing amount of powers but none of them was good enough to help him escape this hell, even his telepathy. The walls of his room were specially designed in order to stop his mind influence from reaching other people's brains like Kal-El's.

Yet, even after all this misery and powerlessness, he had a feeling he should have hope. Somewhere in his head, an almost inaudible voice told him that the arrival of the humans on Sedna was the first sign of the fall of the House of Zod and the rise of a new age of freedom, fraternity and happiness.

Even if, this voice was probably wrong, it was the only thing that was left to him. Everything had been taken from him, even his family, and his race...

A few years ago Zod announced him that his entire birth planet had been razed over by an unknown but extremely powerful force. Everyone, every Martian had been killed, even his wife and his daughter. He had felt alone for years. Alone and empty. Reduced to be the doll Zod used to ease his nerves on.

In spite of all of this, he decided to listen to that tiny voice inside his head.

Zod will fall.

He had hope.

Tell me what you think! I'm nervous about this one, this is my first attempt at writing a fight scene and romance too.

This is the longest chapter of the story yet (9347 words.) I hope I'm not screwing up some characters because I'm conscious not everyone speaks directly in this chapter so it could cause some issues. As I said to Dhh, Dinah's necklace is not made of kryptonite, I've detailed it in this chapter. Introducing meteor rocks in early chapters would be too easy for our heroes, they will have to spend some time in Zod's cells and come up with a plan if they want to escape but it won't be so easy! Also, I feel like I'm rushing the chlollie thing a bit but I'm not sure so give me your opinion about that please! Constructive reviews are more than welcome!

Hope you enjoyed it! More action/angst ahead!