Notes: As Americans use Fahrenheit as a temperature model, in this chapter, it is the same.
A few answers for the reviews on last chapter: In my story, romance is not my biggest priority, that's why I won't go so deep in that domain. There are plenty of romance novels on this website, sometimes change is great! And I'm not changing the already uploaded chapters. When they're online, they don't change.
Chapter 4: Goddamn World
The first red rays of Rao appeared in the horizon, announcing the start of another day on the planet. Another day full of rage, violence, and hate. A day similar to the past ones as well as the coming ones. The shining rays were slowly illuminating the sky, filling it with beautiful reddish colors, giving the Big Red a look of paradise, making it the perfect picture of peace. A beautiful picture which unfortunately wasn't reflecting the reality of Sedna's inhabitants. All of them knew that you can't go by looks. Under the surface was hidden the harsh truth. A reality which saw everyday dozens and dozens of people die and hundreds hurt, tortured and humiliated.
For Kal, on the other hand, this rising day was full of promises. And this day had started in a very good way for him. Last night, he picked up two young women in the mass of the Sednians Zod had dominion over. He dragged them both in his bed to please his body's needs. They kept him entertained all night and this morning, they were going to be thrown back in the violent crowd of infected people. To Kal, they were just two more faceless girls on his list, they were no more to him than objects used to satisfy him. Even if he was in relationship with Faora's sister, Vala, it didn't stop him from sleeping with those girls. Everybody knew about that and no one, even Vala, seemed to care. Krypton's culture seemed to be very tolerant about relationships, they were all raised by those principles so it didn't seem disturbing at all to them.
The red light emanating from the sun came on his face, tickling his closed eyelids and slowly drawing him out of his sleep. When he opened his eyes, he found himself on his queen sized bed, two female bodies wrapped to his sides, offering him the heat of her bodies. He extricated himself out of bed and walked over to the huge tinted window of his bedroom. Admiring the sunrise, Kal smiled. Life couldn't be more perfect to him. He was living the great life, no restriction, no rules, he could do everything he wanted without having to report to anyone. Women were launching themselves at his feet, he and his parents were ruling an entire planet, he could have everything or everyone he wanted. He wanted something, he took it. It was as simple as that.
The way Zod raised him had turned him into a heartless man, almost bloodthirsty. He had fought in the arena for years against the best opponents he could come across and he always won. He loved sensing the adrenaline pumping in his veins while fighting. But, he enjoyed much more the moment when he had to kill. The crowd screaming, almost begging him to finish the job, the fear in the man's eyes when he was about to slid the dagger into him, he couldn't ever live without it. He had the power to choose between life and death over the fighters and every time he killed one of them, he was thrilled.
He loved his life way too much.
In the beginning, it wasn't easy. He always had a voice in his head which told him what he was doing was wrong, that he wasn't a killer. For several years, he had trouble finding his place in this new society but, after some time, he finally succeeded to get rid of this damn voice. At first, it became quieter and quieter till the day he eventually buried it in the depths of his mind, silencing it, forever he thought.
He let his mind wander several seconds more on his life when he found himself thinking about the humans. They seemed arrogant, rebel and strong-headed. It was going to be exciting to break them, hurt them during the fights and eventually make them beg him to kill them.
Kal felt a smirk creep on his lips. The humans didn't know anything about this world and they were about to figure out how prisoners lived here. Today was going to be their first complete day on this planet. A planet which will become the place they will all die, one by one. And Oliver was going to be the first to experience the nightmare since he humiliated Zod in person.
In the cells, the humans are waking up, their sleep interrupted by the screams of prisoners coming from different cells. Nights were cold and damp but still, it was silent. No one was screaming because everyone was asleep and the only guards watching the cells were often busy abusing a prisoner in a silent corner so that Zod wouldn't hear his or her yells. The "King" of Sedna had imposed his soldiers not to disturb the prisoners at night unless he gave them free hand about certain inmates. This rule didn't came by a generous gesture towards the prisoners, but because Zod wanted them to be somewhat able to fight in the arena during the day. Still, it didn't stop some bold kryptonians to break the rule and torture people while they were sleeping. Fortunately for them, it didn't happen very often. Kryptonians were often too attached to their leader to disobey him.
Nevertheless, The peaceful that was dominating the nights was abruptly overtaken by new screams, cries of plea, pain, humiliation as soon as the sun was pointing in the horizon.
For the humans, their first night on the Big Red had been steady. Yet, they stayed awake for most of it, watching seconds tick by slowly, very slowly. Checking if someone was going to surprise them during their sleeps but, no one came. After a few hours, exhaustion took over them and they drifted to dreamworld. The welcomed sleep came as a restful moment for them – and mostly Oliver.
They knew that if this night had been calm, it didn't mean the other would be the same as well. Like they say: It's always calm before the storm. They prepared themselves for the coming days which they knew were going to be hard on them, Zod wasn't going to take pity any on them.
It is with those thoughts that the humans were woken up by the first piercing scream of the day. Startled at first, prepared to protect themselves or fight as a reflex, they quickly realized that the scream wasn't coming from their place.
AC rose first, helping his comrades stand up, pulling them off the hay they were using as mattress.
"Everybody all right?" He asked the question they all knew they were going to be heard very often.
"I'm okay" responded Victor as he stood up, pulling the dirt off of him.
"We all managed to sleep for a few hours, that's it." Bruce enchained.
"A few more hours weren't going to hurt!" Bart whined as he yawned and stretched.
"Lazy-boy!" Hal joked as he smacked his head.
"Come on guys!" Dinah grunted in mild annoyance. "Not already in the morning!"
The others rolled their eyes at the scene before them. If they weren't locked up in this cells, they could have laughed. Despite their situation, it had the appearance of a familial moment. Perhaps, they needed moments like that to compensate with the violence of the world they were in.
"Yeah, still the night was cold." Tess went on. "I swear it was no more than a few fifty degrees in there."
"Days are hot and nights are cold." Oliver walked in.
"Hey Ollie!" Bruce approached him and took his hand in a brother gesture before hugging him.
"How are you feeling this morning?"
Oliver smiled, he had lost the habit to have someone who cared for him.
"I'm good." He assured him. "Trust me, I'm confronted to this kind of wounds when I go off patrolling at night."
"You sure?" Chloe asked shyly.
Oliver turned his head toward her and gave her a soft look. "I'm okay" He grinned as he noticed Bruce smirking at the situation. He raised an eyebrow at him as a silent question.
As an answer, Bruce lifted his hands in surrender, his smirk becoming a grin.
"Sleep well?" Condo demanded as he made his way downstairs to them, followed by his fellow alien inmates who were sleeping on the first floor of their cell.
"Not much." Victor admitted.
"You'll get used to it. Nights are pretty still, here." Another alien added.
"Yeah but I thought I was going to freeze to the death!" Bart complained.
"Temperature is highly variating from day to night, it is because of Sedna's composition." Condo explained.
"Yeah well, enough with night temperatures, you all chilly guys there!" Hal teased his friends.
"Hey! We're not all coming from the army there, tough-guy!" Tess entered the banter and the ex-pilot winked at her.
"Apart from that, Do we have food here or are they gonna let us die of hunger?" Oliver changed subject as he patted his stomach. "I'm starving."
"The guards drop by some basins with food right before the sun rise." An alien told them. "But I warn you, It doesn't taste good."
"And it looks like vomit!" Bart repined as he brought a basin full of a white liquid with morsels floating on the surface.
Everyone stared at the offending basin in disgust and they sighed. It was another reminder that their past lives were definitely over.
After eating 'breakfast', or what they could have swallowed of it, they shared some chat with their alien peers about the way they lived on Sedna, about how to survive in this hostile world and the habits of Zod and the kryptonians on the prisoners. After an hour of talk, Condo proposed the humans to do some physical fitness. He assured them they would need it all if they wanted to survive in the arena. The aliens inmates, who had been there for several years already were good fighters and survived the combats they had to do, they all had to kill their opponent, it was painful memories to them.
That's how they all found themselves doing some push-ups, pull-ups, crunches or sparing matches.
The rest of the morning wasn't much more eventful, No kryptonian came to send them to the arena, there weren't even the guards who usually came to check on them. The humans were getting suspicious. This supposed "living hell" was way too calm for it to be real. Something was going to happen, they were sure of that.
Time passed by till noon announced the collective lunch. The humans and their alien friends were sent to one of the communal cafeterias where all prisoners of Sedna shared lunch, or still, something that looked like lunch.
As they entered the room, the noise of the cafeteria dissipated and every head turned towards the humans and especially, towards Oliver. Inmates looked like they were admiring him, judging by the gleam in their eyes while the guards had their jaws clenched and eyes narrowed with hate.
The group stayed still in the entrance, not understanding what was happening. Each one of them looking in wonder the people seated in the tables. They hadn't realized that they'd stayed here for several long seconds until the guards behind them lost their patience and pushed them forward.
"Advance!" One of them shouted as they forced the group towards the line of prisoners waiting for their meals.
The intensity of all the gazes on them in the room was very unsettling.
"What's going on?" Chloe whispered discretely to Condo who was standing right behind her in the line.
"I don't know."
His answer didn't reassure her at all. Something was up, at least they were all sure of that.
They all felt very uncomfortable as they were getting their food, one by one. Feeling all the looks on them, and the tense silence in the room were telling them to be very careful. Something bad could happen at any seconds in this kind of moments.
Eying nervously from one side to the other, they desperately tried to understand why the people here were acting that way.
The situation was getting worse as Oliver's turn approached. He could feel the gazes intensify on his back. His heart was pounding so fast he could almost hear it. Sweat was dropping from his forehead. His body had never been so alerted, he was ready for the worst to happen right now. Trying vainly to focus on his tray, he realized with a few seconds late that it was his turn. He saw his friends move to an empty table and as he turned round slightly to see them better, he noticed the gazes were still on him. And only on him. He turned back toward the man who was serving meals in an attempt to avoid the faces of the prisoners and some of the guards.
One of them moved towards him quickly, and stepped inside Oliver's personal space, staring at him. The young human tried his best to focus on the guard instead of the crowd who was peeking at him. The situation was frozen for a few seconds before the kryptonian decided to speak.
"Tend him your tray and sit at a table before I lose patience, pretty boy." He urged him with clenched teeth, not leaving his eyes for a second.
Oliver did as he was told. He tended his tray to the guy who quickly ladled a bowl of flab mash. The food hit the tray with a disgusting plop as Oliver was eying it suspiciously before turning round to sit with his newfound friends.
The guard was still right in front of him and was now standing there with barely restrained anger.
The blond human didn't have time to make one step that his tray was knocked down on the floor. It fell with a loud slam, spilling the mash all over the ground. Oliver froze and looked up from the floor to the guard with an irritated look.
The soldier was now smirking with satisfaction as the other guards were encircling the billionaire.
"I'm gonna make you pay your boldness, newbie!" He hissed, breaking another silence that had just settled as he knocked him down easily.
"Now clean it! Clean it with your tongue, you worthless weak creature!" The soldier shouted as Oliver felt the guy's boot on his back, pressing him down further.
The others weren't believing the scene that was playing before them, the kryptonians were treating their friend as if he were some animal, and no one were trying to help him, not even the prisoners who seemed to admire him just instants before. Fear and apprehension freezing them on their seats as they all watched powerlessly the human being humiliated in front of them.
"Come on! Lick it! Lick your food, you're born for this!" The soldier who appeared to be the chief of the guards was romping on Oliver who was struggling vainly. The Green Arrow would never do that in his entire life, Oliver was stubbornly refusing to do as he was told.
"Do it!" The foot on his back was pressing harder. "Do it!" the voice yelled.
Incapable of taking it anymore, Bruce leaped up from his chair and raced towards his friend.
Seeing the brunette human running toward the kryptonians, the others decided to follow him. They knew they were going into trouble but their mind were done, they weren't going to let their friend down.
"Do it, you piece of shit!" The guard was pressing harder and harder till Oliver began to feel the ground crushing his body hard. Pain was going through his bones, breathing became difficult as the pressure blocked the air from coming in his lungs. As he thought the guy was going to press his foot till it got into his body, he felt the pressure dissipate as a loud thud was heard.
"Leave him alone!" Bruce screamed at the soldier who was now looking at him in utter surprise as well as his subordinates. He had been tossed on the ground by the human. Anger bubbled again inside of him as he remembered no one else ever attempted to do that to him. Humans were clearly a race of rebels.
Super-speeding toward his new opponent, the soldier knocked Bruce on the ground and began to punch him frenetically. Fortunately, he wasn't using his super-strength even if he looked like he wasn't even able to control himself.
Their friends, came over the group and began to attack the kryptonians. Jumping on them, punching, kicking vainly as their blows only came in contact with rock-like skin.
Yells ans shouts filled the room as the humans helped by Condo's friends attacked the kryptonians. Finally, the entire room was rushing towards the offending aliens the small fight becoming a general combat, producing an infernal din.
The kryptonians, overpowered by the number of opponents, began to weaken. They might be made of steel by they still needed to breathe, and to see.
Long several minutes of fight passed by, as the kyrptonians were about to lose, another group of them came by, backing them up. In a matter of seconds, the situation was back under control.
The prisoners were forced into a kneeling position, the humans on the first line.
The chief who had tried to force Oliver was now red with rage as he rushed again towards the blond human. He left his fist in the air before, quickly, leading it down towards Oliver's body.
"That's enough, Coats!" A voice yelled behind them.
Coats' fist stopped a few centimeters away from Oliver's jaw. Their heads turned toward a figure, standing in the doorway.
It was a woman. Her body was still partially shadowed but everyone -apart the humans- knew who she was. Her voice caused their blood to froze, some bodies started to tremble.
"Alia." A whisper revealed the name of the so dreaded woman who was stepping over to where Oliver and Coats were.
"You wouldn't want to mess up his pretty face now, would you?" Her cold tone filled the room without even having to raise the volume.
Oliver saw Coats gulp nervously as he rose to face her. Apparently, she was as dreaded as Zod himself in this prison. The man was suddenly silent, he walked a few steps back, giving Alia the occasion to lower herself close to Oliver and Bruce. Taking the blond's face his her hand as if to study him, she spoke up.
"I want them healthy for tomorrow." She was watching him in the eyes but her tone stated that she was addressing Coats. "It'll be fun, playboy." She whispered to him and rose as she spoke to his friends.
"There will be a place for you too."
"You know Zod doesn't approve your methods" Coats tried to impose himself. "And-"
"And that's why he will never know." She cut him off, still staring at the human. "And if he does, you know what will happen to you, right Coats?" She threatened her colleague.
As he didn't respond, she turned to him, he rapidly lost composure under her icy gaze. "Now go." She ordered to him in a whisper. Coats, in an attempt to stand up against his ruthless superior, didn't move.
Seeing no reaction from his side, Alia entered in his personal space. Their face were a few inches away from each other's, the two staring dangerously at the other.
"I gave you an order Coats. Don't force me to repeat it." She whispered in a venomous tone.
Slowly walking back while maintaining her gaze, Coats left the room, accompanied by his soldiers. Leaving Alia smirking at her victory.
Turning back to the humans, she watched them slowly, savoring the sight of them all knelt before her like they did before Zod.
"I'll see you tomorrow, humans." She told them and left. Ordering her guards to bring the prisoners back to their cells.
The walk way back to the cell was silent. They didn't even have time to eat, the fight had caused them to being brought back directly to their cell. Bart was starving, his stomach emitting hungry noises, he felt himself starting to weaken. His super-metabolism obliging him to eat at least five times more a day than a normal human.
Once they were back inside their cage, Bruce, who had been the most beaten one, was cleaning his wounds with the help of Dinah. Fortunately, Coats caused more pain than damage to him, the guy sure knew how to make his victim suffer without really injuring him. It probably was another advantage of their developed knowledge.
While the billionaire was getting nursed, the others who were only suffering from minor wounds engaged discussion with Condo and the other aliens. Questions began to well up between the humans and their alien mates.
"Who is she guys? Her name's Alia right?" AC demanded.
Condo and his friends shared knowing glances and looked back to the humans, grim expressions on their faces.
"She.." Condo started, not knowing how to explain them. He cleared his throat and went on. "She's one of Zod's most trusted soldiers. In fact, he even consider her almost as his daughter." He explained.
"From what we know," another alien continued. "Zod has raised her since her birth. He taught her to be emotionless since the very beginning of her life. Alia is far worse than Kal himself, she's the most cruel of Zod's guys." He paused. "She only loves one thing, blood."
His last words sent shivers through the humans. If this Alia was after them, that wasn't good at all.
"But what does she wants from us? Why us and not someone else?" Bart asked, worried for himself and for his friends.
"You're not the only ones she's been after." Condo stood up and raised his shirt. "You see this?" He pointed a deep scar on his chest. "She did this to me. A heated up iron bar, plunged inside my chest. Only a few inches away from my heart." He added to the horror of his fellow humans. "She almost killed me. I don't even know how I survived this."
"But, bu- Why did she do this?" Chloe almost choked on her question at the terror of Condo's revelations.
"Because she enjoys hearing her victim scream." He responded sternly, his tone not betraying the flow of emotions he was feeling at the memory.
"I'm sorry man." Victor felt sorry for him.
"I'm okay now." Condo looked at the floor. "But you aren't. You gotta prepare yourselves for what's coming because even Zod wouldn't do this to you."
"Which leads us again to this: Why is she after us?" Hal asked again.
"Well, while we were in the lunch room, I had freedom to talk to some companions back there." Another alien spoke up. "Rumors about Oliver are spreading through the entire city."
"What is it about?" The blond billionaire asked, not liking at all the news.
"Apparently when you first arrived on Sedna, you spat on Zod." He stated, causing Oliver's eyes to widen as he remembered his action. "No one else had the guts to do this and they're gonna make you pay for this."
The room felt silent as some cursing came into the air.
"So this is why Coats and his guys have beaten me, right?"
The alien nodded.
"Man, you're in deep, deep trouble." Bruce exclaimed as he finished cleaning the injury on his neck.
"He's not the only one." Condo intervened, earning all the looks back on him. "To them, if one human can do that then you all can do the same. Kryptonians only love themselves so when someone from another race do something, then they think his entire race is exactly like him. That's judging an entire people by the action of a few."
"On earth it's called racism." Chloe argued. "In most cases there are only insults thrown towards the targeted people but here, it seems like it's far beyond that."
"Yeah and tomorrow we're gonna pay the price." Tess put into words what everyone was thinking.
The grim faces of the aliens seemed to rub onto the humans.
"I'm sorry." Condo sent a pitiful look toward them and left upstairs, leaving the room awkwardly frozen.
Minutes of silence passed by. Everyone knew what the other was thinking about but no one knew how to bring up the subject or even wanted to.
Clearing her throat nervously, Dinah spoke up. "Guys, I think we should... huh,.. I think we should clean our cuts before it gets infected." She finished quickly, dying to change the topic. Fortunately, the others nodded and Bart brought another vase of water to clean the wounds they had gotten from the huge fight an hour earlier. They busied themselves in the task, trying to forget what was coming for the next day.
"You okay there Ollie?" Chloe whispered worriedly, earning a little grin from him.
"Yeah I'm good, just a few bruises, nothin' serious." He reassured her. "You on the other hand, you need some care." He pointed at the cut on her bottom lip.
Soaking a cloth in the water, he brought it to her lips and began to clean it carefully.
"Shh" he calmed her as she began to hiss softly at the pain on her lip.
"Yeah, good." he finished his task. "You're good now." He smiled at her affectionately.
His body beginning to heat up seriously in answer to her closeness and she must be feeling the same since Oliver noticed she was breathing heavily and stared intensely into his eyes. For a few seconds, the worries, the screams, the other people in the room and this prison just disappeared. It was only the two of them. Body close to the other's, hearts beating rapidly, faces slowly closing the gap between them. As their lips began to part slightly, ready for the other, the sound of a throat being cleared loudly brought them back to reality. Blinking several times, Chloe quickly separated herself from his embrace and looked down as she realized they were about to make out in front of their friends.
Oliver from his side, scanned his friends and remarked Bart and Bruce smirking at him and sharing an almost amused look. He guess their smirks would be more pronounced if they weren't being threatened by an alien psychopath. Glaring at them for ruining the moment he stood up and tried to get Chloe's gaze back on him but, as the previous day, she avoided eye contact with him.
Knowing it was a lost cause for the moment, he walked away to take a peek outside. Once again, the deep red sun was shining proudly in the sky. He sighed as he thought about his home's yellow sun which he was dying to see rising in the horizon. He didn't realized it before being sent on this planet but Earth's sun was extremely beautiful.
"Mind if I join you, bro?" Bruce brought him out of his thoughts. Turning round to see him approach, he smiled sadly to him. "What were you thinking about?"
"About home buddy, I was thinking about home." He confessed. "You know," Oliver began. "You don't realize how great your life is when you're living it but, once when got forced out of it, you see the beauty of the things you took for granted. I'm talking about simple things like friends," He put a hand on Bruce's shoulder and grinned at him. "a smile," he looked over to Chloe who was still blushing deeply. "or even a simple sun." He looked back to the sky, drawing Bruce's gaze with his. "You know, every time I look at this red sun, I can't help but think how much more beautiful our yellow one is. I miss Earth you know, that's just my home." He finished sadly.
"That's our home to us all Ollie." the brown-haired man replied. "We would give anything to be back on Earth."
"I don't know if we will actually one day come back home bro, but I know I will never give up." Oliver assured him.
"We won't. We're in this together remember?" Bruce grinned at him.
"You're right, if we run away, we leave no one behind. We ain't made that way."
"No, sure Green Arrow isn't made that way." Bruce smirked causing Oliver to chuckle.
"Sorry for not telling you bro." He apologized.
"Not it's okay, I understand and honestly I admire you buddy. I personally wouldn't be able to pull off leather and be a super-hero like you." the other man spoke.
"Maybe you only lacked of motivation." Oliver smiled at him.
"Yeah you're probably right buddy." he laughed lightly. "And something tells me that your dreams of escape aren't motivated by your only survival instinct, right?" he smirked at his 'brother'.
"Don't know what you're talking about." Oliver looked down with a little smile on his lips.
"Oh I'm sure you do Ollie!" A little laugh escaped his lips. "So the little blonde reporter huh?"
Oliver shook his head frantically. "Oh you can deny it as much as you want, I can see there's something between you two. In fact I'm sure everyone know that." He joked, enjoying his friend's discomfort. "That's funny you know, I thought a playboy like you would rather go for the leggy-big-breast type-" He was stopped as Oliver smacked his head, trying to silent him.
"Hey I'm joking!" He laughed as he patted the back of his skull. "She's cute actually."
Oliver exhaled deeply as his gaze went back on Chloe. "I don't know.. Every time I'm close to her, I can't control myself, you know."
"Well you might want to get going faster because I think your little protégé has a thing for your tiny blonde." He smirked as Oliver's eyes went wide.
"Bart?" Bruce nodded. "You're kidding me right?" His face turned serious as his friend shook his head.
"Don't waste any time Ollie, even if Bart isn't really into her, we still could all die tomorrow." He spoke sadly. "Don't waste any time." He repeated as he left.
Oliver stayed alone at his spot as Bruce's words sank in. He was right, they didn't know what fate had in store for them. Maybe tomorrow would be their last day? Sighing deeply he sat up and decided to take a little nap. Perhaps it would help him clear his thoughts. In this fucking world, with those fucking bastard of so-called "Kryptonians" and this goddamn red sun, nothing was safe. The only he was sure of was that tomorrow, they were going to suffer like hell. This is with those dark thoughts in mind and under the incessant cries coming from the other cells that his eyes closed.
Shorter chapter but still a big one! I think it won't ever be shorter than that in the future. No Kal or Zod in this chapter, they will appear later. Don't worry they're still major roles! I had to deepen a little bit Kal's character, that's why the first paragraphs are about him and he doesn't appear after that.
Hope you liked it, just tell me what's on your mind and I'll do my best to fix the issues for the next chapters!
Your reviews are lovely!