PLEASE READ: if you flame me for any warnings or note listed here you will be ignored and its important you know what's in the chapter.
WARNING: One single mention of sex. Calm down people, it was how you were created.
SPOILER WARNING: if you don't know about the treachery in Aquaman's house, you might want to skip a paragraph in this… but I don't think it's that much of a spoiler if you've ever seen any Aquaman cartoonish show.
1. In this chapter I used two Latin words, they're in the same sentence, don't let them confuse you! :)
2. I need to say that I am in no way, shape, or form insulting the Middle East with the mention of slave trade, it is a subject I know nothing about and has been fictionalized for the sole purpose of this story. Whether or not there is any actual illegal trade of humans going on in any part of the world is not something I know or have studied (though I sincerely hope that it doesn't happen, ever)
3. I did my best with how Light HQ should look from that glimpse in Revelation, and with each member's reaction to which teammate (it will make sense, I promise)
Onto the Chapter!
Scarlet fanned herself lazily with one of her dagger-tipped weapons, partly because it was warm in here and partly because it intimidated the hell out of Klarion. Sitting on the metal railing surrounding the thin floor of the circular room Scarlet contemplated her current accomplices; they all surrounded her, seven members of the Light, the eighth—Alex—was the reason they were currently waiting. Her dear employer—note the sarcasm—was running late. This didn't bother the redhead though, it was the small girl by her side that had Scarlet worried about patience.
"Why is that stupid kid keeping us waiting?" Klarion was also a variable it seemed, though that wasn't all too surprising.
"Klarion," Scarlet called, chilling and smoothing her voice so the effect against the ears was like ice-cold silk, "you are a Lord of Chaos, are you not? Act like it, and learn some patience."
"Why you little," Klarion began his appearance becoming more demonic with an unearthly red light starting to come from his changing form. A mewl from the witch boy's familiar stopped him from casting any spells, his obvious desire for the girl.
Scarlet had always liked Teekl, well much more than she liked the familiar's master anyway. The devious girl couldn't help but smirk as she flicked her wrist once again, small reflections of the room in the shined silver points of the fighting fan. A soft pressure on her leg had Scarlet looking down, Adara pushed herself against her caretaker's leg her Arabian features tinged with concern as the dark haired girl backed away from Klarion.
"Why is the brat even here? Is she even old enough to speak?" Klarion's high voice once again assaulted the air. Scarlet could handle any insult directed at her, she had heard them all, but insulting Adara was another matter entirely.
"You ask a pretty few questions for an imp soon to be without his tongue," Scarlet informed the lord of chaos, dark eyes narrowing and ruby-red lips curling back.
Klarion looked as if he was going to retaliate, until Lex Luthor's voice interrupted him, "While we wait, we do have a matter that would be best discussed without Mercury."
"Pray tell," Scarlet, asked her voice changing from its previous aggressive to passive.
"The sidekicks," Queen Bee said coldly, Scarlet had no great confrontation with the leader of Bialya, but that would quickly change if the reports of her threatening a defenseless young boy were proven true…
"What about the partners?" Scarlet replied with a question.
"The sidekicks have made a name for themselves, and become problematic," Savage answered.
"That is usually the case with heroes," Scarlet informed them much to the distaste of the others.
The dark skinned woman used the many screens on the wall of the room to pull up a series of pictures until the entire Team was on the wall, although the young magic user and Nightshade's archer friend were missing. The change in the room was immediate. Scarlet's near-Statera life enhanced the senses as well her physical abilities, animals are able to 'smell fear' because when you are afraid your body lets off different chemicals, this was true of all emotions, and after seven centuries Scarlet was very good as using her enhanced senses to pinpoint the emotions around her.
Though it would be much more informative if she was to see which reactions she got for an individual member of the Team. Scarlet hopped off the metal railing, stowing the lady-like weapon on her left hip as she walked toward the controls for the computer. Adara followed the inhuman girl, finding it safer closer to the redhead. A quick smile was given to the smaller girl before Scarlet had the screens changing to a more informative format.
Robin's picture was singled out first. As expected Ra's had the greatest reaction, he was agitated and expectant; Ra's wanted Batman to succeed him, but on his terms, which was as likely as getting the man to smile, either of them. Robin was an opportunity though, trained by Ra's wanted successor and had a young mind that could be more easily manipulated than the Batman's, barely. Though Scarlet suspected that Ra's was still consciously stuck on Batman succeeding him, but the subconscious response was the one that shown through to the dark-eyed girl. It would a great amount of manipulation if Ra's ever figured out that he wanted to recruit Robin. Scarlet knew, she had tried herself on more than one occasion.
"Each partner must be discussed in turn if they are so problematic, no?" Scarlet asked over her shoulder, disguising her actions. Stiff nods were all the girl was going to get in conformation though. Rolling her eyes when none could see, Scarlet changed the picture.
Vandal Savage was the strongest reaction to Kid Flash, given that the speedster was the only of the Team he had any interaction with it would have been misplaced for him to harbor the strongest reaction to anyone else. The bitter feelings for the Flash had seemed to transition to the younger speedster, perhaps because both had bested him during their confrontations. Their interaction had been brief, though, so there was little else to be determined from Savage.
Another click and a picture the Martian was front and center. Queen Bee reeked of control and manipulation, a scent and feeling Scarlet knew very well. Now the question came of what knife the Bialyian had over Miss Martian's head, the girl found it odd that that she didn't already know, but it didn't bother her too much. With who she was, Scarlet would find out soon enough.
Superboy was the next picture. The surprise of Lex's interest in the clone had been demolished when the girl had first fought the Team, the scent of Luthor's blood in the boy had been an easy indication that the bald man would be interested in the boy. The true surprise was that was the fact of Luthor being the better father figure for the boy than the blue Boy Scout, although with Superboy's overuses of the Shields the girl was worried how his humanity and sanity would be affected. Speaking of which, Scarlet had a new piece to acquire after this charade of a villainous meeting was over. Scarlet did appreciate the interaction between the business tycoon and the clone, however Lex had taken his sweet time…
There was a conversation going on about the pictures as she had suggested to the group, but Scarlet was much more focused on reactions than she was on taking part of the discussion.
Aqualad's form was the next up on the wall. Ocean-Master was the strongest, feeling contempt, an increased recognition, and… fear? Scarlet let her senses go further, digging into his 'genetic scent' if you will and finding—oh? Well that explained things. The great Prince Orm couldn't have his brother's partner figuring out his treachery could he now? Oh, this was very well received new information.
Artemis was the last picture of the Team Queen Bee had pulled up, and the Brain, though hardest to deduce without skin to release chemical scents, seemed to feel the strongest… but what? Oh, this was pointless, without skin pinpointing information was as plausible as tasting a fish by licking the glass.
"Discussing the archeress?" Mercury interrupted, appearing in the room.
"You're late," Savaged informed him.
"I was… preoccupied," he responded. Scarlet didn't bother to hide her smirk, the scent of Nightshade coming off her employer was thick and sultry, no wonder he had been late.
"We have much to discuss," the Brain said stoically, retracting the smug feeling Scarlet had with the reminder of her inability to read him.
An expectant look was cast from all members of the light at the girl. Scarlet was well aware that she was not welcome in the meeting, she wasn't a member of the Light, she was simply in their base because Mercury had been previously occupied and she was there to stand in until he arrived.
Scarlet turned her hips away from the computer, so she was entirely facing one way, before she started walking. The Light knew she was a turncoat, and might betray them; she would eventually, the Light would fall apart and Scarlet had to make sure she had separated ties with them before that happened, because Scarlet didn't lose. Ra's she wouldn't betray, the girl followed her own morals, being that she wouldn't betray kin. Ra's al Ghul got his immortality from the Lazarus Pit, and the Pit got its power from the released energy of murdered Statera, so Ra's was kin to her. Her army was also above betrayal, as she was their creator. Everyone else, with few exceptions, was abandoned when she lost interest.
Scarlet was almost at the door were she was going to disappear with Adara for the last matter she had to manipulate when Klarion spoke, thinking she couldn't hear him or had a death wish, "Now that the vidua and the farinam are gone we can have an actual meeting."
A millisecond of frozen posture passed before the redhead gave up coherency for revenge. Another millisecond for Scarlet's features to change from human to inhuman, red marks like painted blood appeared over her entire body and her eyes glowed red while her canines sharped and extended, then she spun on her heel and pinned Klarion to the same railing she had been sitting on just a few minutes ago.
"We warned you, several times in fact, one would have thought you listen (Ancient Latin, Scarlet, Klarion)," Scarlet's clawed hand tightened around the witch boy's neck as she pushed him farther over the railing. As she wasn't a full Statera, her parasite wasn't as forceful and could share Scarlet's mind to give her more power without trying to take over her body, they did have to share a mind though, hence the 'we.' "So little witch boy, you have two choices: we spend the next few centuries torturing you to find out how to kill you, or you swallow your petty pride and apologize to Adara."
Klarion was in pain. As a lord of chaos he shouldn't be able to be hurt, but whatever Scarlet's claws were injecting into the witch boy's neck had Teekl screeching in pain as well. Klarion felt his power as well as his connection to Earth fading quickly as the girl's poison attacked the telepathic connection between the witch boy and his familiar, and despite the tantrum he wanted to throw, with the current rate at which his powers were draining he wouldn't be able to stand up, much less throw a tantrum.
"Well?" Scarlet asked, her hand tightening again.
"I'm… sorry," Klarion choked on the unfamiliar word, but was rewarded with the return of air to his lungs which he welcomed back in gasped breaths along with Teekl.
"Good, now if you could only learn your lesson. But we will be more than happy to make good on promise, if you haven't (Ancient Latin, Scarlet, Klarion)," the multiple-personalitied girl (or girls) smiled wickedly at the witch boy. A few more seconds of gasps passed before Scarlet stopped looking at Klarion and walked out the door once again, the Arabian girl following her immediately.
"Damn bitch," Klarion cussed at the door after making sure the girl was actually gone this time.
"We're just lucky that she hate Nabu more than she does you. If only barely," Mercury laughed.
"If we'll start," Queen Bee growled.
"We have new Intel from the mole…"
"M-miss Ruby?" Adara stuttered, pushing herself closer to Scarlet.
"What is it?" Scarlet—and only Scarlet, as she had abandoned her dual personality when she had disappeared—asked kindly, a voice she reserved for the girl.
"What is this place?" she responded looking franticly around the dark room. Adara's breath came out in clouds as she took in the strange room with its frost-covered pods full of developing limbs and odd lights.
"This is Cadmus, Adara. The undergrounds specifically," the redhead informed the younger.
"W-why are we here?" Adara asked. She was honored to accompany Miss Ruby wherever the older allowed her to join the young woman. But she was often scared of the situations that Miss Ruby got into, though Adara knew Scarlet would protect her no matter what, the girl always stuttered through her second language when she was scared.
"Recruitment," Scarlet offered as she started walking down the path the absence of pods created.
Adara knew not to pry any further until Miss Ruby brought it up herself. Odd as it may seem with her reputation, Adara loved Scarlet and owed everything to the woman; where Adara had been born was one of those places a mother prays her child will never see, and most like to think no longer exist. Try as they might, government couldn't stop all the black market slave trade in the Middle East, and was they place Adara had been born and lived for seven years of her life. It was a hell like few knew, and Adara had known nothing else until Scarlet saved her.
That night was a memory Adara knew would never fade, her mother—the only parent she had ever known—was being punished for who-knows-what, the slavers just wanted an excuse to use their whips, and Adara had been screaming as each sound of the whip hitting flesh cut into her heart. The men warned her that if she wasn't quite she would be the next to be whipped, but Adara couldn't stop screaming.
Adara was being dragged forward to be whipped the first time Adara saw her. Standing behind her mother's tormentor like a torrent of vengeance, her eyes glowed an unearthly red, and her long hair strewn like blood flying around her head.
It was the only time Adara had seen Scarlet murder. The man she stood behind didn't stand a chance, before he was even aware of the girl's presence behind him, Scarlet had used her inhuman strength to shove her hand through his chest ripping his still-beating heart of out of the man's chest. Adara knew she would never forget the sight of blood spattering against Scarlet's face.
From then on it was a blur, there was so much screaming and confusion that Adara didn't know what to make of anything else other than her current task. Her mother had lost so much blood already, the slavers had shown no mercy that night; Adara pushed down on the wounds as her mother had shown her how to, but the marks were too deep and it wasn't working.
Adara was in tears when she noticed that the only sound was coming from her, everyone else had stopped screaming and there was only stillness in the desert air. Looking up, Adara saw the spectral woman that had stopped her mother's torment standing above her.
"Please, do something(Arabic)," Adara pleaded, until her mother made a dying request in a language the child didn't know.
"Free them," her mother had to whisper, her energy taken by the whip.
Adara still didn't know what her mother had said, though she now knew English, she only knew that Scarlet gave one decisive nod and her mother had said two words Adara had never heard.
"Thank you(Arabic)," her mother said, even softer than before. Adara screamed, her voice cracking in its dry throat, as her mother stopped moving, remaining deathly still.
Scarlet had given them all new lives by the next morning, letting people who had no hope before, a chance to live—truly live—without having to worry when the next beating would come.
But Adara was alone, and couldn't live freely that way. Scarlet had seen her mother die, and had performed in the span of twenty-four hours more miracles than Adara had every dare dreamed in her life; the dream continued when Scarlet asked the liberated-slave-girl if she would become her companion.
Not being a full Statera, Scarlet looked more like a vampire in her full state than she did a Statera; the redhead also preferred living like her namesake, sustaining herself with blood instead of conventional food. Usually Scarlet drained her victims completely, killing them, but she could also take small amounts and make the experience more than pleasant.
Adara had become a companion for the 'vampire' as well as a source of blood that Scarlet had informed the girl she preferred to the random druggie. Her life of torture and fear had turned to one of companionship and care in one signal night. Adara owed Scarlet everything, and the vampire had never taken advantage of it.
Adara nearly ran into Scarlet as the woman suddenly stopped in front of her. Jarred out of her reminiscent, the girl took in her surroundings. They pair had stopped in front of a single pod that was so covered with frost that the glass was opaque, the metal framework of the glass had the words 'PROJECT MATCH' written in block lettering on the bottom.
"Miss Ruby?" Adara asked stunned.
"Adara, there is a young man in this pod, he has a great trouble with coherency. He was a failed creation that could not be thrown away, so his creators stored him here," Scarlet explained.
"If it failed… why are we here?"
"Because Cadmus couldn't see the diamond in the ruff, I could," Scarlet replied one of her signature smirks on her face. The vampire reached out to the control panel, and pushed the button to open the pod without taking her eyes off the clouded glass.
The panels were only allowed to raise a few inches from the floor before Scarlet hit another button to stop the opening of the pod. Spinning her fingers above her palm, a red smoke spun around Scarlet's right hand until it solidified into a creature that belonged in a horror story.
Adara shuddered, she hated the Interrogators; the creatures were in the form of earwigs, though were as long as Scarlet's forearm, Scarlet used them to interrogate—hence the name—those who either would not relinquish the information or needed to be tortured. The Interrogators bit through skin and traveled along the nerve endings, biting each one and causing terrible pain to the person, as they traveled toward the brain so that if the torture didn't work the electric signals could be read by the Interrogators, forcing the information out of the person conscious or not.
There was something particular in this case though, the Interrogator was the size of a traditional earwig. The Interrogator crawled down Scarlet's arm, past her waist, across her leg, and finally scuttled across the floor to the opening in the pod.
Adara wondered if Miss Ruby was going to take over the boy's mind, as might be possible with an Interrogator. She didn't delude herself with the fantasy of Scarlet being a perfect savior, Adara had seen the woman kill a man right of front of her, but she also knew what most didn't, how Scarlet rarely killed anyone other than a rapist or murdered when she was drinking blood, and how she had protected Adara simply because she didn't want her hurt. She looked terrible on the outside because Scarlet never lied, she could be cruel and evil, but only because she though you deserved it.
That's why Adara loved Scarlet, and why she could never have dreamed of accepting the second option of leaving Scarlet for a 'better life,' which Scarlet always reminded the girl was there should she ever want the opportunity.
Scarlet watched the Interrogator disappear into the pod, mild apprehension as to what she was doing—Match might not want this, but in that case, it could just as easily be undone. Casting away self-doubt Scarlet felt the Interrogator solidify into Match's mind and establish a connection with the vampire.
The roar Match cast into her mind was deafening, and if Scarlet had any less self-control her hands would have thrown themselves across her ears as her face contorted in pain. Instead she stared into the glass, adapting her eyesight to be able to see through the opaque surface until she saw the calm face of Match as a battle went on in his head. Another ear-splitting roar reverberated in her skull, and Scarlet's patience ran out.
She instructed the Interrogator to fill in the DNA sequence gaps with her own. Match's second roar faded to the back of her mind as the boy's DNA was completed.
What… Happened? Match asked, though more to himself as he wasn't aware of Scarlet's presence in his head, yet.
Your DNA is being reconstructed and your coherent brain is developing, Scarlet told him.
WHO ARE YOU? WHY ARE YOU IN MY HEAD? He mentally shouted, at the same volume as his previous roar.
I am Blood Ruby, I repaired your DNA, and maintained a presence in your mind so that you could get some explanations, Scarlet replied calmly.
Why would you do that? He asked.
Because I think you are worth more than to be stored away in a pod until Cadmus can find a way to dispose of you, Scarlet replied, she had expected these kind of questions, Now, I have a question for you: What do you remember?
There was a boy, I fought him, he had Superman's sign, I was told to fight Superman, why did Cadmus lock me away? He asked.
Because people are fickle, Scarlet informed him.
My shield was taken so I carved one of my own onto my chest, but it was backwards, the dismay in Match was amplified through the telepathy, so Scarlet nurtured a bit and reassured him that it wasn't a problem.
Yes, I can see. However I would let that worry you. Would you like to have your own life, where people won't imprison you for doing as you're told? She pacified before she offered what she had intended to offer him: freedom.
Yes, Match thought, I would.
That's what I hoped you would want. The repairs to your DNA are not complete and will take a while to be ready for you to be able to leave. Are you alright with staying here a little longer? Scarlet made sure to pose it as a question so Match would feel like it was his choice.
What other choice do I have? He commented dryly showing that the genomorphs taught him something before they gave up on the project. Thought how the information had stayed without a coherent mind was beyond Scarlet.
A painful one, Scarlet told him. If Match had insisted he be moved, there was a way to do it, but it would have been very painful.
I'll stay, for now, Match agreed.
Good, that will be best for you. As will rest, I will be back so you have freedom, Match, she promised.
Don't call me that, it's what they called me, he insisted.
What should I call you? Scarlet asked.
I-I…don't know, he responded.
Sleep on it, she suggested. Not long after she felt his presence in her mind drift as he fell into unconsciousness. Rewriting DNA was a draining process, the boy really did need his rest. It would take a few months at least for him to be able to leave the pod. Honestly, Scarlet had simply been astounded with the length of their conversation.
Once again pushing the button that controlled the pod, the small opening in the bottom of the case slid closed. This had certainly turned out better than expected. Scarlet smiled to herself, all the pieces were in place, now it was simply a matter of when to call checkmate and on which side.
The slightest pressure against her waist had Scarlet looking down to her left. The pressure had been the disturbed air after Adara had shivered in the cold of the underground.
"You could always tell me when you're cold," Scarlet reminded the small girl, putting her hand on black hair before the pair reappeared in the apartment in Metropolis.
Adara's cheeks dusted with red, both with the suddenly warmer area and with the embarrassment of being told. Scarlet let her fingers trail through the silky tresses smiling at the girl. Adara was the proof that there was still innocence in the world, despite what she may have seen, and Scarlet would go to hell and back to protect that which she had by her side.
"Would you like tea, Miss Ruby?" Adara asked looking up at the redhead.
"I would love some," Scarlet responded. The brunette disappeared in the direction of the kitchen.
Scarlet thought back on the events of the day, from the meeting, to Adara, and then to Match—or whatever his final choice in title may be. The Light was going to give the Team a run for their money, that much was assured, but in the end…
One thing was sure, Scarlet smiled, this was going to be interesting.
Thanks for reading to the end! I loved all the reviews and follow/favs!
*This is kind of long but please read it:
I have officially finished 'The Only Secret Robin Every Kept From Batman' (Let's hope my title-naming skills improve soon), but I'll be going back and fixing the errors/changing the plot a little bit of the previous chapters, so if you get updates about new chapters that's why.
The overall plot won't be changing, but some things I have thought through could be improved and I would like to have this story as the best it can be.
I thank you all for reading, though I didn't have some parts that I would have enjoyed to have you read, I need to stop here because:
a. the episodes are making it very hard to hold OCs
b. there was never any place for those minuscule things.
Thanks again, and PLEASE, this is YOUR LAST CHANCE TO TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK,
Okay I swear, my rabbit can speak! Or its way past bed-time (psh. Sleep is for the weak!) and her water-bottle was making odd noises while she drank.
I think it's the former though.