Title of Prompt: Care [Part 2] (Or Where Atrocitus Reveals His Dark Intentions To A Prisoner)
Rating: T - This one is dark. Lots of angst and implications.
Disclaimer: I do not own Green Lantern: The Animated Series or Green Lantern. It all belongs to DC comics.
Authors Note: Oh, God. What have I done...? The eagerly awaited sequel to Care. The producers give us our first happy episode since forever, and I create this twisted monster. Pleasedon'thateme! Sorry for spamming you with "ghost updates." That's FF messing it up, not me ^^ Or at least I hope it isn't me! Hopefully this works.
Razer had already realized that hell would last for eternity. He knew he couldn't have been under Atrocitus's control for more than three Earth weeks, but the agonizing pain and humiliation that Atrocitus put him through every day only made every moment drag onto forever. To make matters worse, Atrocitus's foul, malicious smirk was the only thing that graced his vision day in and day out. The leader of the Red Lantern Corps refused to allow any guards in his confined prison—wisely remembering the previously successful rescue attempt by the Green Lanterns. Instead, Lord Atrocitus preferred to make Razer beg for every bite of food or every sip of stale water, hand feeding the young man if necessary when his wounds were too severe. If Razer refused to eat—trying to starve himself for the fourth time or so—Atrocitus would only have to mention the grisly, horrible future fates of his friends, and Razer would dutifully choke down another piece of whatever trash they were feeding him.
When Atrocitus wasn't forcing food down his throat, he was doing something more horrendous. First it started with the beatings. Right after his capture, Atrocitus wanted to be quite clear in expressing to the other Lanterns the punishment for the ultimate dissenter. Razer was certain that images of his bruised and bloody face and body hung on almost every wall, though it wasn't possible for him to leave his cell to check. After one of Atrocitus's punishment sessions had too been harsh on the shell of Razer, resulting in multiple shattered bones, Atrocitus resorted to more internal scarring. The poison, by this time, had already begun to take its effect on the poor young man. Like Atrocitus promised, Razer was forced to remain among the land of the living, but the pain was excruciating. As the acid sluggishly traveled from his scarred face through his bloodstream, Razer would suppress screams as the fire seared his veins. Somehow Atrocitus always knew when the poison would cause another relapse, because he seemed to be present at the most unbearable moments, hissing cruel words like daggers into Razer's ear. The first time this happened to him, the combined mental and physical anguish caused the young Lantern to spiral into sweet unconsciousness—but not for long. The moment Razer was awake, Atrocitus had already devised a new torture to make the dissenter "stronger."
The moments Razer was finally free of Atrocitus were no better. The lasting glow of pain caused his mind to be constantly foggy, only allowing the broken memories that Atrocitus never let him forget to swirl in his mind. He was also left with a single horrible question. Are the others still alive? Even when he was being tortured in every way possible by Atrocitus, Razer still felt the need to be better. To be almost like a hero. He felt like he could weather whatever storm Atrocitus put him through, only if it caused his friends to be spared. But if Atrocitus was lying, terrible thoughts like these plagued the boy's nightmares constantly, and his friends were dead, then he was suffering for nothing. There was no way to know for sure, and Razer had a feeling that Atrocitus relished this extra power over his slave.
Then Atrocitus presented his proposition.
Hal wasn't sure how long he and the others had been rotting in the dungeon cells, but he was certain he had missed his date with Carol by a couple of weeks. Hal glanced to his right at a fitfully sleeping Kilowog and a semi-comatose Aya. Instead of removing their rings, Atrocitus preferred to have his prisoners suffer the ultimate defeat—humiliation. They still had their rings and they still had each other—minus a certain angry kid—but they were trapped within a cage built of solid yellow rock. How Atrocitus was able to attain such a quantity of the poisonous stone was beyond the human Lantern, but he was painfully aware of how dire the consequences were. Composed entirely of will power energy, Aya had slipped immediately into an unresponsive hibernation state, and the other two organic Green Lanterns were not fairing much better.
Hal suppressed a sigh, closed his eyes, and rubbed his pulsing forehead. The rocks were making it hard to think, much less remember what events had led to their discovery and capture. He vaguely remembered it as a surprise attack that struck viciously and quickly without warning. For some reason, Razer and he had been on the outside of the ship performing maintenance. The former had been the first one attacked, unconscious or worse before his prone body hit the smooth side of the Interceptor. Hal gritted his teeth, taking a shaky breath. He had been too preoccupied with trying to save the ship to actually check on Razer. The human had no clue if the Red managed to escape or was captured. The kid wasn't with them, and that wasn't a good sign.
Distant, yet familiar voices sounded at the door. Hal pulled himself from his regretful thoughts and straightened up. Beside him, Kilowog also sat up, unable to ever return to a deeper sleep since their capture. "Atrocitus," Hal mouthed to the Bolavaxian. Kilowog nodded as the heavy sounds of the Red Lantern Leader echoed through the glowing, yellow prison. The loud sound completely drowned out the weaker shuffle of Atrocitus's companion, but when the young man stepped into the sickly light, he earned a more startled greeting.
Hal's eyes widened as he took in the sight of the beaten and bloody Red Lantern. Deep shadows were like permanent stains under the boy's dull, lifeless eyes. Large, aggressive bruises were painted across all patches of visible skin, although the worst of them were spread out across the young man's gaunt, pale face. His dark markings stood out like obsidian against his scarred alabaster cheeks. If Hal squinted, he could see crusty bits of amber on Razer's markings; he didn't even want to know what that was. The former Red Lantern's posture was slumped—not in rebellion, but in total submission and defeat. Razer clearly favored his left side, his right arm hanging loosely by his slightly arched ribcage. It looked as if there were several bones on their way to being poorly healed.
"Kid?" Beside him, Kilowog was equally horrified at the fate of their Red Lantern. Like Hal, he had almost hoped that the kid was dead or had escaped. But this was more hideous than anything the older soldier could have imagined.
Upon seeing his friends, Hal noted a brief spark in the young man's eyes just before it was savagely stamped out. The former Red Lantern was apparently just as surprised to see them alive as the Green Lanterns were to see him.
"What has he done to you, Razer?" Hal grounded out through gritted teeth. He tried to pull himself through the bars towards the smirking Atrocitus, ignoring the painful sparks the yellow bars were shooting into his trembling palms.
Razer didn't answer, only swallowing painful. The rotten smirk that had been on Atrocitus's crooked mouth tilted upwards into a deeper smile. "Go ahead, Razer. Tell them."
The young man hesitated for a moment before looking up. He stared at everywhere except for the two conscious Green Lanterns. "I am no longer a part of your team," Razer started. Hal winced at the voice. It was raspy and dead, possessing none of the cynical humor that the kid's tone usually had. "For the rest of my life," he paused to swallow, "I shall serve my master,"—Razer's voice hitched painfully as if he were choking back something, but couldn't let it out—"Atrocitus."
Hal frowned. "Razer, I'm not su—"
The young man's voice cracked once, and then got a little bit louder. "My merciful master had kindly agreed to allow you to leave if you swear to never return." One of Atrocitus's gristly hands landed heavily around the back of Razer's neck, causing the boy to shudder violently. The hairs on the back of Hal's neck bristled sharply.
"Atrocitus," Hal hissed, feeling more rage than he had ever felt well up in his gut. "So help me, If you touch him one more time, I wi—"
"I strongly suggest you accept his generous offer," Razer interrupted in a firm whisper. He glanced up to meet the narrowed white slits in Hal's emerald domino mask. The boy's normally dull eyes were curiously bright, but Hal couldn't figure out why. "Please," he pleaded in such a strangled whisper that the single word nearly shattered the human's heart.
Hal's eyelets widened as he felt the fight leave his own body. He was vaguely aware of Kilowog's slow nod and a muffled "we accept."
Razer mirrored the nod with a slight bounce of his head. He released a shuddering breath, opening his mouth to most likely say goodbye.
However, Atrocitus prevented his prisoners from having even that last comfort. He barked an order to the guards, who responded by jamming their electrode staffs in-between the narrow, glowing bars.
But it was too late—the two prisoners were already unconscious on the cold, stone floor.
Atrocitus's hard fist swung, catching Razer on the side of the face. Without even a cry, the boy collapsed onto his hands and knees, scrambling feebly to get back up. Pressing an overpowering boot down on Razer's back and shoving the young man back to the hard floor, Atrocitus leaned forward with a sickly sweet smile.
"For their sakes, let's hope that they heed your request." The boot dug sharper into Razer's bruised back, ripping a whimper of pain from the abused young man. "Now," Atrocitus paused, savoring the sight of the trembling form beneath his foot, "it's time you kept your side of the bargain."
Part 3...? I am so sorry.