Chapter Two Hundred and Fifty-Two: Tainted Love Part Three.
Harry, Faora, Karen, and Sinestra slipped away from the fight against the Star Sapphire Corps. They knew they did not have enough time, so they needed to get to the tower. Faora was eying the crystals which were on the way to the place. She could see the same thoughts were going through Karen's eyes.
"So, what do you think?" Karen asked. Faora turned around to look at her. "Do you think they could work?"
"Anything's possible," Faora said after a moment's pause and some deep consideration. "The crystals on this planet could empower Har-Zod and restore him back to his normal form….but there's also a little good chance it could also make him blow up into a million sparkling pink bits."
Harry looked over his shoulder and locked eyes with his sister. "Maybe it's just me, but I think it would be a good idea if we can avoid that."
The three behind Sinestra stopped the moment Sinestra appeared in front of the back entrance. She held her hand up and touched the side of the entrance.
"No guards," Sinestra said. "At least none we can see."
No one needed to say to keep their eyes pealed because they already knew. Sinestra made her way into the palace. She took a long look down the hallway and viewed everything up and down. The moment she figured the coast was clear, she waved Harry, Karen, and Faora inside.
"Well, this is just like old times, isn't it?" Faora asked.
"Some things never change," Sinestra said with a blink.
And they thought they would get inside without running into trouble. They noticed someone going down the hallway.
"Only one, we can handle whoever it is," Harry said.
Sinestra approved of his confidence, she just hoped it would not come back and bite them in the face later. The figure moved around the hallway and she stopped, staring at them. The quartet came face to a young girl. She opened her mouth, and Sinestra held a hand up. The girl looked attractive, with pinkish skin, elvish ears, and rather innocent demeanor. The type of innocence which almost demanded to be corrupted.
"The Queen's niece," Sinestra said.
"What are you doing here?"
The young girl, perhaps naïve to what was truthfully going on here, looked at them.
Harry turned the three females who joined him on the trip and made a split second decision. "Let me do the talking."
Harry had a hunch he could figure out what was going on, and if he could talk to the girl, he could get some information. He turned towards Karen and Faora, who both nodded in response. The moment Sinestra saw Faora accepted her brother's words, she stood back.
'Let's see if my hunch is right.'
"You shouldn't be in the palace without…without an escort," the girl said. She looked at Harry, and Harry smiled back at her.
"It seems like you're walking around pretty fine on your own," Harry said. The girl had the decency to look flushed and Harry managed to find his way inside her head. He struck while the iron was hot. "My friends and I, we're stranded on Zamaran and searching for a friend of mine…..what's your name?"
The girl looked at him. Something about him seemed familiar and his green eyes drew her in. The young man coughed and the young girl looked at her.
"Sorry," she said. "My name is Ghia'ta….."
"So, you must be the Princess," Harry said. "The niece of Queen Aga'po, right?"
"Yes," she responded with a smile. She managed to take a turn for the suddenly serious when locking eyes onto him. "Look, my aunt….she doesn't want anyone to be around here…when the process is happening."
Harry thought she had said more than she wanted to say. He raised an eyebrow at the word "process" but decided not to say anything, at least right now.
"Yes, she wants me to send a signal if anyone is walking around here with an escort," Ghi'ta said. She looked a bit flushed and her eyes locked onto Harry a few seconds later. "I think it will be okay if you're stranded here and looking for your friend but…..I'm going to have to ask you to stay here….."
Harry's hand found the top of the Princess's. He looked around it with a gentle squeeze.
"What is your aunt doing?" Harry asked. He sensed some hesitation and he smiled. "It's fine, you can tell me, I won't tell her you told me."
"Wait, you're him!" Ghia'ta blurted out, practically squealing in the process. "You're him, the entity…she's…she's been searching for you all of this time, and you're here…oh….it's….I don't know what to say!"
Faora barely could hold back her smile. This girl looked pretty flustered to meet Harry. It would have been more surprising if an entire race of love crazy woman didn't have a legend about her brother, than if they did. It was just about right. Her smirk grew in even greater prominence and she looked at Sinestra.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, there's a prophecy….." Ghia'ta said. She could see the young god start groaning and this caused the Princess to break out into a frown. "Wait, what's wrong?"
"Never mind," he said. "Continue."
"Well, there's an entity which will power the Star Sapphires for countless generations to come," she said, bubbling over with excitement. "And it will allow them to spread their message of love throughout the entire universe."
Harry decided he would strike while he had her full and undivided attention.
"So, tell me," Harry said. "Does a message of love consist of kidnapping women and bringing them here to be brainwashed against their will."
"No, no, it's nothing like that!" The Princess yelped. "There's been a terrible…terrible misunderstanding, we would never….."
"You don't know what the process contains, do you?" Sinestra asked, speaking up sharply for the first time.
"A friend of mine has been kidnapped," Harry said. His voice lowered and he looked into her eyes. "Help me, and I can help you and the other Star Sapphire Corps get the one thing you've hunted for since you've been created….and I can assure you, I can make it worth your while."
Harry leaned towards the Princess who started to pant. The pleasure coursed through her body, and her thighs dampened with the thought of what he might do.
"Everything you need…they're down in the level below," Ghia'ta said. "There will be guards but….I know of a way to get around them…..if you want to…."
Harry leaned closer towards her and caused the Princess to shiver. She could not believe the eyes of this powerful man locked onto her like they were now.
The Interceptor arrived on the planet of Zamaron. The moment it arrived, Ilana's feeling of sickness grew even more. And the sickness was kept at bay she was sure by being trapped inside of the ship. Any second now, something would break and something would punish her, she was nearly certain about it.
"I'm not sure if you should get out of the ship," Katma said. She regretted saying anything to Ilana because it might sent her into rage mode. Yet, even her glare of death was less potent than ever before and it proved she was right. Ilana's eyes glazed over a few seconds later.
"I'm fine….well I'm not, but….you couldn't last five minutes out there alone," Ilana said. "And I suspect there's a good idea they know we're coming and they've prepared a welcome which will be both shocking and painful at the same time."
Ilana turned to Aya, who remained seated in the chair. Her eyes narrowed when looking at the Red Lantern. Ilana cleared her throat and forced Aya to sit up straight.
"Aya, open the doors."
Aya shook her head. She was bound to obey the Green Lanterns, but she did not necessary have to obey Ilana. The huge difference caused the other woman to stare her down. The burning fury entering Ilana's eyes caused Aya to blink, but she did not break.
"I'll open them," Aya said. "But, the moment you collapse, you're getting taken back to the ship."
"I won't collapse," Ilana said.
Katma said nothing, even though her thoughts pretty much said everything. She hoped for their sake Ilana was right. The doors of the ship cracked open and allowed them outside of the ship.
Ilana took every step downwards to the planet like it might have been her last. The air on the planet, despite the filters built into her ring, burned her lungs. She staggered, almost slumping over. Through sheer stubbornness, she managed to hold herself together and refused to fall flat on her face. The Red Lantern's determination may have been the most terrifying thing about her and she showcased it tenfold right here.
Katma stepped out, surprised how Ilana managed to hold it together. The atmosphere around the planet caused her to even become dazed and confused.
"We would have landed in the spot where the energies are most prominent," Aya said. Her scanners picked up track amount of glowing energy. A pause followed before a group approached them. "And don't look now, but we have company."
Company of the worst kind walked around the corner. The army of women dressed in pink cloaks approached them. One of them held up her hand, causing a wave of energy to burst through it and threaten to knock them over.
"You are trespassing on our planet…"
"You give us back our team members, and we don't break you," Ilana said.
The Star Sapphires exchanged those looks with each other. It was obvious Ilana's bluff fell upon dead ears, especially given the fact she couldn't even hold her head up straight.
"You don't terrify us," one of the Star Sapphires said. She took a couple of steps forward and the ground underneath her warped. A smile crossed over her face. "We are the Star Sapphire Corps. We will lead to your complete and utter annihilation."
"Bold, aren't you?" Ilana asked.
"You are bold as well, standing there as if you have the power to defeat us," the Star Sapphire corps said. "There is no power stronger than the universe than love! It always triumphs over hate!"
One of them sent a pink beam of energy towards Ilana. She screamed as her entire skin felt like it had been lit on fire. The inside of her body was not much better with the pain factor. She started to thrash about, the agonizing feelings continuing to go through her body.
"Stop, stop, stop, you're hurting her!" Aya yelled.
"No, she's been liberated," the Star Sapphire said.
"No, her vitals are all over the charts," Aya said. "Her heart could explode…"
"If she can't handle love, then she is not pure, and she does not deserve to exist," the Star Sapphire said.
"Forcing love on someone, that's not what it's all about," Aya said. She crossed her arms and frowned, looking at her adversaries.
The Star Sapphires looked back at Aya, with thinly veiled contempt flashing through their eyes.
"What would a machine know about love?"
Ilana gritted her teeth and plowed through the pink beam. The Star Sapphire in question looked impressed. Ilana pounded her with a spiked red glove. She whipped her ring and summoned enough hate within her to cause the Star Sapphires to flee in terror.
Katma created a net which tangled them up. The Star Sapphires did their best to break free from their containment, but their best was not good enough. She bombarded them with an energy attack which forced them to stagger back several steps.
Ilana collapsed and started to throw up. She knew the Sapphires would not rest now, not especially when they had been so completely and utterly humiliated.
Oliver Queen came to a couple of conclusions in the few days which had passed since his initial contact. No one on this island was his friend and this fact had become clearer to him. He had gotten only the bare minimum of which it was to survive, and the only reason why he was not executed was it was thought he knew information.
His heart started to beat. The second they figured out he knew very little, he would be dead. Oliver tried to loosen the bindings which held him back. A desperate attempt at freedom had been stopped when the binding snapped back and put Oliver against the wall. He breathed one more time and tried to move one more time. Another snap back and more frustration had been involved.
The door opened and Edward Fiers, or Fyres as he was now known, returned to face Oliver. A figure walked a couple of steps behind him, although Oliver could not see who it was from his vantage point.
'Well, this can't be good.'
"Mr. Queen, I apologize for your accommodations," Fiers said. "I trust they won't be for long."
Oliver thought it remained to be seen, but he responded with a fairly respectful nod.
"You have me caught…with nowhere…to go," Oliver groaned.
"Yes, that's the nature of being a captive," Fyres said
Oliver had almost been taken in by his cordial tone of voice, but a huge part of him knew better. He was trying to set him up for a big fall, and Oliver knew he wasn't going to fall for it. Not if he could help it anyway.
"We should come to an understanding," Fyres said. He leaned forward and touched his hand onto Oliver's shoulder. His eyes locked onto the young man's. "We both know coming to an understanding would be better for both of us in the long run."
The Queen heir looked at him and could do nothing else but nod. He swallowed, both out of the fear and the fact his throat already had dried up from the lack of water. Regardless of his intentions, Fyres seemed rather pleased with Oliver and decided to move forward.
"You give me what I want, and I give you what you want," Fyres said. "The deal is more than fair, wouldn't you agree….good I'm glad we're on some level of understanding."
Oliver had no choice, other than to comply. Once again, his throat had turned bone dry.
"Where is the girl?"
"What girl?" Oliver asked, wondering through his fogged memory what he was talking about.
"Please, Mr. Queen, I would have thought despite your reputation you would have had a moderate amount of intelligence underneath your playboy demeanor," Fyres said. He looked at Oliver with a combination of disappointment and frustration. "The girl, I want her, where is she?"
The girl was a bargaining chip for the old man and to get what he wanted. And Oliver would be the key to get what he wanted.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
Fyres waved his finger and a gentleman dressed in tactical armor stepped in. He wore a white mask with red markings all over it and he had a sword strapped onto his back.
"Mr. Queen, I'd like to believe you," Fyres said. "But we can leave nothing to chance. I'm sure even someone like yourself could appreciate just as much."
Oliver, funnily enough, did not appreciate the fact he was caught on this island, trapped, with pretty much no place to go. He looked up at the masked man and the masked man removed his dagger and pointed it at Oliver. The dagger stabbed into Oliver and caused pure agony to ride through his body.
"Tell us what we need to know," the man said. "Don't worry, I won't kill you, at least not yet. But I'll make you wish you died on the ship before you were brought here."
Oliver thought it was much too late about that. Sara, the rest of the crew, they were already dead by this point, because God only knows how much time had passed between now and the time he had been washed up on the island. Another stabbing sensation filled his body.
"Good, she'll be released soon."
Carol and Alex exchanged a nervous look with each other. Nervousness filled them. Aga'po claimed she was saving Carol, but the fact was, neither sister believed anything of the sort. The two of them locked eyes with each other.
"Release her," Aga'po said.
Carol Ferris stumbled out of the chamber. She wore not even a stitch of clothes, which would have been an alluring sight had she not been shaking like a leaf. Her eyes snapped open to reveal an eerie and quite unsettling pinkish-purple glow.
"What have you done?" Carol Danvers asked.
"The two of you have a connection, and Ms. Ferris was quite frustrated about you disappearing," Aga'po said. "Therefore, Ms. Danvers, I have done you both a favor, and brought you here, for love could prosper."
Carol's eyes continued to flash with the sinister shade of pink which terrified anyone looking at it. A costume appeared on her body. It resembled a one piece with the bottom and the top cut out. Her cleavage and navel exposed, showing an ample amount of tanned skin, and thigh high boots stretched down. She balanced on the heals. A jewel sparked on top of a headdress and her eyes looked around.
An inhumane howl followed and Carol rushed the Star Sapphires. She began to attack them.
Carol jumped in and helped the avatars of love secure her friend. On the inside though, she was fuming like no one else could believe. She turned her undivided attention to the Queen, the moment Carol had been brought down ot her knees.
"What the hell is going on?" Carol asked.
"This is completely normal, she hasn't quite come to terms with her frustrations of love….."
"HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN MINE FIRST!"
Carol's irrational and quite unprovoked screams turned their attention towards one Alexandra Danvers, who looked on in shock. Alex stepped back and mouth was open wide. She watched when Carol shackled Carol.
"It's going to be okay, we're going to figure this out….."
"It's not going to be alright, unfortunately," Aga'po said. "There's a Red Lantern on the planet."
"It's fine, she's….she's had a tough life, she's misunderstood," Carol said.
Aga'po flashed a sympathetic look towards Carol, the poor girl had no idea.
"Monsters always claim they're misunderstood."
"You know what, you and your creepy love cult; maybe you're the real monsters!" Alex snapped. "And you know, for people who are all about free love, you can be pretty fucking judgmental, not to mention controlling!"
The situation could not escalate any further because there had been a trapping.
Harvey Dent returned form Blackgate prison and horror show seemed like a pretty good description of what he had to deal with. There most infamous resident, the man who terrorized Gotham for months, had not been willing to give any straight answers. He had already driven one doctor to mindless and agonizing hysterics. And another had resigned, instead of having to interview Joker.
If he wasn't insane, Harvey would have recommended he been sent straight to the chair, because that bastard deserved no less. Not only had he killed Rachel and Gilda, but he had caused his first few months as Gotham City District Attorney to be nothing other than a living hell.
'He's not insane; he knows what he's doing.'
Harvey was not pro death penalty…..not normally, but in some cases, he would make an exception. Joker was where the line got blurred.
'You're judgment is clouded, Dent…..maybe you think it's your fault you hadn't done something….if you could have gotten away with it, you would have strangled the clown.'
Dent poured himself a cup of coffee. He needed to calm down, before he lost his mind. Harvey frowned and noticed his office door had been unlocked. Had it always been unlocked?
Harvey took a couple of seconds to draw in a deep breath and walk inside his office. In Gotham City, you could never been too careful with the people who would cause problems. A second passed, and Harvey looked at the desk where a fairly attractive blonde woman sat at a chair on the edge of his desk. She had a button up red blouse, a black skirt, and stockings which came all the way down.
"Who are you?" Harvey asked. "What are you doing in my office?"
"Hello, Mr. Dent," she said with a smile and bounced up to her feet, reaching out her hand to a shake. "My name is Janice Porter….you might remember me from when you taught courses on criminal law at GCU a few years back."
Harvey racked his brain. To be honest, he had quite a few students when he taught classes and hadn't really taught them over the past five years. Therefore this woman really did nothing to stand out in his mind.
"Oh, right, Ms. Porter, I remember you now," Harvey said a few seconds later. "What are you doing in my office?"
"I'm the new Assistant District Attorney," she said. "Don't you remember…didn't you get the message, I was coming in today? Your aide let me in."
Harvey frowned for a few seconds. He told his staff to take care of Rachel's replacement, while he was dealing with what needed to be down about the Joker case, but he must have been so distracted, he didn't figure they found someone. Then again, his mind had been all over the place over the past couple of months.
"Well, welcome to the job, and I wish you the best of luck," Harvey said. "We have a lot of work to do and things are worse in Gotham City."
"Yes, I know," Janice said. "Especially with vigilantes like Nightwing and Batman on the loose."
"And don't forget the outpouring of mob activity in this city," Harvey said.
Harvey hated the fact now the GCPD's focus seemed to be directed on stopping vigilantes than actual crime. He had no problems with them, even if he could not condone them in public. If they roughed up the criminals a little bit, and deterred a few of them, then Harvey's job would be a lot easier. People like Batman and Nighrtwing were necessary for Gotham City.
'And you have to be a bit rough with those scumbags to get them in line,' a harsher voice deep in Harvey's subconscious stated.
"Vigilante justice should not be tolerated though," Janice said. "I have some ideas on how to deal with them….if you'd like to hear them."
She did have a bit of a one track mind.
"Hopefully you're up to the task, because this job is not just about wrangling up vigilantes, there's a lot more challenges, especially these days."
Harvey walked over towards his desk and noticed a familiar envelope with the letters "from a concerned citizen" pasted on them. He grumbled out "again" before picking up the envelope and dropping it down into the rubbish bin.
Harry, Faora, Sinestra, and Karen walked into the chamber. Several crystals shined brightly around them, which gave Harry a buzzing feeling.
"They're close," Sinestra said. "If they've done something to my teammate….or your friend….they'll pay, trust me."
Faora smiled. Sinestra didn't really show it often, but deep down, she did care about the people underneath her care. She just had a difficult time showing it.
"Yes, I can feel them," Harry said. "Face front."
The Star Sapphire Royal Guard turned up, walking around the corner. They aimed their weapons at Harry and company. Harry and the girls with him paused, with Sinestra placing herself front and center.
The Queen stepped forward and frowned. The moment she noticed Harry, her excitement hit a new fever pitch. She lifted up a staff with a large crystal on it. Waving the staff around, she summoned energy through it. The crystal flashed with light.
"You're the one!" Aga'po said in excitement. "You're the one who can help us….and we need your help, badly."
She walked over towards him and placed a hand on his cheek.
"Will you help us, great one?"
A moment of pause followed. Karen and Faora exchanged a brief look of exasperation.
'She's kidding, right?' Karen thought to herself. 'Are you smelling trap like I am?'
Harry smelled trap a mile away. He looked towards the beautiful, even if slightly eerie, Queen.
"Yes, I'm sure I can help you," Harry said. "What do you need?"
It may be a trap. He knew it, tasted it, but given their power set, he had the perfect way to turn the trap around on them.
To Be Continued on January 11th, 2017.
Harry's legend extends to the furthest reaches of the universe, as it should be.
We have a chance to get into the mind of Harvey Dent in its chapter. Things will be rough for Mr. Dent in the future, but that's a ways off.