Title: The New CircleFandoms: Smallville/Secret CircleCharacters: Chloe Sullivan, Whitney Fordman, Greg Arkin, Cassie Blake, Diana Meade, Mikhail Balcoin, Lucas Dunleavy, Faye Chamberlain, Byron Moore...Rating: TDisclaimer: Don't own any original material used in the television series or artwork, they belong to their respective creators. I have merely tweaked them for my story.Summary: Chloe Sullivan had a normal-ish life before the circle and John Blackwell turned her life upside down and gave new meaning to the unexplained weirdness that goes on in Smallville. Now life's a witch, she's a part of a circle she's not too sure she wants to be bound to, and not only do they have to worry about Witch-Hunters, but unknowingly to them another circle is on the hunt too.
"What sort of problem?" Zod wanted to know, making his way towards the Councilman and the box, staring inside and finally able to see what lay within, the Major stopping when he realized why there was an issue. "There has to be another way."
"No other that will save her in the amount of time that we have." Jor shook his head.
"Then you-" Zod looked up at the older Dragon.
Jor was already shaking his head. "Not only am I far too old, but I am in mourning and we need more numbers. You'd need at least four for it to not kill you all."
Zod cursed, slamming his fist into the wall. "I will not see her die, Councilman!"
Chloe was feverishly hot, and yet her teeth chattered as if she was freezing. "If – if I die – Z-Zod – you h-have to h-help m-my family."
Zod glared at her for once again trying to play that card on him, the Dragon turning his back on her, eyeing the Councilman. "If we both wear two, will that work?"
"It'll kill us." Jor shook his head. "I am past my prime and not compatible for this. We need more numbers."
"There is no one else!" Zod snarled, eyes going reptilian.
"Don't decide that on your own without even asking for help," a surprising voice announced, Whitney Fordman entering the room, voice breathy, the boy bent over, face red, seeming to have run a great distance. His eyes wore a permanent pink haze as they turned to Chloe and narrowed. "Chloe." The Sanguine moved towards his Animus, wiping the sweat from her forehead, eyes widening in horror. "What happened to you?"
Zod's eyes widened. "He can be used."
"Him?" Jor snorted with a swift shake of his head. "No. He is a witch. Only Dragons can be used. It would kill him instantly."
"He is her Sanguine." Zod turned his blues on Jor.
Jor's eyes widened. "A Sanguine?"
Zod nodded. "And even for Sanguine and Animus, they are particularly close."
"The bond between a Sanguine and its Animus is special, respected. It could work. He was obviously summoned here for a purpose. It might work." Jor's gaze went to where Whitney loomed over Chloe, eyes still hazy pinky. "But it still leaves you in need of two more, Zod."
"I'll wear two and you will wear one." Zod glared at the Councilman.
Jor breathed in. "I cannot. It is not that I do not wish to help. I cannot."
"What are you two talking about?" Whitney finally looked up from where he was next to Chloe. "What happened to her? And who is this guy, Zod?"
"She is dying," Zod turned to Whitney, knowing that the Sanguine would do all in his power to save her, "and I need your help to save her."
"Anything." Whitney moved away from the girl curling tighter and tighter into herself, in too much pain to talk, the Sanguine joining the Dragons. "What do I do?"
"And how do we help?" another voice announced.
Zod looked up, annoyed at just how off-guard he was, seeing Adam and AC Knight appear in the same direction Whitney had, the Dragon surprised to see them. "What are you two doing here?"
"I felt that Chloe was in danger and I kept seeing the Balcoin symbol in these caves so I knew she was here." Adam came closer to them, sending Chloe a worried look as he did. "When we arrived in the caves, we saw the lit pathway and followed it to this new chamber."
"Same thing happened to me." Whitney nodded.
Zod frowned at Adam. "I understand the Sanguine, he can be of use in the situation, but why you? You are merely a witch. Why should you be summoned?"
"You need to stop hating on witches, dude." AC pointed at him. "We are much more resilient than you give us credit."
Zod ignored him, eyes on Adam.
Jor stepped forwards, eyeing Adam as well. "How are you connected to the young lady? He is her Sanguine. What are you?"
Adam looked around, clearly uncomfortable. "Nothing. I'm not even a part of her Circle."
Zod shook his head. "I knew it, you're useless, a waste of our time."
Adam glared at him.
"That's not true." Whitney shook his head, moving closer in urgency. "Adam's just as connected to Chloe as I am, even more in some ways."
Jor turned his gaze on Whitney. "Explain, quickly. Time is of the essence."
"Adam was cursed, and to reverse said curse, Chloe had to do something that essentially made her magic see them as one being," Whitney replied.
Jor's eyes widened, lips pulling in a smile. "I knew that there had to be a reason why he was summoned! He is her Doppelgänger!"
Zod's eyes widened, unable to believe what he was hearing as he turned to look at the boy who'd tried defying him earlier. "Him?"
Adam's eyes widened in confusion. "I'm her what?"
"I thought a Doppelgänger was someone who looked identical to you?" AC narrowed his eyes. "Like a twin?"
"There are only three of you and yet maybe…" Jor dismissed the witch's question, moving things around in the box before pulling out a silver bracelet with a turquoise stone in it, moving towards Chloe. "But Major, if you're still willing to risk wearing two, it might work."
Zod eyed the girl as she twisted on the Ceremonial Altar before he nodded. "Of course."
Jor clamped the bracelet around her wrist before returning to them. "The bracelet I have just placed around her wrist is known as the Willowbrook, as it will plant deep roots inside of her and will slowly, gradually and most importantly safely, siphon out enough life, energy, and magic out of the wearers out of the other bracelets. There are twelve other bracelets in total, but four are the least amount that can be used in extreme situations, such as this one." He took in a deep breath. "Only Dragons can use them, if any other species tried to use them their magic wouldn't be strong enough and their magic and life-source would be sucked dry within minutes. The only reason why you two are viable candidates are because a Sanguine and a Doppelgänger are both very unchartered territories, both are extensions of the person in different ways. Still, know that you run a risk. Even if they work, these were only used in the most important of situations on the most important of people due to the… bond… that is created in those that use them."
"Bond?" AC narrowed his eyes. "What sort of a bond?"
"It has been known to be rather unhealthy if the bracelets are worn too long," Jor admitted, a highly disturbed expression twisting his expression as he gazed upon them. "There was a reason why they were locked away." He took in a deep breath. "In the past these were used and the group who used it, they…" The Dragon licked his lips. "They worked together to do some terrible things as they believed that they were the only ones who deserved to continue living."
AC turned to his brother. "I don't think you should do this."
"How long would we need to wear these bracelets?" Adam wanted to know.
"Until you can find the Stones of Power and finish the ritual," Jor replied, gaze turning to Chloe as she screamed, everyone's eyes on her as she arched off of the slab. "I understand if you-"
Whitney reached into the box and pulled out one of the bracelets, clamping it onto his wrists without a second's hesitation, hissing as the magic connected with him, the stone lighting up, his eyes flashing momentarily.
"Adam, I don't think-" AC turned to his brother just in time to see the bracelet clamping down on Adam's wrist, Adam's eyes flashing with magic as well. AC sighed and closed his eyes. "I hope you know what you're doing."
Zod looked between the two witches, reluctantly impressed with their lack of hesitation or fear for their own selves.
Adam suddenly cried out, grabbing his wrist as he bent over. "Damn it!"
"Take it off, Adam!" AC moved to touch the bracelet, to forcefully remove it from his brother, but at the touch, magic sent him flying backwards violently.
Adam groaned, face scrunched in pain, before his eyes flew open, magic visible in them as he raised his palm, eyes widening as, before their eyes, the Gemini sign burned into his palm, along with the Balcoin symbol. As soon as it was over, he gasped in breath and his body relaxed, the boy breathing in and out before turning to his brother. "AC?"
The witch sat on the ground, a hand to his head. "That hurt."
Whitney moved towards Adam, lifting his hand. "Just like Lucas, you haven't had to go through the ritual for your symbol to show up, and yet Faye's hasn't yet. It – it doesn't make sense."
"Faye is bound to the Darkseid side, they are bound to her Balcoin," AC pointed out, stumbling to his feet with a groan. "I think somehow that that has something to do with the difference."
"I'm bound to her Darkseid Circle and my symbol is on her." Whitney showed his symbol. "So is Greg's.
Zod didn't listen to them anymore, not really caring why some of their symbols were showing or not.
"But you were first bound to her when her Darkseid magic was inactive, so you were really bound to her Balcoin magic if you think about it, and it transferred to her Darkseid because you were more suitable for that magic," Adam announced. "Whereas Faye seemed to have always been destined for the Darkseid Circle."
"That makes no sense." Whitney shook his head.
Zod reached into the box and pulled out two bracelets, his gaze dark on them as he licked his lips. The Dragon knew that this could easily kill him but he was strong, he could handle this. He could. His gaze went to where Chloe had calmed down somewhat since Adam and Whitney had put on their bracelets, the girl seeming in some sort of trance. He took in another breath as he clamped on the first bracelet, feeling the absorption of his life force and magic immediately, the Dragon hissing as he imagined that twice as bad as it was now.
He could do this. He could. He had to.
Steeling himself, Zod brought the other bracelet to his other wrist and the second it clamped on, he couldn't keep the howl from his lips, the Major falling to his knees as the world spun around him. He could feel the bracelets overpowering him, their power incredible, rendering him powerless, draining him rapidly and surely, the light in the room quickly turning to darkness.
Just before everything went dark, he saw someone rushing towards him from the shadows, and seconds before he slipped into unconsciousness, that someone managed the impossible and ripped one of the bracelet's off of his wrist.
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Zod lay on the ground, still unconscious from the amount of energy that had been taken from him.
The others who'd been there with them were now gone, off to do what Jor had sent them to do. All were gone but one.
"Are you sure she's fine?" the Sanguine wanted to know, standing over Chloe Darkseid, staring down at her as she slept peacefully, glowing visibly from the magic she was receiving from her donors. "That she'll be okay like this until we find these Stones of Power?"
Jor looked up from where he'd been examining the key he'd taken from the girl's neck, the one from the pocket in the wall which the stones should have been in. "The Willowbrook should considerably strengthen her and slow down the deterioration, but make no mistake, it is no permanent fix. She needs to find the Stones of Power and finish the ritual as soon as possible and the four of you need to have the bracelets removed before there is any permanent damage."
"So she doesn't have to worry about any damage caused by the bracelets, only the four of us." The Sanguine raised his gaze.
Jor eyed the boy thoughtfully. "The five of you will be affected, let me leave it at that."
The Sanguine didn't let him leave it at that. "What did you mean that the reason those bracelets were locked away was because, in the past the people who used them thought they were the only ones who deserved to continue living?" His blue eyes narrowed. "Explain that to me. If I'm going to start being under the influence of this bracelet, as are the others, I think I deserve to have a heads up about what I'm going to have to face."
Jor had thought the boy impulsive before, blindly faithful to the Darkseid girl, but while the Sanguine was faithful, he wasn't blindly so. He was going to do what he had to do, but he was obviously going to gather the facts.
The Councilman sighed as he took in a deep breath. "The last group that I know of to use the Willowbrook did so to save the life of a young Dragon many hundreds of years ago, long before I was laid as an egg with my siblings. I do not know why that Dragon's life was in peril, only that it was. The young Dragon must have been at the brink of death because it took twelve Dragons to save its life and by the time he or she was healthy, the Willowbrook had taken affect. These Dragons formed a covert group that called themselves Black Zero, intent on destroying Apokalips of all life there except for those thirteen Dragons and anyone who'd swear allegiance to them. They nearly succeeded but were caught in time and had to be eradicated. It was a great loss for our species as we are not as populated as human beings so our numbers are much fewer. But we were safe and that was what mattered in the end." Jor paused, thinking of the Black Zero that had appeared before the destruction of his dimension, the Dragon shaking his head. "The Willowbrook is a great healing tool if not used for prolonged periods, otherwise…"
The Sanguine nodded. "I understand." He took in a deep breath. "It had to have been meant to be though. Otherwise we wouldn't have all been here for this to happen. Especially him."
Jor thought about that. "And you say that Zod has no idea that he is the half Dragon?"
"No one had any idea he was the half Dragon until he just appeared and yanked the bracelet off of Zod and it clamped onto himself instead. He didn't even know." The Sanguine shook his head, gaze going back down to Chloe. "This is going to be hard for her to accept when she wakes up."
"She is strong. She can handle it." Jor was more than sure of that. Rao's daughter was, well, she'd teleported this room from another dimension. He was sure she could handle the news of who the half Dragon was.
Chloe groaned, turning her back to them, her shirt riding up, revealing her back and scales.
Jor averted his gaze from the intimate look.
The Sanguine, on the other hand, blinked in shock. "What the-?" He actually had the gall to actually lift her shirt up higher – the mortal males had no sort of decency! "Since when does Chloe have multicolored scales and why does she have a tribal Z and a…I'm not even sure what that design is supposed to be... tattooed on her?"
Jor turned to tell the Sanguine off when his words hit him, the Councilman turning rapidly and moving towards the Sanguine, praying Zod wouldn't kill him when he found out he'd gazed upon the girl's scales and marks. But this wasn't a move of lust, but one of scientific curiosity. As Councilman, he knew of the Dragons and their marks, would know which family had given Rao their magic and aided him in the creation of this half Dragon, and his curiosity wouldn't be sated until he knew. Hadn't they believed that Rao had someone helping him?
And yet, as Jor gazed upon a small diamond with two larger interlocking diamonds, the Councilman took a step back. This was no symbol he had expected to see, not it this day and age.
Eyes widening, Jor could not believe it. "It can not be."
"What cannot be?" the Sanguine asked, looking up. "What does all of this mean?"
"What you call the tribal Z represents the House of Zod and Dru-Zod's intent of claim on her for that House." Jor wasn't staring at the Z though, he was staring at the other symbol. "The other design is a more archaic symbol which represents the House of Ur and the half-Dragon's intent of claim on her for that House. The Willowbrook must have activated his Dragon magic and thus his mark has finally appeared on her." But that wasn't what had Jor so shocked, the Dragon staring in the direction that the half-Dragon had disappeared to. "This bloodline was supposed to have been wiped out hundreds of years of ago."