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.
When you lived in a world in which you were hunted down and massacred, one learned to be on the alert, and learned new tricks as well – like trying to always stay downwind from predators that had superior senses. In time, they'd developed magical spells to try and mask their scents but even then they took the extra precaution because those spells weren't infallible. It was probably why, despite the fact that Mikhail and Cassie were fascinated by the large, silver Dragon Egg floating over the baptismal font, they both felt the subtle shake of Dragons landing their heavy bulk on the ground nearby.
Brother and sister shared wide-eyed gazes before they turned off their orbs of light and hurried to windows on opposite sides of the church, staring out into the darkness outside, both making out the forms of the creatures moving towards the church at the same time. They turned and dashed for cover at the same time as well, Cassie barely making it under the town council stall while Mikhail made it to the church councils stall, both wedging down into the darkness as much as they could as the doors flung open and two bodies entered the church.
Heavy footsteps drew closer as the males made their way towards the baptismal font and the egg.
"She keeps coming here," one of the males sighed as he reached the egg first and reached out to run his hand over the shell. "She doesn't seem to realize that this is dangerous for her. Should the humans find out about her, she'd be vulnerable, and I will not have that, not until I can find out a way to have her take her rightful place amongst us."
There was a pause, and then the other male cleared his throat. "I do not understand how this is even possible, she's just an egg. Eggs should not be able to manifest the ability to teleport like that, should not be able to manifest anything. They're not hatched yet. She's an Unhatchling." He cleared his throat. "Do not take this the wrong way, but her time has passed. She should have rotted and died like all the rest, so why hasn't she? She's been in stasis for seventeen years."
Cassie's eyes widened.
That would mean that that Dragon Egg was like that from before the invasion!
"She should not be like this," the first voice announced. "She is special, Zod."
Cassie brought a hand to her mouth, eyes wide in horror as she realized that they were in a room with General Zod. He was the right hand man of Rao Darkseid, the leader of the Dragons, and had been the one who'd helped bring the witches and humans down to their knees so humbling fast.
"She was supposed to have been my Firstborn, not Pete Balcoin."
Cassie forgot to breathe.
Mikhail and she were in the church with General Zod and Rao Darkseid.
And then… And then what Rao had said penetrated her fog of terror and the blonde pushed those feelings aside in confusion. What?
"She is the child I have been waiting for, needing. Pete Balcoin should not be my Firstborn, should not carry my lineage. It should be her." There was a hint of steel in his voice. "I felt the moment she was conceived inside her mother; the ancient and forbidden magics I used – the things I did to make sure that she was a girl and that she would be powerful and dark enough to carry out what I needed her to do – I knew the second that she was created within mortal womb and I felt calm knowing that my time would come." He snarled. "Imagine my surprise when news of John Balcoin's Firstborn son began to circulate, and then he took his children to raise and I realized that something was wrong. That boy had my magic in him, he was half Dragon, and that would only have happened if the one I truly had wanted had never been born. It was a fail safe. A spark would go into the Secondborn if the Firstborn never drew her first breath. I had to investigate, to find out the truth, and it took me a long time but I finally found the breeder John had used to try and conceive my child by. She was in the same town as he'd conceived that boy child of his, from the same Circle."
Cassie leaned closer, eyes wide.
"Even though all those years had passed, I could still feel her within that human vessel, my magic alive, fueling that human, who believed it was she who had grown so powerful." Rao sneered in disgust. "I pierced into her with my own claws and tore out the small egg within, kept it safe with me, and it has grown ever since, now that it is not trapped and contained in such a small and restrictive vessel." There was fondness in that voice that shocked Cassie, because she'd only ever thought of Dragons as monsters and had never thought they'd be able to feel anything like emotions. "There is some sort of magic at play here, Zod, something strong that keeps her from hatching as she should have seventeen years ago and taking her rightful place. And until we can find a way to free her, we will not win this war."
"What are you talking about?" Zod sneered. "We've captured the last Sigan, Tentagel and Le Fay, and the House of Balcoin is falling as we speak. This war, if you want to call the pitiful battle the humans gave us, will be over before the night ends."
Cassie brought her hands to her mouth to silence her cry of horror.
"You do not understand, Zod. We could kill every last human and witch and have the earth for our own and it will be for nothing if she is not with us."
Cassie was shaking, terrified at the thought that her family and friends were in danger and she wasn't there to help them, but she forced herself to listen, to pay attention.
"I understand that you are fond of the girl-"
"This has nothing to do with fondness, Zod, but survival!" Rao snapped. "Do you believe that bringing more Dragons over was my first choice? No, it was not. As you recall, I only crossed over previously with Alura and Augo. Did it never occur to you to question why my plans changed? Why I saved forty of the strongest warriors from the destruction of Apokalips?"
There was a pause. "You mean to say that it is because of this Unhatchling?"
"Our race was dying, Zod," Rao announced darkly. "We knew it but we wouldn't say anything, wouldn't do anything. The Council was too stubborn, too proud, to see what was in front of their eyes. Not only were our females nearly completely infertile, but those who did manage to get pregnant and give birth ended up dying along with their children more than surviving, your wife and son are prime examples of that. I had to do something, and I did. I was almost successful the first time when my wife became pregnant with our daughter, I'd used half of my resources on that daughter, half, just in case, and then she died and I knew I was right to ration it. On my second try, the rest entered this child, my last." He took in a deep breath. "She is the last hope for Dragon kind."
"What did you do?"
"I gave our species a chance!" Rao snarled. "She is the last of our kind that is fertile, male or female. If she dies, we, as a species, die with her."
"You couldn't have done something like this on your own," Zod whispered in horror. "You had help from the Council."
There was a pause, and then, "Yes."
Cassie's eyes widened as she stared in front of her, realization hitting her hard.
If they destroyed that Dragon Egg, they had a chance at surviving the war.
-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-
"We can't just leave him!" Diana screamed and fought against John as he and Byron pulled her further and further into the underground cave systems underneath the safehouse.
"Pete will be fine," John snapped at her as he used his superior strength to pull her further in still, rocks and rubble falling down around them. "He's a half Dragon! He'll be fine! And there are others behind fighting as well! I have to make sure that you, Lex and his sister, are safe! Patty's dead, alright, and more are dying! Right now, your lives are all that matter!"
Something exploded behind them and a bit of rock caught Diana on the side of her head.
Everything went black.
The two dark haired teens shared a look before beginning to follow, walking hand in hand, turning left and right through the mental cave system, both in awe at the different incredible sights in Chloe's psyche. Some gems had spells, some had memories, some had symbols. The Balcoin and Darkseid symbols were all over the place, but the symbol that dominated this cave system was the winged serpent within the heptagon. It seemed to be Chloe's very own personal symbol representing her as a person.
Finally, they found the block; they knew what it was immediately. It really wasn't that hard to figure out really. Nope. Not at all. There was a section of the caves in Chloe's mind that was literally blocked off. A wall of some sort had come up, made of a completely different sort of material than the cave system itself, which proved that it was foreign in nature.
The wall itself seemed to be made of something that looked like titanium and yet seemed a hundred times stronger to them, the magical energy it put off was incredible. That wasn't the most worrisome part though. No. What worried the two dark haired teens the most was the fact that the edges of the arched wall were decorated with symbols of dragons.
This was definitely something from Apokalips.
But what was that symbol in the middle of the wall? Neither of them had seen the symbol before. It almost looked like a very fancy, tribal Z.
Diana and Greg drew closer to the wall, the two taking in deep breaths before they placed their hands on it.
Images flashed before their eyes, images of Chloe running, of her being chased by an unseen force, of the blonde standing at the top of a cliff before being slashed across her back, eight slash marks drawing blood and pushing her closer and closer to the edge... And then in another place entirely, a monster with blue reptilian eyes jerked as if hit, raising its claws to see blood dripping from them.
Those images then returned to show Chloe in a dark bubble, Whitney trapped outside, a circle of fire separating them from creatures that watched, a bloody butterfly crawling out of her lips and taking flight into the darkness as it turned into a foul beast... The beast flying until reaching the dragon from before, crying out a song that was remarkably haunting, causing the dragon to slowly back away.
The images then changed to Chloe pressed against a wall, eyes wide on the man who'd taken her from the courtyard, her fingers curled and, unknowingly to her, her nails were claws that dug into the walls as her chest rose and fell, her eyes shifting and scales appearing on her cheekbones in reaction to this man... and the images were of them kissing... and then of him clawing at her back... of her dress ripping... and then she was pushing him away.
That was when they saw it, the symbol on his ring. It was the same as the one on the door.
The dark haired teens, both flushed from what they'd witnessed, kept their palms pressed against the wall as they tried to force the wall down, or at least open, but it wouldn't budge.
Greg finally turned to Diana as they dropped their hands from the wall. "Do you think she slept with him?"
"No." Diana shook her head.
"Because it looked like-"
"She was trying to use her Enthrallment on him." Diana licked her lips. "Though it did look like she was more affected by him than she expected to be."
Greg took in a deep breath. "She's blocked because of him."
Diana couldn't deny that. "But it doesn't seem like he actually did it on purpose."
"No," and Greg looked annoyed having to admit that, "it looked almost like, the moment she arrived in Apokalips, something happened that connected them, whether he wanted it to or not."
Diana licked her lips, frowning as she looked up at the symbol. "He let her go."
"What?" Greg frowned.
"At the courtyard." Diana worried her bottom lip. "He didn't even try to stop her. We couldn't hear most of what they were saying because it was too far away, but I could tell from his body language that he wasn't going to stop her from leaving. Why?"
"What does it matter?" Greg wanted to know.
"The others wanted her to stay, that was obvious," Diana pushed. "Why not him?"
Greg frowned harder. "I don't know. Maybe, like you said, whatever happened was whether he wanted it or not and he wanted her gone so he wouldn't have to do whatever he'd have to do."
"Or maybe because it'd already happened." Diana pointed to the wall accusingly. "Maybe – I don't get the connection – Chloe hasn't explained anything to us yet – but I'm feeling that there's a deeper connection between her and that place." She licked her lips. "Maybe even her and him."
"Like what? You think they might be mates or something?" Greg snickered, before his eyes went wide in horror when he saw her expression. "No! NO! I refuse to believe-!"
Diana motioned to the wall in Chloe's mind. "He's got real estate in her psyche, Greg! Obviously this guy is important somehow! And I never said mates! That was you. But they are obviously connected to each other somehow."
"I don't like this," Greg grumbled.
"Me neither," she agreed. "But at least I don't think that the Caves are in any danger from this wall or whatever is behind it."
"And how do you reckon that?" He raised an eyebrow.
"Put your hand back on the wall."
"You put your hand back on the wall." He blushed. "I do not want to see more of that. Especially not when we're holding hands!" His blush was growing darker. "It's weird."
Diana bit back a smirk, amused as always when Greg "Bad Boy" Arkin proved himself much more this "Bug Boy" he kept hating on, although she couldn't figure out why he hated his old self so much. "Just-" She grabbed his hand and pressed it against the wall.
Immediately, images of Chloe pressed against the bed flooded their minds, the blonde whimpering as the man above her kissed her deeply, slipping his clawed hand around her body to pull her tighter to him. She whimpered, kissing him deeper, hips rolling, twin hisses of pleasure escaping their lips as she brushed against his hardness.
The blushing teens removed their hands from the wall as if burned.
"I hate you." Greg covered his eyes with his free hand.
Diana giggled, horribly embarrassed but amused too. "Whatever's behind that wall only seems to have to do with those two. Not anything else."
"That guy tried to feed me to Pterodactyls," Greg grumbled. "She has some 'splaining to do."
"I still say she was trying to Enthrall him." Diana eyed the design on the wall thoughtfully. "And it got way out of control."
Greg eyed the design as well, able to feel the power in the symbol, the way it connected with Chloe. "This probably has something to do with that."
"Probably, yeah." Diana nodded in agreement as she took in a deep breath. "We should go back. We've learned all we can for now and we need to get ready to leave for the battle."
Greg nodded before pausing. "One second, there was one thing I Saw that I didn't understand."
Diana turned towards him in confusion. "What was it?"
He reached out and placed his palm against a cave wall, but instead of another pathway lighting up, the wall shifted into a golden mirror upon which shapes started appearing.
Diana stepped forwards to get a better look at what was appearing in the golden mirror, although she was momentarily distracted to see herself reach out and grab the boy's scarred hand without even seeming to realize that she had. The boy looked down at their joined hands, gulped, licked his lips and then returned his own dark eyes towards the mirror as the gold swirled.
Who was he?
Wait – Wasn't he one of the Thoreaux Circle members?
Diana's attention suddenly returned to the golden mirror as the gold within the mirror itself stopped swirling and went flat before images appeared on the smooth surface like reflections. She drew closer, eyes narrowed as she recognized Chloe's face in the reflection, the blonde standing in a white dress with white flowers in her hair in a room that held four open doors that had four different destinations visible from those open doors. It looked very much like a bride in a wedding dress, the whole symbol an insinuation that there were many different pathways, but Diana was seeing what there wasn't instead of what was there.
There weren't walls. Instead, there was scenery, a view, and she recognized the view of what was outside of that room Chloe was in. It wasn't a room at all, the more Diana looked, the more details she could see, and she realized that Chloe was standing inside of the Black Tower of Braşov and instead of walls there was a view of Lacul Sfanta Ana.
When she came to, Diana was in pain but alive, and many others of her group couldn't say the same. In fact, the only others that seemed to have made it were Byron, John, Lex and Tess. They weren't sure if Pete was alive or not, the last time anyone had seen him, he'd been fighting Alia. She'd been hanging over Byron's back, her brother carrying her as they raced through the seemingly endless catacombs under the earth, and yet now that she was awake once more, the brunette was able to return to her feet.
"We must keep running." John turned to look behind them. "The cave-in will have only slowed them down slightly."
That's when they felt it, piercing pain slicing through them.
John's eyes widened. "No."
"What is that?" Lex hissed as hand went to his solar plexus.
"The last of one of the Houses has fallen." John's eyes widened in horror as suddenly another jolt of agony raced through them, followed by another. "They've killed the remaining survivors of the Houses of Sigan, Le Fay and Wylt."
"You said that if one of the bloodlines dies, that our magic dies." Tess flung her hand out, the rocks around them trembling slightly.
"Don't use up the little you have left." John's eyes narrowed. "You'll need it." He raised his chin. "Our magic is dying."
Diana could feel it, knew that he was telling the truth.
"How much longer do we have?" Byron's voice was a soft whisper. "How long until we don't have any magic left? Until we're human?"
John was pale, shock and confusion obvious on his face. "It wasn't supposed to be like this. It wasn't supposed to happen this way. None of this was supposed to happen."
"How much time?" Byron stepped forwards.
John looked up, eyes wide. "I-I don't know, but from the feel of it, not much longer." His gaze went to something on the side, almost as if he could see something they couldn't. "Our magic will soon be dead."
Diana took in a deep breath as she tried to calm herself. She tightened her grip on the necklace, knew that it was trying to tell her something, and that time was of the essence if she was going to get the answers she needed. "I need to go to the Black Tower."
John frowned as he turned his dark gaze on her. "Why would you-? No." He shook his head. "The whole of Braşov is a no-go zone. We've seen a higher concentration of Dragons in that area more and more lately. There's no way that-"
"I'm not asking for your permission, John." Diana stopped him in the middle of his sentence. "You brought us here to Romania because you said it was important to Balcoins, and now of all days, I'm having visions, and the last one I've had is telling me that I need to go to the Black Tower."
Byron narrowed his eyes at her. "Does this have something to do with your Eye of Ra dreams?"
Diana nodded. "I have to go. Somehow, the Black Tower of Braşov and Lacul Sfanta Ana are important. But I have to go to the Black Tower first. I don't know how I know, but I just do."
"You're just-" John started as he reached for her.
Diana's eyes flashed dark as she sent him flying backwards into the wall. "These catacombs go for miles below the earth, and they reach beneath the city of Braşov. I'll get there with or without your help."
Lex stared between father and daughter before he turned to John. "Let's not waste time, John. If she's receiving visions, I believe we should find out why and from whom."
John pushed away from the wall, eyes narrowed on Diana, before he turned to Lex and nodded. "Follow me."