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.
Byron had felt powerless too many times in his life to count, but this was one of the worse times. He hated it so bad he couldn't even begin to describe it, or even really come to terms how much he hated being the only Balcoin who was stuck on this side of the screen. Even a Balcoin who should have been dead centuries ago was getting in on the action, and yet here Byron was, sitting on Greg's couch, between Zatanna and Mrs Arkin, watching as the others prepared for The Ritual (Part 2). If it was just Chloe's Darkseid Circle (minus Whitney and Faye) getting cut out of the action maybe Byron wouldn't have felt so bad, but there were others who had no business who were totally involved, like that Bart Allen guy, and even Clark was being instrumental in the whole plan! But Byron? All Byron could do was sit down and be quiet, and he hated it. Chloe had done so much to help him, and yet when she needed help the most he was useless, worse, he'd been considered a liability at one point.
Damn it, that burned.
It helped a bit that he could tell that Greg was in the same boat as him, but, no offense, Circle-member or not, Greg Arkin wasn't Chloe's brother. He wasn't letting her down in the same degree that Byron was. Even Faye had somehow managed to defy Chloe's dictates and teleport to the Cave when Chloe had needed her (although Byron was still fuzzy on the how and the why) and Byron was feeling a little inferior and a little left out. Those were his two girls, and he should be there with them, not here.
Patricia and Oliver stood, their gazes on the screen, eyes narrowed as they watched the witches all get in their positions around the slab in which Chloe was resting.
On the screen, Vika lifted the pendant Chloe always wore and chanted words in a language Byron didn't recognize. The pendant swayed side to side on its on as it turned in a circular movement before suddenly exploding in blinding light that forced them to all look away.
-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-
Vika remained at Chloe's head, but everyone else had changed positions within the circle of crystals. She was chanting with her eyes closed, one hand to her solar plexus while the other hand was clasped tightly around the necklace's chain, the pendant swinging back and forth over Chloe's forehead.
Jason, Adam and Faye joined Mikhail, Lucas and Bart in holding crystals, but instead of a triangle they now formed the outline of a hexagon around the ceremonial slab that Chloe's unconscious body rested upon. The crystals they held, which were larger than the ones on the ground and made up the circle itself, had been transparent at the beginning of the ritual, but the longer the chanting had continued the foggier they'd become. Once Vika had transformed the pendant into what might be its true form (which basically was the pendant, with glowing gem stones that levitated and spun around it much like planets around a sun) the crystals had burst into flames, but thankfully remained cool to the touch.
Whitney (with a bandaged wrist) and Diana stood on opposite sides of Chloe's body, each holding her hand with the symbol that corresponded to the Circle they were bound to, both acting as anchors to each Circle, much like Whitney and Zod had acted as anchors to each half of Chloe previously.
Cassie and Zod, neither bound to either of Chloe's Circles, and both respectively representing the witch (and Balcoin), and the Dragon in her, stood with a palm each over Chloe's closed eyes.
Chloe, still unconscious, was blissfully unaware of the going-ons around her.
Jor-El and Clark began their chants from the screen, signaling the beginning of the of the next phase, the pulsating glow of the stones circumnavigating the pendant began to change from heated to molten intensity.
Chloe's breathing became harsh and forced as her back arched off of the slab, darkness beginning to emerge out of her solar plexus like a flood of fog that covered the whole floor of the cavern in seconds and continued to grow and cover the floor of the Genesis Caves rapidly, seeming endless. Out of the darkness in her solar plexus the Orb slowly rose, it was dark, slowly circling in the air, a vague light appearing from inside before it finally defined itself as a the design of a winged serpent within a heptagon.
The crystals of those who were forming the hexagon erupted into flames which reached the ceiling of the chamber.
Vika's voice was strained, her eyes narrowed, sweat trailing down the side of her pale face as she continued to chant, the Stones of Power burning brighter and with stronger intensity.
Jor-El's and Clark's voices joined in until they blurred into one.
The pressure in the room was intense, the magic so extremely ancient and powerful and stronger than anything anyone in that room had ever attempted before.
Suddenly the pressure snapped, and Vika collapsed to her knees on the ground, her eyes and nose bleeding. She rested her forehead against the slab and breathed in erratically, her heart beating horribly fast.
Jor-El and Clark continued their chanting, as those in the ritual watched the Stones of Power levitating in the air towards the Orb before finding their place around it. Once they'd all aligned around the Orb, the Stones of Power began to circle it, once more much like the planets might around the sun.
The flames from the crystals turned purple, and those holding them gave their first indications of discomfort.
A whimper escaped from Chloe's lips as the shadows within the Orb began to visibly pulsate, the darkness that emerged from her began to rise to their knees, wisps of something racing lightning-fast within the pitch black around them, too fast for mortal eye to see.
Suddenly, a couple of things happened simultaneously:
1) Magic began exploding almost electrically within the Orb and Stones of Power.
2) Shadows raised up and wrapped around those holding the crystals, except Jason and Faye, extinguishing the flames and cloaking the witches completely, hiding them from view.
3) Shadows lifted from the ground and wrapped around Diana, binding her to Chloe before cocooning the rest of her in darkness, leaving only the hand she had clasped in Chloe's visible.
4) Shadows encircled Trista's egg and levitated it into the air.
"What the hell happened?" Faye looked about to drop her crystal, eyes wide. "Was any of that supposed to happen? Because if it was no one told me about it!"
The shadows continued to grow, now up to their chests.
Cassie's eyes widened. "Something just brushed up against me."
Jason nodded as he looked around him. "There's something in the shadows."
"What?" Faye's voice was a squeak.
"I noticed it as well, but did not say anything as I did not want to have to deal with hysteric females." Zod sent Jason an annoyed glance.
"They'll be more hysteric if it's something with a taste for human flesh, and they didn't know it's there." Jason raised an eyebrow.
Zod turned his gaze back to Chloe. "Something is wrong."
"No shit, Sherlock." Faye rolled her eyes. "What was you first clue?"
He didn't even need to think about it. "The increase in darkness."
"Note to self," Faye pouted with a deep intake of breath. "Sarcasm flies right over his head."
"Shouldn't we be wondering why we aren't, uhm, like them?" Whitney wanted to know, asking a good question as he motioned to the others, who were covered in the shadows and seemed to be in some sort of cocoon and immobile.
"My first guess would be that she subconsciously likes us more, but Cassie's still here, so that can't be it," was Faye's smart aleck response.
Cassie ignored the brunette's jab before noticing something. "Wait, what happened to the screens?"
That's when the others realized it as well, the communications had been knocked out, the screens black.
"That's not good." Jason looked around with eyes narrowed. "We need to figure out what went wrong and reverse it so we can continue with the spell and finish the ritual."
"Where's Vika?" Faye wanted to know.
"Down here," Cassie made a face as she reached down and tried lifting up the woman, but she was unconscious and leaning against the slab, almost completely covered by the darkness. "I don't like this."
"Can she even breathe down there?" Whitney asked another good question.
Zod reached down and picked Vika up, taking the unconscious witch to a table and placing her high above the darkness, just in case there wasn't any oxygen in the darkness.
"Okay, so it's not a family thing, because Cassie's the only one related to her," Jason eyed Cassie thoughtfully. "So there has to be some other connection between us and why we're not covered in those shadows."
"Yeah, you do that gumshoeing Poirot," Faye snarked as she turned towards Zod. "How about in the meantime you tell me what the hell is in the darkness with us?"
Zod let out an aggravated sigh as he once more sent an annoyed look in Jason's direction before his dark gaze returned to Faye. "You might find it hard to believe, but I was a Major in Apokalips. I was not a part of the Ruling Council nor did I run the dimension or was privy to classified information such as something like that."
Cassie's eyes widened. "You're telling me you have no idea what's in here with us?"
"I call Dragonshit." Faye crossed her arms over her chest. "The whole big deal about Chloe's being a girl was because," her voice went low and her face lax, "females give birth to the darkness," her face and voice returned to normal, "so I find it highly unlikely that you all have no idea what's going on."
Zod took in a deep breath, eyes flashing reptilian in betrayal of just how annoyed he was at this moment. "Once a fertile female has copulated and is in the first stages of gestation, she goes through the first stages of what we call The Days of Darkness, in which she'll release… what you see. But never to this degree, and we haven't had it happen in hundreds of years."
Silence fell upon the group.
Jason's eyes narrowed as he stormed towards Zod. "You son of a bitch!"
"He hasn't slept with her." Faye's words stopped Jason, and everyone's gazes turned towards her, the brunette licking her lips. "I remember this conversation…" she took in a deep breath. "Just, uh…" her gaze lowered to her palm, to the hummingbird tattoo. "This is because of some serious dark mojo that Rao performed before her birth. She is not pregnant. But he needs her to be the mother of his new race of Dragons so he did some really forbidden and dark magic and it dried Apokalips out fertility-wise-which really makes me wonder if Dragons get their mating juju from a source and not naturally. Or that's what I got from it at least. I know it's seriously confusing, so don't ask me to explain it better because I can't. All I can say it that it's a part of why she's so important to him."
"Wait," Whitney whispered, drawing everyone's attention to him. "Why didn't we think of that before?"
"Think of what?" Zod frowned.
"Rao." Whitney shook his head. "He is our common link."
"I'm getting some of us, but not all of us," Jason admitted.
Faye narrowed her eyes.
"Think about it," Whitney drew closer as he looked around them. "This is Chloe's Darkseid magic that's acting up, and it's trapped everyone but us."
"And?" Jason narrowed his eyes.
Whitney pointed to himself and lifted his palm to show his symbol. "Sanguine, bound to her Darkseid Circle." As he said that, the Omega on his forehead flashed as his gaze went to Faye. "Her Prophet, alsobound to her Darkseid Circle."
Faye raised her palm to show her symbol, just because she could now.
"Cassie and I aren't bound to any of her Circles, and Zod isn't even a witch." Jason made a face.
"Exactly, Coach." Whitney chuckled darkly. "He's not a witch, he's a Dragon, and her Darkseid magic is Dragon magic. And you're half Dragon. Which means you're of the same kind, right? Also, you're bound to her through the mark on her back, which means her Darkseid magic would recognize the both of you."
"I am with you in this theory until you reach the sister," Zod announced thoughtfully as his gaze rested on a pale Cassie. "She has no connection whatsoever to Rao Darkseid."
Cassie, pale as paper, took in a stuttered breath. "That's not true." Her blues were terrified as they rose to Whitney's. "Oh my gods. What's have I done?"
"You couldn't have known." Whitney moved towards her. "There was no way you would have known. Take it from me. I know what I'm talking about."
Jason's intake of breath betrayed that he'd realized what Faye had at the same time she had.
Zod frowned as he stared at the sister. "A host." His eyes narrowed. "Since when?"
"I don't know." Cassie was visibly shaking, tears in her eyes, voice breaking. "It must have been since I came to Smallville. It must have been Desiree, that witch in Chance Harbor who we'd started trusting after Diana left. She said she wanted to help us, that she could help me control my Balcoin dark magic, but in the end she and her Circle ended up being evil and trapped us and…" Cassie closed her eyes tightly as she let out a little cry. "She said that I was going to get a special taste of "pureness" so my "mission" could be complete, and at the time we hadn't known what it was and I'd thought-we'd all thought when I cried all that black gunk out when Chloe got through to me after I attacked everyone that everything was okay but… I thought that when my "mission" was failed, when that darkness enhancing all the ugliness inside me didn't force Chloe to kill me, I thought it was over, that I was useless and obsolete… I'm such a fool!" She brought her hands to her face in horror. "What have I done?"
"You have done nothing." Whitney placed his hands on Cassie's shoulders, trying to get her to look at him but she wouldn't, the girl in obvious shock. "He's been using you. Once he's touched you, corrupted you, he can take a backseat and ride inside you and you will never even know he's there." Whitney's voice broke. "Cassie… You have done nothing wrong."
"He probably knows we're here right now, that she's weak, that he can take her," Cassie's eyes were wide with fear.
"He's most probably weak from destroying Apokalips and the mind meld he had to perform to talk with Chloe in Smallville, Cassie, I doubt he can look through your eyes right now and knows anything about what's going on," Whitney tried getting through to her.
"That's what he wants us to believe!" Cassie shook her head. "Don't you see? He's the reason the ritual isn't working! He must be doing something through me and I don't even realize it! He's probably on his way here right now to take her!"
Whitney couldn't deny the possibility that that could be happening.
Faye ran her fingers through her hair. "What do we do?"
"There has to be a way to shake the bond between them," Jason announced.
"No," Cassie shook her head. "Once Rao touches you his claim is permanent."
"That's not true and you know it." Whitney narrowed his eyes on her.
"You were a special case, Whitney!" Cassie snapped as she pushed away. "You were claimed by Chloe before Rao corrupted you! I wasn't! I still haven't been claimed by her and she's unconscious right now! She couldn't claim me even if she wanted to-and I don't see any reason why she'd even want to!" She was obviously barely holding it together. "The only other person who was touched that we know of, that 'shook it' was Moira, and that was because of the half claim she already had with Chloe through the bite marks… and she still tried killing Chloe, okay?" Cassie took in a deep, stuttered breath, features a mixture of a million emotions as a strangled sound escaped her lips. "Oh gods. Oh gods."
"Calm down," Whitney placed his hands on her shoulders again. "You need to calm down. We'll figure something out."
Faye bit down on her bottom lip.
"No, there's no time," Cassie shook her head. "There is only one thing you can do." She took in a deep breath. "You have to kill me."
"What?" Jason snapped. "No. There has to be another way."
"There is no other way." Cassie glared at him.
"There has to be." Jason shook his head.
"Actually," Zod tilted his head to the side as he eyed the petite blonde. "I believe she might be right."