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.
"Communication's back up!" Clark's fingers stopped dancing over the keyboard and his eyes widened as the screen finally lit up once more from its inky blackness to reveal the room inside the Genesis Caves and yet nothing was as it had been. Vika wasn't at Chloe's head chanting, mostly everyone was on the floor unconscious, and Chloe was levitating off of the slab, her cloths whipping around her as if she was inside of a tornado.
Zod, Faye, Jason and Whitney were the only ones conscious, and they were shielding their gazes from the brightness of the light from the Orb levitating above Chloe's chest, the Stones of Power also glowing incredibly bright and fierce.
"Finish the ritual, Major!" Councilman Jor yelled as he slammed his palms into the desk. "You have to finish the ritual!"
Clark picked up the scroll he'd been reading from and quickly remembered where he'd been at when the communication had dropped, commencing once more.
Councilman Jor sent him a smile before beginning to read his own parts as well.
The Orb and Stones of Power began to slowly descend into the darkness inside of Chloe's solar plexus.
On the screen, Vika stumbled towards Chloe and began chanting her part despite her obvious disorientation.
Zod, the only full Dragon, moved towards Chloe's side.
The others slowly regained consciousness and stumbled to their feet.
Clark could hear people arriving inside of the room the witch and surviving councilman were in, but he ignored them as he concentrated on the scroll and what he was supposed to do. The magic way above what Clark was used to doing and it really was physically uncomfortable to perform.
Zod reached Chloe's side and didn't hesitate a second as he yanked out his blade and sliced open his blade over the Orb and Stones of Power, bathing them in the rich crimson. It was supposed to be Councilman Jor doing this, but considering that they hadn't made it back on time they'd had to switch things around somewhat, and Zod had had to take the Councilman's place in this part of the ritual. They watched the blood cover the Orb and Stones of Power, bathing them. At first it seemed fine… and then Chloe began to cough.
The blonde gasped for breath and cried out as the Stones of Power and Orb began flashing angry colors under the blood as she arched up painfully.
"What's happening?" Greg reached the screens first. "What's wrong?"
Councilman Jor ignored them, eyes narrowed on what was going on. "Major, I need you to pass your blade to the Sanguine." He took in a deep breath. "I forgot that she is a half blood, and that the ritual should be adapted thusly."
Zod handed his blade out over her body towards Whitney, who took it without question and sliced open his palm like the Major had, his blood pouring down onto the Orb and the Stones of Power, joining Zod's.
The bloods mixed, joining and coating the Orb and the Stones of Power, which were not flashing angrily anymore, glowing a soft glow that had a pulse to it, almost like a heartbeat. Chloe's symbol within the Orb shone brightly, before it began to appear in each and every Stone of Power, one by one, until they all displayed the winged serpent within the heptagon.
Councilman Jor leaned forwards and stared at the screen. "I still do not know why her symbol appears, the ancient texts do not mention anything like this happening."
Clark could see that it bothered the Councilman greatly.
Suddenly the Orb and the Stones erupted into an odd mixture of light, darkness and blood, losing all solid form as they intertwined and became one. The light formed a heptagon upon which a winged serpent made purely of darkness rested upon, and blood flashed with what seemed like electric currents around it in an orb shape. The whole design was not just 3d but alive. The winged serpent not only flapped its wings but roared at them before soaring up into the air and diving downwards into Chloe's solar plexus, taking the heptagon of light and the translucent, electric blood surrounding it with it.
The ritual was over, the darkness in her chest disappearing, the girl sleeping peacefully on the slab.
Jor-El's breath escaped him softly. "I do not know what sort of magic I have just seen, but it was magnificent."
Clark looked up at the Dragon and could see genuine awe on his face.
"What's happening?" Lucas' question brought their attention back to the screen in time to see the cave shaking viciously.
Byron hurried forwards. "Something went wrong with the ritual."
"No, something else is happening." Zatanna shook her head. "Look at the Dragon Egg-its shell is cracking into millions of pieces."
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Chloe's skin felt like it was cracking into millions of pieces.
That was the first sensation the blonde felt when she awoke.
The second was a mixture of different things that were both foreign and yet somehow familiar at the same time, almost as if she were reliving an event twice, an event she shouldn't have relived and yet was. Power, light and darkness erupted like an explosion and raced towards her, enveloping her like a tornado. Magic clashed like lightning and thunder, lava burning deep within her body and soul as she screamed, clawing at her skin and tearing at her hair, gasping for breath as the heat intensified. It alternated from going so dark she couldn't see-to so bright that the blonde's closing her eyes tightly and covering them with her hands wasn't enough to keep the brightness from scalding her eyes.
Indescribable pain filled her through each and every pore in her body, the girl twisting and turning in unnatural ways as the magic inside of her reacted violently. She was scared and confused, not sure what was happening or why it was happening to her. All she knew was that this was power, this was life, this was light, this was darkness, this, this was hers, this was her. This hurt. It hurt so much! It hurt unlike anything she'd ever felt before, and she'd been through all sorts of levels of pain so far in her young life so this degree had taken her by utter surprise and scared her. How could something this horribly agonizing exist?
She screamed as her skin cracked visibly, light and darkness intermingling. Her feet lifted off of the ground and that terrified her. The sound that escaped her lips was far from something she wanted to admit she'd let out, but she was in pain and scared and alone and felt like she was being tortured and killed only to be brought back to life for the process to start over again. Inside of her felt like it was being ripped apart over and over and over again before being heated up, as if by molten lava.
"Why is this happening to her?" Vika's voice was tearful. "Why has my daughter's magic entered her?"
Is that what this agony was? More dead-people-magic being shoved down her throat? She didn't want it! Rao and Vika's dead half Dragon kid could keep her damned magic!
"Because it's the other half of Chloe's magic," Faye's voice was soft. "It was always designed so that when she became strong enough, when she was ready to take control of the Genesis Caves and unite the Triad, she would become complete. The Genesis Caves know this. I think, like me, they can remember the other time, the other reality."
"What?" Vika's voice trembled.
Chloe screamed as her back arched up at an awkward angle, the scales down her spine on fire.
"The Genesis Caves want her, not you." Zod was ever blunt.
"The Genesis Caves stopped the ritual, Vika," Faye took in a deep breath. "If we wanted to be allowed to continue it we had to agree to conditions. You have to feel that the Genesis Caves are breaking free from you, that they have been for a while now."
Suddenly the magical tornado swooped inside of Chloe's body through her mouth and the blonde collapsed onto the ground hard, and probably would have skinned her knees and palms on the hard rock floor in the process except Whitney was there to catch her. She whimpered and hid her face in his shirt as she closed her eyes and coughed, skin and eyes glowing as the magical storm seemed to continue within her, visible like an electric storm beneath her skin.
Vika stood there, eyes wide. "The Genesis Caves want her to unite them with their Sister Caves?"
Cassie nodded. "Yes."
Vika closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. "I see." She licked her lips and opened her eyes. "I understand." She nodded. "It is my time."
"It is passed your time." Zod's voice held no form of sympathy.
Vika flinched, yet nodded. "You are right."
Chloe brought a hand to her temple, which throbbed slightly, the blonde confused with what was going on as Vika moved towards her. "What are you all talking about?"
"I have been the mistress of the Genesis Caves for longer than anyone should, and even they know that." Vika cleared her throat as she stood in front of Chloe, chin high. "It is time that a new mistress claims them, and finally unites them with their Sisters."
Chloe frowned, pressing her fingers harder into her throbbing temple. "What am I missing? You're bound to this cave system."
Vika gave her a tender smile. "This is very selfish of me, I know it, but I would like to ask for your forgiveness."
"What does it matter?" Chloe gave a derisive laugh.
"It matters a lot." Vika whispered harshly, eyes suspiciously moist.
Chloe's eyes widened as that pain grew intensely and she whimpered as a flash of light raced before her eyes.
"It matters a lot." Vika whispered harshly, her eyes suspiciously moist. "If you hadn't been a willing sacrifice, you wouldn't be here now, Chloe. If you'd fought, struggled, you'd begone."
"Why do you even care?" Chloe asked, hating the way her voice broke at the last word. "You've completed your grand, self-appointed mission, you've saved the world. You would have done so even if I struggled and disappeared forever."
"But I wouldn't have been able to save you too." Vika's words shocked the hell out of the teenaged girl, especially the sincerity in the older woman's browns. "I know this might not seem like saving, and I know that you will not understand, but you had to die, but that didn't mean I wanted to destroy you. I had to find a way to save the world, and yet save a part of you as well."
Chloe stared up at Vika, a lump in her throat. "Why? You don't know even know me."
"As you said, I am your ancestor," Vika cleared her throat. "That makes me a very great grandmother of yours, and I understand from Moira that Balcoins are known for the uttermost evil, but they weren't always." She took in a deep breath. "We were once great healers, and hurting others was against our nature." She licked her lips, face pained. "It's still against mine despite what I've had to do to try and rectify my mistakes and save people." She took in a deep breath. "So even though you had to die, I wanted to help you live… in a way… and while I know that you had plans and a life planned out for you, and this is not what you wanted for yourself, it is not as bad as it might seem at this moment." Vika gave a little trembling smile. "At least we won't be alone."
"A Balcoin was the first Dabbler?" Chloe blinked, shocked at everything she was hearing.
"He felt he could not ever live up to Rao's power, his legacy, and there was a darkness in him…" Vika shook her head, her eyes distant, pained. "I could not help but wonder why I always married the ones with the evil hidden deep within that only seemed to emerge once their ring was upon my finger. Was it me?"
Chloe couldn't help but feel sorry for the woman.
"He was drunk on mead one night and attacked me, and I gave birth to our third child prematurely, I nearly died that night. I thought I would die." Vika narrowed her eyes and clenched her fists. "I stumbled to the lake, bleeding terribly. I remembered thinking if only I could get to the caves then I could get to the healing chambers in the Bleeding Caves and heal enough to save my life, but Marku was bellowing behind me. He didn't want me to survive. He wanted me to die." Vika took in a deep breath. "He was delusional-thought that because he was a Balcoin and possessed Dabbler's magic, that if I died he could take control of the three caves and become the new head of the Balcoin family, at least until our son reached maturity." Her face was blank, her eyes emotionless. "I didn't make it to the Bleeding Caves, I sunk to the bottom of the lake and my own force of will opened up passage to the Genesis Caves. I knew that if I left…" Vika looked away. "I wanted to die but I could not allow myself to be so weak, not when I knew that I had allowed Rao a foothold into this dimension and that he would try once more. Our daughter had only been one half of the magics he'd conjured, there was enough for another. For you, Chloe. I hadto be alive to try and stop him whenever he struck again, but a Dragon's lifespan is much greater than that of a witch, and I knew I had to do something so that I could stay alive and be here."
Chloe stared at the woman warily. "What did you do?"
"I bound myself to the Genesis Caves." Vika Balcoin raised her chin. "It is why no one has ever been able to join them with the other two caves, and why I survived, without aging, all these years. I am one with these caves. As stones and magic are timeless, so am I."
"There's got to have been a price for that sort of magic."
"Of course." Vika's gaze shifted away. "I have been alone for so many centuries, unable to leave these caves, my magic bound here. I am immortal and in complete control of the cave system itself, yes, but a prisoner nonetheless." She pulled a dark strand behind her ear. "When your mother stumbled upon the Carpathian entrance and told me about her story, how similar it was to mine… I hadn't spoken to another human being in what seemed like an endless eternity."
"So you're physically unable to leave."
"Just like you."
"So you need to kill me." Vika raised her chin high, proud in the face of her death. "The Genesis Caves have spoken, and I am not too proud to fight it if this is what is needed to help save the world, if my death is what is needed to help you gain the power you'll be needed to face Rao and win. So be it. I should have died a long time ago anyway." She clenched her fists. "I'd rather die than be alone here again for another thousand years anyway. You will be doing me a favor."
Chloe gazed at the others in her Circle, not seeing any sort of objection or comment from anyone. She paused on a particular face, surprised to see the boy from the train tracks there, but decided not to ask about him right now and deal with that later. Instead, she turned her attention back on Vika and placed her hand on Whitney's heart, finding the rhythm there extremely serene. It was calming in itself and she gave him a little smile as she motioned for him to lower her to her feet, which he did despite the fact that the electric storm was still alive under her skin.
The blonde moved towards Vika and stared at her in silence.
Vika gave a hint of unease as she shifted her weight slightly. "Why are you hesitating?"
"Chloe." Zod leaned against the walls and eyed her. "We promised the caves you would kill her. That was the only reason we were allowed to finish the ritual."
"Did you say how long it would take for her to die?" Chloe asked softly.
Cassie blinked. "Unm, no?"
Faye's eyes narrowed curiously.
Vika frowned at Chloe. "What are you-?"
Chloe silenced her by holding out her hand towards Vika, and suddenly the pressure in the room dropped along with Vika as the woman fell to her knees on the ground with a gasp for breath as she grabbed her own throat. The blonde didn't know how she was doing this, or how she knew it would work. There wasn't a spell she'd ever heard, there wasn't one she was reciting, this was pure force of will. She didn't know that what she'd seen before in that flash was something that had actually happened somehow, but in her gut she felt that that was something she could trust, and that if she didn't do what she was doing right now she'd regret it. It was why she tightened her grip on the air, the magic inside of her burning hotter. The Genesis Caves exploded into brightness and hummed audibly, almost as if in song.
Tingles raced down her spine, Chloe had never felt anything like the magic and completeness and… She couldn't describe what she felt now that she had this other magic inside of her, but she knew she could do this. Magic exploded visibly around them, and Vika screamed in agony as she twisted on the floor, darkness and light exploding like fireworks before Vika finally gave a deafening scream and went deadly quiet, her body limp.
Immediately Chloe could feel the connection to the Genesis Caves shifting from Vika to Chloe, and she closed her eyes as the cave immersed itself into utter darkness.
"What just happened?" Mikhail wanted to know.
"It's about to start rebooting," Chloe responded softly. "And when it comes back online, it's going to connect with the Bleeding and Crystal Caves."
As if the Genesis Caves were listening to her, and the cave system very well might be, its main chamber lit up, the Balcoin symbol glowing, the blonde able to see this all in her mind as she closed her eyes. She could also see the main caverns in the Bleeding and Crystal caves lighting up, their Balcoin symbols glowing as well before suddenly they connected and joined for the first time since Vika Balcoin was the head of the Balcoin House.
A sound like trumpets raced throughout the tunnels as they lit up simultaneously, beginning to download information from each other.
The lights returned to the chamber the witches and Dragon were in.
"We did it!" Faye wrapped her arms around Chloe. "And we're all somehow alive!"
A groan sounded at their feet.
Adam's eyes widened as he moved towards Vika and pressed his fingers to her neck before his gaze rose to Chloe. "She's alive."
Lucas raised an eyebrow. "I thought you had to kill her to take control over the Genesis Caves."
"I did kill her, in essence." Chloe cleared her throat. "She's dying."
Jason narrowed his eyes. "When can we expect her death?"
Chloe sent him a sheepish smile. "In sixty years or so? I don't know for sure, it really all depends on how healthy her lifestyle is."
Whitney's lips twitched. "You made her mortal."
"I severed her unnatural bond to the caves, which was giving her immortality, so technically I have killed her-it'll just take a very long time to take effect." Chloe shrugged as she held her hands out on her sides, connecting with the cave without even having to touch the walls, turning her head as she felt the direction to the main chamber being directed to her. "I'll be back in a little while. I need to finish the unification."
"How sure are you that the Genesis Caves will allow you and her to be alive at the same time?" Cassie wanted to know. "They wanted her dead, they-."
"Are not the boss of me," Chloe interrupted, hands at her sides, a small smile on her lips. "I'm honoring the promises you made on my behalf, but these caves do not own me. I rulethem." Her eyes bled black, the Genesis Cave's walls going electric, just like the storm beneath her skin. "They follow my will, my orders, my every wish and desire is theirs to amplify and fulfill." Magic erupted around them like lightning and explosions of fire as the girl gave a little smile. "It's exactly what they wanted, why they brought me here." Her smile melted to a frown as she let out a tired sigh. "It's why they manipulated us all-so that they could have me right where they wanted me."
"What are you saying?" The boy from the train tracks narrowed his eyes as he came closer.
Chloe wondered who he was and what he was doing there. "We'll talk after I'm done."
With that, she took in a deep breath, and moved towards the main chamber, magic sparking all around her expectantly.