by Lara Wilson

The combustion of carbon produces fire.

Fire burns oxygen.

Reduced oxygen produces carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide kills as quickly as flames.

Neither one will kill him forever.

The flames will be agony. The gas painless.

He wishes for the latter, knows he deserves the former, closes his stinging eyes and waits.

Pinned beneath a fallen beam, the angle too awkward for him to move it alone, he feels the large diamond in his hand, smooths his fingers over the perfectly cut surface, smirks at the irony.

Another form of carbon.

Both the fire in the abandoned coal mine and the treasure in his hand will be the death of him.

When he returns to life and after he heals, Luthor will pay dearly for sending him on this cluster-fuck of a mission.

Slade will keep the diamond as compensation for his trouble.


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