Can light slow down?

Please forgive if this is a bunch of bunk. I JUST had a thought and I want to share it before I forget it.

I always hear how nothing can travel faster, or as fast, as the speed of light. The closer an object gets to the speed of light its mass starts
increasing, which means more and more power is needed to go faster until it reaches a point where the power itself is just creating more and more

But, what if light can slow down? I’m thinking about how light supposedly can’t escape the force of a black hole. If a beam of light is trying to
pass over a black hole, in its futile struggle to escape wouldn’t the photons have to slow down first before being sucked in? Consider a ball that
has been thrown into the air. As gravity pulls on it, the ball must slow down first before being pulled back to earth. Right?

What if aliens found a way to slow down light surrounding a spacecraft of somekind (Honestly, I have no idea what this would entail), and then they
shutdown the force that is holding the light prisoner. Wouldn’t this enable something to reach the speed of light?

Am I off my rocker, or what?

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