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Dawn of a Heroine - Chapter 3

Written by drmuttoncops2 :: [Wednesday, 26 January 2011 16:30] Last updated by :: [Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:00]

Chapter 3: A Goddess Emerges

The golden appearance of the rising sun cast a large beam of light that glimmered on the glass windows of the modern concrete towers and structures that seemed to harken back to the Elizabethan era.

In the bustling streets of the island city of Manhattan, New York, a shining black Ford Model-A Taxi made it's way throughoutthe somewhat crowded avenues of the bustling Big Apple.

"Hey, toots! Cut yer peepers over dere! Dere's da Empire Sate Buildin' over dere in NYC!" The cabbie, a rather thin and bony young man with scruffy, unkempt blonde hair pointed out the windows on his left side.

Clara, in the backseat, a brand new fancy little green hat with a cute red ribbon on it atop her head, looked out the window over the ocean, and was able to get a view of the top and spire of the massive building, which towered far above the others.

"Betcha they ain't got one of dem in Kansas, sweetie, huh?" The cab driver said flirtatiously, turning back to Clara with a wink. When he should have been watching the road.

Clara just shrugged off the advance, and said plainly "No, they certainly don't." Clara had decided to keep her slightly high southern accent for her civilian identity, and to lose it and deepen her tone for when she needed to spring into action, to make it difficult for people to discern that both alter-egos were one and the same.

The taxi continued for some distance before stopping in front of some dingy, dirt covered apartments. "You sure you want me to drop you off here, toots? I wouldn't go in there without a loaded gun." the cabbie said cautiously.

"That's alright, I don't need one." Clara said, before paying the fare, taking her bags, and exiting the cab. As the vehicle sped off. Clara took another look at the filthy abode, then walked towards the manager's office.

The overweight, grey, curly haired, mustachioed manager was still on the phone, smoking a cigarette, as Clara entered. After saying a few more sleazy aimiablities to the presumably female contact on the line, he very roughly hung the reciever on it's cradle, before turning to face her. "What?!" he said aggresively.

Clara pretended to flinch. "Uh, I would like a room, please." she said, feigning nervousness. She knew that she could send this man through the rotting floorboards effortlessly, but that wouldn't be the right thing to do.

The manager just grunted and said angrily "Cost is 45 bucks a day. Take it or get out!"

"Uh, I'll take it!" Clara said in a falsely frightened voice. She just hoped that she got a job at the Star, or her funds were going to run out soon.

Upon entering her room, the first thing that Clara noticed was the pungent scent of mold and rotting wood. As she opened the cracked and splintered wooden window shutters, light streamed into the room,  scattering an entire nest of black cockroaches off of the bare, flat mattress that lay crumpled on the floor. "Home, sweet home." Clara said to herself with a sigh, as she placed her bags down.

The Daily Star building was a tall, glistening, white affair that stood out amongst the other buildings, like an albino animal.

In the Chief Editor George Taylor's somewhat regal office, with pristine filing cabinets and a desk and floor were completely clean and uncluttered. Taylor, a shrewd and stern looking, well dressed man with short black hair that was slicked smoothly back. "I'm sorry, Ms. Kent, but although your amateur record is good, we simply have nothing for you."

"B-But, Mr. Taylor.." Clara began to protest.

"I said we have nothing, miss." Taylor rudely interrupted. "Now get out of here before I have you thrown out on your ear!"

Clara left the building in a huff. Fine! If they didn't need her there, she'd have to look elsewhere. Suddenly, there came the shrill prepubescent shriek of a newsboy peddling his wares. "EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! PLANET REPORTERS DENIED SPECIAL PRIVELAGES, RESIGN IN PROTEST! READ ALL ABOUT IT!"

Clara hurried up to the boy, a somewhat husky lad about twelve, and asked softly, as if she were his older sister "'Excuse me, son, but how much for that capy of the Star?"

"Five Cents, Miss." The youth said flatly and buisiness like.

"Here you are, son, keep the change." Clara said, handing a whole dime to the boy, lightly tossling his fuzzy mane of hair and taking the paper from his hands.

"Wow! Thanks, lady!" The boy said gratefully.

"No problem. And one more thing." Clara said.

"Yeah?" The boy said hopefully.

Clara then smiled and said in a sugary sweet voice "Tell Taylor he's got a face and attitude only a mother could love. A mother buzzard, that is!" to the boy's shock, as she turned from him, raised her arm and shouted "Taxi!"

Clara hastily entered the apartment manager's office, and approached the desk with a scowl on her face. The slovenly manager was sitting behind the desk reading a newspaper, when he looked up to see Clara's stern expression staring back at him. "What?" He rudely asked.

"I would like my money back. I'm leaving this place." Clara said with the irritation of a female shopper returning a product at the store.

"No refunds, darlin'." The manager oafishly grunted, scratching the front of his sweat-stained undershirt. "Now get lost." He wrote her off, his eyes drifting back to the sports section.

Not one to be intimidated, Clara reached across the desk at tapped her well manicured nails on the cash register. "Say, how old is this machine?" She asked curiously.

"It's brand new. Now hands off!" The manager growled.

With a chipper smile, Clara sank her fingers into the register, the polished steel squeaked and groaned as it yielded to her touch, immediately, the top of the solid machine took the appearence of crumpled paper. "Hmm, they don't make them like they used to, I suppose." Clara said in a casual voice.

The manager, his eyes as wide as saucers, was fighting the urge to keel over from cardiac arrest, as he forced open the broken register, retrieved the forty five dollars and handed them to Clara. "H-Here, M-Ma'am." He stuttered.

"Thank you!" Clara said politely with a friendly smile as she gently took the money from the man's quivering hand, placed it into her purse, picked up her bags, turned on her heel, and walked swiftly out the door. The manager still staring in awe after her.

The city of Metropolis certainly lived up to it's name. It's numerous skyskrapers of concrete, steel and glass mostly consumed the horizon. It's streets, thoroughfares and filled with automobiles. Sidewalks full of pedestrians on their way to their various vocations, vendors hocking their wares, and the homeless and jobless, waiting patiently in bread lines, just trying to survive another day. A billboard featuring a Norman Rockwell-type painting of a thin, friendly looking middle-aged man with white hair and a bald top. He was wearing a grey suit and a smile on his face. Beside him, against a sunny yellow background was in blue letters, the words "Wilbur Saint, WBGH. Metropolis' radio king."

Clara's cab stopped outside a rather nice and clean looking apartment complex. As she paid the cabbie and exited, she marveled at how nice and sturdy looking this place looked compared to the other one.

She entered the manager's office, and was pleasently surprised to see how clean it was. Sunlight gleaming in from the windows glimmered off of the seemingly recently scrubbed floor. The front desk was completely clean and uncluttered. And the young blonde woman sitting behind it was dressed in a spotless, form fitting black dress, and had a happy smile on her face.

"Hello, may I help you?" she kindly asked.

"Yes, I'd like to know how much a rented room will cost." Clara said, still a little uncertain.

"Certainly!" The manager spoke up in a cheerful voice. "Our rates are twenty five Dollars a week."

Clara's mouth nearly dropped open in surprise! "Are you serious?" She asked astonishedly.

"Why yes!" The manager explained. "We have to accomodate the victims in this time of a depression."

Clara just smiled warmly and said "Thank you very much! I'll take one!"
"You're welcome, Ma'am. I'll lead you up to your apartment." The manager said in a warm voice, before turning her attention to Clara's luggage. "Ma'am, would you like a hand with those? They look very heavy." She asked in a concerned voice.

"No thanks." Clara said assertively. "I can handle them."

The door to the apartment opened, and Clara couldn't believe her eyes. In front of her was a clean, spacious room that smelled of lavender, with a comfortable looking bed that was adorned with baby blue sheets, gaily bright pink window curtains, a clean and fresh smelling lavatory, and a dustless, fragrent, closet. Clara didn't even need to take a second look around. She turned to the manager with a bright smile on her face, and proudly said "I'll take it!"

The Daily Planet building was hard to miss. It was an elegantly erect grey concrete skyscraper that stood elegantly between an accounting firm and a law practice. Crowning the peak of the building  a large solid gold replica of the planet Saturn with "Daily Planet" in golden letters a couple of floors below it, between where the narrow top floors differed from the wider, lower ones. As Clara stood in front of the elegantly poised tower, she was in awe! She, a once unknown farm girl from Kansas was about to be a part of a big city! If they would give her a job that is.

The atmosphere inside the building was a deafening and choking ordeal, what with the sounds of phones shrilly ringing, promising the next possible scoop, reporters shouting at each other and their contacts, and the thick tobacco vapor that permiated the air was foul to Clara's nostrils, but due to her heightened Kryptonian motabilism, she did not cough. She had had to put up with this very same situation at The Star, so she was surprisingly used to it by now. She also knew what to expect next. As she waded through the chattering chorus of men in their sweat stained shirt sleeves, she would repeatedly ask the question, trying desperately to raise her voice above the throng of noise "Excuse me, could you tell me what floor the Chief Editor is on? I have a meeting with him!". This was met with derisive shouts of "Get lost, sugar!" "Get outta here!" and "Shaddap! I'm busy".

Ultimately, Clara managed to find Chief Editor Perry White's office, a middle sized office near the Planet's top floor. The office was somewhat darkened, illuminated by a single large window to Clara's left. The office was somewhat a mess, not at all like Taylor's, file cabinet's were half opened, papers littered the Chief's desk. The whole room stank of old perspiration, and even older tobacco. White, an overweight, world weary man with light brown hair that was just beginning to thin, was dressed in a white shirt with a dark brown vest, his dark blue tie was undone, and the very top of his shirt was unbuttoned.

"Ah, you must be Ms. Kent. Come in, and sit down." His deep voice uttered in a flat, bored tone.

Clara didn't utter a word. She merely nervously shuffled across the heavily stained wood paneled floor, and took the small, unpadded and unstable looking mahogony chair opposite White's side of the desk, her well manicured, unpainted fingernails rythmically tapping the twine binded, cardboard folder in her hands that held her amateur work history.

"That your resume?" White asked, pointing to the item in Clara's hands. She meekly nodded. "Let's have it." He said, making a "give it" motion with his right hand. Clara obliged, and reached over the desk, handing the folder to White. Perry relaxed in a leather padded chair that Clara had to admit to herself that she was envious of, and took a cigar from his oak wood cigar box, put a match to it, and lit it, puffing absentmindedly as his eyes skimmed through the papers. Finally, after blowing a lungful of smoke into the air, he cast an uncertain glare upon Clara, and said, in a straightforeward voice "Look, Ms. Kent,

I'm going to be honest with you. You're amateur track record's pretty impressive, but you've never done any professional reporting work. We're Metropolis' Number 1 news outlet, and we intend to keep it that way."

"Yes, Mr. White." Clara said resignedly.

"So, I'll tell you what." White began in a bargaining tone. "I'm going to give you a probationary position on the staff, but if, in the meantime, you're able to put an absolutely, and I mean absolutely, dynamite story on my desk, you've got a job as a reporter!"

Clara's bright blue eyes lit up with excitement! This could be her break! She stood up from her uncomfortable chair, and said "Thank you, Mr. White. I'll get to work right away!" before strutting out of the office with a slight smirk on her face, thinking, [Just wait until trouble runs amuck, then Mr. White'll get a dynamite story that he'll never forget!]

Clara sat at a small table by herself, as the sounds of typewriters near her clacked away with their irritating, repetitive morse. Clara stared sadly at the blank piece of paper in front of her. She wished she could think of something that would make a good story, but nothing had happened on her cab ride over to the Planet, or even to Metropolis. She just hoped for a story, and soon. Suddenly, a cup of steaming hot coffee was delicately placed beside her. Clara suddenly looked up with a start to see a pretty young teenager with light red hair pulled back in a ponytail, freckles covering her cheeks and the bridge of her nose, wearing a spotless white cotton blouse with a happy pink ribbon on the collar, and a dark green skirt that reached her calves. Her light green eyes were filled with kindness.

"I thought that you might need this." The girl said with a pearly white smile.

"Thanks." Clara said gratefully, before asking curiously "Say, who are you,? If you don't mind my asking."

"Of course not. My name's Jenny Olsen, I'm a copy girl here at the Planet." The girl said in a sugary sweet voice.

"Nice to meet you, Jenny, I'm Clara Kent. I just started working today. Although I'm not sure how long that'll last." Clara said with a sigh.

"I'm sure that you'll be great here, Clara! Don't give up!" Jenny said encouragingly.

"Thanks, Jenny. That helped me a lot!" Clara said, a smile returning to her face.

"Don't mention it, Clara! Well, I've got to be going. See you!" Jenny said with another grin and a wave. Then she was off.

"Well, that's at least one friend." Clara said to herself, as she turned back to the blank piece of paper in her typewriter.

Suddenly, a worker with a blue vest and a visor on, ran into the room, yelling "Everyone, turn on the radio! Gunmen just took over the Mayor's office!" in a terrified voice.

A small radio was quickly placed on one of the desks, and the crowd gathered around. The device was turned on, and the male announcer was already speaking in a rapid fire tone "...motive is reported to be the release of several members of a powerful gangster group from Metropolis State Prison. It is reported that Mayor Fitzgerald has not been harmed, but it's hard to say for sure. Police and the National Guard are hesitant to move in, because the suspects who have barricaded themselves in with His Honor, are heavily armed."

Clara's visage immediately changed to one of righteous indignation. She decided that now was the time to reveal herself! With considerable stealth, she snuck away from the huddle around the radio, and made her way to one of the stock rooms in a darkened section of the building which was far out of sight of the men. Clara immediately whipped off her glasses, and undid the bun on her head, and shook her hair down. Opening the door, Clara said quietly to herself "This looks like a job.." before rushing inside, and closing the door behind her. Switching the light on,  She threw down her hat, kicked off her shoes, and shed her jacket and shirt. She then unbuttoned her skirt and stepped out of it. Now fully revealed in her costume, Clara opened the door and boldly walked out unobserved, saying softly, yet confidently, in an unaccented, deeper and stronger voice "...for Superwoman!" Her large "S" emblem proudly displayed on her ample chest, her powerful muscles bulging under the tight blue material, her blood red cape flowing gently behind her. Superwoman then eased the nearest window open, stepped out on to the ledge, and lept out into the sky with a mighty bound, taking flight!

In the sky, Superwoman soared above the city, various onlookers took notice. "What is that?" One dumbfounded male pedestrian called to other people's attention.

"I don't know, but it looks like a person!" An alerted female answered.

"That's ridiculous! A flying person?!" The man balked.

Superwoman utilized her super vision to see ahead of her to spot City Hall. Several blocks ahead, there was a large, white, regal looking building, it's front supported by tall, thick, white columns. On the building's northern face was written "City Hall. It was surrounded by police cars and National Guard trucks, with both officers and Guardsmen outside of their vehicles in crouched positions, aiming their rifles and Tommy Guns at the building.

Superwoman was unnoticed as she landed on the southern edge of the building's roof. She immediately peered down, and used her super hearing to locate the criminals and the mayor. She could immediately hear a man with a thick accent saying "Listen ta me, Officah! You keep ya men away from us, and get us a getaway cah, so we can take da maya on a little trip. Or else!" in a threating tone. Superwoman then used her X-ray vision to look inside the building, and saw a number of men in black pinstriped suits and fedoras carrying Tommy Guns, walking around the Mayor's office. One was on the phone with the Police, and a couple were standing next to what appeared to be the Mayor, who was a man with slightly rounded features, neatly combed black hair, black rimmed spectacles, an expensive looking brown suit, and a worried expression on his face.

The two men on either side of the Mayor weren't pointing their guns at him, so Superwoman took her chance. She cocked back her fist, and effortlessly punched a large hole right through the marble and cement with her bare fist!

As chunks of the ceiling came crashing down, the gangster on the phone looked up and jumped away at the last minute, shouting in surprise "What th'?!" As he and his comrades aimed their weapons in shock.

Superwoman jumped down the hole an landed right in front of the league of shocked men. She stood with her fists on her hips and her bosom proudly thrust out, with an intimidating glare on her face.

"What? A dame?!" The lead gangster, a quite thin man with a deeply cleft chin and a five o' clock shadow asked in a frenzy.

"Who does she think she is, an acrobat?!" one of the other gangsters, a large, bald, gorrilla-like man asked, indicating to her costume.

"I don't care! Shoot 'er!" The leader shrieked, rasing his gun. The other men followed suit. They all fired their weapons at the same time, creating the sound of a loud motor in a factory, at this, the terrified Mayor ducked for cover under his desk.

However, the criminals' bullets merely bounced off Superwoman's chest and abdomen without the heroine ever batting an eye!

The crooks immediately stopped firing and stared awestruck at Superwoman with wide eyed, slack jawed looks of disbelief on thier faces, as gunsmoke wafted through the air.

Superwoman with a smirk, took advantage of this and rushed the men. She grabbed their guns all in one snatch, and crunched them all like an aluminum can with one hand, and with the other, grabbed all the thugs by their collars and lifted them off the ground, as if they were lighter than air. She then lept out the hole in the ceiling with the men in her hand, and landed with them right in front of the authorities that were waiting outside. As the Police and Guardsmen marveled at the sight of her, Superwoman took a mighty leap into the air and flew from the scene, her red cape fluttering in the breeze behind her.

The gangsters and authorities continued to stare after her. The Police then turned their attention back to the gangsters, and aimed their weapons, shouting "Don't move! You're under arrest!" The criminals, their faces still frozen in disbelief, slowly raised their hands.

Superwoman reentered the Planet building through the open window, and quietly closed it behind her. She then made her way back into the stock room, and put her civilian clothing back on, put her hair back up, and donned her glasses. She then took a plain pencil and notepad for her alibi, and exited the small room, returing to her small table. Still trying to contain her giddyness over having proved herself as a heroine!

On the radio, the announcer was almost out of breath, spouting off nearly untillegibly "..absolutely incredible! This mysterious flying, costumed woman who saved the Mayor's life had immediately vanished from the scene, but the Mayor is already offering her a commendation!" As Clara took her seat, she modestly ignored the message, and began writing on her pad.

One of the men crowded around the radio, turned to Clara and said in an ecstatic voice "Clara, did you hear what happened in the situation in City Hall?"

"Sorry, I was in the stock room getting a pad and pencil. Since I'm new here, it took me a while to find them." Clara innocently explained.

"Well you won't believe it, but this beautiful costumed woman suddenly appeared out of nowhere, burst through the ceiling, grabbed the gunmen, turned them over to the police, and just flew away!" The man excitedly explained.

"Flew away?" Clara curiously asked, raising an eyebrow. "Are you sure you didn't mishear the announcer?"

"No, Clara! We all heard him loud and clear!" The man said defensively. "You can hear for yourself if you don't believe me!"

"Sorry, but I've got to talk to the Chief." Clara said, pointing to her notepad. She then rose from her seat, and walked towards the elevators.

Perry White was busy on the phone speaking a mile a minute. "Yes, I don't know who she was, but we'll get on it and find out." he said, just as Clara walked in to his office. Perry hung up angrily, and shouted in an indignant fashion. "What is it, Kent?!" he shouted.

"I'm sorry to bother you, Mr.White." Clara humbly apologized. "But I overheard the exciting story about the standoff outside City Hall, and the mysterious flying woman, and I'd like to volunteer to cover the story." She boldly proposed.

At this, Perry suddenly exploded in disbelief! "WHAT?!" He shouted. "You want me to give a rookie like you such an important assignment?! Give me one good reason why I should!"

Clara, staying completely calm, handed over her notepad and said in an unwavering voice "Here's one, Sir."

White snatched the pad from Clara's hand and looked it over, the angry expression slowly fading from his face. On Clara's pad was a heavily detailed account of the radio announcer's report of the City Hall situation, written like it was a story in an edition of the Planet. Perry's face softened as he looked up at Clara and said with a sigh "I'm sorry, Kent. This is great stuff, really impressive. You can have the story."

Clara smiled and said demurely "Thank you, Mr. White." Before turning, and walking out of the office.

The large Police cordan was still in effect when Clara approached the front of City Hall. She was stopped by a stone faced Police Officer, however, he relented when she showed him her press badge.

An aide led Clara down the majestic halls of the wonderously large building, she finally was led to the Mayor's Office. Clara saw that a white tarp was covering the large hole she had earlier punched in the ceiling and the air still smelled of the faint tang of gunsmoke. Mayor Fitzgerald was sitting at his desk with a warm smile on his face, clearly glad that the ordeal was over. The Mayor rose to greet Clara, extending his hand in a friendly greeting. "Hello, Miss. You must be from the Daily Planet." He said in a jovial voice.

"Yes, Your Honor, I'm Clara Kent." Clara said with some bashful reservation in her voice.

"Nice to meet you, Miss Kent. I apologize that my office isn't very tidy at the moment, but I'm sure that you've heard about that already." The Mayor said with a smile. Little did he know that this was the woman who had saved his life about an hour earlier.

"Yes, Your Honor." Clara replied.

"Well, won't you have a seat across from me, and I'll tell you this amazing story." The Mayor said kindly, waving his arm to a very comfortable looking chair that sat opposite him.

"Thank you, Your Honor." Clara accepted graciously as she took the seat. It felt like sitting on a cloud. Clara was so happy to be resting on something smooth and soft for once.

"Now, where do I begin..." The Mayor began, as he eased into the chair behind his grand oak desk.

Clara walked back into the Planet building with a smile on her face, and a twinkle in her eye. She knew that this story was going to take her places. Clara entered the elevator, and took it up to the floor where she worked. Once at her desk, Clara, not even needing to take out her notepad, on account of her super memory, and began rapidly typing down the story on the peice of paper. Her hands becoming a blur as she multi-tasked between both typing the story, and feeding a new piece of paper into the typewriter. Because of the noise of the other typings and shoutings going on in the room, Clara's inhuman activity went completely unnoticed. In a matter of only two seconds, she was finished! Clara then saw Jenny walking past her area, and called her over.

"Yes, Clara?" Jenny asked sweetly.

"Could you run this over to the copy editor for me?" Clara said, handing her the typewritten story.

"Of course, Clara." Jenny replied, and went on her way.

Clara smiled and opened a copy of the Planet that had been placed on her desk, and waited.

The large faded black ferry, it's bottom covered with algae and barnacles docked at the bay in Staten Island. The group of people, dozens of men, women, and children, disembarked and had their clothes tagged by polite, yet very efficient Officers, and were pointed and kindly directed into a long, even, line. Among the hopeful immigrants was a handsome, yet somewhat hard and disciplined looking young man dressed in filthy, ragged cloting, with short dusty blonde hair, blue grey eyes, and just a hint of beard stubble. Two men that seemed to accompany him, also relatively normal looking, were dressed similarly.

As the line progressed down a long, drab hallway, several men in long white coats, physicians, they guessed, went down the long line, occasionally poking and prodding the hopefuls, checking eyes, ears, noses and throats. Occasionally, with a word to each other they would whisk half of the line away, leaving the rest to continue ahead.

The immigrants then made their way to a dizzying series of passages through which they found themselves in a large room with many various tall desks, behind which two Inspectors, one of each looking very educated, dressed in heavily starched collared shirts, and heavy looking jackets, stood. Since the somewhat handsome blonde men and his two ragged friends were near the front of the line, they only had to wait but half an hour, occasionally whispering clandestinely to themselves above the multi-linguistic din, before they apprached the men behind the desk.

The rather learned man quickly began asking his language in various tongues, shortly coming upon the German "Deutsch?", he recieved a quick "Ja." and nod of the head from the dusty blonde stranger.

The harder, heavier of the men spat out almost too fast to understand "Name! Last, first, middle!" His leaner friend translated just almost as quickly.

"Steiner, Kurt, kenien mittlewig." Kurt coldly and mechanically responded.

"Says he hasn't got a middle one." the translator quickly told the other Inspector as he jotted the name down in his book.

"Age!" The man quickly shouted to be heard, again the translation.

"Funfundzwanzig." Kurt responded.

"Twenty-five." The translator told the heavy Inspector.

 The questions went on and on. Kurt told the men that he was a single factory worker from Frankfurt who had fled to America to escape the Nazi regime and find a new life.

When it came to his destination, Steiner answered, "Metropolis, New York."

Finally, the Inspector handed Steiner a piece of paper with German text written on it "Read this out loud!" He was told in two different languages.

Kurt then looked up at the two men at the desk and, to their surprise, flawlessly asked "Do you want this read in German or English?" in English, with a light German accent!

The Inspectors both bugged their eyes out in surprise. "Why didn't you tell us that you could speak English?!" The heavy inspector angrily shouted.

"Because I thought you meant for me to speak in my native tongue." Kurt responded innocently. "I learned your language as part of my schooling."

The heavy lead Inspector just let out a deep sigh, and said "Just read it!" in an exhausted voice.

Kurt looked at the piece of slightly yellowed paper. It had several ink fingerprints scattered about it, and looked like it had been handled quite a bit. He recognized the clear paragraph displayed on it as a Bible passage. He read it out loud as he was told. "For the mouth of the wicked, and the mouth of the deceitful are opened agaist me: They have spoken against me with a lying tongue." Kurt smiled at the irony of what he had just read, based on what he had told the Inspectors.

Eventually, Kurt was cleared, and began to walk toward a series of benches, in which dozens of people were sitting, while turning back and saying "Viel Glück, wir sehen uns bald." To his waiting friends.

Kurt's two fellow immigrants made it through the inspection equally well, and after being cleared by the Health Department, Kurt and his friends left the building, and approached a sparkling  new blue Ford Model-A automobile, that seemed to have suspiciously have been waiting for them. They entered it, and the car sped off down the street.

Clara hesitated outside Perry White's office. She had been slightly uneasy about entering, after she had been called, as she feared that maybe perhaps White wasn't satisfied with the story. However, Clara closed her eyes, inhaled deeply, held her breath for one second, and then exhaled deeply, as if her concerns were wafting out of her nostrils along with the oxygen in her lungs. She opened her eyes, strengthened her resolve, and opened the door.

Perry was standing at his desk, the copy of Clara's story lying in front of him. He noticed the door opening and looked up.

"You wanted to see me, Mr. White?" Clara asked with an uncertain tinge to her voice.

"Yes, Clara. In fact, I want to see a whole lot of you from now on!" Perry beamed with a smile on his face. "This is top notch stuff you've brought me! And in record time, too!" White said, loudly tapping his index finger on the top page.

Clara's face lit up with joy! "Y-You mean?" She asked with joyous surprise.

"You've got it, Clara! You managed to captivate me with this wonderful account of this mysterious flying beauty's rescue of the Mayor! You can forget about the probationary position. I'm giving you a permanant job here! Welcome to the Daily Planet, Kent!" Perry said with a grin, holding out his meaty hand.

"Oh, thank you! Thank you, Mr. White!" Clara said enraptured, as she shot out her hand to shake Perry's. However, her reasoning warned her to shake it gently, so that she would not break his hand or pull his arm out of it's socket. So she obeyed it.

"Please, Clara, call me Chief." Perry affectionately said. He then quickly became businesslike again, giving her a hard smile. "Alright, Kent, enough pussy footing around. I'm going to give you a desk next to one of our finest scoopers, fella by the name of Lane, Louis Lane. Real handsome, but also real competitive, so watch out. Now I want you to dig up some dirt on this flying woman and try to catch her in action again, or better yet, try to get a word from her before she zips off again."

He concluded with much zest, making a "taking off" motion with his hand.

"Yes, Sir, Chief! You can count on me!" Clara said with a smile and a sparkle in her crystal blue eyes. "By the way, what was that whole buisiness about several reporters resigning in protest?" She asked curiously.

"Well, Kent, they all wanted the same salary as me, when they hadn't done anything but sit on their duffs all day. Can you believe that?" Perry said with a grunting laugh.

"I've heard stranger things, Chief!" Clara said, grinning with good humor.

Wilbur Saint, dressed in a dull grey suit and slacks, sat behind a large black marble desk in a luscious office at the top of the tall, drab looking WBGH building, which proclaimed it's identity on a white sign in large, blue, bold letters. On top of the building was a large radio tower, broadcasting the most popular music and news in all of Metropolis. Saint was on the telephone in a casual, cool conversation. "Like I said, a donation isn't necessary. Thank you, Senator, and God Bless America!" He then hung up.

Almost immediately, there was a buzz on his intercom. Saint pressed down the lever and asked "Yes, Samantha?"

"Mister Saint, there are some German street urchins who've somehow got past security and are asking to see you. Should I throw them out?" His secretary asked in a fiesty voice.

"No, no. Samantha, I've been expecting them. Human interest angle, you see. Let them in." Saint said aimiably.

"Yes, sir." Samantha said flatly.

Kurt and his two companions walked in, closing the door behind them. Almost immediately, Kurt's hand sprung up in the "Seig Heil" positon. Wilbur's hand nonchalantly swung upwards to answer it. Both men then lowered their limbs. "Kurt, Ludwig, Diederich! So nice to see that you got here okay." Saint said, walking out from behind his desk, his hand outstreched in a form of greeting, a beaming smile on his face.

The men did not smile as they accepted the handshake. "We appreciate your enthusiasm, Herr Saint." Kurt said unenthusiastically.

"Der Fuhrer told us that you would be a reliable contact." Diederich, a man with lighter blonde hair, and a four inch scar on his left cheek, said with a cold stare in his lime green eyes.

"Hmrrph!" Ludwig, a bulky brown haired man with a slight beard and a wool cap, grimaced and growled to himself.

"Well, fellows, let's get you all cleaned up, and into some nice clothes. Then we'll talk about our "plans" for this week." Saint said with a wicked looking wink of his almond brown eye.

As Clara walked up to the door with "Louis Lane, Reporter" written on the window in big bold lettering, a large box of her belongings cradled under one arm, she could hear a man screaming "No! NO! Absolutely not! I'm not sharing my office with any lousy woman!"

[Don't tell me that this pinhead is my partner!] Clara thought to herself with a sigh. She then opened the door calmly. However, once inside, Clara was surprised to see a very handsome and slim young man with a carefully chisled, clean shaven face, short and well groomed chocolate brown hair, and warm brown eyes. He was dressed in a clean, well fitting, dark blue suit and trousers, a red tie and black dress shoes, sitting on a desk, yelling into the reciever of a telephone that lay next to him. Two men in their shirt sleeves were moving another desk into place on the adjacent side of the quite spacious room, near a large window, from which the sun from outside shown in. A peaceful looking oriental picture hung on the wall between the two desks.

"Listen, Chief, I've had this entire office to myself for as long as I've been here, and it's going to stay that way!" Louis irately shouted into the phone. The men moving the desk trying to ignore him.

As Louis hung up in a huff, Clara rolled her eyes, thinking to herself [Give me a break.]

Louis then turned around to see Clara standing in the doorway. "Well, what are you standing there for?" He asked with a grimace.

Clara thought [This fellow might be rude, but he's certainly handsome! I hope he's not always like this].

"Well?!" Louis asked angrily.

Clara kept herself calm as she answered. "I'm Clara Kent. I'm going to share this office with you."

Louis gave Clara a derisive look and scoffed "Well, Clarybelle, well see how long you last here." as he sat down at his desk and started to go through a folder.

"It's Clarabelle. And just call me Clara." Clara corrected him, some irritation seeping into her voice.

"Sorry about that, Clarybelle." Louis said without looking up.

Clara just stared at him, keeping patient. She then walked over to her desk, a very average light brown, freshly polished cedar affair, and began to unpack her things.

As the next few days passed, and Clara was given new assignments, The Planet began to fill up with fascinating headlines, such as "Mysterious Costumed Beauty Smashes Bootlegging Ring" "Caped Crusader Jails Crooked Union Boss" and "Beautiful Wonder Single-Handedly Rebuilds Decaying Tenament Buildings".

Clara had just barely began to get settled into city life, when there came a buzz on her intercom. "Yes?" she answered.

"Mr. White wants to see you." Perry's secratary said.

Clara sighed and said "Another day, another Dollar." As Louis stared after her with jealousy.

Once inside Perry's office again, Perry lit a cigar and after sucking the smoke deep into his lungs. "Here's the deal, Kent. You're hot right now, so I'm giving this story to you." He said quickly and buisiness-like.

"Thank you, Chief!" Clara said appreciatively.

"Okay, now listen up." Perry said authoritatively. "Farmers all across the southern states are having problems, not only with the depression, but with something called the Dust Bowl."

"Dust bowl? What's that, Chief?" Clara asked inquisitively.

"I'll tell you." Perry answered. "Since there's been a large drought around those areas for some time now, all that's left is dust. The wind picks it up and blows it around like crazy. Dust blowing everywhere, ruining crops and houses, and making it just plain hard to see and breathe." He explained, making demonstrative gestures with his cigar.

Clara's face softened. "That sounds just terrible!" She said sadly.

"That's what I like about you, Kent. You've got the heart of a real sentimentalist. That kind of writing sells papers." Perry complimented her, before continuing. "Here's what I want you to do. Go down to the quaint little town of Cimmaron  County, Oklahoma, and bring back a good scoop with you."

"Yes, Chief. I sure will!" Clara said, before rising from her seat, and heading out the door.

The dusty plains of the small county of Cimmaron flew past as the taxi Clara was in drove down the dirt covered roads. Clara shook her head softly at the sight of various houses, cars, and buisinesses caked with soil. The car came to a stop outside a small, beige, farmhouse in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. Clara paid her fee, and stepped out. The farmhouse was the usual two-story place where farmers are usually expected to live. As the taxi sped away, Clara walked up to the light, cheap looking, aluminum door, and knocked on it.

"I'm comin', I'm comin'!" An ornery southern voice called out from the top of the stairs that were visible on the door's screen.

A somewhat middle aged man in a dusty shirt and heavily worn overalls, descended the staircase, and approached the door, and opened it. He stared suspiciously and silently at Clara. He appeared to be chewing tobacco with the same rythym of a cow or a Billy Goat. He grunted with his mouth full, and suspicious squinted eyes, "You from the government?"

"No, sir." Clara said kindly with a smile, yet standing her ground.

"You from the po-lice?" he asked with the same air of suspicion.

"No, Sir." Clara said, a small amount of irritation seeping into her voice. "I'm Clara Kent, a reporter for The Daily Planet, out of Metropolis."

"Oh, a yankee paper." The farmer said derisively. "Well, I'm Fred McGinley, head of this here farm. What would you like to know?"

He asked as he narrowed his eyes and crossed his arms across his chest.

"Well, I'd like to know how the Dust Bowl had affected your buisiness and livelyhood, sir." Clara asked, the frindly smile returning to her face as she got out her notepad and pencil.

In response, McGinley spat some of the foul, brown, tobacco saliva out of the side of his mouth and said "How d'you think it affected them? Dis here drought done ruined every galdarn crop of mine in sight! It.."

Suddenly, a young boy with a blonde bowl hair cut and suspenders, ran down the stairs screaming "PA! PA! Get in the house! Another one's a comin'!"

Farmer McGinley looked back into the house and shouted "Tyler, get back upstairs!" Before pushing past Clara and looking ahead at the horizon. A large, black cloud of dust that looked like the angry forthcoming clouds of a tornado, was barreling towards the farm at a high rate of speed!

"Listen, Missy, get to safety now 'afore that dust gets ya!" the farmer loudly warned Clara before rushing back inside the house, and shutting the door.

[Hmph! That's rude! He didn't invite me inside!] Clara thought indignantly, before sighing, thinking in her mind [Oh, well. The least I could do is get rid of this storm for them and get this place watered again.] Clara then ran as quick as a flash behind the large barn, removed her glasses, and clothes, and un did her hair, emerging in her Superwoman uniform! Superwoman then walked steadily and fearlessly in front of the large, approaching dust storm.

Inside the house, both father and son McGinley were watching Superwoman walking toward the storm. Tyler asked "Pa, why is that 'dere lady in the funny clothes walkin' towards that there dust cloud?"

"I don't rightly know, son, I think she's plumb crazy!" Fred exclaimed.

Superwoman looked stoically at the giant wall of dust hurtaling towards her. She took a deep breath and, with some strength in her lungs still reserved, let out a mighty burst of air through her pursed lips. An amazing sight then followed. The immense cloud suddenly froze, then was pushed back farther and farther against the horizon until it was no longer visible!

McGinley and son were completely speechless at the sight of this. Their eyes wide with disblieif.

Superwoman then took a mighty leap and was airborne. She streaked across the skies of the southern sky, way down to the coast of Texas in a matter of seconds! Then, to the astonishment of the obervers, Superwoman, who was hovering above the water, suddenly began spinning around in mid-air! The suction caused by Superwoman's spinning formed a funnel effect of the ocean! Superwoman continued to spin as she rose, causing the water cyclone to rise with her, eventually envoloping her! Superwoman then flew across the sky, continuing to spin at a high rate of speed,  the water cyclone following her.

As the whirling Superwoman sped across the stratosphere, the water funnel was being relieved of it's salt content, becoming completely pure fresh water, and slowly but surely, large amounts of rain drops emitted from the cyclone, showering down on both the people and the soil, causing the crowds to break out into cheers and whistles!

Superwoman's water funnel made it's way across all the affected states, replenishing their ground with precious water! As she passed over Oklahoma, Tyler McGinley turned to his father and exclaimed with absolute glee " LOOK, PA! IT'S RAINING!" then he noticed something strange. "Pa, it's comin' from that 'dere sideways twister in the sky!" He said, pointing to the strange sight.

Farmer McGinley wasn't about to question this good fortune, and said with unbridled joy "You're right, son! It's a miracle! Praise the Lord!" He then ran out into the front yard, and danced wildly in the sudden shower.

After showering all of the hurting areas, Superwoman made a bee-line back to Oklahoma, and the McGinley's in Cimmaron County.

Once at the back of the barn, she dressed in her civilian clothing, and walked back towards the rejoicing father and son.

"Excuse me, Sir. I was hiding in the barn. Did I miss anything?" She asked with false bewilderment.

"I should say so, Missy! We've just done had us a miracle! We've just had rain on the farm!" Farmer McGinley said elatedly, throwing his hands up in the air.

"Really? And how did that come about?" Clara asked, feigning surprise.

"Well, Miss. It's hard to explain, but it looks like an angel done saved it." The farmer said, as he looked Heavenward with tears in his eyes.

Perry White chuckled fatly as he looked over the copy for the Oklahoma story that Clara had written. "I'm telling you, Clara, you're something special! You always seem to find this mysterious flying woman." He then lowered his voice clandestinely "Or she always seems to find you. What's the story here, Kent? Are you paying her to appear, or something?"

Clara just smiled gingerly and said with a carefree laugh "Of course not, Chief! Just lucky, that's all."

"Alright, Kent. Just try to at least get a picture of her next time." Perry said dryly.

"Yes, Chief." Clara said nervously, then walked towards the door, saying "Well, better get back to the office." and made a hasty exit.

Outside, Clara sighed deeply and thought [I've got to be more careful. Perry's getting suspicious.]

As Clara walked into the office, Clara heard a derisive snort from Louis' desk, as she turned to face him. he had a smirk frozen on his face. "So, Clarybelle, you must think that since you covered that Dust Bowl story, that you're pretty hot to trot. Well, I've got news for you. Front page news as a matter of fact, since that's where my story was published. Real hot  stuff. It would seem that a certain Garret Karlsson, a newsman over at WGBH was involved in a very high profile money laundering scheme. And if my reliable source is correct, this could go all the way up to the head honcho himself, Wilbur Saint!" He concluded with an upward palmed gesture of his hand.

"That nice looking man on the billboards? Do you really think so?" Clara said, giving him the benefit of the doubt.

"Clarybelle, you're so naive. You have a lot to learn about people in the city." Louis said with a grimace.

This expression was shared by a very irate Wilbur Saint as he sat reading the front page of the Planet in his office. He then took both top corners of the paper in his hands and slowly and evenly tore it in two. He then stood up from his desk, and angrily cast the peices on the floor. After sitting back down, he reached for the black telephone that sat to his left. He dialed a number onto the rotary. After waiting for two rings, the other line picked up. "Hello, Kurt? This is Wilbur. Have you settled in yet?" He asked aimiably. "Good. Good. Yes, the plan is still on. Right now, though, I've got a problem, though. There's a nosey reporter that I need to have taken care of. How about it?" Saint said in a conversational tone. He just as well could have been schedueling a dentist's appointment. "Thank you, Kurt. I knew I could count on you." He said with a grin. He then slid a piece of paper with some writing on it near to him. "I just so happen to have his car description and license plate number right here."

Louis, a smug look on his face, a notepad and pencil in his jacket pocket, and a camera cradled under his arm, strolled out of the Planet's lobby with Clara trailing behind him. He looked back at her and asked suspiciously. "What do you want, Clarybelle?"

Clara looked back at him innocently "Well, I-I'd just like to give you a hand on your hunch if I could." Clara said, her palms starting to feel moist.

"Sorry, I don't need help." Louis responded, and walked over to his car, a red Lincoln KB, started it up, and then sped away.

Clara walked back towards the Planet building, wondering [Why do I feel like this? Surely it can't be love?] But neither she nor Louis noticed the puddle of brake fluid where his car had been.

As Louis went down a steep hill that led to a busy intersection, he came to a traffic light, which happened to be red. So, he naturally applied his brakes. Only, nothing happened! The car continued to race down the perilous road! Louis panicked and frantically pumped his brakes as other cars coming from the right and left honked their horns and swerved out of the way! Louis beeped his own horn as well, while screaming at the top of his voice "Look out! Look out! No brakes!"

Several blocks away, Clara's super hearing picked up Louis' shout of distress. She spun around and noticed the brake fluid trail leading into the street! "Louis!" Clara exclaimed in shock before furrowing her brows and declaring confidently "This IS a job for Superwoman!" Clara looked about for a discreet place to change, before seeing a deserted alley between the Planet and the lawyer's office. She ducked inside, and after confiriming that she was alone, she removed her glasses, undid her hair bun, and hurridly pulled off her outer clothing, then standing revealed in her costume, Superwoman sprang into the air.

As Louis sped uncontrolled down the street, he drastically looked for anything in the road that could slow him down, or better yet, stop him. Then, he saw that he was headed straight for the Metropolis docks, and soon he would plunge into the Atlantic Ocean! As Louis' car soared off one of the docks and toward the briney blue, his face went white with fear.

It only took a split second for Superwoman to spot Louis' car, and where it was headed! With great skill, the Maiden of Might swooped down from the sky and landed right beneath it's undercarrige and caught it! Lifting the entire vehicle above her head, while hovering just inches above the water Superwoman drifted the car back to solid ground.

Louis couldn't believe it! His car was floating! What next? The Heavenly choir? Saint Peter and the Pearly Gates? Then, suddenly, he was placed back on the pavement! Louis looked immediately to his right, and saw the Woman of Steel in all her statuesque granduer standing beside his car with a worried expression on her face. "Are you alright?" she asked in a concerned voice.

[It's her! It's really her!] Louis thought feverishly, as he blushed. [She's so beautiful!] Finally, a nervous stutter managed to force it's way past Louis' lips "I-I'm f-fine."

"Good. I'm glad." Superwoman said, before turning to attempt to fly away.

"Wait!" Louis called out.

"Yes?" Superwoman asked, turning back around.

"W-Who are you? Why are you here?" Louis asked, his eyes wide with wonder.

Superwoman smiled warmly "I'm Superwoman!" she proudly declared, placing her hands on her hips. "And I'm here to protect you and all the other citizens of Metropolis!" She concluded dramatically , before jumping skyward and soaring away. Before she was gone, however, Louis snatched his camera from the passanger seat, took aim, and snapped a picture of her in full view, flying away.

"Wow." Was the only word he could muster.

The next day, Louis dropped that day's edition of the Planet like a dead weighy on Clara's desk in front of her. A cocky look crossed his face. The headline read "Metropolis Heroine Has a Name: Superwoman!" the byline read "Story by Louis Lane". "Read it and weep, Clarybelle. The Chief has done nothing but thank me for this breakout story! And, may I add, the first actual picture of Superwoman, and her name, to boot! Looks like you're out of a job, sugar!" He said with a smirk.

Clara merely chuckled and said with a smile, "Don't count me out yet, Louis."

Louis just shrugged and said "In any case, I have a meeting with Mister Wilbur Saint at 8:00 tonight, and I'm going to confront him with the evidence of his money laundering! He'll have no choice but to resign."

"Oh, Louis, please be careful!" Clara said in a worried voice.

"Don't worry, Clarybelle. If dear Mister Saint gives me trouble, Superwoman will save me." Louis said, sure of himself, as he walked out of the office with his head held high.

Clara sighed as she watched Louis leave, thinking in a concerned voice [I hope I will, Louis.] She still didn't understand about the feelings she was experiencing for this arrogant man. How could she possibly love someone that always made fun of her? Still, as unsure as she was about these feelings, she couldn't deny them.

8:00 came around several hours later and Louis arrived at the WBGH building, ready to blow the lid off of a story he was sure would gain him even more acclaim. But as he entered the elevator, he was unaware of the danger about to befall him. And all of Metropolis for that matter!

"Well, he's on his way up here to talk to me, so don't screw it up this time!" Wilbur irately told Kurt and his friends, now dressed in black trenchcoats and hats that looked more than a little like Gestapo uniforms, as they stood in front of his desk.

"Yes, Herr Saint, just leave everything to us." Kurt said assuredly, holding a black gloved hand up to calm his employer.

"Well, he should be here any minute now, so you boys go ahead and hide in the closet. Wait for the signal, and remember, I want him alive, so no gunplay!" Saint sternly ordered as the three men entered the rather small and cramped closet. Saint then pushed the lever down on his intercom. "Samantha, you're excused for the rest of the evening." He told his secretary in a kind, easygoing voice.

"Thank you, Mr.Saint. Good night." Samantha kindly responded.

A moment later there was a knock at the door. "Come in!" Saint happily called out.

Louis opened the door and entered, a sly smile on his face. "Hello, Mr. Saint." He greeted with much reservation in his voice. The two men shook hands.

"Well, Mr. Lane, won't you take a seat?" Saint to the chair opposite him with his hand, and the pearly grin of a politician.

"Don't mind if I do." Louis said, seating himself, and then crossing his left leg over the right.

"Now, would you mind telling me what neccesitated this visit, Mr. Lane?" Wilbur asked, cocking one of his thin, greying eyebrows up with curiosity.

At this sentence, the door to the closet quietly opened and the three German agents emerged, and without a sound, crept up behind Louis.

"Well, as a matter of fact, Mr. Saint, it's about your involvement in your dear friend Mr. Karlsson's money laundering plot."

Louis said, laying it on as thick as the finest maple syrup.

"Really, Mr. Lane?" Saint said with false surprise in his eyes. As he said this, Kurt produced a blackjack frim a pocket inside his coat and cocked his arm back.

"Why, yes, Mr. Saint." Louis said, leaning foreward, glaring at Saint. "In fact, I have..UNGHH!" Louis began, only to have Kurt bring the blackjack down hard on the crown of his head with a loud slap!

"Good work. Now tie him up! There's work to be done!" Saint briskly ordered, rising from his chair.

It was now 10:00. The Planet was just beginning to close down. As Clara was getting ready to leave, she was wondering uneasily about Louis. Sure, meetings took a long time, but still, the very nature of the meeting had her worried sick. What if Saint had planned to ambush Louis? What if he had been shot? What if he had never made it to the meeting and was lying in an alley, bleeding to death? As Clara carried these thoughts in her head, she had an epiphany! She couldn't ignore why she was having these feelings. It was love. She was in love with Louis! She had a strong feeling that beneath his spiteful exterior was a kind, gentle man. In any case, it was her duty see if he was alright. As she exited the Planet's door, she saw that a taxi was approaching. She reached out her arm and hailed it.

Inside Saint's office, a radio and microphone set had been brought up, and Ludwig, a pair of headphones over his ears was speaking into the microphone in rapid German. An answer faintly crackled from the headphones. Ludwig then turned to Kurt and said "Sie sagten, sie werde in einer Viertelstunde gelangen."

Kurt then turned to Saint and said "The pilots said that they shall arrive in fifteen minutes."

Saint merely smiled and said "Good. Very good." Before saying "Then it's nearly time for "The Broadcast."

In a sinister voice.

Kurt then turned to Diederich and ordered "Achten Sie darauf!" authoritively. Diederich nodded and excused his bulky frame from the room.

At this moment, Louis moaned and began to raise his head.

Saint smiled devilishly. "Good to see that you're conscious, Mr.Lane. I was beginning to worry that my friend Kurt here had overdone it." He said with mock empathy.

"Mmmnngh, You'll never get away with this, Saint! My friend Superwoman will stop you!" Louis moaned as though he were half awake.

"Oh, but we're quite prepared for that sorry excuse for a woman, for the might of the Luftwaffe shall reduce her, you, and this entire city to rubble! And so that those lousy authorities don't try to interfere, we shall send out a signal across the airwaves, so potent, that even people within 5 yards of a radio, will be rendered completely incapacitated! Then this country shall know the true crushing power of the Fatherland!" Saint explained, concluding with a shriek that closely resembled the dispicable being that he had sworn his allegiance to.

"Nazi's!" Louis quietly exclaimed to himself with wide eyed fright, his breath catching in his throat. Before thinking desperately [Oh, Superwoman, please hurry!]

The tired looking technician was going about his buisiness in the control room, when suddenly, Diederich burst in, he was carrying a long, coiled, cable, and his terrible face twisted in a gruesome snarl.

"Who in blazes are you?!" The technician exclaimed in an surprised voice.

Without responding, Diederich quickly pulled a Luger out of the shoulder holster hidden by his coat, and shot the man square in the chest at close range. With a groan, the man slumped to the side, blood beginning to pour from his wound. With no emotion whatsoever on his face, Diederich quickly pushed the man's body out of the chair, and took the seat. He then took the cable, and removed the plug that broadcast the current radio signal, and taking in the cable that he had in his hand, plugged the free end, a strange looking device that still managed to fit, into the feed socket.

Louis, a gag in his mouth, struggled and grunted in the chair that he was tied to, as Kurt, a pair of tough looking, silver ear coverings took the microphone attached to Diederich's cable in his hands, and said with a nearly flawless American accent "And now, here with a special message is the owner of WBGH, Wilbur Saint." He then handed the microphone to Saint, who was also wearing protective earware.

"Citizens of Metropolis. I am speaking to you now, because I know of the grave concern on your minds in these troubled times." Saint began in a somber tone. "Droughts, famines, hunger, utter poverty, civil unrest in Europe. Well I declare that today, my associates and I shall do all that we can to extinguish this problem, starting NOW!" he suddenly shouted.

In the control room, Diederich heard his cue, and flipped a small switch on the plug he had placed in the socket. Then, an extremely low, vibrating tone, similar to the rumbling of an earthquake, emitted from the station's tower, in an instant, it completely paralyzed all of the other stations emitting from the radio, even if a set had been turned off, the sound still came through loud and clear.

The effect was terrifying, all over the city, families quietly listening to the set together collapsed in an untidy heap onto the ground, people on the street fell where they stood, automobile drivers fell asleep at the wheel, colliding into buildings, trees, and other cars! It was completely terrifying!

Clara, standing on a curb outside the WBGH building, couldn't believe what she saw and heard! It was if the whole town was dying or falling into a deep sleep! Clara could hear the sound that seemed to be the cause of it alright, but because of her strong Kryptonian constitution, instead of making her drowsy, it was just an annoyance to her, like a buzzing fly that needed to be swatted! The sound seemed to be eminating from the building. Clara adjusted her super hearing to the window at the very top of the building. It was the only one in it's vicinity with it's lights on, and listened, sure enough she heard what appeared to be Saint's voice saying "Alright, Diederich, kill it!" The annoying noise stopped.

Clara used her X-Ray vision, in combination with her super vision, and saw a picture appear of Saint and the three men in black.

Saint spoke up again. "Well, that should keep them out for several hours, long enough to have this lousy city burned to the ground and for us to arrive in Berlin for a hero's welcome!" He said, very proud of himself. "Anyway, the pilots know not to attack this building until we're already airborne, and I've given them the signal."

[My goodness!] Clara thought with horror. [Saint's a Nazi agent, and he's going to destroy the city! I've got to stop him!] Then she had another thought [But what has he done with Louis?]

As if to answer her, Saint then spoke in a more easygoing tone. "And now, Mr. Lane, since you won't tell me how you found out about my little side project, we shall say goodbye..forever." he finished with a cold, heartless voice. Clara saw, a little ways away from them, Louis, bound and gagged in a chair! He was either dead or unconcious!

Clara had seen enough! She quickly looked for someplace to transform. She spotted a phone booth on the corner. It would have to do! Clara quickly removed her hat before stepping in, saying mightily "This looks like a job for Superwoman!" Upon stepping in, Clara quickly removed her glasses and undid her hair bun. In a flash she stripped off her outer clothing, and emerged from the booth as Superwoman! Superwoman, in one powerful bound, jumped all the way up to the high window, and smashed right through it!

At this, Saint, and all the Nazi's, who were now in the room, spun around with surprise on their faces! "Superwoman!" Saint exclaimed with shock.

"Oh, nein! Es ist der Super Frau!" Ludwig shouted.

Louis was completely unresponsive, having been exposed to the radio signal.

"Saint, if you've murdered Mr. Lane, I promise you.." Superwoman began with a glare that could melt ice.

"No, not yet, you trifiling hag! But now you both shall be!" He turned to the agents and said "Kill her!" As he bolted for the door.

The men, on command, whipped out their Lugers and began firing, as usual however, the lead projectiles merely bounced off of Superwoman's body and harmlessly onto the floor. After the men had quickly run out of ammo, Superwoman, was on them quickly, snatching them off of the floor by their shirt collars as if they were balloons! Then, just as Saint was placing his hand on the doorknob, Superwoman had rushed over to him in the blink of an eye, grabbing him by the front of his shirt, and pulling him away from the door. The Nazi's then pulled hard, sharp knives from the waistbands of their trousers, and stabbed her with all their might. But upon the blades making contact with Superwoman's skin, they only crumpled like tin foil!

Saint looked Superwoman square in the eye in a cocky manner and said with a scoff "Hmph! You think that just because you've caught us, that you win? Sorry, but the Luftwaffe will be here shortly to blow this place to glory! In fact, I think I hear them now!"

Superwoman listened. Yes, she could clearly hear the sound of many plane engines buzzing. Through the shattered window, she looked out, and, using her super vision, could see about two dozen  German air force planes, the black iron cross on their doors, the sinister Swastika on their tail fins, hovering towards Metropolis, from over the ocean!

At this, Superwoman merely turned back to face Saint, she smirked and shrugged indifferently. "No problem." She calmly said, before spontaneously asking "Going up?" as if she were an elevator attendant.

Saint's face fell with confusion "W-What?" he asked, uncertainly.

Then, without warning, Superwoman lept upwards, smashing through the cement of the buiding's ceiling until they were past the roof and hovering right next to the radio tower's large antennae.

"Wh-What do you think you're doing?!" a slightly scratched and bruised Saint asked in a petrified voice, his Nazi comrades equally as scared.

"Just putting you somewhere where I can get to you while I take care of your flyboy pals." Superwoman casually answered, before effortlessly ripping a somewhat medium piece of steel from the tower and wrapped it around the four men, pinning to the antennae! "Don't fall now, boys! It's a pretty far drop!" Superwoman said teasingly as she was met with loud cursing and pleading from her captives.

Superwoman quickly dropped back down the hole, and approached Louis, easily snapping his ropes and gag. She then carefully shook him. "Louis! Louis, Wake up!" she said urgently.

Louis moaned softly, before slowly coming to. "Superwoman! You're here!" He happily exclaimed, embracing her, before realizing something "Wait. How do you know my name?" He asked curiously.

"I know a lot about everybody, Louis." Superwoman said without missing a beat, pulling away from Louis' hug. "We've got to get that head of yours looked at, but first, I have to protect the city! Stay right here!" Superwoman ordered, before jumping out the broken window. Louis just stood there in shock as he stared out the window after her.

Superwoman jettisoned towards the death squadron faster than a bullet launched from a firearm. As she did, she quickly calculated how to properly dispose of them [Hmm. If I take them out one at a time, they'll have already taken out a quarter of Metropolis.] Suddenly, one fighter dropped a large bomb from the bay doors onto the dock, causing a large explosion that took out a large chunk of it. Thankfully, the dock was abondoned and no lives had been lost, still this caused Superwoman's mind to shift to manic overdrive. [Hurry! Think, Clara, think!] Then, with no time to spare, she quickly zoomed down to the dock, and with one strong gust of her breath, she extinguished the fire! She then noticed that most of the boxes on the undamaged part of the docks read "Large Fishing Net, Qty.1" Suddenly, Superwoman had a brilliant idea! "That's it!" she exclaimed. She would have to work fast, but if executed properly, it would be a surefire solution. Superwoman then became a blue, red and white blur as she, moving faster than the eye could see, wrenched the boxes open, took all of the nets out, then tied them end to end to end! Once she had used them all, and was satisfied that her plan would work, she took to the sky again, the large sheet of netting following her like a large collection of rain clouds!

Superwoman, moving much faster then the speed of light, sped ahead of the evil Axis fleet and then, suddenly jolted upwards, obscuring the pilot's vison with the gargantuan net! From the cockpits there were shouts of "was?!" "Was ist los?!" and "Schalten Sie zur Seite! Die Seite!" But it was too late. Superwoman was alrady looping the titanic trap around the entire fleet, tying both ends together neatly. The planes smashed into one another, becoming bunched up, engines sputtered and died, no one could exit any of the planes because of the tight grip of the net!

As Superwoman soared back to the WBGH bulding, holding the large net full of heavy enemy aircraft in one hand like it was a pillow filled with feathers, Louis' eyes remained bugged out with shock, he fell to his knees in utter disbelief.

Superwoman floated up to the men tied to the tower and loosening the steel support, and sliding it off the antanne, before tightening it again, and holding the three men in her free hand by gripping the steel wrapped around them. "Come on, boys, it's off to the Police Station with you!" Superwoman said in a disciplinary voice.

The Nazi's remained silent with fury, and Saint merely hung his head down with shame and defeat, muttering "Impossible, impossible." to himself.

Superwoman then hovered down to the broken window to face Louis, saying with a friendly grin "Hop on my back, Louis, and I'll give you a ride!" in a pleasently happy voice.

Louis' look of shock was slowly replaced by a look of eagerness. He silently obeyed, putting his arm around Superwoman's neck, and hopping onto her back. Superwoman turned to look at him and advised "Hold on tight!" Before soaring off into the sky! Louis couldn't believe it, he was flying with Superwoman! The very thought sent his heart aflutter, as he felt the gentle evening wind in his hair.

Superwoman landed in front of the Police Headquarters and dumped the net of planes off at the doorstep like it was a load of dirty laundry! She then tied the metal that held the four agents high on the lampost next to the station, saying, "Well, since it'll be a while when the Police wake up from the sleep that you boys put them in, you'd better get comfortable!"

She then took Louis off her back and, taking him in her arms, zipped off again, leaving the villains to stew in their own grief.

Superwoman dropped Louis off at Metropolis General Hospital, saying "You'll find some bandages and plaster for your head in here, sorry I can't stay, Louis, but I've got to be going." She told him.

But as she turned to leave, Louis put his hand on her shoulder and said "Wait, Superwoman!" urgently.

Superwoman turned back around and asked "What is it Louis?"

Louis sighed and said with a steady tone "Look, I've got to know. Why didn't you just kill all of those Nazi scumbags instead of leaving them for the police to arrest?"

Superwoman then adopted a warm, maternal smile on her face and said calmy and lovingly "Because, Louis, every human life is precious. Even if they're mean or malicious." She then lept skyward, leaving Louis to stare after her, his mind trying to comprehend what he had just been through.

The Headline in the Planet two days later read "Superwoman Foils Nazi Ambush Plot; Radio King Saint unmasked As Cheif Conspirator!" the byline read "Story by Louis Lane" the sub headlines on the front page read "Superwoman Vanishes From Sight" "Hitler Hopping Mad" and "Roosevelt Announces Retaliation Plans".

In the Planet offices, Louis, bandages and plaster adorning his head, was proudly showing the front page to Clara. "Looks like I outscooped you again, Clarybelle!" he said pridefully.

"Looks like it." Clara said with a friendly smile.

Suddenly, Louis' exterior seemed to soften a little bit. "Listen, Clara. I kind of feel bad for your stories always having to linger in my shadow, so I thought I'd give you the immense pleasure of having lunch with me." He said boastfully, rising from his chair.

Clara simply smiled again, saying with extreme humility "Why of course, Louis. I'd be honored." Clara said, standing up as well, and going for her hat.

As Louis opened the door, and politely allowed her to exit first, Clara turned to him, and said "Boy, from what I hear, we nearly caught it bad a couple nights ago!"

As Louis followed her, he responded in a grateful voice "Yeah, Clarybelle, but we're all safe now, thanks to Superwoman!"

Before the door closes behind them, however, Clara turns back to us with a mighty smile, pulls down her glasses, and playfully winks!


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