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Web of the Spider Lady

Written by drmuttoncops2 :: [Thursday, 14 November 2013 05:20] Last updated by :: [Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:25]

"Up in the sky! Look!" "Its a bird!" "Its a plane!" "Its Superwoman!"

Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! This amazing stranger from the planet Krypton! The Woman of Steel: Superwoman! Possessing remarkable physical strength, Superwoman fights a never ending battle for truth and justice! Disguised as a mild mannered newspaper reporter, Clara Kent!

It was early autumn, and Clara Kent was having the time of her life. She now knew the man that she loved loved her as well. She had gone on several memorable dates with Louis, and had even gotten several new front page articles in the Planet. Yes, life was looking pretty darn good for the Plain Jane alter-ego of the protector of Metropolis. Her usual Taxi ride to the office this day was already full of possibilities [What will he surprise me with THIS time? Flowers again? Or maybe another fancy dinner? OOOOH! This is just too much!] However, a spark of reason immediately went off in her head at that moment. [Yes, that's right … Remember, Clara, remember what your mission in life is … It's not romance, its not to be wined and dined, its to protect … Yes, to protect the people of this fine city as SUPERWOMAN! Keep your mind sharp!] She mentally coached herself, her eyes closed, nodding quietly to herself.

Immediately after she walked off the elevator in the tall, bronzed cement skyscraper that housed the Daily Planet building, Clara, dressed in a baby blue jacket and skirt, waltzed over to the door she knew so well that housed the office she shared with the man she loved. Upon turning the knob and stepping in, Clara was immediately greeted with the sound of a gruff voice from behind her muttering "Hold it right there, toots!" With a start, she was then grabbed around her shoulders and swept off her feet! 

In that instant, Clara was filled with panic! Had this man hurt Louis? How much force should she use against him? At that moment, she decided she would act …  Only to have the lips of Louis Lane, Ace Reporter, passionately meet hers! Clara closed her eyes as she felt absolute ecstacy fill every nerve in her body. She simply went numb all over as she could taste Louis' mint tanged breath as their mouth muscles excersized one another. [Gently!] Clara reminded herself. [Even that can be dangerous!] Finally, after several lifetimes, the lovers broke away reluctantly …

"Good morning to you too, Louis!" Clara said, breathlessly.

"Every morning's good with you here, Clarybelle … Er, I mean, Clara." Louis replied, before correcting himself. "Sorry, its … its become something of a habit." Louis explained, excusing himself.

Clara responded with a warm smile and by kissing him lightly on the cheek. "That's alright, Louis. I don't mind anymore."

"So, do you like the new *ahem* arrangement on your desk?" Louis asked, pointing over to Clara's work station.

Clara looked over with joy to see a fresh new bouquet of beautiful dark red roses. Her heart lept in her chest as she walked over to them and picked them up. "Oh, Louis, they're beautiful! I can't thank you enough!" She said gratefully.

Suddenly, there came the sound of the intercom buzzer. Tess, Perry White's secretary, came over the static of the device. "Chief wants either of you …" She said, sounding as if she were eager to say very little.

"Well, Clara, I guess that means we're BOTH going!" Louis said, linking her arm in his, before walking with her over to the door, before pausing to open it for her, taking his hat off the rack and walking out as well.


Louis, full of vip and vigor, casually flung the door to Chief Editor Perry White's office open, once again, allowing Clara to enter first, before moseying in himself, pushing it closed with his foot. "Yes, Chief, you wanted to see us?" He asked with boyish enthusiasm. To Clara, it was a little too embarrasing, which she shrugged off.

"That's an expensive door, not a saloon entrance, and I said EITHER OF YOU, Lane, not both." White responded calmly, yet made sure he was understood as he glared at them from behind his cluttered desk.

"Oh, sure, I know that, Chief! But, I figure, what's wrong with having both sexes tackle it from their respective fields." Louis replied with unrelenting gaity, giving a very obvious wink to Clara.

That was the last straw, Like a cobra ready to strike, White lept to his feet slamming his fist so hard on the desk that Louis and Clara were sure it would go right through! "HELL AND DAMNATION, LANE! You can find time for your romantic exploits OFF company time!! Right now, BOTH OF YOU need to be professional reporters and treat this assignment, ANY ASSIGNMENT I give to you with respect and dignity!!" He shouted, pointing his meaty index finger at them.

"Sorry, Chief …" Louis said with a sheepish nod.

"NOW … I want you two to report down to Washington, to interview this Professor Amos Graham and this "Reducer Ray" he's working on, and I want you to give me a DAMN GOOD piece of copy! No funny stuff!" Perry ordered.

"Chief have I ever let you down?" Louis asked appealingly.

White only gave a sharp glare.

"Allright … Well, we'll be going now … Don't worry, Chief, we'll bring you a fantastic scoop! Don't Worry!" Louis said as he eased his way out, with Clara in tow.

Once outside, Louis turned to Clara and said slyly "Well, my behind's thoroughly chewed out. Hopefully, they'll just let us stand on the plane!"

Clara gave an approving giggle as the two made their back to their office, their arms wrapped around each other's waists.

The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, The Capital Building, The White House all went passing by the Taxi Cab's window as Clara looked outside with a warm smile. "Oh, Louis. Don't you want to see all the wonderful buidlings in the Capital?" She asked, turning to him.

Louis, who was fiddling with the camera on his lap, turned to Clara, responding "No, that's all right, Darling. I've already seen them when I covered Truman's inaguration."

Nodding quietly to herself, Clara turned back to the window, thinking. [True, but I've been here too, defending it as Superwoman, and I still like to look …]

After getting off the elevator on the eighth floor of the tall government building, Clara and Louis walked up to the door marked "Prof. Graham – Science Division". It read in large block capital letters on the door's glass window.

"Here we are, Clara!" Louis boisterously announced, pointing to the door.

"Yes, yes, I can read, Louis, Dear. I can knock too." Clara said patiently, before doing just that. Giving the door several light taps.

"Come in …" An obviously elderly voice called out.

Clara opened the door and she and Louis walked in to a quite spacious office. Behind a large oak desk with many papers scattered on it was the Professor, a somewhat squat balding man with most of his grey hair gathered in a bushy fashion on the back of his head. He was wearing a pair of thick black framed eyeglasses and wore a large white lab coat. Behind him were rows and rows of science books and manuals. "Yes? How might I help the both of you?" He asked in a cheerful manner, his cherubic face forming a warm smile.

Louis stepped forward eagerly, immediately pulling out his press card. "Why hello, Professor Graham. My name is Louis Lane and this is my associate Clara Kent. We're from the Metropolis Daily Planet and we'd like to speak to you about this wonderful new invention you've put together!"

The Professor simply squinted thoughtfully and rubbed his chin with a steady motion. "Mm-hmm, well I'm pleased to meet the both of you. You both appear to be honest people … I suppose I can trust you …" He said with a kind, even voice as he carefully rose to his feet and bent down behind the desk. He appeared to be moving a drawer aside as there was a sliding sound, before he, with a seemingly painful effort, attempted to hoist something large to his chest level.

"Here Professor, let me give you a hand!" Louis said politely as he walked over and assisted the elderly man in placing the long, heavy object, cloaked in a grey sheet, onto the desk.

"Now, what I'm about to show to you two for you to report to your paper, could mean unparralleled catastrophe if it were to fall into the wrong hands …" The Professor said with a deep sigh. His wrinkles cascading across his lower face as he frowned in a serious matter. Then, with no dramatic flourish, whatsoever, instead, merely a weak tug with his red, knotted, arthritic hands, he pulled the sheet from the object, unveiling it to Clara and Louis' eyes. There, before them, mouted on a black, ceramic stand, was what appeared to be an object out of the latest issue of a science fiction magazine. It was a dark grey chrome colored object that appeared to be made of titanium, it had the appearence of a rifle with a round, stout barrel, only at the end, instead of a butt and a standard trigger, there was a fat blue, opaque object atop it in the shape of a beetle shell, below it, at the end of the device, was what appeared to be a black handle like one might see at the top of a shovel, there was also a small switch on the side. "This, Mister Lane, and Miss Kent, is The Reducer Ray". The Professor said calmly and almost regretfully, not being able to keep some pride out of his voice. "The Department of Defense paid me quite a substantial fee to develop it. It's a weapon that if mass produced for the Armed Forces, could practially end a full scale war in a matter of hours!"

"Wow! That sounds impressive, Professor!" Louis said with an eager grin, before asking "Could you show us how it works?"

"Certainly, Mr. Lane." The Professor warmly replied, before taking an apple from a lunch bag next to him and placing it onto his desk next to the Reducer Ray machine. After adjusting the aim of the device, the Professor looked up and said in a warning voice "The both of you will have to stand back. This is a very dangerous machine!"

Louis and Clara obeyed immediately, Clara feigned a worried look on her face and hugged Louis tightly to her. Louis smiled and gave her a reassuring pat on the shoulder.

With an ounce of hesitation, Professor Graham flipped the switch upward. Suddenly, a low, but just barely audible deep hum emitted from the gun, the blue shell atop the the weapon suddenly began to glow  with a bright blue light that grew brighter and brighter by the second until it was almost blinding! Louis used one of his hands as a visor and squinted, exclaiming "My Word!" 

Clara, realizing she would be thought unusual for not reacting, immediately shielded her eyes as well.

The hum emitting from the gun was now a nearly deafening whine. With a motion that was obviously painful to him, and a grunt of effort, the Professor squeezed the inside of the gun's handle. Just then, there was the sudden sound of needles being dragged across a school blackboard, a thin, bright blue laser light shot out of the small hole in the weapon's barrel, and as soon as it made contact with the apple, the bright red fruit immediately disappeared! It was as if an invisible Genie from ancient Arabia had suddenly willed it away! The Professor immediately released his grip on the handle, the whining whirring down to a whisper, as he flicked off the switch, the bright blue light atop the gun dying down.

Louis, just beginning to remove his index fingers from his ears, could only gaze wide-eyed with disbelief. "GREAT SCOTT! ITS GONE! VANISHED!!" He shouted at the top of his lungs! 

"Good Grief! You're right, Louis!" Clara exclaimed in agreement, her surprise very genuine.

"Professor … That … That was AMAZING!" Louis said, giddiness overtaking him like that of a child. "You … You just disintegrated it! Right into thin air!"

"That I did, my boy …" The Professor replied, sounding somewhat ashamed of himself, his eyes not even making contact with Louis'

"Professor … You've just GOT to explain how this thingamabob works! How that apple managed to disappear like that! The world has to know!" Louis said, making expressive gestures with his hands. "And by gum, The Daily Planet will be the one that tells them!"

The old Professor looked down for a moment, seemingly searching his soul, before looking back up with a sad smile. "Very well, Mr. Lane. I shall only impart this since my years are not much longer and because it is unlikely that anyone is likely to reproduce this weapon without my specific instructions." He said reluctantly.

"Huh … Whatever you say, Professor." Louis said somewhat uneasily, trying to dispel the gloom that was swirling around,

"Very well. Now, listen carefully, Mr. Lane …" The Professor began to explain. Louis immediately got his notepad and pencil ready. 

Professor Graham then continued, running his hands along the machine, illustrating each important part. "This handle at the end is the trigger. When pressure is applied to it, a surge of electricity from a small battery then travels up to the charging section, which is this blue dome here, where the electricity is mixed with a laser light forming a very powerful and precise bit of energy, which is then propelled out a carefully protected barrel through the small opening that you see here and is projected towards the target, such as that apple. As soon as the beam hits the target, it immediately begins eating away at the object's molecular structure, until it completely disintigrates. It takes only half a second for the object to disappear completely!" He concluded, unable to keep the dramatic flair from his voice.

"Wow! Fascinating stuff, Professor!" Louis exclaimed, genuinely impressed. "Now, what if … Perish the thought, this beam would be used on a human being?" He asked, getting his notepad ready again.

"Really, Louis!" Clara said angrily, shaking her head at Louis.

"No, no, Miss Kent. It's quite alright. I was expecting that question." Professor Graham reassured Clara, before calmly turning back to Louis, stating with much sorrow in his eyes "To answer you, Mr. Lane, it would be the same result, the poor soul would be vaporized instantly. This is the reason why I was reluctant to produce this terrible device. I knew it would only be used as a weapon to attack others with. Just think what could happen if this were to fall into enemy hands and they were able to replicate it? I shudder at the thought! Believe me, Mister Lane, If I hadn't been fired without a pension from my job at a leading University just as my wife and I needed money, I would never have taken this job. The cost for this invention may be Armageddon itself …"

"I tell you, Clara, my dear, you seem to bring me a real great story every time I bring you along, Darling!" Louis said, walking back towards the hotel with Clara, before landing a big kiss on her cheek. "I don't know what I was missing before!"

"Honestly, Louis! Didn't you feel the least bit sorry for that poor …" Clara, a sad expression on her face began, before suddenly, she stopped and froze!

Clara adjusted a suspicious sound with her super hearing, and was horrified to hear an unsavory male voice saying with a thick "mobese" accent "Dat's right, Pro-fessor, don't make any sudden moves and you'se won't get hurt!"

[Oh, no! Professor Graham!] Clara thought worriedly to herself, her hand up to her mouth. She furrowed her brows as she calculated in her mind [I've just got to get away from Louis so I can rescue him!] Quickly turning to Louis, Clara suddenly exclaimed "Louis! I just realized that I've forgotten my notepad at the Professor's office! My important notes! I'll go get it! Be back in a jiff!" Before darting off.

"Wait, Darling! We can go get it together!" Louis shouted, beginning to give chase.

"Don't bother, Louis! You go on back to the hotel! I shan't be a minute!" Clara called back reassuringly, running off at a frenzied pace.

Louis stopped in his tracks and rolled his eyes with a quick, frustrated exhale. "Honestly, sometimes I wonder if she's really serious about her job …" He muttered before turning and heading back to the Hotel's location. "I just hope she doesn't get lost …"

Now, right next to the building, blessing her hightened Kryptonian speed, Clara gave a quick sideways glance to both sides of the street to make sure she wasn't being watched, and satisfied that she wasn't, she quickly snatched off her turban wrap and glasses. With a resolute, determined face, she declared just under her breath, "This looks like a job for Superwoman!" Before hurriedly marching into the alley next to the building.

Once inside, Clara tossed her glasses and the wrap to the floor, she unbuttoned her jacket and threw it off, she then undid her hairbun, shaking down her long black hair, she yanked off her tie and ripped open her dress shirt, revealing the large red "S" on the black shield emblem atop her large breasts, she then kicked her shoes off and pulled down her skirt, standing revealed in her true identity in her blue costume stretched over her mighty muscles as the mighty Superwoman! 

Her long red cape fluttering lightly in the breeze, The Woman of Steel took a mighty leap towards the floor where Professor Graham's office was located. Upon reaching the window, she perched there, to see the Professor being manhandled by three goons who's faces looked as if they were jagged chainsaw sculptures. In an instant, one spotted her and adopted a terrified expression that resembled a Edvard Munch painting, as he pointed, getting his friends' attention. Superwoman then took hold of the window and forced it open, jumping inside, she stood with her hands on her hips, an intimidating expression on her face.

"It's da Superwoman! Hurry boys, pop 'er!" One of the terrified thugs exclaimed as they took their pistols out. Two pointed them at Superwoman, while one pointed his at the Professor's temple! "Get back, Superdame, 'less you want the Professer ta grow a new ear!" The gangster exclaimed, a wild look in his eyes, the Professor sweating and shivering.

Superwoman gave a confident grin and puffed her already large chest out, offering it to their puny bullets. Two of the thugs, more than a little worried expressions on their faces, fired away. Sure enough, the lead projectiles flattened upon immediate contact with the Maiden of Might's chest, and fell impotently to the floor!

The head goon, panting nervously now, began to impart to The Woman of Tomorrow, "Okay, look here, broad. The boys an' I are gonna be takin' the Prof. here for a little ride, and you'd better not try ta follow, or else …"

However, Superwoman immediately interrupted the thug with a loud yawn, closing her eyes and raising her hand to her mouth. However, just then, the Woman of Steel became a barely visible blur and in a second's time had rushed over and landed a hard punch to each of their large jaws, knocking them out instantly!

"OH! Oh, thank you so much, Superwoman! You saved …" Professor Graham began to express his gratitude, only to see Superwoman grab the three malcontents by the collars of their shirts, effortlessly lifted them all off the ground with one hand, taking their guns in the other, crushing them together as if they were made of modeling clay, and turned to Graham with a brief smile, before leaping out the window, taking to the air. " … my life" The Professor concluded, staring at the open window.

After quickly depositing the unconcious thugs (and the remains of their guns), at the nearby police station, tying the thugs' ties to the "Police" sign, as per usual, the deformed guns in the waistbands of one of their slacks, before soaring back to the Professor's building. She covertly landed back into the alley, quickly redressed in her civilian clothing and walked into the building, taking the elevator to the Professor's floor.

Once she had walked on the door, she politley knocked.

"W-Who is it?" Professor Graham nervously asked.

"It's Clara Kent, the reporter, Professor Graham." Clara nonchalantly responded, pretending to be oblivious.

"C-Come in …" Prof. Graham said somewhat hesitantly.

Clara opened the door and walked in, only upon seeing the room in disarray (for the second time) her hands went to her cheeks and she exclaimed in her fake surprised voice "MY GOODNESS! What happened here, Professor Graham?!"

"Miss Kent, some uncouth men came in here, and roughed me up. They were looking for the raygun, but I didn't tell them where it was!" Professor Graham explained, before asking, "What brings you back here, Miss Kent?"

"Well, I thought I had left my notepad here, but my goodness, I'm glad you're alright! What made them leave you alone? Did they lose interest?" Clara said, playing dumb.

The Professor only chuckled, before looking up at Clara with a glowing expression and said "Miss Kent, have I got a story for you!"

Professor Jerome Hackett, a wormy looking middle aged man with artificially colored slimy brown hair, thick coke bottle glasses, and a wire thin moustache, stood in a darkened room with a vast, metallic floor, a blinding, white spotlight was focused on him, illuminating him in an unearthly aura.

"SO!" A loud, deep and boastful female voice cut through the darkness like a knife. "Your little plan to get ahold of Professor Graham's machine didn't exactly work out, DID IT?!"

"P-Please, Ma'am, if you'll allow me to speak, I-I didn't count on Superwoman suddenly showing up to rescue him! Who would? She usually operates in Metropolis!" Professor Hackett interjected nervously, his round, pockmarked face perspiring like a freshly washed cantoulope.

"THAT DOESN'T CONCERN ME!!" The mysterious woman, her slim, attractive silhouette coming into view "What does is that I still haven't gotten my hands on that Reducer Ray! But it won't stay that way for long …" The woman said, stepping into the spotlight, revealing herself to be a tall, attractive woman with longish, fancy blonde hair, a healthy, cream colored complexion a well structured face with luscious, full lips painted a ruby red, her eyes partially hidden by a black domino mask, and was dressed in an elegant, large shouldered black dress. " … For soon, I, the terrible Spider Lady will indeed have it in my possession, even if I have to take it personally! Professor Graham is headed to Metropolis University to give a demonstration of his little device, and that shall give us a golden oppotunity! BOYS!" Spider Lady shouted as two large, barrel chested thugs with intimidating faces also came into the area in the spotlight. "We're going to take a little trip, Rollo." She said to one of the goons, before turning to the other and saying, "Galt, keep the dear Professor company …"

As one of the thugs gave a jagged grin and moved towards the cowering Professor, the traiterous scholar let out a nervous gulp.

Clara, back along with Louis at their office, dressed in a green jacket and skirt was leaning over Louis' shoulder, playfully rubbing her cheek against his. "What's the matter, Louis? You're not still angry that I outscooped you with that Superwoman story?" She asked innocently.

"Oh, I'm not mad at you, Clara." Louis replied with a sigh. "I'm mad at myself for not forgetting my notepad so I could catch a quick glimpse of her." He continued, beginning to grin.

"Hey! What am I, chopped liver?" Clara pretended to whine, weakly punching Louis in the arm.

"Relax, Clara, you know what I mean. Anyone would want to catch a glimpse of her." Louis explained.

"Was that before or after they would KISS HER?!" Clara asked, casting a suspicious glare at him.

"SHE kissed ME for the record, Clara, dear." Louis corrected.

"Sure, Louis … Sure …" Clara said with a false pout, barely able to contain the giddiness and cheer inside herself.

Then, Louis leaned forward and once again locked lips with Clara passionately. Clara savored every solitary second, until Louis reluctantly broke away, saying "Believe me now? Well, Clara, we've got to be picking up the Professor at the train station. Shall we, darling?"

"We shall." Clara happily responded, giving Louis a quick peck on the cheek and wrapping her arm around his shoulders, joining him towards the door.

Professor Graham stepped onto the train station's platform, dressed in a grey overcoat with an old battered matching grey fedora, a large black suitcase in his left hand. The air and steam hissing out from under the mammoth train as he set down his briefcase and nervously took his hat in his hands and crushed it with his fingers, looking this way and that.

Suddenly, a bright green sedan came careening around the corner and pulled up right at the platform where the Professor stood and screeched to a stop. The passenger's door opened and Clara stepped out with a friendly smile on her face. "Greetings, Professor! I'm Clara Kent! Remember me?"

"Why yes, Miss Kent! Thank you for offering to pick me up!" The Professor said with a happy grin.

"It was our pleasure, Professor! Now if you will kindly sit into the backseat, I'll join you." Clara said, motioning to the backseat with her hand.

"Very well." The Professor affirmed, before donning his hat, taking his suitcase and entering, with Clara sitting on the seat beside him. They buckled their safety belts as the car sped off again.

The Professor chuckled nervously, and asked Clara "Um, excuse me kindly, Miss Lane, but could you please tell your partner to slow down a little? I wouldn't want him to get a speeding ticket."

Clara simply giggled merrily and replied "Oh, well, Louis is quite fond of his pressure driving, but I don't believe we'll have any trouble."

The Professor gave another timid grin and offered weakly "Still, there might be a risk of an accident, I think he'd better …"

However, at that exact moment, Clara's hand immediately went into her purse and withdrew a revolver! Her beautiful face twisted in an evil snarl, the female repoerter cocked the hammer and pointed it at the Professor's head! "Alright, that's enough complaining from you, you dried up old dope!" She growled.

"Miss Kent! What is the meaning of this?!" The Professor asked in a shocked voice, his eyes bulging out in surprise.

"Silence, you fool!" "Clara" shouted as she snatched the Professor's suitcase from his hands and popped it open, only to catch a glimpse of some unimportant business papers and clothing. "Where's the gun, you damned idiot?!" The imposter demanded, thrusting the gun under his nose.

"It wouldn't fit in there you evil woman! I don't know who you really are, but I refuse to tell you where it is!" The Professor said defiantly, an indignant expression on his face.

"Oh, you will, you worthless bastard … Rest assured, you will …" The evil Clara said coldly with a twisted smile, before pointing the gun at the Professor's neck and firing … Which released a dart right into the side of his neck. The Professor convulsed, then instantly passed out!

"You can tell the agent in the stalled moving van to move along now … The real Clara Kent might be getting suspicious …" The imposter said to her driver.

Rollo, the meaty thug, turned to Clara in the driver's seat and asked "That gonna keep him out long, Spidah Lady?"

The evil Spider Lady then removed her glasses and black wig and shook down her elegant blonde hair, before answering "Just enough to get to the hideout, Rollo. But if he struggles when he comes to … Be brutal …"

Louis' blue Ford pulled up at the platform shortly after The Spider Lady's car departed. Louis and the real Clara looked around for any sign of the Professor.

"Damn moving van … I thought it was going to be stalled there forever!" Louis complained, before observing "I don't know Clara … I can't see the ol' Prof. anywhere … It's 1:30, isn't it?"  

"Yes. That must be his train, Louis. Where could he be?" Clara asked, indicating to the large, hissing beast near them.

"I'm going to find out, my dear!" Louis stated, exiting the car and walking over to the ticket booth.

"Wait for me!" Clara called after him, following.

Louis walked up to the booth and rapped his knuckles against the glass window. 

"Yes … May I help you?" The elderly attendant said nonchalantly, raising his eyes to Louis from the crossword puzzle he was working on.

"Yes, is that engine behind me the 252?" Louis asked, pointing behind him.

"Yes …" The old timer replied, as disinterested as ever.

"Well, I need to know, did an older gentleman with wild grey hair and big thick glasses step off of it?" Louis asked.

"Hmm …" The old man thought for a second, before snapping his fingers and exclaiming "Yeah! Yeah, as a matter of fact, someone who looked just like the woman behind you picked him up in a green car!" 

"It couldn't have been me, sir! We just got here." Clara stated curiously.

"Well, it sure looked like you, same hairstyle, glasses and everything." The old man said.

"Thank you, Sir …" Louis replied, before turning back to Clara and saying under his breath "Something smells really fishy, Clara! I think the Professor's in trouble!"

"I think you're right, Louis!" Clara responded nervously, before furrowing her brows and thinking to herself [And Superwoman may have to come to the rescue!]

A quick burst of electricity zapped through Professor Graham's body and jolted him awake painfully! He groggily came to, only to see the figures of Spider Lady, her two mammoth thugs, and Professor Hackett standing before him in a large, metal coated room, filled with scientific equipment.

"Huh? Wha … What is going on here?!" He asked indignantly, attempting to move forward, only to feel restrained! His senses slowly returning to him, he looked to his sides to see that he had been strapped to a large, metal spider web! To it's far left was a large, beeping electronic box, from which lights blinked along with the rythm of the beeps.

"Don't make any more sudden moves, Professor, unless you want to recieve another burst of electricity into your body!" Spider Woman said in a loud and threatening voice.

"W … Who on Earth are you?!" Professor Graham shouted back.

"I, Professor Graham, am the undisputed queen of the underworld! The gorgeous and deadly Spider Lady!" The masked villainess said with dramatic aplomb, raising her arms into the air, her voice echoing off the metallic walls of the fortress.

"What … What on Earth do you want from me?! Jerome! What are you doing with these terrible people?!" The Professor shouted, his voice gaining potency again.

"Rollo!" Spider Lady exclaimed. The goon obediantly walked over to the electronic box and pressed a button, sending another strong electric surge along the spider web and through his body, prompting him to scream in agony. 

"Now, Professor, enough with the formalities." Spider Lady began in an even tone, before raising her voice to a shout "WHERE IS THAT REDUCER RAY GUN?!"

"W … What?" The Professor asked weakly, his ears still ringing.

"DA RAY GUN, STUPID! WHERE IS IT?!" Galt, the other thick jawed thug yelled.

"You … You cretins want the Reducer Ray? NEVER! I'll never sign away such destructive power to the likes of …" The Professor began to protest.

"ROLLO!" Spider Woman fiercly shouted again. The mass of thug pressed the button down, and the wailing of the poor Professor as the electrical current stabbed him repeatedly, froth and saliva began to run from his mouth! "Hold it down a little more, Rollo … I want him to feel my WRATH!" Spider Lady concluded with a shout.

The mobster complied. with a twisted, yellow grin that would make a dentist retch. He held down the button with such force that it seemed that the flashing button would blink "Uncle!" in morse at any moment.

The Professor continued to give his tormentors a show, flailing violently like a twisted rod puppet upon the web of pain.

"Alright, shut it off …" The wicked female said almost reluctantly. As her hired hand did as he was told, The Spider Lady watched with a smirk as Graham continued to twitch as the remainder of the electricity left his bony frame. Spider Lady then waltzed up to the slumped Professor and grabbed him by his hair, yanking his head upward, and said in a sinisterly soothing tone "Now, if you don't tell us where your little ray gun is … We'll just have to have your precious little wife brought in for a little electro-therapy!"

"N … NO! N … Not Elenor!" The Professor weakly groaned.

"Well …?" The Spider Lady asked, her arms crossed across her large bosoms.

The Professor began to audibly weep briefly, before explaining in between gasps of breath "U … University … It was sent se … seperately to the university by a seperate train in … in a steel box with a number lock on it …" 

"Thank you, my dear Professor, I knew you could be cooperative!" Spider Lady said in a friendly tone, before turning sinister again "Now, the train number and combination if you please …"

"Yes, you wanted to see us, Mr. White?" Clara asked as she and Louis walked into Perry's office.

"Certainly, Kent! I'll have you know that Professor Graham never arrived at the University as you suspected, and the cops are certain it's a kidnapping." Perry explained, chewing on the stump of a lit stogie. 

"I knew it! Those dirty rats!" Louis exclaimed, clenching his fists.

"Now as much as I'd hate to break you two lovebirds apart, remember that as long as you're working here, you're journalists first, romantics second." Perry said, taking the cigar out of his mouth and pointing it at each of them individually. "Lane, I want you to head over to the University to prep for the arrival of that ray gun, and Kent, I want you to head back to the railroad station and interview the Station Master about the precautions being taken to protect the train."

"Oh, alright, Chief …" Clara said with false resignation.

"See you around, Clara! Keep those lips warm for me!" Louis said with a devilish grin, blowing his lady love a kiss. Clara blushed and smiled warmly in return.

"Great Ceasar's Ghost! Will you two get a move on?!" Perry shouted, his face turning red.

"And tell me, Mister Fassbinder, are you taking any particular precautions to prevent any railroad sabotage considering the unique weapon the engine is hauling?" Clara asked the portly Station Master in his wood paneled office, her notepad ready to take down his response.

Warren Fassbinder, his stomach as large as a cooking pot, bulging under his white dress shirt, a head of black, thinning hair and a sour expression on his cherubic face which was anything but angelic. "Trust me, Miss Kent, we are taking every possible precaution to ensure that the Reducer Ray will be protected. We have several Officers and National Guardsmen posted along the route just in case!" He said in a deepened voice with a slight lisp. "Now if you don't mind, Ma'am, I need to get back to work!" He concluded testily.

"Uh … I see. Well thank you for your time, Sir! I'll just see myself out." Clara said nervously with a timid smile, tiptoeing out the door.

Fassbinder then let out a scoffing noise, leaning back in the chair behind his desk. Reaching into a drawer, he retrieved a flask of liquor and held it to his lips, saying to himself "Pft! I have all the money I need. Who needs precautions?"

Clara, a cross expression on her face marched out of the office, thinking [The NERVE of that man! I don't think he's telling the truth! Better use my Super Hearing and vision just in case … ] Upon applying her powers mile by mile down the tracks, halfway down, she saw a single parked Police Car by the tracks. The occupant, a middle aged cop was inside, snoring loudly … [Hmph! Some army!] Clara sniffed angrily. Just then, just a few ways down she spotted two bulky shady characters were kneelling a large distance down the hill from the tracks, one had his hand on an explosives plunger, and on the tracks were two neat piles of dynamite! "GOOD GRIEF!" Clara exclaimed out loud, which drew a few suspicious looks.

"That's right, Red, she should be around the corner any time …" One thug began to say to the other, when suddenly, the distant sound of a train whistle blew!

"Here it comes!" The other goon shouted, pointing. Sure enough, a large locomotive came barreling in from the horizon, chugging along at a rapid pace, heading straight for the dynamite!

"This IS a job for Superwoman!" Clara whispered discreetly to herself and already began to unbutton her jacket, furrowing her brows and looking sideways for a private place to change. Spotting a large nearby tree outside the station out of view, Clara made sure that no one was watching, she took an atheletic stance and zipped off at super speed, becoming a near invisible blur! This caused a large gust of wind to blow across the people on the platform! 

"Whoa! What in tarnation was that?!" An old time southerner, decked out in cowboy regalia asked loudly, falling flat on his behind.

"Goodness Gracious!" An embarrassed young woman exclaimed with a blush, trying to keep down her skirt that had blown up. A few aroused young men managed to get a few peeps and wolf whistles in.

Zipping behind the tree in a flash, Clara undid her hairbun and removed her glasses, tossed off her jacket and unbuttoned her dress shirt, yanked off her tie, kicked off her shoes and pulled off her shirt and skirt in one swift motion, revealing herself as the mighty Superwoman. The Woman of Steel then took a mighty leap into the air, immediately hitting high speeds, thinking frantically to herself, [Got to hurry!]

Superwoman managed to reach the area the goons were operating from in a matter of seconds. However, it was too late for the bald thug gave the order "NOW!" to which the one with the faded red hair pressed down the plunger, and the railway exploded into a large ball of orange flame!, leaving a modest smoking hole for the train to collapse into.

"NO!" Superwoman exclaimed. As the thugs watched with joyful abandon from the sidelines, The Maiden of Might noticed that the train was just about to head for the hole, it's horn blaring and it's brakes screeching in vain. Superwoman knew that she would be in perfect control, so she swooped down in a dive to the damaged part of the tracks, upon landing, she bent the remainder of the tracks back into place as far as they would go, then she quickly laid down upon the whole, arms and legs extended, and remained perfectly still as the train's wheels ran over her back, without her feeling a thing!

"Look! Da Superwoman! Let's split!" The redheaded gangster exclaimed fearfully. Their faces pale, the mobsters did just that with great haste!

After the train had rolled away, the drivers cheering and whistling for their heroine, superwoman rose from the hole and flew into the air, looking quickly for any makeshift replacement tracks. Just her luck, she managed to find a scap metal pile in the woods distantly off to the side, quickly flying over, Superwoman managed to find two long pieces of metal and a large rock to keep the train steady. Zipping back over to the hole, Superwoman tore off chunks of the solid rock with her bare hands as if it were fabric to make it fit, then placed the rock into the hole, filling it, she then measured the pieces of metal, just in time to hear the whistle of another train! Looking up, Superwoman could see the mammoth steel beast coming around the corner, Superwoman ripped the extra length of the metal peices off as if they were made of putty and tossed them aside, taking the metal, she flattened them onto the tracks and used her laser vision to fuse it to the other parts of the tracks. Then, just as the train was headed straight for Superwoman, The Woman of Steel leaped upward into the sky with her fingers crossed, hissing through her teeth nervously as she looked down at the train, only to see it successfully cross the tracks without incident! "*Whew* That was a close one! And now to attend to those two gangsters!" Superwoman said at first with relief, then determination, before flying off in search of their car. 

Once again adjusting her super hearing, The Woman of Steel tracked the sound of two unseemly voices just ahead on a forest road.

"Oh, boy, Red … Did you see how Supahwoman saved da train we was supposed ta wreck? We're in it deep, pally boy!" One gangster said.

"Yeah, do youse think we should head back to Dog's Eye, or phone da Boss from da safe house an' get bawled out dere?" Red replied

[Dog's Eye? Is that their base?] Superwoman thought to herself.

"Safe House is pro'lly da safer bet". The head thug answered.

[Hmm. Better stick close to these guys at a distance and wait for them to contact their boss.] Superwoman decided.

The safehouse was a ramshackled shed on the edge of town, surrounded by tall grass, with no visible driveway. Superwoman stayed gigh in the air, cautiously out of sight, yet had the villians completely in hers as they pulled in and entered the house. Switching to X-Ray vision, The Woman of Steel observed the bald gangster walking over to the telephone, and stirring the rotary dial. She made note of the number, as she adjusted her hearing and heard a click followed by a cold woman's voice.

"Report." It briskly said.

"Yeah … Um … Uh … Boss … I dunno how ta tell ya dis, but da train didn't derail …" The thug fearfully stammered.

"WHAT?! Explain yourself!" Spider Lady's voice demanded.

"It … It weren't our fault, Boss! Supahwoman done repaired da tracks just as da train was crossin' after we blasted!" The hired goon pleaded his case.

"THAT'S NO EXCUSE YOU WORTHLESS HUNKS OF SLIME!! I GAVE YOU CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS …" Spider Lady began to shriek and for Superwoman, it was more than enough! She dove down in through the flimsy tin roof with a great crash that nearly caved in the covering! Dust and debris rained down as The Maiden of Might stood there in her power pose, arms akimbo, a contemptuous glare on her face!

"It's Supahwoman, Sammy! Gun 'er down, quick!" Red screamed in horror. But just as the men went for their Tommy Guns, Superwoman was on them in a rush! Snatching the weapons from the men, she wrapped them around the thugs expertly as if the metal machine guns were made of rubber. Even taking time to tie it with a neat, feminine bow! Then, with a mighty puch, she sent the thugs to the floor in a daze.

Snatching up the reciever, Superwoman shouted into it authoritively "Alright, who is this?!"

Back at her lair, Spider Lady grumbled to herself "Incompetent boobs … Oh well … Might as well kill three birds with one stone …" Before walking over to a console and placed her finger on a button, and with a great snarl, growled "PERISH YOU DAMNED INTERLOPER!!" and pressed down with great prejudice!

[BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!] The dynamite pile planted under the floorboards of the safehouse ignited, blowing the whole joint sky high! 

As the beams of smouldering wooden planks clattered to the ground and the smoke cleared, Superwoman stood in the blackened crater, unscathed and unaffected, holding the remainder of the receiver as if she were a caller, pondering why she had been cut off. As she brushed some dust out of her hair, she noticed the unmistakable scent of burning flesh, the flesh of those two heartless thugs who had been so loyal to this villainess, who were suddenly seen as expendable … Oh, yes … True honor among theives …  

Superwoman casually tossed the melted phone away into the ash heap, before sighing deeply and leaping into the sky, soaring back towards Metropolis with the evidence firmly in her head. [So … The ringleader is a woman, eh? And a ruthless one at that! Now I have a leg up on her … Now to investigate this Dog's Eye business … ] The Maiden of Might thought firmly to herself. 

It wouldn't take a psychologist to determine that Spider Lady was far from pleased, it wouldn't even take Mortimer Snerd for that matter! Her face was beet red, her teeth grinding against one another, her hands balled into fists, squeezing tightly. Turning to the sniveling Professor Hackett, she steamed "Well, Hackett, it was YOU who decided to betray your former mentor for money! Now with the ray gun safely at the University under heavy lock and key, which they probably won't unlock until Professor Graham arrives, WHAT DO YOU PROPOSE WE DO NOW?!"

Hackett squirmed nervously, twiddling his thumbs. After several seconds of clearing his throat, he meekly offered in a very hushed voice "Um … Um … Perhaps we can get the Professor to … to make another gun …" Before quickly blocking his face, waiting for Spider Lady's stinging blows.

However, to Hackett's surprise, they never came … Instead, the villainess merely placed her thumb and forefinger on her chin, contemplating deeply. "Hmmm … Yes … Yes, that sounds like a fabulous idea! Now, let's see how cooperative our … "guest" is …" She said. Then, without even thanking Hackett for the idea, she walked of towards another part of the compound.

"What?! Absolutely not!! I would never rebuild my reducer ray for the likes of you! I refuse! You'll have to kill me first!" Professor Graham, his arms chained to the wall in a darkened dungeon enviornment, objected profusely.

Spider Lady, a devilish smirk on her lips, then politely replied "Oh, very well, Professor. Your will is stronger than mine." She then turned to the gangster on her left and said in the cheerful voice of a saleslady "Rollo, dear, would you please visit the Professor's house and pick up his wife? Maybe that will make him more persuasive!"

"NO! NO! Don't you dare lay a hand on my wife!" Professor Graham screamed in terror.

"Alright then, either you write down the specific components for the ray and agree to build it, or we subject your wife to the spider web!" Spider Lady said in a less friendly voice.

"All right … All right, I'll do it." The Professor said resignedly, his head hung with shame.

"Good. And it better be accurate, or we'll take your wife, regardless!" Spider Lady barked, before ordering "Galt, Rollo, unchain him!"

As the gangsters did as they were told and pulled the Professor's tired body up roughly, he prayed quietly to himself "Lord, please forgive me …"

The familiar, yet seperated metal pieces of Professor Graham's raygun were taken out of the cooling tank and laid in front of the disheveled inventor, sandwiched in between Rollo and Galt.

"Well, Professor, you're pretty lucky that we have such a technilogical wonderland at our disposal that we were able to provide you with most of the materials for your Reducer Ray." The Spider Lady said with a wicked smile.

Professor Graham, his head hung sadly, said nothing.

"Except of course … This Mono-Chromite material. What on Earth is that?!" Spider Lady demanded indignantly.

"It's a rare chemical compound that conducts the energy needed to activate the energy …" The Professor weakly said

"Where can it be found?! Tell me, you fool!" Spider Lady ordered.

"At … At the chemical factory … In … a special room …" Professor Graham quietly said, tears in his eyes.

"Thank you for your cooperation, Professor!" Spider Lady said in a sugary sweet voice, before saying to her goons "Since that abominable Superwoman took out most of my lieutenants, you two will have to go retrieve it! Hackett and I will watch the Professor."

"Okay, Boss." Rollo said, before he and Galt walked off.

"Now Professor, why don't you get started on that little raygun of yours …" Spider Lady said in a quiet, sinister voice, as she aimed her revolver squarely at the Professor's head.

Louis, an angry expression on his face, his camera in his hands stomped out of Metropolis University toward his car. "Damn Guards, keeping that ray gun under wraps, not allowing reporters to see it!" He muttered under his breath. Once inside his car, he sped off without even buckling his seatbelt. "I've never been so insulted in all my …" He started to grumble, just as he passed the chemical plant, he heard the deafening roar of automatic gunfire! "What the blazes?!" He exclaimed, screeching on the brakes.

Inside the building, bodies of workers and guards alike lay bleeding and dying as Rollo practically tore each room apart, pushing over desks, as he frantically searched. Galt, holding his Tommy gun tightly, kept a close lookout as Rollo flung a door open, to discover a closet filled with  large mineral rocks in jars. His eyes widening, he searched the labels frantically, untill he came upon a blue-greyish rock with the label [Mono Chromite] Followed by scientific gibberish. 

"JACKPOT!!" The goon exclaimed, yanking the jar from the closet, ripping off the top and yanking out the rock, tossing the jar to the floor, which shattered into fragments. "GALT! GALT! I got it! Let's split!" He shouted, rushing out of the room. Without responding, Galt followed his buddy out the building and into the steet.

Spotting the machine guns, the people screamed and dove for cover … Except Louis! " Wow! What a scoop this could be!" Louis exclaimed. Leaping from the car with his camera, he took aim at the men as they raced for their vehicle, and snapped their picture, the flash caused the thugs to spin around!

"Whut wuz dat?!" Rollo exclaimed in surprise.

"Look! Dat guy! Da reporter!" Galt shouted, pointing his machine gun square at Louis! "Hands up! Drop the camera and walk ovah here!" He ordered.

With great fright, his pulse racing like the motor of a race car, Louis did as he was told, gritting his teeth, he thought to himself [Where are you, Superwoman?]

"We'd better take 'im alive, Galt, Boss might wanna talk to him." Rollo said to his friend.

"Aww, I wanna have some more fun!" Galt whined.

"Who says we can't?" Rollo said with a sinister grin, snatching Louis by the collar.

Clara sat at her desk, typing away at her train story, when her thoughts drifted to Louis as she looked over at his empty desk. It had been about five hours since he left and he never was gone that long for a domestic assignment, they were always short and sweet. Her thoughts were broken by the buzz of the intercom on the desk. Clara pulled down her lever. "Yes?" She asked.

"Lane in yet?" Tess, Perry's secretary asked as if she could care less.

"N … No … He hasn't …" Clara said nervously.

"Well, White says he's going to dock his pay if he doesn't show up." Tess said.

"Uh … Tess?" Clara asked.

"What?" Tess replied with a sigh as if she didn't want to be kept long.

"What exactly is The Dog's Eye?" Clara asked.

"Last time I checked, it was a cave deep in the Adirondack mountains. It hasn't been disturbed or visited in several years because some explorers died there. Now if you don't mind, I have to go." Tess explained, before rudely signing off.

Clara's expression became resolute, her brows furrowed as she rose from her desk, saying boldly "That's all I needed to know! There's a possibility that's where Louis is! It's where the gangsters boss is for sure! This looks like a job for Superwoman!" Before marching out of the office, removing her jacket and entering the supply closet. Seconds later, the mighty Superwoman, in her colorful costume emerged, looked side to side cautiously to make sure that no one was looking, waltzed over to the window, opened it and took a mighty leap into the sky! 

Soaring along the Metropolis skyline at top speed, her red cape fluttering behind her, Superwoman tuned her super hearing, filtering out sound after sound, as she headed upstate, thinking concernedly to herself "I hope I'm right! Louis, darling, please be alright! I'm on my way!"

"Wake up, Mr. Lane …" A soothing woman's voice echoed through Louis' groggy ears, he tried to open his eyes, but only managed to get one open and figured that he had a swollen eye from the roughing up he received. The masked Spider Lady came into his line of sight.

"W … Who are Y … You?! Where am I?!" Louis said, beginning to come around, he began to struggle, but it soon occured to him that his arms and legs had been chained to the wall!

"Calm yourself, Mr. Lane! There's nothing that you can do. To answer your first question, I am The Spider Lady, Queen of the Underworld and where you are is not important, other than that it's my secret hidden base from which I operate." She explained.

It was then that Louis noticed a familiar figure sitting on the opposite side of the large, metallic room! "Professor Graham! So YOU'RE the ones who kidnapped him!" He shouted indignantly.

"Oh, I see you've met! Well, then, I'm sure you'll remember THIS!!" Spider Lady exclaimed, and Rollo produced the newly built ray gun from behind his back!

"THE REDUCER RAY!! How … How did you get that?!" Louis asked bewilderdly.

"Oh, this isn't the original, Mr. Lane. The Professor was kind enough to build us another one … with a little persuasion, of course! And now that we know how to make one, we'll be able to make more and more … and more … until we have enough to CONQUOR THE WORLD!!" She concluded with a maniacal shout.

"Y … You're mad! Mad!" Louis shouted objectively.

"Oh no, Mr Lane, I'm quite sane. Sane enough to invent complex machines and develop genetic mutation syrums, like … This for example." Spider Lady explained, before walking over to a set of hypodermic needles on a marble countertop, she picked up one with murky green liquid and snapped her fingers "And I'm also sane enough to know when someone is no longer useful to me!"

Galt came into the room, dragging a kicking and screaming Professor Hackett, whom he roughly gripped and shifted upwards. "NO! NO, PLEASE! I'LL … I'LL DO ANYTHING! ANYTHING!!" Hackett squealed.

With an ice cold stare, Spider Lady briskly rolled up Hackett's sleeve and jabbed the needle into his meaty, perspiring arm, injecting the mysterious liquid into his bloodstream!

Hackett began to twitch and convulse, foaming at the mouth, his palor becoming paler and paler. Galt let go of him, allowing him yo drop to the floor. Then, in a quick, fantastic sequence, Hackett's skin became a snow white and clammy. Soon enough, the once human Professor Hackett was transformed into a giant drooling maggot dressed in a cheap searsucker suit!

"GREAT SCOTT!!" Louis shouted in disbelief.

"MY WORD!" Professor Graham concurred.

Her eyes flaring, Spider Lady then grabbed the Reducer Ray from Rollo and aimed it at the disgusting maggot that was formerly Professor Hackett, before firing! In a brief instant, it had completely disappeared! "Fare thee well, Hackett! Treated like the little maggot you were!" She growled.

Superwoman was still scanning the airwaves over the Adirondacks with her Super hearing, looking this way and that concernedly, she suddenly heard the sound of a woman saying arrogantly "And now, Mr. Lane and my dear Professor Graham, I don't seem to have much use for you two either, so the question is … Who's first?!"

"LOUIS!!" Superwoman exclaimed loudly, her pupils widened as she singled out a particularly large mountain with a small cave hole in the middle of it in the shape of a dog's eye! "BINGO!!" Superwoman shouted, careening down boots first Superwoman aimed her amazing body straight for the top of the cave! 

[SMAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSHHHHH!] With a mighty crash that sounded like the good Lord stomping his foot down, The Woman of Steel blasted like a truck full of TNT right through the rock and metal interior of Spider Lady's hideout! 

"WHAT IN THE NAME OF … ?!" Spider Lady shrieked in surprise as Superwoman stood confidently in front of her, brushing dust off her costume, before placing her fists on her hips, standing in an intimidating fashion, her cape flapping behind her! "Not so fast, you malcontents!" Superwoman shouted heroically.

"MY HERO!" Louis exclaimed with tears of joy!

Superwoman looked over at Louis, and though distressed about his black eye, gave him a reassuring smile, before turning back to the villainess and her henchmen, saying "So, you ingrates think you can go around kidnapping innocent people to further your evil gains?!" She then applied her X-ray vision, seeing clearly behind Spider Lady's mask! "Well, well! If it isn't Roxanne DuBois, the famous Metroplis socialite! You can't hide from my X-Ray vision! The black freckle under your right eye gives you away!"

With a seething hatred, The Spider Lady ripped the mask from her face and tossed it to the ground, before aiming and firing the reducer ray straight at Superwoman's ample chest! But to her shock, there was no effect on the mighty superheroine whatsoever! "Sorry, Miss DuBois, but I have an extemely powerful molecular structure that that ray can't penetrate! But thanks for trying, I needed a good laugh!" Superwoman taunted.

Spider Lady gritted her teeth "ROLLO! GALT!! KILL HER!" she shouted, heading for her array of syringes as the thugs charged The Woman of Tomorrow!

"Look out, Superwoman!" Professor Graham shouted.

The thugs whipped a pair of knives from their pockets and jabbed them at either side of Superwoman's neck, only to have the blades snap clean off! As the thugs gazed at their useless weapons in bewilderment, The Maiden of Might snatched the men by their collars, and with a friendly smile asked "Shall we dance?" with a "fancy" accent. She then lifted the two heavy men effortlessly off the ground, and clashed their heads together, before throwing them to the floor! As the dizzy goons attempted to unsteadily get back on their feet, Superwoman landed a devastating right cross to their jaws, knocking them out for the count!

Suddenly there came the sound of Spider Lady's voice shouting arrogantly "HA! You think you've won, Superwoman?! The party's just getting started!"

Superwoman looked to her right just in time to see Spider Lady, with a wild look in her eyes, stick a hypodermic needle full of black liquid into her arm! She then shrieked in pain and sank to the floor! As her scream continued, it deepened in registers, thick, coarse hairs emitted fom her face and hands in a twisted, hideous sequence! Thick, fierce mandables emerged from her mouth, and her arms grew into thin, but strong lanky arachnid appendages, followed by six more that sprouted from her midsection, tearing her dress asunder! Her bright blue eyes devided into multiple red dots! Strangely, her lovely head of blonde hair remained undisturbed.

"GOOD GRIEF!" Superwoman exclaimed in disgust!

"NOW, I TRULY AM A SPIDER LADY!" The mutant woman growled with a deep, gutteral tone, before screeching "PERISH, INTERLOPER!" Before bending over and firing a stream of web from her spinnerette which wrapped around Superwoman's body, pinning her arms to her sides, however, The Maiden of Might didn't look the least bit worried as the giant spider crawled over and wrapped her multiple limbs around her, squeezing profusely, while trying in vain to sink her poison fangs into the Woman of Steel's throat. Then, with the slightest of ease, Superwoman pulled her arms from her sides, ripping the webbing apart. She then took hold of two of her top two arms and began to unlock them from around her body, she did notice that a great bit of resistance. "My, but you're strong, Spider Lady! But … NOT STRONG ENOUGH!" Superwoman shouted, before tearing the arms straight from Spider Lady's body! The mutant screamed with a wretched racket as blood sprayed from the sockets. The mutant then completely let go and writhed on the floor. 

"YOU THINK YOU'VE WON?! YOU HAVEN'T …" Spider Lady began, only to recieve a rapid volley of blows from Superwoman's mighty fists! Just then, The Spider Lady began to glow with an unearthly light, and with a peircing screech, vanished into thin air, and to Superwoman's surprise, there stood Professor Graham, breathing heavily, holding the Reducer Ray in his hands! "Professor Graham!" Superwoman exclaimed.

"My apologies, Superwoman, but it had to be done. I hope you'll understand …" He said with a spirtual turmoil in his voice. 

"Yes, Professor … I suppose I do …" Superwoman said, her eyes low to the ground.

"Speaking of things needing to be done …" The Professor continued, before handing the ray gun to Superwoman. "Would you, please?"

Superwoman simply smiled warmly "With pleasure." She said calmly, before taking the weapon in her hands, and crushing it flat as if it were tin foil, a puff of smoke emitting from it, before tossing it aside. She then walked over to a beaming Louis, and tore the chains off his arms and legs like they were paper!

"Oh, Superwoman, you're fantastic!" Louis said with great joy, before kissing her passionately on the mouth.

"U … Th … Thank you, Louis!" Superwoman said with a nervous giggle, trying to conceal her blush and patting him softly on the back, before composing herself and saying in a heroic tone "Now, let's get back to civilization!" Before walking over to the unconcious goons and grabbing them by the collars of their shirts and dragging them over to Graham and Louis, before wrapping the crooks of her arms around them, before taking a running leap out of the massive hole in the ceiling and flying into the blue sky!

"Superwoman, would you mind dropping me off at the University? I've got some unfinished business with the remaining Reducer Ray!" Professor Graham asked.

The Woman of Steel looked over to him and smiled with a firm nod.

The headlines in The Daily Planet the next day read "SUPERWOMAN FOILS MADWOMAN'S SCHEME" the sub-lines read "FAMED PROFESSOR DESTROYS OWN INVENTION" and "SUPERWOMAN VANISHES YET AGAIN", the byline read "Story by Louis Lane".

In his office at the Daily Planet, Louis, sporting a black eye, leaned back in his chair, reading the front page of the paper. Clara walked over to him and planted a kiss on his forehead. "Feeling better now that you have your scoop, darling?" She asked lovingly.

"Yeah, I just wish I could read it with both eyes." He grumbled good naturedly.

"Oh, Louis, you'll heal really quickly if I know you!" Clara teased him, giving him a weak punch in the arm.

"Careful, I bruise easily." Louis said.

"Say, whatever happened to Professor Graham?" Clara asked.

"Oh, you didn't hear? After he destroyed that laser gun of his, he announced his retirement and moved to an unknown location with his wife where he would never be exploited for profit or war again." Louis explained.

"Well, I think he did the right thing. I don't think anyone in this world should have that kind of dangerous power in their possession. Wherever he is, I hope he's happy …" Clara reflected solemly.

"Yeah, I suppose. But I'd rather like to know where Superwoman flies off to after she saves the day. "Louis said.

"Oh, I don't know, Louis. She might be closer than you think!" Clara replied playfully. She then turns to us, smiles heroically, pulls down her glasses, and gives us a knowing wink!



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