The Notes of Somnus
Written by drmuttoncops2 :: [Monday, 10 March 2014 03:58] Last updated by :: [Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:17]
"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!
Clara Kent, the smartly dressed girl reporter, and the secret superpowered protector of Metropolis, stepped ever so casually out of the Daily Planet's elevator onto the floor of the office where she worked with her boyfriend and fellow reporter Louis Lane. As she trotted to the door of their office, her heart rate beat faster and faster as she anticipated seeing the man she loved. As she wrapped her hand around the doorknob, however, the door swung open, almost knocking her off balance! Louis, dressed in his standard blue suit, began to walk out the door, only to notice Clara.
"Oh, Clara, darling! Sorry, I didn't see you there! Hope I didn't hurt you!" He said apologetically.
Clara blushed deeply and replied in a nervous voice "Oh, H-Hello, Louis! N-No, you didn't, but you s-surprised me a little!"
"Oh, well then, let me make it up to you …" Louis said in a deep, romantic voice, as he then leant forward and kissed Clara slowly and passionately on her luscious, full lips. Clara then embraced, Louis, being mindful of her superstrength, and returned her affection before breaking away, smiling and looking up lovingly at him.
"Well, Clara, its a good thing you showed up when you did. The Chief wants to see us." Louis informed her.
"Very well. Lead the way, Mr. Lane!" Clara said with a giggle.
The jovial couple then walked to the open elevator in an eager mood … Unaware of the harrowing adventure that they would soon face!
Clara and Louis walked casually into Perry White's stuffy, smoke filled office, ready to take on whatever exciting assignment he had ready for them!
"Alright, Chief, you called, we're ready! What do you have in mind for us this time? Political Scandals? Alien Invasion? Monster attack?!" Louis rattled off in an eager, excited voice.
"Whoa, hold your horses, Lane! Don't get too excited. Its a slow news day, so I'm assigning you both to minor beats …" Perry inturrupted looking dead ahead at the both of them, chewing on the cigar in his mouth, which expelled its usual foul smelling smoke.
"Minor beats, you say …?" Louis asked nervously with some reservation.
"That's right, you heard me." Perry said, making himself clear. "Lane, I want you to cover that newfangled famous concert pianist at his show at the Metropolis concert hall."
"Randolph Krazinski? The old gentleman who suddenly appeared outta nowhere?" Louis asked.
"That's the one." Perry replied.
"But why me, Chief? I mean, I've got a bunch of the best awards for covering all the great Superwoman scoops! Why would you assign me to review a concert that only snooty old folks like to attend?" Louis protested.
"First off, because the Planet's music editor is as sick as a dog right now, and second, BECAUSE I SAID SO!!" Perry explained, concluding with an angry shout and his fist slamming hard upon his cluttered desk.
"Whatever you say, Chief …" Louis half grumbled under his breath with a cross expression.
"Kent, there's a kindly old lady who's made a living selling custom made … Whattya call 'em … Those wool things that women put over tea pots …" Perry began to describe Clara's assignment, before fumbling for words.
"Tea cozies, sir?" Clara offered.
"That's them! Yeah, she's selling these tea cozies that she's knitted herself, and it may have something that'll appeal to the women. Now, do I need to explain to you why you're going to take this assignment?" Perry described, before leaning forward and cocking his eyebrows.
"No, sir …" Clara said in a deflated voice.
"Unbelievable! UN-BELIEVABLE!!" Louis shouted indignantly as he and Clara again walked towards the elevators. "He honestly treats the man who is responsible for keeping this newspaper standing, LIKE THIS?! I oughtta give him a piece of my mind one of these days!"
Clara rolled her eyes as she thought [Just remember who's responsible for GIVING you those stories, Louis …] Before saying aloud in a nonchalant voice "Oh, don't fret so much, Louis! At least your life isn't on the line this time!"
Louis let out a puff of exasperated breath, before saying "Yeah, but the way things are looking, I won't be able to catch sight of Superwoman for a while …"
"Oh, you never know, Louis … She's quite known for showing up unexpectedly!" Clara said with a confident smirk that went over Louis' head.
The concert hall's lobby was certainly full of pomp. Large posterboards with an illustration of an elegant looking man in a tuxedo. He was an elderly man with a balding head, a large tuft of grey hair bunched up behind his head, a bushy grey moustache on his face. He was seated at a piano with a deep look of concentration on his face. Large, bold words next to him read "THIS WEEK ONLY – FAMED PIANIST RANDOLPH KRAZINSKY". Sparkling crystal chandeliers hung from ceiling, their twinkling lights illuminating the golden painted walls and blood red carpet.
Inside the darkened hall, Louis, fancily dressed in a tux himself, sat amongst the audience with a disinterested expression on his face as Krazinsky performed a deeply heartfelt and moving rendition of the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. With each key he pressed down, Krazinsky laid out the heartfelt emotion of the peice with stunning ease. To a classical music lover, this performance would've moved one to tears, and was doing so for many in the audience. However, Louis couldn't have cared less.
[Boy oh boy, is this brutal …] He thought to himself, incensed. [I can't believe my journalistic talents are being wasted on tedious tripe like this! I wonder if Clara is having as much "fun" with her little tea cozy project …]
Across town, there was quite a difference in scenery, as Clara found her posterior planted firmly in an easy chair in the small, modestly furnished living room of Polly Davenport, a somewhat plump middle aged woman with red curly hair in a bright blue dress that didn't quite fit so well. It also didn't help that she was more chipper and happy than a person should naturally be.
Clara smiled as politely as possible as Mrs. Davenport held up another teapot with a tea cozy shaped like a rooster wrapped around it.
"Now this one is obviously a rooster. Isn't it adorable?! It took me about two weeks to knit it. This one was one of husband Morris' favorites. Of course that was before he passed away …" Mrs. Davenport said jovially, before her voice trailed off sadly.
Clara felt that this was her signal to comfort her. She put down her pencil and notepad and, with a nervous expression, reached over to pat the woman on the shoulder. "Um … I'm …I'm very sorry to hear that …"
BING! Just like that, the sadness was gone, and the obnoxiously sugary Mrs. Davenport was back. "Oh, think nothing of it dear! I knitted this one after he passed. Its a sweet little angel on a cloud. Speaking of relationships, dear, do you have a special someone in your life?" She began to intrude.
[Good Grief … What a waste of an assignment …] Clara thought in an irked fashion. [This woman can really talk a mile a minute about tea pot decorations … I hope Louis is having a grand old time with his little immersion into the arts …]
Early that evening, Clara, a blase frown on her face, walked into her office to begin writing her story on the typewriter, and saw Louis parked at his own writing station with a similar expression. Their eyes met and they both adopted a knowing smirk and asked in unison "Have fun?" The two then burst out into a chuckle.
"In your dreams …" Louis remarked wearily.
"Same story here …" Clara concurred. But just as she was about to sit, the intercom buzzed its usual, tinny signal.
Louis pressed the lever down. "Yep?" He asked indifferently.
"Chief wants you …" Tess, Perry's secretary briefly muttered, before signing off.
"She on suicide watch yet?" Louis remarked.
"Honestly, Louis …" Clara said, rolling her eyes.
"Whelp, lets be on our way, dear." Louis said as he stood up.
"Wait, Louis, she didn't say whom he wanted." Clara objected.
"Then lets be sure!" Louis said happily, making a "come on" motion, as he headed for the door.
Clara sighed, rose and followed.
As soon as the two entered the room, Perry adopted an annoyed expression. Well, even more annoyed than usual. "Kent, I didn't call for you …" He said with a grimace.
"Oh, I'm sorry …" Clara apologized with an embarrassed expression as she rose to leave.
"Oh, forget it, just sit down …" Perry said gruffly, reaching for a fresh cigar from his box. Clara obeyed, as Perry lit his stogie. "So … Were your assignments satisfactory?" he asked.
"S …Sufficiently …" Clara lied nervously.
"Could've been more exciting …" Louis said, feinging a yawn.
Clara stifled a giggle.
"Hmph … Maybe you'd consider getting yourselves another job!" Perry growled, blowing a cloud of smoke out of the side of his mouth.
Louis and Clara then looked down nervously. "No, sir." They said quietly in unison.
Louis, in an attempt to break the tension, then turned to Clara and asked "Care for a piece of gum, Clara?"
"Of course, Louis!" Clara replied warmly.
"Lane, this isn't the time for …" Perry began.
"Wait a minute …" Louis said in an uncertain voice as he looked in his wallet. "Its gone! All my money is gone!" He shouted in panic.
"What?!" Clara asked in shock, her hand to her mouth, before offering. "Maybe you misplaced it."
"No, I couldn't have! I … I remember I've always had my wallet on me since I left the concert hall! I had exactly thirty bucks in here!" Louis exclaimed.
"Maybe your pocket was picked!" Clara offered.
"Could be …" Perry said with an interested expression. "Word on the street has it that many people who had attended that concert reported their money or valuables stolen!" Perry said.
"That's impossible!" Louis exclaimed. "I would've known if some shady character was shoving his hand in my pocket!"
"Well … You said you wanted excitement, Lane. So, I propose that you two attend Krazinsky's next concert, and keep your eyes peeled for anything suspicious!" Perry barked.
"Alright, Chief. If you say so …" Louis said unenthusiastically as he got up and Clara joined him.
"But first, I want you to finish up those stories! I pay you two for reporting, not pitching woo!" Perry said, thrusting his index finger at both of them.
"Fine …" Louis grunted as he and Clara walked out the door.
"Relax, Louis. Four eyes are better than two, after all!" Clara said cheerfully to Louis out in the hallway.
"You mean six eyes, right darling?" Louis asked playfully, tapping the frame of Clara's glasses, before giving her a peck on the cheek.
"Oh, Louis …" Clara said affectionately, wrapping her arm around Louis' waist as they walked off together. However, she was already deeply thinking to herself. [An invisible thief, hmm? Sounds like an unusual case … A certain caped heroine might have to make an appearance …] She reflected with a serious expression.
The next evening, Clara, dressed in a form fitting black evening dress, her back and arms exposed, a string of shimmering pearls around her neck, and a rather large black purse slung over her shoulder, exited the taxicab she had taken, and walked up to the entrance of the regal looking Concert Hall. She then felt a sudden clasp of a hand on her shoulder!
"Tickets, please!" Came a gritty voice.
Clara whirled around in surprise … Only to be met with the mischievous grin of the be-tuxed Louis Lane! "Oh, Louis … Do you always have to pull that gag?" She asked in a tired voice.
"Only teasing, Dear … Besides, You seemed surprised enough. Nice to see you dressed in something other than a shower curtain for once." Louis chuckled, before raising a curious eyebrow."Say, Clara, you seem to have taken the Charles Atlas philosophy to heart. You're built like a locomotive engine!" He remarked as his eyes took in every aspect of Clara's broad, bared shoulders and tight, powerful looking muscular arms.
Clara let out a nervous titter as she blushed, her mind frantically searching for an explanation. "Uh … Well, Louis, a girl has to be able to stay fit and defend herself when she's in my line of work!" She meekly elucidated.
"Fair enough." Louis said with a brief shrug. "I see you're all ready."
"Yep! Got the fake pearl necklace. I've got the decoy money in my purse …" Clara explained quietly.
"From the looks of it, you've got the Metropolis National Savings in there!" Louis said, pointing to her purse.
"Well … I usually carry lots of things with me when I go shopping …" Clara meekly explained.
"Mmph, fair enough, but would it kill you to let your hair down every once in a while?" Louis quieried.
"W …Well, lots of women put their hair up for formal events." Clara stammered for an explanation.
"Yeah, but you never seem to let yours down, no matter the event …" Louis said somewhat dubiously.
"Uh … Come on, Louis, we're going to be late …" Clara interrupted, desperate to change the subject, taking him by the wrist and pulling him inside.
Once they were seated in the massive auditorium, brimming with other well dressed, well-to-do citizens, Clara and Louis began suspiciously looking around for anything out of the ordinary. Not finding anything other than fancy looking middle aged people gabbing with one another.
"Well, I don't see anything shady, Clara." Louis stated quietly.
"Neither do I, Louis, but time will tell …" Clara replied.
The lights then dimmed, and a quiet hush then fell over the audience. A loud announcers voice called from backstage "And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting the world reknowned concert pianist, Ranolph Krazinsky!"
A loud round of applause filled the large room, as the elegant red curtains parted to reveal the stage, upon which there sat a Black Grand Piano. The audience cheered and rose as the smartly dressed Krazinsky entered from stage right, and after briskly bowing to the crowd, sat at the stool and readied his fingers. The crowd then quieted down and took their seats.
With the upmost of grace and precision, Krazinsky then immediately started in on a tremendously soothing rendition of Mozart's 23rd Piano Concerto. It was so remarkably gentle, that a relaxing wave of cool air seemed to permeate throughout the room. Clara was mildly impressed by the Maestro's playing, although most of her attention was focused on her surroundings, any sign of a thief or a sneaky character. However, no one in sight seemed to fit that description. They all seemed to be enchanted with Krazinsky's playing.
It was a few minutes later when Krazinsky was starting on his equally calming presentation of Beethoven's 3rd Concerto, when Clara started to notice something. There was a very faint, irritating buzz in her ears. It didn't seem to come from an insect, it was mechanical in sound. At that same time, she noticed the people around her were starting to drift off into a state of delirium! She looked over to Louis, who had already closed his eyes and was apparently sleeping!
"Louis! Louis, wake up!" Clara urged, shaking him by his shoulder, but it was no use, he had already fallen into a deep slumber!
Now, looking around her, Clara saw quite clearly that EVERYONE in the auditorium was sleeping quite peacefully! It was then that it hit her!
[Of course! This is how its done! Hypnosis of some kind! I must be immune because of my superior Kryptonian genetics! I'd better pretend like I'm sleeping too!] Clara realized, as she bowed her head and squinted just enough so that she would appear to be asleep and her super vision could keep an eye on things.
Then, suddenly, Krazinsky abruptly stopped playing, rose from the piano and waved his hand in a signal. Out of the corner of her eyes, Clara noticed four men rise from their seats, remove plugs from their ears and start walking nonchalantly among the crowd, taking diamond necklaces, rings and money from purses and wallets and placing them into burlap sacks that they had hidden in their coats.
[SO! That's what happened!] Clara remarked to herself while keeping her unconcious act up. [And Krazinsky is the mastermind! Hmm, What's his angle …? Why didn't HE need earplugs?] She then continued to clandestinely watch as the goons continued their thieving sweep of the aisles, and set her teeth on edge as one approached her and Louis! With a disgusting sense of apathy, the thug, a man with a brick like chin and a needle nose, stuffed his hand into Louis' pocket, extracted his wallet and yanked out all of the bills within, before putting it back into his pocket. That was enough to tempt Clara to leap to life and clock him, but she kept her composure, only managing to grit her teeth. However, the true feeling of violation came when the goon reached up to her neck and expertly swiped off her necklace, and reached into her purse and plucked out the decoy money, placed them in his bag, before walking across the aisles.
[THAT FIEND!] Clara thought, steaming, wishing to drop the act …
Their jobs now done, the four men then approached the stage where Krazinsky, a cold glare in his eyes, stood waiting for them, his arms crossed.
"Here's all they got, Boss." The lead thug, a man with a shaved head under his fedora, with large bushy black eyebrows, announced.
"Very well, Russo. You and the men take the spoils and abscond to the hideaway, where I shall send instructions." He said in a clipped, measured tone. His voice commanding.
"Right, Boss. C'mon, boys …" Russo said with a nervous gulp as he and his equally intimidated comrades slinked off towards the exit.
Clara's heartbeat raced with anticipation, eager to leap into action as Krazinsky made his way back to the piano. "And now, on with the concert!" He remarked haughtily. After once again sitting, his fingers returned to the merry melody on the piano.
At this, each member of the audience slowly came to. However, instead of the usual stretching and yawning, the crowd simply and robotically raised their heads and opened their eyes as if nothing had happened! Clara played along. At that moment, she then nudged Louis, who turned to face Clara with a disinterested expression.
"Some concert, huh?" Clara sarcastically asked with a whisper.
"Give me Benny Goodman any day." Louis said quietly, before flaring his eyes in surprise and exclaiming "CLARA! Your necklace!"
"SHHH!" Came the voices of several angry antendees.
Louis ignored them and imparted in a normal tone "Clara! Your necklace is missing!"
Already aware of this, Clara prepared to give an Oscar-worthy performance as she felt around her neck and put on a shocked expression. "You're right, Louis! I … I didn't feel a thing! You'd better check your wallet!"
Louis did so in a panic and looked up with a jolt "Its gone!" He said in a hushed tone, before rising and saying "I'm going to call the Chief! Stay here!" Before rushing off.
[Stay here? Not when there's work to be done!] Clara thought as she rose to her feet as well and walked out with furrowed brows as she headed towards the ladies room, removing her glasses and declaring softly but confidently, "This looks like a job for Superwoman!" Before entering.
Looking carefully around the reasonably clean looking and smelling water closet, Clara marched to the nearest stall and closed the door. Setting down her glasses, she undid her hair bun and shook her long black hair down. She kicked off her shoes and pulled off her dress. Completely nude now, Clara then opened her large purse and ran her index fingernail along the stitching near the bottom. [Haven't done this in a while …] The bare and beautiful reporter remarked as she pulled aside some fabric and unfurled her colorful Superwoman costume! Stretching the elastic neckhole and stepping in feet first, the Woman of Steel pulled the uniform over her shapely naked body until she had covered herself, the blue and red costume adhering to her curves and muscles like a second skin. Superwoman then reached back into her purse and extracted her cherry red boots, which she pulled tight over her blue stockings. Now fully clothed in her true identity, Superwoman, careful to keep the stall door closed, performed an impressive acrobatic flip over the top of the stall, before walking over to the door, and, opening it just a tad to make sure there was no one around, snuck out the door and tiptoed through the massive lobby, before reaching the ticket counter, cautiously, she peeked around, her heart racing a little … Sure enough, the wormy, elderly looking ticket attendant sat inside, counting his change!
Superwoman's eyes darted from side to side, her fingers to her chin, as she desperately searched for some sort of distraction … Then, with a glint of joy and a rush of inspiration, her bight blue eyes caught sight of a loose nail lying next to the wall she was creeping against. [Eureka!] She thought with glee, before quietly bending down and picking it up, and with the greatest stealth, used her superstrength to flick the nail clear across the room, which embedded perfectly into the wall on the opposite side, making a rather loud [CRACK!].
Sure enough, the attendant was startled, his head snapped over to the source of the sound, dropping his handful of change with a clatter. "Huh?! What in tarnation?!" He said aloud, before noticing the mess he had made, before remarking "Oh, for pity's sake!" And as he bent down to pick them up, Superwoman saw her chance and darted toward the door in super speed. Grabbing the door and swinging it open, she sprinted outside without being seen. With amazing quickness, The Woman of Tomorrow then crouched down and lept into the air, taking flight instantaneously, her cape swirling behind her in the breeze.
"Got to track those thugs down before they get away!" The Maiden of Might declared with a serious expression as her body shot through the twinkling night sky at the speed of a rocket.
Soaring through the air, her super hearing atuned to any type of sound that may give her the villains' location, Superwoman contined to scan the many winding roads and throughways. [They couldn't have gotten far … Not far from me, of course!] She thought, unable to keep the sense of pride from her thinking. Then, as if on cue, a few miles down, she heard the distant sound of a familiar voice!
"Lenny, get yer filthy mitts outta that money sack! Wait 'till we get to the hideout!" The voice barked.
[Its that Russo goon!] Superwoman thought with a look of pleasant surprise. She locked in on the sound, which was eminating from a small, rusted green sedan that was speeding down a darkened back road. Superwoman burst ahead, increasing her speed, until she, unbeknownst to the gangsters within the vehicle, swept under the car, hanging onto the undercarriage with a superhuman grip.
"I just wanna make sure we gots a good take!" The gangster named Lenny, an unhealthily thin looking fellow with sunken eyes, said as he rifled through the bag in the backseat.
"Bull! You just wanna help yerself like you always do, ya damn clipper!" Izzy, a large, pudgy looking oaf with a pug nose sitting next to him, shouted as he grabbed Lenny by the lapels and began shaking him violently.
"Hey! Leggo, you creep!" Lenny objected.
Carlo, a slick looking thug with a five o' clock shadow, chewed on a toothpick and grinned at the tussle from the passanger seat.
Just then, there was a loud, screeching noise and a scraping from under the car!
"What th' Hell?!" Carlo objected, the toothpick falling from his mouth.
Izzy and Lenny stopped their brawl at the sound. Izzy then asked nervously "What's with the brakes, boss? Ya see a copper?"
"It ain't me, boys!" Russo said in a somewhat shakey, nervous voice.
Then suddenly, the entire car jolted straight up from the street in one quick, hard motion! The gangsters were jostled in their seats!
"WHAT THE HELL?!" "WHA …?!" "HOLY …!" Was the general concensous among the goons as the car was swiftly raised into the air!
"WHAT'S GOIN' ON, BOSS?!" Lenny shrieked in surprise and fear.
"I dunno! Lemme see!" Russo said, attempted to keep in control as he unbuckled his seatbelt and cautiously opened the door, and upon peering outside, his eyes popped out of his skull at the sight of Superwoman lifting the entire car up with one hand, a rather carefree expression across her face!
"You might want to stay in your seat … I wouldn't want you to fall out now!" She said as if she were actually concerned with his safety, adding a flirtatious wink!
"JEEEEZ!" Russo blurted as his heart skipped a beat. Instantly, he yanked his door closed.
"What happened, Boss? What is it?!" Carlo asked, his teeth on edge.
"I …Its …S …Superwomuh …muh …man …she's holdin' the car up!" Russo stammered like a scratched vinyl record.
"OH HELL! WE'RE IN FOR IT NOW!" Lenny hollored at the top of his lungs. His face as white as a bleached bed sheet.
"Aw, shut it, you pansy! Come on, Boss, let's waste 'er!" Izzy said in a menacing voice, taking his revolver from his shoulder holster and cocking it!
"Are you screwy?! You should know that bullets don't bother that broad!" Lenny shouted, attempting to reason.
Then, without warning, the car shot up into the air as if fired from a cannon! The gangsters let out a number of surprised profanities as the car soared above the city skyline, via The Maiden of Might's defiance of gravity.
"She's takin' us to tha heat! She's turnin' us over! I can't take 'dis! I'd rather die 'den rot in a cell!" Carlo yelled nervously, as he pushed open his door and dove out, plummeting downward with a scream!
"CARLOOOO!" Russo moaned in dispair.
Superwoman, noticing the gangster's suicide attempt, let out a simple "Whoops!", and tightly gripping to the car's undercarriage with a casual expression on her face, swooped down after him, car and all! Needless to say, the thugs aboard were getting a refund on their dinners. It was only a matter of seconds before the caped beauty reached Carlo's tumbling body and grabbed him by his ankle!
Carlo looked up at Superwoman wide-eyed in shock and surprise, his face moist with perspiration.
"Alright, that's enough of that, young man! Back in the car!" She in a mockingly good-natured way with a toothy grin, and, with one effortless motion, tossed the thug's body over her shoulder into the car! She then slammed the door behind him as she continued to sail off over the horizon.
Officer Al Hillard stepped out of the Metropolis Police Station into the cool, crisp night. His rotund belly heaving with a wheeze as he let out a short, unpleasant belch as he looked around wearily, hiking up his belt. [Why do they always assign me the consarned night shift? Nothin' exciting ever happens around this time of night. Its times like this I wish there WAS a riot, or something like …]
It was then that the Officer's train of thought stopped dead in its tracks as something caught his attention. His eyes turned as wide as saucers as, without so much as a sound, Superwoman came floating down with an automobile on her shoulder like it was a light sack of grain! With little effort evident, The Woman of Steel's boots touched down gently on the ground and without even a grunt, she heaved the hunk of metal off her shoulder and gently lowered it to the ground, before standing erect and proud, her hands on her powerful hips.
"S …Superwoman!" Hillard stuttered.
"That's me!" Superwoman said with an energetic girlish charm, before adopting a serious expression, and pointed to the car, explaining "These goons just ripped off the Metropolis Concert Hall. See that the goods are returned." Before jumping straight up in the air and taking off with a [WOOOSH!]
Spellbound at first, Hillard attempted to regain his composure, aiming his gun at the hoods in the car and ordering "Hands up, everybody! Now!!"
The thieves slowly did as they were told. Lenny then muttered to his compatriots "That's the last time we take orders from a fella that don't look like he follows baseball!"
Superwoman flew through the sky at a frantic pace, eager to get back to the Concert Hall as Clara before Louis realized she had left!
[Almost there!] Superwoman coached herself, as the Hall came clearly into sight. Upon reaching the building, she hovered at a considerable distance from the door to avoid detection. She then saw her chance to enter when the massive doors swung open to disgorge some patrons, prepping herself, Superwoman became a blur, soaring right over the heads of the audience, a gust of wind blowing through them!
"WHAT THE SAM HILL?!" A white haired, middle-aged man exclaimed as he and the crowd he was with were blown back somewhat.
The Woman of Steel, now visible again, had hid herself near the Ladies Room door, and carefully peered inside. [Empty! Perfect!] Superwoman thought with a relieved smile, as she quickly snuck into the room, expertly leapt over the top of the stall, stripped nude again, stuffed her costume and boots in her purse, donned her dress, fixed her hair and applied her glasses and shoes, before slinging her purse on her arm and exiting the stall with a very confident smile on her face.
Louis, his tie undone and his collar open, a livid expression on his face, stormed back to his seat, where Clara, looking innocently oblivious yet concerned, was sitting in her place as if she had never left.
"Come on, Clara, we're outta here! I'm gonna wait by my phone until I get an update if I ever get my wallet back!" Louis growled.
"Okay, Louis. Don't worry, darling, I'm sure that the Police will recover it soon." Clara said reassuringly, patting Louis on the shoulder with a maternal warmth.
"If they're not too busy gettin' a cat out of a tree …" Louis mumbled as he and Clara made their way out of the crowded arena. Krazinsky's skillful playing seeing them to the door.
[Oh, rest assured, Louis, you WILL be getting your wallet back very soon. I've seen to that!] Clara though to herself with a bold grin, before adopting a serious expression, crinkling her brows and contemplating deeply. [Hmm … I wonder about Krazinksy, though. What's he got to benefit from leading these hoods around? Is he just that greedy, or could there be something else going on …?]
With a final skillful tapping of the ivory keys, Krazinky's concert came to a finish. The applause thundered through the entire vast room, as with a very humble smile, the Maestro rose from his bench and acknowledged the adoration with a deep, respectful bow. With a kind, grandfatherly veneer, he gave a short, respectful wave, before making his way backstage behind the curtain.
After a short, uneventful limousine ride back to his hotel, Krazinsky gave the driver a friendly good-bye, before making his way into the building.
As soon as Krazinsky entered his room, the lush, spacious Presidential Suite, the strong, unpleasant odor of cigar smoke hit his nostrils, which wrinkled in recoil. With a grimace, his kindly expression wiped away, he made his way into the adjorning room, which contained a massive pool table in the center, where a number of unsavory looking underworld characters stood around, playing the game with stogies stuffed in their mouths. Krazinsky aggresively cleared his throat to get their attention, sure enough, all eyes went to him.
"Greetin's, Boss! Concert go alright?" Reggie, a massively built Italian man stuffed into a tacky brown suit, whose heavy brow resembled that of a cromagnon.
"Sufficiently …" Krazinsky replied with a contemptful expression.
"Uh … Boss … I … um … I've got some news for ya …" Ollie, a sandy haired wire thin crook a nose that resembled a bird's beak, dressed in a plaid jacket, mumbled nervously as he twiddled his thumbs, perspiring.
"What is it?! Speak up!" Krazinsky growled.
"The … The fellas never made it to the hideout … It seems as if Superwoman captured 'em and carried 'em an' their car right to the copper station …" Ollie stated with as much reluctance as a Bank Manager letting a customer know that their property had been foreclosed.
The mobsters all on command, braced themselves for an angry outburst, but to their surprise, all that emitted from their aged leader was a deep, contemplative sigh.
"I should have figured as much … It seems that no one is able to earn a dishonest living in this city anymore. That woman is going to be our biggest obstacle if our grand plan is to go forward …" Krazinsky reflected.
"B …But … But, Boss, what if the fellas talk …?" Ollie asked nervously, removing his faded brown fedora and drumming his fingers along the brim.
Krazinsky gave a reassuring smile and said with great reassurance "Oh, never fear, Oliver. I've already provided the gentlemen with a cover story about how they acted alone. Besides, I made it quite clear to them what I would do to them if they would "sing" as you would put it."
"S …So, you ain't mad, Boss?" Ollie asked, hope seeping into his voice.
"OF COURSE I AM, YOU FOOL!!" Krazinsky shouted as all his henchmen flinched. Ollie dropped his hat to the floor and managed to survive after his heart skipped two simultaneous beats.
"We must pull out all the stops necessary to prevent that costumed do-gooder from interfering with our operation! I don't care if you imbiciles level half of downtown!" The master pianist said with his eyes scanning each of his goons with deep scrutiny.
Clara, dressed in a baby blue jacket and skirt, adjusted her lime green necktie as she walked through the Planet hallway the next day. She had barely entered through the door to her office, when she had almost waltzed headlong into Louis, who was standing right in front of the doorway, the grin of a giddy schoolboy on his face.
"OH! Oh, excuse me, Louis!" Clara yelped in surprise, before adopting a calm expression, with a blush to go with it. "Say, you look rather at ease this morning."
"And for good reason, Clarybelle …" Louis said, raising his eyebrows in a Groucho Marx fashion, before lifting his left arm up to reveal a black, leather wallet.
"Your wallet!" Clara gasped with a smile, her hands to her cheeks, doing her best to fein surprise.
"And that's not all!" Louis said, impersonating the voice of a game show announcer, holding up his right to reveal Clara's fake pearls and decoy money.
Clara continued her acting excersize, her eyes lighting up with joy as she giggled "Oh, Louis! That's wonderful!" as she threw her arms around Louis' neck and gave him a passionate kiss on the lips. "Wherever did you find those?!" She asked after she had pulled away. [Eat your heart out, Bette Davis!] She thought to herself.
"You'll never believe this, Clara, but Superwoman caught those pickpockets, and flew them and their car to the police station!" Louis explained with glee.
"That's wonderful, Louis! Isn't it great to have her on our side?" Clara said contentedly, trying to keep the pride from her voice.
"Sure is, darling … Although, its strange … I wonder how she knew what they had been up to enough to go after them?" He wondered perplexed, scratching his head.
[UH-OH! If I don't think quick, Louis is bound to suspect something!] Clara thought with a panicked expression, her heart racing. "Uh … Well, Louis … She was probably just flying around with her super hearing and managed to hear the bad guys bragging about what they'd done …" Clara stammered as she tried to explain.
"Hmm … Perhaps …" Louis pondered, a little uncertainty in his voice as he rubbed his chin.
Suddenly, the intercom buzzed its usual, annoying din.
[Whew! Safe!] Clara thought to herself with a relieved sigh as she walked over to Louis' desk and pushed down the lever on the machine. "Yes?"
"Chief wants both of you … *click*" Went the usual impolite manner of Tess as she quickly signed off.
"You heard her, Louis!" Clara said cheerfully as she walked towards the door.
"Right behind you, Dear!" Louis answered, following.
Perry White's hardened eyes switched back and forth between the two reporters like the swaying motion of a metronome … Finally, he spoke in a calm, smooth tone. "Well, I suppose you two are expecting me to congratulate you both for a job well done?"
Louis looked somewhat uneasily at Clara, before nervously speaking up "Uh …. W … Well, yes Chief … I …"
The last word was barely out of his vocal chords, before Perry lept from his chair, placing both of his meaty palms on the top of his oak desk. "WELL, KEEP THINKING! NOT ONLY DID YOU TWO KNUCKLEHEADS NOT FIGURE OUT WHO WAS BEHIND THIS THEFT RING, YOU ALSO GOT ROBBED FOR YOUR TROUBLES!!" He bellowed as deep and loud as a foghorn.
"Well … Chief … Its not our fault, we didn't feel or hear anything while whoever the robber was removed our valuables! Besides, we got the stuff back, thanks to Super …" Louis began to object in a meek, friendly voice, before being interrupted by White slamming his fist on his desk so hard, the many plaques and awards on his wall shook, as if rocked by a tremor!
"That's not the POINT, Lane!! I gave you two a clear assignment and you both BLEW IT!!" Perry hollered at Louis pointing his authoritive index finger at both of them.
This time, Louis remained silent with a defeated expression. He hated to admit when the Chief was right, and in this case, he was …
"Now …" Perry said in a very reserved voice, taking his seat. "I probably shouldn't do this, but I'm going to give you two another chance with this assignment … You see, that Krazinsky fellow is leaving the city to continue his tour elsewhere, and before he leaves, he's set to play a farewell concert for Mayor Fitzgerald at City Hall. Its going to be broadcast live over WMET. Now, I've seen many strange coincidences in my long career, but none as strange as the bad luck this foreign fellow's concerts seem to attract. I'm beginning to have a nagging suspicion that he's in on it, somehow. And if the BOTH of you want to keep your cushy positions around here, you'll get to the bottom of it!" Perry explained, making himself very clear, with a hardened glare.
With a sigh, Louis nodded his head slowly and stood, saying "Understood, Chief … C'mon, Clara … Let's show THE CHIEF what we're made of!" Making sure to interject his anger and frustration, as he and Clara both stormed out the door, equally perturbed. Louis also took special care to slam the door upon his exit.
"I just don't understand, Clara … How? HOW didn't we notice that we were being robbed like that?!" Louis pondered, sitting on his desk in the pose of "The Thinker", his fist below his chin. "Is he just THAT good?"
"I don't know, Louis …" Clara lied, pacing back and forth in front of him, attempting to come up with a similar explanation that wouldn't give her away. "Maybe … Maybe The Chief is right and Krazinsky is some kind of criminal and … I don't know, maybe he's using some form of audio hypnosis, so that our senses would be numbed and we wouldn't notice …"
Louis simply rolled his eyes in disbelief. "Come on, Clara, even if something like that WAS possible, it doesn't explain what Krazinsky has to gain from this. He seems like he's already made a mint. What does he need to rob people for?" He wondered aloud.
"I don't know, Louis." Clara said with a concerned expression, before adopting a righteously indignant look, as she thought to herself [But Superwoman is going to get to the bottom of it!]
The dark of the night seemed to be a fortelling of the danger that was sure to happen. The legions of cars dispatching well dressed, well-to-do patrons to the ascending steps of the stoic City Hall building didn't seem to mind.
Clara, dressed once again in her formal black dress walked arm in arm with Louis, back in his tuxedo. Her purse, Superwoman costume within slung on her other arm.
"Geez, I've been wearing this thing so often, I should consider moving to the arctic!" Louis complained good naturedly.
Clara smiled lovingly at him. As the two approached the massive glass front doors. Only to be met with a row of stone faced police officers all clutching sidearms!
"Whoa! Hold it, there, Miss, you're going to have to hand over that purse!" One guard addressed Clara, matter-of-factly.
"What?! Whatever for?!" Clara asked with a combination of surprise and outrage.
"Temporary ordinance, Ma'am. We can't have anyone carrying any type of bag what with those pickpockets being caught with those duffels in their possession!" The cop said firmly.
[This isn't good! If they take my purse, I'll be at a disadvantage to change into Superwoman!] Clara thought with a panicked expression.
"Now hold your horses, Officer!" Louis suddenly spoke up in a loud, angry voice.
"That's Sargeant to you, civilian! Sgt. Casey!" The brick chinned Sargeant growled, giving Louis an intimidating glare.
"Oh, yeah?! Well get a load of THIS!" Louis countered, taking out his press badge and thrusting it into the Sargeant's face! "Take yours out too, Clara!"
Clara did so, sharing Louis' scowl.
"Our words carry a lot of weight at The Planet. How would you like it if we went and wrote on the headlines about how you were treating this fine, young lady, Casey?! Why, you'd be writing parking tickets for the rest of your career!" Louis hollered, boldly poking Casey's barrel chest with his index finger.
If steam could emit from a man's collar, Sargeant Casey would've been in his own mobile sauna. His face was beet red as he stared down Louis. But then, the redness aubsided to a natural pink as he breathed a deep sigh. "Oh, all right …" He conceded, before adding with a warning tone "But I'm keeping my eyes on both of you …"
"Your compassion is overwhelming …" Louis remarked bitterly, before taking Clara by the hand and leading her inside.
Once inside the massive hallway, abuzz with dignitaries and the high rollers of the political scene, all aglitter with jewelry and sequins. They smiled as they casually chewed the fat with each other, the highly decorated halls abuzz with talk of golfing, fancy cars and fast living, all at the expense of the taxpayer.
Standing amongst them, Clara and Louis looked around with general disinterest.
"Well, the hoi-polloi seem to be in high spirits …" Louis said dersively out of the side of his mouth.
"Mm-hmm …" Clara agreed, before saying in a concerned voice "Say, Louis, just in case I'm right and Krazinsky is hypnotizing people with his music, you should put these earplugs in!" Handing the small plugs to him. "And don't make yourself known until you're sure they've left."
"Well, alright, Clara. Whatever you say." Louis said, as he inserted them. "Besides, it'll give me an excuse not to have to listen to the Mayor's speech!"
Clara giggled in a girlish fashion, as the two entered the ballroom.
" …And his amazing renditions of the classic standards have led us to appreciate the works of the maestros in a wonderful new light!" Mayor Fitzgerald, warmly announced, standing in front of the stage in front of the glamorous auditorium inside city hall, its gilded walls glinting from the lights of the sparkling crystal chandeliers atop the ceiling. With the friendly wide smile on his bespectaled, cherubic face, it wasn't certain whether his praise of Krazinsky was legit, but given his patented politician's grin, that seemed to ooze sencerity, the aged crowd seemed to buy it.
Everyone except Clara that was. Fitzgerald had just a strong of a sense of justice as she, the armed guards in front of the building proved that. He was probably just as suspicious, and was waiting for a chance to nail Krazinsky and his goons. Too bad he had severly underestimated them. [Krazinsky and his men must be planning something big if they plan to broadcast this concert over the air! Hopefully, I'll be able to thwart it in time!] She thought with a concerned expression.
Louis, however, unable to hear with the earplugs, just sat back patiently and waited for the action to start.
Then, as he finished with his somewhat pompous introduction, The Mayor then said, putting just enough baritone in his voice "And now, ladies and gentleman in the audience, and for all the citizens of Metropolis listening on WMET, the wonderful Randolph Krazinsky!"
The audience exploded into nearly deafening applause as, the royal blue curtains to the stage parted and there stood Krazinsky in his tuxedo beside a pitch black baby grand piano. His usual mask of a kindly smiling grandfather on his wrinkled face. As if he was internally mocking the people who were lavishing such love upon him. [That's right you foolhardy lemmings … Applaud me … Adore me … Your wealth and possessions shall soon be mine!]
The clapping died down, Krazinsky took one last curt bow, then approached the mammoth instrument, sat at the bench, made a show of wiggling and warming up his fingers with a sly grin to the audience, which prompted brief titters and chuckles from the audience.
His fraudulent jesting now out of the way, Krazinsky then began his musical massaging of the keys. Giving a fanciful, lively rendition of Vivaldi's "Winter".
Clara and Louis braced themselves, ready for anything … They didn't have long to wait, however, for about after two minutes of the classic piece, the familiar tinny humming buzz had returned to Clara's eardrums! With a start, Clara clandestinely looked around, her eyes wide and suspicious, and sure enough, the congregation all around them began to collectively close their eyes and nod off, as if being led in prayer. Clara then looked back at Louis, who had been doing the same thing. They gave a secretive nod to each other and feigned falling asleep as well.
Looking back at the now slumbering audience, and being satisfied, Krazinsky immediately stopped playing and took his time to rise to his feet. Slowly, but surely, the motley crew of his henchmen stood as well, removing their earplugs and directing their attention to their Boss.
"So, whatta we do now, Boss? Da Cops wouldn't let us bring any sacks or anything." The burly thug who resembled the missing link asked as he approached the stage.
Krazinsky raised his index finger as he made a point. "You forget, Reginald, that we aren't robbing anyone here, you shall all travel to the various shops and loot their registers and vaults." He said in a calm and even voice.
"B …But Boss, what about th' alarms?" Ollie asked nervously, expecting to be shouted at again.
"I can assure you, Oliver, most everyone will have been hypnotized by the signal my playing has carried through the radio waves. You shouldn't expect any resistence." Krazinsky reassured him arrogantly, crossing his arms in a haughty fashion.
Clara, obviously still conscious, gritted her teeth, thinking to herself angrily [That's what YOU think!]
Seemingly able to read Clara's mind, a gangster that stood about six foot five and had a rather unpleasant cleft palate asked "Bothhh, Wh …Whath abouthh thhhath Thhuperoomann?" hissing like a serpent.
Krazinsky just gave the deformed villain a reassuring smile, as he answered. "Fret not, Alan. She SHALL be dealt with …!" Making his point with a vague threat.
[What? What on Earth is that malcontent thinking?] Clara thought with a troubling uncertainty.
However, right at that moment, Louis leapt to his feet, removing his earplugs and adopting a dramatic pointing stance. "Alright, you slimeballs! This party's over!" He shouted heroically.
"WHAT?! Impossible!" Krazinsky exclaimed in disbelief, his eyes wide with surprise. The goons had similar reactions.
[NO, LOUIS! NOT YET!!] Clara gave a worried mental shout. Keeping her sleeping act up.
"You're little thugs aren't the only ones that can wear earplugs, Krazinsky! The game's up!" Louis said authoritively, before turning to Clara "Right, Clara! Let's drop the act now …" He said, giving her shoulder a heavy shake.
However, Clara, realizing that she had not thought to put earplugs in, had to remain still, going against every instict within her.
"Clara …? Clara! Come on, Clara!" Louis said, attempting to jostle her awake. "Oh, no … She must've forgotten to put her earplugs in!" He said in a worried voice.
"I'll fix ya, ya twirp!" A thug with heavy jowels and thick sideburns growled, whipping a revolver out and pointed it at Louis!
Louis gulped nervously, his pulse starting to race.
Clara, watching the dramatic affair through squinted eyes, thought in a panic [OH, NO! Louis!! What should I do?!]
"Wait, you fool!" Krazinsky suddenly ordered.
"Huh?!" The gangsters thought in a confused fashion, looking back at him.
"That firearm has a certain rythym level that may break the spell I've placed on the crowd." Krazinsky explained, before ordering "You'd better incapacitate this interloper and exterminate him out of range!"
"Alright, Boss …" The sideburned gangster conceded, reholstering his weapon, and pulling out a blackjack, rushing towards Louis. Louis attempted to try some judo on the thug, grabbing him by the arm, however, the gangster grabbed Louis around the neck with his free hand, pushing him off balance, before bringing the weapon down on Louis' head, knocking him unconcious!
[Louis!] Clara groaned to herself, as the thug began to drag her love from the auditorium.
Krazinsky stepped down from the stage and ordered his henchmen "Well, don't just stand there! Get to work! Begin ravaging the city! Then bring it straight to the hideaway, don't bother coming back to the hotel. I have some more business to attend to …" As he walked out.
"Yessir, Boss …" Reggie said uneasily as he and the other goons followed.
[Come on … Come on … Give me some time to change …!] Clara thought feverishly to herself. [Oh, Louis, please be all right!]
After she heard the sound of the large front doors closing with her super hearing, she cautiously rose to her feet and made her way through the auditorium aisle and crept through the doorway into the hall, saying quietly to herself "This is a job for Superwoman!"
Upon entering the entrance to the hallway, Clara looked down to see a group of Officers, including Seargeant Casey, passed out in an untidey heap on the floor. "Hmm … Poor guys. Must've been waiting at the door to rush Krazinsky and his men." Clara reflected.
Looking around and satisfied that she was alone (to anyone conscious, anyway), Clara tossed off her glasses, undid her hairbun and kicked off her shoes. She yanked down her dress, and dug into her purse, pulling out her costume! Pulling in over her slim and muscular naked body, and taking out her boots, donning them as well. Now dressed for action in her true identity, Superwoman then boldly walked towards the front door and pulled it open, looking around and not seeing anyone, The Maiden of Might lept into the air, taking flight, scanning the surrounding area for Louis and his attacker, thinking [Louis, I hope I haven't failed you!]
She didn't have to search long, however, as just off to the far left of the building, she saw the sideburned goon dragging Louis' limp body to the edge of the sidewalk and pointing his pistol at Louis' head with a cold grin!
"Louis!" Superwoman exclaimed, swooping down swifter than a bolt of lightning.
Just as the goon pulled the trigger, firing the gun, The Woman of Steel appeared right in front of the crook, the bullet bouncing right off her chest! Her bosom briefly shuddered in a sensuous motion as she stood stoically before him with her fists firmly planted on her hips, her dark red cape flowing behind her in the early evening breeze.
"AH! S … Superwo …" Was all the gangster had to utter in panic before Superwoman, a furious expression on her face, socked him straight in the face, sending his unconcious body tumbling across the street.
With great care, Superwoman rushed over to her love, and gently cradled his head in the crook of her arm. "Louis! Louis, are you alright?!" She asked, almost near tears, giving his shoulders a few tender shakes to try to rouse him. No such luck. She checked his heartrate and pulse, and breathed a great sigh of relief upon hearing that they were alright. Then, with a warm smile, she leant down and passionately laid her lips upon his.
Louis gave a brief, satisfied moan and stirred as he came to, his bright brown eyes fluttering open. As he caught sight of who was kissing him, his ocular organs grew as wide as frying pans before slowly closing as he savored the sweet mint taste of her heroine's breath, and wrapped his arms around The Maiden of Might's neck. Superwoman gave Louis' back a reassuring rub, before reluctantly breaking away.
"Superwoman, I'm so glad you're … Ooh!" Louis began to utter joyfully before realizing the pain from the blow to his head, his hand going up to up to a rather sizeable goose egg that was already beginning to form on his crown.
"Oh, Louis! Please take it easy! You're still injured!" Superwoman said with concern, her arms out ready to catch him in case he fainted again.
"Oh, I'm fine, darling, now that you're here!" Louis said with a heavy, lovesick grin, as he rose unsteadily to his feet, his legs wobbling.
"Louis! Please don't stand up yet! You haven't fully recovered." Superwoman kindly reprimanded him, softly easing him back onto his bottom.
"Well … If you say so, sweetheart!" Louis conceded with a sugary voice, playfully winking at her, which aggrivated the injury, causing him to visibly wince.
"I … I'm just glad that you're alright!" Superwoman nervously noted with a blush on her cheeks. Her demeanor then turned serious and business-like as she genuinely warned him with a frown "Now, Louis, I want you to stay out of sight, and try not to walk around until you've recovered and I come to get you! I've got to stop Krazinsky and his goons!" before crouching down and taking off into the sky.
"Wait! Wait, Sup … Owww!" Louis protested, attempting to stand and reach his arm out, only to stumble and have his legs go out from under him, as the pain throbbed in his head once more, as he fell on his behind with a thud again. "Damn this pain! Not even that will keep Louis Lane from this fantastic scoop!" He boldly declared as he attempted in vain to stand, yet again.
Superwoman's super hearing was on high alert as she cut through the night air of the cityscape, flying like the world's fastest kite. [Keep sharp, Clara! Any second now, you should hear …] She thought, mentally coaching herself. Then, sure enough, there came the faint, shrill whine of a burglar alarm, which grew louder with every half-inch! [BINGO!] The Woman of Tomorrow thought triumphantly, furrowing her brows and smiling.
The glass window to Walton's Department Store was shattered clear through and Reggie, the human gorilla stood behind the counter, emptying out the cash register at a frantic pace, stuffing his canvas bag with a large take of loot as the alarm blared its scream to anyone who would hear. His job done, The literally low-browed malcontent hoisted his bag on his shoulder and walked right through the hole in the window.
"Heh! And not a copper in sight! Easy money! Now, where ta hit next?!" The thug said with the unbridled glee of a young boy give the key to a candy store, when, unbeknownst to him, The Maiden of Might landed right behind him on the toe of her right boot without a sound. Then, just like a mother sneaking up on a misbehaving son, the indignant superheroine, gave a brief, faint tap on the crook's shoulder. However, that was enough to cause the criminal to turn around with a jolt! Upon facing the costumed beauty, the burly mountain of a man went as white as a sheet, his fat bottom jaw swung open, his yellowed rotting teeth exposed, his eyelids seemed to peel compeletely away from his eyes!
"*Ahem* Excuse me, would you like to put that money back, young man?" she asked with the strict manner of a schoolteacher or orphanage Matron, her arms folded across her amble chest, a stern expression on her gorgeous face.
"N …n …no …NO!! NOT NOW!!" The grotesque gangster gasped, his lungs unable to take in air. Suddenly, Reggie's hand dove into his jacket and whipped out with a revolver which he cocked and pointed straight at Superwoman's face with the distance of a foot! "Eat lead, Doll!" He growled with as much prejudice as he could muster, before pulling the trigger!
[BANG!] Went the weapon, as the lead projectile hit the Woman of Steel right on the right cheek ….And naturally flattened into the shape of a nickel and fell straight to the ground. Superwoman barely changed her pose or expression, save for narrowing her eyes in an irritated fashion.
Needless to say, the goon found this hard to swallow! He broke out into a cold sweat, and possibly in a fit of insanity, he cocked his his meaty, hairy fist back, and, without Superwoman even flinching, screeched like a madman "DIIIIIEEE!" Before smacking Superwoman in the skull as hard as he could!
[KRRAACCK!] Went the lummox's fingers and knuckles as they snapped like twigs against Superwoman's face! The Maiden of Might remained standing and just as miffed as the large, hideous henchman held his malformed hand and sank to his knees, screaming at the top of his voice!
"So, you like to hit women, huh, you thug?!" Superwoman said furiously. "Fine. My turn …" And with that ice cold remark, Superwoman delivered a stunning right cross to the henchman's jaw, sending blood and teeth flying as the goon fell K.O.'d to the pavement. No sooner had he hit the ground, than The Woman of Tomorrow snatched the wiseguy by his collar, effortlessly lifting his heavy girth over her head, she walked to a nearby streetlight, uncerimoniously dumped the sack of gangster in front of it, and tied his necktie to the pole, his head slumped forward. With a satisfied smile, Superwoman then took the thug's sack of money and walked into the looted store, walked to the open register, then in motion so quick you wouldn't believe it, Superwoman replenished the entire register of its money, then closed it, tossing the bag aside, she ran from the building and leapt through the hole in the window, taking flight once again.
The location of the next alarm didn't surprise Superwoman at all, as her next stop was the Metropolis First National Bank.
Inside, ignoring the droning din, Ollie and Al had just finished stuffing their canvas sacks with the tellers' moolah, and had now set their focus on attacking the massive safe door with Ollie working a cracking tool and Al with a stethoscope listening for the click.
"Anythin' yet, Al?" Ollie, his blonde hair matted down with sweat from the effort, asked his pal without even looking up from his work.
Al looked up and merely shook his head.
"Whattya gonna do with your share a tha dough?" Ollie quieried.
Al took the stethoscope out of his ears and shrugged indifferently. "Who knowthh … Maybe I'll head to Methhico or thumpthin'. Waith thill da heath blowthh othhh." He lisped.
"Sounds good. Better not drink the water, though. Well, in any case, we'd better get this damn vault open before Su …" Ollie began, as he continiued to studiously attack the handle, however, the words were scarcely out of his mouth, when Superwoman burst in, swinging the bank door open, her face carrying a resentful expression.
"OH, DAMN! Ithhh her!" Al shouted in fear, pointing.
Ollie spun around with a shocked expression as the Woman of Steel rushed towards them! "Get outta here, Al! I'll try to hold her off!" He shouted, Taking his heavy cracking tool and running to meet The Maiden of Might with an angry glare as Al made a break for it, dashing past Superwoman, who seemed to pay him no mind.
Ollie grunted as he raised his prying tool overhead and, without Superwoman even making a move to stop him, brought it down hard on the top of her skull which prompted a loud [KLAAANG] And to Ollie's horror, the heroine showed no emotion or ill effects! He pulled the makeshift weapon back, trembling, his mouth agape, his hair practically standing on end as he pulled the instrument back to reveal that it had been bent at an angle that resembled the shape of her head! Superwoman slowly adopting a warm, almost pitying smile with a slow shaking of her head as she slowly reached over and took the now useless tool from the now scared stiff thug's trembling hands and gave it a cheerful looking over as if she was a shopper inspecting a product before purchasing it. Then, without a second thought, she proceeded to manuever it around Ollie's neck before effortlessly bending the steel around his throat like a makeshift necktie, just stopping short of choking him!
"Nice, but it looks much better on you!" Superwoman said, smiling cheerfully, before furrowing her brows and giving him a class A uppercut that knocked him straight out of his shoes! Just as his body hit the lineoleum floor, Superwoman grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and swiftly moved him over to the large vault door, propped his left arm against the handle, then taking hold of one of the handles, and bent the metal handle around his wrist, pinning his comatose body to the vault. Then, with a short, satisfied nod, she raced out the door at super speed and took a running leap into the air, flying at a fast rate of speed, looking for any trace of Al's car.
She didn't have to look long, for down the road, she spotted Al, in a slick looking yellow Ford careening down the highway at an unsafe rate of speed, fearfully attempting to escape his imminent punishment, tears practically in his eyes!
[Sorry, buddy, you've made your bed …] Superwoman said with an indifferent raise of the eyebrows, seemingly sending him a psychic message, as she dove down with the glorious movements of a seagull diving for a fish in the ocean and snatched the car by the back bumper and yanking it straight off the street with a flaying of rubber and a squeal of protest from the back tires, she placed the auto over her head as easily as lifting an empty cardboard box!
"AAAAAHHH! DONTHHHH HILLLL NEEEE!!! FLLLLLEATHHHHH!!" The deformed thug shrieked with abject fear.
"Heh! Silly man, don't you know that these big clunkers are out of fashion? Compacts are IN this year!" Superwoman reprimanded in a mocking tone. Then she performed the job of a junkyard compacter as if she were crumpling paper!
The goon shrieked with fear untlil was wedged right between the diver's seat and the dashboard like a grotesque sandwich!
Superwoman then smiled in a satisfied manner as she softly lowered the car to the ground, which now resembled a crumpled tin can! She then crouched and leapt into the sky one again, with a determined expression. "That takes care of the henchmen! Now to confront Krazinsky!" She said in a proud, confident voice.
Krazinsky, dressed in a fancy grey fur collar jacket, exited the hotel's front doors, and began boldly walking down the sidewalk with a sense of satisfaction and superiority … Yes, everything was in order … Strangely enough, he didn't even bat so much as an eyelash when the Maiden of Might landed feet first right in front of him!
"Hold it right there, Krazinsky!" Superwoman boldly declared, hands planted on her hips, her large bosoms thrust out.
"Ah, right on time as usual, Woman of Steel!" Krazinsky said in a mock congratulatory tone and a slimy evil grin.
"Spare me the pretense, Krazinsky! You're going away for a long time!" The Maiden of Might stated matter-of-factly as she marched towards the elderly maestro.
"Oh, don't be so sure …!" Krazinsky, the sly grin still there as he looked the indignant heroine straight in the eye, his left hand held palm outstretched, keeping distance between himself and The Woman of Steel.
"What?! You hypnotized legions of concertgoers and had your hooligans rob them! How on earth did you manage that and just how do you think I'll let you get away with it!" Superwoman hollered with unbridled fury, pointing an accusing finger straight at Krazinsky.
"Well, I'm afraid you'll have no choice in the matter, my dear …" Krazinsky suddenly said much more menacingly, as, without warning, his pupils suddenly took up the whole of his eyes, turning them into terrifying solid black black pools! A strange orange glow seemed to form around his body!
Naturally, Superwoman was taken aback by this "What in the world …?!" She uttered in disbelief.
"No, not of this world at all, Superwoman!" Krazinsky uttered in a sort of mischievous voice, his tone lowering several registers and losing the accent.
All of a sudden, who should come stumbling around the corner of a nearby building but Louis Lane himself!
"Superwoman! There you are! I … WHOA! Is that Krazinsky?! What in the …?!" Louis exclaimed happily, before looking in the glowing pianist's direction with equal surprise.
"LOUIS! Get out of here! Hurry!" Superwoman shouted in warning to her partner.
Then, almost in an instant, the image of the elderly criminal seemed to melt away like ice, only to be replaced by a tall, lean, bald humanoid figure with bright green skin, a series of interconnected diodes on his head, completely black, lifeless eyes, dressed in a full, black jumpsuit that had a plastic appearence, with matching boots!
Naturally, Superwoman and Louis could only stand in utter shock.
"B …B …BRAINIAC!!" Louis yelled in amazement and fear.
"Yes, of course … Refer to me as your precious little newspaper does! MY NAME IS VRIL DOX, YOU INSIPID HUMAN!! I AM THE GREATEST SCIENTIST THAT THIS GALAXY, OR ANY OTHER HAS EVER KNOWN!!" Brainiac growled resentfully, before raising his voice to a boastful, maniacal shriek!
"You … You're that horrible alien scientist who used mind control turn Metropolis' citizens into mindless monsters and have them murder each other, you beast!" Superwoman heatedly adressed the villain, her bearings straight once more. "So, what was point of all this?! What diabolical scheme necessetated the robbery of hundreds of Metropolis citizens?!" She demanded, her face flushed with anger.
At, this, the lime skinned scientist merely chuckled and explained "Amusement, Woman of Steel. Mere amusement whilst I tended to my actual errand at hand."
"Amusement?! You call the robbing Metropolis and its inhabitants AMUSEMENT?!!" Superwoman asked in an outraged voice.
"OF COURSE! You all are but just playthings to me and my power! I simply needed to temporarily assume a false identity, hypnotize the concertgoers via a high pitched signal located in one of these diodes, and find some stupid gangsters that I could pin the blame on, whilst I plotted my true course of action, Superwoman: REEEEVENGE! Revenge on you and this whole blasted city for my previous humiliating defeat! But this time, victory shall be MINE!!" Braniac explained, his emerald face contorting in all manner of psychotic expressions.
"I beg to differ, BRAIN-I-AC!" Superwoman countered just as bold as ever with a cocky expression on her face, being extra careful to draw out the villain's hated nickname as syllabically slow as possible, and was satisfied upon seeing his enraged reaction.
"Very well … I shall accept that wager!" The villain said with a shady grin after composing himself, the diodes on his head glowing with an unearthly light. Suddenly to Louis and Superwoman's surprise, a massive chrome metal object descended from the twinkling night sky!
Superwoman and Louis recognized the massive craft shaped like a sinister looking metal skull crowned with a glowing yellow "brain" as being the same spacecraft they witnessed the first time they had enountered the intergalactic criminal.
"It took me several years to rebuild this craft and get it working again after it was destroyed in our first meeting, Woman of Steel! And since then, I have also dabbled in a little "genetic engineering" and have been tinkering around with some extraterrestrial DNA and was able to successfully replicate a vicious, carnivorous creature from my home planet of Colu! It goes by the name of Garnod I hope you'll enjoy "playing" with him as he DECIMATES your precious city!! HAHAHAHAHA!!" The wicked alien explained before laughing manically and suddenly vanishing into a stream of yellow light, immeadiately being replaced by an object of an enormous size!
The light faded, revealing a hideous mammoth creature whose body resembled that of a tailess Manta Ray with the top half of its body being orange and its its underbelly white. It had four slimy white leg-like appendages with long, sharp claws on its feet that resembled those of a Sloth's. Two orb like jellied segmented eyes that resembled large red marbles sat on is ugly head. On the top of its underbelly was a completely circular mouth filled with razor sharp teeth!
"Great Scott!" Louis exclaimed, wrapping his arms around Superwoman for comfort.
The creature growled with what sounded like a gutteral gurgle, as it lumbered towards Superman and Louis, It's massive feet cracking and shattering the pavement with the sound of crashing thunder with every step!
Superwoman instantly took control, however. She scooped Louis up in her arms, shouting "Hold on, Louis!" Before taking a giant leap that instantly took them to the top of a high skyscraper, where she set Louis down. "Stay here!" The Maiden of Might ordered briskly, before swooping back down to the street like a hawk!
"BE CAREFUL!" Louis shouted fearfully.
Shooting straight at the mutant beast with the speed of a rocket, The Woman of Tomorrow pulled her muscular arm back and swung at the creature with her closed fist, pounding it, on its soft, slimy flesh and despite her size, it prompted a grunt of pain from the intergalactic beast, tempoarily knocking it off balance! Superwoman then began flying away in the opposite direction to divert the creature away from Louis, however, upon looking back to see if the creature had followed her, she was horrified to see it already beginning to sink its long, sharp black claws into the skyscraper that Louis was atop, beginning to climb it, floor by floor!
"LOUIS!" Superwoman exclaimed, performing a mid-air U-turn and dynamically soared, fists first towards the scene!
By the time Superwoman had arrived, the creature had already reached the roof and was reaching its claws towards Louis' terrified body, as he attempted to desperately rattle the door to the rooftop staircase, but to his horror, he found it locked! As the saber-like claws closed around him, and the monster's slime covered spade shaped tongue beginning to extend from it's razor sharp mouth, Louis winced and shut his eyes, waiting for the inevitable …
Until, just in the nick of time, Superwoman arrived and took hold of its massive back foot, tossing it to the ground below, shattering the paved street into many jagged pieces, resulting in a minor earthquake.
"Yeah! Go, Superwoman!" Louis shouted, jumping for joy
As the creature, now oozing a dark blue slime like substance from several wounds from its body, it groaned deeply, getting back to its feet, and getting its bearings back, The mighty Superwoman landed in front of the beast, trying to look for something to aid her in finishing the situation. Right nect to her, she spotted a long brass flagpole sticking out of the side of the building. Thinking quickly, The Woman of Steel took hold of the pole and yanked it from the wall. Then, boldly rushing towards the creature her arm cocked back like an Olympic javelin thrower, while avoiding every swipe of its claws, she aimed straight for the angry bright red cherry of an eye and tossed it, sending it sailing through the air, its jagged, ripped off edge, sinking into the eyeball with the disgusting sound of fingers sinking into a cheesecake! Blue ooze poured out of the injured organ, the creature let out a siren like wail, swinging its claws around bli in a shower of the blood goop from its flesh straight through the top! With a final low gurgle from its throat, the creature collapsed flat on its face in the middle of downtown with a loud thud! It was dead before it even hit the ground!
"YEAH!! AL-RIGHT!!" Louis, filled with joy, shouted at the top of his voice, jumping, clapping and whistling as if The Yankees had just won the World Series.
Still determined, though covered in the monster's jelly like blood, Superwoman focused her sights on the giant skull craft, and propelled herself towards it at super speed, a sonic boom crashing behind her!
Brainiac, his horrified face turning a paler shade of green, looked through the ship's view screen, surveying the situation. "I … I Can't believe it! Sh … She did it again! How can she be so powerful?! It's … It's just not possible!" He said in abject disbelief, before his black, doll-like eyes widened in fear! "Is … Is she headed straight for …?!"
[BAAANG!] With a crash of steel, Superwoman burst right through the floor of the ship some distance from Brainiac, standing firmly in an intimidating stance, an angry grimace on her face. "OKAY, DOX! This ends right here! You're not threatening this planet again!" She shouted, advancing towards him! "Now, you had better tell me how to awaken the people of Metropolis, or so help me, I'll …"
"HA! I alone know the only two ways to break the hypnotic spell, and one includes destroying me! But I know that you'd never resort to such a thing!" The alien said with a maleavolent smile.
"Don't be so sure!" The Woman of Steel responded with a snarl, marching in his direction!
Immediately, Brainiac rushed to his control panel, his hand hovered over a silver orb. "STOP! If you take another step, I'll fire a laser that'll level half of this city, including your precious reporter frie …" He began to threaten.
However, in the blink of an eye, Superwoman had moved right in front of him in a blur, and firmly grabbed hold of the alien's arm and pulled it forward to pull him away, only to hear the sound of cracking and snapping, and all of a sudden, his arm was ripped right from its socket! However, where there should have been gore, there was instead a shower of sparks and the sight of jagged metal bone structure and wires!
"Wh … What the …?!" Superwoman asked in a horrified and confused manner, looking straight at the villain.
"Heh! Well, I suppose that it's time to come clean. I myself am not Vril Dox himself, but an android programmed with his intelligence! You see, our society is so advanced, that we are already capable of artificial intelligence, and therefore …" The android Brainiac began to explain, before noticing that Superwoman was already cocking her fist back! "NO! NO, wait! NO!" He protested in fear, only to have the indignant heroine smash him so hard that her fist went straight through his face and out the back of his head in a sparking frenzy! Superwoman then pulled her face out of the cavern that was the android's face, computer pieces falling out as the body fell limply to the floor.
"Now to dismantle this horrid ship!" The Maiden of Might said resolutely, walking over to the console and beginning to pound it in, crumpling the metal control panel and sending sparks and hardware flying!
Then, suddenly, a lifeless, mechanical computer voice began speaking over some sort of speaker. [ATTENTION ALL INHABITANTS, THE SELF-DESTRUCT FUNCTION HAS BEEN ACTIVATED. PLEASE EVACUATE THE SHIP IMMEDIATELY.]
"You don't have to tell me twice!" Superwoman said good-naturedly, as she ran towards the hole she had made in the floor and performed a textbook swan dive right out into the air below!
On top of the skyscraper he had been left on, a worried Louis scanned the sky for any side of his heroine. [Oh, please, Superwoman … Please be al … YES, THERE SHE IS!!] He thought concernedly, before smiling with joy at the sight of The Woman of Steel careening down towards him!
As She landed right next to him, Louis exclaimed happily "Superwoman, thank God you're …"
"No time to talk, Louis! I've got to get you out of here! That ship's about to blow!" Superwoman quickly interrupted, snatching Louis up in her arms and leaping into the sky, soaring away to a safe distance, when suddenly, with a loud, earsplitting [POOOAAAAAMMMM!] Brainiac's skull ship erupted into a huge green fireball, a white shockwave permeated through the sky where it had been.
"Golly!" Louis exclaimed at the sight before him as flaming debris fell from the sky.
Superwoman elegantly and softly landed and let Louis off in front of Metropolis General Hospital. "Here you go, Louis. You'd better get in there and get that bump taken care of. Everyone should be coing out of their trance right about now. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to do some cleanup work!" Superwoman said warmly.
"Looks like you could use some cleaning up yourself!" Louis chuckled, indicating the goop all over Superwoman's body.
Superwoman looked herself over, blushed and giggled. "Well, I'll see to that later." She smiled, before leaning over and giving Louis a quick peck on the cheek.
"Superwoman, C … Could you check if my friend Clara's alright?" Louis suddenly said with a concerned voice.
Superwoman blushed even deeper this time, stammering nervously "Y …Yes, Louis. I …I'll be sure to do that! Ta-ta for now!" She then leapt into the air with a friendly smile and a wave, before flying back towards the battle torn area.
The Headlines in the Planet the next day read "SUPERWOMAN FOILS EXTRATERRESTRIAL ATTACK PLOT; FAMED PIANIST ALIEN IN DISGUISE!" The byline read "Story by Louis Lane". A sub headline read "SUPERWOMAN RESTORES DOWNTOWN AFTER BATTLE; THEN DISAPPEARS".
Clara sat next to Louis on top of his desk at the office they shared. She scanned the front page story of the paper with a large smile. Louis had a small amount of Ace Bandage atop his head. "Gosh, Louis! What a great scoop! Its a good thing I wasn't awake to see it, though. I'd have been terrified!" She said, looking up at him lovingly. "I hope that bump doesn't hurt too bad."
"Think nothing of it, darling! I'm just glad you were safe, I mean, that was quite a close call for Metropolis, yet again!" Louis replied.
"You were so brave this morning in Perry's office too, sweetheart! I think he'll think twice from now on before he even thinks about demoting you!" Clara said with a wide grin. "By the way, darling. Thanks for sticking up for me back there!"
"why, that's what a boyfriend does, my dear!" Louis said in a low, romantic voice, before leaning over and kissing Clara passionately on the lips.
Clara savored every moment she possibly could, before reluctantly pulling away, she lifted the paper back towards herself, and shaking her head in a disapproving manner, making a tisking sound with her tongue. "I simply can't believe that seemingly nice old man was really that awful Brainiac alien! He seemed so sweet and kind …" Clara said, internally gagging at her feigned ignorance.
"Well, you know what they say, dear. Appearences can be deceiving!" Louis said, raising an index finger.
[Louis, you don't know the half of it!] Clara thought slyly with a smirk. "True. Good thing that concert didn't bring the curtain down on Metropolis!" She added.
"Right you are, Clara! Thanks to Superwoman!" Louis said appreciatively.
Clara turns to us, smiles heroically, pulls down her glasses and gives us a knowing wink!