The Non-adventures of Superwoman, Part 1
Written by julievelor :: [Thursday, 03 March 2005 11:39] Last updated by :: [Wednesday, 01 May 2013 13:56]
The Non-adventures of Superwoman, Part 1
by JulieVelor (a.k.a. AK)
SUBMITTED TO SGI WORKSHOP 1.1
The edge of the city was a good place to fight crime. The rotting docks and sagging piers of the South Metropolis wharves formed a bleak bulwark against the black waters of the bay. A mournful foghorn moaned through distant mist. Then the night fell silent, save for unseen splashings against posts and pilings that creaked and groaned and seemed to sigh.
It was a nasty place at night, with the sure sense that anything could happen. The fog-blurred moon hung low and nearly full, but with no hint of magic, no romance. Even the shadows seemed sinister, dirty, and rough, with the grit of black sandpaper.
Crouched in those shadows, behind the bulk of a dark warehouse, was a young dark-haired woman. She was not looking for romance. Nor was looking for magic; she had enough of her own. The ace investigative reporter had been working on this story since before her trip to New Mexico to cover the theft and subsequent destruction of the Air Force's experimental particle beam weapon. The entire terrorist organization responsible had been wiped out. Now she had tracked the drug smuggling operation down to this warehouse down by the docks. Now all she had to do was to get the hard evidence, and she could blow the operation wide open in the next edition of the Daily Planet.
This time she was determined to get the headlines. This time she was determined to keep the bylines to herself. After all, it was her story. She wasn't about to share this with anybody.
Especially that wimp Clark Kent. She'd actually invited him to accompany her tonight, knowing full well that he would come up with some lame excuse not to. He always did. Well, he could work on whatever story he wanted to, safe and sound at his desk within the Planet newsroom. She was doing what any good investigative journalist did, getting out into the field and digging up the real story.
According to her sources, two undercover narcotics agents had already disappeared while trying to infiltrate this operation. Now it was her turn to go in. And she wasn't going to disappear.
The warehouse looked abandoned, but she knew it wasn't. It was a simple matter to get inside. A cat burglar had taught her the rudiments of lock picking years ago when he'd reformed and become one of her main informants. The skill had come in handy many times before. And unlike law enforcement authorities, she didn't need a search warrant. Just one of the myriad advantages of being with the press.
She could have just broken down the door, but she wanted to be a little more subtle, leave things intact for as long as possible. And the lock on the back door proved to be ridiculously simple. Of course having X-ray vision helped, the inside of the lock fully exposed to her extraordinary eyesight.
Opening the door and stepping inside, she found herself in a small, bare office. The only piece of furniture was an old wooden desk. There wasn't even a chair to go with the desk. Nor was there any need to go through the desk drawers, for her X-ray vision quickly showed it to be empty.
There was a door leading further into the warehouse. Through there was where her story would be. Through there was where the action would be. Taking off her raincoat and dropping it on top of the desk, she smoothed out her smartly tailored pinstripe business suit, checked to make sure the short skirt hung properly, and then crossed the office, opened the door, and briskly stepped through.
Two men caught her as she came through the door, each man taking hold of one of her arms. Both were big burly men, dressed in work shirts and jeans. She could have easily broken free of them, but she hadn't found what she'd come for yet. Hoping that the men were going to take her where she wanted to go anyway, she merely pretended to struggle as they tightened their hold on her arms and forced her forward into the room. The room was filled with rows of wooden packing crates. Taking her halfway down an aisle, they roughly shoved her down atop one of the crates.
"What the …?" she began, trying to stand up. Or rather, pretending to be trying, allowing a rough hand on her shoulder to keep her down.
"Quiet!" One of the men slapped her, hard. She turned her head with the impact, not wanting him to break his hand against her cheek and prematurely end the masquerade and break her cover.
Two more men joined them. One was a short, slim man, dressed in an impeccably tailored suit. His Italian leather shoes probably cost more than a month of the reporter's salary. Gold and diamonds glittered on the fingers of each hand and on one earlobe.
The other man was obviously a bodyguard, his suit not fitting nearly so well on his large frame. A frame that looked to be all muscle. Not that it was going to make any difference to her; she knew that she had far more strength in her little finger than any man, no matter how big and strong, had in his entire body. As she'd proven time after time.
"Who's this?" the short man in the good suit asked, drawing her attention back to him.
"We caught her snooping around," the man who'd slapped her replied. Fortunately for both of them, he hadn't slapped her hard enough to hurt his hand. Her cover was still intact, as was his hand.
The short man leaned in, studying her face.
She could smell cigarettes on his breath. She thought she recognized the brand.
"You a cop?" he asked.
She didn't answer. Out of boredom more than curiosity, she peeked into his pocket to determine the brand of cigarettes he favored. Her X-ray vision confirmed her acute sense of smell.
"You a cop?" he asked again.
"No," she answered. "I … I'm looking for my boyfriend. He's supposed to be waiting for me." She looked around furtively, pretending to be scared. She located the cigarette lighter in the little man's pants pocket. It was gold, monogrammed with his initials.
He looked at the two workers. "Either of you supposed to be waiting for her?"
The other worker looked down at her with a leer. He spoke for the first time. "Been waitin' for 'er all my life."
She glanced over at him. She could bet he'd been waiting for all his life. With his bad complexion and broken teeth, most women would have run screaming from him.
The remark caught a chuckle from Slapper, even as he moved behind her to hold her down by the shoulders. Even the bodyguard looked a little amused.
The little man, however, was not amused. He leaned into her face again. "Who knows you're here?" he asked.
"I told you. I'm looking for my boyfriend. He was supposed to meet me here." She glanced at each of the four men in turn, as if she was now beyond merely frightened.
"What's his name?" the little man demanded.
She produced a name out of thin air, the first name of one college boyfriend and the last name of another. "You seen him around?" she added.
"Ain't nobody here by that name," Zitface said. What a surprise.
"Hold her here," the little man commanded. "Find something to tie her up."
As Slapper continued to hold her down, Zitface crossed the aisle to a forklift and returned with several lengths of steel chain, visibly sagging under the weight.
She had to suppress a laugh. She also had to do a good job of pretending to struggle, being careful not to break free of Slapper's grip as Zitface wrapped the chains around her body several times. She also had to pretend to sag under the weight, though the weight was negligible to her – they may as well have been laying a silk scarf around her shoulders. Silk scarves, duct tape, ropes, steel chains, it wasn't going to make any difference to her in the end.
"What do we have left?" the little man asked as the men finished tying her up.
"We got two more crates left," Slapper answered.
"Okay. Finish bringing 'em in, then take her out and put her on the ship. You know the drill. When we go out in the morning, we can drop her in the drink."
That was as good as a confession. At least she now knew what had happened to the two missing agents. And they intended for her to be next in line to receive the same treatment.
That was so not going to happen.
She had seen and heard enough to put these goons away. Now it was time for her other self to take action, direct action. It might be too late for her to help the two missing agents, but she could still make sure that their sacrifice had not been in vain. Chains clanked as she quickly rose to her feet and pulled her arms sharply forward in a gesture that was not much more than a shrug of her shoulders.
The links clinked and groaned as the chain stretched. But she was making no particular effort to remove the chains. There was no point to it; mere steel wasn't going to confine her strength. Bringing her hands up and grabbing the lapels of her own tailored blue suit instead, she quickly pulled her arms apart. The shriek of breaking metal was drowned out by the ripping of cloth. Ripping off her suit – this was far from the first time she'd ruined a set of clothes on the job and, to tell the truth, she actually enjoyed doing it this way – and letting the remains of the chain fall to the floor at her feet, the tatters of her outer clothes fluttering down somewhat slower, she now stood exposed in a familiar blue-and-red outfit.
None of the men had reacted quickly enough to even attempt to keep her from standing up, not that they could have kept her down even had they tried. In fact, all four of them seemed to be frozen in shock, staring at the big red S now fully exposed on her generous chest.
"Okay boys, now it's my turn," Superwoman said, putting her hands on her hips after brushing off the last of her outer clothes and smiling at each man in turn.
Slapper, the larger of the two workers, unfroze enough to rush her.
There's always one in every crowd, she thought to herself as she watched the man's clumsy charge, seeming to move in slow motion. Some man who thinks that just because I'm a woman and he's a man, he can overpower me with just his muscles. Some man with muscles between his ears.
Some man who thinks that the big red S on my chest stands for "stupid," or "sex."
Sidestepping him with the grace of a ballerina and the speed of a striking rattlesnake, she took a hand from hip just long enough to give Slapper a gentle push in the back as he careened past her. The little push more than tripled his speed, causing him to leave his feet and fly across the room. He came down more than twenty feet away on a stack of packing crates, the wood splintering under his weight.
Putting her hand back on her hip, she turned to see that the bodyguard had drawn a gun, a snub-barreled revolver. It was pointed in her general direction.
Superwoman had to resist the urge to laugh. Still, she couldn't help but smile. "Go ahead," she told him, remaining where she stood. "Try it. I dare you."
The man looked unsure, looking down at her, then down at the gun in his hand, and then back up at her.
Apparently he wasn't accustomed to shooting beautiful young women. At least not with that "gun." Keeping her hands on her hips and thrusting out her chest, she took a step toward him.
That apparently decided things for him, for he steadied the gun at her chest and squeezed the trigger.
Time slowed for Superwoman as the bullet came out of the smoke and flame at the end of the stub barrel. She stood still and watched as the bullet came unerringly toward her. She continued to watch as the bullet struck her left breast about two inches above and an inch to the outside of the nipple. It dimpled the soft flesh about two inches before meeting the harder underlying pectoral muscles. Then it was the bullet's turn to give, the steel-jacketed lead slug flattening slightly before her resilient flesh popped it out. It flew about ten or twelve feet before falling to the floor.
The impact had caused a delightful tingling sensation. Fighting the urge to add to it, she kept her hands firmly on her hips. "Just one?" she asked. "You don't have any more?"
Fortunately for her, he did. He squeezed the trigger as fast as he could.
The recoil caused the gun to jump around in his two-handed grip. She had to move around slightly in order to take every bullet on her chest, keeping every impact within about three inches of her nipples. At the same time, she was careful to make sure the ricochets went to the sides; while the bullets didn't even tickler her, the ricochets off her softest flesh still had more than enough force to cause the men some damage if they were to hit.
Finally the hammer clicked on an empty cylinder. "Ah, is that all?" she said, a hint of disappointment in her voice. Taking a couple of steps toward the frozen man, she reached out and closed her hand the hot barrel. A flick of her wrist pulled the gun out of his two-handed grip. She quickly mashed up the hardened gunmetal in her hands like a snowball before tossing it away over her shoulder. It slammed into a wooden crate like a cannonball, shattering it to splinters.
"Too bad you don't have any more," she told him, reaching out and taking hold of his arm. Another flick of her wrist sent him flying over her shoulder and across the room, landing atop the first man.
"What about you?" she asked, turning to the two remaining men. "You boys have toys, too?"
Zitface, the other warehouse worker, was backing away from her, his loyalty apparently having reached the limit of what he was being paid. At her words, he froze, stopping in place.
Her words had a completely different effect on the little man, who spun and took to his heels.
"Don't go anywhere," she told the remaining worker. Her arm flashed out as she took a step toward him, and the tip of her index finger struck the point of his chin with several times the force of a heavyweight boxer's best knockout punch. He flew across the aisle and came down atop another packing crate. This crate didn't collapse under his weight. Still, he would be obeying her command and not going anywhere for a while.
That left just the cowardly runner, the erstwhile leader of this little bunch. He'd almost made it to the end of the row of crates. As fast as he was running, she was faster. Easily catching up to him before he could take two more strides, she brought her hand down on his shoulder and stopped.
The little man didn't stop quite so quickly. His feet went out from under him as they kept going and she held his shoulder stationary, with not quite enough force to actually break any bones. A twist of her wrist then turned him around to face her.
With his feet dangling above the floor, he was trying to reach a hand into a pocket of his suit. Her X-ray vision quickly found what he was reaching for. Still holding him up with one hand, she reached in with the other and pulled out the small automatic before he could get to it. With one hand holding her captive, she couldn't easily mash it up like a snowball as she had done with the first one. Instead, she pulled the weapon into her stomach and up against the underside of her breasts.
Her ample breasts couldn't completely muffle the tortured squeal of the hard metal as it bent against her far harder flesh. Nor could it muffle the sound of the bullets cooking off under the immense pressure and heat.
The little explosions washed over the underside of her breasts. The warmth spread over the entire front of her body. She closed her eyes and let out a low moan.
His cry of pain made her open her eyes. She obviously hadn't contained all of the blasts, for there were several small scorch marks on the front of his tailored suit. No blood was visible, but she suspected that he'd shortly have some bruises. She pulled her hand away and let the fragments fall to the floor at her feet.
Now that flight was no longer an option, he'd apparently decided to put up a fight. Drawing back a leg, he brought his foot up in what he probably thought was a powerful kick. The force behind it was laughable. The aim was a different matter, though she did help him out by lifting him just a bit higher. The pointed shoe came up between her legs and struck her softest spot.
He yelled in pain as his big toe broke, the expensive Italian leather unable to protect his toe from the most delicate and intimate portion of Superwoman's anatomy.
"Oh, did that hurt?" she asked sweetly, showing no indignity at his attempted assault of her most private parts. "You want me to kiss it and make it better?" Without waiting for an answer, she pulled him swiftly down and toward her.
Not that she had any intention of really kissing him. Before their lips could meet, his chest struck her large full breasts. The impact knocked the air out of his lungs and he lost consciousness. Now he would definitely have bruises on his chest.
Carrying him across the room, she dropped his limp body atop that of his underling. Dusting off her hands, she glanced around. The entire building dissolved into a wireframe drawing as she looked for more people. Somewhat to her disappointment, there were none.
The fight had been short, much too short. But then, there had been only four of them. Gathering up the other unconscious men, she tucked them under her arms as if they were nothing more than a couple of sacks of groceries. Carrying all four men to a side door, she kicked it open, barely noticing that it had been chained and padlocked on the other side. Stepping outside onto the loading dock, Superwoman was just gathering her legs under her, preparing to leap up into the sky when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Lois? Are you all right?"
"Huh?" She raised her head from her crossed arms and opened her eyes, blinking several times as she focused on the Daily Planet newsroom. Since it was a Sunday, the place was almost calm. She wouldn't have been here at all had it not been for the incident down at the docks last night.
"Are you all right, Lois?" Clark Kent repeated.
"Of course I am!" Lois Lane snapped, turning her head around to look up into his concern-filled face. "Why shouldn't I be?"
"Did Superman get to you in time? Did those smugglers hurt you?"
"Yes, I'm all right!" she snapped again.
Her movement had jogged the mouse on its pad. The screensaver dissolved and there before her in phosphor dots was the story on the smuggling operation she'd written and filed. Superman had burst in, apprehended the smugglers, and led the police to the site. She had been there.
In fact, she had been inside the warehouse. The smugglers had caught her and tied her up for disposal in the morning. She might not be alive now had it not been for Superman's timely arrival.
That was a detail she had deliberately omitted from her article.
Kent's eyes had followed her gaze to the screen. "I caught up with Superman," he said. "He hoped he'd been in time, but was afraid the smugglers might have roughed you up a little."
"I'm fine," Lois replied. She was not about to admit to anybody – especially to Kent – how scared she'd been. Where had he been, anyway, while she was digging into the story? Going into that warehouse alone? It was so typical of Kent to make himself scarce just as soon as things got rough. And then, to add insult to injury, Kent had gotten the interview with Superman after the Man of Steel had freed her and then …
"Well, I got his view of the story," Kent continued. "Perry's going to run it this evening as a sidebar to your piece."
Disappeared only to grant an exclusive interview to Clark Kent.
Oh, great, she thought. So she got the byline, so what? Who would care about her part in the story now? People weren't going to remember that it was Lois Lane who had exposed the smuggling operation. They were only going to remember that Superman had burst in and broken up the operation, apprehending the smugglers.
"You know I care about you," Kent was saying. "You know I don't like you doing things like that. Someday, Superman might not be there for you."
"Don't patronize me!" she snapped. "I can take care of myself!"
"I'm not saying you can't, Lois. I just worry about you, that's all."
"Well, don't!" She turned off her computer with more emphasis than was strictly necessary. She then pushed her chair back from her desk.
As Kent tried to back away form her, he tripped over one of her chair's casters. Stumbling, he tried to catch himself on the desk next to Lois's. His hand dislodged a coffee mug, spilling pens and pencils to the carpet.
Picking her purse up from her desk, Lois stepped around Kent and headed for the door as he bent down to pick them up.
"Lois! Wait," he called out to her from the floor.
She continued walking, not slackening her pace.
"You've had a rough night, Lois. Let me at least take you out for lunch," he offered, getting up and running to catch up with her.
Under other circumstances she might have accepted. For all his patronizing attitude and rustic country way, he wasn't all a bad sort. Today, however, spending more time with Kent was the last thing she needed. "I'm going home," she snapped over her shoulder, knowing with whom she was having lunch today. "I have a cat to feed," she added, before hurrying to the elevator and pushing the call button. This time of day she didn't have to wait long before the doors whooshed open. She stepped in and immediately turned around, pointedly preventing him from joining her.
"Lois …" he began even as she punched the button for the lobby.
He had started to reach toward her. Now he had to pull his hand back to keep it from being trapped by the door.
Lois rode down to the lobby in silence, thankful that the powers that be had seen fit not to provide the normal elevator music in the Planet's elevators.
It was still drizzling outside. Fortunately, a cab stopped directly in front of the door. As one of the sports columnists emerged, Lois ran out and flagged the cab before the cabby could drive off. Getting inside, she closed the door and gave him the address of her apartment building.
The cab started moving just as Kent came out of the building, still struggling to get into his raincoat. Only after the cab had rounded the corner onto Jefferson did she let out a sigh and relaxed, slumping into her seat.
Why couldn't she be the one with the amazing Kryptonian powers? Why couldn't she be the one to stop evildoers and rescue innocents?