continued from here part 2
A fierce battle raged as Superman squared off against Lex Luthor in his power suit. Lex looked on the carnage and smiled, "Its about damned time you figured out what it takes to win this game."
As the last word came out Superman slammed into him ripping off the chest plate and yanking Lex free of the suit. He then took him by the throat, "You have no idea how often I've dreamed of this."
Lex turned his eyes to his nemesis and choked out, "Trust me Clark, I know."
Superman then snapped his neck and tossed him aside paying no attention to the device on the back of Lex's neck as an LED pulsed.
Across the country in a subterranean lab a monitor indicates, 'Download complete'.
A tube then raises from the floor and opens releasing a child, physically no more than five years old. A lab tech reaches down to hand him some clothing and smiles, "Welcome back Mr. Luthor."
The child then takes them and exits the room. He looks back before the door closes, "Your help has been appreciated."
He is then jettisoned away as the lab seals everyone inside before collapsing in on itself to eliminate all who knew Lex Luthor still lived. They child then looked on the Android parents he had built for himself and grinned.
Chris Freeman wandered around in front of a cafe counting up his last bit of change hoping he had enough for a decent breakfast. He'd been on the streets a week now and had kept from turning to Captain Marvel to avoid unwanted attention.
As he pulled the last few pennies from his pocket he noticed a few T-spheres floating around the area and turned to keep out of sight but noticed several more. He began to panic a bit and nearly yelled Shazam, but a car pulled up and the man inside spoke, "Get in."
Chris looked at the man thinking he looked somewhat familiar, "Do I know you?"
The man looked impatient, "You are Chris Freeman, and a wizard recently granted you super powers. Now you can either let me explain on the way, or you can let the spheres call down a legion of hawkmen that would be more than happy to bring your head to their master."
Chris couldn't argue with the logic so he hopped in. The man then drove off unnoticed by the passing spheres.
Chris looked over, "Did the wizard send you to help me?"
The man burst out laughing, "No, I suspect your wizard wouldn't be at all happy you were in my car."
Chris became nervous, "Okay, then who are you, and what do you want from me?"
"My name is Lex Luthor, and your going to help me bring down Superman."
Chris looked at him incredulously, "Lex Luthor has been dead for like 30 years, and even if he weren't he'd be like a hundred. You don't even look 40."
Lex then pulled the car over at a library and walked Chris into the history section and found a book on the history of Superman. He thumbed through the pages for a moment then handed the book over to Chris. He looked over the picture of Lex Luthor and then the man standing in front of him and then slid the book back on the shelf, "Okay, at the very least this has to be worth a conversation."
The two then drove in silence for a few minutes until they reached Lex's home. As they entered Lex began, "This is not my original body, in fact neither was the one Superman killed a few decades ago but that's not important. Basically at the moment of my death, I downloaded my mind into a cloned body as a child. It was a great cover for a very long time."
Lex then asked Chris to have a seat at a dining room table as robotic servants brought in several trays of food. Lex then took a seat across from him, "I have been biding my time waiting for an opportunity for a bit of pay back but quite frankly my enemies have grown too powerful for me alone. Then a little over a week ago a lightning bolt struck your house. At first I thought it was your Grand father but when I saw the hawkmen drag him away I knew it had to be you."
Chris made a plate and asked, "And you want me to go fight Superman? Are you high?"
Lex rolled his eyes and shook his head, "No, well not right now anyway. You see boy, you have something no one else has at the moment. You have something he's afraid of, a power that may rival his and he can do nothing about it unless you allow him to."
Chris swallowed some eggs and gave Lex a curious look, "So what do you want me to do?"
Lex smiled, "For now, I want you to be a hero to people. Right now the powers that be are shouting to the world that Captain Marvel has returned and he's a terrorist who killed your parents. In response I want you to go out and be the golden boy scout he used to be, I want you to shame him. I want the public to shower you with praise and look on with contempt as his media spreads lies about you."
Chris put down his fork, "And how do I do that?"
"We'll figure something out."
Metropolis 3 days later.
A bulletin went out across every news station in the city, "Authorities are currently looking for vandals that have removed the head from the Superman statue in the center of Metropolis last night, it was found just after dawn this morning on the White House lawn. Sources indicate that authorities are baffled as to how this occurred without a single witness, nor how they managed to get it past White House security."
The anchorman seemed visibly uncomfortable as he shifted in his seat, "In other news, people across the city have been reporting sightings of the terrorist known as Captain Marvel. John Rider has more on this."
The reporter on the street was standing next to one eye witness and asked, "Please tell our viewers what you saw."
The man started, "First of all, that didn't look like no terrorist to me. Never heard of a suicide bomber who was out saving little kids from getting hit by buses, the guy even flew up and caught the balloons she let go of when he moved her out of the way. Of course then them damned hawkmen....."
The program cut back to the anchorman, "Obviously, the witness must have been confused about what he saw."
The White House Lawn
Superman glares into his own face carved in three metric tons of marble, "Somebody better give me a damn good reason for this slipping past them."
The Security chief nervously spoke up, "Well, sir, we don't really know. One second nothing, the next, there's a giant head there. The intruder simply moved too fast for our alert system, it was basically like we were hit by, well, you."
"Mr. President, we have some matters that require your attention."
He looked back on his personal assistant, Brenda Faraday, "What is it, Ms. Faraday?"
She looked over at the worried security staff, "Its of a sensitive nature, it might be best if we took this inside."
He gave a hateful glare to the security, "Fine."
As he walked off the chief let out a sigh of relief.
In the office, Superman paced as Wonder Woman sat in thought on the couch. Faraday read reports, "In the last few days he's pretty much gone down the list of campy hero crap. He's saving orphans and rescuing kittens from trees, meanwhile Hawkmen are roughing up witnesses about this terrorist's whereabouts."
Wonder Woman's eyes turned to her, "And what's the problem with that?"
Brenda looked up from the files, "Well, basically its making us look like the bad guys."
Superman sat down in his chair behind the desk, "He's waging a damn PR war, the head on the lawn wasn't a message for me. He did it to let the people know he could get to me."
Wonder Woman turned to him, "He's a child."
"So was Billy. Brenda call Jonn."
The Martian Manhunter stood in front of Freddy Freeman, "I can't be sure if what I see is real or not. His mind is nearly lost due to his condition. He barely knows who he is at this point."
Superman looks on from the monitor, "Hit him with the purple ray."
"It wouldn't matter at this point the neural pathways are already degraded, but perhaps we could use him as a bargaining chip."
(To be continued)