The smells and subtle textures of the market were enticingly romantic, but there was more going on her than meets the eye. The city of Damascus claimed to be one of the oldest in the world and the ancient and now modern crossroads was at the heart of its fair share of history. As was sometimes unfortunate for the capital, what it sometimes gained in trade was often also taken away by political instability. From where Lois stood this was not evident, as the people here tried to go ahead with their day-to-day lives as much as possible, and as the bazaar still maintained the life of a people interested in the pursuit of their own happiness and of promoting a sense of community. The pleasant setting was not why Lois was here though, even if she wished that it was. She was on the trail of a monster.
Not all monsters were the kind that she might have been used to seeing in Metropolis. Out here in the real world the monsters didn’t wear symbols on their chests, instead they wore expensive business suits. A man in a business suit in Arabia was not a rare sight anymore, and even walking through the market there were enough of them. Lois herself was also inauspicious, though for completely different reasons. In what proved to be a bit of hypocrisy, she was covered head to toe in the veiled hijab, with only her eyes being seen to the people around her. Whereas a few months before she had written a critical editorial on the politics behind this garment, she now was wearing one herself. She now understood better how the superheroes felt hiding themselves from the world for their own safety.
The concern over weapons of mass destruction were prevalent in the region. There had been real WMDs in the Iraq-Iran War and they had been used for a pretext of the invasion of Iraq under the leadership of President Bush. With no evidence ever having been found for the latter invasion, they were necessarily a hot topic at the moment. There were those that had claimed that the president of Syria had used them on his own people, which would be a violation of the Geneva Convention if it were to be true. There were reasons to assume that the international powers would not act against the regime, mainly because of Russian support and the concerns that there were terrorist cells among the rebels.
Lois was not so much concerned with the reaction of the international political bargaining, she just wanted that the information get out there so it could be judged. She had been in the region for over a month, but she had just arrived to Syria in the past three days on a tip. It was a strong indication of the instability of the region that for the moment Beirut was considered a safe spot and that is how she had been able to gain entry to the country. She had informed that a notorious weapons runner was here and willing to make a deal. The arrogant man was part of an informal group of arms dealers known as the Chemical Axis and he called himself the Heart of Acid. Such was his arrogance though that he feared no one, and that his concept of hiding in plain sight made him easy to spot. Lois had been following his contact as surreptitiously as she could through the market for some time now, and she had bought a few items that she had not planned on, though she would probably keep the rose oil. Her prey had almost gotten away from her at one point, but she had picked up his trail once again. It was just then that she saw the arms dealer. He was meeting the contact at the edge of the market. Lois ducked into a small alcove and whipped out the telescopic camera that she had hidden beneath her robes. She clicked five quick pictures of the meeting and then turned back into the market, disappearing into the chaos. She had her proof that the chemical weapons were here, it was only now for her to show them to the world.