Rated M-MA, all characters owned by DC
“His problem is his strength; his physiology” stated Dr Lex Luthor to the audience in the auditorium of the Catherine Grant Show “And from what we’ve learnt from General Lane, Superman; or as I call him, Clark, was never held as a child”
“And why is that?” asked Catherine who was literally on the edge of her seat.
“Clark came to us from a planet roughly 2.9989875 × 10 metres or 0.317 light years from…” Dr Luthor stopped and looked at the puzzled look on his hosts face “A long way away some thirty years ago.” He paused and took a sip of his water “Now, excuse Chloe was it? Could you bring up the images on the screen…thankyou”
Dr Luthor removed a green laser pointer and pointed to the images on the screen behind them “NASA calculated that Clark’s home planet is this, now gaseous ball in what they designate as Sector 2682. For example our place in the universe is designated 2841 a…”
“So there are three thousand sectors?” asked Catherine, trying to add to the lecture.
Dr Luthor bottled his rage with a patronising smile “No! There are three thousand six hundred known sectors of space. As I was saying…” He briefly paused almost daring her to speak before he continued “Clark’s planet WAS there, but their red sun went terminal supernova…it exploded, and through sheer luck, Clark was rocketed here in a capsule”
“But he looks like us?” Catherine blurted out
“Yes, yes he does” said Dr Luthor “The universe is a large place. The idea that humans are unique in their appearance is well, rather short sighted. Seemingly evolution occurred on Krypton much like here on Earth. But that is a talk for another time”
The audience chuckled.
“When Clark landed on Earth as a baby, we know he landed in Smallville Kansas. He was taken in by Martha and Jonathan Kent. Allow me to remind you that under revised federal law, all meteorites that enter US airspace are property of the US government”
“Why is that Dr Luthor?” asked Catherine.
“Because of things like Clark” replied Lex as he motioned for the next image “As I said earlier Clark’s physiology is much different to humans, though looking and passing for human. His cells absorb sunlight and store that energy. But unlike us humans who merely get Vitamin D from sunlight, it grants Clark his super powers. His flight, heat vision and of course his prodigious strength”
Catherine started “Which…”
“Which Ms Grant,” Lex interrupted “Has been Clark’s problem from the beginning. Strength is something you can’t control. As he grew so did his strength. The Kent’s must have thought the child they found was merely strong for his age, until he broke Martha’s jaw when he wriggled. Within that first year Clark had killed his first two people”
“But he was a baby” said Catherine
“This is true!” said Dr Luthor “But the Kent’s are still dead. Clark was taken to an orphanage, which he burnt down. The authorities were called in and that is how General Lane came to look after Clark, the boy raised by machines”
“So Clark’s childhood was devoid of human contact?”
“Unfortunately, yes!” stated Dr Luthor “Ms Grant, Clark’s urine is like hydrochloric acid. He has a scream that can explode strengthened bank glass five kilometres away. Now think on how random a child is? They are cute when they sleep but they move, wriggle, cry and flail their arms. That is how he ended up being raised by machines for they were the only thing durable enough to endure him! This…”
He pointed to a swathe of destruction “Is what happened when a seven year old Clark lost his temper and threw a tantrum which cost two hundred and fifty million dollars! Money that came out of your pocket”
The audience booed.
Dr Luthor smiled “And killing Clark wasn’t feasible nor achievable. General Lane once had a meal provided to Clark consisting of basically sugar coated polonium 210, arsenic mixed with orange juice and ice-cream made from Blue-ringed octopus venom, which there is no antivenin. He burped and asked for seconds”
The audience gasped. Catherine hung on Dr Luthor’s every word.
“It wasn’t until five years ago that I discovered kryptonite and we have been able to keep Clark at bay. Part of the reason I’m not dead is due to these” He indicated the beautiful green jewellery on his hands and neck “And Metropolis is safe thanks to the kryptonite grid we have installed. Gotham and Keystone City have their grids and hopefully soon the entire US will be Clark free! We finally have a way to stop the unstoppable!”
The audience erupted in clapping and cheering, Catherine herself giving him a standing ovation before regaining her composure “Now Dr Luthor, what should people do if they see Superman?”
Lex looked down his nose at her “Don’t call him Superman! He isn’t human. It was a stupid label given to him by a woman at the Daily Planet and has stuck. His name is Clark, named after the brave young naval cadet who sacrificed herself when she attempted to breastfeed him to calm the little alien monster down!”
The audience erupted in applause
Lex smiled and continued “He is dangerous! If you see him, don’t panic! Try to remain calm and get yourself under the grid. Or you can purchase a kryptonite ring from my website which will give you limited, personal protection”
“I can see it comes in different varieties” laughed Catherine.
“Yes each shade of the spectrum has a differing effect upon Clark. Green has the most effect, but red and yellow are equally effect…tive” Lex stopped as something small clipped his right shoulder. He clicked a button on his belt enveloping himself in a force field.
“Ladies and Gentlemen!” roared Lex “Please take cover and make your way to the exits, quickly and immediately!”
Plink! Plink! Plink!
Three metal balls hit Lex’s shield and ricocheted into the lighting rig. The audience screamed and ran for their lives. Lex turned to warn Catherine but she lay slumped in her chair, a small hole in the centre of her forehead.
Lex fished out a telescope-like device from his pocket and held it up to his eye. It scanned the area and focused in through the entry hole in the studio roof. The device went into zoom mode before focusing in on a small red and blue blur.
On the edge of space high above Metropolis, Clark hovered with a handful of lug nuts. He closed his left eye and raised up a lug nut. He flicked the nut down at his target.
“Just because you hide behind your shield,” he muttered as he took aim again “Doesn’t mean I can’t hurt you!”
Dr Lex Luthor looked up “For someone invulnerable, you seem to get hurt when people talk about you Clark. Do you need a hug?”
PLINK! PLINK! PLINK!