Well, we finally got this settled after much argument. I did talk my RPG friend into giving us a small sampling of that story he started for us.
He was adamant about not wanting to give anything away so we chose this little bit to just let you see that he actually
does read our posts and knows what we were discussing a few weeks back. He's incorporating our ideas, many, into the story.
I've read a little more than this and I can't wait for it to be finished. There are a couple of big surprises based on our ideas.
He was gone by the time Sarah Longley pushed her way through the milling spectators who were not in such a hurry to
leave the courtroom today. She had exchanged a glance with Jimmy Olsen at the beginning of the proceedings, seeing him at
the other side of the room when she rose at the entrance of the judge. She thought she saw a faint smile tug one corner
of his mouth as he gave her a nod before turning his attention back to the far wall of the courtroom where the judge sat looking over them.
The facts of the case against Claudine Perot were short but were being drawn out as attorneys from both sides of the aisle
fought their verbal battles before the bench.
After just a few minutes, Sarah stopped listening and opened the notebook she was carrying with her. She started reading
over her notes, looking up now and then to gauge the proceedings. She shook her head. She wasn’t sure why she, or Jimmy
Olsen, had to be present on the first day. It would be a while before they were called to testify. She supposed it was possible Claudine
would see all the witnesses who were to testify for the prosecution, lose all confidence and take a plea bargain to
save herself the ordeal of a long trial and a possible guilty verdict.
As she went back to reading her notes, Sarah wondered if that ever happened. Did felons really do that? Look at the jury assembled,
look at the witnesses called to testify and decide, “What the hell? I’ll cop a plea?”
“Lunch break, ninety minutes. I think the proceedings will go on pretty much the way it has been, Miss Longley.
Take the rest of the day off, but, uh, keep your beeper handy.”
Sarah jumped at the words spoken in her ear and she turned to see her attorney reaching for his briefcase on the floor and rising
from his seat as he spoke. She looked to her left and saw most of the spectators were leaving. Getting to her feet
she looked around her lawyer’s back and saw that Jimmy was gone, but she gave a quick glance at the door and she saw him
disappearing into the hallway outside.
She hurried behind the gallery crowd as fast as she could but in the hallway she saw Jimmy going down the stairs to the front lobby.
Getting through the milling crowd fast enough to run down the stairway and catch him would be impossible,
but if she remembered anything about him, it was his tastes in food: pizza or Chinese. She was likely to find him in the nearest place
to get one or the other. It was one p.m. and her stomach was growling.
Downstairs, she smiled at the security guard in the lobby. “Hi,” she said. “Which is closer, a good pizza or Chinese food?”
“Pizza, one block over, half a block west, other side of the street,” the guard replied and smiled, obviously not expecting that kind
of question from a young woman carrying a leather satchel instead of a purse.
The pizza place was all you can eat by the slice, fixed price with drink- salad bar and alcoholic drinks extra, but still closer
to reasonable than over priced. The variety of toppings was impressive and a quick lick of her fingers after selecting the first slice
revealed a spicy sauce beneath the cheese. Nice taste and the vegetables were in a salad bowl, where they belonged,
and not on the pizzas.
Olson spotted her as soon as Sarah came into the busy establishment and jumped to his feet and waved her to his table.
She loaded a plate and joined him. After a quick hug and exchange of pleasantries, they sat down and let small talk
about the trial fill in the spaces between mouthfuls of pizza and salad.
Sarah could tell soon enough that something about Olson was different; and it wasn’t long before she realized he was being polite.
Good manners, she thought. We used to be friends. We had an attraction to one another. We ended it by mutual
consent. He was happy to see her, to catch up, but he was being polite, and she wondered what had happened since the
last time they’d seen each other. He was so friendly and outgoing then. What had made him so. . . so unlike the young
man she remembered?
“How are things at the newspaper?” she asked, sitting back and sipping at her soft drink. “Will Mr. White let you come in
to work this afternoon?”
Jimmy frowned. “Go to work? We have to get back to the trial when we’re done. Ninety minute recess.” He imitated
the judge’s voice and flashed a quick smile.
She raised her eyebrows. “Didn’t your lawyer tell you? We likely won’t be needed today. Mine told me to keep my beeper
on hand but it wouldn’t be necessary to go back.”
He shrugged and one corner of his mouth quirked. “I don’t have a lawyer. The DA’s office told me what to expect when we met
a couple of weeks ago, but that’s all. Haven’t talked to them since.” He took a drink of his 3.2 beer. It was getting warm.
“I have a card from one of the DP’s lawyers. The chief told me to call her if I needed help or had questions. I’m supposed
to beep her when they tell me I’m scheduled to testify.”
“Oh.” Sarah took a bite of the last slice of pizza on her plate, suddenly embarrassed to have a lawyer when Jimmy didn’t;
for assuming he would have one because she did; and for knowing full well it was her parents who could afford to hire one
Jimmy gulped the last of his beer and rubbed a napkin vigorously around his mouth. “Well, I don’t have a beeper or
anyone to call me if I did, so I guess I’ll just stick around the courthouse and see what happens.”
She looked up and smiled. “You want to hang out? If mine goes off we’ll know they need us all back in the gallery. We
can really catch up, you know?”
“Yeah, sure!” he said and his enthusiasm seemed to be genuine. “How about going to the park and walking off this meal? I
was planning to climb the steps at the courthouse a few times. I really can’t resist this place when I’m in the area. I like
the jalapenos in some of the sauces.”
“Good idea, and so do I. It’s different but really good. I don’t know how I missed it when I lived in town.”
“This place was new then. A friend of mine knows all the best places in town for any kind of food you can name. He found
this place a few months back.” He looked at his watch. “As a matter of fact, he has a baseball game starting at the
middle diamond at the park at two thirty. One of those father/son things. I was going to stop and see if it was still going after court.
You want to watch a while? The game’ll be starting by the time we get there.”
“Sure. I’d like to go to the park and get my mind off the case. I still dream about it sometimes. Do you?”
He finished his beer and grabbed some toothpicks from the little container on the table. “Yeah,” he answered. “Sometimes.”
They got up and made their way between the tables and out onto the sunny street.
“How’s the job, Jim? Still keeping you busy? What are they doing without you today?”
He shrugged. “They’re getting by. I spend a lot more time on photography these days. There are new researchers
in the newsroom, so I get out a lot more.”
“Really? I thought you liked being in the newsroom, learning the job. You don’t want to be a reporter anymore?” She
turned her head and looked at him closely as he walked beside her. He was working a toothpick with one hand. It wasn’t
her imagination. He was different. Not so quick to smile.
“Nah, it isn’t that. I still think I can do the job, and I really do want to get my chance at it,” he flashed a grin and
it showed in his voice, “and CK is still pushing me to keep trying, but. . .” he sobered again, “things aren’t the same. Not that it’s
bad to be taking pictures. All those Superman and Batman shots I grabbed just after Batman’s story broke really put me on the
map as a photographer. I was just lucky, you know, but now, at least, people know my name and I can sell my work easier.”
He looked around as they stopped and waited for the lights on the corner to change. “It helps to get away from the paper
once in a while. There’s no reason to hurry back. Not with the way things are.”
“Oh? I thought it was a pretty cool place to work. I kind of envied you. I mean, well, you know, the way you could go to
any department and people were glad to see you. The way you guys went out after work and met up at that little place
down the street to unwind. Don’t you still?”
“Sure, but I don’t mean that,” he said as they started walking again. “We still meet up with the sports guys and see who
knows college ball best, who knows football better, but CK doesn’t hang with us too much anymore. Things are kind
of. . .different at the Planet. Way different.”
“Oh. What’s happened to CK? To Kent, I mean? I know he’s still there. I mean, he broke the Batman story which was a
huge surprise to me. I thought Lois would get that one. Who was that Eduardo person who was his partner on that?”
Jimmy began chewing on the toothpick, putting his hands into his pockets and looking straight ahead as they walked along.
“He and Lois broke up, you know. I mean as partners. They weren’t ever a couple. We all thought they were, but
I guess they weren’t - hell, I think CK might have thought they were - but she decided she wanted to start seeing a guy she just met.
She told him she’d decided to start dating another guy right there in the newsroom and you better believe the gossip was the reason
no one missed a day of work for the next couple of weeks! I wasn’t there – that was when you and I were in the
hospital – but when the doctor cleared me to go back to work, that was all anyone was talking about. Lois and her new boyfriend. Remember that
government agent? Scardino? The one who started hanging around after the assistant DA was murdered?”
“Yeah,” Sarah said with a smile. “I remember him. Nice guy. More her type, if you ask me.” She added after a short pause, “No
offense, but Kent never struck me as the go for it type of guy that Lois needed. He’s the house in the burbs,
dinner at six, mow the lawn type. Not my idea of an exciting guy at all, and really not the kind of guy who can keep up with Lois.
It was pretty obvious.”
Jimmy was looking at her curiously. An unspoken Really? hanging between them.
When he didn’t say anything, Sarah felt emboldened to go on. “I always thought Lois was wasting herself with Kent. He
was holding her back, you know, riding her coat tails to the top. She found someone better suited to her, didn’t you say?”
She turned to him, still smiling.
He looked away quickly. “She and Scardino put on a good show and the newsroom ate it up. He showed up everyday
to take her to lunch, sent flowers when he was out of town, had little gifts delivered, too. The newsroom loved it. You know,
Lois Lane in love at last! It was a big deal.” He drew in a deep breath. “I felt bad for CK, but Mr. White and I were
probably the only ones. Clark didn’t stick around for long. After a few days, he took a couple weeks of vacation to get
away from it all. When he didn’t come back when he was supposed to be back, it wasn’t fun anymore. Everyone knew how CK felt
about Lois, and they started thinking maybe he quit and,” he shrugged, “no one wanted that.”
In spite of herself, Sarah was interested. “But, he’s still there. So what happened?”
He nodded, stopping for another light. “One morning, the chief called us all together for a meeting and told us Mrs. Kent,
CK’s mom, called and told him there had been a car accident in Kansas and Clark was badly hurt and he was going to gone a
while longer. He was in a coma.”