Superman and The Shadow Matchmaker Chronicles Volume 0.5 6/26

Rated PG-13

/ “text”/ indicates telepathic communication
*text* indicates bold
<text> indicates thoughts
{text} indicates over the telephone

Universal Locator designation Alpha 023 x Gamma 004 x Tau -120 – Prime
Universal Locator designation Alpha 025 x Gamma - 086 x Tau 142 Alt 25 Shadow


Preeviously

She looked around and not seeing a balcony, asked, “Where do we leave from?”

He smiled and replied, “It is well known that Superman visits Lois Lane on occasion.” He stepped over to a window and with a gentle push, opened it. “She leaves this window unlocked so that I can come in whenever I want to.” He stepped over to her and scooped her up in his cradle carry and lifted her effortlessly. When he did, she skirt opened at the slit to reveal her shapely leg, almost all the way to the hip.

She yelped in surprise and then her arms automatically went around his neck the same way that Lois’s did and he smiled at the familiar gesture.

Stepping to the window he said, “Here we go.”

“Won’t I be cold? It usually is when I fly with Miles.”

“Fly with Miles?”

“Yes, Miles, Miles Crofton. He’s a pilot that works for Lamont and flies his autogyro. It has an open cockpit.”

With a chuckle, Clark replied, “No, you won’t be cold. My aura will protect you.”

“Aura?”

“Like a protective barrier. It covers whoever I am carrying. Don’t worry. You will be as safe as if you were a baby in your mother’s arms.”

“Easy for you to say.”

Even though she had already flown with him, as they lifted off, he could feel her arms tighten around his neck and he could see that her eyes were closed. He floated them out the window and then reached back to push it closed before zooming away.

After very few seconds, she started to relax and he could feel her loosen her grip around his neck. A few seconds later her eyes were open and she was looking around, interestedly.

He asked, “Isn’t this better than an autogyro?”

“Golly, yes! There’s no engine noise, no vibration … I don’t even have to shout to make myself heard. This is wonderful! Do you take Lois flying, often?”

“As often as I can, she loves to fly.”

With a broad smile, she replied, “I can see why!”

A few minutes later, Clark started his descent to a landing.

Margot saw a neatly maintained old fashioned farm house and neatly laid out fields. She didn’t see any crops, but that just meant that the harvest had been done recently. As they landed in the front yard, she saw a woman, who had apparently been watching for them, come bustling out of the house. Margot was embarrassed when without preamble, the woman threw her arms around her and gave her a motherly hug.

When ‘Lois’ didn’t respond as expected, Martha stepped back slightly, slid her hands down ‘Lois’s arms, grasped her hands and looked her over. As her hands touched ‘Lois’s’, she lifted Lois’s left hand and examined it. Then she looked accusingly at Clark and in a no nonsense tone, challenged, “Clark Jerome Kent, what have you done? Where is Lois’s ring?” She changed the object of her discourse and seeing the uncomfortable look on ‘Lois’s’ face, asked, “Lois, has this lunkhead of a son of mine done something? What did he do?”

Martha stopped when she heard Clark chuckle and looked at him. He turned to ‘Lois’ and said, “I told you … you look just like her.” Then he addressed his mom, “Mom, please allow me to introduce, Margot Lane. She is visiting our world temporarily while Lois is in her world. Margot, this is my mom, Martha Kent.”

Martha looked at her again and asked, “Margot? Margot Lane? How did this happen?”

“Clark said that someone named Tempus was responsible.”

At the name, Martha gasped and said, “Oh, no, not him again!”

In a resigned tone, Clark replied, “I’m afraid so.”

Martha slapped his arm and said, “Why didn’t you tell me while we were on the phone?”

Defensively, he replied, “I was going to, but you hung up before I could.”

Turning back to Margot, Martha said, “Oh, okay, well, anyway, welcome to Chez Kent. I guess you’re hungry otherwise you wouldn’t be here for lunch.” She hooked her arm with hers and headed for the door, “Let’s go in and get acquainted. I need to introduce you to my husband, Jonathan, Clark’s father…”



And now:


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Chapter 6 –
Metropolis 1995
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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Universal Locator designation
Alpha 023 x Gamma 004 x Tau -120 – Prime
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After Margot had lunch with and spent some time getting to know Clark and his parents, Clark flew them back to Metropolis.

As they were passing over the Appalachians, Margot said, “I really like your parents. They are so friendly and welcoming. Lamont doesn’t say much about his parents. They died when he was very young. He was about ten, I guess, when they were killed in a storm.”

“What kind of storm?”

“I think it was a tornado, but I’m not sure.”

“Where were they?”

“I’m not sure. Kansas I think.”

“That’s where we just were.”

Startled, she replied, “That was Kansas? Flying with you, I didn’t know. It would have taken a lot longer in Lamont’s autogyro to get there.”

“If he was from Kansas, that is yet another similarity and there’s another Clark that lost his parents when he was ten years old.”

The rest of the trip was flown in silence as they each mulled over this information.

Once they were inside Lois’s apartment, Clark said, “We need to start your education. First off, you are an investigative reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, the Daily Planet.”

“I’ve never been a reporter in all my life. I help Lamont with investigations, I guess that might help.”

“Yes, it should. That being the case, we need to equip you for your role. I think Lois’s old bag is in her room someplace. Be right back.” He disappeared down the hall returning shortly carrying a tan bag. It looked like an oversized purse, but it was so much more.

He laid it on the table and started pulling items out. As he did so, he narrated, “This was Lois’s gadget bag until she had a new one made. She still keeps this one stocked as a back-up. Let’s see what she has in here.” He named the items as he pulled them out, “Pad and pencil, binoculars, camera, mini-recorder, telescoping baton…”

As he laid the items out Margot picked them up and examined them. As she started to examine the camera, she was startled when the lens extended by itself when she touched a button. She almost dropped it, almost but not quite. That called for a closer inspection and Clark instructed her until he was satisfied that she understood its functions.

She picked up the mini-recorder from where he had placed it and asked, “How does this work?”

Taking it from her, he clicked the record button and said, “Say your name.”

“My name is Margot Lane.”

He clicked off the recorder and rewound it. Hitting play, she heard her own voice as she said, “My name is Margot Lane.”

Taking it from him, she exclaimed, “That’s amazing. This little thing…”

“Mini recorder.”

“This mini-recorder reproduced my voice like a record player or a wire recorder, but it’s so small!” Clark showed her what all of the buttons did and the more-or-less universal symbols that had come into common usage, play, stop, rewind and fast forward. Once she was satisfied that she could operate it easily, she set it on the table and Clark continued the inventory.

The binoculars required no explanation. She picked up the baton and asked, “What is this for?”

“Lois uses that if she has to fight.”

Taking it from her he snapped his wrist causing the baton to extend.

“Oh, it’s like a policeman’s night stick.”

“Actually, it’s a martial arts weapon called an escrima. Remember, I told you that Lois is good in a fight. That’s one of the things she uses.”

Eagerly, Margot asked, “Would it be possible for me to learn some of those things, while I’m here? I’ve never heard of this style of fighting before.”

“I don’t see why not. I won’t take you to her usual dojo because they would expect a lot more out of you. We’ll find a school where she isn’t known and get you into a beginner’s class. We can start tonight. It might be best if we do what’s called total immersion. We’ll have you do everything that Lois does routinely. When you are not involved in other activities, I’ll coach you in the people that we work with.”

“Do you have any pictures?”

“I think I can find some. Do you drive?”

“Sure I do. I’m probably rusty, Shrevvy does most of my driving for me.”

“I’ll have to take you out to see how well you do.”

“Does Lois own a car?”

“Yes, and she is very attached to it. Before I turn you loose in it, in city traffic, I want to see how well you handle it.”

“Well, I’m no Barney Oldfield, but I get by. Is it a three speed or four?”

“Barney Oldfield?”

“He’s a famous race car driver. What kind of car is it?”

“It’s an automatic.”

“Automatic what? Like a .45? I thought you were talking about a car.”

“I was. It’s an automatic shift. You place it in drive and let the car handle the gear changes for you.”

“Wow, what won’t they think of next, telephones without wires, typewriters without ribbons or paper and now cars that shift their own gears?”

While she was marveling at this, Clark booted up Lois’s laptop. He called up the picture folder and scrolled through what was there. Satisfied, he started a slideshow and called Margot over.

As he started the slide show, he narrated, “I’m going to run through these quickly, then go back over them slowly.”

She looked confused. “I thought this thing was your typewriter. It also shows pictures? What won’t they think of next? Okay. Let’s go.”

As he started to scroll through the pictures, he narrated, “This is Perry White. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, our boss. Jimmy Olsen, photographer and gopher, this is Eduardo Fraiz, International Correspondent, Steve, the sports writer…” He ran through the entire roster and finished up with, “And last, but not least, or maybe he is least, Skip. He’s a new hire and Perry has him in classifides”

Clark went through the pictures a couple of times, slowly and then called for a break. Margot asked, “So far, all I’ve seen so far are coworkers. Doesn’t Lois have a family?”

Clark nodded and disappeared into Lois’s bedroom and returned with a framed photograph. As he handed it to Margot, he said, “This is a group photo of Lois and her family.”

Margot gasped and then nodded before she spoke, “I really don’t know what I was expecting. I should have realized … that’s my family. What’s my sister’s name?”

“Lucy.”

“In my world it is Amanda. I hope that doesn’t trip Lois up if she meets my family.”

“That may be a problem there, but I don’t think that will be a problem here. Lois’s father is off somewhere working on inventing medical devices. Lois’s mother is in rehab and her sister is away in school.”

Clark turned back to the laptop and called up a folder with articles that Lois had written. “These are Lois’s stories. You should read through them and become familiar with her style.” He had her sit down and showed her how to use the touch pad and mouse buttons to scroll through and read the documents. “It has been several hours, so while you read, I’ll prepare dinner. Afterward we can find a dojo and start your karate training.”

As she sat down and started practicing the computer skills she had just been taught, she said, “Sounds like fun.”

Clark worked on dinner while Margot worked at the computer. Occasionally she would ask a question, but she was a quick study and before dinner was prepared had mastered the intricacies of the laptop and had read quite a few of Lois’s articles.

When Clark called her for dinner, she stood up and stretched.

Clark asked, “What do you think of Lois as a writer?”

She replied, “I like her style. She is straight to the point and no nonsense.”

“Do you think you could imitate it?”

“I’m not sure, maybe.”

“Those are her earlier work. Perry says…”

She interrupted, “Your editor.”

Clark smiled and said, “Quite right, the editor. Anyhow, Perry said that it wasn’t until we teamed up that the stories really became outstanding. Don’t get me wrong, we are each good in our own right, but there’s just something about the combination … I soften her sharp edges and she brings a critical eye to my human interest pieces.” He paused for a second for her to take that in before he continued, “We’ve each won awards for our writing, individually, but we have also won as a team.”

“What kind of award?”

As Clark stepped over to Lois’s cabinet and opened it, he said, “It’s called a Kerth.” He pulled out one of the awards and handed it to her.

She looked at it and asked, “What’s it made of? How did they do the lettering? What kind of etching machine did they use? It looks expensive.”

“It is and artificial crystal and they etch it with a laser.”

“Laser? What’s that?”

Crossing to the computer he brought up a picture taken fairly recently by Jimmy Olsen. It showed Ultra Woman being hit by a laser beam.

“That is a laser. It’s a device that produces a concentrated beam of light. They can do lots of things with it. In this case, my powers were transferred to Lois, then to Lucille and then back to me.”

“Wow, you mean that Lois had your powers? What must that have been like? Could I try it?”

“Lois was glad to give them back and no, the laser was destroyed.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

After dinner, Clark picked out Lois’s workout gear and asked Margot to put it on.

She disappeared into the bedroom and a few minutes later reappeared clad in spandex mini-shorts and a spandex sports bra which covered little more than a bikini would. She felt more than a little self-conscious when she stepped into the living room. She said, “I feel like a Radio City Rockette dressed for rehearsal.” When Clark didn’t ogle her in this state of what to her was undress, she started to relax. He treated it as nothing out of the norm as he said, “No one seeing you would know that you weren’t Lois. Let’s see, I think she still has her white belt in the back of the closet.” He rummaged around and found it along with Lois’s gi.

As he held up the gi, she asked, “What is that?”

“This is a karate training uniform. You wear it over the spandex. Here, I’ll help you.” He had her step into the pants and tied the waist cord. Then she put on the top and he showed her how to tie the belt.

Once she had it on, she felt a lot more comfortable because now she was covered up. She commented, “It seems awfully loose.”

“That’s to give freedom of movement.” He retrieved a pair of Lois’s sneakers and she put them on. “Now we are ready to find you a school.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Several hours later, they arrived back at the apartment.

As soon as they entered, Margot flopped down on the sofa and said, “Whew, that was some workout. I hurt in places that never hurt before. Is it always like that?”

Clark chuckled and replied, “That was just the beginning lesson. You’ve just used muscles that don’t usually get that much work. As you use them they will get used to it. In the meantime, you are starting to learn the fundamentals. Once you have them mastered they will add more techniques.”

“I think that the more of this I know, the better off I will be when I get back. How often can I have a class?”

“We want you to progress as quickly as possible. I think a class each night would be good. I think you should take a hot shower and get some sleep. The hot water will feel good on those stressed muscles. I’ll be over in the morning and we can continue your studies.”

She covered a yawn and replied, “Yes, it has been a long and eventful day. The shower will feel good and so will the bed.”

“Everything you should need will be around, somewhere. You may have to look through some drawers to find things. One thing…” He ran off and came back with a new toothbrush. “Lois had this in the medicine cabinet. You’ll need it.”

She smiled and said, “Thanks.

“Goodnight, Margot.”

“Goodnight, Clark. See you in the morning.” In more ways than one, she was disappointed that he was leaving. She did have her own bedroom in Lamont’s apartment and that kept them close. She was already missing that closeness.

* * * * * * * * * * *

The following week was a whirlwind of activity, between studying people, journalistic writing and karate. Clark took Margot to the DMV office to get a replacement license and the bank to get checks and order a replacement credit card.

Clark was trying to compress four years of journalism school into a week and at times Margot felt like her head would explode.

Finally, Clark decided that he couldn’t keep her secluded any longer and addressed the subject with her. As he was starting to cook dinner, he addressed faux Lois “I think I need to get you in to The Planet.”

Worried, she replied, “Do you really think I’m ready?”

“I think you’re about as ready as you will ever be.”

“I’ve been thinking, just so there aren’t any slip-ups, maybe you should call me Lois from now on.”

Clark replied, as he reached into his pocket, “I think that would be a good idea as well. There’s one more thing.” He opened the little box and displayed an engagement ring, “Lois wouldn’t be without this.”

Trembling, Margot held out her left hand for him to slip the ring on. “I’ve been waiting for and hoping that Lamont would be proposing. This is almost as good.”

“I have a feeling that after this time he has spent with Lois, you won’t have to wait much longer. Okay, well, tomorrow is the big day. Your first day in the bullpen. Oh, before I forget, Lois and I are rather … affectionate. By that I mean, little touches, the occasional kiss. Would you mind terribly if we did that?”

“No, I wouldn’t mind, in fact, I think I might enjoy it. I’ll pretend you’re Lamont.”

“And I will pretend that you are Lois.”

“And if something happens and this never gets straightened out?”

“I guess that you could actually become Lois. Would you mind that … terribly?”

“I don’t know. I need to see how things go.” After saying that faux Lois lifted her left hand and admired the ring newly placed upon her finger. She started smiling as she did. She was imagining, in her mind’s eye, being engaged to Lamont and with Clark there, it wasn’t very hard to imagine. She let her imagination run wild and in a state of confusion started acting like it was Clark that she was engaged to. Absently she said, “Funny about this thing ... I look down at it ... I'm surprised to see it there ... and I think about what it means ... and about you...”

Clark replied, “Don’t you mean, Lamont?”

Coming out of her fog, somewhat she replied, “Uh, well, yeah. And I wonder if he will actually propose … when I get back, if I get back. I guess, I’m just being silly, but I want to pretend that it is actually you that I’m engaged to.”

Clark thought for a second, before he replied, “That would probably be the best thing to do. We have to look and act like a happily engaged couple. I’ve told you about some of the things that got in the way of our engagement so you can think of how long it took you to finally put it on.”

Getting into the spirit of the thing, faux Lois replied, “That, too ... We've been through a lot.”

In the spirit of humorous banter, Clark replied, “'A lot?' Lois, salmon swimming upstream don't have the mating trouble we've had.”

Faux Lois was watching him and smiling as he cooked. She settled into a chair and said, “Yeah, but now we're just this old, almost-married couple... And we'll be like this forever. You cooking, me watching.”

Clark teased, “You're never cooking?”

Faux Lois replied, “It's not really something I do.”

Clark replied, “It really isn’t something that the other Lois does either. I always thought it was lack of time.”

“We are so alike in so many ways. In my case it’s lack of talent. Who needs to cook as long as room service is available?”

“I’ve learned a lot this week, but I guess there's all kinds of things I still have to find out about you.”

Faux Lois smiled and replied, “And me about you. There's no really big surprises, right?”

Teasingly, he asked, “Did I mention the flying?”

Standing up, she put her arms around his neck and said, “Yes, you did. I only marry men who fly.” She stopped herself, and said, “Maybe I shouldn’t say that. Maybe it should be … I only marry men who fly or who become invisible. What else is there to learn about you?”

Reaching over his shoulder, she swiped her finger across the spoon he had been stirring the spaghetti sauce with and then stuck said finger in her mouth to taste it. She let out an “Oooooooo,” sound and then said in a rapturous tone, “Delicious.” Impulsively she kissed him. Caught up in the instant, forgetting for the time that this was faux Lois, Clark responded and kissed her back.

Just then the phone started to ring and it broke the spell. Both realized just what they were doing and separated. As they did, Clark picked up the phone and answered, “Hello? Hi, Jimmy. Yeah, a little busy ... What? Yeah ... okay...” He hung up the phone and said, “Jimmy says we have to turn on channel six...”

As Clark moved to the living room she followed and as he grabbed the remote she said, “Wait, I was just gonna find out all this juicy stuff about you...”

Clark smiled an enigmatic smile as he clicked on the TV. As he did, centered in the frame was a run-down suburban home. The voice over was that of the sleazy Australian Top Copy Anchor, “Tonight, 'Top Copy' takes you live to the home of Miss Leigh-Anne Stipanovic...”

The picture of the house dissolved to be replaced by a shot of a marginally pretty, in a trailer trash sort of way, woman in her late twenties. The Chiron across the bottom of the screen gave her name, Leigh-Anne Stipanovic. She had a slight, but pronounced southern accent.

The reporter shoved a microphone in her face and she apparently answered a question that had been asked off microphone. Tearfully, she said, “Yes, it's true... I can remain silent no more.” She paused for a second before she continued, “I ... had Superman's love child.”

Clark’s mouth dropped open and faux Lois stared at him. In a sarcastic tone, she asked, “Is this one of the big things I was going to find out. What would Lois have said to this? At least I know that Lamont doesn’t run around on me.”

“Wait, I have no idea what this is all about. I’ve never seen that woman before in my life.”

“Why would she be claiming that if it wasn’t true?”

“It could be an extortion racket. She may just want money.”

“I guess we’ll have to see about that.”

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TBC
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