Written by Dusty Kay
Transcribed by Labrat
We open at a sports ground. An athlete runs past our hero, who stoops to take a drink from the water fountain. Straightening, he notices a baseball bat, ball and glove lying on the step of the bleachers. He picks them up and smiles as a thought occurs.
Cut to intercut shots of Clark playing out his baseball fantasy, blowing bubblegum and, by using his super-speed, playing all of the members of a baseball team at once. Pitching to himself, catching his own pitches etc., he provides running commentary about the great plays by 'Kent'. Finally, he uses his powers to levitate into the air in order to catch the ball and 'wins'.
Clark: And it's caught! By Kent! And this ball game is over!
Cut to Interior of the Daily Planet. We eavesdrop through the window of Perry's office as he paces the floor, talking agitatedly into the phone. He is not a happy EIC.
Perry: What do you mean, you can't make it? Well the game starts in a few hours. Hey, where am I supposed to find another player at the last minute?
He pauses, expression changing as his gaze finds Clark in the newsroom. Annoyance changes to speculation. Suddenly, he's keen to end the conversation.
Perry: All right, all right. Look, I'll talk to you later.
He closes his cellphone and strides out of his office, heading for Clark with a wide, beaming smile. The type of smile that an alligator would use to lure unsuspecting baby rabbits into the water.
Perry: How ya doin', kid?
Clark: Oh, hi, Chief.
Perry: You know, it occurs to me that…well, we don't see enough of each other.
Clark glances at him. This is a surprising start to the conversation.
Clark: We see each other ten hours a day, sir –
Perry: Oh no no no no. I mean (He drapes a companionable arm around a bemused Clark's shoulders)…socially. You know, couple of old newspaper cronies. Going out. Having a few beers. (Clark is still confused but begins to look interested) Some laughs…
Clark: (laughing uncertainly) Well, that's nice of you, Chief; I think I have…Thursday…free –
Perry: (his smile becoming abruptly predatory) The game starts at nine. Tonight. Right here. (He pats a now thoroughly confused Clark on the shoulder.) See you there.
Clark turns to follow him as he leaves.
Perry: Poker! (He mock-punches Clark on the chest, grinning.) I bet you were a real monster round the tables, back in Smallville, huh?
Clark: (shaking his head) Actually, I was never very good at poker, sir.
Perry: (brightening) Oh. Well, that's, uh…(he grins) even better.
Cut to poker table, full of the litter of several hours gameplay: bottles of beer, half-eaten snacks, chips and cards. We pan around the table to an upbeat, jazz soundtrack, to find an anxious, stressed-out Clark, who throws in some chips.
Clark: (sounding less than certain) Twenty.
We pan further around the table. Lois sits next to Clark. In dress and manner, she's obviously a veteran of Daily Planet poker games and, unlike the visibly uncomfortable Clark, in her element. Perry sits on her other side. Other staffers make up the rest of the players. Jimmy stands with his back to the table, grazing for snacks.
Lois: Too rich for me.
Perry: All right, let's see, Clark…just to make this interesting…I'm gonna, uh, see your twenty and I'm gonna raise you a – how much you make here during the week?
Clark's face drops. A pause then everyone else laughs with Perry.
Perry: Just funning with you, son. Relax.
Clark laughs weakly.
Perry: Let's just say, oh, fifty.
Murmurs of reaction from the other players: "Ouch.", "Guess that's where my cards are…" and so on.
Perry: Take your time now. Make the right decision.
An unsettled, nervous Clark looks at his cards. Three jacks, an eight and a three.
Jimmy: You know who would be a great poker player? Superman.
Clark looks up, distracted from his agonized perusal of his cards.
Perry: Oh, great, Jimmy. We'll just invite him next week.
Lois: I don’t even know if Superman gambles.
Jimmy: But in his case it isn't gambling.
Perry: Jimmy! Please! Shut. Up. (He gestures at Clark). The man's trying to think.
Undeterred, Jimmy leans over to peer at Perry's cards.
Jimmy: He's got X-Ray vision. He could look at everyone else's cards.
Perry: Hey! (He pulls his cards away from Jimmy's view. Meanwhile, Clark is becoming increasingly more interested in Jimmy's theory than in his next play.)
Lois: Superman wouldn't do that!
Perry: Because it wouldn’t be fair play. Fair play is what Superman is all about.
Jimmy: It'd be awfully tempting, though.
Clark: (relieved as he sees a sudden way out of this uncomfortable game) Sure would. (He pulls down his glasses and begins to focus on the back of Perry's cards as Jimmy continues…)
Jimmy: I mean, especially with this kind of money on the table. (He laughs) I mean, if it were me, I would have to muster up a lot of super willpower not to sneak a peek.
Perry: Give us a break here, huh?
Camera pushes in on Clark's face as he concentrates before…
Clark: (sighing and tossing in his cards as he pushes his glasses back into place) Fold.
Perry: That's okay, son. Don't let it bother you. Poker? It's just like anything else. (He gathers in his winning chips.) Takes a little practice.
Murmurs of sympathetic agreement from the other players. Lois gathers up the cards and prepares to deal a new game.
Lois: Okay. Seven card stud. High-low. First and last cards down. One-eyed jacks and deuces wild.
Perry gives her a look that says he recognises he may not be so lucky next game.
Cut to: Exterior shot of the Daily Planet building and its globe, followed by interior shot of the newsroom. Perry and Lois exit the elevator. Lois is already in full flow and clearly unhappy.
Perry: You and Kent! The experience of the battle-scarred veteran paired with the hunger of the exciting, fresh talent!
Lois: I am not that scarred. And he is not that exciting.
Perry: Your tenacity, his tact. Believe me, Lois, the two of you – there's chemistry there. It's gonna make for great stories.
Lois: But, Perry, partnership, it's like…marriage!
Perry: That's right! You got to work at it!
Lois: It takes patience and understanding, and a willingness to be supportive….
Perry (mock supportive) I know, honey. Fake it. Now – go find your partner.
Lois groans, recognising an ultimatum she can't beat. In the background we see that Clark has been casually leaning against the counter behind her, obviously listening. As Lois spots him, he smiles and waves an ironic salute in her direction.
Clark: Howdy, partner. (speculative) What sounds better? Kent and Lane? Or Lane and Kent? Kent and Lane…Lane and…Kent…
Jimmy: Lane and Kent, definitely.
Clark turns to find Jimmy behind him.
Jimmy: Tradition! Abbott and Costello. Martin and Lewis. The straight man always goes first.
Lois gives him a sardonic look as he walks off and then directs her attention to Clark.
Lois: Either way – it'll never work.
Clark: Come on. It won't be that bad.
Lois: It'll be that bad! It'll be worse. (resigned) Let's go, he wants to see us.
Cut to: Perry's office as Lois jumps to her feet, obviously outraged.
Perry: It's not just boxing. The ultimate street fight. It's the fight card of the century, right here in Metropolis!
Lois: It's still boxing.
Perry: It’s a civic event.
Lois: It's Sports!
Perry: Lois! Just do the story.
Lois sighs and gives up. She turns to leave, Clark following, then turns back abruptly.
Lois: (suspicious) This wouldn't have anything to do with my…connections, would it?
Behind her, Clark looks puzzled.
Perry: (innocently) Uh…you…you got connections in the fight game, Lois?
Lois: (sweetly) You know I do.
Clark: Uh, what…what connections?
Perry: (snapping his fingers in sudden inspiration) Oh, that's right! (He smiles) How is your father?
Lois: (vindicated) Mmmmm. (Giving up, she turns to leave.) Come on, Clark.
Clark: What? Your father's a fighter?
Lois growls in disgust, leaving a grinning Perry behind as she exits, an intrigued and bemused Clark following at her heels.
Cut to: a Metropolis Street. Day. Clark and Lois stroll past the windows of Menken's Gym. Inside we see a large banner:
'Metropolis Street Boxing
Tommy "The Torturer" Garrison –v- Danny Brown
A Night Of Championship Boxing'
A row of gold trophies sits below the banner. We pan down through shelves of equipment and more trophies sitting on a glass case as the sounds of practice sparring and general gym chatter goes on in the background.
Clark stands in front of a glass trophy case, staring at a championship belt, prominently displayed there.
Clark: (almost reverently) The Menken Gym.
Lois comes to stand beside him. From her demeanour and expression she's less awed than he is.
Clark: Do you realise how many champions have come out of here?
Lois: (sardonic) Give me a minute to pat down my goosebumps.
Clark: You wouldn't say that if you followed boxing.
Clark: (pointing out notable exhibits) Billy Mason. Maybe the greatest middleweight of all time.
Lois: Welterweight. (She strolls off. Clark follows, frowning.)
Clark: I'll never forget it. Mason-Rodriquez, June '78 –
Lois: '79. October.
Clark gives her an irritated look. He continues, jabbing the air in pantomime re-enactment of the fight as he gamely continues:
Clark: Mason takes Rodriguez down in the eighth round –
Lois: Fourth. TKO.
Clark stops, more than annoyed now.
Clark: Would you cut it out?
Lois: Clark. You're thinking of the Mason-Ramirez fight a year earlier, before Mason moved up in weight class.
Clark shakes his head, beginning to protest, before sudden suspicion changes his expression.
Clark: Wait a minute. How did you know that?
Lois: (disingenuously) Lucky guess.
Clark: No, no, no. How?
Lois: (sighing) During the Mason-Rodriguez fight, Mason tore a rotator cuff. Which was later operated on by Dr. –
Clark: Dr. Sam Lane! Sam Lane? Wait a minute, is he your - ?
Lois: My father. So, you've heard of him?
Clark: (impressed) Anybody who's ever read the sports pages has heard of him. Practically invented reconstructive surgery for athletes. He builds them a new hip, new knee, whatever, and they come back better than they were before. So…he's your connection.
Lois: In Perry's dreams. There's Tommy Garrison. Let's see if we can get a statement. Tommy!
Two fighters battle it out in the practice ring. Tommy Garrison glances up automatically as Lois yells his name and is promptly punished for the momentary distraction as he is hit by his opponent.
Lois: Can we talk to you a minute?
Garrison staggers back as Clark and Lois look startled by the result of her yelling. In a flurry of anger, Garrison lands a couple of solid punches on his opponent's chin before following up with a savage uppercut that throws him clear across the ring and onto the ropes, before he drops in an unconscious heap.
Clark: (stunned) Holy - !
Garrison: (turning on them furiously) Who are you?!
Lois: Lois Lane, Clark Kent. Daily Planet –
Garrison: Hey, someone want to throw these two outta here?
A new voice breaks in from offscreen:
Allie: Hey, quiet down! They're okay!
Lois's face lights up suddenly as she turns towards the bulky figure rushing around the ring towards them.
She runs into the waiting hug he extends to her. He picks her up and swings her around before releasing her.
Allie: Hiya, pumpkin! How are you?
Clark: Pumpkin? (clearly this is the most unlikely nickname he could have imagined being directed at Lois Lane)
Allie: What happened? Perry White finally put you on the sports pages, where you belong? (To Clark) She's forgotten more about sports than I ever knew. (Standing beside Clark, Lois looks smug.)
Clark: I'm beginning to see that.
Allie: How is Perry? Still cheating at poker?
Clark reacts to that.
Lois: Oh, he's fine. Allie, this is Clark Kent, my (she pauses, nonplussed for a moment) the guy that I'm working on the story with.
Clark: (firmly and having no trouble saying it) Her partner.
Allie: (shaking his hand) How are you? What brings you here?
Lois: You have four fighters going for titles this Saturday night. That's the biggest thing in boxing history and we can't get to any of the fighters. I don't get it.
Far from looking pleased by this, Allie looks discomfited.
Allie: (uncomfortable) Max Menken will talk to you for as long as you want.
Clark: Menken's the promoter. We'd like to speak to the fighters, if that's –
Allie: (flustered) I'm sorry, Kent, I can't do th -
He's interrupted as, from the ring above and behind them, Garrison drops a damp towel onto Clark's shoulder.
Garrison: (challengingly) You want to talk to me? (Clark turns to look up at him, speculatively) Okay. But you can't learn anything from down there. Come on up. See what it feels like.
He slams his gloves together. Clark and Lois exchange a glance. Clark begins to laugh off the challenge, but Lois nudges him encouragingly:
Lois: Go on, Clark. Go on. Get in there.
Allie: Maybe this isn't a good idea.
Lois: Oh, this is what we here came for. (as Clark hesitates) If you're not going to go up there, I will.
She makes a determined move for the ring. Clark stops her.
Clark: Okay, okay. (He drapes the towel over her shoulder and steps up into the ring.
Allie (getting worried) Clark –
Garrison: (dancing on his toes as he eyes up Clark) You look pretty solid. You ever been in a fight?
Clark: (circling warily) I try to avoid them.
Garrison: How can you write about boxing when you don't know what it's like, huh?
He invades Clark's space aggressively. Clark holds up his hands and backs up, out of reach.
Garrison: You ever see punches like this?
The background music builds ominously as he jabs a series of quick rabbit punches at Clark's face. Clark avoids them, still trying to keep his distance. At the ringside, Lois is beginning to look like she regrets urging on the fight.
Garrison: (still punching) Come on, give it back to me, your best shot. Come on. No? Then try to avoid me, okay?
Lois is looking increasingly uneasy.
A crowd has gathered. One of them murmurs: Easy now, Tommy…
Tommy: Whew! Whoo-hoo-hoo! (in a singsong tone) That one almost connected!
Clark continues to keep out of the way of Garrison's increasingly fast punches, refusing to engage him and using as little movement as possible to avoid being hit.
Garrison: You know something, Princess, you'd better keep your guard up…or somebody's gonna knock you through the ropes. (Another flurry of jabs) Then what you gonna do, huh?
Clark (quietly annoyed now) You might be surprised.
Lois: (urgently) Clark, why don't you get down from there?
Clark: You just sent me up here.
Lois: (anxiously) Allie, he's just playing with him. Right? (Allie puts out a hand that's meant to reassure her, but clearly he's just as uneasy with Garrison's aggression and none too sure himself of his intentions)
Garrison: (taunting) See, I got you right where I want you and I haven't even thrown a punch. (He steps up close and gets in Clark's face) What now? Princess? (He pushes a glove against Clark's shoulder. Thoroughly provoked now, Clark snaps and pushes back hard.
Lois: Clark, no!
Her protest is as much to Garrison as his face contorts and he comes in quick, pulling his arm back for the blow that will take Clark out. Before it can land:
Voice from offscreen: Garrison!
The tension and violence of the moment is broken and Garrison freezes, punch unthrown, as Menken bounds up into the ring.
Menken: (taking command) Hit the showers. (to the watching crowd) That's right. Everybody. Let's go.
The crowd begins to break up as Garrison turns to sneer at Clark:
Garrison: I'll see you later. (he blows a mocking kiss) Princess.
Clark climbs out of the ring.
Allie: You okay, kid?
Clark: I'm fine.
Lois: Forget it, Clark, the guy's a jerk.
Clark: (wryly) I guess you can get away with a lot when you're the strongest man in the world.
Menken: One of the strongest. Saturday night you can see them all. The ultimate street fight. The most spectacular night of boxing there ever was.
Clark and Lois share skeptical looks as Menken goes into his sales pitch.
Menken: And the winner's gonna fight Superman! The eyes of the world, right here on Metropolis. Write about that. Now, excuse us. The gym is off-limits to the press. (To Allie) You should have known better. (Allie looks worried as he leaves)
Allie: (to Clark and Lois, with a nervous laugh, trying to brush it off) Everybody's a little nervous. There's a lot riding on this, you know?
Lois: I can see that. Take care, Allie. (they hug) Good luck on Saturday.
Allie: Yeah. (He shakes Clark's hand again) Nice meeting you, Clark.
Clark: Nice to meet you.
Clark sighs as Allie walks off, then turns to pick up Lois's purse.
Clark: (handing it to her) Let's go. Pumpkin. (Off her look) Lois.
Cut to: Clark and Lois exiting the gym, onto the street. As they pass a yellow cab a man gets out.
Clark and Lois turn back. Lois looks a little surprised, but almost resigned, as though she'd half-expected this meeting might happen.
Lois: Hi, Dad.
Sam: What brings you here?
Lois: The ultimate street fight.
Sam: (obviously disappointed) Oh, right, right. What else? (Clearly for a moment, he thought she might have come to see him)
Lois: We're trying to get to the fighters. (shrug) You know?
Sam looks at her for a moment, taking in her distant manner and her obvious discomfort. It is clearly painful for him to be talking to his daughter this way. Then he looks to Clark, who extends a hand.
Clark: Clark Kent, sir. Her partner. (pause) On…this…story.
Lois: Sorry. Sam Lane – Clark Kent.
Sam: Nice to meet you, Kent. (to Lois, still trying hard to connect) I wish I could help you with the press, but it's not my department.
Lois: Oh, sure, we know.
Sam: And, of course, the fighters, they're all a little jumpy.
Lois: Yes. We want to keep them away from us wicked reporters.
Sam laughs awkwardly. It fades into another uncomfortable pause.
Sam: Well…are you going to have some time, Lois, for…er…dinner…or - ?
Lois: Oh, maybe…soon! I'm really busy and –
Sam: (quickly, trying to casually brush off her rejection) Sure.
Clark looks uncomfortably at Sam as he watches them dance around each other, a little embarrassed by Lois's reactions to her father.
Sam: (still gamely trying hard) Well, when you get out from under –
Lois: Sure! Call…yeah. (she makes moves to escape and end the conversation) Uh…yeah.
Clark shares a discomfited glance with Sam, gives him an embarrassed smile, and follows Lois down the street. Sam looks after them.
Cut to: Lex Luthor in his luxurious den at his penthouse apartment. Classical music plays softly in the background. He is talking on the telephone.
Luthor: I see. No, I didn't realise they were that close. Well, yes, it's a problem, which is why I suggested a press blackout in the first place.
As he speaks, he casually pulls back his arm and throws the dart which has been in his hand. It lands on its offscreen target with a distinct thud.
Luthor: Max, calm down. Well, let me paint you a little portrait. (smoothly) Imagine a man whose net worth is in excess of $20 billion and that the same man is currently the third richest man on the planet – superseded only by Mr. Albert Chow of Hong Kong –
He throws a second dart and reaches to pick up a third.
Luthor: And Elena Pappas of Athens, Greece. And when I say "currently", I really mean temporarily. And that the same man has an additional annual income of over $2 billion, which is approximately $200 million a month, $7 million a day, $300,000 an hour, $5,000 a minute…how long have we been talking, Max?
Another dart is thrown.
Luthor: That man is me. I hope you see my point. (pause. Luthor's faint smile fades.) You don't see my point. Why am I not surprised? Well, then, let me explain it to you, Max. If a man like you has a problem, I expect you to solve it. With your own…usual…flair. For a man like me, on the other hand, life is a bowl of…rubies. An extremely large bowl. (pause). I have no problems.
He hangs up the phone. Throws another dart. His urbane manner has slipped just a little. He's now very slightly irritated. He gets up and crosses to the target – which we now see is a life-size, cardboard cut-out of Superman. The darts bristle from his cardboard chest, gathered right around the heart. Luthor looks into his nemesis's face as he yanks the darts free. He turns away with a scowl.
Luthor: (annoyed) No problems at all.
Cut to: Interior, Daily Planet. The newsroom is all but deserted and mostly in darkness, with just the odd pool of light. Clark and Lois sit at their respective desks, both typing as they concentrate on their stories. A staffer walks by Clark's desk, dropping off a document.
Staffer: Here you go.
Clark glances up distractedly, gives the paper a glance and goes back to typing. At her desk, Lois gives him a look, under cover of studying a file. Clark picks up the paper and begins to read. Lois sighs, gives him an irked glance, taps a pencil impatiently on her desk. Clearly she's been building up to this for some time - finally, she can be silent no longer:
Lois: What are you still doing here?
Clark: (looking innocently surprised – and possibly overdoing it – as he gestures at his computer) Working.
Lois: (not buying it) Uh-huh. On what?
Clark: Just – (he gestures aimlessly around him, at a loss)
Lois: You're waiting for me to talk about it. To open up. See, this is exactly why I hate partnerships.
Lois: Because. Your partner is always there for you. Whether you want them or not. Because your partner is there to share your troubles…well, I don't feel like sharing!
Clark holds up his hands in surrender. Fine, he'll not mention it if that's what she wants.
Lois: Okay. So I don't get along with my father. Big deal.
Clark: (playing along – although, weren't they not going to discuss this?) No big deal.
Lois: I mean, haven't you ever met anyone who's so wrapped up in their work they don't have time for anyone or anything?
Clark: (sardonic) Is this a trick question? Because –
Lois: Okay. Okay. But at least I don't have kids.
Clark: A lot of parents are workaholics.
Lois: Well, the ones that I knew at least tried to spend some quality time with their family. My dad just came home to criticise. "Daddy, I got 98 on this test." "Oh, that's good, Lois. That leaves two points for improvement."
Clark looks saddened by this. Lois's phone rings.
Lois: Lois Lane. (pause, then her manner tightens) Allie? Calm down, what's wrong? Okay, just tell me where and when. Okay. (To Clark as she hangs up phone) Allie Dinello. (She grabs for her coat)
Clark: (getting to his feet) Wh-What did he say?
Lois: Just that he needs to talk to me. Something about fight night. He didn't want to say any more on the phone.
Clark: Well, let's go.
Lois: Clark – I think that I should go alone.
Lois: It's just that I think it will be more –
Clark: - comfortable talking to someone he knows. I get it. Go.
Lois: (taken aback by his easy agreement) Sometimes…you surprise me.
Clark smiles as he watches her head for the elevator.
Cut to: a darkened, deserted street. Allie nervously paces, checking his watch. Further down the street, Lois spots him. She waves, yells:
Allie looks up, waves back. He starts to cross the road to meet her as the lights show green. A few yards away a truck starts up and speeds towards him. Lois sees the danger, but before she can do anything, the truck hits Allie and keeps on going. Lois, horrified, runs towards Allie's body. But it is clear it is too late. There is nothing she can do.
Lois: Oh, Allie…
Cut to: Luthor's penthouse. He is talking on the telephone. We hear the voice of the other caller:
Luthor: Are you sure?
Luthor hangs up. He sighs, shaking his head.
Luthor: (talking to someone offscreen as he sighs heavily) It's…always such an embarrassment…having to do away with someone. It's like announcing to the world that you lack the savvy and the finesse to deal with the problem more creatively. (long pause) I mean, there have been times, naturally, when I've had to have people eliminated, but it's always… (he trails off, shaking his head, another sigh) …saddened me. I've always felt like…I've let myself down, somehow.
We now see that he has been telling this to his reflection in the mirror in front of him.
Cut to: Daily Planet newsroom. Amid the bustle and clamour of her colleagues around her and oblivious to it, Lois sits despondently at her desk, absently dunking a teabag into her mug. She's been crying.
Lois: (looking up at Perry beside her) I've known Allie almost my whole life. To see him like that was just…
She breaks off, trying to stop the tears. Perry watches her sympathetically. Clark comes over to the desk.
Clark: Police are calling it a hit-and-run. Probably a drunk driver.
Perry: But, well, we're not buying that. (To Lois) Right?
Lois: I was there. It was no ordinary hit-and-run. The car was coming straight at him. It bore down on him.
Clark: It was dark.
Lois: (angrily) It wasn't that dark. (becoming increasingly upset) And anyway you didn't talk to him on the phone and you didn't hear how upset he was. He said he was in trouble. (She looks down at her desk briefly) I think whatever he was going to tell me cost him his life.
Perry: Well, now, do you have any idea what he wanted to say?
Perry: You think your father can help?
Lois: (sighing, irritated) I don't know.
Perry: Well…are you going to ask him?
She looks at him in silence, suddenly considering the thought seriously.
Cut to: Menken's Gym. The mood inside is sombre as Lois enters, with staff and fighters huddled in groups, being questioned by police. Sam Lane sits, visibly upset, beside the ring. Lois approaches him.
Lois: Sorry, Dad.
Sam: (shaking his head as he holds up the picture of Allie he'd been contemplating) He was a real character.
Sam: That he was. Always had a soft spot for you, though. He used to call you Pumpkin.
Lois turns away with a hard sigh.
Lois: Still did.
Sam: Hit-and-run. Never dreamed he'd go out like that.
Lois is silent for a moment or two, examining a trophy, before she replaces it on its shelf with an air of resolve. She turns back to her father.
Lois: He didn't. I think he was murdered.
Lois: I was there. I saw the car coming at him, straight and fast. It wasn't a drunk. It wasn't an accident.
Sam: (getting to his feet, alarmed) What were you doing there?
Lois: Allie asked me to meet him.
Sam: Did the driver see you?
Sam: (sighing) Lois, I want you to stay away from this.
Lois: This? What's this? What am I on to?
Sam: Nothing. It's just that there are a lot of rough characters in this business –
Lois: What did Allie want to tell me about the fights? Are they fixed?
Sam: No, they are not fixed. Now, just…stay away.
Lois: I can't stay away! I'm a reporter. This is my story.
Sam looks at her, giving up, resigned, knowing she's telling the truth and won't back down.
Lois: Can you help me?
Lois: You're lying.
Sam: Don't be ridiculous.
Lois (bitterly) I know the look.
Sam: Lois, let's not do this. Not now and certainly not here. I can't help you.
Lois: Can't? Or won't?
Sam: Lois – no!
Lois: You would just like to forget everything, wouldn't you? The perfect father-daughter relationship.
Sam: I never claimed to be a perfect father.
Lois: You were hardly a father at all!
Sam: Oh, Lois, please don't.
She pauses, gives up.
Lois: Look…never mind. Can you tell me anything about the murder or not?
Sam: (formally as he raises his voice slightly, looking away from her, answering not his daughter, but a reporter) I know nothing about the death of Allie Danello.
Lois stares at him for a long moment; clearly she had hoped for more from him and is now disappointed to find he hasn't changed at all.
Lois: Whatever you say, Dad.
Sam looks back at her sharply, angry. Lois walks away.
Cut to: several hours later, night. Lois and Clark stand outside the door to her father's office.
Clark: Are you sure you want to break into your dad's office?
Lois: (as she struggles to pick the lock) He's hiding something. (still struggling) I've seen Jimmy do this before. It always works.
Clark looks around him uneasily, expecting to be caught by a security guard at any moment, as she continues to jiggle the pick in the lock without success.
Lois: I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
As we cut back to Clark, we see him push his glasses back into position.
Clark: Nothing. You did it.
Quickly, he puts his hand over the door knob, opening the door and concealing the fact that the entire knob has just come off in his hand and is now enclosed in his fist.
Lois: (oblivious) That was pretty good for a first time, huh?
He follows her into the office, dropping the door knob into his pocket as he does. In silence, they begin to search through her father's files and filing cabinets. We fade to what is obviously some time later – the pile of files has grown considerably.
Lois: (searching through the files in her hand) All these training logs and medical reports.
Clark: Look at this! Tommy Garrison's file. (he angles the file so that Lois can read it with him) He had an okay boxing record until his surgery. After that, perfect.
Lois: (looking at her own file) Same with this one.
Clark: These guys didn't just have winning records. They made mincemeat out of their opponents.
Lois: What do you think? Some kind of steroid?
Clark shakes his head, baffled.
Lois: Well, keep looking.
She turns to get more files from the cabinet. Clark runs his flashlight around the office. He moves off, further into the room, searching, becomes interested in a large bookcase against one wall. He uses his x-ray vision and discovers a hidden room behind the case. Quickly, he pushes against one side of the bookcase, opening it up.
Lois: (coming over to stand beside him) Clark, how did you - ?
Clark: (quickly heading her off at the pass) My Uncle Ian has the same set-up in his den.
Lois: (confused) Oh.
She steps into the small room now revealed. Clark follows. Lois turns on the light to reveal what is obviously some kind of small laboratory with books and equipment scattered around – as well as several robotic parts, from full skeletal forms to arms and other 'body parts' – all machine.
Clark: Well, it's definitely not steroids.
Lois: Mechanical parts.
Clark: (examining one of the body parts) And little motors to drive them.
Lois: No wonder these guys are invincible. (appalled) Oh my god, Clark. I'm Dr. Frankenstein's daughter.
Clark is about to offer sympathy, when his super hearing picks up the sound of approaching footsteps in the near distance.
Clark: I heard something.
Lois: I didn't hear anything.
Clark: I'm gonna take a look. Wait here.
Lois: Hey! (moving quickly after him as he exits the room.) You're not –
Clark: If we both get caught, there'll be no one to get the story out.
Lois protests feebly, but can't really argue with that as Clark closes the bookcase on her, keeping her in the cyborg storage room. Clark listens. His superhearing picks up a voice from outside, coming closer.
Garrison: Let me at 'im, boss. I can take him. I could take Superman.
Clark uses his x-ray vision on the wall beside him. We hear a second voice:
Menken: You ain't ready yet, kid.
Clark sees that Menken and Garrison are steadily approaching the office. Clark looks around him, trying to decide what to do, then moves quickly to put his hands against the wall. He starts to run in place, super fast, stamping his feet. The walls of the building begin to shake. Things fall off shelves and smash on the floor.
In the hidden room, Lois tries to keep her feet as the world shakes violently around her. Out in the corridor, Menken and Garrison are panicked.
Menken: Let's get outta here, before the roof comes down in here!
They run for the street. Clark stops running and quickly opens the bookcase, letting Lois free.
Lois: (warily before she sees with relief that it is him) Oh. Did you feel that? It must have been at least a five.
Clark: (helping her out, over the debris.) Yeah. (He smiles.)
Cut to: Daily Planet newsroom. Jimmy looks through photographs taken in the cyborg storage room.
Jimmy: This is incredible. (He looks up at Clark, beside him.) Incredible.
Clark: The boxing commission will never allow these fighters in the ring if they know they're half robots.
Lois: (as she sits typing at her computer) If it weren't for the earthquake, we'd be the lead story.
Jimmy laughs, then stops, realising she's serious.
Jimmy: What earthquake?
Lois: Last night. The earthquake.
Jimmy: There was no earthquake last ni -.
Lois: (insistent) There was an earthquake.
Jimmy: Not in Metropolis, Lois. If the earth moved for you last night, it must have been…ah…something else.
He leaves with a grin. Clark shrugs at Lois, feigning bemusement.
Clark: (changing the subject) What are you writing?
Lois: The story.
Clark: Saying what?
Lois: Dr. Sam Lane is performing these surgeries secretly.
Clark: Are you sure?
Lois: Sure, I'm sure.
Clark: Well, I'm not so sure we were at your father's office last night.
Lois stops typing abruptly as this non-sequitor registers.
Lois: (confused) What?
Clark: Maybe I was home asleep and you were watching a late movie on TV.
Lois: What is with you? We were together. We took those pictures.
Clark puts the pictures in his jacket inside pocket.
Clark: What pictures? (gives her an intense look, work with me here)
Lois (sighing) Clark, this is the biggest scandal in boxing history.
Clark: No doubt about it. Look, we print this, whoever killed Allie is going to want your father out of the way, too.
Cut to: Perry's Office. He's reading the printout of Lois and Clark's story.
Perry: (in disbelief as he looks up at Lois) An ordinary hit-and-run?
Lois and Clark try to look disingenuous.
Lois: The police think so, too.
Perry: All right now, now just a minute. Yesterday, you told me it was murder.
Lois: I was…(pause – it's a tough word to force out, obviously, one she's not used to saying) wrong.
Perry: What about Dinello's phone call? You find out why he was so upset?
Lois: Well, there are lots of reasons why people get upset.
Perry: What about your father?
Lois: He says he doesn't know anything.
Perry: (throwing up his hands in disgust) Aw, what the Sam Hill is going on here?
Clark: Sometimes a piece runs dry, Chief, you know that.
Perry: Oh, well, that's just great, Kent. We'll put that up on billboards all over the city! "Lane and Kent come up with squat! On sale at your news-stands now!" (he exclaims in disgust) You agree with her take on this?
Clark: I go with my partner, Chief.
Lois reacts to this endorsement, perhaps not expecting this loyalty.
Perry sits down in his chair, his face like stone. Slowly, he takes a pen from the jar beside him, takes off its top with deliberate care, and gets to work on editing their story. Lois and Clark take the opportunity to quickly leave, before he changes his mind.
Cut to: Menken's Gym. Sam Lane is tending to a young fighter in the main ring area, who has a bandage wrapped around his chest and shoulder.
Sam: There. Just relax your arm. Good. All right, I want you to take it easy for a few days, baby it. Light workouts and no sparring. Thank you.
Fighter: All right. Good.
Sam starts to clear up as the fighter leaves. Lois arrives.
Sam: (surprised) Lois.
Lois: This…uh…isn't easy for me, so I'll just get right to it. I know about the surgeries you performed.
Sam: (beginning to turn away) I've nothing to say.
Lois: I want to know, Dad. Not…not as a reporter, as your daughter.
Lois: I will not let you shut me out. Not after I killed the story.
Sam: (shocked) You did what?
Lois: You could have been hurt. Murdered.
Sam: You should have written it.
Lois: Oh, and have you end up like Allie?
Sam: That's my problem, not yours.
Lois: Of course it's my problem! You're my father, I care about you!
Sam: This has nothing to do with caring, Lois.
Lois: Oh, you would say that.
Sam: You think I don't know anything about caring? I know that you resent me. And you should, for those times that I've let you down. But it doesn't mean that I didn't care. It was because of my work.
Lois: Work. That's building machinery to beat men's brains in?
Sam: Not at first, Lois. At first, I set out to design and build replacement parts for victims of catastrophic injury. That's a good dream, Lois. That's noble. It's worth sacrificing for.
Lois: Sacrificing your family?
Sam: (wryly) You always think you'll make it up to them. And then time gets away from you and you never do.
Lois: Did Menken kill Allie?
Sam: I've been afraid to ask myself that question. Write your story, Lois. You're a professional, it's your job. Do what you feel is right. I will too.
He walks away, leaving Lois to stare after him – suddenly seeing him as someone worthy of respect. She's impressed – and never expected to be.
Cut to: Perry's Office. Perry lounges at his desk, feet up, reading the latest Daily Planet edition, the very model of laid-back. Lois stands staring at her boss in disbelief.
Lois: The auto show?!
Perry: Yeah, see, there's been a rash of thefts down there. Hubcaps, rear-view mirrors, that sort of thing.
Lois: Perry, there has to be a more important story you can assign me.
Perry: Ah…ordinarily, yes, but you see, Lois, the first time a reporter blows a really big story, it can rattle them, fill them with self-doubt. I – well, I've seen it happen.
Lois: (appalled) Perry –
Perry: Lois. Just take the auto show piece. It's a good little confidence-builder.
Lois sighs and concedes defeat. Outside, in the newsroom, the rest of the staff are surreptitiously eavesdropping, rubbernecking the spectacle of Perry's pet and the Planet's best reporter messing up. Jimmy stands just outside the door to Perry's office, whistling a nonchalant tune. As Lois stalks out, the staffers hastily disperse.
Lois: (to Jimmy) I've seen it before, but I've never been in it.
Jimmy: What's that?
Lois: Perry's doghouse.
They pass Clark, who waves a paper at Lois with an expression of chagrin as Jimmy heads off elsewhere.
Clark: Police Academy graduation.
Lois: (sardonic) Nice. Well, guess we're not partners any more.
Clark: Guess not.
Lois: I'm sorry, Clark. Really.
Clark: It's just as well.
Lois: (heading for the elevator) Yeah, you're right, it is just as well. (she stops and turns back) You don't want to be partnered with a hypocritical reporter who talks a good game, but backs off the minute things hit too close to home.
There's a pause.
Clark: (smiling) Yes, I do.
Lois looks taken aback. They share a moment, then she smiles and leaves.
Cut to: Luthor's penthouse. Menken is reading the latest edition of the Planet
Menken: Nothing in the Planet. I told you we got to Dinello before he talked.
Menken: Yeah, smooth sailing now. Our boys becoming the new world champions. Everything we dreamed about finally coming true.
Luthor sits at his desk, signing documents.
Luthor: (dismissive) It's a start.
Menken: A start? With all due respect, Mr. Luthor, once you've got a champ in each division, there's not much more you can do.
Luthor: Is that what you think this is all about? Winning a few prizefights? Is that why I've invested millions in this project?
Menken: Oh, I get it! After this we branch out into other sports, huh? Football. Baseball. Tennis…
Luthor: (getting to his feet, suddenly irritated with the man's lack of ambition and obtuseness) Max. We've created five men of inordinate human strength. Now, suppose we can take these men and make them even more powerful? Fifty times more powerful! A hundred times more powerful. Even, dare I say it? Invulnerable. Just like Superman.
Menken isn't getting it.
Luthor: Do you see the possibilities? An army of supermen. Under my control.
Cut to: Sam Lane's office. Sam and Menken sit either side of Sam's desk.
Sam: Stronger?! Max, there's no need. The fighters are winning every fight.
Menken: We want them stronger.
Sam: They're too strong as it is.
Menken: We'll be the judge of that.
Sam: No! I will! (He gets angrily to his feet) I did not develop these limbs to be battering rams.
Menken: And the cash didn't hurt neither.
Sam: Every cent went back into the work.
Menken: Yeah, well, now we're going into mass production. We're gonna turn them out like Detroit does cars.
Sam: Cars are machines, Max!
Menken: Welcome to the party.
Sam: I want out of this.
Menken: (getting menacingly to his feet and moving in close) Sure, doc. At the end of your contract.
Sam: We don't have a contract.
Menken (tone turning threatening) Yeah, we do. Lifetime.
Sam: (finally beginning to understand he's in trouble) Dinello have the same contract?
Menken: It's a dangerous business.
Sam: (whispers) You killed him.
Menken: Who'd you think? (pause) I'd hate to have to waste you, too.
Cut to: Metropolis street. Sam stands looking anxiously at his watch. Lois and Clark arrive.
Lois: Did you get it?
Sam: It may not be enough to arrest him. It'll be plenty for the boxing commission.
He removes a small tape recorder from his jacket pocket, holds it up as he hits the play button. The last moments of Sam's earlier conversation with Menken can be heard:
Sam: You killed him.
Menken: Who'd you think? I'd hate to have to waste you, too.
Sam switches the machine off, ejects the tape and hands it to Lois. She looks at him, an expression of pride on her face. She can't believe he's doing this for her.
Lois: I don't know what to say.
Sam: Don't say anything. Write your story. The whole story. Including the one you didn't write before.
He smiles and begins to walk away.
Lois: (urgently) Daddy!
She runs after him, hugging him as he turns back.
Lois: Please be careful.
They share a moment. He kisses her on the forehead, then walks away. Lois watches him go, on the verge of tears. Clark watches her with sympathy. She walks back to him and they leave. Clark pats her on the back as they go.
Cut to: Daily Planet newsroom, full of the usual noise and bustle. Perry crosses the floor to Lois's desk.
Perry: (as he passes by) I need your piece on the auto show, Lois.
Lois: I don't have it.
Perry: (stopping abruptly) You don't have it?
Lois: (handing over a printout) I've been working on this, instead.
Perry: Assignments are not optional at the Daily Planet.
He takes the printout, glances down at it, fully prepared to continue this lecture.
Perry: We write what we are… (pause as what's on the page begins to register with him) …assigned to write…. Furthermore…what is this?
Lois leans out and shares a smile with Clark on the other side of the room.
Perry: Oh, boy. (A broad grin takes over this face) That'll be the day Lois Lane will back down off of a story! You've been funning with me, haven't you?
Lois giggles, playing the coquette for all it's worth.
Perry: Pulling your old editor's leg. But, you see, I knew about it all along. (he waves the printout in the general direction of the rest of the newsroom) You all ought to be ashamed of yourselves for what you been thinking!
Lois clears her throat, indicates Clark. Perry turns to him, with a surprised look.
Perry: Kent! I want to thank you for a first-rate job.
Clark: You're welcome, sir. Oh! (he turns to pick up a printout from his desk and hands it over.) The Police Academy story.
Perry laughs in delight.
Lois: (without rancour) Show-off! Chief, the fights are tonight. If we hurry we can get that in the afternoon edition.
Perry's face changes abruptly, all teasing over. A deadline looms – this is serious.
Perry: (roaring) Copy!!!
A young staffer runs up. Perry hands him the story.
Perry: Take this downstairs right away. (yelling after him as the boy leaves at a run) And tell them they can take as much room as they want!
Staffer: Yes, sir!
Perry moves off, still yelling.
Perry: Wingate! Get sales on the phone. Tell them I want TV spots, radio spots, skywriting, the whole nine yards!
Wingate: You got it!
Perry: Let Metropolis know that Lane…and Kent…are the greatest writing team since…well, Woodward and Bernstein.
Lois and Clark grin at each other, loving it.
Perry: And they can read about it in the Daily Planet!
The staffers cheer.
Cut to: the street outside Menken's Gym, where excited crowds and media gather to the background of a pounding rock soundtrack and fight fever is in the air.
Cut to: Luthor's penthouse. Luthor reads the Planet's latest edition, the front page headline of which screams "Boxing Commission Meets On Roboscandal!" Luthor sighs and turns the paper so that Menken can read it.
Menken: Now what do we do?
Luthor: I know you're upset, Max, you're not thinking clearly, but do you really think I wouldn't have a plan?
Menken: (stung) Sorry. What is the plan?
Luthor: To not have this unpleasantness find its way to my doorstep.
Menken: What about my doorstep?
Luthor: It's already passed your doorstep, Max. It's into your house. But, don't worry. You'll do one last favour for me, you and your fighters, and then you'll all be relocated and very well compensated.
Menken: What favour is that?
Luthor: Dr. Lane. (he picks a cigar out of its box on his desk) Without him there's no witness, no case.
Menken: He's…ah…kind of disappeared, Mr. Luthor.
Luthor: Well, wouldn't you, Max, in light of this story? But his daughter… (he sniffs the cigar appreciatively) … is still accessible. We'll use her, to get to him.
Menken considers this, then nods in agreement.
Cut to the locker room at Menken's Gym. What we can see of a large poster on the side of one row of lockers proclaims:
World's Greatest Street Boxing
The Maulings in Metropolis
The Metropolis Square Garden
A Night of Championship Boxing
Heavyweight – Main Event – 10 Rounds
Tommy "The Torturer" Garrison
Middleweight – Main Event – 8 Rounds
Shing "Sing Sing" Carter
Light Heavyweight – Semi Final – 6 Rounds
Sherman "Tank" Biggs
Bantamweight – Preliminaries – 6 Rounds
(sadly Manny's opponent is out of camera range)
Fighters spar and practice with each other, others wrap bandages and pull on gloves. Tommy Garrison paces the floor, growling his way up to an attitude.
Garrison: I want Superman! I want Superman! I'm gonna kill him. Gonna kill him! Gonna kill him!
As he works himself up to a crescendo, Garrison punches his fist clean through the wall beside him. We see other fighters and trainers gather to stare in amazement through the large hole that is left.
Cut to ringside. Officials and trainers stand outside the ring.
Boxing announcer: Ladies and Gentlemen! In accordance with the ruling of the Commissioner's Office, tonight's title card is cancelled!
The crowd boo and throw food and drinks cups at him.
Boxing announcer: I have the further unpleasant task of announcing that five challengers scheduled to appear this evening have been placed on indefinite suspension, pending investigation of misconduct charges.
The crowd continues to boo and show its displeasure.
Cut to Garrison and other fighters storming from the locker room.
Garrison: No! He can't do this!
Garrison pushes his way through the crowd and leaps into the ring. He grabs the microphone from the announcer.
Garrison: Nobody alive can hurt us! We're the greatest of all time! And no two-bit boxing commission or a bunch of loudmouthed, know-nothing fans can change that! Bring me, Superman – I'll show you!
Cut to establishing shot of the Daily Planet globe. Inside the building, Clark and Lois walk down the stairs. As they cross the empty lobby they are met by Luthor coming through the front door.
Luthor: Miss Lane! Well, I was hoping to find you. I was hoping these rumours about your father were unfounded. (He reaches out to cover her hand with both of his in sympathy. Clark gives him a sceptical look.)
Lois: I'm afraid not.
Luthor: Lois, your father's a visionary. And I've nothing but contempt for those who have led him down this path. (He puts a hand on her arm and draws her with him for the door.) That's why I've come here today to find you and to make this pledge. I will do everything in my power to see that your father redirects his energies. To the injured and handicapped.
Lois is overwhelmed with this generosity. In the background, behind them, Clark simply shakes his head.
Lois: I don't know what to say…
The door slams.
Menken: Well, ain't this touching.
Lois: (surprised) Menken?
Clark: I think someone's looking for you, Max. Maybe the D.A.?
Menken draws a gun from his jacket. Luthor starts towards him. Menken waves the gun menacingly.
Menken: All right, let's nobody get heroic here! Back off! (he grabs Lois) She's taking a ride with me.
Lois screams as he pulls her towards the front door.
Luthor: Haven't you caused enough trouble?
Menken: I'm just warming up.
He pushes Lois through the door and follows into the street. Clark and Luthor look at one another.
Clark/Luthor: I'll go for help!
The run off in opposite directions.
Cut to Superman flying over Metropolis, searching. Menken pulls Lois through the night streets, holding the gun on her as she struggles to get free.
Lois: What are you gonna do when he comes for me?
Menken: (distracted) Who?
Menken: Oh, you and him real close, are you?
Lois: Let's just say he's always there for me when I need him.
Menken: (mocking) Well, I'd say you need him now. Where is he?
Superman: (from behind them) It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Menken.
Lois looks relieved, then alarmed as she sees two of Menken's fighters coming up fast behind the superhero.
Lois: Superman, behind you!
Superman turns – straight into a suckerpunch from one of the fighters. Other punches land, knocking him, disorientated, into a pile of garbage.
Menken: (laughing, almost surprised) Hey, my guys are doing all right!
One of the fighters pulls Superman to his feet and punches him in the stomach. He doubles over. Lois looks on, horrified.
Menken: Steel versus steel. That's how I'd promote it.
Superman is still taking the bad end of a beating.
Menken: Too bad we can't stick around. (He drags Lois with him as he runs off.) Come on!
Behind them, Superman suddenly reaches up and grabs a fistful of his attackers' t-shirts in either hand. He pushes them back against a chain link fence, then tears the fence and wraps it around them. He pushes them. They go spinning down the length of the fence, getting wrapped in the chain link as they go, until they crash to a halt. Superman smiles in satisfaction.
He hears a grunt behind him. Another fighter faces off in a boxing stance, fists raised. Superman looks at him, then folds his arms and raises a sardonic eyebrow. The fighter gets the message, drops his stance and challenge, and prudently runs off. Superman smiles as he watches him go. But it fades quickly as his superhearing picks up the sound of Lois yelling for help in the distance.
Lois: Superman! Help!
Cut to Menken pushing Lois through a door and into a darkened alley. From behind him, a voice calls out:
Voice: Unhand her!
Lois: (relieved) Superman!
Menken spins around, pulling her with him. And we see that it's not the superhero, but Luthor. He has a gun pointed at Menken, as he moves up the alley towards him and his captive.
Luthor: Drop the gun.
Menken: (realising he's been betrayed) You lousy - !
He raises his gun, intending to shoot Luthor. Luthor shoots first. Menken groans and falls the the ground, just as Superman lands in the alley between Lois and Luthor. For an instant Superman and Lois stare at one another, Lois struck by the awful realisation – Superman arrived too late to help her. If it hadn't been for Luthor she might already be dead.
Superman: Are you okay?
Lois ignores him, all of her attention and focus fixed on her saviour, as she walks towards Luthor.
Lois: (to Luthor, stunned) You saved my life.
Superman watches, dismayed, as Luthor takes her hand and holds it to his lips in suave salute.
Luthor: Well, I couldn't let any harm to you.
He kisses her fingers as Superman looks on in disbelief.
Luthor: Well, I know you can't be everywhere at once, Superman, but I'm glad one of us got here in time.
Lois digests that, looking at Superman in disappointment. As Superman stares at Luthor in disgust, his superhearing picks up the sound of Tommy Garrison calling him out from the ring at the gym.
Garrison: Superman! I'm waiting for you!
Cut to the boxing ring. Garrison stands in the middle, still taunting the absent Superman through the microphone.
Garrison: I wanna see what makes you so super! (he plays to the crowd) Where do you suppose he is? You don't think he's scared, do you?
The crowd boos. At the ringside, a crowd of reporters eagerly extend microphones to catch his rant.
Garrison: Why would he be scared of me? (Jeering) Superman! Oh, Superman!
Superman: Are you looking for me?
Superman stands casually in the corner of the ring, leaning against the ropes, arms folded. Garrison turns with a smirk.
Superman smiles, striding confidently and easily across the ring towards the fighter, as Garrison takes off his robe and taps his gloves together in preparation.
Superman: What's your pleasure?
Garrison: A prize fight. (He spreads his arms wide.) Marquis of Queensbury rules.
Superman spreads his own arms, aping the gesture, while bowing slightly.
Superman: Of course –
While his attention is momentarily distracted, Garrison blindsides him with a stunning punch. Superman is knocked to the ground as the crowd boos and protests. Superman pulls himself to sit against the corner of the ring, shaking his head to clear it and putting a hand to his throbbing jaw. A little old lady is standing close to the ringside, beside him.
Old Lady: Are you hurt, Superman?
Superman: (smiling) Nah, he just caught me off-guard, that's all.
Garrison struts across the ring, playing to the crowd.
Old Lady: Keep your left up!
Superman laughs and gets to his feet. Cameras flash as he heads for Garrison at a steady walk. Garrison turns, his look of triumph fading as he realises his punch wasn't good enough to take Superman down for a knockout. He grimaces – more work to do – as Superman stands in front of him with a smile, arms folded. Garrison throws another punch.
It hits Superman's chin, but he is unaffected. Garrison looks at his hand in disbelief and throws another punch – with the same result. Superman continues to stand in front of him, taking the blows without any effort. Garrison's hand is clearly taking the brunt of the pain. Punch after punch follows, but Garrison is losing ground as each new blow hurts his hand more and fails to move the superhero standing in front of him. Finally, Garrison pauses, face contorting with pain as he holds his swollen hand, a flicker of unease finally reaching his face as it occurs to him he may have picked the wrong fight.
Superman: (mock concerned) Something wrong?
He pulls back a fist and throws a powerhouse punch straight at Garrison's face – then halts it in midair at the last moment before it touches. A pause, then he flicks a finger softly against Garrison's forehead. Garrison falls backwards, lands on the ropes, out cold. The crowd leaps to its feet, cheering wildly, as cameras flash.
Superman: (smug) I knew he had his hang-ups.
Cut to Luthor's penthouse. He is busy removing a chilled bottle of champagne from an ice bucket as he glances over his shoulder and smiles.
Luthor: You're wondering why I didn't eliminate Max earlier. (He points at his unseen listener in approval) And that's a good question. I knew the robotics project was lost. (he pours the champagne) I knew I had to lose Max. You see, but by waiting, by using Max one last time, I was able to gain something from my losses. The gratitude of Lois Lane, who now owes me her life. (he drinks, savors the champagne – and something else, too) And the look on Superman's face. (he laughs) That was a delightful bonus.
We see that he's been telling all of this to a yellow dog, which whines questioningly at him.
Luthor: (putting his glass down, taking another and pouring a second glass of champagne) Now it was a stunning example of a trait that I particularly admire in myself. (The dog grumbles again) That's the ability to profit, even from setbacks. Well, the evening started poorly, but I have to say, I took a lemon and made…champagne.
He holds up the second glass. The dog licks its lip, whining. Luthor pours the contents of the glass into its bowl and salutes the dog with his own glass as it begins to lap the champagne. He smiles and takes a sip of his own drink.
Cut to the Daily Planet newsroom. Perry is reading a printout in his hand.
Perry: This is a terrific follow up.
Lois perches on a desk, smiling as she listens to the praise. Clark sits beside her.
Perry: By the way, Kent…where were you when all this went down?
Clark: (in protest) I went for help!
Perry: (still reading) No criminal charges for Dr. Lane. Oh, that's great. Oh, this is nice: "Lex Luthor offered to testify as a character witness before the medical ethics board."
Clark rolls his eyes.
Perry: Well, good for Lex! You know, he carries a lot of weight in this community. (he studies them) Well. Looks like my instinct was right. (Clark and Lois smile at one another) You're a great team. Circulation ought to hit the roof with this piece.
He tosses the story to the desk. Lois picks it up and glances at it.
Lois: So, I guess that means we're partners, full-time now?
Perry: Oh, no, no, no. Let's don't overdo a good thing. Only when the time is right. And only on special stories.
He grins and walks off. Lois reads over the story again.
Clark: (disgruntled) What did he mean, "Where was I?"
Lois: You were looking for help.
He sighs, shaking his head and refusing to be placated. Lois tosses aside the story and gets to her feet, tapping him on the arm.
Lois: Come on. Let's get something to eat.
Clark: (sulking) I'm not hungry.
Lois: Clark. (she comes back and bends down close to put a supportive hand on his shoulder.) If it makes you feel any better, even Superman got there too late.
Clark looks at her in disbelief as she straightens and then raises his eyes to the ceiling.
Lois: Are you coming? Or are you gonna stay there and sulk?
Clark tosses the pencil he's been fiddling with to the desk and drops his chin into his hand, glowering at her. She has her answer. Lois clicks her teeth in exasperation, turning to go with an exclamation of disgust.
Perry: (from the doorway of his office) Hey, Kent, don't forget! Poker game tonight. Nine o'clock!
Clark: Uh, not tonight, sir. (he sighs heavily) I've got other plans.
Cut to an empty, darkened gym, where Clark steadily works at beating up a punching bag, his punches getting faster and faster until he knocks the bag clear across the boxing ring. He works in slowmo on a speedball until it bursts. He stands back, hands on hips, and smiles in satisfaction. He puts on his glasses.
Clark: Not bad for a mild-mannered reporter.
He picks up some rope and begins to skip, first at super-speed, then through the darkened gym at normal speed, towards the door as we…
FADE OUT TO END CREDITS.
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