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Superman and the Illuminati
Cast:
                      
Clark Kent                  Lois Lane         Chloe Sullivan      Oliver Queen               Lex Luthor          Kara Kent  

                    
Martha Kent                  Tess Mercer       Bruce Wayne      Wonder Woman  Steve Trevor        Mark Anders      
                                            

                   
 Moana Rangihau        Yves de Rochefort    de Sade           Donatello                   Henri Ducard           Amanda Waller     
                      
  
   Ross Webster        Stephanie de Rochefort

Genre: Drama/intrigue/semi-future-fic
Rating: PG - for now 
Setting: About a year after the end of Season 10, assuming Clark and Lois are married, Chloe has returned and all secrets are out in the open

Summary: Clark and Lois face their biggest test yet as they are targeted by a mystery group calling themselves The Illuminati, a supposedly mythical group with designs on destroying Superman

Previously




Episode Three: Part Three

The dark limousine slowly entered through the main entry to Metropolis International Airport. Two small French flags were mounted on either side of the car’s long hood and the registration showed diplomatic identification. Members of the public stared, wondering what dignitary could be inside the long, black vehicle, or who it might be collecting.

The limousine parked in a loading zone, its driver ignorant of the glare from security. Simon Valmont emerged from the front seat of the vehicle, his nose in the air as if he barely deigned to acknowledge the man in security uniform standing before the main doors. He moved around to the pavement side of the rear of the limousine and opened the door with a flourish.

Yves de Rochefort stepped out, acknowledging his man with a nod. Simon followed his employer into the main terminal, always two steps behind, signifying his importance. De Rochefort headed to the small café and sat in the booth. Simon sat across from him, removing his chauffeur’s cap. For all that de Rochefort was his employer, Simon was trusted with all de Rochefort’s secrets.

A waitress approached the table with a pad in hand. She was blonde, attractive, with a large bust which threatened to burst the buttons of her white blouse. Yves looked her up and down appreciatively. He believed himself to be a connoisseur of women and he enjoyed the female figure in all its forms.

“Good evening,” she said politely. “Can I get you gentlemen anything?”

"Oui," Simon told her in French. "Mon employeur souhaite du Cafe Français, avec un café mais pas de crème, avec un peut d' édulcorant et je voudrais un noir court."

The young woman frowned, then nodded. “Je reviens tout de suite,” she said in French.

Within five minutes she had returned with the coffees. The baron sampled his and scowled.

"Pouah, ce n'est pas du Cafe Français," he told Simon. "Les Américains n'ont aucune idée de ce qui est un bon café. Il est imbuvable." Simon grimaced at the taste of his own coffee.

"C'est tout aussi mauvais", he said, putting the cup down and glaring at it as if it was poison.

"Pah!" Yves said. "Le Café américain est comme tout le reste des américain.Inférieur.”

"En effet,” Simon agreed."Mais qu'est-ce que vous pouvez attendre d'une nation de barbares,” he laughed.

They left the coffee aside and began to talk of trivial matters until there was an announcement over the loudspeakers.

“Announcing the arrival of the Minerva, flight Whiskey Alpha Tango 461 from Bordeaux at Gate 42.”

"Elle est là," Yves said.

The two men rose. Simon left cash on the table – the precise amount of the bill and no tip. He knew the waitress would silently curse them, but he cared little. He followed his employer out of the café and pointed to the sign indicating where Gate 42 would be. It would be a little while before their passenger would clear through the border checks, despite her being on a private jet, and they took their time walking down to the arrival gate.

Thirty minutes later, a tall woman with blonde hair pulled back into a tight chignon appeared, walking quickly down toward them. She was a woman of wealth. Her clothes were made from only the finest quality fabrics and the latest in contemporary fashion for a woman in her late thirties. Two other women followed closely behind, both dressed in black pantsuits, their black hair cut very short.

The woman was at least fifteen years younger than the baron. Or so it appeared to every passer-by. She was, at least, youthful in appearance.

"Stephanie, ma chère, vous êtes venue,” Yves said, moving forward to greet his wife.

“Yves,” she exclaimed, kissing him on both cheeks in the French fashion. “Je suis très heureuse de vous voir mon cher,” she continued.

“Comment etait le defilé de mode?” he asked.

Stephanie de Rochefort was the editor of a French fashion magazine, Madame. She was often required to attend fashion shows at the invitations of companies advertising in the magazine. She was a woman extremely conscious of her image, but she wore it well.

“Ah, la mode ces jours-ci,” she said, shaking her head. “Les concepteurs sont plus jeunes et les jupes sont plus courtes. Je ne sais pas ce que ces filles pensent. Ils n'ont pas de gout,” she complained.

"Tandis que vous, ma chère, vous avais toujours eu un goût charmant. C'est ce qui m'a attiré à vous depuis le moment où j'ai posé les yeux sur vous."

Stephanie smiled. "Vous avez toujours été si charmant mon cher mari. Maintenant, dites-moi comment votre petit projet progresse?"

De Rochefort took her arm, guiding her gently toward the exit.

"Nous allons en discuter dans la voiture, ma cher.Il y'a pas qu 'une raison du pourquoi je vous est demandé ici."

"Tout ce que vous voudrais, mon cher mari."

Simon opened the car door for the couple and they slipped inside. The two bodyguards made their way to a vehicle parked behind, getting in the back. Simon closed the door and moved to the driver’s side.

Stephanie looked at her husband as he took a small tablet from a compartment. She looked at the image he brought up on the screen.

“Lex Luthor,” she said. “Je me souviens d'un article il ya plusieurs années dans le magazine Forbes."

Yves nodded. "Je veux que vous leséduisiez,” he said.

“Je prend cela, il a refusé l'alliance?”

"Il a. Mes collègues ont déjà commencé à chercher des alliances et se déplace ailleurs, mais je persiste à croire Luthor sera le meilleur choix."

"Vous souhaitez pour le discréditer, qui entre à son tour vers le bas dans le domaine des valeurs boursières de sa société."

"Oui, très bien."

"Mais mon cher mari, je dois demander.Je connais la réputation de Luthor.Il est impitoyable et franchement je ne vois pas comment le public va se retourner contre lui, même dans sa disgrâce. "
"Bah, le public sont des moutons!” de Rochefort growled. "Et si nous faisons suffisamment de bruit, ils suivront n'importe quelle direction ou nous voudrons les diriger."

Stephanie understood at last. De Rochefort would make himself the ‘victim’, the cuckolded husband; he would be vocal in his outrage and it would curry favour with the public.

“Voulez-vous le faire?"

Stephanie smiled evilly. "Mais bien sûr."

“Yes. My employer wishes for French roast, no cream, with a little sweetener and I would like a short black.”
“I’ll be right back.”
“Ugh, this is not French Roast. The Americans have no idea what is good coffee. It is undrinkable.”
“This is just as bad.”
“Pah! American coffee is just like everything else American. Inferior.”
“Indeed. But what can you expect from a nation of barbarians.”
“There she is.”
“Stephanie, my dear, you made it.”
“I am very pleased to see you my dear.”
“How was the fashion show?”
“Ah, the fashion these days. The designers are getting younger and the skirts are getting shorter. I don’t know what these girls are thinking. They have no taste.”
“Whereas you, my dear, have always had charming taste. It is what attracted me to you from the very moment I set eyes on you.”
“You have always been so very charming yourself, husband. Now, tell me how your little project is progressing.”
“We will discuss that in the car, my dear. There is a reason why I asked you here.”
“Anything for you, my husband.”
“I remember an article many years ago in Forbes magazine.”
“I want you to seduce him.”
“I take it he has refused the alliance?”
“He has. My colleagues have already begun moves to seek alliances elsewhere but I still believe Luthor will be the better choice.”
“You wish to discredit him, which will in turn drive down the stock values of his company.”
“Yes, very good.”
“But husband, I must ask. I know Luthor’s reputation. He is ruthless and frankly I fail to see how the public will turn against him, even in his disgrace.”
“Pah, the public are sheep! And if we make enough noise, they will follow whatever direction we lead them.”
“Will you do it?”
“But of course.”


***

Tess found the Italian doctor to be extremely charming as he talked. She remembered him from the earlier meeting with Lex and knew, of course, of his agenda, but as he spoke, she wondered if he was completely in agreement with his Illuminati ‘brothers’.

He was very eloquent; flattering but without seeming as if he was trying to ... what was the expression? she thought. Butter her up?

Tess had always been fairly cynical. She hadn’t considered herself to be the type of person who would fall for empty words of praise. Then again, she hadn’t had much praise in her life.

Her father, or her adoptive father, had been a drunk and abusive with it. He had been physically abusive, breaking her arm three times and rupturing her eardrum when he’d beaten her about the head.

She hadn’t learned to read and write until she was nearly eight, and that had been only after a former teacher had taken pity on her and given her a reader. Tess had soaked up the knowledge like a sponge and begged for more, although it all had to be in secret. Hank Mercer had never seen the need to educate girls and he had destroyed any books in the swamp house in Louisiana. Tess’ mother had been little help. Just as ignorant as Hank, Beth had died of typhoid when Tess was fourteen – a disease which had been eradicated in all but the most poverty-stricken areas of the country.

Determined that she would never become a victim to that kind of ignorance, Tess had worked hard to get high grades, even if it made her the most unpopular girl in her class. The state had finally intervened when Tess was ten, forcing her parents to send her to school. And Tess had made the most of it, testing out of the grade appropriate for her age not once but three times, earning a full academic scholarship to Harvard at fifteen. Free of her father at last, Tess had gone on to the university to study for a degree in Marine Biology.

Eleven years ago, at nineteen, Tess had been on a ship, taking part in a study in the South Pacific when the ship had been taken over by drug runners. They had been forced to sail to an island and it was there that Tess had met Oliver Queen who, coincidentally, had been marooned by the same drug runners two years earlier.

The two of them had managed to escape the drug runners and find their way back to the States. For a short time, Tess had embarked on a relationship with the Queen Industries scion, but she had caught him cheating on her with a seating hostess from their favourite Star City restaurant and she had left him feeling bitter and swearing never to allow herself to be that vulnerable again.

Tess had been surprised when she was head-hunted by Luthorcorp and offered a job working in their marine science division. She’d later been assigned to work on Project Mercury in Honduras, helping to gather viruses. But their camp was destroyed in an explosion and she was badly hurt.

After her recovery, which had been personally overseen by Lex, Tess had begun to think of him as her mentor and she had become an eager pupil. She had honestly believed her hard work and dedication had led him to promote her to a regional VP and to take over as acting CEO when he’d disappeared but she knew better now.

There were times when Tess wondered if Lex had been planning on disappearing the day he’d gone to the Arctic. But she knew that somehow Lex’s plans had gone awry with the collapse of Clark’s fortress. And he had obviously never planned on her learning of the way he’d used her.

Tess knew she had made some bad decisions in the past. Some of those had been motivated by the fact that she had refused to allow herself to be vulnerable. She had been bitter from the abuse by her father, then by Lex’s betrayal. It was only through Clark’s friendship that she had learned to step off the destructive path she was on and as such, had become a valued member of his team.

“You seem deep in thought, my dear,” Francesco said with a smile.

He had studied Tess Mercer thoroughly and knew what motivated her. The woman was someone who had known little love in her life and he wanted to use that to seduce her to their side.
Tess began to answer, but Lex stepped in.

“Excuse me,” he said rudely. “I need to speak with my sister. Alone, if you don’t mind.”

Donatello waved a hand nonchalantly. He disliked Lex intensely and felt he would sooner work with the devil than with this man. But the Luthors owed them a great debt. After all, it was they who had helped Lionel make his way to the top of the corporate world. As it was the brotherhood who had assisted Morgan Edge to become Metropolis’ own answer to Al Capone. And the brotherhood never let go of their debts.

***

Kara had spent much of the night at Martha’s side, wondering if she should at least pretend to mingle. But Martha had been sensitive to her quandary, telling friends and colleagues that ‘her niece’ was shy. Kara hadn’t meant to appear so clingy, but she had been reluctant to let the senator out of her sight, given what had occurred in the past few days.

Steve Trevor, however, appeared to take matters into his own hands.

“Senator, would you care to dance with a man with two left feet?” he asked.

“Well, I wouldn’t,” Martha laughed, “but I will dance with you.”

Steve chuckled, taking Martha’s hand and leading her to the dance floor. Bruce, who had been hovering nearby, seemed to take it as an invitation.

“Miss Prince, would you like to dance with me?” he asked, playing the role of the Gotham playboy to the hilt.

Diana nodded sedately. “Thank you,” she said.

Kara glanced at the dark-haired couple, wondering if Bruce was aware that Diana was Wonder Woman. She knew from Clark that Chloe had met with both of them while she had been underground all those months, but whether that meant she had revealed to either of them their mutual existence was another matter.

Standing alone, Kara became aware of the interest of the NSA agent. She shivered slightly, hoping that the simple disguise of the brunette wig and large black-rimmed glasses were enough for him not to recognise her. But she doubted it.

The intensity of the man’s stare unnerved her. As Lois would say, he ‘freaked her out’. Kara smiled as she thought fondly of Lois. The woman might not always think before speaking, but she certainly had a way with words. Kara had to admit that she and Lois had definitely not got off to a great start. Well, she had attacked Lois when she’d seen both Lois and Clark by her ship after it had been released from the mud at Reeves Dam. They’d had a long talk about that once Lois had revealed she knew of Clark’s Kryptonian origins and they’d both apologised for their actions.

Lois could still be brash at times, but Kara could see how much she loved Clark and that was enough for her.

“May I have this dance?”

Startled, Kara turned and looked at the NSA agent.

“Excuse me?” she said.

“I’m sorry,” he answered with a smile. “I didn’t mean to scare you. I just saw you standing here, all alone, and I thought I should ask a pretty girl to dance.”

“Thank you, but I’m afraid I’m not a very good dancer,” she said.

“I’ll take my chances.” He held out his hand. “Unless you’re afraid?”

Kara shook her head. “Of course not.” She took his hand reluctantly. Perhaps he did not know who she was after all. But she decided it was a good opportunity to try and learn his agenda.

“My name is Linda,” she said, as she stepped onto the dance floor with him.

“John. I understand Senator Kent is your aunt?”

Kara nodded.

“You seem very close,” John prompted.

“We are. I’m very fond of my aunt, and my cousin.”

“I hear your cousin Clark is quite the reporter in Metropolis,” John told her as they danced.

“He is. So is his wife, Lois. She’s on leave at the moment.”

“Yes, I did hear she had a baby. Are they living in the city now?” he asked.

Kara quickly schooled her emotions. She knew that he knew Lois and Clark were not at the farm anymore, but she wasn’t about to tell him exactly where they were. She quickly changed the subject.

“What do you do, John?” she asked, wondering if he would tell her. He smiled.

“Oh, a little bit of this, a little bit of that.”

Figures, Kara thought.

John smiled to himself. It seemed ‘Supergirl’ had learned a thing or two about fishing expeditions while she’d been on this planet. He was so tempted to question her further, but he didn’t want to reveal that he had seen through her meagre disguise too soon. The last thing he wanted to do was make her defensive. He would let it be. For now.

***

Martha changed places with Diana, dancing with Bruce, who seemed only too delighted with the change.

“I must say, Senator, you’re an excellent dancer.”

“Please, call me Martha,” she said. “And yes, I did have dancing lessons when I was a child. My father was a lawyer in Metropolis.”

“I take it he did not approve of you marrying Jonathan?” Bruce commented.

“Afraid so. He and Jonathan even came to blows once. But I loved Jonathan and I was happy with him. Our marriage wasn’t perfect, but neither were we.”

“It must have been difficult, knowing you couldn’t have children of your own.”

“But Clark more than made up for it,” she said. “And I now have a beautiful grand-daughter. I’m not complaining.”

The music ended and Bruce suggested a breather. He went to get drinks while Martha stood in one of the small alcoves of the ballroom. Her ears caught a conversation.

“Well, I for one don’t trust him.”

“Superman? He has done nothing but help the people of Metropolis.”

“And don’t you think Luthor has a point? Or have you forgotten his speech late last year? Superman is still an alien and therefore we must question his agenda.”

“You’re what’s known as a xenophobe, Miranda,” her male companion laughed.

“Just because I happen to dislike other cultures ... Look, all I’m saying is, Superman needs to be curtailed. In fact, I wouldn’t mind getting him in a government lab to study him. Find out what makes him tick.”

Martha snorted in disgust. Senator Miranda Clifford had been giving a speech just last month in which she spouted racial invectives. She was the type of senator Martha would prefer to have nothing to do with. She was prejudiced in the extreme.

Martha glanced up as a hand touched her arm and realised Bruce had returned to her side with a glass of wine. But her snort had been heard by the two senators.

“Senator Kent,” Miranda said snidely. “I am not surprised you disagree. Everyone knows of your bias.”

“And what bias would that be?” Martha asked.

“Your son and his wife seem to write a lot of stories in praise of Superman. It seems as if the alien can do no wrong in their eyes.”

“Superman has done nothing but help people, or are you forgetting that he saved the world from Apokolips?”

“You really think I believe Lois Lane’s nonsense about that so-called planet? It was a meteor. Or an asteroid. There were experts ...”

Martha scowled. After Clark had sent Apokolips back into space and driven Darkseid out, the ‘experts’ had come out in force, arguing about the true nature of the planet. Most of them had agreed it had been an unusual astronomical event, but none of them could agree on what it was. Most had preferred to call it a large meteor or an asteroid. But Martha and a select few had known the real truth.

“Those experts were wrong.”

Miranda shook her head. “And what makes you so sure?”

“Because I told her myself,” Bruce said. “My head of research and development had his own team of experts looking into the phenomenon and they all agreed it was no meteor.”

Miranda’s attitude changed. She still bristled visibly, but her manner turned flirtatious. The senator was fortyish, but clearly could appreciate the fine male form in front of her.

“And I suppose you think Superman can do no wrong either, Mr Wayne?”

“I didn’t say that,” Bruce told her, with a warning squeeze of Martha’s arm. “I’m not saying I trust him, but I don’t distrust him either. I just prefer to keep an open mind. Unlike you, senator, I do not judge people on their race or their culture, but on their behaviour. Personally, I believe if you had your way, we’d still be keeping slaves on plantations.”

Miranda sniffed. “I have the right to think how I see fit. And certain people should be kept in their place.”

“By ‘certain people’ it sounds to me like you believe African-American people are inferior. Well, for your information, senator,” Bruce added coldly, “my head of research and development happens to be of African-American descent and he has one of the most brilliant minds I’ve ever come across.” He glared at her, making her shrink under his icy gaze.

He turned away, leading Martha away from the other woman’s bitter vitriol.

“My god,” Martha said, as soon as they were out of earshot of everyone. “And she wants to put Superman in a lab?”

Bruce sighed. “I’m sorry you had to hear that, Martha. The woman is a bitch.”

“But you don’t trust Superman either,” she said.

“Maybe not, but I would never suggest studying him in a lab. I may be wrong, but I think she may be part of the same group we’re currently battling.”

“You mean ...” Martha gasped, a hand on her mouth.

“It’s well-known among conspiracy theorists. The Illuminati hate anyone of colour. They also are known for their hatred of anyone who does not fit in their agenda. And Clark is at the top of their list.”

***

Lex had watched the exchange between the two senators, seeing the anger on Martha’s face. While he felt Superman was not to be trusted, he didn’t agree with Senator Clifford’s views either. And he was just as concerned as Bruce that the senator was part of the same group now targeting him.

He saw Ross Webster in a heated discussion with a woman in her fifties. Lex frowned. The woman looked like Amanda Waller from Checkmate. After he’d returned, he had learned that Tess had been recruited by the organisation and he’d done his research on them.

Waller was with another man. Lex recognised him as one of the men who had visited him in his office a few weeks ago. This couldn’t be good, he thought. If they were talking to one of his biggest competitors, then their agenda seemed pretty clear. They were trying to bankrupt him.

***

Ross Webster had seen Lex glaring at them and smiled. He knew what Lex was thinking, and he’d be right.

“Perhaps we should discuss this somewhere more private,” he suggested.

De Sade and Waller nodded in affirmation and followed him to another room. Webster studied them carefully. He cared little for their agenda. All he cared about was beating Luthor.

“So you’re telling me that you can see to it that Luthor loses his military contracts and instead they’re awarded to Webscoe Industries? So far, I’m liking this plan. But what makes you think the military will go along with it?"

Waller spoke up.

“Some years ago, Luthor was developing a project: a weapon called Leviathan. The project was sabotaged by Arthur Curry, whom we also know through various sources is a member of the Justice League. Luthor lost millions on the project. He has since been involved in a number of other military projects. Ares, for one. Each project has failed and Luthor’s balance sheet took serious hits.”

“Luthor has been obsessed with finding a solution to what he called the ‘alien question’,” de Sade told him.

“It’s what brought him to the attention of Checkmate, after all,” Waller said smugly.

“Of course, my dear,” de Sade smiled.

Webster tried to hide his distaste for the smarminess in de Sade’s expression. The man was a con artist. Clearly he cared little for Webscoe Industries and his agenda was in taking Luthor down a peg or two. Webster didn’t mind that, necessarily. In fact, he would enjoy taking his biggest rival down.

“All right,” he said. “Count me in.”

***

Bruce, Diana and Steve had separately watched proceedings that night and they all came to the same conclusion. Something smelled rotten.

Diana didn’t know Tess Mercer, since they had only just met that night, but she had sensed that the woman was someone with a lot of darkness in her. And it wasn’t because of her bloodline. Diana guessed that Tess had a murky past and had done some things she probably now regretted. But that wasn’t what concerned her the most. The way Tess was responding to the handsome Italian doctor was even more worrying.

Tess Mercer was a woman who needed an emotional connection. She needed to know she was desired. That someone cared for her. And it appeared this Donatello was playing her like a ... what was the American expression? Like a Stradivarius, she thought with a small smile.

Diana felt Steve take her arm and she looked at him. She loved him. Had loved him from the moment he’d crashed his plane in the water off Themyscira. She’d come to the States to watch over him and found herself being forced to use her own abilities to help others.

When she had run into Kara in California, it had not been the first time she had run into someone from Metropolis. But when Chloe Sullivan had engineered a meeting with her, Diana had been reluctant to join with the Justice League, knowing it could complicate matters. Now, however, she believed she had reason to change her mind.

It felt like the net was slowly closing on Superman and his family. And there was little they could do to prevent it. It was clear the Illuminati brotherhood were strong. After all, they had spent centuries planning their eventual takeover of the world governments. They were not about to let a little thing like an alien superhero stop them.

Steve led her over to Bruce, who was watching Kara talk with the NSA agent.

“I don’t like this,” Bruce muttered to Diana, making it clear he knew exactly who she was.

“I’m going to talk with my contacts in the morning,” Steve told them. “Find out more about this NSA agent. Linda seems to be in over her head.”

Diana nodded her agreement. She knew Kara could handle herself, but she had seen the ill-disguised lust in the man’s expression. Kara was not naive, but she also wasn’t used to the attentions of men. Especially those with dubious intentions.

***

Miranda Clifford really hated being talked down to. Even by someone as powerful as Bruce Wayne. She had spent the rest of the evening, and most of a sleepless night cursing the handsome billionaire playboy.

She rose early the next morning and immediately began making phone calls, suggesting she and her colleagues meet for an emergency breakfast meeting. She placed one final phone call.

“It’s me,” she said when the phone was picked up. She quickly related what had occurred the night before and told him her plan.

“Excellent, madam,” Baron Yves de Rochefort told her.

Miranda hung up and dressed, leaving the hotel room and descending in the elevator to the hotel restaurant. Her colleagues were waiting for her.

“So what’s this plan of yours?” Senator Abrams asked as they sat back drinking coffee. It was swill, but Miranda drank it anyway.

“I believe it is time we sent Superman a message,” she told him.

“And what do you propose?” Senator Kelley asked. “Have him submit to study? Perform a vivisection on him?”

“No. I think we should start a little closer to home,” she said. “Martha Kent is well-known for her connections in Metropolis. I’m beginning to think it’s more than that.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, don’t you think it’s a little suspect that every time someone speaks out against Superman she’s right there defending him? I think it’s time we found out exactly what Martha Kent’s relationship is to Superman.”

“You’re suggesting we have her investigated?” Kelley asked.

“Exactly.”

***

Tess had ignored Lex’s continued efforts to contact her after she had left the ballroom with Donatello. The man fascinated her. He was the kind of man who knew a little about a lot of things. They had spent half the evening talking about everything, from deep sea diving to botany. Both of which were subjects she had taken an interest in during her years as a marine biologist.

When Donatello had suggested a match of wit and skill, Tess had not taken him too seriously. Until she’d found herself standing on a mat in the middle of his hotel room in defensive stance, waiting for him to attack. They were both dressed in loose workout clothing.

Donatello struck and Tess moved quickly to block the attack, then returned with a kick which would have crippled the average male. But he was too swift for her, blocking her attempt.
Tess circled him on the mat, a devilish grin on her face. Donatello returned the grin. And suddenly it was all on. What had started off as a game quickly became a battle of wills as Tess used all her Aikido and kickboxing skills to beat her opponent. But he was too good.
Tess found herself on her back on the mat for about the fifth time. Donatello was laughing above her. Panting, Tess took the man’s hand so he could help her up.

“You’re good,” she said.

“As are you, my dear. But I, of course, am better.”

“Modest too,” she laughed.

***

Clark yawned, stretching as he made his way downstairs to start breakfast. Lois was already on the couch, having got up to feed Mara.

“How was patrol?” she asked, following him into the kitchen.

“Uneventful, really. Oh, well, there was this woman who was almost mugged.”

“Almost?”

Clark laughed as he told Lois about the woman and how she had held her own against the two would-be attackers.

“Bet they were surprised,” Lois chuckled.

Clark grinned. “No doubt.” His cellphone rang, the ringtone sounding shrill in the early morning stillness of the apartment. Clark frowned. “Mom,” he said.

“I’ll get it,” Lois told him. “You just get to making those pancakes, Smallville.”

It had become something of a ritual for Saturday mornings. Clark would make pancakes while Lois would sit at the breakfast bar and watch. It was not that she couldn’t cook. She could, after a fashion. But Clark well remembered burnt bacon and shredded pancakes.

He grinned again as he began making the batter.

“Hi mom, what’s up?” Lois was saying into the phone. “Really? Yeah, that is a concern. Sure, I’ll tell Clark. Don’t worry. I’m sure between him and Oliver they can come up with something.”

Clark frowned at his wife as she hung up.

“What was that all about?”

“Mom just got a call from a friend of hers in the senate. Abrams?”

Clark nodded.

“Well, it seems mom ruffled somebody’s feathers last night and she’s about to start an investigation into Mom’s connection to Superman.”

“Who?”

“Senator Clifford.”

Clark remembered her. She was a hard woman known for her prejudices. And she had been very vocal in speaking out against Superman. As if they didn’t have enough troubles going on with the Illuminati. Clark’s heart skipped a beat as his brain made the connection.

“You think she might be one of them?” he asked. “The Illuminati, I mean?”

Lois chewed on her bottom lip. “It does make you wonder, doesn’t it?” she said.

Just as Clark began to pour the batter into the skillet, there was another call on the cellphone. This time the ringtone was normal, signifying it was an ‘unknown’ number. Clark frowned again.

“Who could that be?” he asked.

Lois went to answer it.

“Lois Lane.”

“Sorry,” a woman’s voice said with an odd accent. “I was expecting Clark Kent.”

“I’m his wife.”

“Yeah, I know,” she said. “I got this number from Perry White. Is he there? Can I speak to him?”

“Is it about a story?”

“No. Actually, I need to contact Superman.”

“Why would that be?” Lois asked.

“Because I need his help. I need to stop the Illuminati. Before it’s too late.”

“I can try to contact Superman for you,” Lois said. “But I need to know where I can reach you.”

“Okay, well, you can contact me at this number. Double oh, six four, two five, six one three, five five two seven. My name is Moana. The phone’s on international roaming.”

The woman hung up. Lois looked at her husband.

“Well, that was the strangest thing,” she said.

“What is it?”

“It’s that woman you were telling me about yesterday. She’s definitely got something to do with the Illuminati.”
...Next

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
eternal_moonie
Apr. 13th, 2012 09:47 am (UTC)
WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!

So great to see another chapter of this series!!

And on Friday the 13th no less lol

AWESOME new chapter sweetie!

phoenixnz
Apr. 13th, 2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
Hee, Black Friday :) I was so glad to be able to write another chapter.
ctbn60
Apr. 13th, 2012 01:08 pm (UTC)
Wonderful to see this again sweetie ts a gripping story. I was so excited!
phoenixnz
Apr. 13th, 2012 07:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks Carol, I knew it was about time I caught up with the story.
yvesderoch1
Apr. 14th, 2012 02:53 pm (UTC)
Thank Merci
Glad you like really thank, and my dear Leann the name of De Sade is Antoine and Donatello is Francesco héhéhéhéhé and is a fantastic chapter excellent really unique;-)

Edited at 2012-04-14 04:08 pm (UTC)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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