Right on Time (Chapter 3 of "Jon Kent: The Adventures of a New Superman")

By Trevise <JTRugga@aol.com>

Rated PG

Submitted June 1999

Summary: A young research assistant is coming to terms with having a partner who is, well, a bit odd. But she ain't seen nothing yet! Chapter 3 in the author's series, "Jon Kent: The Adventures of a New Superman," this story is a sequel to "Awakenings" and "Here We Go Again."

Hello, fellow FoLCs, casual readers, and anyone else who stumbles across this! Welcome back to my Metropolis. This story is the latest in the series I have come to call Jon Kent: The Adventures of A New Superman, which already contains Awakenings and Here We Go Again. I suggest you read these first before you continue.

As always, Metropolis, the idea of Superman, yada, yada, yada, are the property of DC comics, but most of the characters and all of the storylines are my own. I make no profit from these stories, and you may reprint them only with my permission. So there. Now, when we last left our hero …


Diary of Lynn Kingsley

October 7, 2021

Dear Diary,

Someone once said, that if when you wake up in the morning all you want to do is write, then you're a writer. When I wake up in the morning, all I want to do is bang my head on a wall. What does that make me? Let me explain.

I'd love to tell you about how I got my job as a reporter, but since that hasn't happened yet, I can't. But that's neither here nor there, and only peripheral to my banging my head on the wall. The real reason is much more insidious.

(God, that sounds like the lead-in to a b-grade movie! My Eng-Lit teacher warned me about doing that.)

I can sum up all of my life's problems with two words. Jon Kent. There. I said it. For some reason, Chief Olsen constantly insists on my working with him, and has been for the past four months. Now, in all honesty, he is very good at what he does. I have never seen anyone who can find a net-link faster than him! But I swear, he must have a sixth sense. Every so often, he gets all nervous and anxious, and not 2 seconds later, the Chief will call him into his office to file something or other, or to fetch this or that. And at the weirdest moments! It's very unnerving.

For example, there was yesterday's press conference. Just as Superman was about to reveal where he had been for the last twenty years, Chief Olsen suddenly had to have Jon de-bug his office computer. Right then! I think he missed the whole thing! (Just so you know: it turns out that the FIRST Superman really did die in that explosion: but before he did, he and UltraWoman had a kid! It seems she's got a planet of her own to protect, and didn't want her son separated from her until his powers were fully realized. When he was ready, he decided to follow in his father's footsteps and come back here to Earth. His real name is Kar-El.) The weird thing is, Jon didn't seem to mind at all. In fact, he almost seemed relieved when the Chief shouted his name. Now, who in their right mind would want to miss the most important press conference of all time to de-bug a computer? Especially in a newsroom? Weird, huh?

I suppose you could explain it away with his family history, but that's kinda weird too. He invited me over to his apartment yesterday after the press conference to finish some research, and I nearly fell over when I saw it. It must cost a fortune! I knew he couldn't be making more than me, so I asked him how he did it. "I inherited a lot of money when my folks died" was all I could get out of him. It wasn't until I saw an old picture on the wall of his family from twenty years ago that I finally made the connection. Jon Kent, as in Lane and Kent, the most successful writing team in the Planet's history. No wonder he could afford to live like this! Then the wheels in my head started turning, and I realized that there was a good reason Jon wasn't upset about missing the press conference. He must have already known what Superman was going to say! Lane and Kent were Superman's closest friends, so it's not unreasonable that their son would know Superman's son! But, if Jon knew, why didn't he say anything? And if this Superman really was raised on another planet, how did Jon meet him in the first place? Maybe I'm just reading too much into this, but there's something wrong with the whole set-up. Jon had better be ready to answer some heavy-duty questions tomorrow.

Lynn closed her diary, and thought about what she had written. It always helped her think more clearly when she vented her thoughts like that, but for some reason, when it came to Jon, even that didn't seem to help much. He was so frustrating, so impossible, so cute …

*No!* she screamed at herself. *I am NOT going there. Yes, he is kind, and attractive, and generous, and those eyes are just, oohh … NO! I refuse to even consider anything like this until I get some answers, and that's that!*

With her rebellious feelings now held tightly in check, she carefully placed her diary on the shelf. A quick check in the mirror showed that her normally rebellous auburn hair was actually behaving itself, and that the makeup outlining her eyes still highlighted their green color. With that done, she stormed down the apartment stairs and out to a nearby convenience store to re-stock her nearly empty fridge. Not five minutes after she left, a brilliant flash of light illuminated the room, and a small man wearing 19th century clothing emerged from its center. He briefly looked around the sparsely furnished apartment, found the book he was looking for, and read the last entry with a smile. "Ah, yes, quite good," he muttered to himself. He then checked a rather ornate gold pocketwatch that was attached to his vest, and smiled again. "Yes, yes. Right on schedule." And with another flash of light, vanished.

It was unusually warm for October, and the sun was only beginning to set when Lynn walked out of the deli, carrying her dinner. Her desire not to cook had won out again, so dinner was going to be a ham and cheese on whole wheat, a kosher dill, a bag of chips, and a soda to wash it all down. Again. In fact, when the deli clerk had seen her in line, her order was well on its way to being prepared before she had to say a word. Lynn didn't know whether or not to be flattered or troubled by this courtesy.

It being such a nice night, Lynn decided to go eat her dinner in Superman Park and watch the sun set behind the city. Positioned on the seashore, Superman Park was easily the most picturesque spot in all of Metropolis. It was, of course, dominated by the Superman memorial, an awe-inspiring monument dedicated to Metropolis' favorite son. Sheathed in white marble with brass framework, the 20-foot tall stylized S-shield was flanked on either side by the names of all the people Superman had saved in his incredible career. The list of names was 10 feet high, and stretched for 300 yards in each direction. The legend was that if you weren't related to at least one name on the monument, then you weren't a true citizen of Metropolis. Lynn paused to stare at the S-shield, as just about everyone did, and then walked about 90 yards to the right of it to find her father's name, Anthony Kingsley.

Her dad had been an accountant for the largest bank in the city, Metropolis One. He also had the fortune, or misfortune, to discover that Met One's financial clout was being used to launder money. He had foolishly reported this to the board of directors, thinking that they would alert the authorities, only to find a hitman at his house the next evening, holding his young wife hostage. Although Superman had arrived in the nick of time to save them, as her dad never tired of telling, it had been the reporting team of Lane and Kent who had seen to his protection, published his story, and proved that the senior members of the board were responsible for the whole thing.

"Remember," he would tell Lynn over and over as she grew up, "You don't need super-powers to be a hero. Superman may have saved our lives that once, but the Kents did as much, if not more, to help us. Had it not been for them, we surely would have been threatened again." Lynn had never forgotten her dad's words, and had come to look upon Lane and Kent as her idols.

Which is why after paying her respects to Superman, she walked over to a much smaller and much more seldom visited monument at the other end of the park. The tomb of Clark and Lois Lane Kent. Expecting to have the whole area to herself, she was surprised to hear a voice coming from the other side of the small marble pillar, until she recognized the sound of Jon Kent's baritone. As it often did, her curiosity got the better of her, and though she felt guilty about it, she stopped to listen. Fortunately, Jon was so caught up in his discussion that he didn't seem to hear her.

"I don't know how you did it, Dad." she heard. "I mean, even with Chief Olsen's help, I don't know if I can keep up this pace."

*The Chief's help?* wondered Lynn. *Maybe now I'll find out what goes on in that office.*

"This double life is killing me. I'm so tired all the time, I can't even manage to ask Lynn on a date like I was telling you."

That earned a raised eyebrow from Lynn, and she found she was holding her breath. *He likes me! But what's this about a double life? *

"I hope the solar lamps I'm installing in my bedroom help. Maybe they'll give me the energy I need to keep up the pace."

*Solar lamps? How did that come up?*

"But Mom, I wish you could meet Lynn. She's … well, according to Chief Olsen, she's a lot like you. Determined, energetic, she even babbles!"

*I do not! I mean, do I? Well, not a lot, but I suppose, sometimes, but everyone does sometimes, and I …*

Lynn's chain of thought was broken by the sound of Jon's voice.

"But, how can I even begin to have a relationship with her without telling her that … I'm not … normal?"

*Not normal? What does that mean? And a double life, and sun lamps, and …*

And then she saw the last rays of the sun set strike the Superman memorial. And she collapsed as the realization hit her. Hard. That Jon heard. As he came running around the side of the monument, he found Lynn staring at him in utter shock.

"Oh, no." was all he muttered.

"You … you … you … "

"I what, Lynn? What did you hear?" Jon's words seemed to slice through the air like a dagger. "WHAT DID YOU HEAR?"

The shouting served to snap Lynn out of her shock, and she responded in the manner that women have responded to men who have lied to them since time immemorial. She decked him.

"YOU BASTARD! You lied to me! And I was really starting to like you! And … " her voice dropped in volume " … and I think I just broke my hand on your jaw."

His eyes dropped briefly, and he muttered, "No, it's just a sprain."

"How would you kn … oh, right. The eyes." A thought occurred to her at that instant. "Have you ever … looked at me like that?"

He looked rather sheepish as he muttered, "Just the one time.."

"YOU CREEP! I'd deck you again if it would do any good. I hate you! I … I … why only once?"

The sudden change in the rant took Jon offguard.

"It was when you were wearing that one sun-dress just the other day, and, well, I didn't really have to look through that much … "

Lynn blushed as she remembered that she had worn that dress for the express purpose of making Jon go crazy. "I guess it worked then." she muttered under her breath.

"What worked?"

"Never mind, I'm still furious with you!" She reached up, grabbed Jon by the collar, and pulled his face down till it was only inches from hers. "Now listen to me very closely. We are going to my apartment, and you are going to dip into that mountain of a bank account of yours, and buy me one hell of a dinner. And then, you are going to answer any question I ask, or I will leak this little tidbit to every news organization I can find. Do I make myself clear?"

"What about you! You were eavesdropping on a private conversation! I should be furious with you!"

She continued her glare. "First, this is a public monument. If you want to hold a private conversation, this is not the place to do it. Second, you shouldn't have been stupid enough to let that much slip out loud, and third, you're the one who can hear clouds scrape together, you should have known I was there! Now, enough stalling, you owe me a dinner and some answers. NOW." And with that, grabbed his hand, and pulled the most powerful being alive behind her like a toddler.

As Lynn pulled a very startled Jon away from the monument, a small man in a bowler hat and three-piece suit watched them from afar. Just as he had before, he checked his pocketwatch and smiled. "Yes, very good. Right on time. Excellent." He then stepped into a nearby grove of trees and vanished in a flash of light.


End of part 3