By Tank Wilson <TankW1@aol.com>
Submitted September 1999
Summary: After discovering Clark has been killed on New Krypton, Lois has less than 24 hours to make a decision that will affect the rest of her life.
This story was originally posted on Zoomway's boards a while back. The New Krypton arc from the end of season three and the beginning of season four have spawned a lot of fanfics. This is one of mine. Any and all feedback is welcome. All characters are copyrighted and trademarked to their respective owners.
Lois Lane shut the lid on her laptop in disgust. This story was just not coming together! She glanced at the clock on the wall, 3 A.M. She flipped her laptop aside and ran her fingers through her hair. Apparently this one was going to take more work. She'd had three front page stories already this week so she guessed Perry would cut her some slack on this one, though with the dramatic upsurge in crime in Metropolis there were always plenty of stories out there.
She contemplated going to bed but knew she'd just toss and turn and have more unpleasant dreams anyway. It had been just over three months since Clark had left to help those creeps from New Krypton. Lois couldn't help but dislike them, not only for the way they tested Clark, putting his life and others in jeopardy, but also for how they manipulated him with talk of destiny and duty to a race he never knew. The New Kryptonions took Clark's help for granted, never really understanding what and who he really was, and what he was giving up.
Lois rummaged around the kitchen but realized she wasn't hungry. She let a heavy sigh escape as she bowed to the inevitable. She'd have to fight the nightmares and try to get some sleep or else she'd collapse at her desk tomorrow. At least she no longer cried herself to sleep.
She had just started to head toward her bedroom when there was a knock at her door. It had startled her. Who would be knocking at her door at this hour? She approached the door somewhat hesitantly and peered through the peephole. Her heart skipped a few beats when she recognized her visitors. She quickly unlatched the phalanx of deadbolts and chains and opened the door.
"Zara, Ching, come in." She peered past them into the hallway. "Is Clark with you?"
Lois saw the solemn looks on their faces. Ching was carrying an ornate vase-like vessel with the Superman symbol, which Lois knew was the crest of the house of El, on it. Her legs threatened to abandon their support of her as icy fear stabbed her in the chest and head.
"No, oh *please* no." Tears flooded down Lois' cheeks as a shaky hand raised and a palsied finger pointed at the urn Ching held. "Tell me that's not, .. It can't be!" She ran to the couch to hang onto its back for support. "Tell me it's *not* Clark!"
"We are so sorry Lois." Zara tried to put a comforting hand on Lois' shoulder but Lois jerked away. "It came down to a duel between Lord Nor and Kal-el. Kal defeated Nor but refused to kill him. When his back was turned Nor broke free of the guards and plunged a crysknife into Kal's back."
"No, no, no, nooo." Lois shook her head back and forth as she moaned. In a corner of her mind she thought how like Clark to allow his enemy a mercy his enemies would never think to give him.
"Kal was given a royal funeral and our people truly grieved his death," Zara continued in a soothing voice.
"Your people grieved!" Lois could barely see through the curtain of her own tears. "Do your people have any idea just what it was they lost? Do they know, do you know what you've done to this planet?" Lois waved her hand angrily about. "I don't think so! Not only have you robbed my planet of its most beloved hero, but you've managed to ruin my life and the lives of several of his close friends as well!"
"We know that you and this world have suffered a terrible loss, as have our people lost one of its finest leaders even if they weren't entirely aware of it. It may be no consolation to you Lois, but Kal,… Clark saved hundreds of lives and restored peace and order to my world." Lois had by now collapsed onto the couch and Zara took a chair across the coffee table from her. "We knew his heart always belonged to you and this world so against custom we brought his remains back to you." Ching tried to hand her the urn but Lois reacted as if she were burned when the cool golden vessel touched her skin. Ching shrugged and set it down on the table in front of her. Zara stood up. "Ching please prepare our craft for leaving. I will be along directly."
Even in her state Lois could see the disapproval in Ching's eyes but he didn't question her. He left Lois' apartment without a glance backwards. Lois' chest ached from sobbing and she was fighting the hiccups but she finally allowed Zara to put a hand on her shoulder.
"Lois, I know how much Clark loved you and how you had planned to marry and raise a family together."
Lois looked up at Zara, trying to give her her best hateful glare, but she couldn't muster the heat. She was just too spent emotionally. Zara pulled a strange looking device out of a pocket in her outer garment. It looked a little like a hypodermic needle. It had a clear bulbous end that held a golden fluid, then it tapered to a slender needle-like extension at the other end. Zara placed the device in Lois' nerveless hands.
"If the council knew I was giving this to you I could be stripped of my title but I felt you deserved this choice. I can't give you your Clark back, Lois, but I can give you the option of his children." Lois stared uncomprehendingly at Zara. "In this vial are the genetic codes for Kal-el. His DNA if you will. With this you will be able to impregnate yourself and conceive a child the same as if it had been Clark himself."
Lois stared down at the device in her hands as if it were a foreign object, which it was.
"Here are instructions on its use. I have to go. Take care Lois, and I *am* truly sorry. " Zara stuck a slip of paper in Lois' hand and quickly left, leaving a sobbing Lois staring unseeing at the objects in her hands.
The sun was well up and Lois was pacing about her apartment. She hadn't bothered to call into work and Perry had called her twice but she had let the machine answer. She didn't know what to do and she had little time to decide. She had thought about calling Martha but rejected the idea. This was a decision she had to make for herself; it was her life that was at stake here. She knew she had to contact them about Clark but, before she did, this problem had to be a 'fait accompli'. By the time she called the Kents she would either be pregnant or would have flushed the sample down the toilet and they would never have to know. She glanced down a the paper scattered across the kitchen table. She had a habit of making lists when she had to make tough either or decisions. She would write down the reasons why she should on one side and the reasons why she shouldn't on the other. For every good reason she could come up with why she should have his child she was able to come up with one why she shouldn't.
What was she doing even thinking of having a child? What did she know about child care and raising a a child? A superchild besides that! Lois was not even that fond of kids in the first place though she had to admit seeing Clark deal with kids made her wonder about a future as parents. Of course, that's another thing. Clark is not here! Could she possibly do this alone? What about her career? She knew that there were some women who did it and she had always had the utmost respect for them but she wasn't sure she had what it took to be one of them.
She knew Martha and Jonathan would love a grandchild. It would help ease their loss, and Lois knew they'd offer to help, but this was basically her problem. She had to be the one to deal with it. She desperately missed Clark; she had ever since he left for New Krypton. Now that she knew he was gone the hole ripped in her gut ached more each passing minute. Would that little piece of him carried forth in their child help ease that loss? Would most of that lost love be transferred to the child or would the child just serve as a reminder of what she had lost and make her bitter over not being able to move on with her life? Could she even move on with her life without Clark?
What about Utopia? Her head ached as she thought about the wonderful future society that H.G. Wells had described to her. The one founded on the principles of Lois and Superman, their love and their descendants. Could there even be a Utopia without Lois and Superman? Even if there were descendants?
Lois had gone round and round with herself for hours, taking occasional breaks to cry herself into hiccups, and the facts didn't change. She had to make a choice and all the information she was going to have to support whatever choice she made had been presented. It was time for a decision. She clutched the "hypo" in her hand as she marched toward the bathroom. She would either flush the specimen down the toilet or she would impregnate herself and become a single parent. Her decision would be made by the time she reached the bathroom.
The tiles felt cool on her bare feet as she closed the door behind her.
(fade to black)