Cupid's Crossbow

By Rachel Smith Cobleigh <>, Paul Albers, Dave Alin

Rating: PG

Submitted: August 2001 Summary: Superman has been attacked, and brought down! Lois and Dr. Klein race to find a cure for his suffering, while a new pair of doctors at the Labs pitch in to help…

Comments: This script was written during the last season of Lois & Clark, and if the show had continued to a fifth season, we fully intended to submit it to the show's producers. It takes place post-wedding.





LOIS LANE and CLARK KENT are each sitting at their respective desks, typing on their computers. Clark finishes, taps a key, leans back in his chair.

CLARK I'm done, finally. How about you, Lois?

Lois doesn't look up from her screen. She shakes her head.

LOIS Not yet, Clark.

He gets up, turns off his computer, pushes his chair in. He goes over to the entrance of PERRY WHITE'S office. White is sitting behind his desk, fiddling with his POLICE SCANNER.

CLARK Chief? I just sent my story on the road crew strike to you…is that all?

PERRY Oh—mm, yeah, son…you're all set.

Perry goes back to fiddling. Clark walks over to Lois, who is still furiously typing. He bends down, speaks quietly into her ear.

CLARK I'm heading out to just do a short fly over the city —you need anything?

She looks up, a small smile on her face.

LOIS No, but come back soon…I want to go flying tonight!

He grins, they kiss for a moment.

CLARK Okay…I'll be sure to hurry.

He runs off. Lois goes back to typing, her hair blown back by a small breeze.


A typical middle-class home in the suburbs. A car goes by, its LIGHTS on.


PAN a large, well-lit biology lab. There is a worktable in the center of the room. A desk sits in the corner, piled high with books and loose papers. A SMALL PICTURE FRAME of the Peersons' wedding sits near the edge.

JENELLE PEERSON sits at the desk. She is in her mid forties, with a touch of gray hair, wearing a white lab coat over a blouse and slacks. She sits with her reading glasses on.

There is a KNOCK on the door.

JENELLE (annoyed) Come in.

JAKE PEERSON, tall and in his late forties, physically fit with slightly graying hair, enters and stands beside the desk.

JAKE (sees her reading) Since you clearly are involved in matters much more important than maintaining our lives, I picked up some take-out. It's on the table, upstairs.

He turns to leave.

JENELLE (still reading) Just bring mine down here. I'm too busy to take a break right now.

JAKE (exasperated) What is it now?

JENELLE I'm re-reading Klein's report on Kryptonian metabolism.

JAKE (annoyed) You've already read that at least twice this week. Come upstairs so we can eat. I got some food from Ralph's Pagoda.

JENELLE (revolted, still reading) Ugh. Ralph's Pagoda?! Have you ever analyzed that stuff chemically? I wouldn't exactly call it food.

JAKE (offended and angry) Well, maybe if you didn't spend all your time on this Superman project you would have the time to get something Your Highness would consider edible.

He picks up a picture of Superman from the pile on her desk.

JAKE (CONT'D) I realize that we mere mortals are nowhere near as satisfying to be around as super-powered aliens, but we DO need to eat.

She stands up, angry.

JENELLE I am so SICK and TIRED of you complaining! You should have used that world-famous brain of yours and asked me what I wanted first!

JAKE Oh, right. Like you would stop for anything that wasn't cooked with heat-ray vision.

JENELLE Why don't you just stop being so childish?

JAKE (defensive) What's that supposed to mean?

JENELLE (coldly) You know exactly what it's supposed to mean.

JAKE At least I had the decency to get us some food!

He storms out of the lab, slams the door behind him. She tries to go back to reading, but sees the wedding picture on her desk and deliberately knocks it to the floor, then puts her head down in her hands and starts to cry.


Jake's chemistry lab has the same layout as his wife's lab. The worktable in the center has an arrangement of beakers, tubing, and equipment. There is a huge METAL CHEST beside the door, labelled "BIOHAZARD!" He enters and slams the door. He picks up a small tape recorder and starts to record.

JAKE Now I can see that I have no choice but to follow my original plan. My tracking of Superman's movements has paid off. Tonight, when he drops into the alley beside the Daily Planet, it will be his last time.

He puts on protective gloves and opens the metal chest. Inside is a black spherical device with buttons on it. He pushes a button and a blue cloud is vented from the top. He pushes another, and the top opens, revealing a crystal SLIVER, three inches long and about half an inch in diameter. It glows bluish-green. He picks up the SLIVER.

JAKE (inspecting the crystal) Let's just see how interested she is in you after I'm finished.

He turns to the wall, places the picture of Superman against it. He stabs it with the sliver, through the S-shield, pinning it to the wall.


SUPERMAN is flying over the city. The lights of the city are soft and muted beneath him. No screams for help; Metropolis is quiet. He glances under his outstretched arms, down at the city, then lifts his head back up, a small smile on his face.

SUPERMAN Good…at last a quiet night. I can spend a rare night, ALONE, with Lois.

He starts his descent.


The alley is empty, except for a large dumpster against the Planet's brick wall. Superman descends, dropping quickly to the pavement.


Superman lands. SUDDENLY, Jake's CROSSBOW fires. Superman stumbles forward, twisting around to see:


He sees Jake, dressed in black, leaping on him.


A) Jake drops, hitting Superman in the chest, pushing him back against the opposite brick wall. Superman GROANS, grapples with Jake.

B) They struggle against the wall, and a dark crimson stain is left behind on the bricks.

C) They fall to the ground, with Superman underneath, his hands pushing up against Jake.

D) Jake brandishes a DAGGER very briefly, then, amidst their fight, SLASHES across the S-shield, tearing the tight fabric open, leaving a cut across Superman's chest.

E) Superman GASPS, knocking the dagger out of Jake's hand. It flies up against the wall of the Planet and clatters down behind the dumpster.

F) Jake's gloved hands grab Superman's neck, squeezing.

G) Superman struggles, weakening quickly. He first pushes up against Jake, then drops his hands to the finger around his throat. He strains to pry the fingers off, but his strength is almost completely sapped.

H) Fear in his eyes, Superman fights for a breath. He gasps out a strangled, almost unrecognizable…


He blacks out, his body goes limp.

(O.S.) SUDDENLY, we hear the STATIC of a police walkie talkie.

Jake's head snaps up, he looks back down, lets go Superman's throat. He leaps to his feet, grabs the crossbow, then turns back to look for the dagger.

(O.S.) STATIC is closer.

Jake leaps over Superman's body and runs out of the alley.


Two uniformed security guards come out from the open area in front of the Planet, one of them putting a walkie-talkie into his belt.


The newsroom is quiet, people have gone home for the night. Perry is sitting behind his desk, editing Lois' story. Lois is standing next to the chair. Perry looks up from his reading.

PERRY Lois, I am NOT printing this!

LOIS (stalks behind the desk) What? What's wrong with my story?

PERRY (points to the screen) Right here is a statement that I am NOT going to run in my paper…

LOIS What?! That's—

PERRY …UNTIL you and Clark find more evidence to support it.

Perry crosses his arms.

LOIS (wailing) But, Perry, this sentence is the CRUX of the whole article! We've been researching this thing for WEEKS!

JIMMY OLSEN comes in and leans against the doorframe, grinning.

JIMMY Trying to get us all sued again, eh, Lois?

PERRY (half-smiling) Or killed…

JIMMY Or both.

LOIS Grrr. You two, someday I'm going to—

PERRY Yep, someday. But right NOW, I want you to go back and edit out all these flaming accusations.

He reaches back and flips on the SCANNER behind his desk.

JIMMY Hey Chief, what's that?

PERRY (looks pleased) It's that scanner I've been meaning to buy for years. Finally got around to it last night!

Suddenly, STATIC comes on the scanner.


AMBULANCE (STATIC)—yes, we're headed to Dr. Bernard Klein at S.T.A.R. Labs.

DISPATCHER What's your ETA? We'll notify the Labs immediately.

AMBULANCE Three minutes. We've got to hurry. Superman's unconscious, and we're having trouble stabilizing him!

Lois bolts out of the office. Perry and Jimmy stand in the office, frozen.


There are boxes stacked around. Jake drives his car in, gets out, and puts his gloves and ski mask into a GARBAGE CAN. He takes his recorder out of his pocket.

JAKE (excited) My blue kryptonite worked better than I theorized! It affected Superman instantly! (ashamed) I lost control for a moment and attacked him myself. Very foolish. I should've just left and let the blue kryptonite do its job.

He places the crossbow into one of the opened boxes. His hand is still in the box when Jenelle enters from the house.

JENELLE (hurried) Oh, THERE you are! Unpack your toys later, we've got to go to STAR Labs right away!

JAKE What for?

JENELLE It's all over the news! Superman's been attacked! I called Klein and volunteered our help.

JAKE (outraged) You volunteered US?!

JENELLE (impatient) Yes, it looks like some new form of kryptonite is involved, he said. I thought we could help! Now, are you coming or are you just going to stand here and let Superman die?!

JAKE I doubt it's as bad as all that. I, ah, need to go change first. I got pretty dusty here.

JENELLE (disbelief) You've GOT to be kidding! This is much more important than—

JAKE —dinner with you husband?

JENELLE This isn't about YOU, Jake. This is about SUPERMAN!

JAKE (under his breath) I know.


Superman is lying on a stretcher on his stomach, unconscious. A gauze pad is over the shoulder wound. DR. BERNARD KLEIN is pulling a sheet up over him, the torn and bloodied Suit is on the floor over to the side. Lois rushes in, and Klein sees her.

KLEIN I've done everything that I can for him right now. The medics helped as much as they could. At least the bleeding has stopped. There's a sliver of something lodged in his back—it looks like kryptonite, but it's not affecting him like it. I'm waiting for the experts to help remove and analyze it.

LOIS Experts? Who?

The Peersons enter; Jenelle rushes over to Superman and begins examining the wound. Jake is hurriedly pulling a lab coat over his black outfit.

KLEIN Dr. Peerson, Lois Lane-Kent. Lois, Doctors Jenelle and—

LOIS —Jacob Peerson! I did a story on you a few years ago! Your work in the field of alien biology and chemistry was really astounding!

JENELLE (still examining) Why, thank you! We put a lot of work into that project—mainly about Superman. He really is an amazing person to study! The first time I saw him, I KNEW that he—

JAKE (cuts her off) We have work to do. Excuse me, Mrs. Kent. Jenelle?

He brushes Lois aside and starts to look over Superman. He winces at the sight of the wound. Lois stands back, offended.

JENELLE (whispers) That was RUDE.

Jake ignores her and looks at Dr. Klein.

JAKE What have you found so far, Klein?

KLEIN Well, his condition hasn't improved since he arrived. I believe it's because of this object in his back, here. I was waiting for your assistance to remove it.

JAKE I don't think you'll need a chemist for that. Just send me that object once it's out, and I'll do an analysis of it.

JENELLE I would LOVE to assist!

JAKE (sarcastic) What a surprise. Just send it over to my home lab.

He stalks out. Jenelle and Klein begin to work.

LOIS What's with him?

No one answers her. She stands, watching, for a moment, then backs up and sits down on a flat sofa against the wall. The doctors' voics FADE AWAY. She looks at the scene, then leans her head against the wall, closes her eyes, exhausted.

LOIS(CONT'D) (whispers) Clark…!


Lois is asleep on the flat sofa. Superman is crouched next to her, wearing lab gown pants. His left shoulder is bandaged. His hand is on her shoulder shaking her gently. Lois groggily opens her eyes, sees him.

SUPERMAN Lois, c'mon, Dr. Klein's getting you a cup of coffee …it's half past nine, by the way. C'mon, honey.

LOIS (sits up, speaks quietly) How are you feeling?

SUPERMAN Better. They took out the kryptonite hours ago. I was thinking about how to get us out of here—

Klein walks in, looking bleary-eyed, with two steaming cups. He doesn't seem the least concerned with Superman and Lois's close position. He drowns a smile in his coffee cup, after he hands the other cup to Lois. He goes over to his seat. Superman walks over and sits on the stretcher.

KLEIN So…how are you feeling?

SUPERMAN My shoulder's a little stiff.

KLEIN Mm-hmm, I expected that…do you have any of your powers back yet?

Superman floats a little, sinks back down, slightly out of breath. Klein raises his eyebrows.

SUPERMAN I don't know…it seems a little strange that I'm still not back up to full strength yet.

KLEIN That sliver of kryptonite was in your shoulder for quite a while. (mumbles) Strange-looking stuff.

SUPERMAN Right. Well, I think I'll be strong enough to fly out of here in a few minutes.

KLEIN Actually, I'd like to advise you to remain here, for a short while, at least. We still don't know how that sliver affected you so severely. I sent it over to Jake so he could do some chemical analysis. You mind if I just check you over?

SUPERMAN No, you can go ahead. Who's Jake?

Klein gets up, mumbling, and looks for his equipment.

KLEIN (just remembered) Oh! Jenelle also asked me to ask you to stay here for a while. She mentioned having some tests and some questions for you.

SUPERMAN Who's Jenelle?

KLEIN Jacob and Jenelle Peerson moved here recently, after her grant at MIT expired. I'm not sure what he was working on up there. She wanted to do some research on you, so they came to me.

He comes over and starts to examine Superman.

SUPERMAN ON me? Like what?

KLEIN Well, ah, not exactly ON you…mostly just ABOUT you, like how your powers are generated, how sunlight affects you, that sort of thing.

SUPERMAN Yeah, Lois, remember the article that w—ah, that you and Clark did a couple of years ago for the press conference they had?

LOIS Yes! Their ground-breaking work in the field of alien biologies! No wonder they want to study you, Superman!

KLEIN Actually, it's more Jenelle than Jake. She was really excited about the idea when she came to me.

Jenelle comes in, looking tired but excited. She whips a notebook out of her lab coat pocket. She rushes over to the stretcher. To her, Superman is the only one in the room.

JENELLE Great! You're still here! (pulls out a pencil) Okay, Superman. I wanted to ask you some questions.

Superman raises his eyebrows, glances at Lois.

SUPERMAN Ah…okay. Shoot.

JENELLE After last night, you sure you want me to?

She laughs nervously at her own joke. The other three look at each other. JENELLE (CONT'D) Okay. How do you feel?

Superman looks at her, unsure of where to start.

JENELLE(CONT'D) I mean physically. Tired? Achy? Strong? Weak? Drained? Super?

SUPERMAN Ah…tired, I think.

JENELLE Right. Tired.

She starts writing furiously, then stops, looks up.

JENELLE(CONT'D) Superman, I'm interested in running a series of tests on you—

KLEIN Jenelle, you can look at my research. I've tested his strength, speed, rate of recovery, every vision gizmo he's got, his vulnerability to kryptonite. You name it, you can probably find it in my notes somewhere.

JENELLE Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of… your reproductive abilities.

Superman is shocked. Lois's mouth drops open.

JENELLE(CONT'D) (plowing on, very quickly) I realize that as an alien, you probably feel no desire towards Earth women, but I have some theories on your reproductive system that I would like to investigate—if you don't mind, of course.

Lois drops her head into her hands.

SUPERMAN Ah…I think…I'll just let Nature take its course, Dr. Peerson.

Lois's shoulders are shaking, she's laughing silently.

LOIS (whispering) I would just LOVE to hear some of those theories!

Superman hears her and reddens. He bends his head down to hide a smile.

SUPERMAN Oh! I think I hear a cry for help!

LOIS (still whispering) Yeah—yours.

KLEIN Wait! The world can survive without you for ten more minutes.

JENELLE Yes! We don't know exactly how badly you were affected by that sliver. We just need a few minutes to make sure you're recovering properly. It won't take long—then you can leave.

SUPERMAN Actually, I really DO need to leave.

Lois smirks. He SUPERSPINS in his torn Suit and flies out. Jenelle looks awestruck. Lois stands up.

LOIS So…what exactly did you have in mind for those tests?


Clark is buttoning up the front of his shirt, a new Suit underneath it, when Lois walks in.

LOIS How are you doing?

CLARK I'm okay. Still not back up to full strength, though. Did you find out the result of Jacob Peerson's analysis?

LOIS No, Jenelle said he was still working on it…but she had equally interesting things to say. Half of her theories were way off base.

CLARK And the other half?

LOIS Well…let's just say that think they should be completely researched… They kiss for a moment.

CLARK You know, you almost sent me over the edge in there.

Lois grins evilly.

LOIS I know. (picks out a tie) This one.

She pulls out a low-key tie and drapes it over his shoulder.

CLARK (finds a crazy tie) Here, I like this one.

LOIS (hangs the crazy tie back up) I have to go take a shower.

CLARK (grimaces at plain tie) I want to take a look around the alley when we get to the Planet.

LOIS All right. I need breakfast. Can we stop at that little coffee shop down the street?

CLARK Sure…I'm starving, too.

She gives him a quick peck on the cheek, then leaves the room. Clark takes the crazy tie and puts it on at SUPERSPEED. He has to stop, midway. His hands and wrists ache. He looks a little worried.


The room is equipped with an entertainment center—TV and stereo—and a stationary bicycle. Jake is riding the bike while listening to "Ride of the Valkyries" on the stereo. Jenelle enters and turns off the music.

JENELLE (accusatory) I thought you said you were going to analyze that material.

JAKE I'm done. My report is on your desk.

He starts to peddle a little faster.

JENELLE (surprised) Oh, that was fast. What did you find out?

JAKE It seems to be an imperfect duplicate of kryptonite.

JENELLE It's artificial? But, I thought your research claimed that it was impossible to synthesize kryptonite.

JAKE That was because there is no safe way to duplicate the heat and pressure of an exploding planet. This had a blue coloring because it was fused together in an environment that could be created here. It also has some small chemical variations in it.

JENELLE Like what?

JAKE Its radiation is so weak that it would have to get under his skin to hurt him. If he just held it in his hand, the only effect would be to make the skin in contact become vulnerable. The substance it was fused with is the acting agent.

JENELLE But we removed it, and his powers are still weak.

JAKE Well, most of it has been removed, but a small amount would have dissolved into his bloodstream. Those molecules will spread into each cell in his body and act as bio-energetic inhibitors, preventing his normal level of energy production. Once his condition stabilizes, he will be no more 'super' than the rest of us.

JENELLE (horrified) No, we can't allow that! What's the cure?

Jake starts to peddle faster.

JAKE Cure? This is like lead poisoning. Once it's in there, it stays. He will just have to get along without superpowers like the rest of us. It's not like his life is in danger.

JENELLE (outraged) His life might not be, but what about all the people that he could save if he had his powers? Haven't you seen the news? The police can barely keep up with the sudden wave of crime! People are panicked; someone nearly killed SUPERMAN! And the madmen who did this to him are still on the loose planning who-knows-what!

She storms out.

JAKE (shaken) Hey, where are you going?

JENELLE (shouting back) If you're not going to find a cure, then I WILL!

He peddles the bike as fast as he can for a moment, then gets off and turns on the TV to LNN.

LNN REPORTER …lucky that only one officer was wounded in the incident. With the recent swell of crime in the wake of the attack on Superman, it is only a matter of time until—

He snaps off the TV.

JAKE (in shock) No…! What have I done?


Lois is driving, Clark is in the passenger seat.

LOIS …and I talked with Perry on the phone. He said he wanted the lowdown on what happened to you—Superman, that is. Everyone else there has their hands full just trying to keep track of all the chaos in this city.

CLARK Maybe a little personal appearance by Superman would help to calm things down.

LOIS (concerned) Are you sure that's wise? Maybe you should just lie low until you're fully—

CLARK Lois, you know I can't let innocent people suffer because I'm not feeling well—Shhhh!

(V.O.) SOUND FX — Superhearing, but very faint:

ROBBER #1(V.O.) (shouting) …and if you don't get that helicopter here in 30 minutes, we start turning hostages into ducks, dead ducks! Got it?

CLARK I just overheard a serious hostage crisis. Pull around this corner and let me out. It sounded like it was on the other side of town.

LOIS Okay, but be careful! You're weakened and vulnerable! CLARK Yes, but there's one power even kryptonite can't take away.

Lois turns the corner, and they see a BANK ahead. Both of them look shocked. The police have the building surrounded, and a crowd of bystanders has gathered, including an LNN REPORTER and a CAMERAMAN. Lois stops the Jeep in front of the alley.

LOIS I hope you didn't mean superhearing.

Clark gets out and walks into the alley. Three seconds later he walks out as Superman.

SUPERMAN Just wait for me back here.

He flies slowly upwards off the screen.

LOIS You'd think he'd just get tired of telling me that.

Lois gets out and starts walking towards the bank. Superman descends, landing a little hard on the other side of the police line beside a POLICE OFFICER holding a MEGAPHONE.

MAN IN THE CROWD (excited) Look! Superman's back!

Crowd reacts with surprise and relief to Superman's appearance.

SUPERMAN What's the situation here, officer?

OFFICER It's a bank robbery gone bad. There are two of them in there, and they took six hostages. Are you just going to zip in there and whisk them out?

SUPERMAN I doubt that will be necessary. Could I just use your megaphone for a moment?


He hands Superman the megaphone.

LNN REPORTER (to self) A megaphone?!?

SUPERMAN (to bank robbers, using megaphone) Attention in there, this is Superman. You have until the count of five to give yourselves up. If you don't, then you will have to deal with me. One.


ROBBER #2 peeks out of a window and sees Superman.

ROBBER #2 (worried) Geez, it really is him! I thought you said he was in the hospital or somethin'.



Lois arrives at the front of the crowd at the police barricad


CLOSE SHOT on bank doors. There are no signs of movement.

SUPERMAN(CONT'D) (nervous, but hiding it) Four. I can assure you that there is no escape.

CLOSE SHOT on banks doors. Still no movement. The crowd falls silent, waiting for Superman to say "five."

LNN REPORTER (under breath) Why is he stalling like this?

SUPERMAN This is your last warning. It will be much better for you if you give yourselves up. (brief pause) Okay…Fi—

ROBBER #1 Wait! We're coming out! Don't shoot!

Lois lets out a sigh of relief.


A police car drives off with the two robbers in the back. Most of the police have left, but there is still a small crowd and the LNN News Team.

Officer walks up to Superman, who is still holding the megaphone.

OFFICER Well, I guess we owe you another one, Superman.

SUPERMAN Anytime, officer. Thanks for letting me borrow this.

Superman hands the Officer the megaphone, but it slips from his hand. It falls between them and crashes down on Superman's foot. Superman jumps back.


Everyone stops dead in their tracks and stares at Superman in shock, silent.


WOMAN IN THE CROWD (panicked) He's lost his powers! We're all in danger!

The crowd panics and runs.

LNN REPORTER (to the camera crew) What a story! Let's go!

The News Teams starts toward Superman. He turns and runs into the bank. They run after him, but a few police officers try to hold them back. He disappears into the bank. The News Team breaks through and runs towards the bank. Lois is close behind them.


Superman runs in and spin changes at half superspeed into Clark, then hides behind a counter. He's breathing a little hard. The News Team bursts in.

LNN REPORTER He's got to be in here somewhere!

Lois enters and opens a window when no one is looking.

LOIS (pointing out the window) There he goes!

Everyone rushes to look out a window. Clark stands up and goes to look out a window, too.

LNN CAMERAMAN (looking out a window) I don't see him.

CLARK He's out of sight now. He was moving pretty fast.

LNN REPORTER Well, maybe he isn't totally powerless, but it sure looked like it. Did we get the whole thing out there on tape?

LNN CAMERAMAN The whole thing. Let's roll.

Clark tries to X-ray the video camera, but his vision flickers. He manages to do it, just as the man walks out with the camera.

LNN REPORTER (smug) For once, it looks like the Daily Planet won't beat us to the punch with a great Superman story! (to Lois and Clark) Have a nice day, you two.

The LNN News Team walks away.

CLARK We need to get to the bottom of this before Metropolis destroys itself. LOIS Or before this destroys you.


Lois and Clark pull up next to the alley in her Jeep. Traffic moves in the b.g. They get out, and walk into the alley. They start to look around the alley for any clue. Lois goes over and looks around the DUMPSTER. Clark just stands, looking around.

LOIS So how did this…guy get that thing inside of you, anyway? No one reported hearing a gunshot.

CLARK I'm not sure…it wasn't a gun, not even a gun with a silencer. It made this strange noise I didn't recognize.

LOIS Maybe it was an air rifle. Did it sound like PFFFFFFT?

CLARK No, not PFFFFFFT. LOIS How about TWANG? Forget that. The sliver was too short to use as an arrow.

CLARK No—wait. That was close, Lois. It was more like a TZANG, though.

He looks over and sees the spot of blood on the brick wall.

LOIS (sarcastic) TZANG? That really helps.

He has a flashback of crashing against the wall.

LOIS(CONT'D) Hey, Clark? Could you just take a peek behind this dumpster? Y'know… (gestures pulling down his glasses) peek?

He comes out of his reverie.

CLARK Uh…right.

He turns towards the dumpster and pulls down his glasses. He peers through the metal, and catches sight of a dagger underneath it. His vision flickers, then disappears completely. He frowns, and tries again. He can't, and suddenly has a splitting headache. Lois looks up, worried. He quickly pushes his pain aside, goes over to kneel next to her.

CLARK(CONT'D) You have a handkerchief, tissue, something?

Lois quickly pulls a handkerchief out of her bag and hands it to him, looking worried.

LOIS Are you all right?

Clark nods and reaches underneath the dumpster. After a second, he pulls the dagger out and holds it up. There is some dried blood on it.


Jimmy leaves Perry's office with a piece of paper in his hand as the elevator doors open to reveal Lois and Clark entering. Jimmy rushes over to them. He looks concerned when he sees Clark.

JIMMY Ooh, CK. You're not looking too good.

CLARK (grimaces) Thanks, Jimmy.

JIMMY Oh! Guys, we just got this fax from the Metropolis PD. (he hands the sheet to Clark) They got Dr. Klein's description of that sliver he took out of Superman's shoulder—they figure, from its shape and size, that it's probably a homemade crossbow dart. Weird, huh?

Clark and Lois look at each other.

CLARK A crossbow. LOIS That would explain the TZANG.

JIMMY The what?

LOIS Look, Jimmy, we've got something else on this Superman attack for you to research.

Lois pulls the dagger, the hilt covered by her handkerchief, out of her bag. LOIS(CONT'D) We were wondering if you could take this around to a few of the shops in town and see if you can find any buyers, collectors, whoever, who might have a connection to this.

CLARK Lois, I think we can do that—

LOIS (ignoring Clark) Can you do that for us?

Jimmy looks from Clark to Lois and back.

JIMMY Yeah…I can. Consider it done!

Jimmy takes the dagger, sees the blood on it. He looks at it for a moment, then nods and takes off. Perry comes towards them, as they reach their desks. Clark puts his hand to his forehead. Perry reaches them, shakes his head.

PERRY Ooh, Clark. You're not looking too good.

CLARK It's nothing, Chief. I'm just a little tired.

PERRY Yeah, you two have been working pretty hard lately. And now with this attack on Superman…

Perry shakes his head. Lois squeezes Clark's arm.

PERRY(CONT'D) So…with all your hard work, have you found anything on this Superman attack yet?

CLARK We may have.

PERRY Keep me posted, okay, kids? People are scared and panicking out there, and I feel so helpless.

CLARK You're not the only one, Chief. I'm sure Superman's taking this pretty hard, too. PERRY Yeah, well don't you get sick on me. I don't want both you and Superman out of commission.

Lois nods, and he walks away. She turns to Clark. He is rubbing his forehead again.

LOIS Do want to go back home and rest?

CLARK No. I can't sleep now, not with a madman loose.

LOIS I'm taking what Perry said as an order, and Klein told you to take it easy, too.

CLARK We need to figure out who this guy is.

LOIS Fine, we can do it here…in the conference room.

She grabs a pad and a pencil and they go into the conference room. He sits down, she stands near the door.

LOIS(CONT'D) Okay, let's think. Who would want to kill Superman?

CLARK He'd have to really hate him.

LOIS That narrows the list of villians and crooks significantly.

CLARK Okay…the sliver was made of kryptonite, but a kind that I've never seen before. I don't think it was pure, like the red and green varieties are. This was a blue-green color, as if the green kryptonite had been mixed or fused with something else. Klein said the sliver left a greasy residue… little bluish grains.

LOIS Then it probably was homemade, like the police report said, but not just home-carved. Someone made that kryptonite.

CLARK But no one can safely duplicate the heat and pressure needed to make kryptonite, or any rock, for that matter.

LOIS But you said yourself that it wasn't pure. Whoever made it must have found a way, and must be an expert in chemistry.

CLARK (sighs) Why can't we ever just face a common criminal, someone who just uses normal, average things. Why are we always discovering new psychotic supervillians?

Lois sits down across from him.

LOIS So far we have a) someone who hates Superman, and b) someone who is a brilliant chemist. It's not really a lot to go on.

CLARK No…we have one more thing: someone who may be proficient with crossbows.

LOIS (writing) That does narrow the field some. (pauses) Y'know, I was just thinking. To be able to make that blue kryptonite, this chemist would need access to green kryptonite. Who would have that?

Clark rubs his forehead.

CLARK Lois, I'm convinced that when my ship landed, it brought down half a planet-load of the stuff, and that every crook and his dog has a handful.

Lois frowns, reaches out to touch his arm.

LOIS You're really not feeling well, huh? Clark looks up at her and squeezes her hand for a second. Then, he picks up her pad.

CLARK C'mon, let's go run this stuff through the computer and see if we find any matches.

LOIS Where in the world is Crossbow Sandiego, huh?

Clark smiles weakly, then stands up. Suddenly, he drops the pad and grabs the table edge. He collapses, knocking back the chair he had been sitting in, and crashes to the floor.


She rushes around the table and drops to the floor next to him. He is awake, but is completely exhausted. Perry's voice, shouting, is heard outside of the room, coming closer.

LOIS(CONT'D) I'm taking you home. Clark nods and closes his eyes.


Martha is walking towards the kitchen with a bag, and Jonathan is sitting in front of the television.


LNN ANCHORMAN Superman appeared at a bank robbery this morning, saving the lives of six hostages. However, there have been some reports questioning his recovery— The door swings open, Lois is behind Clark, helping him inside. Martha comes over, and Jonathan turns off the TV, gets up.

LOIS Martha!

MARTHA We came as soon as we saw the news last night.

JONATHAN We just let ourselves in with your spare key… we hoped you wouldn't mind.

LOIS Oh, don't be silly, of course we don't!

Lois gently pushes Clark the rest of the way in. Martha comes forward, worried.

MARTHA (reaching up to touch his forehead) Oh, honey…you don't look so good.

He pushes her hand back down.

CLARK Mom, I'll be all right…just tired.

LOIS Don't give me that, Clark. It's not just fatigue. He hasn't got a fever, Martha. He doesn't seem sick, exactly.

JONATHAN Maybe he IS just tired.

Lois and Martha give him a look, then turn back to Clark.

MARTHA C'mon, let's get you upstairs. CLARK Just let me get something to eat first. I'm hungry.

JONATHAN We brought some tuna-noodle casserole for dinner. Martha didn't think you'd want to cook a big meal, Lois.

LOIS Thanks.

MARTHA Okay, you two go find something to eat. Lois and I will go upstairs and find Clark something comfortable to sleep in.

CLARK That's okay, Mom. I can—

Martha gives Jonathan a look. Jonathan takes Clark's arm.

JONATHAN C'mon, son. Don't argue with your mother.

Lois and Martha smile. Jonathan and Clark head towards the kitchen. The two women go up the stairs, into the bedroom. Lois goes to find Clark's clothes, Martha goes to turn the bed down. Something catches on her shoe. She looks down and sees a black lingerie lying under the edge of the bed. She grins and pushes it back underneath.

LOIS I don't know what's wrong with him, Martha. He just seems to be getting more and more tired, but he doesn't want to rest.

MARTHA I know he can be so stubborn sometimes. Jonathan is the same way—something about being 'strong enough to handle it,' I think.

Lois turns around, a pair of shorts in her hand.

LOIS Clark collapsed at work, Martha. One second, he was standing in front of me, talking, and then he just…fell.

Martha stops what she is doing, looks up.

MARTHA He collapsed?

Lois pushes the drawer back in, walks over to Martha, and sits down on the bed.

MARTHA(CONT'D) Hon, from what I know, he was attacked last night, and found unconscious. Was it another kryptonite bullet?

LOIS I'm not sure. And besides, if it was, we know how he reacts to it; he's usually fully recovered by now.

MARTHA Maybe he hasn't had enough sunlight to find the energy.

Lois shakes her head.

LOIS He was outside with me this morning, he was outside at the bank…but he just seems to be getting weaker—


JONATHAN (panicked; shouting from downstairs) MARTHA! LOIS!


Jonathan is crouched over Clark, who is unconscious on the floor.

JONATHAN(CONT'D) Oh God, please…! Clark!

Martha and Lois burst in, Lois races over to Clark, drops to her knees. Martha grabs the phone from the kitchen counter. Lois touches Clark's neck.

LOIS He's still got a pulse. Martha, call Dr. Klein— his number is on the phone list—that red one!

MARTHA Red one, red one…got it!

Martha gives new meaning to the term 'speed dial'.

LOIS C'mon, we have to get his regular clothes off!

Jonathan props Clark up, while Lois starts to pull off his suitjacket.

MARTHA Can I speak with Dr. Klein? This is an emergency! Superman has collapsed! (pause) This is his—ah, Martha Kent! …No, this isn't a prank ca—grrrr! (holds the phone out to Lois) Lois, this nincompoop thinks this is a sick joke. Here!

Martha hands Lois the phone, then takes over what Lois had been doing.

LOIS This is Lois Lane. If you don't let me speak to Klein, so help me God, I'll have you—oh, Klein, thank God! I'm bringing Superman to you! He's collapsed, and I don't think we have enough time to wait for you to find a ambulance in this city; they're all tied up. Just get ready, we'll be there in ten minutes. (pause) If you can find an escort in time, fine!

She drops the phone, goes to help Martha and Jonathan.

LOIS(CONT'D) Oh! I just remembered that I left a message for Jimmy, asking him to call here when he came back with his information! Can you two stay and wait for the call?

JONATHAN Of course. Now let's hurry!


A police car screeches to a stop in front of the Lab, Lois right behind in her Cherokee. A huge crowd of people are standing outside, cameramen and reporters, Lab scientists, passers-by. Several Lab guards are trying to hold the crowd back. The two policemen in the car get out and help the guards. Klein pushes through the crowd with a stretcher, two MEDICS at his side.

KLEIN Let me through! Let me through!

Lois hops out and races around the car to help the three men get Superman out of the back seat. They get him on the stretcher, and start to push back through the crowd. Reporters call out "Ms. Lane!" and "Dr. Klein!", cameras hum, click, and buzz. The two medics push the stretcher through, Klein gets Lois into the building. The Lab security GUARDS keep the mass of reporters out. Lois, Klein, and the medics race through the lobby with the stretcher.


Two MEDICS burst in with Superman, unconscious on a stretcher. Lois is behind them. Everyone is very anxious, but professional. Jake seems more anxious than the others.

JENELLE (to medics) Bring him over here!

The medics wheel Superman over next to the BED. KLEIN Okay, everyone! On three! One, two, THREE!

On "THREE", the two medics, Klein, and Jenelle lift Superman onto the bed. The medics start to attach a HEART MONITOR. Jenelle starts to inspect Superman.

JENELLE Pulse is weak…low blood pressure…no reflexes…

KLEIN Heartrate dropping rapidly!

The heart monitor start to buzz, showing no heartbeat.

JENELLE FLATLINE! Get the paddles!

MEDIC #1 wheels over a difibulator. MEDIC #2 starts CPR. Jenelle picks up the paddles and waits for the charge to build.


They all step back. Jenelle places the paddles on Superman's chest and discharges them. Superman's body arches, then relaxes. The heart monitor shows a slow heartbeat. Everyone is relieved.

KLEIN He's stabilizing…his vital signs are all low, though. He must be in some kind of coma.

JAKE (scared) I don't see how this could be happening! My analysis showed that blood isn't acidic enough for such a dangerous amount of the substance to dissolve in it so quickly!

JENELLE (suspicious) Human blood, or Kryptonian?

JAKE (horrified) Oh no! You're not saying that his blood is more acidic, are you? At this rate, we may not be able to keep him stabilized for very long!

KLEIN (worried) Then what?

JAKE (almost in shock) Then he dies.

LOIS Oh, God…!

JENELLE (furious) How could you be so stupid?! (to MEDIC #1) We need a blood sample. Stat! Come on, Klein, we've got to get over to the lab and find a serum!

Dr. Klein, Jenelle, and Jake start for the door. Jenelle turns and stops Jake.

JENELLE(CONT'D) Not this time, you've messed things up enough! You stay here and keep an eye on Superman. If he dies, it will be YOUR fault!

Dr. Klein, Jenelle, and medic #1 leave the room. Jake is crushed.

LOIS I'm sure she didn't really mean—

JAKE No, she meant it. She hasn't exactly been my biggest fan for some time, and it's time that I admitted that it's my own fault.

LOIS Yours? How?

JAKE We tried to have children right after we got married, but after a while, we realized that something wasn't right. After so many humiliating and embarrasing tests, we found that she has a rare chemical imbalance in her genetic cells. There is no cure, but I promised to find her one. I turned down opportunities that most chemists would die for, so that I could keep looking for a cure, but I never found it…and now it's too late to make a difference. She resented me for it, and buried herself totally in studying Superman. How can I compete with him? He always saves the day, he never fails when people are counting on him… (he looks over at Superman) I'd do anything to see her smile again—to smile at me. If he dies, I'll loose whatever chance I may have to redeem myself. I don't know, maybe I've already lost it. Maybe there is nothing left to do but get a divorce, before we really hate each other.

LOIS Have you told her how you feel? JAKE I've tried, but she doesn't want to listen, and we just end up fighting.

Jonathan and Martha Kent enter the room. Jonathan is holding a paper bag. They look haggard.

JONATHAN Lois, Clark wanted us to come and make sure that you were okay. We waited for Jimmy's call, but we thought you'd want something to eat. We called Perry and told him you were here.

LOIS Thanks. Dr. Peerson, these are my husband's parents —they're friends of Superman. Jonathan, Martha, this is Dr. Jake Peerson. He and his wife are helping Dr. Klein take care of Superman…to find a cure.

MARTHA So there is a hope of finding one?

Jake looks down. They are all silent.

MARTHA(CONT'D) How is he? JAKE He's stable for now, but he won't be getting any better until the last traces of that blue kryptonite are out of his system.

Dr. Klein enters.

JONATHAN (holding out the bag to Lois) We brought you some casserole for lunch.

LOIS Oh, thank you, Martha…but I just can't eat right now.

KLEIN (hopefully) I'll have it if nobody else wants it.

MARTHA and LOIS Go ahead.

Dr. Klein starts eating.

KLEIN Mmm! This is so good! Homemade! Did you bring any salt?


JAKE (excited) Salt! Yes, that's it! Salt!

Everyone looks puzzled. Jake whips out his tape recorder and starts to record.

JAKE(CONT'D) I just realized that the chemical residue in his bloodstream may form a harmless salt if combined with a sodium-based acid! The by-products—

Jenelle enters the lab.

JENELLE What's taking you so long, Klein?

Jake puts the recorder down. He picks up Superman's CHART and starts writing wildly on it.

JENELLE(CONT'D) Hey! Stop that!

JAKE (very excited) Look at this!

Jenelle looks at the chart and starts to get excited. Klein comes over and peers over her shoulder.

JAKE Would that work? The by-product would be a gas that he could just exhale like carbon dioxide!

KLEIN Yes, but you can't put something like that into his bloodstream. JENELLE Yes you can, if you buffer it correctly!

JAKE (looks at her hopefully) That's what I need you for. We can do this quickly if we work together.

JENELLE (excited) You're right! Let's go. Dr. Klein, you keep an eye on things here. KLEIN (mouth full) Sure.

Jake grabs their coats, gives Jenelle hers. She looks at him. They leave in a hurry. The tape recorder is still in the room.


A. Lois and Dr. Klein wait at S.T.A.R. Labs for the Peersons to return with the serum.

B. The Peersons work in their lab.

C. Jonathan and Martha wait back at Lois and Clark's apartment for any news.

D. Everyone watches their clocks tick by.


Martha is sitting on a chair beside Superman's bed. Lois is standing on the other side of the bed, running her fingers through Superman's hair. Jonathan is pacing the floor slowly. They are waiting for the Peersons to arrive with the serum. An IV line is attached to Superman, the IV stand and bag is next to the bed.

Dr. Klein enters, Lois pulls back her hand from Superman and everyone stops, looks at Klein hopefully.

LOIS It's almost been four hours? Any news?

KLEIN (glum) I haven't heard a thing.

The three Kents look disappointed.

KLEIN (CONT'D) (trying to act hopeful) I'm sure we'll hear from them soon, and maybe the police have been able to find some leads on whoever did this.

MARTHA Oh Lois, I almost forgot! Jimmy did call, but he didn't have a lead. That old dagger was never owned by any collector in Metropolis. He is doing a state- and country-wide search, and it will take longer.

LOIS Thanks Martha. When I get my hands on whoever did this, I'll—

KLEIN Old dagger? Why don't you ask Jake Peerson about it? He collects old weapons, so he might know other out-of-town collectors.

Something clicks in Lois' mind.

Jacob and Jenelle quickly enter the room. Jenelle is holding a needle with yellow fluid in it. Jacob remains closer to the doorthan to Superman.

JENELLE (excited) This is going to do it! I'm so glad we aren't too late!

Jenelle goes over to the IV bag and prepares to inject the needle's contents into the bag. Lois is thinking, a slight frown on her face.

SFX: Lois has an audio flashback:

CLARK It would have to be someone who hates Superman, is brilliant in chemistry, and is an expert with crossbows…

LOIS (urgently) STOP! Jenelle stops what she is doing, and turns look at Lois. JENELLE (puzzled) What's wrong?

LOIS That's not a cure! If you give him that, you'll kill him!

JONATHAN What are you talking about, Lois?

LOIS (walks towards Jacob) You! You're the one who attacked Superman! You said yourself that you blamed him for your marriage problems and that you would do ANYTHING to get Jenelle back. 'Anything' would include killing Superman, wouldn't it?

JACOB (nervous) I never tried to kill anyone. Jenelle was with me the whole time we were working on that cure. Please, time is running out! (to Jenelle) Give him the serum now, before it's too late!

LOIS (to Jenelle) NO! He could have switched it when you weren't looking, don't trust him!

JENELLE (sadly) Lois, I really can't believe that Jacob would ever go to such extremes, especially for me.

She moves the needle to make the injection. Lois grabs Jacob's tape recorder from the counter next to her and presses rewind.

JACOB (alarmed) Hey! Give me that!

Lois presses play.

SFX: Playback from the tape:

JACOB …got carried away and attacked him myself. Very foolish. I should've just left quickly and let the blue kryptonite do its job.

She presses stop. Everyone is shocked. Jake is pale. There is a moment of silence, then all turn to look at Jake. He is very nervous, but he wants to right everything.

JACOB (sadly, to Jenelle) I thought that if I could make Superman less in your eyes then I would have a chance of winning you back. I never meant to cause him this much harm—I just wanted him to be like the rest of us… now I know that even without his powers, even if he did die, you still would just feel the same way about me. Jenelle, if you ever did love me, please trust me now—give him the injection. Metropolis needs it's Superman.

JENELLE (close to tears) I have always loved you.

She turns back to the IV and plunges the needle into the bag. Lois, horrified, leaps towards her.


Jenelle pulls the needle out and puts her hand on Lois' arm. Dr. Klein and the Kents rush over to the bed, and Jake is left to stand by himself near the door. The signal on the heart monitor beings to steady and strengthen. KLEIN (high-pitched, excited) He's coming out of it!

Superman coughs weakly, then more strongly. A few wisps of very faint, slightly-bluish-tinged breath emerges. Klein frowns at the sight. Superman continues to cough, and Martha searches for a glass of water. Superman opens his eyes. Jenelle is happy for a moment, but then she steps back from the small group around the bed.

She caps the needle and puts in on the counter next to her, then turns to look at Jake. They both stand stand silent for a moment, looking at one another, oblivious to the happy cries behind them. She steps closer to him, so that he can hear her words.

JENELLE I thought you hated me for not being able to have the family that you wanted.

JACOB I thought you hated me for not finding a cure so that you could.

JENELLE It's not your job to fix everything, Jake. Even he (she nods towards Superman) can't do that.

JACOB I'm so sorry…

He closes the distance between them, and they embrace, hesitant. After a moment, he speaks.

JACOB (CONT'D) I, I called the police before we left the house, Jenelle. (she pulls back slightly) I'm going to turn myself in. They should be here soon.

JENELLE (sad) Do you mean that now that I've just found out that you still cared for me, am I going to lose you again?

Three police officers enter the room.

OFFICER #1 We got a call saying that the person who attacked Superman was here. Is everyone okay?

JACOB Everyone is fine. The person you're looking for—

SUPERMAN (sitting up slowly) —is not going to have charges pressed against him—

LOIS (shocked) WHAT!?!

SUPERMAN (continued) —if he and his wife agree to go see a marriage counselor.

JACOB (smiling) I think he—they, would agree to that.


SUPERMAN Thanks for coming officers, but Metropolis needs you to be out there more than in here at the moment.

OFFICER #2 Okay, Supes. Hope you're getting better soon; we could really use you out there with us!

Superman smiles. The officers leave.

JACOB I don't know how to thank you, Superman!

LOIS (muttering) I could think of a few ways.

Superman frowns at her.

MARTHA I think that the best thing for you two to do right now is to talk some things out, go do something together. Isn't that right, Superman?

Superman nods.

JENELLE You know, Jake, that hallway between our labs at home takes up an awful lot of space, and I was just thinking… JACOB (hopeful) You want to move our labs together again? JENELLE (coy) If you'll have me.

JACOB Are you going to plaster my walls with Superman pictures and—

JENELLE How can you complain about that after he just—

JACOB I wasn't complaining, I don't mind a bit if you plaster the whole wall. If you didn't jump to conclusions, none of this would have happened.

JENELLE Oh, and I guess Mr. 'It-will-only-take-his-powers -away' never jumps to a—

Martha puts her hand to her mouth and whistles loudly. They stop arguing and look at her.

MARTHA Stop it! You've been tearing each other down for some time and it will take a while to repair all of that. Now both of you get out of here right now and find yourself a good counselor. (shows them to the door) Go. Scoot.

Martha shows them out and closes the door behind them.

SUPERMAN Dr. Klein, I'm feeling much stronger.

He slides off of the bed and stands up.

SUPERMAN (CONT'D) I want to take off. I think the effects of the Kryptonite have worn off completely.

KLEIN (one eyebrow raised) That was awfully quick.

JONATHAN Well, he's Superman.

LOIS (picking up her things) I need to go and file this story with Perry. (coldly, to Superman) Then I am going to have a little talk with my husband.

Martha, Jonathan, and Lois leave.

KLEIN Wow! Did you see that look in her eyes? I'm glad I'm not in Kent's shoes. (to Superman) Aren't you?

SUPERMAN (uneasy) Uh, yeah…

The camera pulls away; Superman is thinking about Lois' statement, and Klein is getting his things.


Martha and Jonathan are sitting on the sofa watching LNN. Lois is pacing the floor behind them.

LNN ANCHOR …and latest reports have Superman stopping at least twenty crimes in the past hour alone. Clearly, earlier reports of his being powerless were exaggerated. Police are also relieved that the sudden crime wave now seems to be over…

Superman flies in through the window. Lois stops pacing and glares at him. The room is suddenly quiet.

MARTHA I think I better go see how dinner is coming along.

JONATHAN But you haven't starte—

Martha elbows Jonathan gently in the ribs.

JONATHAN (CONT'D) —uh, I'll help.

Martha and Jonathan leave.

LOIS (angry) How could you just let him get away like that?

SUPERMAN Lois, I can't stand for truth and justice without also having mercy.

LOIS But he almost killed you!

SUPERMAN Yes, but he didn't mean to, and he did cure me, too. While I was lying there, I heard everything—

He moves behind her at superspeed and puts his arms around her waist.

SUPERMAN (CONT'D) If I felt like I was losing you to someone else, I'd go a little crazy too. I think he's learned his lesson, and won't be bothering us again.

He kisses her on the neck. She smiles and turns to face him, putting her arms around his neck.

LOIS Well, I guess I better make sure you never doubt how much I love you…


SUPERMAN Lois?! What are you doing—

LOIS Oh, just a little experiment…


There is a loud crash.

JONATHAN Is everything okay out there?

Lois giggles.


(c) 1997 Rachel Smith, Paul Albers, David Alin