Love Delayed — An Elseworld Tale

By Philip Mogul <>

Rated: PG-13

Submitted: November, 2003

Summary: Circumstances prevent Lois and Clark from fulfilling their soulmate union. One circumstance is no less than a threat to the survival of Earth and all its life forms. Amid all the turmoil, will destiny prevail?

I wish to express my thanks to Tank who permitted me develop an idea gleaned from one of his many fanfics. Thanks again, my Minnesota FoLC compatriot.

Again, many, many thanks to my GE, Jeanne Pare, for her invaluable assistance in making my current Superman tale more readable and interesting to the Lois and Clark community.

*CAUTION* This story contains some descriptive scenes that are of a violent nature. I set this warning for those individuals who may have difficulty with this kind of material and who still may wish to read this story.

No copyright infringement is intended. All standard disclaimers apply.

If you have comments pertaining to this story, please contact me privately at


It was a beautiful balmy day, late in June, when Clark Jerome Kent, CJ to his friends, was graduated at the top of his class from the only High School in the hamlet of Smallville Kansas.

When visitors, at the commencement exercises, asked the town folk or Clark's educators about Clark, the statement most heard was a brilliant lad. He'll go far.

Unbeknownst to the people of Smallville and their guests on this occasion a brilliant individual was not really an adequate description of Clark's intellectual potential. If Clark's mental abilities were ever subjected to a thorough testing programme, the artificial intelligence unit and Kryptonian library director warned the Kents that the results of their boy's analysis would immediately have raised a red flag and prompted an exhaustive physical, biological and mental investigation of their child. Understanding the situation, Clark's parents never allowed their son to be subjected to any kind of psychological or medical evaluation. Charlie, an affectionate name the Kents gave to the artificial intelligence unit, also informed Martha and Jonathan that Kal-El's intelligence potential had to be measured by methods unknown to the Earth's scientific community. Kryptonian procedures would be utilized for this purpose when their boy reached maturity.

When Kal-El, the last son of the planet Krypton, first arrived on Earth, Charlie had informed the Kents, shortly after the Kryptonian entourage arrived, that Charlie's primary purpose was to educate the boy. Since the Kryptonian data base was enormous, it would take years for Clark to master its contents. Charlie also informed the Kents that the information stored in the library contained all the wisdom and lore acquired by Krypton's civilization over the aeons it had existed and prospered. To insure that the Kryptonian wisdom was not lost, it had been incorporated electronically within the fabric of Kal-El's spacecraft with a second artificial intelligence unit as its overseer. This additional unit would also act as a mentor the Kryptonian survivor — the last of his kind.

Upon successfully reaching Earth, Charlie, the principle artificial intelligence device, recorded for posterity that soon after establishing communications and bonding with the Kents, a concealed chamber was immediately constructed beneath the main Barn on the Kent's farm. Charlie then noted, for historical intent, that Martha and Jonathan Kent were a childless couple who desperately yearned for a child of their own. It was a fortuitous event when the Kents had discovered the infant Kryptonian. Love between the child and the Kansas farm couple was nearly instantaneous. Charlie realized that the Kents discovery of the baby satisfied two highly desirable conditions, a sanctuary for Kal-El and the childless couple's need to nurture and love a youngling of their own.

From the age of one year, Clark, called CJ by his parents, started his formal education with Charlie as his primary instructor. The Kents were invited to the learning session and encouraged to participate and add their views to their boy's lessons. Although the Kryptonian library, in Clark's educational undertaking, was the primary source of CJ's learning material, his parents' input, especially in the areas of G-D, ethics, morals and other Earthly philosophical particulars were most welcome by Charlie and added to the boy's curriculum.

When Clark completed the State of Kansas' educational requirements and graduated from high school, his understanding of the cosmos, due to his Kryptonian tutelage, was hundreds of millennia in advance of Earth's knowledge base in most academic disciplines.

Because of his unusually high scholastic abilities and athletic prowess The State of Kansas awarded CJ a full academic scholarship, which also included funds for room and board. The monies for Clark's academic grant were provided from a trust fund established by a wealthy philanthropic Kansas resident many years before Clark Kent was even a twinkle in his father's eye. The Scholarship awarded CJ could be used to matriculate at any college or university in the continental United States or its possessions. Because of his intense interests in science and mathematics, including literary subjects, Clark chose Yale University as his school of preference.

At Yale Clark planned to study physics and mathematics, which would constitute the bulk of his academic activities. However, he would also use the flexibility of the university curriculum to create a unique minor area of study for himself. The academic material in this minor area of study would amalgamate a plethora of standard classical literary subjects and would include a number of courses in the journalism department.

Clark discovered early in high school that he enjoyed writing prose and expressing himself in rhyme.

So, besides meeting the requirements of his declared studies, Clark, during his undergraduate years, planned to make Yale's library his second home. With his ability to read a thousand page book in half a second and recall its contents, CJ expected to absorb most of the library's content during his matriculation at Yale. His literary talents were a genetic gift from his paternal grandmother. From his Kryptonian athenaeum, Clark was aware that she was a well respected prose writer and a renowned poet who had lived several generations prior to Krypton's destruction.

The summer between the ending of his secondary education and the beginning of his university studies, Clark traveled the world. With his ability to fly, the young man from Krypton visited many interesting places throughout the world. In each location, CJ became familiar with the many diverse monotheistic and polytheistic cultural groups which formed the foundation of Earth's fragmented global society.

Returning from his global sojourn, Clark helped his father with the farm, while his mother prepared a going away party for her son.

On the day prior to leaving Smallville for New Haven, most of the town was at the Kent farm to enjoy a lavish rustic party that Martha, with the help of her neighbors, had prepared.

As the festivities went into high gear, Jonathan pulled his son aside and asked him a question that had been nagging at his psyche for months. Clark's father wondered why his son had to pursue a degree from Yale or another university since the Smallville farmer was quite aware that his son possessed knowledge that was eons ahead of what the Earth's higher education system had to offer him. After listening to his father, Clark quickly pointed out that he had to acquire credentials that would allow him to move freely and without suspicion within Earth's multicultural environments. To achieve that goal, Clark would need to obtain accreditation from Earth's academic community.



The Kents arrived on the Yale University campus some five days before classes were scheduled to commence. It was a week reserved for the first-year students to become familiar with the university campus and its environs. This period was traditionally known as freshman orientation week.

While Clark was checking in at the student union and began meeting other members of the freshmen class, Martha and Jonathan were busy searching for a house they could purchase that was relatively close to the school. They had obtained permission from the university to acquire Clark off campus lodging. Yale's housing facilities, at the time of CJ's matriculation, were being renovated and dormitory rooms were at a premium. Students who wished to live off campus were therefore encouraged to do so. Allowing off campus living accommodations for freshmen would help the university alleviate some of the cramped conditions first-year students, who desired to be housed in the school's dormitory system, would have to endure.

The monies needed to purchase the Kent's New Haven house and other living necessities had been provided by Clark's mining efforts while exploring the fourth planet from the sun, Mars, the previous year.

As he explored the Sol's fourth satellite, Clark excavated nearly eighteen million dollars worth of rare gems and other precious materials, which he transported back to Earth.

When Jonathan sold these items through a wealthy friend so as to not attract attention to the transaction and paid the Federal and State taxes on the sale, fifteen million dollars remained which was deposited in a special bank account at the Smallville Credit Association.

CJ's special bank account was set up at the Smallville Savings and Loan using Kal Ellis as the account's identification appellation with a code verification of Andromeda seven. The president of the farm cooperative, James Clark, also saw to it that the Ellis banking account was handled by him alone. James Clark was Martha's blood kin — her first cousin. At the request of the elder Kents, Clark's monies were not listed among the general accounts serviced by the Savings and Loan. Aside from being cousins, Martha and James had been very close throughout their lives. Knowing that Martha and her husband Jonathan were scrupulously honest and honorable folk, James had no qualms about creating Clark's semi secretive, but legal, bank account.

So when Martha and Jonathan located a sturdy, but rather run down house about a half mile from Yale's main campus, they could easily purchase the property.

During the few days it took to close on the New Haven house sale, the Kent family sojourned at a Holiday Inn located near the school.

As the elder Kents took care of establishing Clark financial accounts at a local banking institution and closed on the house, Clark was occupied with his freshman orientation activities.

While Martha and Jonathan attended to the chores of getting Clark established in his new environment, their son attended lectures, went on tours, and was escorted by upper class men and women to a plethora of different social events.

As Clark was hustled about the Yale campus with the other incoming freshmen, one individual stood out like an unwanted sore thumb. His name was Judd Carter. The young man obviously was the product of a wealthy family. While Judd appeared to be debonair and charming, and was noticeably charitable to the needy — establishing himself as a philanthropist — there was something about Carter's eyes that made Clark uncomfortable, or as the bard of Avon said in one of his plays 'there was something rotten in Denmark' or something to that effect.

As Clark studied Judd, he noticed that his eyes sparkled but they would also oscillate between a troubled look and what seemed like a lustful stare. Clark also noticed that Judd would fix his eyes on an attractive young lady and then maneuver himself in such a manner as to eventually push aside her escort or isolate the young woman from the others at the school's social events.

After attending several Yale sponsored soirees, Clark noticed a pattern. When Judd and his female quarry had become acquainted, they had vanished from the crush of freshmen party revelers. After seeing this pattern repeated, Clark knew that Judd Carter would be trouble for the young women in his class and for the university in general. Clark thanked the powers that be that this rakish character was a business major. Since CJ would be focusing most of his academic attention on scientific subjects, the chance that Clark would see much of this campus libertine was remote.

His psyche then whispered, 'Ha, famous last words.'

At each of the university's social gatherings during the freshman orientation week, Clark always tended to end up in the same place — at the corner of the room observing the actions of his peers. He noticed that during nearly every gathering at these shindigs, many women, in full flirting plumage accompanied by their male partners, bobbed and weaved to songs like the hyena, the baboon, and other nerve racking instrumental tones that were termed dance music. This kind of behavior wasn't for him. Within a half-hour or so, after the animal antics had begun, Clark quietly removed himself from the chamber of unpleasant sounds where the commotion on the dance floor had begun to degenerate into a bacchanalia.

Upon leaving the so-called freshman social activities, Clark found a dark alley from which he rocketed into the heavens.

When he found one of his favorite locations between Earth and the jeweled vault of heaven, CJ could finally relax as he floated in the placid upper stratosphere that allowed his jangled nerves to calm down.

When the Kents finally obtained the title to their son's New Haven home, Clark, using his super powers, remolded and modernized his home away from home.

Eight modern apartments were constructed filling the second floor of the house. Each living unit contained a complete modern kitchen and bath. A full bedroom and a den-study area were also added to each flat. The house was heated by a cloaked Kryptonian solar panel attached to the roof of Clark's New Haven abode.

Clark and Jonathan put in an oil-hot water heating system to mask the real heating source. To support their deception, three heating oil deliveries were received during the winter season. These purchases maintained a sense of normalcy about Clark's college residence.

Clark secretly gave the unneeded heating oil to those who were in dire need of the petroleum product during the severe Connecticut winters. CJ's gift helped many poverty stricken families survive the harsh conditions brought on by old Jack Frost.

The electrical needs of Clark's New Haven house were met by a small Kryptonian fusion powered reactor, buried under the concrete covering the basement floor.

To conceal the unusual power source in the Kent New Haven house, four special lights were hung from the basement ceiling and linked to the town's electrical power grid. Enough electricity was consumed by the basement light array that all power needs for Clark's home appeared normal.

Telephones were installed throughout the house but were only used locally. This kind of usage was normal for most of Yale's students — email was widely used among the university's undergraduates for long distant communicating.

For Clark, however, audio-video communications between his New Haven abode and the rest of the world occurred through a series of cloaked satellites placed in geosynchronous orbits about the Earth. A special LASER telephone device acted as both the sender and receiver of messages in Clark's modified Kryptonian communication system. As you would expect, the working unit looked like a normal video-phone.

After the modifications of the New Haven house were completed, the elder Kents said their adieus and returned to Kansas.

The living accommodations Clark and Jonathan incorporated into Clark's New Haven house now could be used to accommodate family and visitors. Clark's parents, naturally, would fall into that category. Classmates were invited to stay the night after long study sessions that could last into the wee hours of the morning.

When classes began, Clark noted that most freshman chemistry, physics, and engineering students had their afternoon chow concurrently. This luncheon schedule was contrived to allow new students in the rather small science departments of the university to become better acquainted.

During the first week of classes, Clark, Jeremy Fine, and Bernie Klein sort of drifted together and began to form a strong friendship. Each of them was a physics majors. Clark minored in mathematics, engineering, and English focusing on journalism.

Also, Jeremy Fine, while studying physics, minored in mathematics and engineering.

Last, but not least, was Bernie Klein. He, too, was a physics student with minors in mathematics and biomedical engineering. Bernie planned to attend medical school after he earned a doctorate in his major academic discipline.

It happened that all three of the melding friends were interested in the theoretical aspects of their major subject area.

As their first semester at Yale moved along, the threesome, Clark felt, were becoming spiritual brothers and would remain so linked for the remainder of their lives.

About three weeks after Bernie, Clark, and Jeremy realized they had formed an academic family, an altercation occurred in the cafeteria.

A rather large athletic undergraduate, with a large body and small head which must have housed a miniscule brain, started to harass a young woman who was attempting to acquire her luncheon meal. When the young lady ignored the football recruit's imbecilic behavior, the foolish young man purposely ran over to where the woman was sitting and seized all the chairs at her table including the one she was about to use.

Seeing what was happening, Jeremy became increasing incensed and finally exploded out of his chair and made a beeline for the girl's tormenter.

Reaching the young woman's table, Jeremy grabbed the gorilla like man and pulled him to the nearest wall where he banged his head three times against the wall. Then he said in an intense tone, "That's just to get your attention. If you don't listen to me and listen well, I'll pull your limbs from your torso and feed your body parts to the fish."

Then Jeremy said to the human gorilla, "If you think I'm bluffing listen to me, Mr. Jerk. I was a member of the international antiterrorist brigade. While with that military unit, I've disposed of tougher goons than you. And, I use the word disposed not to confuse the vacuum between your ears some would call your pint size brain."

"Now if you want to maintain your football scholarship, you'll leave that girl alone. Otherwise, one dark night I'll break your arms and legs and dump your broken body at the nearest refuse disposal. Just think about what I've told you then decide whether tormenting a girl because she spurned your advances and wounded your ego is worth your athletic scholarship and future career. I hope what brains you sit upon will make a rational choice, for your sake."

After butting the football player's head into the wall again to emphasize his point, Jeremy returned to his table taking the frightened young woman with him.

Helping the upset young lady to a seat, Jeremy introduced himself and the others at the table. She then told the fellows at the table that her name was Kira Olderburg. Although her appellation didn't ring a bell, Kira was a member of the Olderburg royal line — a princess of that house. Christian, her sire, was the current ruler of Olderburg, a principality that was about two and a half times the land mass of Monaco and Luxemburg combined.

Secretly, Kira was delighted that her royal lineage was unknown to her new friends. They would treat her as one of them and that would add to the warm fellowship she felt developing between the four of them.

Kira was about one point seven meters in height — about five feet six inches — had blond hair, blue eyes, a shapely figure, and possessed a 'peaches and cream' complexion. Like the others at the luncheon table, Kira, too, possessed an IQ that shouted to all who knew its value that this person had a genius mentality. More important, Clark discovered as they talked that Kira was a kind and caring individual. This characteristic, to the man from Krypton, was vastly more valuable than the wealth an individual could accumulate or their mental potential. Such behavior made you a mench.

Jeremy, Clark noted, was not only a warrior against terrorism, but injustices of any kind. As he watched his spirited associate and close friend, he rose from the table and proceeded to the luncheon counter where he replaced Kira's food tray — her midday meal had been scattered about the cafeteria by that football oaf. While Jeremy was at the food counter, Clark and Bernie discovered that the woman whom Jeremy protected was, like them, a physics major with minors in mathematics and engineering.

When Kira finished her meal, a lively and most congenial discussion ensued between Kira, Clark and his spiritual brothers. As the dialogue among the four physics students proceeded, Clark became aware that the triad of Clark, Bernie, and Jeremy had just added a fourth member to their special tight-knit group.

As the first part of the academic year merged into the second semester, four apartments at Clark's New Haven residence became occupied by his close friends, companions that Clark already considered his kin and a special family whose bonds would last a lifetime.

In addition, as the second part of their freshman year dawned, Bernie and Clark also became keenly aware that a deep and intimate relationship had developed between Kira and Jeremy.

While Kira and Jeremy were evolving into life partners, headless of any problems that might arise from their intimacy, Clark was well aware that his courting friends celebrated two different pathways to the Creator of the universe, and he felt that their belief systems could be a tinder box waiting to be ignited. When Clark shared his concerns with Bernie, his spiritual brother remarked, "Be optimistic. We're a family and we'll support those two love birds if outside forces cause events to turn ugly." Bernie then placed his hand on CJ's shoulder and added, "Things will turn out all right; I assure you. Kira and Jeremy are brilliant individuals, and their commitment to one another is unshakable."

Just before finals, an event occurred which brought Kira and Jeremy's budding, but semi secretive romance, into the light.

After a rather lengthy study session with several friends, Kira decided to walk home instead of calling Jeremy and having him pick her up in a car he'd borrowed for their weekend outing.

As she was strolling toward home, Judd Carter pulled up next to her in a flashy sport's car and asked Kira if she wanted a ride to her destination. Politely, she told him no thank you and increased her walking speed to put distance between her and the lecherous campus reprobate.

As Kira moved away from Judd, the attention of the oversexed Carter character began to pique her anger. Maybe anger was too strong a word, but Kira's dislike for Judd had certainly escalated by his presence and his obvious attempt to pick her up to satisfy his lustful desires. While she didn't yet hate this piece of campus crud, Kira's feeling for him were bordering on disgust.

Knowledge of Judd's playboy living style didn't help calm Kira's fears about the debaucher's intentions, and his sudden appearance did worry her. As her thoughts about Judd coursed through her head, the young woman unconsciously increased her walking speed.

Nearly jogging, Kira again headed toward home. As she ambulated, her subconscious also recalled that Judd had been attempting to date her for the past several months. The irritating part of his annoying persistence was the fact that Judd knew darn well that she and Jeremy were a couple. Because Kira was opposed to violence, she had asked Jeremy not to seek a confrontation with Judd Carter. Kira knew all too well that if her boyfriend were to face the libertine he would tear her oversexed tormentor limb from limb.

As Kira's thoughts began to focus on Jeremy, her life partner, the mental images of her boyfriend had a calming effect upon her mental state. The deep love between Jeremy and Kira seemed to wrap her in a protective cover. As she continued to muse about her future husband, she recalled the one issue that had, until recently, prevented their engagement. Jeremy had to force the resolution of this bugaboo.

The bugaboo or obstacle to their betrothal was Jeremy's father. He was a man who desired to control all facets of his son's existence.

In Kira's eyes, Jeremy's confrontation with his sire had been monumental. Unfortunately, the moderating voice of his mother was not present. She and Jeremy's twin sisters had been killed by an inebriated driver eleven years ago.

Following his wife's and children's deaths, Jeremy's father, Mordecai, became more engrossed in religious mysticism. With his belief in magic numbers and phrases, which had been extracted from the five books of Moses by the Hebraic mystics, the nurturing of his son became tyrannical in form. Mordecai was determined to control all aspects of his son's life, including the choosing of his bride. In this way, Jeremy's father believed that their line, leading back to Abraham, would be preserved. Mordecai became convinced that it was necessary for a husband and wife to follow the same tradition to preserve his family's lineage with the patriarchs, Abraham and Sara.

When Kira appeared on the scene and, after much study and discussion, decided to follow Jeremy's Hebraic traditions, one of Mordecai's basic expectations was shattered.

It was a smooth transition for Kira to follow her future husband's traditions. Except for adding the covenant of Abraham made with G-D (the circumcision of a male child eight days after his birth) to her religious bailiwick, Jeremy and Kira were already following the Ten Commandments and the profound thoughts of the prophets. These spiritual fundamentals formed the foundation of Kira and Jeremy's basic ideologies. Whether the Messiah, Kira thought, had already come or was expected was academic and a matter of faith. The spiritual difference between the Judeo and Christian communities on this issue would be answered in time — at the end of days. It would not interfere with either Kira's or Jeremy's lives together.

What helped Kira work her way through the religious morass occurred when she learned from the writings of ancient scholars that the Messiah would be a man and didn't specify from what nation or ethnic group this special individual would arise. It would be G-D's choice.

In contrast to Jeremy's father, Kira's sire, Christian, accepted his daughter's decision without so much as a blink of an eye. Her father's actions caused a warm feeling to fill Kira's soul. Christian, whose basic spirituality followed the prophets and the decalogue, was delighted to hear that the Hebraic tradition allowed an individual to speculate about the existence of a supreme being. He had thought about such a question most of his adult life. Her father, Kira knew, was looking forward to having some interesting conversations with Mordecai.

This rather controversial question that had racked Christian's mind for many years was based on the notion that people, except maybe for a chosen few, had never seen G-D face to face. So could one say with certainty (excluding the faith argument) that a G-D did exist? However, it must be noted that tied to this disputation is an important Biblical notion. Paraphrased this thought asserts that since you haven't seen G-D face to face, it is fair to speculate about the existence of such a being. If you are a skeptical person when confronted with this issue, but still care for your brothers and sisters, and G-D does exist, you have nothing to fear. However, if you neglect those in need and do not attempt to make this world a better place for all then woe unto you.

Kira's father was a good man and a fine leader of his people. Because her father always attempted to help his subjects, Kira knew deep in her heart that he was one of those who had nothing to fear from the creator of all things.

However, Jeremy's father was another matter.

When Kira and Jeremy visited Mordecai to tell him of their decision to marry, she could immediately sense his anger and rage. As Kira watched, Jeremy's sire became irrational, and the fury of his mood also became offensive.

He used every trick in the book to sever his son's engagement to Kira. As she continued to observe Modichai's behavior, Kira was astounded that during his tirade Jeremy remained silent and stoic.

When Mordecai turned to the Ten Commandments for help and yelled, "You must honor your father and Mother," it was then Jeremy told his father to be silent rather forcefully and to listen.

Then her love told his father in a rather soft voice filled with loathing, which, of course, Mordecai could readily sense, that the commandments from the mount didn't say to love thy parents, but only specified the child's obligation to those who gave him life. Kira was first shocked by Jeremy's statement. Going through the decalogue in her mind, Kira realized that her fiance was correct. Love was never mentioned in the honor thy mother and father statement.

After a pause, Jeremy said to his father with distaste, "I will fulfill that Biblical commandment and see to your comforts as you age by a surrogate or other means. And, I will provide for your burial by the same mechanism. Then I will morn you as prescribed by Biblical law. And, each year on the day of your death, and upon the four special days during the year, I will recite the pray for the dead in your behalf. But, my father, unless you bless us and our coming marriage, from this day forth you shall see us no more."

Jeremy continued, "Because Kira has agreed to follow our people's traditions, what you've said has mocked G-D. If you continue in your sacrilegious actions, your name will be wiped from our family's memory. None of our children or their children or any of our children's children will be given your name. You will be truly dead. Only a good man or woman should be remembered and blessed with passing on of their name to future generations." Pausing for a moment, Jeremy added, "As to your blasphemous actions, my father, that you'll have to take up with G-D at the appropriate time."

Then Jeremy became silent and waited.

After a few minutes, as a cold silence slowly enveloped the room, Jeremy took his fiancee by the hand and kissed his bride to be. Then Kira with her beloved, Jeremy, started towards the door.

As they neared the entranceway, the soulmates heard *wait*. Turning they saw Jeremy's father in tears. He drew near and, stopping in front of the couple, blessed them. Jeremy then embraced his father and kissed him on the forehead. Mordecai turned to Kira and hugged her while saying, "Welcome to the family, my daughter."

Then the three reunited souls went to dinner to celebrate the coming union of two soulmates and the salvation of a Fine family.

In time Mordecai would come to love Kira as if she were his own offspring. A good soul maybe initially shunned for many irrational reasons but will eventually be recognized and cherished for his/her good works.

In contrast to facing Jeremy's father, telling her fiance of her royal heritage was a piece of cake. He couldn't care less about her title. All he wanted was his soulmate's love, not her royal credentials. Kira wouldn't have it any other way.

She came out of her reverie with a start as four goons subdued her and loaded her into a car that sped off in the night toward an unknown and possibly menacing destination.

Clark was talking with Bernie and Jeremy when his super-hearing detected Kira's cry for help.

Clark immediately said, "Do you guys trust me?"

"With our lives," Jeremy said. Bernie also nodded affirmatively.

Clark then hustled his two friends outside, wrapped an arm around each of them and propelled himself into air. As they streaked into some low lying clouds, Clark remarked, "I'll explain later. Right now, we must find and rescue Kira."

"Kira!" Jeremy yelled. "My Kira," Jeremy said again this time with both and fear anger in his voice.

"Yep," Clark replied. "Now keep still and let's follow her abductors to their destination and find out who's responsible for her abduction and what the heck is going on."

Catching up to the car containing Jeremy's soulmate, Clark and his two passengers slowed down and just kept pace with the flashy car as it sped across the city.

As they flew, Bernie remarked, "You know guys, the car we're following is moving toward the swanky part of town."

"Yeah," said Jeremy. "Do you know who owns a condo somewhere around here?"

Both Clark and Bernie simultaneously replied, "No."

"I do," Jeremy said. "The so called super stud of Yale, Judd Carter."

As Jeremy was informing his friends about that bit of info, the abductors' car turned into a private driveway and pulled into a covered garage, which was attached to a small house.

Using his super-vision, Clark told Bernie and Jeremy that four Neanderthal type guys were forcing Kira into the house. "Guess who's meeting Kira in his fancy living room, guys?"

"Judd Carter," Jeremy replied.

"Give that man a teddy bear," Clark responded.

"As I figured, the oversexed irritant Judd Carter was responsible for Kira's abduction," Jeremy replied with indignation in his voice.

A few seconds later, Clark landed at the front door of Judd's lavish dwelling.

Jeremy was ready to crash through the door, but Clark grabbed his arm and stopped his friend from his headlong assault. Clark wanted to find out the reason for Judd's amoral actions. "Be patient for a few minutes," Clark told Jeremy, "Kira is in no immediate danger and I want to find out what motivated Judd to abduct your fiancee."

While Jeremy reluctantly agreed to Clark's request, he obviously was still worried about Kira's safety, and his blood lust was mounting. For his affront to his soulmate, Jeremy considered Judd Carter a walking dead man. When they entered the house, Jeremy would take Judd apart piece by piece.

As Clark listened, he heard Judd say, "I've recently learned that you are a princess of the Olderburg royal house."

"So, what concern is that to you?" Kira asked her abductor.

Smirking at Kira, Judd calmly remarked, "Money, my dear, I have enough for ten lifetimes. However, a title will make me the envy of my social set. I'll be the big cheese wherever I park my hat, so to speak."

Pausing for a moment, Judd commented, "After this late night meeting I engineered, I feel confident that your family will agree with my views about our forthcoming marriage." Grinning, Judd then added, "I believe that your family will have little choice, if they wish to maintain the chaste aura surrounding your person. You'll notice our late night affaire de coeur is being captured on video tape, a copy of which will accompany my message to your family." Looking around, Kira saw one of Judd's lackeys recording her forced rendezvous with the university's iniquitous campus scoundrel.

"If your family decides not to cooperate, the tabloid community will somehow obtain several copies of the video my associate is now compiling," Judd menacingly told his captive.

"You'll use rape and slander to get what you want," Kira spat at Judd Carter.

"Such ploys have worked well in the past," Kira's antagonist calmly remarked.

Then Judd lunged at Kira and tore her dress, which, of course, dutifully recorded by Carter's sycophant. When the rake of New Haven attempted to remove more of Kira's attire, she clawed Judd with her nails leaving bleeding wounds on his face.

As blood oozed from her scratched marks, two of Judd's goons grabbed the young lady.

When Judd cleaned his face, he again advanced on Kira's person bent of vengeance. At that moment, Jeremy crashed through the door and headed directly for Kira's sexual tormentor.

Hearing the sound of the door being forced, several of Judd's henchmen rushed to intercept the intruder. As they met Jeremy face to face, Judd's goons were almost immediately immobilized and rendered unconscious.

After dispatching the fist of Judd's hatchet men, Jeremy flew at the libertine, who had been advancing on his beloved Kira, disabling the last of Carter's goons as he grabbed Judd by the hair and ran him headfirst into the wall. As his fury grew, Jeremy broke both of Judd's legs and fractured his arm. For good measure, he broke Judd's nose and dislocated his jaw. Who knows what Jeremy would have done to the lecherous animal now lying on the floor if Kira weren't present? Placing her hand on Jeremy's arm, she calmed his vengeful spirit and stopped him from killing Judd. After a few minutes and still breathing heavily, Jeremy accompanied his financee toward the door of Judd's iniquitous den. As Jeremy and Kira were about to leave Judd's abode, Kira's fiance turned and quietly said to Yale's Satyr, "I expect you and your goons to be out of New Haven before dawn tomorrow. Don't make me come looking for you."

Kira and Jeremy latter learned that Judd and his so called bodyguards left New Haven before sunup on the following day. A registered letter from Judd's father arrived at the registrar's office some weeks asking for a leave of absence for his son due to an unexpected illness. Although the leave was granted, Judd was never again seen on Yale's campus either as a visitor or as a participating academic.

Upon returning to the Kent New Haven residence after the confrontation at Judd's apartment of seduction, the man from Kansas explained to his friends and new family the origin of his super abilities. Aiding him in his narrative was a glowing globe that hovered next to Lara and Jor-El's biological child, Kal-El.

After Clark finished telling his friends the tale of two planets, the man from Krypton introduced a device which modified the genome of his Kira, Jeremy, and Bernie. When Clark completed the genetic modification process, three new Kryptonians existed.

Within a few weeks, with CJ's help, the new additions to New Haven's super family were in complete control of their unique abilities.

After the Judd Carter incident, Clark and his New Haven family were not plagued with further annoyances during the remainder of their undergraduate and graduate studies.

During the super family's third year at Yale University, Kira and Jeremy were married. Also amid that same year, Clark discovered a new subatomic particle he called a string, because of its unusual appearance generated by the mathematics of Clark's new hypothesis.

Over the next half dozen years, Clark and his super family published more than ten interrelated papers predicated upon CJ's string theory concepts.

While Kira discovered how to utilize Clark's string theory to create a teleportation transportation network, Jeremy and Bernie learned that the string particle concepts could be used as the driver mechanism for an interstellar engine: A device which could propel a spacecraft anywhere in the cosmos in a matter of a few seconds. Clark, during this time, developed a material he called stabilized neutronium, a substance that was nearly indestructible. When the time came, the stabilized neutronium would be the substance of choice to construct the components of their fleet of interstellar spaceships.

In their publications, the four scientists were careful to express their discoveries only in theoretical terms and avoided disclosing how such devices might be produced. The current Earth civilization was not ready for such revolutionary contrivances.

In their clan's discussions among themselves concerning the string powered devices, they concluded that the people of Earth, with their hostile deportment toward strangers and their distrustful natures were not ready to peacefully use the string driven mechanisms. Becoming a space traveling planet with their current hostile attitudes would probably cause much discord and destruction in the cosmos and would finally cause a host of other space faring societies to war with the people of Sol Three resulting in the extinction of humankind.

Although the Yale four, as Kira had named them, had a working model of the string transportation system or teleportation gates as they were called, and had also constructed a small interstellar spacecraft, this information, because of the super clan's deep concerns, was withheld from the world at large. The people of the Earth, it was decided after their lengthy discussions, were just deemed not ready for such new and innovative devices.

Six years after these intrepid scientists first met, the Yale four had earned their doctorates from Cal. Tech. Kira and Jeremy then went to Europe and became professors at the Oldenburg University — a school named after Kira's family line. Bernie took a job at STAR labs in Metropolis.

Soon after Bernie accepted his STAR lab position, this research facility sent Bernie to medical school. It was there that he met Ruth Friskin, his future wife.

During Bernie's medical studies, he spent his summer breaks working at STAR labs familiarizing himself with the facility. For Dr. Klein, these years were like mini adventures, fruitful, and for him, fun.

While Bernie Klein was employed at STAR labs, Clark sought a position at the Daily Planet and was hired. He was twenty-four years old.

Since Clark was a theoretical physicist, he continued his scientific investigations by doing gedSnken (thought) experiments. Since Clark's laboratory was his very active mind, all the equipment that CJ required was a pen or pencil to record his cogitations. Unknown to his newspaper colleagues, CJ was publishing several significant scientific papers each year. He was satisfying both his love for science and of journalism, simultaneously.

It would be at least three hundred years, the Yale four knew, before the world's science establishments totally understood the string theory and many centuries more before Clark's hypothesis could be used to produce devices that the four super beings were now beginning to utilize. Clark hoped that by the time the people of Earth ventured into the void, humankind would carry with them an olive branch and possess understanding and tolerance for the diverse kinds of living beings that pervaded the cosmos.


The Return To Kansas

The next two years in Clark's life were nearly idyllic. He became a distinguished investigative journalist, earned two Kerths and was awarded the Meriwhether prize for journalism.

His accolades were the result of exposing several of LexCorp's subsidiaries' illicit ventures. Although Clark did not know it at the time, his war with Lex Luthor had commenced. It was as if fate had intervened in Clark's life and set him on a course that would change the destiny of the world.

After Clark was recognized as a first-class investigative journalist, his life started to become more complex as his investigative role at the Daily Planet expanded. Realizing that he needed an ally, he had a serious talk with his kin. After Clark's super family endorsed his plan, the hick from nowheresville, as many of his colleagues referred to him behind the Kryptonian's back, informed Perry about his origins and unique abilities. He trusted the chief and felt that Perry White would be a valuable ally in his coming battles with the evil that pervaded his adopted world.

It was Perry's nature to be skeptical about the kind of information Clark shared with his chief. However, when Clark demonstrated some of his unique abilities, Perry's wariness turned to delight. Because Clark had shared such a profound secret with him, Perry's relationship with Clark became ever closer — in a relatively short period, Perry felt as if he were Clark's surrogate father.

When Clark and Perry had met and become colleagues, the chief was already a confirmed workaholic and a very lonely individual desperately in need of a family and the love such an environment would provide.

His wife and baby daughter had been killed in a car accident more than twenty years before Clark arrived on the scene. After Perry's tragedy, he began to practically live at the paper. His life partner and their precious child had been ripped from his life leaving a void that he couldn't seem to fill. He knew instinctively there would be no other to fill the emptiness caused by his tragic loss.

Perry's surviving son lived was sent to live with his sister in Des Moines.

Soon after Perry was apprised of Clark's uniqueness, Lois Lane was hired by the Metropolis branch of the Daily Planet.

When Lane and Kent were introduced and shook hands, Clark felt a sudden surge of energy sweep through his body. Looking into Lois' eyes, Clark knew without a doubt that he had at last found his soulmate. Lois, Clark learned later, was a year younger than Clark when they were initially introduced.

However, before Clark could really get to know Lois, one of the newsroom Casanovas, Claude Deveroux, took up with the new hire.

Also, soon after meeting, Lois Lane, his soulmate, the fates added still another obstacle to Clark's hectic life. Jonathan Kent, Clark's father, had a mild stroke and became somewhat incapacitated. He would no longer be capable of maintaining the farm by himself.

When Clark was informed of his father's cerebrovascular occurrence, the young reporter knew that he would have to leave the Planet's employ and return to Kansas. Clark was well aware that his parents would need him and his unique skills to survive.

Before Clark left Metropolis, he and Perry had a pow- wow. Both were well aware that Luthor had to be brought down. So, Clark agreed with Perry's suggestion to freelance using Kal Ellis as his byline moniker. In this way Clark could maintain a sub Rosa journalistic attack upon Lex Luthor and his evil empire, while still helping his parents run their farm.

A few weeks before CJ was to leave Metropolis, Clark had a major scientific breakthrough. The first stages of his string transportation system were successfuly tested.

Soon after the successful testing of the teleportation device, all the super folk gathered at Bernie's STAR lab facility. There they constructed the first units of the transportation complex.

As Clark was about to leave the big city for Smallville, all the members of the super clan and Perry White were linked by Clark's string teleportation gates or TGs.

Using the teleportation Gates, Clark brought his freelanced material directly to Perry or just left it in a special safe hidden within the Chief's inter sanctum. Clark also built Perry a special TG unit so the chief could visit Clark's Smallville home any time he chose.

After everything was finally arranged with Perry, Clark used the TG unit and returned to his boyhood home. At Perry's insistence, though, Clark maintained his condo in the big city. Monies from the chief's secret slush fund paid the rent on Clark's Metropolis abode.

With his super abilities, taking care of the Kent farm proved not to be a problem. After completing his chores, Clark freelanced worldwide and delivered a constant stream of newsworthy material to the Daily Planet via Perry White.

Soon, the phantom journalist, Kal Ellis, was a household name to Daily Planet readers across the world. The Kal Ellis appellation also brought consternation and frustration to the criminal element. The bosses of the large international crime organizations placed a hundred million dollars in a fund to pay anyone who found and eliminated the unknown crusading journalist, Kal Ellis. The articles by this reporter were eating heavily into the profits of the crime factions. His stories also were causing havoc to befall the illicit enterprises controlled by the lawless associations and brotherhoods scattered across the world.

Several months after Clark returned to his folks' Smallville farm, the super clan excavated a chamber below the Kent Kansas homestead and constructed what Kira declared, "Was a home away from home — a hidden subterranean village about a mile square." When the clan eventually produced progeny, this concealed hamlet would give their kids an area to uninhibitedly enjoy their unique super abilities and learn to control their amazing powers.

This area would also be used as an education facility for the super family's offspring — all Terran and Kryptonian information would be part of the children's curriculum. A large reference library, containing the known information about Earth and Krypton, would also be housed in this small shrouded subterranean hamlet.

From one of Bernie's research projects, the scientist discovered that the super abilities he and his super family possessed were a dominant genetic trait. Their unique abilities would appear in all children born to a couple where at least one of the soulmate partners possessed the special Kryptonian genetic markers.

The hidden hamlet was also used for the clan's pleasure. For example, the super family members, Perry, and the elder Kents included, met for dinner every Friday evening. At these generally festive meals, not only were they all able to enjoy Martha's marvelous cooking, but also have an evening all to themselves, away from the relentless stresses of their respective environment.

Over the next fifteen years, Clark was periodically informed about the activities of Lois lane, his soulmate. Clark was apprised, for example, that soon after he returned to his boyhood home, Lois took up with a suave, but shady, character named Claude Deveraux. When Deveraux purloined one of Lois' investigative stories — Claude's main objective — he ended his affair with Lois simultaneously. The story he pilfered also turned out to be an award winning expose which made Lois a more bitter person. In addition, Perry told CJ that soon after her disastrous relationship with Claude ended, Lois was courted by Lex Luthor. As Lex wooed the Planet's rising star reporter, Clark, using his Kal Ellis alias, was hammering away at Luthor's evil enterprises. The Ellis exposes about Luthor's possible connection to criminal enterprises made Lois take a more realistic look at her relationship with the billionaire. Although Lois avidly read the Ellis stories, their message was apparently not informative enough to overcome Luthor's hold over her emotions. They continued to see one another, moving toward a marriage arrangement.

As Lois was becoming the Planet's top reporter, Kal Ellis' was developing a riveting writing style which combined hard edge copy with a plethora of credible supporting materials. In addition, Clark's works possessed a touchy-feely format that allowed the reader to experience the human condition of the individuals involved in Clark's stories.

During his battle with Lex's criminal organizations, Clark's stories under the Kal Ellis byline earned him eleven Kerths aside from being awarded two Pulitzers for his investigative work.

It was during the height of Clark's crusade against Luthor that Lois finally married the crook of crooks, Lex Luthor. However, within a month of her marriage, Lois discovered the true nature of Lex's world. Lois immediately left her husband and began divorce proceedings.

As Lois' divorce proceedings moved toward a successful conclusion for the Planet's top reporter, Clark's investigation was also in the final throws of bringing down the House of Luthor. Both Lois' and Clark's battles had required a struggle which lasted nearly two years.

In Lois' case, the exacerbated proceedings was caused by Luthor's control freakish mentality linked to a cannot lose posture.

For Clark it just required time to obtain the necessary data to bring Lex Luthor to the bar of justice.

While Lois was in the throws of writing her Luthorian exposes, which described how Lex's evil empire functioned, the super clan was constructing their first interstellar spacecraft.

As Lois' and Kal Ellis' Luthor stories brought to an end LexCorp and its evil branches, Clark and his kin were exploring numerous star systems within a hundred light years of Earth. As the super clan traveled through the void, the space sailors randomly collected precious materials that appeared to be of interest. On Earth, these items were valued in the trillion dollar range. With this capital, Clark and his spiritual siblings set up the LJ Foundation. The central location of this foundation was established on a small South Pacific island and connected to the banking houses throughout the world through the electronic resources of the world-wide-web.

The first thing Clark did with some of the money was to purchase all news publications in the Metropolis area. This move was to prevent wealthy criminals like Lex Luthor or organized gangs from gaining control over any publishing house — electronic or print. While all members of the super family could draw funds from the LJ Foundation at will, only Perry's appellation, for security reasons, was visible as the C.E.O. of the super clan's financial institution.

Soon after the LJ Foundation had been established, Luthor was arrested for crimes too numerous to mention. His trial was swift, and the third richest man in the world was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

Lois' divorce from Lex was finalized a day after her former husband's arrest for numerous unconscionable felonies.

As Lois walked from the courthouse, she mumbled, "Two years of my social life wasted. Is there an honest guy out there for me?" She shook her head in disgust as she walked toward the Planet building.

After Lois wrote her final expose about the fall of Lex Luthor, she was promoted to the position of assistant editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet. In her new position, Lois would learn directly from Perry about the operations which were required daily to put the paper to bed. Although now an editor, Lois was occasionally allowed to function as an investigative journalist and have her stories submitted for publication. However since her promotion, Lois' reporter mode, as one would expect, occurred to a much lesser degree.

It was during this period in her life that Lois felt the urging of her biological clock and decided to become a single parent. It was strange, Lois thought, as she contemplated a motherhood role for herself, that for the longest time she tended to loath kids and keep them at arm's length.

During a slow week at the paper not long after her biological urging began, Lois made up her mind about becoming a single parent and headed for STAR labs. There, she sought out a Dr. Bernard Klein.

After an in-depth discussion with the famous scientist, Lois was apprised of what could be expected if she followed through with her single parent plan. She was informed that the method used to induce conception, invitro fertilization, was not a sure thing. Bernie wanted Lois to understand that they were interfering with a natural biological process, and the success rate, while certainly practicable, could not be guaranteed.

When they finished discussing the fertilization process and is possibilities, Dr. Klein asked Lois to think long and hard about what she intended doing. If the Planet's top reporter and now an assistant editor of the world's most influential newspaper was still interested, she should return to STAR labs in a week's time.

During the following seven successive days, Lois discussed her thoughts about motherhood and becoming a single parent with Perry. To her surprise, Perry strongly supported her desire to fulfill her biological urges.

While Lois was considering her options, Bernie too was contemplating a plan of his own.

If Lois returned to STAR labs to undergo the invitro process, Dr. Klein planned to use Clark's semen to fertilize two of Lois' ovum. Bernie knew that the Planet's new assistant editor and Clark Kent were soulmates whose auras somehow failed to form a union between their life essences. The STAR lab scientist was well aware that by combining Lois' and Clark's genetic material, the two soulmates would be immortalized through their progeny.

If conception occurred through the invitro process, Lois' children would inherit Clark's super abilities. Bernie would handle that problem when that time arose. But for now, he was anxious to see whether CJ's semen and the Lois Lane's reproductive cells would produce a viable living organism.

Bernie had also been considering using the invitro fertilization process to produce his own offspring if he didn't find a suitable life partner. Fortunately, he had found somebody whom he loved and who also adored him. Her name was Ruth Frishkin. Like himself, she was a physician with a specialty in psychiatry. Bernie and she were now contemplating a spring wedding.

Although Bernie deeply loved Ruth, he was concerned about their forthcoming marriage. The physician knew that any children he and Ruth conceived would inherit his super abilities. If Ruth found out, his marriage to Ruth could be at risk and their children's future placed in jeopardy. Bernie was well aware that Ruth was frightened by mysterious situations, and he believed that aliens, according to the woman he loved, fell into that category. It was one of Ruth's few phobias, but it could spell big trouble for their marriage down the road. However, because of Bernie's love for his fiancee, he was more than willing to take the marital journey with her.

Before their children began to exhibit their Kryptonian inheritance, Bernie would attempt to heal Ruth's irrational fear of strange phenomena. Clark Kent would also fall into that category. He could be considered an alien being who appeared human like most Earth born people. Well, he thought the die was cast. That part of his and CJ's lives was now in G- D's hands.

A month later Bernie Klein and Ruth Friskin announced the date of their nuptials. On that same day, he happily informed Lois Lane that she was pregnant with fraternal twins.

Eight months later, Lois successfully delivered two daughters, Lara and Kara. The first born of the twins had blue eyes and was endowed with platinum blond hair, while her sibling possessed green eyes and flaming red hair. Both children had a swarthy complexion with features that hinted at an Asiatic ancestor somewhere in their genetic line.

Lois continued to use Dr. Klein as her family's physician. This fortuitous development enabled Bernie to keep a close eye on the physical and intellectual development of the Lane children.

From birth, all information pertaining to Lois' kids was placed in a confidential file and could only be accessed on a need to know basis. To further insure the Lane girl's safety, Bernie kept all information pertaining to Lois' kids within a special safe hidden in his home. As Bernie expected, Lara's and Kara's IQ data showed that Lois' girls' intellectual potentials were far above the genius category.

To keep the Lane girls out of the public's eye and to minimize Lois' anxiety level, the Planet's intrepid journalist was just told that her girls were developing normally, but both of her children were showing signs of unusually high mental activity like their mother.

The intelligence information and other unique data pertaining to Lois' kids were withheld from all others, except for Perry White and himself. Even Bernie's super family was not informed.

As Lara and Kara matured, Bernie became a sort of surrogate father to Lois' girls. The STAR labs scientist kept Lois Lane's issues supplied with all kinds of advanced learning materials to nurture their rapidly developing mental capabilities.

While Bernie was keeping an eye on Lois' kids, he and his wife conceived. And, in the natural course of time, Ruth delivered twins, a boy and a girl — Daren and Lynn. Like Lois' children, Ruth and Bernie's progeny possessed intellects that were in the stratospheric range.

When Bernie and Ruth's kids reached about four years of age, Lois began to notice that her girls and the Klein kids seemed to seek out one another, constantly. She assumed that having much in common, the gifted youngsters naturally wished to be in the others' company.

While Lois was partly correct, it was Bernie who discovered the truth. Dr. Klein's son Daren and Lois' daughter Kara were soulmates. Even at their tender age, Daren and Kara's bonding auras were already extremely strong. Being life partners made Kara and Daren want to be together as much as possible. The other Lane and Klein children just naturally tagged along as kids do.

Bernie Klein discovered the soulmate status between his son and Lois' daughter when he used a device Clark had recently developed. Kent's new gadget was, in essence, a soulmate detector. Clark developed this device to expedite finding soulmates for the super clan's kids. When a possible soulmate pair was located, the detector would produce two violet lines on a small monitor that was part of Clark's detection apparatus. The lines were produced from the aura emanations of the life partners.

As Bernie watched the Lane and Klein super kids frolic, he wondered how their European kin figured in the soulmate equation. Two years before Lara and Kara were born, Jeremy and Kira conceived triplets — two girls and a boy. The Fines named their boy Joshua and the girls Kela and Kitra. The Fine offspring had intelligent potentials and like their American cousins also had intelligent aptitudes that were beyond any meaningful value on the various IQ scales.

While Dr. Klein attended most of the Friday evening socials with his kin, the clan understood why Bernie's wife and their young cousins couldn't join them. Furthermore, they were still unaware of Lois and her two super kinder.


Time Marches On

The next fifteen years was a sweet and productive period for the super clan.

As the super families created many new concepts and gadgets that quietly found their way into main stream Earth science and benefited humankind, the super children grew into exceptional young adults — kind and caring like their parents.

Unfortunately, the Lane and Klein kids were not yet aware of their special roots.

It was a beautiful spring in the year two thousand and twelve when Jonathan Kent had his second stroke.

After his cerebrovascular accident, Clark's father quickly slipped into a coma and peacefully went to G- D a few hours later. After grieving for her departed husband for an hour or so, Martha too passed beyond the pale too and joined her beloved soulmate.

Clark's parents had lived more than a hundred years and seventy-six years as husband and wife.

Several months after Clark's grieving period ended, Perry asked CJ whether he would be interested in returning to the Planet as an investigative reporter.

To Perry's surprise, Clark said, "That's not a bad idea chief, let me sleep on it for a few days."

Several days later, Clark accepted Perry's offer. He would apply for a position at the Daily Planet.

"Great," Perry yelled as he limped across the floor and hugged his surrogate child.

After Perry released Clark from his embrace, the man from Krypton said, "Do you need a new cane? The one you're using sort of buckled as you hustled across the floor."

"Nah," the Chief replied. "Old Betsy here is still a good walking stick. I might have been whittling more that I should on her causing the old gal to become bit too thin in spots, but she's still seviceable."

Then Perry remarked, "Clark, we'll have to find you a place to park your gluteus maximus when you set up housekeeping in Metropolis."

"That won't be necessary, Perry," Clark replied. "Remember, you told me to keep that penthouse apartment I purchased seventeen years ago. You even had the paper pay the rent and upkeep."

Smiling, Perry replied, "Now I recall, Clark, the condo on Jackson Avenue. Over the years, you periodically used the place and even made the apartment burglar proof."

"Yep," the man from Krypton and Kansas responded.

"Jackson Avenue," Perry murmured. "I think," the Chief remarked, "your place is in the same housing complex where Lois and her two girls live. You'll be neighbors." Smiling, Perry added, "That could make for an interesting situation."

"I don't think so, Chief," Clark commented. "Lois may be my soulmate, but interacting with her on a social level could create problems. She has no interest in me. Let sleeping dogs lie, as the ancient ones once articulated."

Placing his hand on Clark's shoulder, Perry reminded CJ that his encounter with Lois transpired more than fifteen years ago. "People tend to change over time," Perry said to Clark. Then the chief commented, "I believe you'll find that Lois has mellowed and become more sensitive to people's needs during your time apart."

Looking Perry straight in the eyes, Clark said, "Okay, Perry, I'll give the Planet's top journalist another whirl."

Collecting his thoughts, Clark remarked, "When I was first hired by the Planet, I used CJ Kent as my byline. To make sure that Lois doesn't make any connection with the younger me, I'll use just Clark Kent on my application. If I'm not hired, all our discussions about working for the Daily Planet will be moot."

"I could take care of that hiring process," Perry remarked.

"No," Clark replied. "Let Lois interview me. You can tell a great deal about a person during an interview — it's an information gathering process." Then Clark added, "I'd like to find out if Lois is flexible and open-minded."


Return To The Planet

On a foggy-rainy day Clark entered Lois Lane's office. She was now an Associate Editor of what many journalists referred to as the world's finest newspaper.

As Clark entered Lois' office, she gazed upon a very handsome man about her age. She asked this man from Kansas to be seated and subtly started to interrogate him.

During the interview Lois learned that the potential new hire had started a career in the news business, but it had to be put on hold because of illness in his family. Now that his parents had passed on, he wanted to pick up the thread of his reporting career.

While they discussed his assets, Lois decided that Kent was a little too old for the position she wanted to fill. Furthermore, his style was too touchy-feely for her tastes. She needed a reporter with a hard cutting edge to his/her stories.

So at the end of their conversation, Lois inserted the stiletto and told him plain that he wasn't the kind of writer she was seeking.

Clark smiled as he rose and held out his hand. As she clasped it, he thanked her for her time and left her office and immediately exited the Planet building.

Later that day, Perry asked Lois how the interview with Kent had shaped up. "Not well," she replied. "I felt that Kent was too old to start a career he terminated as a younger man, especially for an investigative reporter's spot on our newspaper. And Perry, his style was not what I was looking for." Pausing for a moment, Lois added, "I also got the feeling that Kent was a hick reporter from nowheresville."

Lois saw Perry smile as she finished her summary of the Kent interview. It was the kind of facial expression that Lois had seen before. One that indicated that the chief was not pleased.

As Perry walked towards his office, he remarked to Lois, "Don't use your age comment if anyone else asks about Kent. According to the law, that would be discrimination, and the paper could be sued." Pausing for a moment, Perry also added, "Consider what you said about his age, Lois. If elderliness were an important factor in doing a doing a job on this paper, wouldn't that place our own positions in jeopardy? You're about his age, and I'm a just few years older. Where's the logic, Lois?"

After a pause Perry added, "I looked over his resume and clips yesterday and found them very titillating. Mr. Kent, it seems, has an interesting and, I might add, a unique way to approach the news. You'll have to be diversified when considering a writer for this paper, Lois. At present, you seem to be looking for reporters with a hard-hitting style like your own. I'm sure you're aware that there are other successful ways to report the information, which could be just as effective or even better than presenting a story with a sledge hammer approach."

"Do you think I made a mistake with Kent?"

"Lois, you made a decision. What I believe is of no consequence. To hire or not to hire Kent was your bailiwick. I'll always support your position in matters of internal policy. However, I don't have to agree with all your projects. That, my dear, is why ice cream companies make a plethora of different flavored products. If you're asking me unofficially, I do believe that the paper just lost one of the finest journalists living today."

Then Perry gave Lois another smile and began to yodel as he slowly walked toward his office.

After his ill-fated interview, Clark just walked around Metropolis. The activity of the big city began to stir his blood and buoyed up his spirits. By the end of the day, Clark had decided to remain in Metropolis, at least for the present, and try his hand at some freelance reporting.

As Clark was making some plans for his immediate future, the reporter who had earned innumerable accolades began walking toward the Metropolis Enquire, a local paper that published mostly local news twice weekly.

Arriving at the Enquire, Clark was soon escorted to the publisher's office. Not seeing a familiar face behind the publisher's desk, Clark inquired, "Where's Ann Cogan?"

"She retired. I'm the new publisher, chief cook and bottle washer, and janitor. My handle is Marianne Kerigan."

"Hi, Ms. Kerigan, my name's Clark Kent."

"Kent!" she said, "Are you the same Clark Kent who was a friend of my predecessor?"

"Yep, that's me," the man from Kansas replied.

Marianne smiled and asked, "What can I do for you, Mr. Kent?"

"I have a story for the Enquire, if, of course, you think it's worthy of publication."

Perusing Clark's copy for some minutes, Marianne said, "I like it. Because of our tight budget, Mr. Kent, I'm afraid our paper can afford only to pay fifty cents a word for a freelance story."

"Sold," Clark answered her with a blazing smile.

After a moment or two, Clark said, "The cost to your paper for any of my stories that you publish will only cost the Enquire thirty-six dollars." And, Clark added, "That money you'll donate to a charity of my choosing. How's that for a deal?"

Marianne smiled and remarked, "Fair enough and reached out to shake his hand thereby solidifying their agreement."

After Clark had left the Enquire, Marianne called Ann Cogan, the paper's former editor-in-chief.

During their conversation, Clark Kent's name came up. After a slight pause, Ann said to her successor, "Take anything that man brings you. Clark is one of the finest journalists whom I've had the pleasure of knowing. And, Marianne," Ann added, "His honesty is beyond reproach."

"Thanks, Ann," Marianne replied, "you've just confirmed my gut feeling about the man."

Later that week the Enquire published Clark's article.

Although Perry read Clark's story, he didn't say, "I told you so to Lois." In fact, the chief didn't mention Clark's story to his associate editor or any other newsperson in the Planet's stable of reporters.

As Perry had noted over the past few weeks, Lois had developed a bad habit of reading mostly Planet articles. When it came to newspapers, Lois, it seemed, was a bit of a snob.

During the next five or six months, Clark had a number of stories published by the Enquire. More than half of them were picked up by the wire services and soon his articles were being circulated nationwide. Both the Enquire and Clark were beginning to acquire a national reputation for fine journalism.

Only Perry was aware of the Enquire's changing status as a newspaper. The Metropolis Star and the Daily Planet, the two largest dailies in Metropolis, were still oblivious to Clark Kent's articles, and the lofty reputation being acquired by the Enquire and its freelancing reporter.

Upon returning to his Metropolis residence late one evening, Clark happened to bump into Lois Lane and a companion.

Upon seeing Kent, Lois asked in a somewhat hostile tone, "Clark Kent, what the heck are you doing here?"

Looking up and seeing Lois, Clark, ignoring Lois' hostile intonation, said "Hi, Ms. Lane." Pausing for a moment, Clark reiterated Lois' query and replied, "I happen to live in this housing complex."

"Live here?" Lois said incredulously. "The condominiums in this building are very expensive."

Clark replied, "I'm aware of that, Ms. Lane." As Clark turned toward the elevator, he quietly said, "If you ever require any kind of assistance, I live on the penthouse level, Condo P — 1836."

"How could an unemployed reporter from nowheresville afford the rent needed for such living accommodations?" Lois murmured as Clark walked toward the elevator that would take him to the penthouse floor.

As Lois uttered her insulting words, she regretted saying them almost immediately. However, the damage was done. She could see the hurt on Kent's face as he again faced her.

After a few seconds, Kent replied in a rather cold voice, "I don't rent, Lois. I've owned my apartment for more than fifteen years. Now if you'll excuse me I'm really tired. It's sleep time for me, I'm afraid. I have to work in the morning and haven't gotten any shuteye in almost three days."

Returning to the building's elevator system, Clark was aware that the door of the lift had closed. Without complaining, Kent again touched his apartment key in a special pad that activated all elevators assigned to the penthouse level. As he waited for the elevator door to open, the voice of Lois' companion suddenly asked from the shadows, "Are you the Clark Kent who attended Yale University?"

"That's me," Clark responded. "And, who would you be?"

When Lois' escort for that evening entered the light, Clark recognized Judd Carter and muttered, "Great shades of Elvis."

Hearing the Elvis phrase, Lois immediately stared at Clark and began to wonder how Kent was associated with Perry White. Clark had inadvertently used one of the chief's patented Elvis articulations.

As Judd Carter advanced further into the light, Clark's Elvis remark was forgotten for the moment. With an unpleasant lilt to Kent's voice, Lois was even more intrigued by Clark's next comment. "Why is it that a bad penny always turns up?"

Also hearing Kent's assessment of his character, Judd said, "Why be unpleasant? I just wanted to thank you for saving my life."

"You're welcome," Clark replied. "Although you didn't warrant a death sentence for what you frequently did and what you were attempting to do that evening, I would have settled for castration as a credible option."

"Just what are you referring to, Clarkie?" Judd responded in an innocent sounding voice.

"You know what I'm referring to, Tom cat Carter." And, with a disgusting look on his face, Kent said, "My name is not Clarkie, but you may refer to me as Dr. Kent. Do I make myself clear?" With his tongue lashing, Clark gave Judd Carter a steely stare which warned the former Yale Casanova not to pursue his sniping.

In an attempt to lighten the tension and get himself out of his intractable situation, Judd waved his hand in the air while saying "whatever" in an attempt to make light of Clark's comments and to salvage his dignity.

Then he turned to Lois and quickly said, "Let me take you to your condo, my dear. You can brew up some nice hot tea, and we can chat amicably without the nonsensical chattering of the prim and proper Dr. CJ Kent."

As Lois and Judd made their way towards the associate editor's abode, leaving Clark to again summon the elevator, Lois heard her escort mumble, "There's more than one way to deal with Clark Kent. I'll talk to the boss about it in the morning."

When Lois and her escort entered her condo, she hurried to her youngsters' bedrooms and awakened them. She brought her girls into the living room and introduced them to Judd Carter. Then leading her children into the kitchen Lois gave them her dessert from the meal served at Lyle Luthor's White Orchid Ball- Lyle had continued Lex's tradition.

With her girls within full view and enjoying their repast, Lois knew that her libertine gallant wouldn't be tempted to make any licentious moves on her person. Unknown to Kent, Lois was well aware of the unbridled sexual affairs linked to her distasteful escort. However, Lois wasn't interested in Judd's past sexual encounters; she wanted more information about Clark Kent and his associates. So, Judd now in a semi inebriated state, would be tolerated to attain her desired goal, information. If handled correctly, Carter would supply her with an abundance of interesting info.

As the evening wore on, Lois discovered that Clark, as she expected, was probably the most prominent member of the foursome Judd talked about and much to her surprise she discovered that Dr. Bernard Klein was also a member of Clark's inner circle. She was very familiar the Klein's lifestyle. However, the other two, now living abroad, Kira and Jeremy Fine were unknown to her.

As Lois continued to supply Judd with the fruits of Bacchus, she learned that Kira was a princess of a reigning royal house and that Judd had wanted to marry her. He told Lois how he failed and his resulting injuries.

From Judd, Lois did discover that the Fines were living abroad and raising five children of their own — three girls and two boys — and were professors of physics at Olderburg University.

As Judd became more relaxed in his alcoholic stupor, Lois learned that Lyle Luthor was the source of nearly all of Judd's information. She learned that Lyle was having Clark and his close associates watched day and night.

The head of the new Luthorian industrial empire was sure that these four geniuses, as he referred to them, had developed devices from Clark's string theory which could advance Earth's civilization a millennium in a very short order, and he wanted to control those mechanisms.

Lois also discovered from Judd that Lyle was fairly certain that a transportation system centered about a teleportation device was already in operation. How else could Kira be shopping in London at three in the afternoon, New York time, and be lunching several hours later in a stylish Metropolis restaurant with her husband and friends?

Lyle's spys also discovered that the foursome could not be located on most Friday evenings, as time is measured on the North American continent.

"Although Kira's shopping sprees and the Friday evening disappearances," Judd told Lois, "strongly suggested to Lyle that the greatest minds on the planet had somehow moved across the planet without being observed, the only feasible way that his boss could understand the Friday night occurrence, considering how closely the four scientists were being watched by his surveillance network, pointed to a concealed teleportation system of some sort."

"Lyle also told me," Judd informed Lois, "that Clark and his brethren make Da Vinci look like a second or third rate thinker."

Then sneering the inebriated Judd Carter added, "Did you know that twenty years ago Clark Kent joined the Planet's staff as an investigative reporter? Over the next three years he earned many accolades — Kerths, Meriwhethers, and the like — and was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Then, at the top of his profession, he left the Planet and went home to help his ailing father — a stroke I think caused the problem. Clark kissed his career goodbye for the sake of a sickly parent. What a fool. The man actually cares more for others than his own success. Can you believe that? Also, my dear, I can't fathom why a man with Kent's talents would want to be a reporter. The pay is lousy and the working hours are incredibly long." After a pause Judd added, "I think Kent once told me that it was a blessing to help humankind, which gave him much satisfaction. His scientific work, he told me once or another, was done in his head, especially on stakeouts. Did you know Kent has published eighty-four papers, many of which will not be fully understood for centuries? He received a Nobel four years ago. What a waste of a brilliant mind. With his scientific abilities, that man could wield immense power and be the terror of the world. His wealth would be immeasurable."

When Lois felt that all the information she required had been gleaned from Judd Carter, the Planet's ace reporter and associate editor-in-chief called a cab and had the libertine taken home.

After Judd had been taken from Lois' apartment, Kara simply said, "What an evil man."

"Yeah," Lara chimed in, "His auric emanations were beginning to make me ill."

As Lois was putting Lara and Kara back into beds, she thought about Perry's subtle or maybe not so subtle hint directed at Clark Kent. As Lois cogitated about the Kent situation, her intuitive mind realized that the chief's words were right on the mark. She had indeed made a terrible faux pas in dealing with the man from Kansas. The question now was how to rectify her blunder.

The first thing that Lois did was to enmesh herself in the news published by the Planet's so called rivals. During her extensive reading in this genre, Lois discovered that Clark Kent was one heck of a newsman.

Several days after Lois began her campaign to learn more about the mysterious Clark Kent, scientist extraordinaire and journalist par excellence, his Charretier Home for the Aged expose hit the streets under the Enquire's banner. Clark's expose unmasked a geriatric home of horrors. In his article, Kent described how a State certified facility chartered to care for the aged had cleverly devised an accounting scheme to extort funds from its elderly residents.

In his article, Clark, with graphic pictures, showed how the medical ills of the residents of the Charretier Home were treated with low-grade generic drugs manufactured by Carter's own drug company. When the death of the home's elderly occurred, their cadavers were either sold to teaching institutions or the body parts were sold to unscrupulous transplant organizations throughout the world.

Using loopholes in the existing law, Judd Carter was able get away with his unethical and immoral practices. Judd also had a seat on the board of Lyle Luthor's reconstituted corporate complex initially built by his uncle Lex. Unlike Luthor, Lyle didn't throw the CEO's of his subsidiaries to the wolves. He found some middle management employees willing to take the rap for the right price and other fringe benefits.

When Clark's story hit the street, laws governing the treatment of the country's aging population were drastically altered depriving men and women like Judd Carter from their ill-gotten gains and halting their ability to prey on the elderly and their aging families.

Clark's victory over Lyle Luthor's corporate enterprises didn't seem to disturb Lex Luthor's nephew. In a battle, Lyle's philosophy, like his uncles, was a give and take scenario. Win some; lose some. One step backward; two steps forward. So, the new CEO of the old LexCorp figured that by using Lex's strategy he would eventually gain enough wealth and power to dominate the world's economic structures. Controlling the economics of a country or a region eventually translated into political domination of the area. In the end, acquiring great power would enable him to control people and acquire immense wealth. This was to be the gambit of Lyle's corporate game.

Because of Clark's crusading articles, he won a Kerth that year and earned his third Pulitzer. Two Pulitzers, however, were under his hidden moniker, Kal Ellis.

While Judd was sparring with the courts, Lois learned that Kira lived in the Principality of Olderburg. When she called the Fine residence a few days later, a regal sounding voice said, "The Fine residence of Olderburg." Stunned by the unusual salutation, Lois regained her composure and asked to speak with Kira Fine. The voice replied, "Who's calling, please?" Lois answered, and the voice at the other end of the phone informed her that she was being connected.

A few seconds later, Kira politely said, "Hello."

After a brief introduction, Lois asked Kira whether she could ask her a few pertinent questions pertaining to herself. After the ground rules were established, Lois learned that Kira had indeed been abducted by Judd Carter. His intention was to force a marriage with her by using social blackmail. Kira then told Lois that Jeremy, her husband, might have killed Judd if Clark weren't present. At this juncture in their conversation, Kira was informed that the information about Clark was really the crux of her telephone interview.

As Lois was about to sever their telephone linkage, she reminded Kira that everything discussed between them according to their ground rules was privileged information and would remain confidential.

Lois now had her confirmation about Clark's actions in behalf of Kira and Jeremy. Also, the incident involving Kira, her husband and Judd Carter had been confirmed and would be held in strictest confidence. From Lois' probes, she was obtaining good corroborating data and a good picture of old tomcat Carter's attitudes and sexual tastes.

While Judd still saw Lois from time to time, anything that might have developed between them was already dead and buried. She now viewed Judd Carter as a source of information about what occurred in the councils of Lyle Luthor's economic and political domains.

Judd, Lois realized, was much like Lex in his ability to charm people. Before Clark came on the scene, Lois did not see the similarities between Lex and Judd in their ability to lull people into a false sense of security.

When Lois was first introduced to Clark Kent, her erroneous views about rural people made her see him only as an escapee from a pig pen, and because of her intolerance dismissed him out of hand. What a blunder Lois now realized. Also because of her foolishness, her respect for Perry was higher now that it ever had been in the past. He had seen the value of Kent right off while she was blinded by her prejudices. How was the chief able to make so many sound judgments especially about people, Lois wondered.

To Lois, Kent was still somewhat of a mystery. After researching him, she realized that the man from Kansas was one of the top journalists in the world today and had just been awarded two of the top prizes in his field. He had a mental skirmish with Judd Carter, a guy who holds grudges and tries to get even, and showed no fear. He even warned Judd to keep out of his life or suffer the consequences. That took guts. She would now love to have Clark as her partner.

If Judd knew what was good for him, Lois thought, he'd heed Clark's warning. However, that would require brains. And since Lois thought that Judd was rather dull and not very perceptive, she believed that the caustic interaction between Kent and Carter was only the first round in their confrontation. Judd was too stupid to know when to cut his losses.

As she continued to think about Kent, her psyche announced to her conscious mind that this fellow Kent who she once disregarded as a lightweight, at best, was becoming a very intriguing guy.

For the next several months, Lois only had fleeting glimpses of Clark Kent. However, she did see his name in print, courtesy of the Enquire, which she now avidly pursued twice weekly.

Clark was giving Judd and his illicit enterprises, especially those operations which injured people, a great deal of public exposure through his Kerth caliber stories.

As Lois expected, Judd struck at Kent by engaging various sordid journalistic publications, the tabloids for one, and with their assistance attempted to slander Clark. Carter was desperate and tried to defuse Kent's attacks on his dubious enterprises.

When Lois interviewed a sample of the city's population about Carter's demeaning and near slanderous comments about Clark Kent, most people, Lois discovered, seemed to think it was a farce, but it made a great show and lightened their day.

Right now, Kent was in the clear, but Lois knew that soon Judd would find something ineffectual that with the right spin could stigmatize the Enquire's freelancing reporter. Then Judd, with the help of his yellow journalism friends, would attempt to drive Clark Kent from the city as he'd done in the past to others who were innocent of any wrong doings.

About six moths after Clark's fray with Carter had begun, she met Kent in the lobby of their condo building. With her were Lois' ten-year old twins.

As Clark introduced himself to Lois' kids, he felt an unusually strong connection to the girls.

While Clark was becoming acquainted with Lois' youngsters, the Planet's associate editor startled him by inviting the Enquire's freelancing journalist to lunch on Saturday.

As Clark was accepting Lois' invitation, he said, "Please allow me to do the cooking. I've heard about your culinary skills."

Lois gave him a cuff on the arm and replied, "Don't you know that a woman doesn't like to be told, even if it's true, that her cooking abilities are for the birds?"

Then Lois smiled and added, "Okay Kent, one o'clock in the afternoon at your hootch."

As Clark was entering the penthouse elevator, he gave Lois a key to the lift and said, "Just knock on my door. My Apartment number is thirty-six, and it's on the eighteenth floor."

"Clark, did you give me your only key?" Lois asked concerned.

"Yep, Lois, but don't worry. Just knock on the door," Clark replied as the elevator doors closed.

On Saturday afternoon, Lois and her two daughters stood in front of penthouse suite thirty-six when the door suddenly opened. "Welcome to my Metropolis abode," Clark cheerily remarked. "Make yourselves at home."

As Lois and her kids entered Clark's condominium, they were struck by a tastefully furnished apartment.

While Lois and her girls were removing their jackets, Lara asked, "Mr. Kent, who did your decorating?"

"Kira Fine," Clark answered the young girl. "She's a relative of mine."

Then, spying Clark's electronic equipment in a little alcove at the far end of the room, Kara asked her host, "Could I look at your technical stuff?"

Lois started to criticize her daughter for being pushy when Clark remarked, "That's okay Lois, she's only curious. It's a very desirable trait. I wish more kids had it."

As Kara rushed toward the alcove, Clark said, "Please ask me before you turn on any of the equipment." Kara nodded.

Lois told Clark, "You're gonna spoil them."

"You're right Lois," he replied, as he smiled and turned back to cooking lunch.

While he was completing their luncheon meal, Clark told Lois, "I don't have any kids of my own to spoil. So please indulge me."

"Yeah, you'll have fun and I'll have to put the pieces back together when we leave," Lois retorted.

As Lois and her children sat down at the kitchen table to enjoy Clark's delectable meal, Lois noticed that there was a hurt look in Kent's eyes.

As Lois puzzled about Clark's hurt expression, she also noticed that from the moment they all left the table, Clark made no attempt to interact with her girls. He just allowed them to roam about his place at their leisure.

About three o'clock Lara, Kara and their mother, Lois Lane, returned to their own abode.

That evening, as Lois was thinking about Clark's change of attitude toward her girls, she suddenly realized what had occurred. He took her remark about spoiling Lara and Kara as a rebuke.

Ye gods and little golliwog's, Kent is one very sensitive guy.

Throwing on a coat, Lois made her way to Clark's apartment.

A minute or so later, Lois knocked on Kent's door. Several moments later, Clark opened his condo's entryway. He was dressed in shorts and a tee shirt. His attire or lack of it showed off his gorgeous physique. Lois' heart rate increased when she saw what his formal loose fitting clothes had concealed from her.

Getting control of herself, Lois said, "May I come in, Clark?"

"Certainly," he replied to Lois giving her one of his gorgeous smiles.

When they were both comfortable, Lois remarked, "Just before you served lunch, I felt that you became somewhat upset. It wasn't until this evening that I realized I had inadvertently hurt you're feelings and I apologize for that. The remark about you spoiling my kids was really just a subtle joke. Apparently you didn't get it."

"You're correct, Lois. Not having any kids of my own, I didn't know how to react to your comment."

Lois then said, "I would have waited until we did something else together to discuss my subtle joke, Clark, but I somehow felt that because of your sensitive nature, and how you reacted to my comment that there would not be any more invites."

"You've got that right, Lois," Clark said to her. "I thought that you didn't care for me after our lunch together and how I behaved toward your children."

For once Lois realized that her gut feeling didn't play her false.

After their discussion, they agreed that Clark could ask Lois for an explanation when he didn't quite understand her comments, especially where her children were concerned.

"I'm glad we got that misunderstanding out of the way," Lois remarked.

"Me too," Clark replied.

"Clark," Lois said, "since we're alone, I would like to ask a work related question?"

"Shoot," Clark said.

"Why didn't you give the Planet a chance to look at your freelance stories?"

Smiling Clark replied, "I did, Lois. Three of my articles were submitted over the past year for the Planet to pursue for possible publication. Each time my story was rejected by a guy the secretaries called Terry Stetson. His remarks to me were, shall we say, rather crude. For example, in one case Stetson flung my story to the floor and then said something like, 'Your article is nothing but hogwash, Kent, and the paper you use for writing it would have been better served if it were utilized to wipe the behinds of the pigs you raise.'"

"After three attempts, and insulted as often, I figured three strikes and you're out. So Lois, I stopped sending copy to the Planet for possible publication. It's not pleasant being insulted and becoming distressed during the submission process."

"Who is this Stetson character anyway, Lois?"

"Terry is a member of the governing council of the Planet," Lois informed Clark. "He has no right to interfere with the publication of news material. "According to our charter, that job must be left to the professionals. If what you say is true, and I for a moment do not doubt your veracity, Terry has violated his contract with the paper and is subject to dismissal."

The rest of the evening Lois found to be very pleasant. Their conversations touched on nearly everything under the sun, until reluctantly Lois said her adieus. Clark then escorted Lois to her apartment and then returned to his abode.

On the day following Lois and Clark's clear the air talk, the Planet's associate editor interviewed the four secretaries who were present when Clark's stories were rejected. One of the older ladies even told Lois that Terry used derogatory language while dismissing Kent's work- most unprofessional. "You'd think that an ex-employee would warrant some consideration."

"Ex-employee, are you sure, Doris."

"Oh yes, Ms. Lane. He had to resign his position to help his parents run their farm. Too bad. He had already earned a couple of Kerths and a Merriwhether award during his short time at the Planet. And to think he was twice nominated for a Pulitzer. His treatment by Stetson was most humiliating to say the least. What's the world coming to, Ms Lane?"

Lois just shook her head and smiled at the elderly lady, but inside a war was heating up.

That afternoon, Lois informed Perry of what Terry Stetson had done when Clark submitted freelance material to be considered for possible publication in the Daily Planet's news publication.

After Perry received Lois' information, he just sat calmly for a few minutes. Then the chief commented, "Now I understand why none of Clark's freelance material was ever published in our newspaper."

When Perry finished commenting, Lois asked her boss, "Chief, how long have you known Clark?"

"You've guessed that Kent and I had a past professional relationship, haven't you darlin'?" the Chief remarked. After a moment, Perry added, "I figured you'd work it out sooner or later."

Then pausing for a few seconds Perry added, "About twenty years, Lois. Our working relationship and our friendship go back about two decades. In fact, Lois, It was Clark who gave you the final evidence to put the noose around Lexipoo's neck and allowed you to terminate your marriage from that piece of filth."

"But that was Kal Ellis' work," Lois remarked.

Perry just smiled.

"Oh, my lord," Lois groaned, "I kicked him around during his interview, and he didn't say a word. What kind of man have I fallen in love with?"

"Clark is a great guy, Lois. A better man you won't find on this side of the pearly gates."

After a pause to recover from her shock, Lois said, "That's why you allowed me to interview him, huh. To teach me that calm individuals and those from small town environments were also potentially first-class journalists and should also be given a chance."

"If you fully understand what you just said, Lois, you'll be one heck of an editor-in-chief when the time comes."

Collecting his thoughts, Perry added, "Don't feel so bad darlin'. I almost lost him when I interviewed that boy some twenty years ago. He was barely out of his teens. Kent was so laid-back that I almost turned him down. But, something in my gut told me to give the guy a break. In the two years he was at the Planet, he received numerable accolades — Kerths, Merriwhether prizes, and was twice nominated for a Pulitzer."

"Under his Kal Ellis umbrella, Clark continued to be honored by his peers. He earned thirteen additional Kerths and finally received a Pulitzer."

"Ye gods and little goliwogs," Lois remarked, "Kent is probably the finest journalist around today and maybe of our times."

Lois then asked Perry, "Tell me chief, how was Clark able to obtain the data that brought Luthor down and still take care of his parents' farm? He had to move all over the world to get that kind of info."

"That's privileged information darlin'," Perry responded. "As they say in the military, what you requested is on a need-to-know basis only. Talk to Clark. He's the only one who can supply you with that kind of data."

As Perry was leaving Lois' office, he made one additional comment. "To satisfy your curiosity about Kent, look up Clark Jerome Kent on the internet. I think you'll find some interesting stuff moving along the electronic highway."

Then the Chief was gone to do what should have been done a long time ago.

As Lois pondered her discussion with Perry, she had a gut feeling that this would be Terry Stetson's last day at the Planet.

Picking up her phone, Lois called the Planet's research department and requested all info that was in the Planet's stacks or could be located on the web concerning one Clark Jerome Kent should be sent to her post haste. From Lois' tone with the researchers, they were all too aware that she wanted her information yesterday.

As Lois was perusing the mounting data on Kent and while the chief was searching the building for Stetson, that individual Perry sought was in the process of leaving the country.

Just before Stetson boarded his aircraft, he emailed a slanderous article to The National Informer using the Planet's letterhead to add legitimacy to his article. To a journalist, The Informer was one of the worst tabloid publications of its kind. This tabloid prided itself that it indulged in the worst kind of yellow journalism. It was a publication so far down on the journalistic scale that this tabloid would print any kind of story, for a fee, of course, which would cause the semi-crazed paparazzi to scurry toward the Informer's intended victim.

Just before leaving for home, Lois received the last of the information she had requested in respect to Clark Kent.

Glancing over Clark's portfolio, she became aware that Perry's information had been corroborated. Kent possessed an earned doctorate specializing in theoretical physics. Over the past fifteen or so years he had published eighty-four original and highly regarded scientific papers. Other pertinent material was also present in the Planet's information search pertaining to Clark Kent's life. Lois was surprised to discover that Clark also wrote poetry and painted. The man from Kansas was an accomplished pianist and occasionally gave concerts throughout the world. To date CJ Kent had also composed two symphonic pieces and six piano concertos.

When Lois finished looking over Clark's dossier, she simply let out a long soft whistle and whispered, "Wow."

Before she left the office, she called Clark's apartment. There was no response to her call. Apparently, he was indisposed or not at home. So, she just headed for home to spend some quality time with her kids.

The next day, The Informer's article accusing Clark Kent of an unspeakable act — sexual harassment — hit the street. Lois Lane's two young girls were named as the victims in the vile act. The slanderous article appeared in the tabloid on the day following Stetson's disappearance. The Informer's story used the traditional tabloid approach. Accuse the victim based on unsubstantiated information bordering on slander. In The Informer's article about Clark's so called orgy with Lara and Kara, the date of the alleged affair was also particularized. The Informer's article coincided with the time Terry Stetson was fleeing the country.

Arriving home, Lois immediately gently confronted Lara and Kara about their alleged hanky panky with the paramour named in the Informer's story. In her heart Lois knew that Clark would never perpetrate such a vile act. As she talked to her girls, Lois suddenly had one of her brilliant intuitive leaps of faith. She realized that some one or some organization was setting Kent up and attempting to smear his name by accusing him in the press of a heinous crime involving two young girls. If whoever planned this scheme succeeded, Clark's ability to attack the criminal element in Metropolis and around the world would be essentially nullified. Also Lois realized that she might bear some guilt by association.

Lois was well aware that she would need hard evidence to counteract The Informer's degrading charges.

After cogitating for a while, Lois showed the tabloid's article to her children. The girls were first confused and then became angry vigorously denying the accusations appearing in The Informer's article. Although her kids confirmed her suspicions, Lois rushed Lara and Kara to STAR labs, She would need credible evidence to support Kent.

After Bernie was shown the Informer's article, he and a staff of his colleagues examined the girls. The results confirmed what Lois suspected. Lara and Kara had not been harmed in anyway and certainly not sexually molested. Bernie even used a device like a polygraph apparatus that showed that the girls' statements about the supposed incident were truthful and the article in The Informer was simply a bold face lie. This information, Lois told Bernie, would be needed in Clark's defense at a slander trial, which was sure to follow.

When Bernie's group had completed their tests, Lois called Perry and told her boss and friend that Clark was innocent of The Informer's vile and slanderous allegation.

Perry smiled and breathed a sigh of relief. The editor-in-chief of the Planet was a good judge of character and knew that Clark could not perpetrate such a despicable and vile act involving the children of the woman Perry was sure that Clark loved.

As Lois was acting to protect her kids and Clark Kent, the head of Social Services in Metropolis, without considering the source of the allegation and not following the required protocol when a tabloid's allegation was the only and probably a questionable source at best, had the police issue an ABP on Clark Kent.

Whether the Social Services chairperson was influenced by a ten thousand dollars check she received from a good samaritan to apprehend such a vile child molester could never be substantiated because the money was placed in the general fund of the social agency. However, the influence caused by such donation could be called in question. In the end, the Social Services director was forced to resign, an inadvertent victim of malevolent forces whose only desire was to silence the voice of a gallant crusading journalist.

At the time of the alleged statutory rape, Clark was four hundred miles away in a waiting area of a hospital's maternity wing. There, he and Paul Irig, a Smallville friend, were sweating out the birth of Irig's first child. Paul's wife was having a difficult delivery. Clark was in the waiting room for nearly twenty-six hours before Sandra Jane Irig was born.

Although totally exhausted, the mother was fine and would quickly recover. The newborn was howling like a banshee and given a clean bill of health.

While Clark and Paul were ogling the infant, the police invaded the hospital.

Clark was arrested, placed in handcuffs, and brought back to Metropolis where he was booked and locked away. Since it was Friday evening, Clark would be confined in a solitary cell until Monday morning. The young duty officer in his righteous anger forgot to allow Clark to contact his lawyer.

As the weekend wore on, several muggings occurred which injured a number of people, two of which perished from their wounds.

The man of steel heard the anguish of the victims. He couldn't escape from the maximum security cell without revealing his alien origins. So, in the confines of an isolated prison cell, Clark Kent, the last of his kind, wept for the hurt he could have prevented and the lives he could have saved.

When a captain came on duty about midnight, he noticed that Clark Kent had been apprehended and returned to New Troy. As he scanned the police blotter, he observed that Kent had been booked and had been placed in solitary confinement. The words solitary confinement caused the captain to say, "I see that Kent gave you a bit of trouble, Dave."

"Nah," the young officer replied, "He was meek as a lamb."

A cold chill went down the captain's spine. He turned to the young police officer and said, "Then why did you put Kent in solitary?"

The young policeman then said, "A child rapist deserved nothing better."

The captain, with controlled fury, replied, "Since when are you judge, jury, and dispenser of the law? Aren't you aware that The Informer has slandered or accused numerous innocent people of wrong doings just to sell its rag? Look at what's printed adjacent to the Kent article. Ben Franklin is alive and well and living in my electric blender. Don't you read, Dave?"

"Not much," the young officer replied. "I'm a TV person."

Looking further at the police blotter, the captain couldn't see a notation that a lawyer had been notified by Clark Kent.

Turning to the young officer, "You haven't noted the time that Kent saw his lawyer." The silence between the two policemen indicated to the captain that Kent had not been allowed to contact a lawyer. Clark Kent's civil rights had been violated which was a federal offence. No one was above the law. The Mayor would have a hemorrhage over this incident.

The ensuing civil rights suit could cost the city millions in tourism revenue. The bad publicity that would result because a young officer failed to follow the proper procedures would certainly give the city a black eye.

Then facing the young police office, the captain said, "Go home, Dave, and stay there. Internal affairs will want to interrogate you and will probably decide on your fitness to remain on the force and make a recommendation to the powers that be."

Soon after the youthful police officer left the precinct, Clark contacted his lawyer, Constance Hunter, and explained the situation.

When she had finished speaking with Clark, Constance contacted Lois Lane and STAR labs, consecutively. After talking to Lois, Constance was amazed that Clark had not been released since the Lane woman had not taken out a warrant to have Clark Kent arrested for child molestations. Contacting Star Labs, Constance was further informed that Kara and Lara had been thoroughly examined by that prestigious organization and their results confirmed that the Lane children had not been molested in anyway. The tabloid claims were erroneous.

About two hours later, Constance Hunter and a judge from family services showed up at the precinct where Clark was being held, and within minutes of their arrival the freelancing reporter was on his way home.

From the police precinct the Judge sent out a call for the head of child protective services. She wanted the head of Social Services at her home post haste. A few hours later, the Social Services chief had resigned. Since there was apparently no collusion on her part, the former Social Director received a financial package equal to three months salary. The Ex-social Director was also allowed to collect unemployment compensation until she could acquire another position.

Clark's case was obviously dismissed, and suits against the city and The Informer commenced. The Federal Government was also brought into the fray because of the pending civil rights violations.

Several days later after legal briefs had been filled, Jimmy showed up in Lois' office at the Planet. He had found the source that issued the check to Social Services.

By his sub rosa computer hacking, Jimmy had discovered that the ten thousand dollar check issued to Metropolis' Social Services had been dispensed by the ACL fund located in the Cayman Islands. This Caribbean location had developed huge banking citadels where legal and illegal financial houses could secretly deposit monies and avoid the tax on what they squirreled away.

Finally, Jimmy discovered that the ACL fund was linked to the Luthor cartel.

When confronted with this information, the Luthor accountants were most unhappy about the discovery of the cash stash, but could not determine who sent the money to the social agency. They told Lois Lane that the transaction was too general and could have been implemented by most any one of their employees.

For the moment, the money trail had petered out, as Lois knew it would. However, her investigation served another purpose. It gave warning to the Luthor executive board that they would be watched. Her message was also a warning to Judd Carter that she was aware that he had orchestrated the entire smear Kent campaign, and he was not off the hook.

Although the Kent case had been shown to be fraudulent, Judd Carter kept the pot boiling by using Luthor's radio and TV facilities, LNN, so that the voice of reason and truth published by the Planet, Star, and Enquire were drowned out by the mindless mob who watched only the television version of the news.

By Monday morning, The LNN and The Informer had so stirred up the mob, that the people of the city were ready to storm Clark's condo and lynch him.

Before the court could convene to declare a state of emergency, units of the National Guard had already mobilized and rushed to Metropolis to keep order, thanks to Perry White.

Because of the brouhaha in the city, the initiators of Metropolis' current problems, the entire executive board of the City's Social Service Division, were sacked.

How the city would handle the City's problems was now the mayor's headache. Two of the city's appeals to remove the National Guard from Metropolis had already been refused. The last one was from the State Supreme Court.

The paper known as The Informer had been shut down by the state authorities and its publisher arrested. The charge was relatively simple and stated that the newspaper, known as The Informer, had intentionally caused anarchy, knowing the material it printed was fraudulent and caused riots which necessitated state troops being sent to Metropolis to stabilize the situation.

The Mayor of Metropolis, using executive powers, had also shut down LNN citing civil unrest instigated by Luthor's broadcasting station. The license of LNN was rescinded and put up for bid, excluding the former proprietors.

Lyle Luthor was upset with the loss of LNN. "Oh well," he mused, "one step back two steps forward as uncle Lex would say."

To compensate for his loss, Lyle Luthor would set up a station in the Cayman Islands powerful enough to reach every city on the East coast of the US.

The damage that LNN and The Informer had caused to Kent's reputation might yet drive the reporter from the city.

One thing Lyle forgot, however. In an electronic world, a journalist can publish or be heard from anywhere on the planet he/she happens to live.

While The Informer and LNN were being closed down, Constance accompanied Clark to his condominium where he began to pack. While she was attempting to convince him not to leave, Clark said, "Although I'm innocent, Constance, people won't remember the acquittal nor even the slanderous statements from that tabloid rag. They'll only recall the evil, true or not of which I was accused. That they'll remember and believe. To para phrase Shakespeare, the good one does is interred with their bones. The evil perceived whether it's real or not lingers long after they're passed on."

Shaking his head, Clark said to his friend, "Metropolis is no longer a town for me. Here I'll always be guilty in the eyes of its citizens. They'll believe I was the one that got away with my perverted crime. Who will give me a job; or better yet, who will even look at my work?"

As she was about to counter his arguments, her cell phone rang and Constance told Clark she had to leave — another case. Before leaving, she handed Clark a number where she could be reached. Clark then asked his friend and counselor as she was leaving, "Did Lois Lane ever inquire about me?"

"As far as I know," Constance told him, "No information by Lois Lane has as yet been forthcoming."

"Thanks," Clark replied.

Before Constance closed the door, Clark asked her to talk to Perry about Lois and her feelings, if any, toward him. "If Perry's answer is not favorable, don't call me. Your silence will be the answer I expect, and I will act accordingly." Constance nodded and was gone.

As the evening shadows lengthened, Clark continued to pack his belongings in silence.

When Clark finished his packing chores and closed his suitcases, he made a snack and waited for the call that he knew would never materialize. As he was preparing a sandwich, Clark heard a knock at his door. Using his x-ray vision, he saw Lara and Kara standing just outside his door.

Allowing the two girls to enter, he asked them whether they wanted a bite to eat. Nodding, Clark began to cut the bread and slice the meat. As he worked, Lara looking around saw Clark's packed suitcases.

Leaping on to Clark's back, Lara wailed, "Don't leave."

Kara joined in and added, "Please don't leave us."

Before Clark could utter a word, Lara said, "We three are alike. If you disappear how are we ever going to find out about ourselves?"

As Clark gazed at Lara and Kara, he suddenly knew that the girls were somehow related to him. Lois' children, too, also sensed that Clark Kent was their kin.

Pausing for a moment, Clark told Kara and Lara that, "The artificial intelligence unit (AIU) I affectionately call Charlie will allow you access to this apartment when I'm not here. Please don't remove any items from this condo. You may experiment all you wish with any object in my apartment, but they must not be removed from the premises. Is that clear?" Both girls nodded affirmatively.

Turning to Lara and Kara, he took each of their hands and placed them on a specific location on the kitchen wall. As he did so, a blue light briefly appeared telling Clark that the connection between Lara, Kara and the teleportation system had been successful. Turning to the young ladies, Clark said, "Now you gals will be able to use my family's transportation network. The AIU will instruct you how to use all the facets of this system."

"I'll see you again in three days at a special hamlet hidden beneath a farm located in Smallville Kansas. There I'll introduce you to people like yourselves."

"Be in this condo at seven in the evening on Friday of this week. Until then be patient. Have faith, children. All will be fine."

When Lois' girls returned to their condo, Clark put on his stealth garments and began searching the world for Terry Stetson.

After a search that lasted several days, Clark located his quarry on a small Caribbean island. Clark then plucked him from his apartment and set him down in Inspector Henderson's office.

While Henderson interrogated Stetson, Clark briefly returned to his condo where he showered and changed clothes. He also noticed that Constance Hunter had not attempted to contact him. His worst fears about Lois had now been realized.

Gatherings his essential belongings, Clark departed Metropolis.

As Bill Henderson was interrogating Terry Stetson about his bank account's sudden increase, the ex- Planet council member was murdered. The crime was accomplished by a fast acting poison and occurred during lunch.

When Clark learned of Terry's demise, he knew that all links to the slander perpetrators had perished. Kent was well aware what that meant. He would have to endure the brand of child molester for the remainder of his days. Clark was essentially dead. He appellation would now be that of Kal Ellis.


A Family

It was Friday evening, and the entire super family had again gathered in their subterranean hideaway. This time, however, there were two new members, Lara and Kara.

Lara and Kara had left a note for their mother, Lois, telling her they were going for a walk and then to the movies and not to worry. They would be home soon after she arrived at the Lanes' apartment.

As the festivities beneath the Kent's farm went into full swing, Bernie saw Lois' twins and gasped.

Seeing Bernie in some distress, Clark asked, "What's the matter, Bernie?"

After gaining a measure of control over his emotional state, Bernie said to Clark, "Those girls are your daughters."

"What?" Clark exclaimed. "How did this occur?"

Following a slight pause, Bernie began telling his brother what had occurred.

Lois came to him about ten years ago and wanted to become a single parent. Apparently, she'd had rather disastrous relationships in her past with marriage. After we talked far awhile, I agreed to help Lois achieve her goal.

"As the Lane invitro project progressed," Bernie told CJ, "I began to think that my best friend and brother, Clark Kent, would never sire any progeny with his soulmate." After a pause, Dr. Klein added, "The circumstances just didn't allow sufficient time for you and Lois to complete a soulmate courtship and finalize your union." Bowing his head Bernie continued, "Although I knew that Lois' aura and your own had bonded linking your souls, I soon realized that Lois was not interested in you as a romantic figure." Then Bernie said, "Shortly after Lois and you were introduced, Jonathan had a stroke, and your parents desperately needed their son's assistance. Aside from leaving the Planet, Clark, you, my brother, could not court Lois Lane and form the soulmate couple so necessary to your union."

As the two super brethren became rather quiet for a moment, Bernie renewed their conversation and said, "Therefore, my brother, when the time came to impregnate several of Lois' ovum, I used your seed. To my surprise, both eggs formed zygotes, and as you know developed into two beautiful babies, which Lois named Lara and Kara. Maybe," Bernie added further, "in my desire to ensure that your genetic code did not vanish upon your death, I created two super kids using Lois lane as the incubator. Children, who will carry your genetic traits and pass them on to their own progeny and, in time, become part of our growing super family. I'm sorry, Clark."

"Don't be, Bernie. You gave me what I've always wanted, a family of sorts. At least two offspring I can watch from afar. And, two people I can dote upon."

"My brother," Clark then said to Bernie, "you realize Lois' girls are not truly my daughters. I'm just their biological provider. I was not present at their birth nor was I there to help nurture them — that's what a parent does day-in and day-out. Lois deserves all the credit for raising Kara and Lara. I was and still am just an unknown biological item."

"Maybe," Bernie remarked, "You can now tell the girls the entire story of their conception, if you wish. I'm sure Lois has informed them of her part in their creation. Then, Clark, you must allow your progeny to form their own opinions about this entire affair and abide by their decision."

Clark agreed with Bernie's assessment of the situation.

Sometime later that evening Clark located Lois' girls and embraced them with great affection, almost squeezing the life out of them. As he hugged his daughters, all three felt an emotional surge, verging on love, coursing between themselves.

Ending their embrace, Clark led Lara and Kara into the rose garden, which surrounded the super clan's subterranean homes. As they walked slowly through the highly scented garden, Clark told them of his and Bernie's part leading to their conception and birth.

Then Clark waited for the verbal assault he expected from by the two girls. Instead, Lara and Kara embraced him for the second time that evening and with tears awash on their faces and between their soft sobs they said repeatedly, "Daddy, daddy…"

As the girls reacted, Clark sank to his knees holding his two precious daughters and added his tears of joy to their affectionate emotional outbursts.

Taking his children back into the house where the clan was meeting, Clark announced, "I would like you to meet Lara and Kara, two new members of our super family, my daughters."

After a stunned silence for some seconds, the super family erupted in a joyous outburst as the clan celebrated the arrival of their new cousins.

After the lighthearted bedlam had subsided, Bernie informed everybody present that Lois had again conceived by invitro fertilization. Like before, Bernie had utilized Clark's semen to initiate the life process. He further told the gathering that Lois was carrying a male and a female fetus, who would also inherit the clan's super abilities.

From his invitro studies, using Lois' Lane as the experimental subject, the medical scientist could state the super abilities were a dominant trait and would appear in all children born to a couple where a least one of the biological parents was of their clan.

Lara and Kara were wildly happy about Bernie's new announcement. The girls had not only been reunited with their natural father, but also found out that a new brother and sister would soon join their nuclear family. Although overjoyed about their new siblings, Lara and Kara were also ecstatic at being part of a larger family group, all of whom possessed the same unique abilities that Lois' girls were beginning to display.

After dinner, Clark told his kids all about himself and the history of the super clan.

He also informed Lara and Kara that while he was one of their biological providers, he didn't consider himself as their parent. Clark told his girls that he wasn't there at their birth and didn't assist Lois in the nurturing of her issue. "Lois," he told them, "raised you to be the fine young ladies that you are." He emphasized the nurturing point repeatedly, emphasizing the fact that he had just come on the scene. He then promised Lara and Kara that he would try to behave as the girls' father from this moment on.

Kara and Lara would have none of his logic. He was now in their lives, and obviously he loved them very much. They would call him daddy or any other name which signified to one and all that he was one of their loving parents.

Clark asked his newly found daughters to say nothing to their mother. He had information that Lois still did not wish to see him.

Clark also informed his twins that because of the brouhahas concerning his alleged child abuse, his trips to Metropolis would occur infrequently and be clandestine sojourns.

When Lara asked why he'd avoid Metropolis as he was cleared of any wrongdoing, Clark told her and Kara that people have perceptions. "Although the truth may be a reality, individuals' minds are fixed on what they perceive to be the truth. For example, a mass murderer name Charles Manson has been in prison nearly thirty years. Yet, people who possess the same name are often harassed for having killed numerous people. The name brings to mind a heinous act, and people lash out at what triggers their hatred. The same is true of individuals whose appellation is Harvey Oswald. They are often harangued for killing JFK, although the murderer has been dead for more than three decades. So it's with me. Many of Metropolis' citizens believe that I was responsible for molesting the two of you and that's the way they'll always perceive this situation. So it's best that I'm not seen in the Metropolis area for any length of time, or another riot may ensue.

During the next several days, Lara and Kara each received a reproduction of the clan's Kryptonian electronic library and a learning schedule so the two girls could catch up on their super studies during the following three-year period. Bernie set the same schedule for his own children.

Since Lois didn't return home until nearly seven each evening, Lara and Kara came to the underground hamlet each day after their normal school day to learn how to use their verging super abilities and ask questions pertaining to their Kryptonian lessons and other matters.

While Clark was preparing his daughters for their future, Bernie found out that his girls were Tan alpha primes — IQs beyond measure. Dr. Klein further discovered that both of Lois and Clark's girls were also musical prodigies.

Soon after their Kryptonian new studies began, Clark purchased a piano and a violin and placed them in his unused Metropolis penthouse home. There, the girls could develop their musical talents without scrutiny. Clark also discovered that both girls had gorgeous voices that were operatic in quality. He knew, however, that the training of their voices would have to wait until the girls were at least eighteen years of age. So, at present, voice lessons were not on the agenda.

As the girls' Kryptonian studies progressed, Jeremy and his wife Kira ascertained that both girls were also gifted scientists and superb mathematicians like their sire.

Most astonishing of all was the discovery that Lara and Nathan, Kira and Jeremy's second child, were soulmates.

When Clark was informed about Lara's soulmate status, the super scientist and journalist, Clark Kent, was surprised, but nonetheless very happy for his daughter. His progeny now wouldn't have to journey throughout a long and secretive life, without companionship, like his own situation.

Clark called the two young couples together, Kara and Bernie's son Daren and Lara and Nathan to celebrate with the super family the youngsters' pending soulmate union. He told his brethren on this special festive day again about the spiritual and cryptic origins of the soulmate philosophy. A doctrine that would provide them and their descendents with vitality for eons to come.

After Clark's talk and dinner, he had a meaningful conversation with Lara and Kara. Clark was informed that the feelings between the soulmate pairs were now strong…very strong. It was difficult not to be with one's mate on a constant basis. Kara then added, "We'll grin and bear our separations, but we don't have to enjoy our present conditions which force our separations. However, we do realize that within a little while, our soulmate unions will be formalized and we will be separated no longer."

Now that Lara and Kara and their soulmates were recognized by the family, they were encouraged to spend as much time together as was feasible. Closeness would strengthen their feelings for one another and allow the soulmates to slide into domestic bliss when the time of their final union arrived.

By using the super family's transportation system, Kara and Lara had no difficulty seeing their life partners when and where the partner decided to meet.

While the new soulmates problems were abating, unpleasant situations were forthcoming for both Bernie and Clark. The names associated with the possible trouble were Ruth and Lois. Just how would they react to their super kids and the soulmate union they had forged. Bernie and Clark didn't know and worried about eventual confrontation.


New Super Life

Nearly nine months after Lois again conceived by invitro fertilization methods, she went into labor. Ten hours later, Bernie sent a telepathic message to Clark — 'come a runnin'. First of the twins normally situated in birth canal, second baby, however, is in breach position.

Ten minutes later, Dr. Clark Kent wearing scrubs walked quickly into the delivery room.

As Clark was walking to Lois' side, Bernie mentally told him that Lois was weakening rapidly and soon wouldn't be able to participate in the birth process. He was also informed that there had been no movement in the birth canal for almost thirty minutes. The fetal stress monitor indicated that both babies were in deep trouble.

Clark could sense that Bernie was extremely worried that the lives of both babies were in jeopardy. From her current condition, Lois' life too was also at risk.

Positioning himself next to Lois, Clark took Lois' hands and siphoned off most of her pain while simultaneously giving her an infusion of energy across their auric bond. While aiding Lois, Clark focused his thoughts on the brain of the fetus in the breached position.

By connecting his mind with the unborn child, Clark instructed the baby to move and place itself in the correct delivery position within the birth canal.

Within twenty minutes after the breach condition had been rectified, two babies were born — a boy, Lois named Jonathan Jorel and a girl she called Jessica Kayle.

As Lois was being taken to the recovery room, Bernie asked Lois, "How did you come up with those unusual names for your new babies?"

"Like my first brood," Lois told Bernie, "the names sort of popped into my head." Then looking around, Lois asked, "Where's Clark? I know my mind was clouded, but I could swear that Kent was in the delivery room, and he somehow helped me through my critical situation."

"You must have been dreaming," Bernie replied.

Taking a deep breath, Lois smiled and said, "I guess I was."

After Clark assured himself that Lois and her infants were doing well, the man from Krypton left the hospital and returned to his lonely subterranean home beneath the his parents' farm.

Bernie, accompanied by Lara and Kara, traveled to the underground town later that day and informed Clark that he was the father of two more super kids, which of course, he knew, and that Lois and her babies were in fine shape due, in no small part, to his intervention.

As Bernie was making himself a stiff drink, Clark told his daughters to help their mother as much as possible with their new siblings. Clark also asked Lara and Kara to make sure that their new brother and sister didn't talk about their unusual abilities when they started to become apparent as the newborns neared puberty. Both girls nodded in agreement.

Then Clark hugged his daughters and told them, "You guys were great through this entire ordeal. I'll help where I can in the nurturing process, but my little ladies, you're going to get a lot of practice being a mom. Believe me, you'll find the experience most useful in a few years." Then father and daughters began to smirk which soon evolved into a loving kind of guffaw.


A New Burst Of Life

Seven months after Lois delivered her babies, Ruth Frishkin Klein brought forth identical twin girls. They had green eyes and flashing red hair. Like their teen age children, the Klein infants had an unusual profile with a slight Asiatic completion. Bernie and Ruth named their infant girls Rachel and Rebecca.

Unknown to Ruth, Kira Fine also gave birth to a set of triplets three days later — a boy and two fraternal twin girls. All the Fine kids had blond hair and blue eyes. Like Ruth's kids, Kira's issue had a Kryptonian completion. Jeremy and Kira named their children Davi (a pet name for David), Lori, and Judith.

After the births of the Klein and Fine children, A rather festive party occurred under the Kent's farmstead — all of the expected super clan members were in attendance. Perry White made it a point to attend this affair. Not there, as expected, was Ruth Klein who had gone to a conference in Atlantic City. Her absence allowed Bernie to take his entire brood to the super family's celebratory shebang.

After the gala celebration to celebrate the new super life, things again settled into a rather normal pattern.


Dangerous Discoveries

About three years after Jonathan and Jessica Lane were born, Lois was invited to be the principle speaker at the national press club. This year, the convention would be held in Kansas City.

Ruth Klein was only too happy to acquiesce to Lois' request that she look after her family while the Planet's top journalist attended the news convention — Lois would be at the national news meeting for a period of three days.

Lois' timing was fortuitous. The Kleins were planning to spend a week at their getaway home in the Pocono Mountains in nearby Pennsylvania. The older kids could act as baby sitters while Bernie and Ruth went skiing or drove into Philadelphia to attend concerts by the city's world renowned symphony orchestra, now housed in their new concert hall.

Ruth didn't think that the kids would mind her and her husband's sojourn to Philadelphia. Bernie and she needed a break. As Ruth was about to leave, she happened to notice that Kara and her son Daren, both of who were fifteen years old, treated one another as if they were a married couple. Thinking back to their childhood, Ruth realized that the kids' behavior had not deviated one iota since they were tots. Even at that tender age, they were nearly inseparable. Where one was the other was almost sure to be.

About midway through the week Lois was away, the Lane and Klein three-year old babies started to sleep float. It was during one of their nap periods that Kara found the tots asleep floating near the ceiling of their bedroom. Immediately, elevating herself to the sleeping kids, Kara began to collect the floating babies with the intention of quickly returning them to their cribs. Seeing what was occurring, Daren Frishkin Klein joined his soulmate and helped her begin to bring the babies back to floor level.

Unfortunately at that moment, Ruth had also entered the babies' room. What she saw made her react hysterically and screamed in a terrified manner. Hearing Ruth's hysterical ravings, Daren and Kara's floating patterns became somewhat erratic. The two soulmates, now carrying the three-year olds, were just getting their wings, so to speak, and Ruth's shrieking caused the older children to fall earthward. While Daren and Kara would not have been injured, the Lane and Klein babies could have been seriously hurt.

Hearing Ruth's mentally unstable commotion, Bernie rushed into the babies' room and instantly elevated himself when he saw that Daren and Kara, each with an arm full of tots, were having difficulty staying aloft.

Once he had the fifteen-year olds under his control, he lowered them and their living bundles to the floor.

Once the babies were cared for, Bernie turned to face his wife.

"Freak," she shrieked at him.

Before Bernie had a chance to talk to her, Ruth, his now-alienated wife, just said in a harsh voice, "Get out of this house and take that litter of monstrosities with you."

Bernie, realizing the current mental state of his wife, said nothing, bundled up the babies, and with the help of the super teenagers left his Pocono retreat by the family's teleportation system. As he and the children disappeared from Ruth's view, she collapsed on the floor and began to cry uncontrollably. Even in her highly irrational state, Ruth was aware that she was now alone and that fact frightened her still more.

Several days later, Bernie received a call from Constance Hunter at his STAR lab's office.

When the lawyer said, "I am calling on behalf of your wife," Bernie cut her off and said, "I'm not going to get involved in any divorce proceedings. I've much too much work to do, which, I might add, may just save the lives of countless people. Give Ruth what she thinks she needs. Take it all if you want. It's only things. I have no use for such frivolities. Now if you'll excuse me, there's much to do and a precious little time to find solutions to the problems confronting humankind."

What Constance did not know was at that moment Bernie, Clark, and the Fine couple were trying to avert an E.L.E. — an Extinction Level Event. Humanity, with all its knowledge, was on a collision course with extinction.

Four hundred million years ago two black holes merged. The energy released by this event produced a gravimetric wave racing across the universe warping the fabric of space itself.

When the wave from the black hole amalgamation reached Earth, Sol's third satellite from its sun, the planet would be thrown across space like a pebble traversing the surface of a pond. The wave's effect would cause the Earth to undulate as an object behaving like the pendulum of a grandfather clock. The planet would be thrown about causing the planet's gravity and other forces to produce mighty volcanic eruptions, which would tear the continents of Sol Three asunder. If any people managed to survive such a calamity, they might well have to face a new ice age produced by the tilting of Earth's rotational axis. This new orientation of our world would profoundly alter the Earth's climates. Extinction of the Earth's surviving life forms would be highly probable.

When Clark's family became aware of the approaching gravitational threat, the super clan began to work round the clock to evolve a workable survival strategy.

Some weeks later, it was an exhausted Clark Kent and Jeremy Fine who announced that they had developed a dimensional transporter. The clan, with such a device at their disposal, could develop a scheme that would initially take the super family to another Earth-like planet within an alternate universe. There, larger transporter ships could be rapidly constructed which could transport as many of Earth's inhabitants as possible to the alternate dimensional Earth, a world that would offer humankind a safe port in a raging magnetic storm.

However, those who understood the physical processes involved in such a venture were well aware that Jeremy and Clark's strategy, while doable, could not save many of Earth's inhabitants from the coming disaster. Most of Earth's people would still perish in the coming cataclysm. Besides Earth, most of their known universe would be devastated in time by the monstrous magnetic space inferno.

So, while Clark and Jeremy's scheme was possible, in the end most of humanity would perish horribly as a magnetic storm from hell devastated their world and the surrounding universe.

The only other satisfactory solution, really, would be to intercept the killer magnetic wave between the Andromeda nebula and the Milky Way galaxy and there destroy this magnetic tempest before it could devastate the Earth with its incredible power and devastate its spacial environs.

After a rather heated debate, all members of the super family capable of scientific endeavors started working on a possible life and death problem as it was related to the monstrous magnetic space storm. As soon as other members of the clan were deemed qualified, they too became a member of the E.L.E. strike team.

When Constance Hunter finally showed up at STAR labs, she found Bernie working along side Kira Fine. The scientist-physician told his lawyer friend that Kira was working with him almost daily. Now Constance knew that something amazing was taking place. How did one of Europe's foremost scientists get to STAR labs on a daily basis?

When Constance attempted to talk to Bernie about his estranged wife, Klein angrily said, "Give her everything she desires, but get that neurotic woman off my back. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to work. The survival of this planet…" Realizing that he was talking too much, Bernie closed his mouth and returned to his work bench.

As Constance was about to leave, she remarked, "Bernie, you're as nervous as an expectant father, yet you're working like there's no tomorrow."

"On a universal time scale, Ms. Hunter," Klein replied to his bewildered friend, "you're not too far off the mark."

Constance knew by the tone of the scientist's voice that she was convinced that his comments had validity. For a reason known only to her subconscious, she shuttered at the info Bernie revealed by the slip of his tongue.

While Constance was trying to make some sense out of Bernie's cryptic remark, Lois was confronting Lara and Kara about what Ruth had told her.

With some reluctance, Lara said, "Mother, what Ruth Klein told you is true."

As Lois heard Lara's words, her eyes lighted up. I'll have the greatest scoop of the century when I get all my facts straight.

Looking at her daughter, Lois said, "I know that you and your sister are aware that invitro fertilization was utilized to give you life. Do you happen to know the name of your father — the man who supplied the semen specimen for your conception?"

Lara looked at her mother and said, "If anybody told me what you were like as a reporter, I would have called them a liar." She then looked at the floor mumbling that Mad Dog Lane has returned and is now living in this house.

Kara then added, "Our father's name is not ours to disclose. Only he can supply you with that information."

Looking at her sister for support and finding it, Kara told her mother that Lois' views made the continuance of their nuclear family a thing of the past.

Lois couldn't believe what Kara had just stated.

Stunned, Lois watched as Lara and Kara picked up their baby siblings and ambulated toward a specific spot on the living room wall.

As they approached the wall, a portal opened. The girls, carrying their baby brother and sister, entered the teleportation (TG) gate and vanished.

Shocked, Lois ran to the Planet to seek out her surrogate father, Perry White. Who else would believe such a fantastic yarn now on the tip of her tongue?

After the chief listened to Lois, he didn't react as she expected. It was almost as if he was aware of her children's abilities and understood what they had done.

As Lois stared at Perry, her suspicions became a near certainty.

Lois then begged Perry to tell her where her children had gone and the name of their father. Perry, with a serious frown upon his countenance looked into the face of his associate editor and replied that he didn't have the right to reveal such information.

Lois then walked to her office, sat down, and just stared at the walls.

After hours of replaying the final conversation with Lara and Kara in her head, Lois realized that she had attempted to place the welfare of her own children at risk to further her career. For that, her offspring had abandoned her.

Lois knew she still lusted after her dream — a Pulitzer. Crying hysterically, Lois thought to herself how could she ever think of using her children to procure any award? She must have been out of her mind to consider such a thing. It must have appeared to her daughters that their mother was an insensitive and uncaring person no longer worthy of being called a parent.

After a few minutes more of contemplation, Lois rushed from the Planet building and headed for STAR labs. Bernie had used the semen to federalize her ovum. He would know the biological father of her children.

When Lois entered STAR labs, Kira had already returned home. Bernie was collecting the last of the day's computer printouts, and he, too, was preparing to call it a day and retire to his new home and spend some time with his beloved children.

As he was moving toward the hidden TG portal, Lois ambushed him.

Grabbing Bernie by the arm she nearly yelled, who's the biological provider of my children and where have Lara, Kara, and my babies gone?

"As part of the contract," Bernie reminded Lois, "You were never to know his appellation and you signed an affidavit to that effect."

"Bernie," Lois replied, "things have changed. There are details I need to know."

As Lois began pleading with the STAR lab scientist, Bernie ran to his office and locked his door. Then, going into his changing room, he activated a TG portal and quickly entered its passageway.

When Lois finally broke into Bernie's office and searched for the scientist, she found nothing. The man had simply vanished.


The Player and the Hunter

As Lois was attempting to make sense out of what was happening in her life, Ruth Klein also was looking for some comfort and went to her old college chum, Dexter Cattivo, and told him what had occurred between Bernie and her.

Unknown to Ruth, Dexter had become a libertine over the years, and the youth she once knew no longer existed. Dexter's sexual escapades had become almost legendary. He was one of the most adroit players in the sexual world and was sought by very fast woman alone or with their paramours.

After hearing Ruth's tale of woe, Cattivo told her to go home and he'd contact her in a day or so with a plan of action.

When Ruth had left Dexter's flat, the licentious Cattivo called an old army buddy, Jason Trask. Trask had always been delusional, but his search for aliens had pushed his mind far from reality. What Ruth had told him would give his friend Trask much pleasure. It would ingratiate Jason to him even more, and he would be able to obtain enough drugs and lustful women to sustain himself for the remainder of his life.

After talking to his army buddy, Dexter phoned Ruth and asked her to get hold of her babies. He wanted to examine them. Perhaps, Dexter explained to Ruth, her comments about the children's special abilities were overstated or hallucinatory images by a stressful condition. Anyhow, Dexter told Ruth that they should thoroughly check the babies together to be certain that her initial observations were valid.

Later that day Constance called Bernie and informed him that Ruth wanted to see their youngest kids.

Bernie readily complied with his wife's wishes. Within the hour Constance had picked up Rachel and Rebecca and was transporting Ruth's youngest children to her Metropolis home.

That evening Dexter and Jason Trask arrived at the Klein home at eight o'clock as expected.

When they entered Ruth's home, Jason seemed very agitated and asked almost immediately to see her twins.

When Trask made his request, Ruth noted that his verbal petition sounded more like a military command and the tone in his voice struck a nerve. Jason Trask's intonation was indicative of a mentally unstable person. As she continued to study Dexter's friend, Ruth became reluctant to expose her young kids to Trask's scrutiny. She was nearly certain that Jason Trask was a mentally deranged individual.

Becoming concerned and anxious to protect her children, Ruth refused Jason Trask's request to see her youngest children.

Not to be denied, Jason signaled Dexter by a hand motion to restrain Ruth Klein. As Ruth's one time friend and associate grabbed her and restrained the psychiatrist, Jason Trask rushed upstairs to collect Ruth's babies.

Returning to the living room with the kids, Jason immediately examined them and declared that they were in his opinion the spawn of an alien. He then reached for his knife and prepared to disembowel the Klein babies.

When Ruth realized what Trask was about to do, she freed herself from Dexter's grasp and she ran toward Trask, who was holding her babies, and punched Jason in the face, knocking him to the floor. Recovering swiftly, Trask jumped to his feet and literally threw the Klein infants onto a nearby sofa. He then turned upon Ruth and struck her on the head with a blackjack.

After Trask's blow to Ruth's head, she collapsed to the floor.

When Ruth was incapacitated, the mad man, Jason Trask, again turned toward the Klein kids, pulled a stiletto from his belt, and readied himself to rend the bodies of the Klein kids, an act that would end the lives of Ruth's tots.

Seeing their mother sprawled on the floor, the two Klein children, Rachel and Rebecca, immediately sent a telepathic alarm signal to their father.

When Bernie sensed his daughters' distress calls, he instantly dropped what he was doing and moved, at nearly the speed of light, towards his babies. His need to protect Rachel and Rebecca was overwhelming.

Flying through a window of his home, Bernie beheld Trask poised over his daughters with a knife ready to extinguish their lives. Maddened by that vision, Bernie Klein, normally a mild mannered scientist, grabbed Jason Trask by his arms and hurled him against the far wall. The force of Trask's collision broke Jason's right arm and his right leg, and rendered the potential murderer unconscious. Then Bernie advanced upon Dexter Cattivo. As the scientist came on, Dexter saw something in Bernie's eyes that sent fear coursing throughout the playboy's dissipated body.

Soon after recognizing Bernie's look, Dexter felt Ruth's husband's hand around his neck as he lifted him in the air and threw the libertine into a chair, where he was immobilized by the force of the collision.

As Bernie was about to take Dexter and Trask apart, Clark arrived with Bernie's teenagers. They restrained Bernie from destroying Trask and his accomplice, revived Ruth, and cleaned and bandaged her head wound.

By the time Jason and Dexter had been bound securely, Bernie had returned to his normally rational self.

With his mental state back to normal, Bernie placed his wife, Ruth, in a chair and brought her back to full consciousness. As Ruth again became aware of her surroundings, she just stared at her husband.

Turning to his teenage children, Bernie told them to take their baby sisters and return to Sanctuary, their underground hamlet.

Once the Klein children departed, Bernie, ignoring Ruth for the moment, said to his spiritual brother, "I wish to have Dexter and Trask executed. What do you think would be the most humane to put them to death.

Clark then said to his friend, "What you wish to do, Bernie, is against our family compact."

"You are aware that killing even these two ghouls in a non-combative situation are prohibited by our rules. Once a life form has been restrained, killing a particular individual is forbidden without a formal trial. Remember, my friend, you may take a life of an individual who is attempting to kill you. You may destroy those who are trying to exterminate members of your family or any people who inhabit this world. But, no life form may be dispatched in a non- combative role before the accused has had his/her day in court."

Then Clark turned to Ruth and told her, "If Trask had succeeded, you, Ruth Frishkin Klein, would have been shackled to Dexter as an accessory to murder. He would use that tool as a blackmail device, coupled with your foolishness, to make you his unwilling sex partner for the remainder of your life, which I might add wouldn't have been very long. You, Ruth, knew too much, and Trask would have seen to it that you had a fatal accident in the not too distant future."

As Clark completed his message to Bernie's wife, he turned from her and saw Bernie release some of his anger by putting his fist through the wall.

As Dr. Bernard Klein's remaining anger boiled away, he heard Clark call to him. As he turned his face towards his brother, Kent remarked, "I might have a solution to your killing dilemma. What would you think of marooning Trask and Cattivo?"

"Go on," Bernie replied.

"We'll take these two felons to Haven in the Tau Ceti star system. There we'll build a small cloaked space platform and set it in orbit about Spica. After the prison station has been completed, Jason and Dexter will be placed on board to live out the rest of their lives away from the haunts of man. They'll, of course, be supplied with all the comforts of home — medical facilities and telemetry so that they can view all the events that are happening on Earth."

"Great idea, Clark," Bernie said to his spiritual kin.

Then, Bernie checked Ruth's wound again. Seeing that Ruth was fine, Bernie said to his wife, "Seek out Lois Lane. You two can commiserate together, and you can praise the lord that you've rid yourself of your alien husband and children. Your phobia, my dear wife, about strange people and events has finally driven a wedge between us. One I feared for so long. As time marches on, Ruth, you will come to comprehend why you were never told about my unique abilities nor from whom they were acquired."

Before Bernie left Ruth, he said, "I do hope you'll keep my secret. There may be more Trasks out there. Enjoy the loneliness of your remaining days. I'm sure that I won't."

Pausing for a moment, Bernie added, "You know Ruth; I don't know you anymore. We're soulmates. This kind of break up is not supposed to occur between such life partners. I'm sure that those in the super clan will be studying our marital failure for many years to come. We're unique Ruth. Think of our failure as a unique event that will give us a kind of immortality."

Then Clark turned to Bernie and said, "Let's go." They picked up Trask and Dexter, opened a TG gate, and vanished.

As her husband disappeared, Ruth collapsed and sobbed throughout the night and for many days and nights to come.


Early the next morning a bleary eyed Ruth Klein stared at Lois Lane, as the Daily Planet's associate editor opened the door to her condominium.

As Ruth began to pitch forward, Lois caught the psychiatrist and helped her to the couch.

After assisting Ruth as she reclined on the sofa, Lois scooted into the kitchen and prepared some tea, which had a calming effect on Dr. Ruth Friskin- Klein's conspicuously disturbed emotional state.

After Ruth gained some control over her agitated condition, she began to vent. In her excited babbling, Ruth told Lois, flat out, what had just occurred. After a slight pause, she added, "What are we going to do, my friend. You and I have lost our kids, and I was damned and cast off by the man I love beyond all measure."

As Lois listened to Ruth's further informal articulation, she learned about the fear that Ruth's father had inadvertently planted in her psyche when the psychiatrist was a small child. It made her fear and reject anything that deviated from what Ruth's psyche and society at large considered normal.

When Ruth had inadvertently discovered that her husband and children were different in significant ways from a normal human, her paranoia destroyed an intimate relationship of seventeen years and earned the disdain or maybe the hatred of her issue and husband.

Looking at Lois, she said, "You too might have lost your kids and in the process have earned their contempt."

"How could such a thing occur to me," Lois anxiously asked Ruth.

Gathering her thoughts, Ruth told her friend, "In an attempt to salvage your soulmate line, Bernie used the seed of a person you spurned many years ago as the male component in your invitro conception process without that person's knowledge. It's interesting that your donor, Dr. Clark Kent, at the time, had no idea what Bernie was about to do. As you well know, the invitro fertilization of your ovum was successful. You and your biological partner now have four children to carry on his super line. A heritage you nearly destroyed by ignoring Clark when you first started at the paper.

"To protect Clark, Lois, Bernie never told me who was the biological father of your children.

"I believe that Bernie told Perry that Clark was your invitro donor, Lois, but Bernie wouldn't say anything to me even years after you had conceived your twins. He remarked to me at some point that it would be unethical to disclose the provider's appellation. Maybe Bernie was right, but at the time my desire to know the biological donor was too overwhelming to accept his logic.

"Recently I began to wonder why my husband would tell Perry and no one else?" Ruth said to Lois.

Then, the psychiatrist became silent and started to pace to and fro.

Finally gazing at Lois, Ruth said quietly, "What I'm going to say is pure speculation." Taking a breath, she continued, "I believe that Bernie was covering his back, so to speak. If anything were to happen to him there would still be one person who knew what had occurred and could watch over you and your children, Lois."

"Well, Dr. Ruth Frishkin Klein," Lois replied to her friend, "we've got work to do. First, we'll locate your husband and attempt to rebuild a marriage lost to childhood fears. And for me, to locate the donor, Clark Kent, whose super semen Bernie used to help me conceive. When I find him I will learn whether we're more than just biologically compatible souls."

Pausing for a few moments, Ruth then added, "There's a singularly important item you should know, Lois."

"What's that?" Lois asked.

Looking Lois in the eyes, Ruth remarked, "Because of our soulmate linkages with Bernie and Clark our life spans have increased to nearly five hundred years — actually between four-hundred fifty and five hundred Earth years."

"What!" Lois replied, almost jumping through the ceiling.

"Are you sure?" Lois asked Ruth to reiterate her statement.

The psychiatrist just shook her head and added, "I've discovered that bit of information in one of Bernie's research notebooks. It has something to do with auras that surround and bind soulmates, whether or not there is a complete union between them.

"Forgetting the love scenario for the moment," Ruth added, "unless we find Clark and Bernie and rectify our situations, you and I will have to endure a lonely and exceptionally long lifetime wandering this world of ours — either together or by ourselves."


Return of the Slanderers

After thinking about Ruth's comments for some little time, Lois eventually remarked, "Come on ye old 'head shrinker.' We're going out for breakfast. I have no patience to cook. Anyway, breakfast is on me."

Fifteen minutes later, they were sitting in an up scale diner and ordering two super deluxe meals.

While they were waiting for their breakfast, Judd Carter and a reporter called Nunk from The National Whisper, uninvited of course, seated themselves at Ruth and Lois' table.

Looking the interlopers straight in the eyes, Lois sarcastically said, "Gentlemen would ask before barging in on people." Ruth concurred with a simple nod. "Pigs, of course, would not use such a refined convention."

"I'm not that kind of a fashion plate," Nunk replied sarcastically. "A reporter can't afford those frills and still be successful."

"We just wanted to give you some very interesting information," Judd chimed in.

"Lois," Judd remarked, "are you aware that the child molester, Clark Kent, was back in the news?"

"What are you referring to?" Lois quietly asked. "As far as I'm aware," Lois added, "Kent was cleared of all those heinous charges."

"Not according to the people of Metropolis," Judd replied. "If I recall, they forced him to leave town."

Then, Nunk threw an English edition of a Stockholm newspaper in front of Lois.

There, on the front of a Stockholm publication, Lois recognized Clark, Bernie, Jeremy, Kira, and some young adults and children. Ruth and Lois knew the children in the paper were their kids.

The caption with the newspaper pictures stated, "Nobel Prize winners in physics and their families."

Turing toward Judd, Lois coldly commented, "Why are you showing us this news publication. The article with its captions will appear in the Metropolis dailies soon enough."

"Ah, Lois," Nunk said, "Just think of how this information will be used by The National Whisper. There are so many juicy possibilities in just that picture alone to double our circulation. Handled correctly, a story about Kent, the child molester, will be a bonanza for my paper."

"What you're suggesting is slander," Lois said nearly yelling. "Clark was cleared of that ridiculous crime, and you know it. Furthermore, Judd, you personally lost a significant amount of cash during that debacle. If you remember, guys, The Informer was also a casualty of the court battle. The tabloid," as I recall, Lois said, "lost its licensing and went out of business."

"That may be true, my dear Ms. Lane," Nunk replied. "However, ladies, using new marketing strategies, my current paper and I will make tons of money, which I might add, will easily cover any court settlements costs down the road."

"But Kent is an innocent man," Ruth gasped at Nunk's insinuations.

"Who cares about the truth; there's lots of money to be made," Judd remarked, "because people believe what they perceive and they believe Kent is guilty as hell." Anyhow, Dr. Frisken-Klein, I let the religious organizations take care of the veracity associated with people's comments. Me, I'll recoup my financial loses when Nunk prints his Kent articles and enjoy the roasting of an honest man." Then Judd began to laugh.

As Judd continued to chortle, Nunk added, "You know, my friend, Judd is correct. Kent will always be guilty in the eyes of the public. They think he got away with murder. It will be easy to sell my product through The National Enquire and furnish the gullible public with a tabloid circus reaping in lots and lots of cash.

"With the Stockholm pictures showing young girls surrounding that piece of news crud and with the story I'll contrive, Dr. Clark Kent wouldn't dare show his face anywhere on this planet. Please excuse the pun, Ms. Lane."

"What the hell's wrong with you, Judd, allowing this bottom feeder to write such a story and destroy a good man," Lois asked.

"Let's call it revenge, Lois," Judd replied with a grin. I've been waiting a long time to destroy Kent."

Turning to Nunk, Lois then added, "You of course are aware that when your paper loses in court, as it will, you'll be looking for a new job."

"So if The National Enquire goes out of business," Nunk replied, "we will just change the name of our rag and continue with business as usual." An evil smile then appeared on his face.

Judd then told Lois that he too was getting his pound of flesh for an incident that happened twenty years ago at a university in New Haven. "If it weren't for Kent, I'd be married to Kira Olderburg — the current Kira Fine. Do you know that she's a member of the Olderburg royal line?"

"What do you mean, if it weren't for Kent you'd be married to Kira?" Ruth inquired.

"He's the one who detected her being assisted into my pad and into my clutches," Judd answered Ruth Klein. "If my plans were successful," Carter continued, "a little romantic interaction recorded on film and the girl's family would have gladly acceded to my nuptial requests. Kent and Jeremy Fine ruined my scheme. You know, Lois, that pipsqueak Fine put me in the hospital for more than three months. My bodyguards were rendered unconscious by Fine and Kent and could not help me when Jeremy battered me to a pulp."

With an evil grin still on Judd's face, he said, "It's my turn to do the battering and even get paid for my efforts."

Laughing he and Nunk then rose from the table and walked out of the eatery.

After breakfast, Lois hurried to the Planet's newsroom followed by Ruth.

She wrote an article about slander and how it was used by unscrupulous people to destroy decent individuals. She pointed out that the tabloids were the front men/women for such unscrupulous public at large.

Whether her article would reach the public's conscience was an issue still in doubt.

Several days later, Nunk responded to Lois' story. The major point he made, which tended to nullify Lois' piece, was the fact that the Lane woman didn't stand up for Kent during his trial. So, although Clark was acquitted of rape, Lois' absence was a silent signal that Lois Lane obviously didn't agree with the jury's verdict. By personalizing Lois' slander expose, he essentially destroyed her basic theme.

After Lois finished reading Nunk's rebuttal, she recalled that she was unavailable for comment during Kent's ordeal and therefore really hadn't supported Clark during those turbulent times.

After reading Nunk's piece, Perry called her, and Lois' thoughts again focused on more immediate matters.

Several days later, Ruth phoned Lois at the Planet and asked her to come over for supper. The psychiatrist had some ideas that she wanted to kick around with her reporter friend.

When Lois arrived that evening, Ruth told the Planet's associate editor that Bernie, Clark, Kira, and Jeremy were all undergraduates in the same class and had majored in the same discipline, physics. Ruth told Lois that she had just recently recalled that particular fact. Dr. Frishkin-Klein then informed Lois that the foursome lived in Kent's New Haven house, located on the outskirts of the Yale campus. After earning their bachelor degrees, they all headed west to Cal Tech, where three years later they left California with earned doctoral degrees. While Clark and Bernie headed for the East coast and Metropolis, Kira and Jeremy departed for Europe and are now professors at some university in one of the Scandinavian countries. "Unfortunately, I can't recall the name of the school," Ruth informed Lois. "Give me a little time, Lois, and I'm sure it will come to me."

"When Kira was in trouble, I often wondered how Clark reacted so quickly?" Ruth murmured. "She was a block or so from her home and in a relatively isolated location when she was abducted. Another question which goes round and round in my head," Ruth informed Lois, "keeps asking how Kira's rescue was effected so rapidly."

After a few moments of silence, Lois remarked, "What are you driving at?" Ruth.

The psychiatrist shook her head at Lois' question, and paced around the room in a noticeably agitated state.

Suddenly, Ruth grabbed Lois and shaking her said, "Clark Kent must have heard or felt Kira's distress and her struggles and quickly followed Kira and her abductors to Judd's iniquitous lair, taking Jeremy and Bernie with him. Clark most likely flew to Judd's pad," Ruth concluded.

Then, Bernie's alienated wife continued, "Using his military training, Jeremy, enraged by his fiancee's abduction, nearly killed Judd Carter. It all makes sense, now."

Ruth then added, "I know that Bernie has super abilities and our children most likely also have those unique powers. Since there is a strong indication that Kent is the natural father of your kids, Lois, wouldn't that point to him as a possessor of super capabilities? By deduction, I believe that Jeremy, Kira and their offspring possess the same super talents. So, Clark most likely flew to Judd's pad with the others in tow to rescue Kira," Ruth reasoned.

After hearing Ruth's analysis, Lois jumped up and called Perry and asked him to come to her apartment post haste.

Within the hour, Perry White was confronting two very excited women.

"Okay," the chief finally admitted, "your detective work has gotten you close to your objective. However, anymore hunting on your part will be fruitless. Only a TG gate will take you to your final destination, and I promised Clark that Perry White would never divulge how to activate any teleportation portals. Sorry ladies, no can do."

After a pause and staring at hostile expressions, Perry again said, "I can't go back on my promise. No matter what you say or what is done to me, I will not betray my friends, my spiritual family."

Then Perry got up from the sofa, nodded to Ruth and Lois, and then left the Lane apartment leaving two frustrated women mumbling invectives at the editor- in-chief of the Daily Planet.

Then Ruth got up and fell to the floor crying hysterically saying amid her sobs, "I'll never get my family back."

Lois also felt the blackness and the despair of Ruth's mood. She too was screaming inside — I want my children returned.

In an attempt to calm her emotional demeanor, Lois rose and commenced to pace around the living room. As she ambulated, Lois Lane started to think rationally and a plan began to evolve in her keen mind.

First, she and Ruth would obtain credentials that would allow them to attend the Nobel prize formalities and proceedings as reporters from the Daily Planet.

By the time she had compiled her strategy, Ruth had managed to gain a measure of self-control over her emotional state.

When Lois told her psychiatrist friend about her game plan, Ruth perked up. If she could see Bernie, Ruth was sure they could work out their marital difficulties. Ruth knew that they both loved one another and were driven apart by the psychiatrist's irrational phobias.

Lois wasn't so sure of Ruth's rather simplistic solution. She'd placed her babies in a life and death situation and, therefore, had both scared and angered Bernie Klein. The question that would be paramount on his mind would probably be in the trust area. Could Dr. Klein trust his wife, whom he did love, with the safety of their progeny? He would also have to seriously consider Ruth's declaration that she'd finally gotten rid of her childhood phobias. These questions would have to be resolved before the Klein family could again become a loving unit.

While Lois was aware that this traumatic episode in Ruth's life had finally cleansed her of the fear and disgust of aliens, the sixty-four thousand dollar question running through Lois' mind was would Bernie and their children believe her statements?

Only time would tell.

As Nobel week approached, more of Nunk's filth hit the streets throughout the country.

Although the Planet hit back hard with article after article, trying to negate the National Whisper's vile story, unfortunately, the lies prevailed. People, it seemed, were more interested in sensationalism and the twisted deceptions of the tabloid tales than the plain unadulterated truth.

After analyzing Nunk's articles and their effect on the public, Lois had to conclude that Clark's original assessment of slander and its aftermath was correct. The people remembered only the accusation, not the acquittal or the enormous finds that had to be paid for the print media's slanderous publications.

Because of Nunk's slanderous stories, for a brief moment, Clark's prize was in doubt until the Nobel committee received documents informing them that the scandalous accusations against Dr. Clark Kent were completely erroneous.


Family Confrontations

Arriving in the capital of Olderburg a day before the Nobel festivities were to commence, Ruth and Lois checked in at the Hotel International.

The next day, they registered with the Nobel committee and received their official press passes.

That evening, they mingled with some of the most brilliant and prestigious minds of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Soon, Lois and Ruth came across their quarry.

As Ruth and Lois mingled with Nobel notables, they saw Daren and Kara dancing and behaving like two people who were very obviously in love. Then Lois spied Lara and another young man (Joshua, Jeremy and Kira's son) who were sitting at a table holding hands, listening to the music, and making small talk. All things that lovers do. Lois also thought as she gazed at her daughter and her escort that they were behaving liked a couple on the verge of marriage. As Lois and Ruth moved closer to the super clan, she heard someone mention indirectly that Kara and Daren and Joshua and his young lady were kind of young to be contemplating marriage.

Also hearing that marriage comment was Jeremy Fine. He smiled and remarked to Clark, "I guess by normal Earth standards our children are unusually young to be contemplating a permanent union." However, he and Clark were well aware that the super kids were mature enough to handle the intimate and subtle relationships that marriage demands. Also, since the two soulmate couples would be attending a school of higher learning the following year, Clark, and the other first generation super adults felt that being married would give their children greater stability in what could be described as a somewhat chaotic and stressful university environment.

A reporter from the London times who happened to overhear talk about wedding plans within the Nobel Laureate's families asked, "Will the children's mothers be invited to the nuptials." The question was posed because, besides Kira, the children's moms had not been seen.

"Of course," Clark quickly replied to the reporter's query.

Bernie then stepped in and remarked, "Ladies and gentlemen, this festive occasion represents a very special event in our lives. Please don't spoil it by attempting to interview myself and my kin about our family affairs. Let's all enjoy ourselves and put off any talk of marriages or other subjects until tomorrow." When Bernie's comments ended, the reporters quietly dispersed. Knowing the ways of the press corps, Clark knew that they would return when the opportunity presented itself, probably on the morrow.

Then Clark got up and addressed his soon to be son- in-law and said, "With your permission, I would like to dance with your intended, Kara."

"It would be my pleasure," Daren replied.

Kara then took her father by the arm as he escorted her to the dance floor.

Meanwhile Bernie, attending his youngest children, began feeding them. As Dr. Klein was in the midst of a relatively messy chore, one of the girls started to float. Dr. Klein grabbed his daughter and pulled her to his chest. The baby laughed as Bernie anxiously looked around to see whether her unusual behavior had been observed. Seeing no unusual commotion, he and the others of the super clan breathed a sigh of relief.

Smiling at the levitating event, Lois and Ruth moved away from their families for the moment and began wandering about the hall. They had a job to do for the Planet. The monies they were using for their trip had to be justified. With Lois' guidance, Ruth was able to acquire enough information for some juicy stories. Lois also gathered a plethora of material that would provide the Planet with a host of interesting articles.

Later that evening Lois and Ruth watched as Jeremy with Kira on his arm, Lynn holding her father up, and Clark, his arms entwined with Lara and Kara, made their way down the aisle to receive one of the crown jewels of science, the Nobel Prize. While many other creative disciplines are part of the Nobel Prize fellowship, Mathematics is specifically excluded from any prize category, which is categorically stated in Nobel's will. This tale is left to the reader to ferret out the historical reasons for Alfred Nobel's blacklisting actions.

After the Nobel presentations had ended, the four new laureates gathered at their private table where they received the congratulations from their family, friends, and colleagues alike.

Suddenly from the mass of faces loomed Lois and Ruth.

There was an awkward silence for a few seconds, then Clark remarked, "It's nice to see you again. Won't you please join us?"

Surprised by Clark's comments, Lois and Ruth accepted his invitation and joined their surprised families.

When the on lookers left the area, Joshua read Clark a telegram from Bill Henderson. The police inspector informed the man from Krypton that he had apprehended Stetson's murderer; a former jailer assigned to the detention facility. During her interrogation, she plea bargained the charge from murder one to murder two by divulging facts which incriminated Judd Carter in the homicide.

An arrest warrant had been issued for Judd Carter, the libertine, who was apprehended several hours later.

The accused murderer of Terry Stetson had been lured to Judd's lair and seduced. Subtle coercion methods were then applied which soon secured her cooperation. Judd further bound his associate to himself by giving Carter's accomplice a substantial sum of money, which she accepted. Now Judd had the means of reaching Stetson and the instrument to have him liquidated.

Henderson also informed Clark that Nunk was still pumping out his slanderous garbage, and the defamatory exposes he was writing was making The National Whisper a fortune. He also Told Clark that Constance was trying to get an injunction against him, but the court seemed to be dragging its feet on the injunction issue. "It appears to me," Henderson implied, that someone has been paid a lot of money to stall the issuance of a restraining order. If The National Whisper is not stopped soon, my friend, you may never be able to show that ugly face of yours anywhere in the US. Unfortunately, it may already be too late to prevent the Whisper imposed exile of Clark Kent."

Then Joshua said, "Uncle, Henderson closes with Congrats to Kent on the Nobel. 'You and your family deserve the recognition for you untiring service to humanity.'"

Then Joshua handed the telegram to Clark.

As Clark took the telegram he murmured, "Win a Nobel and lose one's country. What a day, what a swap."

Kira said, "Jeremy and I will build you a home within the royal compound close to ours. There, you can live in peace and always be among friends."

"Thanks, guys," Clark remarked, "I'll certainly give your offer very serious consideration."

Then as Clark turned around he came face to face with Ruth and Lois.

After a moment, Clark remarked, "You gals did some great detective work. Now that you're here, both of you, of course, will join us for the remainder of the Nobel festivities."

Then Clark said to the rest of the group, "Let's go back to the hotel and change for the gala. Bernie, please tell Ruth and Lois the time of the our social gathering and its location."

As Lois and Ruth watched their families leave the Hall of Science, the two Planet reporters returned to their hotel and changed into something more fashionable.

Meeting the super family at the celebration later that evening, Lois asked Clark whether they could speak privately. "Sure, let's go into the gardens," Clark replied. "It's a beautify spot like the mother of my children and relatively private and secure against ease droppers."

As they slowly strolled through the lush gardens adjacent to the banquet hall, Lois asked, "Since we're supposed to be soulmates," Lois asked, with some skepticism in her voice, "what happened to us?"

"I don't really know, Lois," Clark answered her. "Twenty years ago, if my memory serves me well, Perry introduced us. I believe he wanted to create a Lane and Kent partnership. The chief felt that our writing styles were complementary, and we'd make a great news team. However, when we met and shook hands you didn't even look at me. It was like hello and goodbye all happening within a few seconds. If I remember correctly, there was a fellow named Claude hanging all over you like a hyena in heat. I figured you two were paramours, and I didn't want to interfere with a budding relationship."

"Claude and I were, unfortunately, beginning a relationship when we met, Clark," Lois informed him. "However," she added, "My paramour, unknown to me and Perry, was also a thief and user."

Pausing for a second, Lois continued, "Claude took a story I was currently working on and won an award by submitting it for publication. You know that man didn't change anything in my story—just handed it in with his byline. How brazen and unfeeling can a person be!"

Looking at Lois, Clark asked, "Did you feel anything different when we shook hands all those years ago?"

"I don't remember Clark, did you?"

"When our hands touched," Clark answered her, "It felt as if I were kicked by a mule. The surge of energy that surged from you nearly lifted me off my feet. I was kind of surprised by your negative response or should I say a non-reaction to my own heightened awareness of you."

As they walked in silence for a while, Clark took a device out of his pocket and pointed it at Lois. Then staring at Lois and the instrument for a moment or two, Clark told her, "You and I are soulmates just as I suspected. There is still a strong auric bond between us."

Gathering his thoughts, Clark said, "Lois, please listen to me, my message is most important. Since we are soulmates and are linked by an energy field we call our auras, these auric bonds synchronize our life spans making them nearly identical. If you were to perish at this moment, I would perish within less than a week of your demise. The same would be true if the reverse were to occur. Barring any accident, you and I will live between four hundred and fifty to five hundred years. Your physical aging, Lois, has already ceased. Soon, you'll need to begin making yourself appear older -makeup used properly will physically age your body- to stop any gossip about your perpetual youth as you age. If you don't protect yourself, people will start comparing Lois Lane to the Dorian Grey mystic. Eventually, the government will become interested in your apparent perpetual youth. Their interference in your life would not be a good thing."

Clark then led Lois to an isolated bench where they both sat down. When they were comfortable, Clark told Lois, "I can use a special device which could modify some of your chromosomes. The result of the modification process would provide Lois Lane with super abilities. Then, you would also be invulnerable and capable of doing other interesting things through your extented life span."

"Using the chromosome modification procedure or not," Clark added, "you'll have to retire at age seventy and pass away sometime before your hundredth birthday to maintain a normal life span for this world. When you've decided to disappear from the Earth's living community, you will have to move to a remote hideaway for fifty years or so before reentering society's mainstream. When you rejoin the living, you can be a reporter again, using a different name, of course, or enter a different field of endeavor for the next fifty years or so. Money will never be a problem for you, Lois. You will be able to draw as much financial resources as you need from our central fund through the remainder of your five hundred year life span. There would be no restrictions on the way you choose to live except for your pledge to remain silent about our super family."

Before Lois could respond, Clark asked, "How does Lynn Linndell sound as your next generation name? Also, ask Ruth what she thinks of Ronda Fields as her next life appellation?"

As he rose, Clark told Lois, "Remember to tell Ruth about the aging problem and please, both of you, consider chromosomal modification and the new names I've suggested for the future or choose others that are more to your liking."

"What about Bernie and Ruth," Lois asked.

"Lois," Clark replied, "I don't believe Ruth and Bernie will have much difficulty in working out their problems. They adore one another, and since Ruth purged herself of her irrational fears, they should readily reestablish their soulmate union."

"However," Clark said, "I've included Ruth in your category in case Bernie and Ruth fail to resolve their differences."

Taking a breath, Clark said, "I'll let you know when the prison space platform has been completed. Then, we'll place Jason Task and that licentious psychiatrist, Dexter Cattivo, on the space platform and set it in a permanent orbit about Vega."

Seeing that Lois was upset, Clark quickly added, "They'll be perfectly safe and have all the comforts of home. At least," Clark added, "we didn't have to execute them as Bernie initially wanted to do."

"I would like to be there to see for myself," Lois said.

Clark just nodded and remarked, "Still not very trusting, I see."

"Oh," Clark added, "You and Ruth will have the run of our transportation system during your lifetime. However, there are certain locations on the TG system that you shouldn't frequent unless you've had the genetic modification treatment."

"As far as our particular family is concerned," Clark continued, "come as often as you like. Move in or go back and forth to the Planet from your home within the super clan community. Take the kids along if you wish; they're as much yours as mine. If it weren't for Bernie's over zealousness and your desire to have children, my genetic heritage would have perished when I was gathered to my ancestors. That, Lois, I'm happy to say, will not occur. To Bernie's meddling to secure my genetic future and your desire to have children of your own, I'm grateful beyond words. Because of these two merging inspirations the genetic immortality of the El-Kent line is assured."

"You trust me that much?" Lois asked.

"Certainly," Clark remarked. "Now, let's return to the soiree."


Reconciliation and Kryptonian Justice

About a month after Ruth and Lois returned to Metropolis, Ruth told Lois that she and Bernie had resolved their differences and their family was reunited. She also informed Lois that she had undergone the genetic modification treatment and now was an integral part of the super family and urged her friend to follow her lead.

When Ruth returned to Bernie and their children that evening, Lois was alone again. This time the loneliness of her life felt more isolating than ever.

During the next several months, Lois used the TG system and visited her kids nearly every day.

On one of her sojourns to see her kids, Clark suggested that Lois make the super clan's subterranean citadel, the small village under the Kent farm, her permanent home. She could use her Metropolis condo as an entrance-way into the city. Lois, after some thought, agreed with Clark's suggestion.

When Lois returned to the Citadel on the following evening, the house initially constructed for Clark and the Kent kids had a new wing. It was Lois' new home.

One evening while Lois and Clark were walking through a small park adjacent to their home, she asked Clark, "Why do Lara and Kara need to marry at such a young age?"

Taking a deep breath, Clark said, "You've asked a somewhat complex question, Lois. I'm really not the one to answer your query, but if you want, I'll try."

"Whom do you think would be in a better position to answer my question?" Lois asked.

"Kira and Jeremy Fine or Bernie and Ruth Klein," Clark replied. "Their relationships border on nearly pure adoration."

Seeing that Lois was waiting for more information, Clark added, "The attraction between Lara, Kara and their soulmates has reached an emotional watershed where neither of our daughters wishes to be living separately from her life partner. Lara's and Kara's bonding with their soulmates seems to intensify at a more rapid rate the longer the couples are apart. Also, from my observations, Lois, the bonding between Kara and Daren appears to be the most intense of the soulmate couples. I believe this condition occurred because Kara and Bernie's son have spent an inordinate amount of time together since they were tots."

"Secondly, Lois," Clark remarked, "Lara, Kara and their soulmates are attending the university next year. While they don't necessarily require the university education, the social interactions and the credentials they'll earn will be most important later in their lives. It will allow them to secure positions from which they will be able to benefit all of humanity.

"There is yet another reason that we want to finalize Lara's and Kara's soulmate unions this year," Clark added. "Soulmate pairs who consummate their union seem to develop a more stable relationship. Also, being married will prevent most students from annoying the couples. I said most because there are always a few male/female Judd Carter characters around. As an intimate pair, our children will be able to more easily thwart the physical/sexual assaults perpetrated by such individuals."

"Talking of Judd Carter," Clark told her, "the family secretly removed him from the civil authorities. He's now in one of our holding cells."

"Actually, Henderson has been unofficially informed of our actions and is aware that Judd will be punished only after a trial."

Clark then told Lois that he had a lengthy discussion with the police inspector about Judd Carter and both men came to a meeting of the minds.

"Do you want to see him?" Clark asked. Lois nodded her affirmative.

A few minutes later, Judd Carter was staring at Lois and Clark.

He smiled and said, "If it isn't the rake and his whore. What can I do for you?"

"Nothing much," Clark replied, not acknowledging Judd's harsh and abusive comments, "except to inform you that I had a conversation with Bill Henderson and we both decided that since word of your recapture has not reached the public, it was to be my call concerning your punishment. Not to alarm your rather dysfunctional brain, I asked Henderson and was told that I could deal with you as I wished. So then, Mr. Carter, the family will decide your fate. When the axe of justice drops after your trial, it will also fall for all those people you've intentionally destroyed. Until the trial then, adieu, Mr. Slanderer."

"Why would Henderson condone such an action?" Lois asked.

"Henderson knows that Judd is guilty of slander and of murder. Since he knows that he'll receive an impartial trial from us and the City's vital monetary reserves will be saved from being utilized in a needless trial, he agreed with the family's request."

"May I attend the trial?" Lois asked.

"Of course," Clark replied, "you're part of the family."

A few days later, Bernie notified Clark that Judd's space platform was ready for use.

When Lois returned from work, several days later, she was surprised to see the Fine and Klein families with the Kents ready to teleport to Haven in the Tau Ceti star system where Judd's trial would be held.

After explaining to Lois what was happening, the Planet's associate editor said she would like to go along.

Hearing that her mother wanted to accompany the group escorting Judd to Haven, Lara sought out Lois and told her, "The intense radiation which occasionally pulses through Haven Space Habitat might damage some of your tissue and induce blood abnormalities. Judd will of course be enclosed in a special holding container that will both constrain and provide him with a safe environment while he's being transferred to his isolation platform."

"What about Dexter and Trask?" Lois asked.

"They're been incarcerated in a special radiation proof cell," Clark answered her.

Upon hearing Lara's and Clark's cautionary statements about the dangers confronting her, Lois began pacing to and fro.

Then she turned toward Clark and Lara and said quietly, "Modify my genetic code and make me into a super person. I have been contemplating this move for some weeks now, and this event has accelerated my decision."

"Are you sure, Lois? The process is irreversible at present."

"I'm sure," she said. Then Lois added, "To be a full member of this family the modification to my genome had to done some day. So, why not now?"

Later that day, Lois' genome was modified and tested positive for its super uniqueness. Soon thereafter, the entire super family was on its way to the Space Habit in orbit, about the solar furnace, Tau Ceti.

Arriving at the citadel that the super clan called Haven, some members of the super family placed a small space platform in the cargo bay of an interstellar spacecraft. Taking Trask and Dexter on board the interstellar ship and depositing Judd in the same cell that Trask and Dexter occupied, the family traveled to the Vega solar system.

After setting the prison platform in a predetermined solar orbit about Vega the two condemned men were placed on board their new space home. Then setting the prison station spinning on its proper axis the space prison was released into the void. With the marooning task completed, the super family returned to their space habitat in the Tau Ceti solar system. The marooned men, Trask and his cohort Dexter Cavitto, were now history.

Before the super family returned to Earth, Judd was also tried for his crimes against the super clan and humanity and found guilty. It was really an open and shut case.

After his trial, Judd Carter was incarcerated in a larger and more comfortable quarters. As Carter was being transferred to his new prison accommodations, construction of a new prison platform was initiated by Haven's robotic work force.

Upon returning to Earth, Lara and Kara began to teach their mother how to utilize and control her new abilities.

Within a month Lois was fully capable of properly using her new powers.

Several months after Lois learned to control her unique abilities, a new super being was seen cruising in the sky above Metropolis.

This new super powered individual called herself Ultrawoman and like Superman helped the police corral the criminal element that threatened the law- abiding citizens of the great city. With two super beings hovering above the city, the lawbreakers were leaving the metropolitan area in greater and greater numbers. It was getting just too hot for them to ply their illegal trades.

Unknown to both Lois and Clark, Bureau Thirty-nine became very active again when this new super creature suddenly appeared on the scene.

This secret and quasi-military unit quietly moved into downtown Metropolis and set up its headquarters in a warehouse located on Bersolo Boulevard. The new commander of Bureau Thirty-nine was Colonel Edward Cash. His hatred for the two superheroes was just as intense as his predecessor, Jason Trask.

Lois and Clark would often meet on top of the old Luthor tower building, late in the evening and enjoy pleasant talks.

One evening, after patrolling the city, they stopped to chat at the usual spot when a gust of wind caused Lois to lose her balance. Before Lois careened from the building, Clark grabbed the feisty reporter turned superhero. When their bodies touched, Clark felt a surge of energy course through his body as he did twenty years before. This time, however, Lois also experienced the power surge as their bodies made contact.

Smiling at Clark, Lois said, "Old habits die hard, Clarkie. I would have recovered before I struck the ground and been back here in the blink of an eye."

"True enough," he replied, "it will take me a little time to get used to you moonlighting in tights."

He then put his head on her shoulder and closed his eyes.

"Tired?" she said.

"Yeah," he replied. "Been working on operation E.L.E. non stop for most of the week. This week has convinced me that every clan member needs to rest or sleep from time to time."

"What's operation E.L.E?" Lois asked Clark.

"Come to Haven this weekend and I'll explain the whole thing to you."

Lois nodded.

Taking a deep breath and looking very serious, Clark told Lois, "Bureau Thirty-nine is back in town. If they have kryptonite in their possession, those fanatics could be extremely dangerous."

Then Clark informed Lois about kryptonite and how twenty years ago the super clan believed it had collected essentially all the kryptonite on Earth and placed it in storage.

Since they were all scientists, the family members were still worried that not all the deadly rock had been located — as Bernie was fond of saying, nothing is absolute.

The way Bureau Thirty-nine had been flexing its muscles of late, Clark told Lois that he believed that this secret governmental agency, now headed by one colonel Cash, had either discovered another source of the deadly green substance or were given a quantity of the lethal rock by someone or some organization, which wanted the two superheroes permanently eliminated.

Clark's notion became a reality several weeks later when Lois answered a fire call and was felled by green glowing rock from hell being held by a bureau- thirty-nine operative.

Hearing Ultrawoman's mental cries for assistance, Clark zoomed to the fire site where he saw Lois wriggling in pain.

Mustering his strength, Clark zoomed to Lois' side by crashing through the warehouse wall. As he moved past the mother of his children, the man from Krypton grabbed his soulmate and allowed their combined momentum to carry them through the wall across the burning room to freedom.

Seeing that Lois was all right, he told the Bureau Thirty-nine operative still in the warehouse to stay put. He then called Perry and told him to bring a lead container to the burning storage facility now being broadcast on LNN.

The chief, with Henderson and a squad of police officers, arrived ten minutes later after Clark's call. They entered the warehouse and took the Bureau Thirty-nine individual into custody and discovered other bureau men hiding in a concealed room, who became prisoners of the police. Retrieving the Kryptonite, Perry placed it in the lead container. Emerging from the smoldering warehouse, Perry gave the dangerous rock, now in a leaded bag, to Clark for disposal.

He thanked Perry for his help, picked up Lois and flew to his Kansas home. Upon Ultrawoman and Superman's arrival, Bernie immediately checked Lois over and pronounced her fit as a fiddle. She just needed some rest.

The next day, a squad of MP's, accompanied by Lois Lane of the Daily Planet, entered colonel Edward Cash's office. Realizing what was about to happen, the general drew a pistol and shot himself in the head.

All military grunts under Cash's command were taken to the stockade to await court martial proceedings.

As Cash went down for the count, Lois was well aware that another nemesis, which had plagued the super family for decades, had at last been eliminated.

That weekend Lois learned of E.L.E.

Although the wave wouldn't strike Earth for at least two centuries, the weapon they were developing had to be used within ten years or not at all. There were too many populated star systems on this side of the Milky way- Andromeda abyss for the family to use the cosmic disrupter with any degree of safety.

The cosmic disrupter when used would be capable of thrusting any physical phenomenon and the space it occupied into what the super clan called a null dimension where matter and energy could not exist.

Everybody in the family was working on this project, each to his or her capabilities.

Now Lois understood why Bernie had been driving her to learn as much math and science as possible once he realized she had an aptitude for these subjects.

As Lois looked around, she could see the younger kids working on the construction of several new and larger intergalactic-transport vessels. Her daughters and their fiances were working on Jeremy's and Kira's theoretical design of the disrupter. Clark and Bernie were creating the energy pulse mechanism for this weapon system.

Looking about the lab, Lois could see the tension on Bernie's and Clark's faces. Ruth's soulmate was desperately afraid that the family would not make the deadline and that the Earth and her people would perish in less than two centuries.

Clark, while also alarmed, was more optimistic they would succeed.

Ruth was busy using all the psychological tools at her disposal to keep the family lucid and calm.

Lois now realized what her family was going through to save the Earth and its inhabitants. In return, the inhabitants of Sol Three listened to individuals like Lyle Luthor and his sycophants whose aim was to slander good people and attempt to destroy those who appeared or were different from the so called norm. How ironic.

That night as she lay in her bed, Lois finally understood why it was necessary for Lara and Kara to marry as quickly as possible.



During the summer before entering their freshman year at Yale, Lara and Kara and their soulmates were wed.

After the wedding supper the two newly married couples commandeered one of the family's intergalactic space cruisers and set off to explore a portion of the galaxy near the Tau Ceti solar system.

A month later, the newlyweds returned and several days later the soulmate couples left for New Haven and their university adventures.

As Lois was to discover later, being married for Kara and Lara placed them in an ideal social position when the frenzy of their freshman year commenced. In the lower classman's desire to stake out a social territory Lois and Clark's daughters and their spouses were nearly excluded from this convivial ruckus because of their marital status. However, as Clark had warned, the Judd Carters and Catherine Grants of the world still attempted to interfere with the soulmates' marital bliss, but as these people soon discovered, their attempts to disrupt a soulmate union as domed to failure. After Daren and Joshua nearly exterminated a few male players in the dating game and Kara almost destroyed a particular closet queen, the newlyweds garnered the peace and quiet they craved.

As expected, Daren and his soulmate Kara and Lara and her husband Prince Joshua Fine attended classes. However, after returning home, they each worked diligently on the family's disrupter project. It was a life and death situation in which time was rapidly running out.

While the super clan worked feverishly, the fear of failure hung over the family — if only more time were available for the family's research and development work. But, time was the one element that nature would not provide in this instance.

While Lois' daughters with their soulmates were creating their futures, Lois' feeling for Clark was escalating. When Lois eventually told Clark that her feelings for him were mushrooming out of control, he confided in her that his passion for her was also approaching an almost unmanageable level.

The soulmate bonding process between Lois and Clark was still accelerating when a week later Clark showed up at Lois' abode, lifted her in his arms and flew west toward Las Vegas. As they zipped along, Clark said, "You and I will become husband and wife this evening."

Instead of the war of words that Clark expected, to his pleasant surprise, Lois just cuddled closer to his body, placed her face on his neck, and began kissing him.

"If you keep that up, my love," Clark whispered in her ear, "we'll never make Vegas."

Several hours later, Mr. and Ms. Clark Kent or as Lois preferred Mr. Clark Kent and Ms. Lois Lane, husband and wife, flew to Hawaii courtesy of 'Super Family Airways,' for their honeymoon. The hotels in Vegas were just too tacky for Lois.

Two weeks later Lane and Kent now a soulmate couple returned to the citadel beneath the Kent farm; the family celebrated Lois and Clark's nuptials. The festivities were somewhat exuberant and lasted nearly three days. The news of Lois and Clark's soulmate joining was telepathically sent to the super family soon after their marriage had transpired.


The Galatic Storm

Five years after the Lane-Kent nuptials, twins were born to Lois and Clark — a boy they name Kivi, and a girl the couple called Mara. Both children, like the other kids in the super family were intellectually tested soon after their first birthday and found to be in the Tan alpha prime category — which informed the family that the Lane-Kent twins were mentally beyond the genius level.

Like the other kids that would be born to Lois and Clark, their physical characteristics were exquisite.

Eight years after the Lane-Kent nuptials, as Lois' and Clark's children looked on, Bernie and Clark were finally testing and retesting the components of their super weapon, the cosmic disrupter.

While most of the family worked on different aspects of the disrupter, Kira and Jeremy labored on a back up system. It was a device that would produce waves that would negate the pulses emanating from the black hole collisions. It was limited in scope, but it could reduce the damage to the Earth and other local star systems within a hundred lights from Sol Three (Earth's sun). There would still be severe damage from the magnetic waves, but Earth and some of its people would survive the catastrophe. However, the survivors and their descendants would live in a Stone Age environment for many generations to come.

A year before the black hole waves were to transverse the critical divide between the Andromeda and Milkeyway galaxies, all the materials from Haven and the Citadel were transported to a dimension adjacent to their own.

The Super family had discovered a cluster of stars in the new dimension which contained nearly one hundred G-type suns with Earth like planets in orbit about most of them.

The super clan terraformed all the Earth-like planets and constructed a subterranean chamber on one of the new worlds that possessed a radius of a hundred miles. In this chamber, they constructed living facilities similar to those that were built on Earth and Tau Ceti. A stasis chamber was also fabricated and placed below ground level on another of the Earth like worlds. In this stasis shielded room was placed a significant amount of reproductive material from all species currently living on Sol Three. Life from the old world would not be allowed to perish during the coming cataclysm.

Several days before Bernie and Clark would confront the black hole waves which menaced Earth, the remainder of the super clan retired to their new quarters in the other dimension.

As all but two of the Super family left this dimension, Clark and Bernie positioned themselves along the path of the black hole waves.

When the family had departed, Clark and Bernie turned their attention to the approaching magnetic storm and watched death approach. They were well aware that the black hole generated disturbances had passed the point of no return for Earth and all its neighboring star systems. After gazing at the magnetic storm for some moments the two super men activated the cosmic disrupter and pale ghostly beams stabbed out of the prow of their intergalactic vessel and swept across the wave front of the on coming energy field.

While Clark and Bernie watched, a point of unusual blackness appeared along the wave front. It grew rapidly, pulsing and throbbing as it consumed on coming death waves.

"Great Caesar's ghost," Clark yelled, "the disrupter is consuming space where the wave was located." The disrupter was not destroying matter and energy as expected but was consuming space itself.

As planned, the disrupter automatically shut down when, according to Bernie's calculations, the wave nullifying process was complete.

Soon after the disrupter ceased to function, a titanic hand seemed to swat the spaceship and hurl it through the void with unimaginable power. As the spacecraft tumbled through space, Clark and Bernie glimpsed the stars and saw that they too were being tossed about like ancient ships on a violent sea. Space itself appeared to have gone berserk. The two supermen witnessed the huge glaring white mass of Deneb, being thrust wildly through the heavens. Comets, dark stars, and meteors tumbled crazily across the arc of the cosmos.

As the chaotic motion of matter through the universe slowly subsided when the space rending device ceased to function, only the spaceship, which housed Clark and Bernie, protected them when they and their craft were sucked into an artificially made fissure in the void produced by the disrupter.

Soon after the space annihilating disrupter had been shut down, the hole in space began to fill in with the matter remaining near the hole in space.

When Bernie and Clark eventually gained control of their vessel, the two scientists quickly calculated the amount of magnetic energy that survived the disrupter assault on its field.

Bernie looked at Clark somewhat disappointed. Only ninety-six percent of the high energy black hole waves had been obliterated. The man from Krypton nodded and then sent a message to the Fines to deploy their back up device.

Looking at Clark, Bernie remarked, "Using the Fine's device will only eradicate another two or three percent more of the wave front."

Clark then nodded, acknowledging Bernie's statement, and then said to his spiritual brother, "Let's go home."

That evening Jeremy asked to lead the family discussion group. As moderator of the meeting, Jeremy Fine unhappily informed his kin that what remained of the black hole waves would not destroy the Earth. However, the effect of the remaining high-energy pulses would cause great tidal waves, earthquakes followed by tsunamis and tremendous volcanic activity along the belt of fire that girded the Earth. Unless something was done, sixty to eighty percent of humanity would still perish and the survivors would revert, as feared, to a Stone Age culture.

"After the destruction to our home world," Jeremy added, "the black hole waves will begin to weaken. In approximately a hundred years or so after the magnetic waves have devastated the Earth, they'd simply winkle out."

That evening, after a rather lengthy debate, it was decided that the four original founders of the super clan talk to people of Earth through the United Nations.

Using his personal influence and the facilities of the Daily Planet, Perry White arranged a meeting between the super clan representatives and several United Nations leaders.

After Clark had addressed the conference at the UN, he, Jeremy and Bernie were virtually laughed out of the meeting hall.

As Clark and his kin were leaving Metropolis, he commented to his brothers, "I'd forgotten that while the UN did many good things to help the people on this planet, their political agenda was more often than not a disaster."

Jeremy just shook his and head and remarked, "What fools. They've just condemned to death nearly six billion souls. They're worst than the NAZIs."

As the three brothers were exiting the UN, Bernie remarked, "I was just thinking of an old Biblical statement."

"What does your little ditty say?" Clark asked.

"The way to Hell is usually paved with good intentions," Bernie answered his brother.

"Well," Jeremy added, "There's going to be much blood mixed with their paving materials this time around."

The following day, Clark visited Yale or more specifically the Chairperson, Janet Lang, of the science division.

After having a chat the division leader, Clark gave Janet a recording and asked her to place it in a safe place. On the recording Clark revealed the trajectory of the on rushing remains of the magnetic wave front that was now some one hundred and twenty years from Sol Three.

After she'd listened to Clark, Janet looked at Clark with warm, but disbelieving eyes.

Sensing her unbelievable attitude, Clark commented, "Please, Janet, just do as I asked on faith." After his meeting with the science department chair, he left Yale never again to be seen by any of the people then living on planet Earth.

Watching Clark disappear, Janet Lang had a sense of foreboding. She would not live to know if Clark's concerns about a catastrophe were misplaced. However, something in her psyche made Janet tell her secretary to place Clark's material in a safe within her office. Before Janet relinquished her position, she had a plaque placed next to the locked wall safe that read, "In this safe lies a message which warns of life and death from a colleague, Clark Kent. Pray G-D the alarm mechanism attached to his dire message will never be sounded."

Before leaving this dimension for more than a century, the male originators of the super family enlarged the citadel under the Kent farm to accommodate more than one hundred thousand souls and supplied the subterranean chamber with enough provisions and other supplies to keep its inhabitants secure for more than five hundred years.

It was some one hundred and twenty years later that the Keke observatory in the mountains of South America first detected the on coming magnetic wave front.

The astronomers first went to the UN, an organization still practicing inept politics, with their experimental data and their calculations. Like Clark Kent a hundred and twenty years before, the scientists were dismissed as fear mongers. Then they went to the US government who contacted their allies in the UK and other counties in Europe, Japan, China, and Russia.

After the science committees among these scientifically advanced nations studied the KeKe data, they too had to dismiss its inferences based on what they considered inconclusive. More information would be required before any action could be taken.

As the Keke observatory scientists were attempting to obtain help by legal channels and failing, Clark's alarm in the Science offices at Yale University sounded.

Soon after the alarm system sounded, distinguished scientists from all corners of the world secretly congregated at Yale University and in short order convened a special conference.

After those in attendance had viewed the video material left by Clark Kent more than a century ago, a man appeared, with a beautiful woman on his arm, and headed for the raised dais at the front of the conference room.

The man held up his hands for quiet and then said, "My name is Kal-El born out of the house of Lo into the house of El on the planet Krypton. My birth parents were named Lara and Jor-El, while my earthly parents called me Clark Jerome Kent. This lovely woman at my side is my wife and life partner Lois Joan Lane-Kent."

Then Clark continued, "You've all seen the data which my family has acquired about the black hole wave phenomena and the resulting magnetic waves. As you are aware, the politicians supported by dubious scientists have rejected my family's data and the observations reported by the Keke astronomers. They have also closed their eyes to the cataclysm that will surely result because of their negligence. You can expect the magnetic wave front to strike Earth in under a decade."

After taking a deep breath, Clark continued, "Not until the catastrophe of which I speak is staring them in the face will the politicians attempt any action which could save the people of this world. Unfortunately, by that time, the UN leading a worldwide effort will be too late to accomplish much. My family and I have calculated that sixty to seventy percent of the Earth's population in about ten years time will perish. It's a horrible tale that I tell you, but, never-the-less it's all too true."

After a pause, Clark continued, "Although the recording you've just viewed is terrifying to say the least, "there is still some hope. At the western end of Kansas, in a town called Smallville under a farm several miles from this hamlet, a citadel has been prepared which can house and support more than a hundred thousand people for some five centuries. In this fortress, civilization, as we know it, will be preserved. If more living materials are required during this period, my people will provide the needed materials and provisions." Then Clark said smiling, "The people in the survival fortress will never be without foodstuffs, educational materials, and the other necessary equipment to maintain the people within. The past grandeur of Earth will be protected and in time will be used to rebuild our world."

If other survival units similar to the Smallville structure can be duplicated and provisioned during the next decade, many more people can be saved from the destructive forces headed our way.

"To save the best of humankind," Lois chimed in, "we'll help you select the people who should enter the survival citadels. The location of the only existing survival fortress on the North American continent, as stated by my husband, is located under the old Kent homestead near Smallville, Kansas. We'll begin the Clandestine migration of those individuals selected for survival in about three years. In the mean time, the Smallville citadel must be kept a secret. To that end you have all been exposed to special rays that will prevent you from speaking with others about the information presented at this meeting."

"Those individuals selected to enter the Smallville survival habitat, or other places constructed for this purpose on this continent, must arrive at their specific survival locations not less than six months before the magnetic energy field devastates the surface of this world. Six months before the world ends, so to speak, all survival habitats will be sealed. No one will be permitted to enter or leave a survival fortress once that deadline has passed."

Pausing for a moment, Lois said, "The people to be preserved must represent all kinds of artisans. Scientists, musicians, artists, engineers, and people gifted with other types of abilities. We'll form a selection committee to work out the details for this selection process. It must be fair and non-biased."

Before either Lois or her husband could continue, a voice from the audience asked whether the Smallville survival site was the only one of its kind on the Planet.

"No," Clark replied. "There are numerous Smallville survival habitats scattered about the globe."

"In time," Lois added, "all civilization survival sites will be linked by various devices. First," Lois continued, "only audio and visual communications will be possible. However, it is hoped that within ten years or so, a transportation network will be established so a genetic mixing of the survivors can occur and the strength of the race maintained."

Since there were no additional questions, the dean of the science division adjourned the meeting. There was much work to do and everybody that attended the conference had a job to do.

The ten years before the Earth was to collide with the forces of nature gone wild unspooled swiftly. Suddenly it was seven days prior to the event that would alter the Earth forever. It was time for saying good-bye.

Five days before the wave was expected to strike Earth, Clark made his final appearance at the UN compound.

As he stood before the General Assembly, some of the most senior representatives recognized his picture and were shocked and for the fist time felt a tinge of fear consuming their psyches.

After a few moments, Clark said, "Through this organization I am saying farewell to a world that will no longer exist as it is now in a week's time."

Before Clark could continue, a smug individual remarked, "Your farewell is a little premature. We have detected your magnetic wave and are prepared to use a host of very powerful weapons against this menace to our world — neutron and thermonuclear devices and other super weapons that will completely obliterate the wave from hell."

Smiling, Clark replied, "Nothing in your arsenal of weapons is capable of stopping or destroying the destructive forces which are about to be unleashed over this world."

Without wasting more time in fruitless arguments, Clark said his adieus, and then the man from Krypton flew from the great hall of nations and returned home.

All that needed to be done had been accomplished. Now was a time of waiting and prayer.


The Fire bird

The wave struck nearly a week after Clark conveyed his final adieus to the UN and the world at large.

As the wave covered the Earth, the seas rose and rushed over the land. Volcanic eruptions rocked the planet spewing ash over the land masses and spewing poisonous gases into the atmosphere.

Within twenty-four hours, most living creatures not in a secure survival bunker of some sort were kaput or well on their way to becoming corpses.

After the wave had devastated the Earth, it continued on move a Little way across the universe and then winkled out as the last of its energy was at last exhausted.

As Perry and the super family sat in the large sitting room of their home in the alternate dimension, Kira remarked, "You know, guys, we should provide a name for this world in which we now live."

"You're right, sis," Clark replied. Then he said, "How does K-One sound for this planet's appellation and we can call the star group in which our new world exits the Utopian cluster." After his proposal, Clark asked, "Does anyone object to these particular names?"

Not a dissenting voice was heard.

"So be it," Clark quietly declared.

Almost immediately after Clark's declaration, a bright light materialized followed by the appearance of a strange looking device. Sitting in his inter- dimensional transporter was Clark's old friend H.G. Wells.

Jumping from his chair Clark grabbed and then hugged his old friend saying, "I haven't seen you in a month of Sundays."

After sitting down among the super family, Wells said, "I just had to be here at the beginning of Utopia. I know you think it's a dark hour because of old Earth's obliteration. Let me tell you that from the ashes of this tragic event will spring a new civilization that in time will join with your people to produce an even greater culture, and it will be called Utopia after the star cluster in which you now reside."

After pausing for a moment, Wells added, "You have sealed the seed of Earth's new beginning in what you called survival citadels under the Kent's old farmstead and at other locations about Sol Three."

Wells then continued, "Those people will not remain in their confined quarters for five hundred years as you surmised, but for nearly six millennia. In that time the super family will physically and biologically repair the devastated environment of the planet Earth. Soon, the clan will provide the survivors with a modified form of your transportation system so that the peoples from the different citadel locations will be able to co- mingle. Your gift will allow the various survivor colonies to establish cities under the Americas, Europe, Australia, and a host of other geological stable areas. Because of your transportation system, mixing of the population centers will also occur preventing genetic stagnation during the Earth's recovery period."

"When descendants of the original survivor groups finally emerge from their subterranean abodes to reclaim the surface of their planet," Wells remarked, "these people will constitute one world working for the betterment of the whole. The super clan, of course, and their descendants will have much to do with the success of Utopia."

"Boy," Jeremy said, "I'd like to be around to see all that."

"In a sense, you will," Wells remarked. "When you pass on, your soulmate essences will return to the Well of Souls. It's beyond time and space where life waits to be born into the universe. For the souls belonging to this super family, they will return always to this clan. So Jeremy and his soulmate, Kira, and the others of this unique family will repeatedly be reborn into this family throughout time. The soulmates will find one another in each lifetime and live and love through each rebirth for all eternity."

"I like your view of things," Clark said to his time traveling friend.

"Why can't we join with Earth's new civilization as the people emerge from their survival habitats," Bernie asked and then added, "and help the survivors reclaim their planet? Think of the knowledge we can offer them which could measurably lighten their load."

After a period of silence, Lois felt she needed to comment on Bernie's views. "Even in five thousand years or so," Lois began, "I don't believe the people of the Earth will not be ready for what we have to offer. Not until our Earth brethren have learned to control their primeval passions can we begin to forge an alliance with them. When the people of Earth have solved the great social and economic problems that will still plague their evolving global civilization, an association with us will become feasible. And, my brethren, Lois added, "Once the descendents of the original survivors have discovered the true meaning of the Golden rule as we have…when they have lost some of the lustiness of their youth, then we will be able to begin fusing our two cultures. Until they acquire that understanding the people of Earth would not be ready to use the creations in our possessions wisely. All we can do until the proper time is to watch and help the inhabitants of the new culture to understand the true meaning of "love thy neighbor as thyself or stated another way…what is hateful to me I must never do to another individual."

"Not until the people of the new Earth work not for themselves alone, but for the entire planet and eventually, the universe, will the descendents of the current super family share their gifts with their brothers and sisters living on Earth. The legacy we would eventually offer our Earth cousins, of course, would include Krypton's heritage bequeathed to Kal-El and the discoveries made by our own super family over the centuries."

After the general family meeting disbanded, Clark, H.G. Wells, and his immediate household walked toward the Kent abode. The man born across the universe who had inadvertently instituted the current reality now realized that the people of the new Earth and his own would come together and produce a single entity. However, before they reached that particular nexus, humankind would travel long roads, taste bitter dust, and would know triumphs as they ventured across the stars. Galaxies would write new alphabets across the vault of heaven and print many happenings that would be etched upon the tape of time. New things would come along, be in the catbird's seat for a while and then pass from the flow of history. Great leaders would stand up and have their day and shuffle off into oblivion and silence. Creeds would rise and flourish for a moment and pass into oblivion. The myriad of stars would witness great deeds, applaud great happenings, witness great defeats, and weep over bitter sorrows. When all these things had occurred, Earth would join with its super family brethren to explore and help all life in the universe mature and write their own histories.

That evening the ruckus at the Kent home was more festive than it had been in quite a while.

Wells mentioned to Lois and Clark that since they had more than a hundred and fifty years of life remaining, maybe they should have a few more kids. He added, "You two make beautiful babies."

Clark replied. "You'll have to talk to the boss about that little item. She initially does most of the work in those creative ventures."

Then Laura, the Kent's thee year old remarked, after hearing Well's comments about the Kent children, "You know, papa, I've heard three more hearts beating in Mommy's tummy. Does that mean I'll have some new brothers and sisters soon?"

Lois looked at Clark, shook her head as she smiled. Then she told her husband, "In seven and a half months you'll be a daddy three times over."

A shocked Clark Kent then took Lois in his arms and gave her a gentle, but a very passionate kiss. As their smooching intensified, the family noises faded from their senses and their love gently guided them into a realm of pure bliss, a place for lovers only.


*From some thoughts of Clifford D. Simak