By JDG <jdguise(at)>

Rating: PG

Submitted: August 2007

Summary: Hindsight is perfect.

Many, many thanks to Nicholle for holding my hand and giving me the final push to post this.


"Take Clark," Perry had told her. The words had been only an afterthought, but she had known that he was right.

She should never have come alone.

Truthfully, she *would* have taken Clark — if he had been there. But he had once again mysteriously disappeared from his desk, lured away by a donut or an unreturned video or something. The point was he wasn't there to ask. So she had gone by herself.

She should never have come alone.

Hindsight was nearly perfect.

"It's a marvel of the modern world, isn't it, Lois? Twenty-four hour news channels. Now everything is news. A baby down a well. An accidental shooting at a wedding. Or, of course, the latest natural disaster." The taller, more burly of the two men pointed at the television in the corner of the room. LNN was showing severe flooding in China interspersed with shots of Superman helping to rescue those stranded by the high water.

"Do you know what that means?" the shorter man asked. The smile he gave her sent chills down her spine.

"I should cancel my upcoming cruise on the Yangtze River?" Lois tried to look bored.

"No. It means Superman is on the other side of the world right now. So you can scream your head off and he's not going to come and save you. We've been waiting for the right emergency, you see."

"For what? For me?" Lois rolled her eyes. "If you wanted to talk to me, all you had to do was call—"

"We don't want to talk to you," Burly said.

"We're supposed to make you scream," Shorty added and cracked his knuckles.

"Why?" Lois made one last stab at bravado even as her legs began to shake.

"Our client doesn't pay us to make chit-chat," Burly said as he set a camcorder on top of the television. A little red dot glowed. Lois stared at it in horrified fascination before her gaze dropped to see Superman helping a young child out of a treetop. The corner of the screen read 'LIVE'.

He wasn't going to come. He wasn't going to help her.

She told herself she wouldn't give them, or their mysterious client, the satisfaction. She was wrong.

Lois screamed.