What Happens in Metropolis…

By Dandello <momkat@dandello.net>

Rated PG

Submitted Jan 2009

Summary: Only days after Superman’s first appearance, Frasier Crane of KACL radio is attending a conference in Metropolis.

Story Size: 5,350 words (30Kb as text)

Read in other formats: Text | MS Word | OpenOffice | PDF | Epub | Mobi

Copyright: February 13, 2008

A/N: This was written as part of a challenge on the Lois & Clark Boards. For those not familiar with Frasier Crane — The character began in the series Cheers (where he was a practicing psychiatrist who hung out at a bar) and continued on in the series Frasier (where he was living in Seattle and was working on the air on a call-in radio show.)


It’s a bird…

Dr. Frasier Crane had forgotten how much he loathed air travel. Even after paying for the upgrade to first-class for himself and one of his two companions, Roz Doyle — Niles could well afford his own upgrade — he still wasn’t comfortable. Or maybe it wasn’t the air travel that was bothering him but a little of everything else: His traveling companions, Roz and his brother Niles, the reason for flying to Metropolis, and what was happening there now.

The National Association of Broadcast Councilors was having their second annual meeting in the Big Apricot. A mere twelve months before he would have turned his nose up at attending such a meeting, even in Metropolis, a city he had loved visiting when he still had his psychiatric practice in Boston.

But times change. Six months before, his divorce became final, he sold his practice in Boston and moved back to his home town of Seattle, taking a job as an afternoon call-in show host at Seattle’s KACL radio. Frasier had a good voice and a friendly, soothing on-air manner and the hours weren’t bad. He was paid well for his expertise, talking and giving advice to the generally pathetic souls who called in. Roz was his producer and board operator and his agent, Bebe Glazer, had hopes that some exposure in Metropolis could catapult him into the big time — national syndication. Now he was a member of the brotherhood of vague advice for the unwashed masses, a profession he had once despised and, for the most part, still did.

Roz and Niles had been looking forward to visiting Metropolis. Niles wanted to visit the museums and antique bookstores, catch an opera or play that wouldn’t be playing in Seattle any time soon. It was Roz’s first time visiting the Big Apricot and she was planning on networking with other radio show producers staying at the Lexor Hotel during the convention.

And Frasier? Frasier had heard that Arianna Carlin was going to be one of the keynote speakers — her research into the use of subliminal suggestions was ground-breaking — and he hoped that she would have time in her busy schedule to discuss her research with him.

He had also brought along a rare book to be autographed — a slim leather volume bearing the imprint of the ‘The London School of Economics, Oxford University Press’. It was a translation from the Greek of a manuscript recovered in Egypt about ten years before — a commentary on Sun Tzu’s Art of War written by ‘Alexandros III Philippou Makedonon’ otherwise known as Alexander the Great. The translators were listed as Professor Lewis Lang and C.J. Kent. Frasier had managed to get Lang’s autograph some years before — Lang had been one of Frasier’s undergraduate instructors and the two men kept in touch over the years. Kent’s autograph was far harder to come by but getting it would be a coup, increasing the value of the volume astronomically. Lang told Frasier that Kent now lived in Metropolis and could probably be contacted through the Daily Planet.

Everything was set, including booth time at WLEX so Frasier could do his show, when the citizens of Metropolis lost their collective minds. Frasier, Roz and Niles were lucky they were even able to get on the plane despite having confirmed reservations — everyone was flocking to Metropolis to see what all the hoopla was about.

Frasier glared at the headline on the front-page of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Look Ma, No Wires. The photo showed a dark-haired young man, no more than thirty and probably much younger, dressed in a garish blue costume with an odd symbol on his chest and wearing a red cape. The second photo showed what was supposed to be the same young man lifting EPRAD’s colonist launch vehicle into space — without benefit of engines.

“I cannot believe that even the P.I. would print such drivel on the frontpage,” he continued grousing.

Roz Doyle folded over her paper to glare back at him. “Considering LNN has been running coverage of the colonist launch non-stop since this thing happened and A.P. picked the story up from the Daily Planet…”

“If you believe there’s a man in Metropolis who can fly,” Frasier stated, “then you no doubt also believe that Carl Kolchak is stalking vampires in underground Seattle.”

“Actually, Frasier,” Niles put in. “Only the pilot was shot in Seattle.”

Niles was reading the previous evening’s Seattle Times. Its headline was a little more sedate: Miraculous Launch of Prometheus Station Colonists. The Times had chosen to concentrate its report on the sabotage of the Prometheus space habitat project and the successful, although completely unexplainable, launch of the colonist transport.

The below-the-fold headline read: Superman or super hoax? But the same two photos accompanied the articles.

“Do you want to read it?” Roz offered, folding over her copy of the P.I. and holding it out to Frasier.

He pulled a face, but accepted the paper. He unfolded it, skimming through the frontpage article and noting the byline on the piece — Lois Lane, Daily Planet. “I never thought the Daily Planet would stoop to such flagrant sensationalism. And this Lois Lane is obviously a sex-starved middle-aged woman with delusions of capturing the ultimate Nietzschean fantasy.”

Niles quirked his lip in an almost chuckle while Roz gave him a momentary blank look. Then she shrugged and grinned. “Well, if this ‘Superman’ looks half as good in person as his picture… Rraouw. Let me at him.”


“Look Frasier, he’s a hunk… and for that alone, Metropolis’s tourist trade will go up at least twenty percent,” Roz stated. “You’re just mad because you didn’t think of it first.”

Not so Lux at the Lexor

The Lexor was much as Frasier remembered it from earlier visits to Metropolis for other conventions. It was a luxury hotel that catered to professionals of all persuasions. Its personnel were discrete and service was always impeccable. The one fly in the ointment this time — due to the influx of tourists interested in catching sight of the flying man, the Luxor had taken the unprecedented step of ‘accidentally’ cancelling one of their reservations, forcing the three of them to share a room.

“I cannot believe this…” Frasier complained. “The Lexor, of all places, overbooked.”

“Frasier,” Roz said. “It was my room they gave to someone else.”

“But, where will you sleep?” Niles asked.

Roz stared at him. “This is Metropolis, Niles. Who’s going to be sleeping?”

“But…” Niles sputtered.

“Assuming I find some late night entertainment, I’ll just go to his place,” Roz told him with a cheeky grin.

Frasier looked over the convention itinerary. “Well, tonight’s the opening of the conference followed by a cocktail party. Tomorrow there are several seminars I’ve signed up for and, Roz, I know you have some to go to as well.”

Roz’s mouth pulled into a moue. “Great. Lori Black’s producer giving a lecture on the care and feeding of talent.”

Niles peered over Frasier’s arm at the seminar listings. “Oh, oh, here’s one. Call screening techniques from NPR producer Mabel Belle.”

“You’re joking,” Roz stated.

“I kid you not,” Niles protested.

“You know that Alexander Graham Bell’s wife was named Mabel, don’t you?” Roz asked. “Ma Bell? I am not about to attend a seminar on call screening run by ‘Ma Bell’.” She grabbed the list from Frasier. “This is the one I signed up for. ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace — Pleasures and Pitfalls.’”

Frasier just looked at her.

“I’ll just get dressed for dinner…” Roz said. “Who knows, maybe Superman will show his face and liven things up.”

“Roz, I thought we’d agreed on the plane that this flying man was simply a mass hallucination,” Frasier stated. “A delusion, a well enacted hoax.”

Roz nodded to the hotel room’s wide window looking out over the city. “Tell him that.”

Frasier followed her gaze to see a man-shaped object moving above the city. It, he, was wearing tight-fitting blue. His red cape fluttered in the breeze. Then he sped away, disappearing among the high-rises.

“Oh my god…”

Print 2, Radio 300

“The White Orchid Ball is one thing,” Lois Lane complained to her partner of three days as they walked up to the frosted glass doors of the Lexor ballroom. “But a radio councilors’ convention? That’s not news! That’s not even a column inch in ‘What’s Happening Around Town’.”

“Cat is out sick,” Clark Kent told her. “So guess who Perry assigned to cover for her?”

“What, exactly, did I do to Perry to deserve this?” Lois demanded.

Clark shook his head. “We weren’t there when he was deciding who to send out to cover for Cat. I guess Ralph covered one of these things last year and Perry ended up having to bail him out of jail?”

Lois glared at him.

“I know, I know. Maybe we can just get a feel for what they’re…”

“A feel, Clark?” Lois turned and stalked away, forcing her erstwhile partner to break into a trot to keep up with her. “A feel is what these guys are usually after. Think about it, radio people, guys with way over-inflated egos, alone in the big city. You know, what happens in Metropolis stays in Metropolis?”

“According to the information here, most of the people attending the conference are licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, and trained councilors along with their producers, or board operators,” Clark told her. “Pretty impressive credentials, too.”

“Clark, if they were any good at practicing whatever it is they do, they wouldn’t be working in radio.”

“Then let’s get a couple interviews so we can get out of here,” Clark suggested. “If their egos are as over-inflated as you say, getting them to talk to us shouldn’t be a problem.”

“Getting them to stop talking will be the problem,” Lois told him. She looked around the filling ballroom and spotted two men and a woman making their way away from the no-host bar. The two men — one tall with a receding hairline, the other younger, slighter and fairer — were carrying fluted glasses filled with white wine. The woman appeared to have something stronger in her glass.

“Let’s start with them,” she suggested. She started toward the trio like a woman on a mission, a sloop cutting through the waves ahead of the wind, leaving Clark to chase after her.

“Hi, we’re with the Daily Planet,” Lois announced. “We were wondering it you had a few moments to talk to us about…”

The younger man — here Lois adjusted her estimate of his age upward, he was at least thirty-five — looked at her with wide pale eyes. He was practically bouncing with excitement. “The Daily Planet? Have you met the flying man?”

The older man glared at him. “Niles…” He turned to Lois and smiled. “I’m Doctor Frasier Crane and this is my brother, Doctor Niles Crane, and my producer, Roz Doyle. And you are…?”

“Lois Lane.”

The older woman, Roz, chuckled. “You sure called that one wrong, Frase,” she said to the elder Crane. Then she leaned closer to Lois with a conspiratorial grin. “Is he as cute in person as his pictures?”

The younger Crane was grinning over the top of his wine glass. “She certainly doesn’t look either middle-aged or…”

The elder Doctor Crane glowered at the younger one. “Niles…”

Niles didn’t notice, or was choosing to ignore, the warning in his brother’s voice. “She’s certainly far more interesting than this very pedestrian Liebfraumilch they’re fobbing off on us,” he went on, inspecting the glass in his hand. “And I thought I was going to be bored.”

He looked at Lois. “Tell me, Ms. Lane, have you always had a fascination with people who fly, or is this a recent development?”

Lois opened her mouth then closed it again with a snap. In the corner of her eye she could see Clark grinning and shaking as though trying to stifle a laugh. Lois was not amused. She was here on Perry’s orders to get some background color on this blasted conference, not to be laughed at — especially not over something as serious as Superman.

“Lois, we may as well just give up,” Clark said. “Until the novelty wears off, people are going to want to interview you, not the other way around.”

“And how am I supposed to do my job if everybody wants to interview me?”

Clark just shrugged.

“If I might make a suggestion,” the elder Crane began. “It might be advantageous for you to give an interview, say on a radio show, and get it all out there…”

“Maybe you could get Superman to pop in and answer some questions, too,” Roz added. “Unless you were planning on keeping him all to yourself…”

Lois noticed Roz eyeing Clark with much the same predatory gleam as Cat Grant had when she first met the newsroom’s ‘new tight-end’. “Roz Doyle, KACL, Seattle,” the woman was saying to her partner.

The elder Crane handed Lois a business card with a time and place noted on the back — WLEX studio 2, 1 pm. Lois dropped the card in her purse. “I’ll have to clear it with my editor,” she said. She hoped Perry would say ‘no’ but she doubted he would. It was too good an opportunity for him to pass up. Free publicity, even if it was at her expense.

She looked over to see that Roz had taken Clark aside and he was listening to whatever she was saying with rapt attention. Clark could be so gullible sometimes.

“Clark,” she called. He looked over at her, brown eyes bright behind his glasses. “We’re outta here,” she announced. She turned back to Doctor Crane. “I’ll have someone call you…”

Lois grabbed Clark’s arm and headed for the door. Behind her she could hear Roz saying, “A hunk who can fly and a hunk in a tux… if she’s sex starved, it’s her own fault, lucky bitch.”

Lois kept walking, even though Clark had started chortling again. “You think it’s funny, Kent? I just got conned into doing a radio talk show by a hack shrink from Seattle! And how am I supposed to let Superman know they want to interview him too?”

Clark had stopped laughing but he was still grinning. “Go to the roof of the Planet and yell ‘Help Superman’?”

“That’s not funny.”

“Uh, Lois?”


“Aren’t we supposed to stay and talk to at least a couple more people? Perry’s expecting it.”

“There’re two of us and three hundred of them. You choose. But just remember this: I’m not doing another radio interview. And if you get me into another one, they’ll never find your body.”

Not like Peter Pan…

“So Frasier, what’s on today’s agenda?” Niles asked over breakfast the next morning. The view outside the broad windows of their room was breathtaking. The morning was incredibly clear.

“I have a seminar this morning on professional liability,” Frasier said, sipping his coffee. “I was going to spend some time after the seminar tracking down Professor Lang’s mysterious collaborator. Then I have that interview with Ms. Lane. Bebe was beside herself when I called her last night. She seems to think this will be quite a feather in my cap.”

“Well, I have a list of antique shops over in Racine to visit this afternoon. Maris thinks the music room needs ‘something’. Maybe a new glockenspiel.”

“Good luck,” Frasier said. “Although if Metropolis doesn’t have something Maris would like, then it probably doesn’t exist…”

“So true.”

Both men looked up as the door to the room opened and Roz walked in. She had taken off sometime during the cocktail party and hadn’t come back until now. Her face was flushed. “You’ll never believe this…” she started.

“We’re psychiatrists, Roz,” Frasier interrupted. “We don’t believe anything.”

Roz stopped and glared at him, then shrugged. “I was at the bank this morning to cash some traveler’s checks, and… Oh, my God… He showed up to stop a robbery. Everything they’re saying is true. He flies, he has this laser-ray thing with his eyes, bullets just bounce off him…” She flopped down on the nearest bed and pulled off her shoes. “And he is absolutely the most gorgeous piece of man I have ever seen.”

“Roz, aren’t you exaggerating just a little?” Frasier chided.

“Who needs to exaggerate?” she came back. “The robber made us all get down on the floor and then, when it was all over, Superman helped me up. I think he likes me.”

“According to the Daily Planet, Superman seems to like everyone, except for bank robbers and muggers and miscreants of that ilk,” Niles put in. “I hardly think you’re special in that regard.”

“Shut up, Niles,” Roz said. “A girl can dream, can’t she? I mean, he flies, and not with fairy dust either.”

Searching for Mister Kent

“Have you gotten any leads on Professor Lang’s mysterious collaborator?” Niles asked Frasier. “Aside from the information that he can be contacted through the Daily Planet?” He and Frasier were in the lobby of the Daily Planet building, waiting for the elevator that would take them to newsroom floor and the office of the editor. Frasier had the volume with him.

“There is a Clark Kent working here, as a staff reporter,” Frasier reported. “Though I can’t imagine he’s the one I’m looking for. What would a world-class linguist be doing working as a journalist? According to Lang this C.J. Kent was one of the finest minds he’d ever encountered.”

“Perhaps the reporter is a relative. A son perhaps?” Niles suggested. The doors opened on the noisy, seemingly chaotic, newsroom. An older man with a touch of a southern accent was bellowing at someone, a young man not much past his teens.

“Oh my…” Niles murmured, watching the frenetic action. “I’d love to know what my agoraphobia group would think of this.”

“Before or after they ran away screaming?” Frasier asked.

Niles had his mouth open to retort when he was interrupted.

“And who the Sam Hill are you?” the older man demanded, finally noticing them.

“Doctor Frasier Crane,” Frasier introduced himself. “I assume you’re Mister White.”

The other man gave a harried nod. Frasier continued. “I called you earlier… about a linguist by the name of Kent. An old associate of Professor Lewis Lang, the noted archeologist.”

“Never heard of him. Well, the only Kent around here is Clark Kent,” White stated. He looked around but apparently didn’t see who he was looking for. “Jimmy, where are Lois and Clark?” he yelled. The young man White had been yelling at earlier popped his head over one of the computer monitors.

“One of Lois’s sources called…” the young man, Jimmy, said. “I think she said they’d be right back. Then she has that appointment over at WLEX. That radio shrink?”

White gave Frasier a speculative look. “Crane, you said? You’re the one interviewing Lois, aren’t you?”

Frasier smiled. “Guilty as charged.”

White didn’t seem amused. “Well, a reporter’s supposed to report the news, not be the news. Still, she is the one who got the first interview with Superman, so I guess it won’t hurt. Might keep the rest of those vultures off her back, and mine.”

White looked over at the elevators as the doors opened and disgorged two people Frasier and Niles had already met. One of them was Lois Lane. She appeared to be deep in discussion with the same dark-haired young man who had been with her the night before.

“Clark!” White yelled, interrupting the couple’s discussion. “Doctor Crane here’s been looking for you.”

Frasier watched Kent’s head swing around to look at him. The young man went still, almost frozen in place, then he seemed to shake himself into movement, coming down the ramp toward them.

“Remember, this is a newsroom, not a social hall,” White warned. He turned and headed back to his cluttered office.

Frasier looked the young man over. Slightly worn brown suit, equally worn shoes — Kent looked more like a college student than a hot-shot reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper.

“Actually, Mister Kent,” Frasier began, “I’m probably looking for your father or uncle. C.J. Kent? The linguist?”

Kent shook his head. “I’m the only one in the family with those initials.” He seemed wary. “What’s this about?”

Frasier pulled the book out of his case and showed it to Kent. “C.J. Kent collaborated with Professor Lewis Lang on this book ten years ago. And the professor was kind enough to let me know that Kent could be reached through the Daily Planet.”

“You know Professor Lang?” Kent asked. The wariness was still there.

“Oh, yes. I took a number of classes from him as an undergraduate at Harvard, even went on a dig for several weeks.” Frasier let his pride color his voice. Niles rolled his eyes. “We’ve kept in touch over the years,” Frasier added.

“And why are you looking for C.J. Kent?”

“I’m embarrassed to say I’m looking for his autograph,” Frasier admitted. “This is quite a rare volume and the signatures of both authors would make it even more valuable than it already is.”

Kent held out his hand and Frasier handed him the book. Kent opened it to the title page and reached into his jacket pocket for a pen.

Horrified, Frasier grabbed the book back. Kent gave him a perplexed look, drawing his eyebrows together. “I thought you wanted the second translator’s autograph?”

“You mean… you?” Frasier nearly squeaked in astonishment. “You’re the one who collaborated with Lang? You are the ‘finest mind’ he ever met?”

Kent nodded. “He likes me.”

“But you’re a…” Niles began. “How old were you?”

Kent seemed to think about the question for a moment. “Sixteen. I went all through school with his daughter. I spent the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school working with them in Asia Minor. It was a lot of fun.” He indicated the leather bound book gripped in Frasier’s hands. “Do you want that signed or not?”

Wordlessly, Frasier handed the book back. He looked on as the young man placed his signature beneath Lang’s.

“This will make the second copy with both signatures. Even Lex Luthor can’t make that claim,” Kent added as he handed the book back to Frasier. “His copy only has the professor’s.”

Frasier looked at the new signature: ‘Clark J. Kent.’

“You had a book published when you were sixteen?” Lane asked. She had been listening the entire time.

“Not by myself,” Kent answered. “And it wasn’t nearly as well received as the professor hoped. People had a hard time accepting the idea that Alexander the Great had ever heard of Sun Tzu, much less that he was capable of writing a commentary.”

“It simply shows how close minded some people can be especially when it counters what they already ‘know’,” Frasier stated.

Niles chuckled and Frasier glared at him.

Lane was watching her partner through narrowed eyes. “Have you got any other secrets I should know about?”

“Everyone has secrets, Lois,” Kent replied.

“I will find them out, you know,” Lane warned him.

“I know you’ll try,” Kent countered.

“How long have the two of you known each other?” Frasier asked.

Lane answered. “Three days. Feels like an eternity.”

Niles chuckled. “I predict a long and happy relationship.”

“Why?” Kent asked. He was looking at Niles as though the older man had lost his mind.

“Because you’re already fighting like an old married couple,” Frasier said. “For most couples, it takes years, even therapy, to get that proficient.”

She Has Flying Monkeys…

“And if you’re just tuning in, I’m Doctor Frasier Crane filling in for Wes Green. And I’m here with Lois Lane and Clark Kent of the Daily Planet, the first journalists to interview Superman,” Frasier said into his microphone. He was sitting behind the desk in the WLEX studio B. Roz was in the adjoining control booth with one of the station’s own board operators.

On the other side of the desk sat Frasier’s two guests. Two hours into the show, both were looking more than a little frazzled. And Superman had yet to show up.

“Roz, who do we have next on the line?” Frasier asked.

“Cliff from Boston,” Roz announced.

“Well, Cliff, what question would you like to ask our guests?”

“Well, as I’m sure you know, as early as nineteen-forty-five, the Russians were working on genetically modifying humans using the extraterrestrial DNA found in the crater at Tunguska to create the perfect Nietzschean ubermann…”

“Uh, Cliff, do you have a question for Ms. Lane or Mister Kent?” Frasier interrupted.

“Uh, is the flying a manifestation of inhuman strength or something else?”

“Lois?” Frasier asked.

“I’m not sure how he flies, only that he does, and quite well,” Lane responded.

“Cliff, thank you for your call,” Frasier said, cutting the caller off. “And tell Sam and the gang at Cheers hi for me, will you?” He chuckled and turned back to Lane and Kent. “A couple of people have mentioned Nietzsche and his idea of the ubermann or over-man. Do you think this Superman fits this ideal?”

Lane and Kent glanced at one another then Kent leaned into the microphone. “From what I’ve seen of him and what he’s told me, I don’t think Superman has any intention of becoming what most people think of as Nietzsche’s ubermann, someone who is outside the rule of law by virtue of superior strength or intellect. But, I’m not sure that’s what Nietzsche was referring to in his writing. I think the laws he was referring to, the laws the superior intellect was outside of, were the rules laid down that governed what was acceptable in art and literature. The artistic and superior mind should not be forced to conform to the artistic dictates of those with less vision. But the rule of law that keeps society running, the laws against murder and stealing, those still apply even to someone like Superman.”

“A philosopher as well as a linguist,” Frasier stated.

Kent shrugged. “As a journalist, I have to be a little of everything.”

Other calls from all over. Lane and Kent fielded the questions nicely.

But no Superman.

“We were hoping Superman himself would show up and take a few questions,” Frasier announced. “But he’s obviously busy.”

On the other side of the desk, Kent had his hand over their microphone and was quietly saying something to his colleague. She was looking daggers at him. “You are not leaving me here by myself,” Lane hissed loudly enough for Frasier to hear.

“But, maybe I can find him,” Kent told her.

“Help, Superman,” Lane said loudly. She paused and looked dramatically around the studio. “See, no Superman. And don’t you even think about leaving to find him. Like you would have any idea where he is.”



“Roz, who’s our next caller?” Frasier asked, interrupting them.

“Catherine from Queensland Park,” Roz answered. “She wants to ask Lois a question.”

“Am I on the air?” a woman asked over the phone.

“Yes, you’re on the air,” Frasier assured her. He noticed Lane stiffen in her seat as though she recognized the voice.

“Okay… Lois, your article’s titled ‘I spent the night with Superman’…now just between us girls, what’s under the hood? Is he an import or domestic model?”

Lane’s face had turned pink and Kent looked like he wanted to be anyplace but where he was. Roz’s head was down and Frasier was certain she was laughing hysterically.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t admit it on national radio, would I?” Lane asked the caller.

“So you didn’t even get to first base,” the caller said. “Do you mind if I give him a test drive?”

“He’s a grown-up,” Lane responded. “But I do think he has better taste, Cat.”

Yes, Lane certainly knew the caller.

“Roz, I think we have time for one more caller,” Frasier announced finally. Their three hours was almost up.

“Lily from Boston,” Roz announced. “She’s a little worried about all the publicity Metropolis is getting.”

“Yes Lily, this is Doctor Frasier Crane and I’m listening…”

“Yes Frasier, I’m sure you are,” ‘Lily’ stated. Her dry voice was painfully familiar — Lilith Sternan, his ex-wife.

“Did you have a question for one of my guests?” Frasier asked.

“Actually, I’m wondering what has possessed you to support this obvious and ridiculous publicity scheme that Frank Berkowitz and his cronies have dreamed up.”

“I take it you don’t believe there’s a Superman?” Frasier asked. He glared at Roz for letting his ex-wife get though the screening but Roz was simply shaking her head.

‘Lily’ went on. “Aside from the fact that he appears to break multiple laws of physics, something I’m sure Nietzsche hadn’t anticipated, much less Einstein, it would seem the citizens of Metropolis feel such an overwhelming need for a savior that they had to create one out of whole cloth. Tell me, Frasier, do they believe in Peter Pan and Santa Claus as well?”

“And if I told you I’d seen him flying and so has my producer?”

“Don’t make me laugh,” Lilith said. Her voice was flat, humorless. “Peter Pan is a childish fantasy. There is no fairy dust that can make a man actually fly.”

“Well, I saw him swallow a bomb, and lift the colonist transport off the launch pad,” Lane stated. “I’ve flown with him.”

“The entire city has gone quite insane and you are simply feeding into their delusions,” ‘Lily’ stated. Frasier wasn’t sure if she was referring to him or to the reporters.

“Thank you, Lily, but we’re out of time,” Frasier stated, cutting her off. “I want to thank all of our callers and I especially want to thank Daily Planet staff reporters Lois Lane and Clark Kent for being with us today to take your questions about Superman.” He turned to Lane and Kent, grinning. “And you might want to warn Superman to avoid Boston if he can. My ex-wife lives there. She has flying monkeys and she knows how to use them.”

Yes Virginia, there is a Superman.

Three days later, Frasier leaned back in his chair in the studio at KACL, Seattle.

“This is Doctor Frasier Crane and I’m listening…” he announced. “Roz, who’s our next caller?”

There was no answer. He looked into the control booth to see a brightly clad figure standing beside Roz, waving at him through the glass.

“Uh, Doctor Crane,” Roz finally managed to say. “We have a guest… Superman’s here to say ‘hi’.”


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