|About Last Night|
|What: The Daily Planet is alive with activity after the events in Port Jervis|
The Daily Planet is alive with hustle and bustle as reporters fling themselves across the newsroom toward computers and phones and internet access. Papers are shuffling, people are yelling, and there's very obviously a 'thing' going on.
The elevator door bings and opens and Clark Kent steps out, nearly crashing into the delivery boy handing out breakfast burritos. "Oh. Sorry. Excuse me." Clark pushes his glasses farther up his nose and after a snort from the young man, shrugs his shoulders and tries to make his way to his desk.
"As I live in and breath, Kent!" yells Perry White. "Where have you been? Don't you have any idea what's going on?"
Clark shakes his head, "I was in Kansas all weekend, Mr. White. Did something big happen?"
"Did something big happen?" mocks Perry. "Gigantic metallic objects holding scan-bots fell from the sky and nearly leveled an entire town! Don't you have televisions in Kans-don't answer that. Get your tail to work!"
"Last time I checked, they don't have anything in Kansas and they like it that way. Isn't that right, Smallville?" Lois Lane asks teasingly as she looks up from her computer, fingers still typing as she talks, "So, you haven't heard about the attack on Port Jervis? The president's team is categorically denying that it was anything other than a natural disaster but sources are saying S.H.I.E.L.D. was involved."
The correspondent finally leans back from her computer and adds with a confident smirk, "And don't bother trying to scoop me on this one. You're already way behind. How is it that you're always out of town when the big stories hit, Kent?"
Clark gives Lois a look of irritation but can't help but crack a smile at her jabbing. He makes his way toward her desk, which is just across from his. "Point Jervis?" he shakes his head awkwardly, but that's not really odd, because he sort of does everything awkwardly. "Scoop you? One of us has a Pulitzer. The other was just a finalist. I wouldn't worry too much about me on your heels, Lois. You're a great reporter."
He plumps down in his seat and shakes his head with a rise of his shoulders in a shrug. "I dunno. Bad luck, I guess." He tilts his head, "What else happened?"
Perry White rolls his eyes at Clark and puts his cigar back in his mouth. A few paces later, everyone in the room will cringe at the SLAM of his door. He's yelling at his secretary in there, but it's difficult to make out precisely what he's saying.
Lois can't help but smile appreciatively as Perry storms out. They don't make them like that anymore. Her computer dings and she types out another message before returning her attention to Clark and addressing his assessment of her ability, "And don't you forget it, Kent. Don't blame luck. I've seen your work on southeast Asia. You're good. If you ever really applied yourself, gave up all that corn-fed politeness, you'd be running this place. "
She glances back at her screen, impatiently tapping a pencil on her desk before she answers his more substantive question, "Official reports are claiming Point Jervis suffered some sort of meteor shower, but witnesses who are getting around the official media black out are saying that the meteors didn't come through the atmosphere, they were appearing in flashes of green energy and were some sort of landing vehicle for alien robots. No mention of little green men."
Inclining her head she seems to be studying her fellow reporter when she aks, "What's your gut tell you, Smallville? Does this have legs or is it just a bunch of conspiracy nuts?"
"Somehow," Clark begins as he slides over to turn on his computer, "I don't think you'd ever allow me to be running this place. Even if I was in name." As Lois recounts the story, Clark looks at her and seems to be a little lost. "Well, golly, Lois. Were there any witnesses?" He knows, full well, that there were hundreds of people who were shuttled to City Hall. "What do they say?" His head shakes as his moppy hair dances over his glasses. "Personally, this stuff about alien robots seems a little far fetched. Wouldn't there be wreckage of them? Where did they go?" Clark knows, again, full well that the Army has closed down the site, but he's admittedly playing a bit of a game here. He wants to find out if Lois has talked to her father, and wants to see what the military is saying about the ordeal. Tricky, this one, even if he's from Kansas.
"Right, Smallville. We all know that Uncle Sam is upfront when it comes to salvaging alien tech," Lois observes facetiously before turning more serious, "So far, the official statement is 'no comment,' but that's what I'd expect if they thought it might cause a public panic. Plenty of witnesses, but if we really want to blow this thing open, I'd like to have a piece of extra-terrestrial scrap in my hands."
Ding. Another source comes through, "Bingo! Get ready for the front page. The Army is moving a truckload of salvage from Point Jervis to Trenton tonight. They don't know what they have, whether it's extra-terrestrial, Latverian, or even Biyalian, but they want to get it to a lab for anlysis."
Lois's mouth curls in that smile that signals trouble and she asks, "So, any big plans tonight, Clark?"
"Me?" Clark reddens almost immediately. "Well, I mean, I . . .uh. Big plans?" Awkwardly Clark shakes his head, "Me? No, I'm just going to spend the time cleaning up my apartment. What about you?"
Clark takes a look at her computer screen after leaning in her direction. Though it might prickle Lois' Super-Reporter-Scoop Senses, it's clear that if Clark has noted that he wouldn't scoop the story, then he won't scoop the story. He is, however, interested. "Trenton. Does the Government have a facility there?" he asks, genuinely unsure. "If it is extra-terrestrial, I'm sure they'd want to get it somewhere secure to have their scientists take a look at it."
"A thrill a minute, Smallville," Lois teases as she looks Clark up and down. She grabs an old-school pad of paper and makes a few notes as she answers a bit distractedly, "Air Force base. Used for testing drones and black ops tech. Likely R&D facility. Likely they'll be bringing in a specialist to look at what they picked up. Richards? Hamilton? Stark? Luthor?"
Clearly she is planning something and roping Clark into whatever quasi-legal investigative technique she has in her mind. She's so wrapped up in planning the operation that she doesn't notice Clark looking at her screen at first. The information displayed is a blur ofinput feeds and shorthand that comes from years of practical application, but someone with super-human senses and processing can probably decipher what's on display fairly quickly, including an invitation from Lois to General lane for dinner tonight and his decline because he will be "working." There is also a similar invitation given to Lieutenant Lucy Lane, USAF, which bears an almost identical response.
"My eyes are up here," Lois says as she finally catches Clark's wayward gaze, "You know, you could definitely fill out a uniform. We'd just need to ditch the glasses and maybe get you a haircut. Ever been to Jersey?"
"What?" Clark says aghast, "Lois I would never-" but the questions come at him too fast and furious to come up with a reasonable explanation. "Hamil-Richards?" Clark feigns ignorance. Would the government pick someone from the private sector? Or one of their own.
He considers the information about Sam and Lucy, and comes to the same conclusion that Lois does, most likely. "Lois, I am certainly not cutting my hair, and without my glasses I can't see a thing!" No, it seems like Clark is far too timid to accompany her on this secret mission, or at least not in a way that will rupture his secret identity!
Hey guys. I just had an accident that showed me what might be a bug. There doesn't seem to be a lock on sheets after approval. I thought I was in my Nightwing screen making updates to my app, and accidentally was in my Superman screen. I was able to add a focus attribute
Comments added by Dumbledore: That is correct--however, unlocked/unapproved attributes are marked on the 눗 with *. I have also adjusted the code so that the individual abilities more clearly state when they are unapproved, which it looks like was not being done properly before. Thanks for catching that. :)
Lois sighs and shakes her head, "Someday, Kent, someday. You've got to get out and live a little, take a risk, put your tail on the line. Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and just go with your instincts."
A quick flip of a switch and her computer screen blanks. She's got some time to kill before illegally raiding a military convoy, and her fellow reporter has her full attention now. She looks up into his eyes and says in a serious voice, "I'm not joking, Clark. Someday, you're going to find something you really want, something you're chasing, and you're going to just have to go for it, no matter the risk, no matter the cost."
Lois pauses and lets the words sink in and then adds, "Like the key to breaking this story. If you're not game, I'll grab Jimmy and we'll bring back a little something from that convoy. We owe it to the people to get at the truth, let them decide for themselves if they need to panic."
For a moment, Clark stares at her behind his gigantic coke-bottle glasses and swallows with some difficulty at her words. "Sometimes things cost a great deal, Lois. Sometimes Pandora can't be put back into the box." Especially if his instincts on this are right. Especially if this is Zod.
"Lois, are you sure that's such a good idea? I mean, what happens if you get caught?" Clark almost seems to be pleading with her, but they both know that will never work. Even if Clark was going to try and get some laundry done tonight, it looks like he'll be wearing a different kind of suit. "Jimmy? You want to put him in that sort of risk?"
Lois rolls her eyes, "Some faith, Clark. I've gotten in and out of tighter places and the kid needs to learn sometime. Odds are I'll be too easy to recognize, but if I create a distraction and dress Jimmy up as a soldier, he'll be able to sneak in and grab a little scrap, something no one will notice. I'll call in some favors, get it analyzed, and then I'll let the General decide if he wants to make a statement or just let it all come out on its own. I'd wager your mom's mortgage on the former."
Satisfied with her plan, Lois leans back in her chair, "Speaking of which, how is your Mom doing? She send you back with a suitcase full of apple pie?" Although it seems like small talk, Lois might be testing his earlier statement about being in Kansas, looking to catch him off-guard if he's lying.
Clark takes the opportunity to be completely honest with Lois. It's not a luxury he gets very often. "Things are going well there. They're getting ready for the planting season coming up here. Last year was a pretty rough one on the farm. The price of corn took a big dip, and that hurt things all over. Hopefully this year will be better."
Clark shrugs at her plan, "I trust your judgement and all, Lois, but please be careful. I mean, I know your father is military, but that can't save you from everything if you do get caught."
Lois can't help but chuckle warmly at the farm report, "Give your folks my best the next time you see them. And, you should really think about ringing them up to the city one of these days. You could show them the landmarks and bring them by the Planet so I can get all the good 'Clark as a baby' stories." Even if it is alien to her, there is something she finds undeniably appealing about the idea of Clark's family.
But, she doesn't linger on the diversion long, turning back to the matter at hand, "As for Jersey, I can take care of myself, Clark. I know the risks, but we have a responsibility to the people. Do you think Superman hesitates to save a family from a burning building because he's worried he might be trespassing or be held liable if things go wrong? Of course not. Why should we do any less? besides, worst case scenario, they throw us in the brig for a night and then let us go with a stern warning. No way they take on the bad press of holding a journalist."
"I will for sure, Lois," Clark says seeming to brighten and perk just a bit. "I'd extend the same offer, but I can't imagine you'd find Smallville very appealing. Besides, I'm sure it would be the talk of the /entire/ town." He laughs a bit at his own joke, and nearly snorts.
Clark calms a bit too slowly. After regaining his composure, he nods to her, "We both know I can't really stop you, Lois. But the difference is that the people inside he burning building want Superman to come in. I'm guessing the military doesn't."
"But, the people want to know; they have a right to know," Lois asserts, "Just because someone has a lofty political appointment or a few stars on their shoulder doesn't give them the right to decide what the people should find out about. That's the sort of thinking that plutocrats like Luthor love because it lets them do whatever they want with no accountability. Let's be realistic, Kent. Why do you think the military is bringing the salvage to an R&D base? I'm guessing it's not so they can publish their findings in 'Scientific American.' Without the press to keep them accountable, there's no telling what some bureaucrat or war hawk might attempt."
As Lois gives her impassioned speech, Clark feels a rush of blood to the face and loosens his tie a bit as he starts to feel extremely warm. She's right, and maybe it burns him up, but she's right. It takes him a while, but he finally admits it. "You make a good point, Lois. Just be careful, okay?" Idly, he wonders if he has his black suit here or way up at the Fortress.
Lois spins in her chair, grabbing her bag and springing to her feet, "I'm always careful, Kent. And try not to waste all night in that apartment. There's a whole city out there for you to explore. If you're not chasing a story, you should be out living a little." She offers a friendly smile as she saunters out, dead set on her fact finding mission.