“You Only Kill The Ones You Love” Rated R
Leah sat in a small chair in the middle of the living room. All of the other children were outside. Clara slowly circled her and said, “Leah, I love you so much and I don’t like to punish you.”
Leah said, “So don’t. I already stopped watching TV. Can I go now?”
Clara said, “No, not yet. Leah this isn’t about punishment. This is about teaching you to obey when you need to. I only tell you to do things that will benefit and protect us as a family. You need to trust my intentions and experience and obey me when I tell you that it’s important. You are almost five years old and you are incredibly smart, but there is still a lot that you don’t know.”
Leah said, “Well there’s a lot that you don’t know too!”
Clara said, “They say that true wisdom only begins when you realize that you know very little for sure. I know that I still have a lot to learn. I will be learning new things everyday until the day that I die … and even then I am sure that there will be more that I don’t know than what I do know.”
Leah said, “I wouldn’t be bragging about being stupid. You didn’t even know about Daddy.”
Clara said, “I was wrong about your Dad. I apologized to him for that.”
Leah said, “Yeah, I heard you apologizing to him all night. I didn’t even need to use my special hearing.”
Clara said, “I told your Dad that I was sorry for thinking that he has other girl friends.”
Leah said, “You’re wrong. He does have other girl friends. Lots and lots of them! You are stupid and stupid people shouldn’t make rules or decide how people should be punished! When I grow up and marry Daddy I’m not going to let him do that stuff with other women … only me … and maybe you if you are good and stop being so mean to me.”
Clara said, “You may think that you want to marry your Daddy now, but you’ll find someone of your own someday.”
Leah said, “NO I WON’T! I’ll marry Daddy and then we’ll do the baby making thing. You say Daddy is the best and I want the best. Larry says that there are rules and that I can’t marry Daddy but I’m a special person and rules aren’t for me.”
Clara said, “Leah, Baby, you are special. Special people can follow ALL the rules and still achieve amazing things. Our powers make it more important that we follow rules and set an example for others to aspire to. People will be jealous and want to criticize us, so we need to give people a reason to respect us.”
Leah said, “If they don’t respect me, I’ll hit them hard. POW!”
Clara said, “Leah! No hitting. EVER!”
Leah said, “If I hadn’t hit that giant man and kilt him, he would have kilt you!”
Clara said, “I know Leah. Thank you for saving my life. But I need to know that you can limit your use of force to what is necessary to accomplish the task. Soon you will have two baby sisters to look to you as an example of how to behave. They will want to be just like you. I need you to shape up and be the good, sweet little girl that I know you are. But until I can get a feeling that you really want to be a good girl and want to be someone that I can trust, I’m not going to allow you to visit Cupid anymore.”
Leah said, “That’s not fair! I’m telling Daddy! Grandpa was right about you. You are just a bad witch. You can go to HELL!”
Clara swallowed hard and said, “I love you, Leah. You might not believe that at the moment, but I love you more than you could possibly know. I need you to want to be good but I don’t think talking with you any more right now will change anything. I would like a hug right now, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. I’m done talking. You can go out and play with your brothers now.” Leah got up without looking towards Clara and ran outside. Clara said, “God help me, PLEASE! I don’t know what to do!”
Lionel Luthor entered a special room adjacent to his cell. The guard handed him a cellular phone and left the room. Lionel immediately started talking to Edward Simpson – the man he had hired to spy on Lex and seduce Clara. He said, “Where are you?”
Edward said, “I’m in Brazil. It would be dangerous for me to say more than that. I just want to report what I know to you in hopes that you won’t be sending anyone after me. You don’t owe me any money. Just let me know that you don’t hold me responsible for anything that happened.”
Lionel said, “Oh, you’re responsible all right, but I have no intention on using my resources to track you down. You know what you did, don’t you? I wanted to make Lex embarrassed of her. I wanted you to lure her away and provide proof that she was an unfaithful and unworthy wife. For years, the media did my work for me by questioning why my Son would marry such a dog. Then you, with one videotape, make her an international sex goddess. I have had photos of her before … revealing photos … but that videotape made me take a very cold shower. Now everyone is congratulating Lex on his choice of a wife. Now I have to go back to Plan D.”
Edward said, “Which is?”
Lionel said, “Well ‘A’ was payoff; ‘B’ was to get Lex involved with someone more suited to him; ‘C’ was to make each of them think that the other was unfaithful; then there was one that was too embarrassing to mention; ‘E’ was Plan Edward; and ‘D’ was for Death – to simply kill her off.”
Edward said, “That’s where my information should help you. She’s a mutant. She’s strong and fast. I never would have tried what I did the way I did if ….”
Lionel said, “That’s what disgusts me about you Edward. A four year old child did a much more thorough job of telling me what I need to know about Clara Kent Luthor than you did. Your information is inaccurate, incomplete and too late to be of any value to me. I know all of Clara’s strengths and weaknesses now.”
Edward said, “So now it’s time for Plan D?”
Lionel said, “After Plan F. After being in prison this long without female companionship and after seeing what Clara looks like in motion, I’m going to experience first hand what she’s got to make a son betray his father. I’ll take away everything that she loves, then take my pleasure with her at my leisure, steal her strengths for myself, then choke the life out of her with my bare hands.”
Edward said, “How are you going to get out of prison?”
Lionel said, “Edward … that will be child’s play.”
[A few months later]
Clara said, “Lex, get out of the shower now! I need it!”
Lex said, “Why don’t you join me?” Clara burst out crying. Lex said, Oh man, I hope that this doesn’t go on much longer. What’s the matter now, Honey?”
Clara said, “You know I can’t fit in there with you anymore! Now get out. Get out. Get Out! GET OUT!!!”
Lex said, “You hardly ever sweat and dirt doesn’t stick to you so how could a simple shower be so urgent?!” Clara wailed. Lex said, “Okay, okay! I’m hurrying. You’d think that …. Clara, are the babies coming now?”
Clara said, “Get out. Get out. Get Out! GET OUT!!!”
Lex jumped out of the shower and maneuvered his way around Clara. He said, “Let me watch this time. You never let me watch. You just sneak off and ….”
Clara said, “GO AWAY!!!”
Lex said, “PLEASE!”
Clara said, “It’s so gross. You’ll never want to touch me again.”
Lex said, “That’s unlikely.”
Clara said, “I’m not taking any chances.”
Lex said, “I’ve seen videos of live births before. The real thing can’t be that bad.”
Clara said, “I’m an alien. I unhinge my rib cage to get them out.”
Lex said, “Really?”
Clara said, “NO! They come out the same way they come out of a human female. Now, GET OUT!”
Lex said, “Honey, you’ve never had twins before. You might need some help. I’m staying no matter what you say. I could be dishonest and just leave then watch with X-ray vision. I’m going to watch this happen one way or another!”
Clara said, “FINE! You want to help me? Get a clean bath towel for me.”
Lex said, “Great!” He turned his back and grabbed a towel. He turned back and said, “What now?”
Clara handed him a baby and said, “Wrap her up in the towel.”
Lex said, “I missed it! How could you have a baby so fast?”
Clara said, “Total muscular control. Do you have another towel ready?” Lex reached behind himself without taking his eyes off Clara. He handed her another towel. She said, “No, NO, NO!! That’s the same color as the other towel. We need to use a different color so we can tell then apart. Lex turned to pick a towel that was a different color. He turned back and Clara handed him the second baby.
Lex said, “Clara! Damn! I almost feel like asking you to put her back in so I can watch her being born!”
Clara said, “Don’t swear in front of our Daughter! Now hand me a couple garbage bags unless you REALLY want to help.”
Lex was puzzled. He handed her some garbage bags that Clara had kept in the bathroom. Clara knelt down to begin cleaning up the after birth. Lex looked down and almost threw up. He went into the bedroom and placed his newborn daughters on the bed. As he looked at them, he said, “I never knew that I could be this happy!”
From outside the bedroom door, Leah scowled as she watched Lex smiling at her sisters.
[A few months pass]
Clara was in the kitchen when she heard Larry crying. She didn’t recognize the sound at first. Larry held his emotions under such tight control that Clara was afraid of what might happen if he ever let loose. Clara thought that something minor had finally pushed Larry over the edge. Leah teased Larry mercilessly so Clara hoped that was all there was to it.
She went upstairs and found Larry standing over the twins’ crib. She asked, “Larry, what’s wrong?”
He turned to face her. His face was a mask of horror and was soaked with tears. He said, “Momma … oh, MOMMA!”
She opened her arms for him to come to her, then she glanced to the corner of the room and saw Lex standing there – frozen like a statue. His face had the same expression as Larry’s. Clara’s head turned to look into the crib. She wondered for a moment what she was seeing. A scream froze in her throat when she realized that it was the charred remains of her twin baby girls. As Larry reached for her, Clara went limp and fell to the floor unconscious. Larry dropped to the floor beside her and buried his face against her and cried. Lex remained frozen in the corner.
Sheriff Adams said, “How is she holding up, Lex?”
Lex said, “She’s a strong woman. I’m sure we’ll find a way past this. I do appreciate your special help in all of this. If the deaths had been investigated the way a case like this normally is, then ….”
Sheriff Adams said, “There is nothing normal about this case or your family. I owe Clara so much – the whole world does. I couldn’t get her out of prison when I knew that she was falsely accused, but I was able to get this swept under the carpet. Does Clara know exactly what caused it?”
Lex said, “As best as Clara can rationalize it, their bodies were just too frail to contain the power they had. As their bodies absorbed more power, their bodies just didn’t mature fast enough to regulate the power or contain an aura strong enough to contain it.”
Sheriff Adams asked, “Well, what do you think?”
Lex said, “Clara is the doctor and the scientist in the family. Plus she knows more than any one on the planet about our unusual biology.”
The Sheriff said, “I noticed that your oldest boy runs off when he sees me. He’s acting pretty nervous … like he’s afraid of something … or guilty of something.”
Lex said, “I don’t care for the implication … but he is feeling guilty. He watches over his brothers and sisters like a hawk and he is taking it hard that he couldn’t do something to stop it. I have tried to talk to him about it, but he can’t handle it right now … and, frankly, neither can I.”
The Sheriff said, “I find it strange that they both died at the same time.”
Lex said, “They were identical twins born a couple minutes apart. But this example may help it make sense for you. Imagine two dams that are equally strong. One dam has too much pressure on it and it gives. The water released backs up behind the second dam which was already close to its limit. What happens? When one of my daughters released her energy, the other absorbed enough from her to die the same way.”
The Sheriff said, “That makes sense. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I’ll keep anyone from pestering you. Just take care of yourselves. The world needs you. I’ll let myself out.
Lex said, “Thanks for everything.”
Leah said, “Hi Grandpa! How are you today?”
Lionel said, “Oh! It’s my little Leah come to visit! I’m feeling so much better now that you are here. And if I’m not mistaken, today is your sixth birthday!”
Leah said, “You remembered!”
Lionel said, “How could I forget? But it kind of makes me sad that I can’t go to your birthday party.”
Leah said, “That’s why I visited today … ‘cause I knew you couldn’t come. I told you I would. I know old people forget things.”
Lionel said, “I have a friend who made a bracelet for me to give to you. He also made a neato ray gun for you. It’s so cool! But the guards won’t let him bring them in here so that I can give them to you.”
Leah said, “Just tell me where he lives and I’ll go get them.”
Lionel said, “The man doesn’t trust anyone but me. He won’t answer the door for you or give you the gun and bracelet unless I am there and tell him to. So I guess we’ll just have to wait until I get out of here.”
Leah said, “Well how long will that be?”
Lionel said, “Years and years. I might NEVER get out.”
Leah said, “NUTS! That’s not fair!”
Lionel said, “I wish I could get out of here for just one day and sneak back in so that no one would know I was ever out.”
Leah said, “You could sneak out like I sneaked in. I’ll help you.”
Lionel said, “Maybe you shouldn’t. That might make your Mother mad.”
Leah said, “Do you like my Mom now? You put a lot of naughty pictures of her on your wall. You have more pictures of her now than you have pictures of me!”
Lionel said, “I see you every week so I don’t need pictures of you. No picture could be as lovely as you are anyway. I need pictures of your Mother to help me remember what she looks like. I’ve been trying to see how much she looks like Superwoman.”
Leah said, “Superwoman is like someone else. I don’t like her and I don’t like Mommy much either. I thought she would love me more again once I was the only girl again but she’s not any nicer. She doesn’t smile the same anymore and she doesn’t listen so good. I miss hearing her sing.”
Lionel said, “Well I hope to have a little … talk … with her soon. I think I’ll find a way to make her sing.”
Leah said, “That would be good. I hope she sings “Happy Birthday” for me. I like it when she sings. I just don’t like it when she talks … especially when she’s talking about stupid rules … like that rule that’s golden.”
Lionel said, “Well, I hope you have a good party. I really wish I could get out for the day. I think you would really like the bracelet … and that ray gun would make your brothers green with envy.”
Leah said, “It’s my birthday and Mom SAID I could invite anyone I wanted to and I want you … so let’s GO!” Leah herded Lionel to an outside wall then wrapped her tiny arms around him. She vibrated the two of them then pushed forward through the wall. She asked, “Do you want me to run you or fly you?”
Lionel said, “Just get me to the parking lot. I parked my car here when I came to prison. I’ll drive you to my friend’s place.”
Leah said, “That’s kind of slow, but that’s okay if I get to ride up front and pick the radio station.” Leah walked to the wall with Lionel then picked him up and leapt over the wall while carrying him. Then she put him down and reached up to take his hand so that he could take her safely across the street. Lionel looked at a few cars. Leah said, “Don’t you know which one is yours?”
Lionel said, “I’ve been in prison a while now Leah. I can’t quite remember where I parked. Oh, here it is. Get in.” Lionel slid behind the steering wheel then reached under the dash board.
Leah asked, “Why are reaching under there? Don’t you have the keys?”
Lionel said, “The key is broken so I have to start it this way.”
Leah said, “Why don’t you get a new car then?”
Lionel said, “I plan to.” The car started and the two headed down the road in the warden’s car.
Leah waited impatiently while Lionel talked with his friend. She said, “Where’s my bracelet? Where’s my ray gun?”
Lionel said, “My friend here made the ray gun special so that only one person can fire it. It’s almost ready but it has to be programmed. After he’s done, your brothers can try to fire it, but it will only work for you. Isn’t that cool?” Leah nodded her head. Lionel continued, “We need to put a crown on your head for a while and that will tell my friend what he needs to know to program the gun.”
Leah asked, “Can I keep the crown too?”
Lionel said, “I guess so, but you might not want it. It’s not very pretty.”
The scientist said, “Little girl, sit in this chair please and I will put on the … crown.” Leah hopped into the chair and the man lowered a device over her head. He said, “Very good! She has a distinctive bio field. This should work. But we had better test it.”
Lionel said, “That’s why she’s here.”
As the man lifted the device from Leah’s head, she said, “I’m not here to take a test. I’m here for my birthday presents!” The man helped Leah out of the chair then turned and mad adjustments on a vest that was hanging nearby.
Lionel said, “That’s right, but we have to make sure that everything works before we go to your house for cake and ice cream!” The man handed the bulky vest to Lionel and he put it on. Lionel said, “Okay Honey, go to the far side of the room. When I tell you … when I ask you to, run to me as fast as you can and give me a big hug. Then I’ll give you your bracelet.”
As Leah walked to the far side of the room, she said, “I can run really, REALLY fast!”
Lionel turned on a switch on the vest and said, “Show me … now!” Leah ran towards him but before she got near him a green flash of light pulsed from his vest. Leah fell to the floor and her momentum made her body slide towards Lionel. He put out his foot and stepped down on her to stop her from sliding further. Her skin was pale green and she was crying from the most intense pain she had ever felt in her short life. Lionel asked the scientist, “Where is the ray gun. I’d better test that too.” The man handed Lionel a gun. Lionel didn’t hesitate. He aimed at Leah and fired. Leah’s body jolted. She screamed and passed out.
The scientist said, “Those are the lowest settings. Turn them up for an adult alien.”
Lionel asked, “Where are the manacles?”
The scientist brought out a box with eight sets of kryptonite manacles in it. Lionel clamped a pair onto Leah’s wrists. The scientist said, “Leave the girl with me. I have some interesting tests I could do on her. Then I can do a post mortem and learn even more.”
Lionel said, “Sorry, I need her hand to get through the door security scan.”
The man said, “Which hand? I’ll cut one off for you.”
Lionel said, “I don’t know which hand … and I might need a retinal scan too. Don’t worry. I’ll bring you back samples … maybe even and adult woman.”
The man says, “Sounds like fun.”
Lionel said, “I get to have my fun first. She owes me big time!” Lionel nodded goodbye, picked up Leah, took her out to the car and threw her into the back seat.
Clara arrived home with Leah’s birthday cake. She called out, “Mom, Kids … I’m home!” No one came to greet her. She admired the party decorations as she made her way to the kitchen. She threw the cake on the counter when she saw Martha lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood. She grabbed some silverware from the drawer and reshaped and sterilized it with her heat vision. Within a couple seconds she extracted two bullets from Martha’s side and bandaged her. She carried her Mother to the living room and put her down on a couch when she saw Leah lying on another couch. Leah was pale green, unconscious and barely breathing. She was wearing kryptonite manacles. Clara tried to get them off Leah but couldn’t.
Clara reared back her head and screamed for Lex in an ultrasonic frequency. Birds took flight from nearby trees. Dogs began howling for miles around. In a board room in Moscow, Lex stopped talking mid sales pitch and jerked his head in the direction of his Smallville home.
Clara raced through the house to find the rest of the children. They were all unconscious except for Joel who smiled to see her but cried when she wouldn’t pick him up. All of them wore kryptonite manacles. Most of them had turned a shade of green.
In the nursery, Clara heard a floorboard creak behind her. Without hesitation, she turned and raced towards Lionel Luthor. A burst of green light caused her to lose her footing. She crashed through the nursery wall and landed in the hallway beyond it.
Lionel knelt next to Clara and smiled down at her. He struck her across the face a few times then clamped kryptonite manacles on her wrists. He said, “Thanks to you, I haven’t been with a woman in years, but you are about to make it all up to me … with interest. And believe me, a certain videotape has got me VERY interested. That video helped me finally figure out what Lex wants you for. If I’m right and you’re good enough, I might let you live … for a while anyway. And I know your little secret … that every man you sleep with gets super powers. That explains the Justice League of America. It also explains why there are 100 times as many evil super powered people that good ones. You like the bad boys, don’t you? Well I’m about as bad as they come.”
Lionel reached down and wrapped Clara’s long hair around his left hand. Then he stood up and dragged her down the hallway to the master bedroom. He lifted her and threw her on the bed. He said, “Don’t worry. I’ll wear protection. This vest will protect us from having your loving interrupt me from doing all the things I want to do to you. So, I can’t get fully naked … but that doesn’t mean that you need to be so encumbered.”
Lionel began to unbutton Clara’s dress. She grabbed at his hands to stop him, but he easily grabbed both of he hands in one of his and beat her about the face with his free hand until she stopped moving. Then he resumed unbuttoning her dress.
A voice behind Lionel said coldly, “I told you long ago that if you ever so much as touched her that I would kill you.”
Lionel answered without turning, “Lex, welcome home. Actually, this is MY home. It’s just something else that you have taken from me over the years. Now I’m taking something from you.” Lionel went back to undressing Clara.
Lex yelled, “Get your hands off her -- NOW.”
Lionel answered, “Don’t threaten me, Son. I intend to put more than my hands on her. And as soon as I have become one of the hundreds of others who have been with her, I will have the same powers as you do.”
Lex said, “That’s not true, so if that is the reason ….”
Lionel shouted, “TRUTH?! When is the last time that you shared a truth with me? Certainly, not since you hooked up with this bitch. YES, I want her powers! Who wouldn’t? But that’s far from being the only reason for me to do this. I am a man after all and I have been in prison for a while thanks to her. It is only fitting that she pays for what she has denied me. Not to mention that I am dying with curiosity about what it’s like having sex with an extraterrestrial. She must extraordinary in bed for you to stay with her for 15 years. I simply must experience a piece of ass sweet enough to make a Son betray his Father.”
Lex said, “She didn’t make me hate you Dad, you did that all on your own. In fact, she encouraged me to come to some understanding with you. But today you have demonstrated once and for all that my family will never be safe as long as you are breathing.”
Lionel said, “Son, could you do the polite thing and leave us to our pleasure … or do you want to stand and watch what I do to her. After being under surveillance for years, I don’t much care.”
Lex ran at Lionel and green kryptonite flooded the room. Clara screamed and passed out. Lionel was surprised when Lex pulled him away from Clara and spun him around. Lionel pulled the ray gun and said, “Sorry Son, you’re making me do this!” He fired directly into Lex’s chest but Lex just stood there and glared at him.
Lex said, “Strange thing Dad, that green stuff never bothered me at all.” Tears began to flow from his eyes. He said, “You know Dad, when I was a kid, I dreamed about being just like you some day. But over the years, I’ve come to see what a sorry son of a bitch you are. You killed your father, your mother, ... and, just now, you’ve killed … you’ve killed … your only grand daughter … and she loved you, Dad. She loved you so much … maybe almost as much as I did … once. I know you’ll understand what I’m about to do Dad. I’m going to protect what’s mine. The only way for me to do that is to kill you.”
Lionel said, “You would never do that, Son. If you did that, then you would be JUST … LIKE … ME!”
Lex shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well Dad, then I guess you just got what you’ve always wanted.” Lex stuck out his fist faster than an eye could follow. Lionel looked down and saw that Lex’s fist was embedded in what was left of his chest. Lex said, “Well Dad, now I guess you really have no heart. Good bye Dad. When you get to Hell, say hello to Hitler for me.” Lex sent a pulse of energy through his arm and Lionel was instantly vaporized. Lex went and sat next to Clara on their bed. He broke off he manacles and threw them through an outside wall. He lifted her into a sitting position and brushed her hair back then held her in his arms.
Clara woke up and shouted, “LEX! LEX! The kids! I couldn’t get the manacles off of them!”
Lex said, “I could … and I did. They are lying out in the sunlight. They will be fine soon. Joel is better already. He’s playing with his toys in the living room.”
Clara said, “Thank God that they’re all okay!”
Lex said, “They’re not … all … okay. Leah stopped breathing. I couldn’t help her. She’s gone.” As they looked at each other, tears started pouring down there faces.
Clara said, “Is Mom OK?”
Lex said, “She’s unconscious and needs medical attention.”
Clara said, “Fly her to the Lex Care Free Clinic. Have Larry watch the others while you’re gone. I’ll … I’ll take care of Leah.”
Lex said, “There is nothing that you can do for her.”
Clara said, “I CAN’T accept that!” Lex followed as Clara went downstairs and picked Leah up off the couch. Clara walked outside with her.
Lex said, “Where are you going with her? You are too weak to go anywhere.”
Clara said, “I need to go to the source. It’s her only hope.”
Lex said, “Don’t try that. I know you. If it doesn’t work, you’ll keep going deeper into the Sun trying to revive her … until you die by going in too deep. I’ll end up losing you both.”
Clara said, “Sorry Lex, I’m going, but I’ll need your help.”
Lex said, “I won’t help you kill yourself. I’ll stop you. You’re not going anywhere.”
Clara said, “Sorry Lex, I need this.” Clara grabbed Lex’s shoulder with one hand. Lex felt weak and dropped to his knees and Clara continued to hold his shoulder. Clara’s complexion returned to normal.
Lex said, “Clara, DON’T DO IT!”
Clara said, “I HAVE TO!” She let go of Lex’s shoulder and disappeared like a rocket into the sky and headed into space – on a direct path towards the sun.
Lex ran to the back of the house. Larry was sitting up. Joel was still playing inside. The rest were still unconscious. Larry asked, “Dad, who was that man?! He had Leah. I tried to stop him but something happened. Where’s Leah?”
Lex said, “Son … Larry … Leah is … dead.”
Larry screamed, NO! NOT AGAIN! I tried Dad. I really TRIED! I’m just not good enough.”
Lex said, “There was nothing that you could do for her. NOTHING! But there is something that I need you to do for me now. I have to run your grandmother to the hospital. You’re my big boy. You have to watch your brothers and sisters while …”
Larry cried, “DA-AD! NO-OH-OH! I don’t have any … any … any more ….”
Lex said, “I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking. Watch your BROTHERS. You’ll do fine. I won’t be gone long. Honest.”
Larry said, “But DAD!”
Lex said, “I trust you, Larry. You’re a good boy – the BEST! I’m more proud of you than you’ll ever know. I’ll only be gone 15 minutes or a half hour. You can do this.”
Larry said, “NO I CAN’T! WHAT IF … IT HAPPENS AGAIN!”
Lex said, “Larry, that WASN’T YOUR FAULT! I’m NOT just saying that. It really wasn’t your fault. Guilt can be a terrible thing. I know -- believe me I KNOW! We’ll talk about it later.”
Larry said, “That’s NOT true. You DON’T believe me! You still think I did it! I SAW your face when you found me by the crib. I know you think I did it!”
Lex said, “I’m sorry Larry. What you saw in my face had nothing to do with you. If anything, seeing you there like that made me KNOW that you had NOTHING to do with it. I was horrified at what I saw in the crib and horrified because I knew exactly what you were feeling at that moment. I KNOW that you didn’t do that. I KNOW that you never could do anything like that. My Father found me over the crib of one of my brothers when he died. I hadn’t done a thing but I felt guilty that I didn’t prevent it. My Father saw me at that moment and I could tell that he thought I had done it. It all came back to me when I saw you standing by your sisters’ crib. As a parent, all I ever wanted to do was spare you the horrors of my childhood and here it was happening all over again. We will talk about it later. We REALLY need to. But right now, I need you. Your Mother needs you. If you can, just pretend that your Mom and I are in the house. Just play with your brothers and have fun. Your Grandmother is sick. She’ll be okay but she has to go to the hospital right now! Please Larry, PLEASE.”
Larry said, “Okay Dad. I’ll show you. I’ll show you that you can trust me.”
Lex mussed his son’s hair and said, “You don’t have to show me a thing. I know I can trust you, Son. I KNOW I can.” Lex went into the house. A moment later, he came back outside dressed in his hooded, head to foot black costume and carrying Martha Kent. He waved to Larry and then leapt into the air.
Clara plunged into the outer layers of the Sun and paused. She watched Leah’s body begin to repair the damage done to it by the green kryptonite radiation. Clara held Leah’s body in a close hug and felt the Sun filling them both with more power than they had ever known. Clara heard a small voice inside like she did when she was pregnant … only she wasn’t pregnant. She soon realized that she could hear Leah’s thoughts. The link they had before Leah was born had been restored. Clara’s joy at her daughter’s rapid recovery began to fade and a panic grew inside of her as she listened to Leah’s thoughts.
Leah was thinking, “Grandpa, I HATE YOU! You hurt me and you lied to me and you messed up my birthday party. I’m going to kill you for that … just like I killed Sally and Ellen for saying they wouldn’t come to my party! And if I get back to the party and Samantha gets to ride on Cupid first … or calls him “Comet” just one more time, I’m going to kill her too! I’ll knock her head right off! Grandpa was wrong to try to hurt me, but he was right about a lot of things. If there is more than one girl in the family, I won’t get all the love I want and deserve. So Sam has to die … just like my baby sisters had to die. KA-POW! They can all sleep together in the ground under that tree in the back yard. Daddy can’t love nobody more than me – NOBODY! Like Grandpa says, if anyone tries to keep you from getting what you want, step on them like a BUG! NOBODY in the whole world is ever going to hurt me again … or keep me from getting what I want … and I want EVERYTHING!”
Leah heard, “Oh my dear God, NO!” She realized that she could hear her Mother’s thoughts. She looked up into Clara’s eyes and saw that Clara had heard her thoughts too. Leah pushed herself out of her Mother’s arms and within a second struck Clara’s face forty times as hard as she could. Clara was hurt badly but the Sun restored her almost instantaneously. Clara tried to deflect Leah’s blows but Leah was merciless and vicious. She held nothing back. She let her anger at her Mother pour out in every punch. Clara grabbed hold of Leah and tried to siphon some energy from her, but the Sun replenished the energy as fast as Clara could drain it. All the while, Leah continued using her Mother as a punching bag.
Clara concentrated her thoughts so that Leah could hear, “You can’t defeat me this close to the Sun. Any damage you cause heals instantly.”
Leah pushed herself free of her Mother’s grip again and kicked her with all the power she could muster. Clara tumbled out of the Sun’s corona and out towards Pluto. Leah followed and kicked her Mother further and further out into space. Leah began pummeling her Mother again. Clara was on the verge of losing consciousness when she reached out and clamped her hands onto Leah’s shoulders and began leaching the energy out of her body. She focused her thoughts again and Leah heard her think, “My dear Leah, I love you more than you will ever know. I have failed you as a parent but it is you that will be punished for my shortcomings. I know it’s not fair and I am SO sorry. This is the last thing I want to do, but no one else can stop you now so I HAVE to even if it costs me my soul. I have to keep you from hurting anyone else. You are too powerful and dangerous to be turned loose on the world. I take back what I gave you.” As the last of the energy left Leah, the energy being within her fled for safety to the closest supply of energy available to it … Clara Kent Luthor.
As the energy symbiote left Leah, Clara could hear Leah thinking, “NO MOMMY! I’m REALLY SORRY! I’ll be a good girl. I PROMISE … I … will ….”
It didn’t matter that in space, no one can hear you scream, because Clara didn’t even try to make a sound.
Clara walked back into the mansion with Leah’s body in her arms. She handed the body to Lex and walked through the house and out the back door without making a sound. In Lex’s heart, he believed that Clara would do the impossible and bring his beloved daughter back alive. He took Leah’s body to a couch and sat down. He buried his face in her chest and held her tight and wept like a child.
Clara continued to walk across the yard and to a small fenced in area by a small stand of trees. She stood momentarily in front of three marble markers that read, “Sharon Luthor, Beloved Daughter,” “Leanne Luthor, Beloved Daughter,” and “Caitlin Luthor, Beloved Daughter.” Clara’s knees buckled and she fell on the ground. With vacant eyes, she laid there and stoked the grass.
At nightfall, Lex tried to get her to come inside but she wouldn’t even say a word or acknowledge his presence. He tried to lift her, but she bound herself to the Earth’s magnetic field and his attempts to move her only caused his feet to sink into the ground. Finally, knowing that his family needed him, he went inside.
A day and a half later, Martha was well enough to come for a visit. She sat on the ground next to Clara and rubbed her back but couldn’t get any response. Martha finally got up to leave and started walking back towards the house. Samantha ran across the yard and Martha thought that she was coming to get her … but to Martha’s surprise and horror, Samantha ran on past. Martha turned and tried to keep up with her. She quietly called for her to come back and not to bother Clara – but Samantha didn’t listen. She ran up and stood next to Clara and leaned down. She said softly, “Sister … please … I don’t want you to be sad anymore!”
Clara shoulders tensed at the sound of a small girl’s voice. After a moment, Clara sat up, turned and tilted her head to look at Samantha. In a second or two, Clara’s vacant look started to disappear. She seemed to be able to notice her sister standing there beside her. Her jaw fell opened and her lower lip trembled. She began to breathe rapidly. Tears began to flood down Clara’s face and she clamped a hand over her mouth for a second or two before reaching out and pulling Samantha into her arms. Clara hung her head over one of Samantha’s tiny shoulders and kept one hand on Sam’s back while stroking her long blond hair with her other hand. Samantha stroked Clara’s hair too. Clara began to wail and cry uncontrollably. Samantha whispered into her ear, “I miss her too.” Martha was concerned that Clara would crush Samantha in her grip, but even through her grief, Clara was very gentle with Samantha.
A long time passed and Clara still held Sam as if she was never going to let her go. Clara finally said, “Thank you Samantha. I really needed you today. You saved me. You are a real super girl. I have something that I want to give you -- something that belonged to Leah.”
Samantha said, “NO! I could never take Cupid. Leah loved her too much and she wouldn’t have wanted me to have her.”
Clara said, “I wasn’t talking about Cupid, but maybe you could take care of her for Leah and ride her sometimes so Cupid won’t miss Leah so much.”
Samantha said, “I guess that would be okay.”
Clara said, “I want to give you something I gave Leah and trusted her with … and then took from her before … before she died. It’s a big responsibility for a big girl. I know I can trust you with it. It’s deep inside me now and I want you to have it.”
Samantha said, “OK.” Clara gripped Samantha even tighter and continued to hold on.”
Martha stood and watched patiently. She began to fan herself because the day seemed to be getting very hot all of a sudden. Then she looked down and saw that the grass below Clara and Samantha was charred. Impulsively, she went to grab Samantha but the heat was too intense for her to get near. She looked at Clara’s eyes and saw that they were glowing red. Martha shouted, “CLARA! Whatever you’re doing, STOP IT NOW! You’ll HURT Sam!”
Samantha turned to look at Martha and said, “I’m okay Mom, she’s just holding me. Clara would never do anything to hurt me.”
Clara pulled back and gave Samantha a big kiss on the cheek and said, “Go on up to the house with Mom. I’m okay. Tell Lex that I’ll be there in five minutes and that he’d better get me something to eat.”
Samantha smiled and said, “Okay, I will!”
Clara lay back down on the ground, curled up in a ball and cried softly. Samantha ran up the hill and into the house faster than she had ever run before and didn’t even notice that her feet never touched the ground.
[Two months later]
There was a moment of exquisite pleasure for both of them. Clara felt a fertilized egg inside her wake up and call out a friendly greeting. Lex kissed Clara on her forehead and said, “I felt it that time! I REALLY did! Will it be a boy or a girl?”
To Lex, Clara said, “You’re mistaken. It was just a great climax - nothing more.” To herself, Clara said, “No more girls … NEVER again!” Clara willed her body to deny the fertilized egg what it needed to survive. While Lex was still deep inside of her, the small voice inside of Clara faded into silence. A single tear rolled down Clara’s cheek.
[Two more months passed]
Lex and Clara Luthor were on a tour of a small hospital in mainland China. LexCare planned to replace it with an ultramodern children’s hospital. The guide was leading them down a row of beds in a large ward. Lex and the guide stopped when they noticed that Clara had fallen behind. She stood frozen staring at a small girl in one of the beds. Lex called back to her but Clara didn’t move. Lex and the guide walked back to her. Lex asked, “Angel, what’s wrong?”
Clara ignored Lex and turned to the guide. She asked in Chinese, “Who is this child? Why is she here?” The guide called a nurse over. Clara asked the nurse, “Who is this child? Why is she here?”
The nurse said, “She is no one. She is here to die.”
Clara asked, “What is the child’s name?”
The nurse said, “She has none.”
Clara asked, “What of her parents?”
The nurse said, “This child was unacceptable. This one has been fortunate. Normally a child like this would be drowned at birth. Somehow it ….”
Clara corrected, “She!”
The nurse continued, “… somehow she ended up here. But she will not be here long.”
Clara asked, “Why is she so malnourished?”
The nurse said, “She is to receive no food. She is too stupid to know that she is hungry so she hasn’t suffered much and she rarely cries.”
Clara said, “I am this child’s Mother and I am taking her with me.”
The nurse said, “You don’t understand, it isn’t normal. It ….”
Clara raised her voice and said, “SHE … has Down’s syndrome. There is nothing else wrong with her except for complications from malnutrition. I am taking her and there is nothing you can do to stop me! AND you will NOT get a LexCare facility now or in the future unless there is a guarantee that euthanasia will NEVER be practiced in that facility – EVER! EVER, do … you … UNDERSTAND … ME?!!”
Clara marched to the side of the bed and took the child into her arms. She turned back the way she had come and headed for the door. The guide stepped in front of her and motioned for some other men to join him.
The guide said, “This is unacceptable. You CAN NOT take this child. Do YOU understand ME?!”
Clara scowled at him and said, “I am saving you the cost and trouble of burying her.”
The guide looked deep into Clara’s glowing red eyes and said, “She is a citizen of our country and you will not take her.”
Clara said, “I believe you are mistaken. The child you had here died yesterday. This is my only daughter. I brought her with me to this country and I’m damn well going to take her back home with me!” Clara held up her hand in front of the guide’s face so that he could see her diamond encrusted wedding band. She slipped the ring off her hand and placed it in the guide’s palm. He looked at it closely, smiled and took four steps backwards.
Lex said, “CLARA! Not your wedding ring!”
Clara turned to Lex and said in English, “With this child, I thee wed!”
Lex expression was deadly serious as he studied his wife’s angry face, then he broke out in a wide grin. He kissed the child on the top of her head then leaned over her to kiss her new Mother. He said, “With all the maternity fees I have saved over the years, a few bribes on the way to the airport is a relatively small price to pay. In case someone asks me, what is my daughter’s name?”
Clara said, “Since I traded my ring for her, I think I’ll call her jewel.”
Lex wrapped and arm around Clara and they headed for the exit.