Jon opened the front door to find the front porch filled with people. A man in uniform who stood closest to him addressed him, “Mr. Kent, Sir. I am Colonel William S. Yoho with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It is VITAL to national security that we have an immediate discussion concerning your daughter Linda Lee … and her future.”
Jon answered, “Your interest in my daughter is … appreciated, but Linda has plotted her own future. She has chosen to run this farm, supervise the work of NuStart and run some of her own pet projects through our various companies. She is also looking forward to helping raise her brothers and sister who are due any day now and hopes to one day start a family of her own. That is the life she has chosen and I stand by her decision.”
Col. Yoho almost spit out his response, “Sir, A FARMER? … a NANNY and a HOUSEWIFE! We had no way to test her intelligence. She would have to fail to answer a question correctly or take too long to answer it for us to even begin to gauge her abilities. When we thought she had answered something wrong, she would turn around and furnish proof that established doctrine was incorrect. Today alone she has reversed the conclusions of 30 years of theoretical research. You have no idea how smart your daughter is.”
Jon answered, “Well, Bill, I KNOW my daughter is special – more special than your tests will EVER be able to determine. What value do your tests place on my daughter’s smile? Because that smile is worth more to me than any equation ever could be.”
Col. Yoho replied, “All sentimentality aside and with all due respect, for her to live out her life as a farmer would be a waste of a national resource.”
Jon answered, “All sentimentally considered, for her not to be happy would be an even greater waste. But have no doubt, my daughter has served her country well and will continue to serve it in ways that your imagination is too limited to conceive. Our door will be open if one of your scientists has a problem to discuss with her – as long as the purpose is not to develop weapons systems. But our daughter will remain at home with us until such time as she chooses to leave of her own free will.”
Col. Yoho said, “We will take her if we have to. She is not really your daughter after all. If you refuse to cooperate, we can easily get custody of her – after which I doubt you would ever see her again.”
Jon answered, “Don’t threaten me. She is my daughter in every sense of the word. If our government is in the business of breaking up loving families, it is time for new leadership. There is a door near the parking lot over there. Go to that door with your people and I will meet you there in five minutes. I will fill you in on my daughter’s history and her chosen mission.” Jon closed the door and headed towards the basement.
Martha asked, “What are you going to tell them?”
Jonathan answered, “A little bit of truth, a few distorted facts and a lot of fiction bound together with a threat. The witnesses to the events I’ll describe are either dead or would gladly back up my account of our history. I hope it’s enough to get them to leave us alone.”
In a few minutes, Jon, Martha and Linda had walked to the gymnasium through the jogging track connected to their basement. Jon had Martha and Linda wait in a side room so that they could hear every word so they could back up the story he was about to fabricate. Jon opened the outside door and led his “guests” inside. He pulled open a section of bleachers from the wall so that they would have a place to sit. Then he pulled up a chair in front of the bleachers and sat down to face his audience.
Jonathan began his story:
“For those of you that don’t know me, I am Jonathan Kent owner of NuStart Industries and farmer by trade, husband of Martha Clark Kent, adopted father of Clark Kent, and “biological” father of six other children – Linda, Ryanna who died recently, one who is still lost to us and three that are yet to be born. Place no significance in the order I mentioned my various roles for in my life, I always put my family first. Forgive the fact that this is in no way a prepared statement. I had only expected to hear stories of Linda’s new friendships and experiences when she got home from school. I never expected to have to defend my right to keep and raise my daughter as I see fit. The little girl that you so covet is in part a product of this home and this environment. Removing her from it to get more benefit from her would be like repeating the mistake made by the owner of the goose that laid the golden egg. Try to remove her from her home and you will lose a wealth of benefit to this nation and this world and receive nothing in return but the anger of some very powerful individuals that you dare not go up against.”
“The story I will tell you is of how this family’s contact with the late Lionel Luthor has both blessed and cursed us. I share this story in confidence with you. We are a private family and we prefer our personal business to remain PERSONAL. I have told Col. Yoho that my daughter would be more than willing to help you out with your research within strict limits. She will not help you create weapons systems and I will not allow her to be overwhelmed by requests for –assistance to the point where she loses her childhood or any aspect of her life from which she derives pleasure. That would be too high a cost for her to pay. That being said, she is the hardest worker I have ever seen in my long years and what you would ask of her would be mere child’s play for her. BUT, should gossip spread about what I am saying to you in this room today, I will not allow my daughter to help any one of you. This MUST be understood! I will give you a few minutes for you to decide amongst yourselves who can be trusted to the point that you would risk losing my daughter’s help in the future. Those people who can not be trusted should leave the gymnasium. Let me know when you are ready to proceed.”
After a hurried debate among those present, it was decided that only a few should hear what Jonathan had to say. It would be easier to tell the content of the briefing to others who needed to know at a later time than to try to erase whatever Jon might say from the memory of one individual who shouldn’t have been told. In all, six people stayed and the rest left – many left unwillingly. Col. Yoho signaled for Jonathan to continue.
“It started the day of the meteor shower in Smallville. Martha and I were going to town in my truck. I had to swerve to avoid a meteor and ended up rolling the truck. When Martha and I were able to get out and establish that we had survived with minor bruises, we found that one of our neighbors was not so lucky. He was dead, but his truck was still operable. I wrapped his body and placed it on the bed of his truck. My intention was to get my wife and myself out of range of the meteor shower and to a place of safety. Before we could leave, I heard a man yelling for help. That man was Lionel Luthor. His son Lex had had a close contact with a meteorite. He had lost all his hair and was in shock. Lionel refused to touch the boy, so I carried him to the truck. I drove to the hospital with Lex, Martha and Lionel. Lex later recovered. He could never re-grow his hair but he seems to have suffered no medical ailments from his close contact. I say “seems” because anyone who knows Lex Luthor as my family has knows that he is no ordinary individual. Whether the meteorite had anything to do with that or not is pure speculation.”
“The day after the meteor shower, Lionel Luthor approached me and begged for a chance to repay us for being there when his son needed us. He had researched Martha and me and knew that we were unable to have children and could not meet the financial requirements necessary to adopt a child. Lionel said he would be able to pull the strings necessary for us to have a child within a week. It wasn’t even a week when Lionel showed up with Clark. We both fell in love with the boy immediately. That was the blessing, having our son Clark brought into our lives. What I didn’t know at the time was that Lionel Luthor came with the bargain. He had a knack for turning any circumstance into an opportunity for himself -- in this case, multiple opportunities. When he delivered the adoption papers, he asked for a favor in return. He never directly said that he would take Clark away if I didn’t grant his favor, but he did make me have no doubt that Clark would not be staying if I didn’t talk my close personal friends into making a deal with him that would end up costing my friends a fortune and making a fortune for Lionel. I vowed that day to never make another deal with Lionel Luthor and have struggled since then to repay my friends for the treachery I was forced into to keep my son. It wasn’t until much later that I learned the second benefit that Lionel Luthor had gained by arranging the adoption. It seems that he had gotten his mistress pregnant. He had her committed to keep her silent, but he needed a home for his son. That is a fact that I never want to leave this room, that Clark Kent is the biological son of Lionel Luthor and half brother to Lex Luthor. Lionel may have placed his son in our home, but he relentlessly spied on Clark and us every day of his life since then. He still considered Clark his property”
“If any of you have read the books by Chloe Sullivan, you will more fully understand what I am talking about. Her fictionalized accounts dealt with Clark and Lionel and Lionel’s obsession with our family. The books are titled, “Farm Boy Fantasies,” “The Farm Boy and the Billionaire,” “The Farm Boy and the Meteor Freaks,” “The Girl You Grow Into” and “The Billionaire’s Daughter.” Granted these are works of fiction, but if you can look past the drama added for marketability and sales, you get a picture of the kind of climate that surrounded our family thanks to Lionel Luthor.”
“Lionel lost his eyesight for a time due to an injury received in a year when multiple tornados struck Smallville on one day. Lionel asked Martha to work as his –assistant during that time. We knew that Lionel had been watching Clark’s every move, and thought that this would give us the opportunity to watch him watch us. We should have known better than to try to beat a master at his own game. Martha was required to have a pre-employment physical. She was picked up by a limousine and taken to Lionel’s personal physician. When she returned home, I asked why a routine physical would take 7 hours. She was surprised that she had been gone more than two. When questioned about the time loss, Lionel physician said that Martha had fallen asleep on the examining table and that he had decided to let her rest. A couple months later, Martha was pregnant. It was my child, but it wasn’t long before Lionel let it be known that he had had his doctor do an experimental procedure on Martha during her exam to allow her to have children again. Again, he had blessed us by bringing another child into our life but was now claiming a right to the child. I told him in no uncertain terms that he would not be allowed to have anything to do with the child. He didn’t take that very well. “No” was a word Lionel wouldn’t tolerate.”
“Martha knew that Dr. Helen Bryce was dating Lex Luthor and that she had had a few run-ins with Lionel. Martha thought she could trust Dr. Bryce for that reason. Dr. Bryce was the only physician that Martha would allow close to her. Dr. Bryce told us that the baby growing inside of Martha was a normal, healthy baby girl. What we didn’t know was that Dr. Bryce was working for Lionel. Martha was actually carrying 3 children that had been altered to have above average intelligence – way above average. Dr. Bryce was waiting for an opportunity to deliver the babies to Lionel. We were at Lex Luthor’s wedding to Dr. Bryce when we got word that Clark was very sick at home. We returned home just in time for an explosion to flip our truck. That explosion was very conveniently timed and has never been explained to this day. Martha and I were barely bruised. The doctor filling in for Helen put Martha under to check out how the baby was doing. He returned a couple hours later to say that the baby had died. That doctor vanished the next day. It was 13 years before we learned that our daughter had survived and been delivered to Lionel Luthor. It was another year before we learned that there were actually 3 babies. We were able to locate Linda. We have yet to locate our 3rd child and don’t even know if she is alive. If she is, we’ll find her soon. We adopted Linda to make everything legal and to avoid telling our story publicly.”
“Lionel Luthor raised the children as his property. He exploited their intellects which made Luthor Corp’s holdings multiply beyond all historical precedent. The one he called “Alexis” was displayed publicly and exploited sexually for financial gain. The others were kept in labs somewhere. When Chloe Sullivan met Alexis Luthor, she recognized the startling resemblance she had to my wife Martha. That was the basis for the book, “The Billionaire’s Daughter.” Upon Lionel’s death, the court awarded Alexis legal status as an adult even though she was only 11 years old at the time. The court made its decision based on her intellect which equaled Linda’s and, no doubt, on influence on the court that Alexis was able to purchase. But it seems that Lionel Luthor wanted his secrets to remain his. Both daughters that I have found and, without doubt, the one that is still out there some where, had their minds prepared so that their memories could be wiped out. Whether the trigger was some physical agent or psychological stimulus we have yet to determine, but it was very effective. Two years after Lionel’s death, Alexis Luthor lost all memory of who she was. She discovered that we were her birth parents and returned to us to live under the name we had planned to give our daughter – Ryanna Lynn Kent. Ryanna was filled with guilt over the actions that Alexis had committed under Lionel’s training and influence. She founded NuStart to begin to make restitution for acts committed in her former life. Deserts are beginning to bloom and a huge water works project is now underway that will begin work towards wiping out hunger on this planet. But Ryanna was killed while in Metropolis trying to find her missing sister. She had found Linda only weeks earlier and we had already begun the process of adopting Linda when Ryanna was found dead. Linda had begun working with Ryanna and is committed to completing Ryanna’s life work as well as other projects that are close to her heart.”
“Luthor Corp’s tremendous growth in the past 14 years was no doubt due to his control of the 3 girls he stole from Martha and me. Have no doubt that our children are special. Have no doubt that that their work has and will continue to be in this country’s best interests as well as the best interests of the entire world. Have no doubt that DNA would show these girls to be our daughters. Have no doubt that we will do everything in our power to keep them here with us so that their dreams can be realized. We want them to have lives that are as normal as possible considering what they have been through. These children were abused by Lionel in ways we dare not repeat. We sent Linda to school not to learn about math and science, but to learn social skills and find common ground with others that are her same emotional age. In one short day, you have made that impossible. I WILL NOT give you a second chance to do any more damage.”
“I have billions of dollars at my disposal. Superman is a close personal friend of mine. The President of the United States is a close personal friend of his. Also, there are other beings with super-human powers on this world – some know to you, others not, who will defend my right to have my daughter under my guidance and under my roof. You WILL NOT HAVE MY DAUGHTER! Put this day out of your mind and leave us in peace. That is all I have to say to you. Please leave the way you came in.”
After they left, Linda said, “Daddy, I didn’t know that I have another sister!”
Jonathan said, “You don’t, but if you ever need to grow a new body for whatever reason, we’re prepared. Plus, if they think that there is another child genius out there that they can get their hands on without having to fight NuStart, the President and Superman, they will waste their time looking for her rather than trying to get you. We should be safe as long as Superman is good friends with the President of the US – and what US President in their right mind wouldn’t want to claim Superman as a close friend?”
Linda said, “Boy Daddy, where did you learn how to lie like that!”
Jon said, “It’s not a skill I’m proud of, but it’s something I had to learn in order to protect Clark from the world. I hope God will understand. And I hope YOU understand that this doesn’t mean you have permission to grow another body the next time you get the urge to look a little different!
Linda said, “I understand.” Linda and her parents shared a big hug and hoped that Jon’s words would shelter them from the world for a while.”