By Tracy Reager <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted October 1999
Summary: Lois and Clark have an unexpected encounter with a very unfriendly Zara and Ching.
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"That is a beautiful sunset," Lois commented.
"But not as beautiful as you," Clark said softly.
A little farther back, Martha and Jonathan gazed up to see their son and his wife kissing.
"They remind me of us!" exclaimed Jonathan with a chuckle.
As they turned around to go inside, the sunset turned into a black object floating in the sky. Martha ran in to call the police. Suddenly four figures appeared in front of Lois and Clark. Two of the men restrained Clark.
"Kal-El, you are under arrest for … "
"Under arrest," Clark screamed back, "under arrest for what? I have not done anything. Didn't we solve this problem the last time you were here?"
Zara stepped in, "Look, I know that you meant well, but what you did was wrong. I have no idea why you did it. You will have to explain that in the tribunal, so will you, Lois," Zara said calmly.
Soon the police arrived, but the black object was nowhere in sight.
While Lois and Clark were walking down one of the corridors on the mothership they were trying to think of a way out.
"Clark," Lois whispered, "Do you think we have a chance of getting out of here, please say … "
"Lois, you and Clark will be split up until the tribunal. It is obvious you can't be trusted alone," Ching said sarcastically. As they went in their separate directions, they glanced in each other's eyes. Lois was not happy about this, and she was determined to get some answers.
"Okay, Lieutenant, what's going on? I want to know why we're being held, and what I have to do with it?" Lois demanded.
" Why should I tell you?"
"Because, if you don't I'm going to stand here and scream until you do. Then when somebody walks by, it will draw their attention, and then I'll start saying stuff about you," Lois snapped back, getting into one of her moods.
"Will you behave if I tell you?"
"Fine. When we got back to New Krypton, one of the guards told Trey that Clark tried to bribe the guard into letting him go. Trey then told Zara about this and advised her to take care of it. She put him in charge of the problem as long as she could go along and oversee it," Ching stated.
"Well, what does that have to do with me?"
"The guard mentioned that it was your idea."
"And this would be a problem because?"
"On our planet bribery is taken very seriously, and it is a punishable crime." Ching finished as they arrived at the holding area. "Now, that's all I'm going to tell you." He walked back to his room after locking Lois up.
At the same time, Clark was complaining about not being able to stay with Lois.
"Come on, it's only until tomorrow." Zara told him. Reluctantly, Clark followed silently behind her with his head bowed down.
"I'm tired," said Clark as he yawned when he and Zara walked into the bridal chamber.
"Well, come on, you should get some sleep, you have a long day tomorrow."
"Whoa, I will not sleep with you! I'm married to … " Clark protested.
"You are married to me! You have to remember that on New Krypton you are married to me, not Lois," Zara snapped back. Clark reluctantly lay down beside her. Zara tried to apologize and comfort him. After a while she gave up and went to sleep.
The next morning Ching brought Lois her breakfast.
"Finally, I'm starving. Maybe being imprisoned isn't so bad; you get breakfast in bed." Ching started to walk away just as Lois looked at her 'meal'. "Ching, what the heck is this? It's certainly not food, it looks like vitamins." Lois started yelling at him, drawing the attention of anybody that passed by.
"Lois, it is food, it just looks like a pill. You can take it, you won't die." Ching said quietly, trying not to draw any more people.
"Okay, let's review," Lois said loudly, "I am from Earth, we eat food, not pills for breakfast. You are from New Krypton, so you can have your stupid drugs and take them yourself!" She threw the pills at him. "And take this blue radioactive stuff with you!" she threw the drink on him. Ching turned to leave as Lois broke out in laughter.
"Clark, I demand you tell Lois how to behave properly, especially to nobility," Ching shouted.
"I take it she didn't like her breakfast." Clark laughed when he saw Ching dripping wet. Ching glanced at Zara and walked out of the room.
"That was not very nice," Zara commented.
"Well it was funny," Clark replied. He started to leave to find Lois, but Zara beat him to the door.
"Where are you going?" Zara questioned.
"To see Lois."
"You can't leave, not until after the tribunal," Zara said.
"You said I could see her today, and that is what I'm going to do!" he said, trying to walk off.
"No!" Zara grabbed his arm restraining him. "You can't leave, you won't die if you don't see her for another hour."
"Why can't I see her?" Clark asked, sounding a bit mad.
"Because you might try to escape," Zara told him calmly.
"If I was be able to find my way off this stupid ship and go back to Earth, you would just come and get me again. And what does Lois have to do with this, she isn't even Kryptonian!" Clark yelled. He lost his temper and was sick of Zara's excuses.
"Look," Zara said quietly, "I wish you could see her, but I'm under orders"
"By who?" Clark raved.
"Explain something to me, I've been screaming at you, and you still manage not to get angry. How can you do that?" Clark said, a little less mad.
"Because what good would it do if we stood here and screamed at each other?" Zara explained.
"Zara, please, I want to see Lois," he asked hopefully, "you can even stay in the room with us."
"Why can't you understand that I am under direct orders to keep you two apart," Zara said, sounding annoyed.
"Didn't you say last night that you would do *anything* to make me feel better?" he snapped back.
"Anything that was not a violation of my orders! So stop asking, me you won't win!" she yelled at him. Then she turned around and walked out the door.
"Thank you very much," he said to himself as he watched her walk down the hallway. He then left to find Lois.
Clark was walking for a while when he found her cell. He took out the key he found in Zara's room and unlocked the door. Lois immediately hugged him.
Meanwhile, Zara was explaining to Trey what had happened.
"Zara, calm down. Let's get Ching and then we'll talk to them," he said, trying to make her feel better. They left and went to Ching's room.
After they found him, they started back towards Zara's room and bumped right into Lois and Clark. The pair immediately turned and ran, but they didn't get very far.
"Let go of me!" Lois screamed. She didn't have much success, neither did Clark.
Zara, still holding on to Clark, said, "I told you they would try something." After she said that, she let go of him and walked away. Ching and Trey called after her, but she kept on walking. Trey turned back around and motioned for Ching to come over.
"Ching," Trey whispered, "Take Lois back to the cell, lock her there and keep the key. Have two guards stand there and watch her. Then take Clark back to Zara's room and wait there. I'm going to find Zara and discuss this."
"Why can't we just have the tribunal and let them go?" Ching asked. But he didn't get an answer. "Come on," Ching ordered, not sounding very pleased.
"If you're going to be in the room, why can't Lois stay with me?" Clark asked. When he didn't get a response, he started to whisper to Lois. Halfway through their conversation, Ching stopped. He got out a pair of handcuffs and started to speak.
"If you two cannot behave, then I will use these!" Ching bellowed. Lois didn't like being told what to do, so she elbowed Ching in the stomach.
"Owwww!" Lois screamed. Ching wasn't even phased. Since they were still in Earth's orbit he had his powers. But he wasn't too happy about what she did, so he put her in handcuffs.
"Hey, leave her alone!" Clark told him.
"Do you want to hit me too?" Ching exclaimed, challenging Clark. "Go ahead, try your best." Clark went to hit but he was blocked. Ching punched him in the stomach, then kicked his legs out from underneath him, sending him crashing to the ground. Then he also put Clark in handcuffs. He pulled both of them to their feet and continued down the corridor.
After he put Lois in a cell, he called for two guards. He spoke to them in Kryptonian so Lois and Clark wouldn't understand. Then he took Clark back to Zara's room. As soon as Ching uncuffed him, Clark lunged at him. As Ching fell backwards, he hit his head off a nearby table. He didn't move. Clark looked at him lying there and thought he was unconscious, so he went over to see if he was still breathing. As soon as Clark got close enough, Ching kicked him in the stomach, very hard. Clark stumbled backwards and fell to the floor. He rolled up in a ball clutching his stomach.
"Did you actually think that knocked me out?" Ching mocked. Clark just looked up and groaned.
"Release him," Trey said as he and Zara entered the room.
"What?!" Ching shouted.
"I said let him go, Lois is waiting, they can go home." Trey repeated in disbelief of his own words. Ching just looked at Trey as Clark walked out of the room.
Martha and Jonathan were looking up towards the hill when Lois and Clark reappeared on it. They ran out of the house, and up to greet them. When they got there, Lois and Clark were flooded with questions and concerns.
"Mom, we're fine, we're just … " Clark started.
"Hungry!" Lois finished.
"Come on, you can talk after dinner, your mom made roast beef," Jonathan said. They all walked back to the house and went inside to eat, their worries of New Krypton forgotten … for the moment.
Back on the ship, Ching was pestering Zara about why they were let go.
"Why were they released?" Ching asked again.
"Trey received a transmission from home saying the guard was caught trying to break into the palace. He later confessed to lying about the bribe, it was just an excuse to get me off NK."
"He wanted to finish what Nor started." Zara explained. Since there was no reason to hold Lois and Clark anymore, he let them go. Come on, we're almost home."
"Where another problem awaits."
"It's always something," Zara finished. They left the room and headed to the docking bay.
"Well, I'm happy to hear you guys weren't hurt," Martha stated.
"We're glad to be back, Mom."
"Yeah, with *real* food, not pills." Lois added. Everybody started to laugh, even Lois.
As Clark's parents cleaned up, Lois and Clark went back up the hill to watch the sunset and to finish what they started the night before.