By Laura Johnsen <email@example.com>
Submitted: January 2002
Summary: The sequel to the author's "An Expected Beginning." Danielle officially adopts the identity of Supergirl, just as a new store opens in Metropolis, selling jewelry which has a harmful effect on the Superfamily. The brother of an old enemy is seeking his revenge on Lois and Superman.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story is the sequel to An Expected Beginning, but it can be read as a standalone story. The ongoing story of Danielle Kent will be continued in Part 3, An Alibi That Flies. Comments and suggestions are always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Interview With Metropolis' Newest Superhero: An Interview
by Lois Lane-Kent
Sunday, June 15, 2014 — a day which will be remembered throughout all of Metropolis. A podium stands at the gates of Metropolis City Park, with reporters sitting on picnic tables and chairs, waiting to hear the astounding news from the Man of Steel. He steps, or rather flies, to the podium, and makes the announcement of the year: he has a daughter, and she is ready to assist citizens of Metropolis and planet Earth. Before any questions can be asked of the young superhero, known as Supergirl, a sound only the Superfamily can hear occurs, and they fly off in time to rescue a father and son from a near-fatal traffic accident.
Supergirl and Superman have been kind enough to grant the Daily Planet an interview.
Lois Lane Kent: To all of those who have been living in a hole and have no idea who you are, tell us your name.
Supergirl: My name is Supergirl. Superman is my father, and I'm here to help him help you. Like him, I stand for truth, justice and the American way.
LLK: How old are you?
SG: Between the ages of 13 and 20.
LLK: Oh I see, because you don't want anybody to know. I suppose you can't tell us who your mother is?
SG: No. If I told anyone, she would most likely be in danger, and I don't want that for my mom.
LLK: Were you born here in Metropolis?
SG: Yes. I was born in a regular hospital but my origin is of Krypton. I am only a small fraction human.
LLK: Superman, how did you hide her all this time?
SM: It was hard to, because I wanted her to live a normal life, but it wasn't exactly normal for her to see her dad in tights and a cape. So I eventually told her the truth, and asked her to wait until she was ready to handle the responsibility. And that happened about two days ago.
LLK: So, whoever her mother is, she's still alive?
SM: Yes, her mother is alive, well and still beautiful as always.
LLK: Supergirl, have you ever been with your fellow Kryptonians?
SG: Never. I have never met them or been around them or even seen them. I have only learned of my heritage and that I am a sort of Lady there.
LLK: Superman, who is she on New Krypton?
SM: Her name is Lady Rhea of the House of El.
LLK: Thank you, Superman and Supergirl, for your time. Anytime you have something more to tell us, give a call to the Daily Planet.
When Lois came to wake her daughter, she was surprised to see she was already up and reading in her armchair. It was 6:30 a.m.! Normal teenagers rarely woke so early, but then she remembered her daughter was anything but normal.
"Hey, what are you doing up?" Lois asked, sitting on the bed.
"I couldn't sleep last night, and after only 4 hours of sleep, I just gave up, flew a little and read," Danielle replied, looking up from her book.
"Why couldn't you sleep? Insomnia?"
"Maybe. I'm not sure."
"Oh. Well, it's Saturday, and you know what that means…"
Danielle's face lit up immediately. "PANCAKES! Race ya!" And she bolted out of her room and down the stairs to the kitchen as fast as lightning, literally.
Lois heard her daughter call out, "BEAT YA!", grinned and ran after her. Clark and Danielle were already busy making the batter. And especially for Danielle, who loved chocolate, Clark would throw in chocolate chips. Yes, Lois' life was perfect.
But life was not as kind to another of Metropolis' citizens. Sean Sullivan paced restlessly through his house, trying to think of a plot against Superman and Lois Lane. They had killed his brother Patrick about 20 years ago, and he was not about to let these two get away with it. Now that Superman had a daughter, revenge would be even sweeter, and Sean was even more desperate to destroy the murderers.
He remembered that day as if it had happened just yesterday. Patrick had loved Lois ever since she came to Ireland as a transfer student. Years later, he had come to Metropolis to win her back, but had been disappointed to find she was taken. He had decided to make her his. But to do that, he had had to complete the ancient mask. When he had finally completed the mask, he was lucky enough for Lois to come to him. When it seemed like he had won, Mr. Goody Blue Tights, also known as Superman, had interfered and defeated Patrick. As soon as Sean had learned of his brother's death, he had sworn revenge on Lois Lane and Superman. Now Supergirl was added to the mix, and the plan was even more necessary than ever.
The only problem was, he had no idea how to destroy them. Lois Lane would be easy: a gun to the head. But what killed Superman?
Danielle sat in Johnny's with Miya, Nick and Logan on Sunday afternoon , munching on chicken tenders dipped in ranch dressing. They usually came there to talk and get away from the folks, and to just be teens. Lately Danielle had been feeling more like Supergirl than a teenager, so she always appreciated her friends.
Johnny's Restaurant was 1950's style, with a juke-box and a grill shown over a counter where people could eat. The waitresses wore short pink dresses with black aprons, and the entire restaurant looked like something you'd see in a 1950's movie.
In the booth, Miya sat with her boyfriend of one week, Nick, who was a handsome blond and had a heart-warming smile, while Danielle sat with Logan. Ever since Miya and Nick started dating, the four had become good, close friends, and Nick had become one of the group. In fact, the rings the original three wore were being re-engraved so they would say "Logan, Danielle, Miya and Nick — Best Friends Forever."
"So Dani, Logan, what's the Planet like?" Nick asked.
"Awesome," Logan answered. "I've only been there a week and a half and I love it already."
"Yeah, my parents have been taking me there like, forever, and I feel like family there," Danielle echoed.
"Ah, well I love my job too," Nick said.
"You got a job?" Logan asked.
"Yeah, about 4 days ago."
"What do you do?" Danielle asked.
"He works at a jewelry store that opened recently. They sell rings, watches, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets with emeralds as THE main jewel," Miya informed them.
"Who owns the store?" Danielle inquired as she sipped on her soda.
Danielle nearly choked on her Coke. "Sean Sullivan?!"
"Why, do you know him?" Miya asked, surprised.
"Well, I don't know him, but my mom knew his brother, Patrick. They dated when Mom was in Ireland, but then Patrick tried to kill her about 18 or 19 years ago."
"Seriously? Heavy," Miya remarked.
"Why did he try to kill her?" Logan asked.
All eyes were on Danielle as she told what she knew. "Well, I think it was something like, the Sullivans are Celtic, so they believe in their family traditions a lot. And there was something about a tradition that involved a mask, two emeralds and killing your true love."
"Whoa. How romantic," Miya said, entranced.
"Emeralds, huh?" Nick said. "Emeralds must run in the family, 'cause Mr. Sullivan's business does emeralds like you wouldn't believe. Want to go down and take a look?"
"Sure!" the three said in chorus. Each paid their 25% of the bill and headed down Tancy Boulevard. The street was packed as they reached the small jewelry store, Emerald's Glow. I guess the store is popular, Danielle thought with a grin. Since the quartet all reached over 5'5" in height, they were able to push through the mob easily. But Danielle suddenly as if like a boulder had been launched into her body, which normally didn't hurt, but the pain was so strong she couldn't see.
"Guys…" she struggled, "I don't feel too good. I'll …be outside." Her friends got a look of concern, and she reassured them she was fine; she wasn't about to let them get worried over emeralds making her sick. She pulled herself through the mob, but when she reached a bench on the curb, she was fine. She felt her energy come back and the pain went away. But even though she felt much better, her voice sounded raspy, breathy, and nothing like herself.
She pulled her cell phone out of her purse and called home.
"Hello," her dad answered.
"Dani!" Her dad sounded worried instantly, for he could hear the pain in his daughter's voice. "Honey, are you okay?"
"I don't know, Dad. Would you consider nausea, weakness and pain okay?"
There was a pause on his end of the line, and when he answered he said, "Dani, I want you home now. No ifs, ands or buts… come home NOW."
"Why? What's wrong?"
"Danielle, I don't want you where you are now. Come over here now."
He made it very clear he wanted her home, so she said, "OK, Dad, I'll be there in a couple minutes." She hung up just as her friends came out of the store.
"My dad wants me home, so I gotta go."
"Why?" Logan asked, sitting beside her.
"He, uh, needs my help with a story, so I need to go home."
"Oh, well, let us take you home," Nick offered.
"NO!" she replied a little too urgently, "I mean, I'll be fine."
"Well, before you go, look at what Nick bought me," Miya said as she showed off her new necklace. It was absolutely beautiful, with a gold chain, gold loop and a smaller emerald loop inside. It may have been gorgeous, but the symptoms were coming back, and when Danielle looked at the necklace through her pain, she noticed it was glowing.
"It's beautiful," she complimented, out of breath, "but I really have to go." And with that she picked herself off the bench, and trudged painfully away from the necklace and the store. When she looked back from a safe distance from the necklace, it wasn't glowing anymore, and the symptoms ended again. Whatever was happening to her, it was because if those emeralds. When she was sure her friends weren't looking, she hastened into an alley, and flew home, though a bit shakily.
"It hurt so much, that's all I could tell," Danielle told her parents as she lay on the sofa with an ice pack on her forehead. The headache had come back when she had been near Miya's necklace, and it hadn't gone away yet.
"So you felt sick, tired, weak, pained?" Clark confirmed.
"Yeah, and when Miya showed me her necklace, it glowed, and I felt sick again. Guys, what's going on?"
"Kryptonite, Clark. She's never been exposed to it before. She's never seen it before," Lois whispered to her husband. She sat down beside her daughter, who sat up, and she took her hands in hers.
"Danielle, you've heard of Kryptonite?" Lois asked.
"Yeah, it's the stuff that can kill Dad. But these were emeralds, not Kryptonite," she protested.
"No. Kryptonite looks like emeralds, and it can kill you, too. We don't want you going anywhere near that necklace or that store; the results will not be cool. Got it?"
"Got it. But how can I stay away from the necklace? Miya wears that necklace, and I just can't stay away from her."
"Well, until this is figured out, try to make sure she doesn't wear that necklace when she's around you. Do what it takes. Be a reporter."
"But I just have one question… where did the Kryptonite come from?"
"Before you came home, we got a call from Dr. Klein. Kryptonite was stolen from the lab," Clark told her. When Kryptonite was stolen from S.T.A.R. Labs, it was best to keep it quiet. "You know, I suggest we have some tests with him just to see how Kryptonite will affect you."
"You mean, that wasn't done when I was a baby?"
"No. There were no signs of powers when you were a baby. You started getting your powers gradually when you were about a year old."
"And we never wanted to expose you to Kryptonite until you were older, when you could handle it. I mean, we never wanted you to be near Kryptonite, but when you needed tests, we wanted to save the Kryptonite test until you were older," Lois answered.
"Well, if we need to take a test, then there's nothing I can do but take it."
"I'll call Dr. Klein," Clark said, and picked up the phone from its cradle and phoned S.T.A.R. Labs.
"Hello?" Dr. Klein answered.
"Dr. Klein, it's Clark Kent."
"Oh, hello Clark! What can I do for you?"
"Danielle has had her first exposure to Kryptonite. Do you have time for tests today?"
"Let me look at my agenda." There was a brief silence on his end of the line as he looked at his planner. "Nothing. No meetings, no major scientific breakthroughs… today is fine. When should I expect you?"
"How's 15 minutes from now?" Clark offered.
"Sure. Can't wait to see you."
"Bye-bye." He hung up, and told Lois that they were leaving in a couple of minutes.
Dr. Klein had known Clark was Superman since Lois found out she was pregnant. Knowing her husband was someone who wasn't from around here, she had gone to Dr. Klein, who had been surprised to see her come to him. She had wanted him to give her a checkup, and when he had found she was pregnant, she had known she needed to tell him the family secret. He had been surprised to hear this, but since he had had work to do, he had let the surprise pass him by and begun immediate research with Clark. He was trusted with the secret, and had been for 17 years. But, originally, Lois and Clark had never been meant to have children. Clark was totally different from Lois, meaning they couldn't have a child together. They had then considered adoption, but because of some problem with Lois being in danger weekly, their application was rejected. They had given up hope, when suddenly, out of the blue, Lois had had morning sickness, and the pregnancy checkup had proved positive. But after Danielle was born, Lois and Clark had found out that this had been a simple miracle, one that couldn't be explained, and they couldn't conceive again.
The Kents entered S.T.A.R. Labs and took the elevator up. When they reached Dr. Klein's level, Clark rapped on the door, just to let Dr. Klein know they were there, and opened the door. Dr. Klein was busy preparing the test for Danielle, and didn't hear them come in. Trying not to surprise him, Danielle spoke softly.
"Hey, Dr. Klein."
He jumped, but wasn't scared half to death as other times.
"Danielle, Clark, Lois. I didn't hear you come in. Are you ready to start?" he asked.
"In just a minute, Dr. Klein. What exactly are you going to do to her?" Lois replied, taking her daughter's arm and pulling her close.
"Well, Lois… Clark… I'm going to expose her to Kryptonite for about 10 minutes, and from then on, I can do an analysis on the effects on her for about one day. It should only affect her because I'll have her in a room where the Kryptonite won't affect you, Clark."
"And only 10 minutes, right?" Clark said in a warning tone only Danielle and Lois knew, for he had never told Dr. Klein to be careful like he had told them.
"Oh, of course, Clark. You two can wait out here," he gestured to some comfortable-looking chairs he had set out, and then took Danielle's hand, "and she'll be over here."
Lois and Clark sat down and took each other's hands in anxiety. Dr. Klein took Danielle through a door and into a sealed room. No one knew what would happen until half an hour later.
Dr. Klein came out with a tired look on his face. Lois and Clark immediately came to his side and asked for news.
"She's fine, just a little tired, that's all. She's sleeping in a room I set up just for this type of occasion. Do you want to come see the results?" The couple nodded, and were led to the same room and through another door to the Kryptonite lab.
"This is a tape of the 10 minutes Danielle was exposed to Kryptonite. From then on it was all analysis and educated guesses. Are you ready to watch?"
As Lois said yes, Dr. Klein pressed the PLAY button on the VCR. An image of Danielle came on the screen. She was in the room next door, which had a bed and a table with Kryptonite on it. Dr. Klein explained what the tape was showing.
"In 0 to 2 minutes, the symptoms of weakness, nausea, dizziness, and pain. After 2 and a half minutes, she was on the ground and on her side. By 5 minutes, she needed to lie down on the floor since she couldn't hold herself up. In 7 to 8 minutes, she doubled over in pain. In 9 to 10 minutes, she started to moan in pain." He shut off the tape, then turned to his computer, where there was a scan of Danielle's body with text alongside it. The text was the estimates of her fate after one hour with Kryptonite. He pointed as he explained.
"After 2 hours she would go into a sweat. After 4 hours her strength would start to decrease. By 12 hours, she would go into a coma. 16 hours, her powers begin to fade. In 20 hours the powers are gone. And by 24 hours, she's dead."
He looked at the Kents, and was pained by the looks on their faces. Clark's looked as if he was in a dazed trance, just staring at the screen in horror. Lois had her face buried in her husband's chest, but by the way she clung to him, you could tell she was terrified by the fate her daughter would face near Kryptonite.
She gulped and asked in a shaky voice if they could see her. He answered that they could, as long as they were quiet.
He opened the door for them, and Danielle was lying on her back on a cot, sound asleep. Lois bent down and stroked her daughter's face, careful not to wake her. Nevertheless, she woke up, feeling her mother's warm hand against her face. Her eyelids fluttered.
"Just five more minutes, Mom," she moaned, and she snuggled up under the covers again.
Clark smiled and thanked Dr. Klein, and gently picked up Danielle. He carried her out of the lab with Lois right behind him, and laid her down into the back seat of the car.
As Danielle lay asleep in her bed, Lois and Clark sat on the couch in each other's arms.
"You know, Clark, I never thought she would have to do that. I had always hoped she would say no to superhero-ism, and she would never have to go through this," Lois confided in Clark.
"You never wanted her to do this, honey?" he asked, surprised.
"Well, I did, but I had always hoped to steer her clear of Kryptonite and publicity and the media."
"Lois, being a superhero prevents you from having privacy, and we ARE the media, in a way."
"Yeah, but not in that menacing, annoying way."
"What are you guys talking about?" a voice asked from the landing. Danielle floated down the stairs, apparently not wanting to make the effort of walking. She hovered above the ground and sat pretzel-style in the air.
"Just talking about the test you had today," Clark answered.
"You're feeling better," Lois said, grinning.
"Yeah. Sleep does the super-body good."
"Cute, real cute. Come on, I need to make dinner." Lois left the couch, leaving Clark and Danielle alone in the living room.
"Do we want to hurry to that?" Danielle whispered skeptically. Clark grinned, pulled her down to the floor and together they walked to the kitchen.
If only pure and kind happiness could have been the feeling in Sean Sullivan's apartment. He pulled on the lever hidden in the coat rack. It opened to a secret room where he would put together the rings and other jewelry for the store. He walked inside and began his new piece of work — "rubies."
His plan was brilliant. He would sell his jewelry pieces, which were actually made of Kryptonite, to the citizens of Metropolis. Eventually his pieces would be so statewide, Superman and Supergirl would have to leave New Troy. But they would be disappointed, for they would have no place to go. His jewelry was going nationwide and sometime soon, worldwide. The Kryptonite would spread and the Super Duo would die. But now he had a new idea. A friend of his had given him red Kryptonite, and he was going to use it and pass it off as rubies. Nothing could stop him now.
The next morning, Danielle showered, dried and styled her hair in a braid and got dressed at Super-speed. She was happy with the fact that she could now get up half an hour before work and be ready with 5 minutes to spare after breakfast. She sped, literally, down the stairs and into the booth table without letting a hair fall out of place. She picked up the comics and indulged herself in left-over chocolate chip pancakes.
"Impressive. Now can you do that from here to Japan and back?" Clark joked, sipping some coffee and looking at her over his glasses.
"Yes, but I'm not in the mood."
Lois came to the table and began clearing some dishes.
"Let me take care of that, honey," Clark offered and leapt from the table cleaning everything off, including Danielle's plate.
"Hey, hey!" She pulled it back and finished her pancakes rather quickly.
"Here." She handed the plate back to him and he continued with the dishes. Meanwhile, Danielle grabbed everyone's bags.
Danielle sat at her desk, reading a book. So far, the day had given her no research to look up, so she decided to take the day half-off, meaning she'd be at work but wouldn't have work to do.
The book she was reading was about a Celtic boy who, in an attack, got his tongue cut off, and he became a slave, but went on to become the personal assistant of an earl.
Suddenly, the book gave her an idea. She put the bookmark at her spot and logged onto the research program. When keywords were asked for, she entered "Sullivan, Sean" and pressed ENTER.
The number of results was unbelievable. *There must be one million men named Sean Sullivan* Danielle thought as she looked over the entries. She decided to refine the search by entering the store name, Emerald's Glow. About 10 minutes later, she could find nothing on Sean Sullivan. Finally, she realized she needed help.
"Logan!" She caught his attention and signaled for him to come over.
"What's up Dani?" Logan said, leaning against her desk.
"The sky," she answered, "but right now I need your help. I need you to research everything we've got on Sean Sullivan."
"Sean Sullivan? You mean the guy who owns the store Nick works at?"
"Yeah. And if you need to, search Patrick Sullivan. And have you seen Jimmy?"
"Um, yeah, I think he's at the photo lab."
"Thanks. Let's get started!" They departed — he to his computer and she to the photo lab.
The red light was on at the lab, so Danielle needed to wait nearby for Jimmy to come out. Eventually, he came out with newly developed pictures in his hand, ready to let Chief approve of them.
"Jimmy!" He turned, and she told him what he needed to do, and he got right on it.
She was just heading back to her desk when she heard a cry for help. She called her dad in her mind.
<Dad, let me get this one>
<Are you sure? Because I can take this if you need me to>
<No, it's fine> She ducked into a deserted hallway, and spun, revealing her tights. She flew through the window, and followed the sound of the cry. She found it near Haven Street, where a car and a semi-truck were about to collide. She landed in front of the semi, and thrust her hands out. The breath was nearly knocked out of her as she was pushed against the engine. Her cape draped around her, and her boots smoked from the asphalt. The truck stopped, but the car would collide into it if she didn't stop it. She turned and sped over to the Toyota, and thrust out her hands again. The car was much easier; it only took a couple of seconds. She ran to the driver's door, opened it and helped the driver out.
"Are you all right, sir?" she asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine, Supergirl. My neck hurts, though." He placed his hand on his neck, revealing a red-faced watch on his wrist. "Let me take you to the—" Supergirl started, but then stopped herself. A strange feeling came over her, but she shook it off and kept going.
"You know, I need to go. Go ahead and walk to the hospital, since your legs aren't broken," she said as she started to fly away.
"But what about the man in the semi-truck?" the driver shouted, confused by her strange behavior.
"Don't have a heart attack! His legs aren't broken, either. You two can walk yourselves. I don't care." And with that, she flew off into the clouds and back to the Daily Planet.
Danielle sat down at her desk and picked up her book. She kicked her heels up onto her desk and proceeded to read a couple of chapters before Logan came to her with information.
"OK, I've got some facts on Emerald Boy… Danielle, what are you doing?"
She looked at him as if his question was the understatement of the year. "I'm reading. Why do you ask?"
"I thought you asked for help with Sullivan," Logan said, puzzled.
"Aw, who cares about him? He's just some old guy who's wasting his time with jewels and probably has no social life whatsoever, and no family either," she replied.
"Dani, are you OK?" He looked into her eyes, as if looking for symptoms through her eyes and in her brain.
"Of course I am." She went back to her reading without giving him a second glance.
*I'd better get her parents* he thought, and went over to Lois' desk.
"Mrs. Kent?" he asked, not wanting to rudely disturb her.
She looked from her computer screen and up at Logan. "Oh hi, Logan. How can I help you?"
"Mrs. Kent, Danielle is acting really strange. She asked Jimmy and me to help her with the research she's doing on Sean Sullivan. She went off towards the photo lab, came back to her desk ten minutes later and kicked back and opened a good book. As far as I know, she never took a look at the entries. It was like she… like she…"
"Didn't care at all?" she finished.
"Yeah! Can you talk to her? She's not doing her own research!"
"Sure, Logan, I'll go talk to her," she promised.
Satisfied, he went back to his desk, and Lois stopped at Clark's desk.
"Clark?" He looked up and smiled.
"Hi, honey. What do you need?"
"Clark, we have a red alert."
"Yes, red Kryptonite," she whispered. He jumped up, and they ran over to Danielle's desk. But before they could reach it, a strong wind came over the news room, and papers blew all over the floor. Articles by the food critic ended up at Jimmy's desk, and work from the movie critic ended up near the elevator.
"We know who that was," Clark said quietly, and they started again towards Danielle's desk. She was still reading, and she said, "Bless me."
"Danielle," Clark started.
"Oh hi, Dad. What's up?"
"Danielle, are you feeling right?" Lois asked skeptically.
"Yup! I feel like I have not a care in the world! Why?"
"Danielle, did you see anything… red when you were out?" Clark inquired.
"Yeah. A man had a watch with a red face…"
"That's it!" Clark cried. "Sweetie, that wasn't a normal watch."
"That was a watch that had Kryptonite in its face," Lois told Danielle.
"But guys, Kryptonite is green, not red," she protested.
"No, there are two types of Kryptonite — the green kind, which can kill you…" Lois started.
"And the red one, which makes you feel depressed and puts your powers into overdrive," Clark finished.
"Whoa. You need to tell me these things," Danielle scolded.
"We were going to, but remember we had always wanted to keep you away from the stuff," Lois replied.
"You better go tell Perry you don't feel well," Clark told her. "In your condition, you're pretty dangerous. Trust me, I know. We'll take you home. If you flew, landing would not be easy."
"Oh, all right." She put her book down and trudged to Perry's office, then Logan's desk, then Jimmy's.
"OK, let's go. I apologized to Logan, and told both of them I wasn't feeling well." The tone on her voice suggested the fact that she could be like Lois — she didn't want to leave work.
"Come on honey," Lois said, and wrapped her arm around Clark's waist and held Danielle's hand as the family left.
The next morning, Danielle felt more like herself, though she was up much earlier than her mom and dad. She stretched, hopped out of bed and bolted down the stairs, not bothering to put her glasses on. She checked outside if the paper was there, and when it was, picked it up. She threw herself onto the couch and searched the paper for the comics, her favorite part. She was glad she had finally convinced the Chief to put some funnies in a couple of years ago, after a week of pleading. The comics had actually brought a little more money than usual to the Planet, which made Perry happy, which made the staff happy.
As she read, she chuckled at the jokes, but suddenly felt sick. She felt the boulder slam into her again, and was dizzy and nauseated. She pressed her fingers to her temples and rubbed, soothing her nerves. But the symptoms came fast. What was even weirder was that her dad came downstairs, doing the same thing.
"Dad… is this… Kryptonite again?" she struggled, coughing.
"I… I think so," he replied.
Then, as fast as it had come, it stopped. It had only lasted a couple of seconds, then vanished. Clark and Danielle suddenly felt much better.
"Weird…" he murmured.
"Very," she agreed. But then another blast came on, but with different results. So when Lois came downstairs, hearing the moaning of her family, the normal happiness was much different than usual.
"Clark, is everything okay?" she asked, going into the kitchen to make some coffee.
"Why would you care?" came the response. Not believing what she had just heard, she doubled back and asked, "WHAT did you say?"
"I said, 'why would you care.' It's a simple response… what's so difficult about it?" her husband responded, still reading the sports section.
Deciding to use a test, she said, "Guys, I'm going to go make breakfast."
"Good for you," Danielle replied, and kept reading. At that moment, Lois knew. She walked right up to her family, and, knowing her hands would be throbbing for days, slapped them straight in the faces.
"OWWWW!" Lois yelped.
The blows didn't hurt them, or even startle them for that matter, but they shook their heads, as if coming out of a trance. Danielle placed her hand on her head.
"Whoa… what happened?" she asked, slightly dazed.
"You were affected by Kryptonite," Lois told them.
"Kryptonite? You mean the red kind, right?" her daughter asked, skeptical. When Lois nodded, Danielle became impatient and frustrated and slammed her hand into the arm of the couch. The result was a hole straight through.
"It's okay, honey. It's happened before," Clark reassured her.
"But not like this, right? I mean seriously, when you were affected by Kryptonite, it was when some crazy genius was after Mom, or the world. Now, it's when some person who has no business in our lives passes our home. I don't think it's become the new fashion trend to carry Kryptonite in your pocket!" Danielle ranted.
"Fashion?" Lois said softly. "Danielle, where was it that you felt the most pain?"
"At the jewelry store on Tancy Boulevard. Nick works there now."
"Tell us about this store," Clark said, leaning forward.
"Well, the store, Emerald's Glow sells emeralds and rubies, which are the newest idea for the owner's business. When Miya, Logan, Nick and I went over there last Sunday, there was a huge mob of women and a couple of men, as if they had forgotten anniversaries or something."
"Do you know who the owner is?" Lois asked.
"Yeah. Mom, this is gonna shock you. Remember Patrick Sullivan?"
"Ugh. How could I forget," her mom replied sarcastically.
"Well, it's his brother that owns it, Sean Sullivan."
"Sean? But he was such a nice guy when I went to their home for dinner!"
"Honey, you thought Patrick was a great guy, and look what he tried to do to you," Clark told her.
"Yeah. He tried to kill me like I was some sacrifice to the Irish gods or something. Said that he loved me… yeah, right," she answered, rolling her eyes.
"Think we should go in early to do some research?" Danielle asked.
The Kents entered the Daily Planet building at 8 o'clock that morning, when only a couple of people, including Perry, were in. The rest of the employees would come in about an hour. It was lucky that Jimmy had decided to come in a little early; Danielle needed his help.
"Jimmy!" she called out, catching up to him.
"Hey! What's up, Dani?" he asked, grinning.
"The sky. But that's not important. I need you to help me out. Tap into records of major jewelry industries and see if there's a company representing that new store on Tancy. If you see Logan before I do, tell him I need him at my desk. You know, never mind that, I'll call him now! I'll be looking up records if you need me. We got to get going!" She ran towards her desk, slid, came back, thanked Jimmy and ran off again.
*Geez, she's set on Super-speed today* Jimmy thought, and jogged to his desk to start tapping industry computers.
While Lois and Clark worked on other stories (they had decided to let Danielle do this), Danielle rang Logan at his house.
"Hello," a voice answered.
"Hi, Mr. Reeve? This is Danielle. Is Logan around?"
"Oh hi, Danielle. Do you need him at work or something?" he said cheerfully.
"Yeah, I really need to talk to him."
"Sure, let me get him." She heard Mr. Reeve call for his son, and Logan picked up on his phone as his dad hung up.
"Logan, it's Dani."
"Hey Dani, Dad says you need me at work."
"Yeah, I'm doing serious research on Sean Sullivan and Patrick Sullivan. I'm working on authority or City Hall records, while Jimmy is digging up dirt on any industries supporting the store. Could you come here and help me out? Puh-lease?"
"Well… I dunno… I'd be coming in an hour early…" Logan teased.
"Come on, Logan… for me?" she mocked back.
"Well… all right, if you insist."
"I insist. Could you hurry? We've got major work to do!"
"Sure thing. Should be there in about 10 minutes."
"Thanks!" They hung up, and Danielle started immediately.
She entered the Daily Planet main menu, and clicked on "Authority Records". She began by searching for "Sullivan, Patrick". That's when she realized she had been searching in the wrong place! She clicked on "Location" and typed in "Dublin, Ireland", and pressed Enter. She waited for the results, and was much happier with the number of Patrick Sullivans — 13.
She had just started on the second Patrick Sullivan on the list when the elevator dinged and Logan walked in. He jogged over to Danielle's desk and asked her what she needed.
"Logan, thanks for coming in early. Could you research on an ancient mask of the ancient Druids?" That's when she noticed pain; the boulder was back. She looked at Logan out of the corner of her eye and saw he was wearing a green faced watch. She grimaced, hoping he wouldn't notice, but he did.
"Druids of Ireland? Piece of cake! Seriously, Danielle, you need to challenge me!" He grinned, but then looked at her closely. "Dani, are you okay? You look a little pale."
"Yeah, I'll be fine. You go ahead." A little uncertain, he walked back to his desk, and began working, which let the effects of the Kryptonite drain from her system.
She went back to her screen, and when she finished the file, she returned to the result page, since that Patrick hadn't been her Patrick.
She found him by the sixth one, and the first thing she noticed was the writing on top — "Deceased." She ignored all of his statistics; she only wanted the reports on him. She began to read.
"Patrick Sullivan was found dead in his apartment and, though dead, was charged with attempted murder," Danielle read to herself. *Geez, they'll charge anyone these days* "According to Lois Lane of the Daily Planet in Metropolis, New Troy, she had been lured by Sullivan for lunch, since they were old friends. When she came, she was dragged to a table and locked down. She was briefed on his plan to rule the world by killing his true love and wearing an ancient mask of the Druids. Superman arrived on the scene and defeated Sullivan with heat-rays."
"Well, that's the dirty on him," she muttered to herself, and copied the summary into the program Jimmy had given her, which she called "Notes."
She exited that search and began a new one — "Sullivan, Sean". Location — "Dublin, Ireland". There were only 10 results, and the very first one was the one she was looking for. She clicked on his name and read his statistics.
"After the strange and tragic death of his brother Patrick, Sean Sullivan became a recluse, never coming out of his apartment. After a month, when his mother became concerned, authorities entered and found signs of insanity all over the apartment. Writing such as 'Down with Superman' and 'Lois Lane die' brought officials of an insane asylum to treat him. After nearly 18 years of treatment, Sullivan was released and left for America for 'a new life.' His jewelry business, which is now a huge success, is now worldwide." She copied that too and pasted it with Patrick's paragraph and printed it out. The paper had just left the printer when Jimmy and Logan appeared on either side of her desk. The pain came back to her, and she tried her hardest not to sound raspy and breathy as she spoke.
"Well, a couple of minutes of research led me to this — after Patrick Sullivan's death, Sean was found insane with writings of threats to Superman and Mom. 18 years later, he's released, considered sane, and is now running his business. What'd you get?" she said, turning to Jimmy.
"Well, nothing. There is no company that owns or supports Emerald's Glow. It's an independent business, even though other stores are selling his merchandise. In fact, it's now worldwide!"
"So that's all?"
Turning to Logan with a fake grin, trying to cover her pain, she asked him what he had got.
"Well, that family certainly are people of their religion. The mask was in their possession for hundreds of years, and was passed down to Patrick. After he died, it was going to go to Sean, but the mask was destroyed when Patrick was killed."
"What can the mask do? And what about those emeralds?" she asked, coughing.
"Well, the emeralds give ultimate power to the person with the mask, but they were a certain kind that could not be replaced."
"So that's all we can get for now. Thanks, guys," she said and turned to her computer again. Jimmy said he had to go back to work on a story he was working on, so that left Danielle and Logan alone.
"Are you sure you're feeling all right? You look terrible," he told her, looking concerned.
She looked him straight in the eye and lied, "I promise you, I'm fine." She took his hand, which was rather difficult with her trying to hide her pain. "Really."
"Well, okay, if you say so." He smiled and left, going back to his desk. When he did, Danielle left her desk in search of her dad. As she walked, she staggered and had to hold on to a couple of things, and Clark saw her as she walked toward his desk.
Clark got to his feet and looked her in the eye. "Kryptonite?" he asked.
She nodded, and he sat her down in his chair.
"Where's Mom?" she asked, gasping for breath.
"I don't know. She's been gone for half an hour. Let me get your -" he started, but stopped when a voice only he and Danielle could hear began to speak.
<Hello, Superman and Supergirl. I know only you can hear this, as this is on an unused police frequency. I'm pretty sure it's been rather difficult for you two to fly around Metropolis… get used to it! Bye for now.>
"That was new," Clark said after a small pause.
"Dad! That was Sean Sullivan. That voice had an Irish lilt to it. And as far as I know, only one Irishman has a grudge against us."
"And he was right. While I was walking past a couple of desks, the room spun and everything hurt. It could have something to do with Kryptonite, since we were sitting in the living room and the same thing happened."
"Maybe we should take a look around the city — maybe we'll feel something."
"Yeah, you're right. Let's leave a note for your mom and anyone else who needs us, in case they come looking for us."
Danielle nodded and left the desk to leave a note at hers. The note said simply this:
Dad and I are out working on a story. We'll be back later. If you need me to get back to you, just leave your name below and I'll do so ASAP. Later, Danielle
Clark and Danielle met up at the hallway, made sure it was deserted, revealed their suits and flew through the newsroom, leaving a mess of flying papers behind.
Superman and Supergirl floated above the clouds, keeping an eye out for anything strange. Something strange came immediately as black smoke rose through the blue sky. Screams for help rang, and the sirens of an ambulance sounded.
"Fire," Superman pointed out, and they sped down to the disaster.
When they reached the burning house, Supergirl said, "You rescue people inside, and when you get out, I'll blow the fire down."
Superman nodded, and dashed inside. He used his X-ray vision to survey through the thick, black smoke and found a woman with a child in her arms next door. He blasted through the wall and picked up the mother and child in his arms, but something went wrong. He saw a necklace hanging on the woman's neck, and a stab of pain surged through his muscular body. He began to fall to his knees and started to yell for Supergirl. He knew he couldn't do this alone, especially with this woman wearing Kryptonite.
Supergirl heard her father's cries and flew to where he kneeled. Immediately the Kryptonite began to affect her and she began to fall as well. Then she looked at the woman and her child. They were nearly unconscious now, and Supergirl knew she had to save them.
"Dad! *cough* We have to save them! They depend on us!" Hearing his daughter's words, Superman stood with difficulty and carried the woman out of the burning house. Supergirl followed with the girl in her arms, and when they got out in the open, Supergirl begged the woman to take off her necklace.
"No! My husband bought it for our anniversary!" she protested.
"Please, ma'am! *cough* That stone is…" She couldn't finish her sentence as she collapsed in pain beside Superman.
"Superman! Supergirl! What's wrong?" the young child asked, clutching to her mother's leg.
"Please, sweetheart… *cough* make her take it off!" Superman gasped.
Frightened of her heroes' conditions, the little girl tugged on her mother's jeans, pleading her to take it off. The mother finally realized what this stone did, and when an on-scene doctor came to her, she told him to take the necklace and take it far away from the heroes. The pain decreased, and Superman and Supergirl lay in the street, exhausted.
"Are you OK now, Superman?" the little girl asked as he sat up.
"Yeah, we're fine," Superman replied, smiling.
"Thanks to you," Supergirl added, and she cupped the young girl's face in her hands and thanked her with the warm half-smile she had inherited from her dad.
<Well done, Superman and Supergirl. I think this game is starting to bore you. If so, let's finish what my brother started once and for all. If I were you I wouldn't refuse. After all, I think your good friends Lois Lane-Kent and Logan Reeve might be disappointed with your disloyalty!> The voice echoed through their heads and, making sure the woman and little girl were safe, flew to Emerald's Glow to battle for their loved ones' lives.
They blasted through the ceiling to find Lois and Logan, bound and gagged, sitting against a pole, a gun pointed to each head. They weren't even able to get close to the pair, for a force slammed them down to the ground — Kryptonite. Supergirl and Superman began moaning in pain, for the stone was all over the room in crates. Footsteps began to echo in the hallway outside, and Sean Sullivan came into the room.
"Superman… Supergirl… we've been expecting you," he said, hatred burning in his eyes. He knelt beside Superman. "Didn't you see that it would be this way? That I would defeat you and begin the reign my brother would have started?" Then he turned to Supergirl.
"Dear girl… only a few weeks on the job and you will die. I don't hate you as much as Ms. Lane-Kent and Superman. You, young lady, are about to—"
"Leave her alone," Superman mumbled. "You have no grudge with her. Let her and Logan go."
"You think I'll let my enemy's daughter go free?!" the madman screamed, his fury exploding from inside. "The reason she is here is your fault! This mystery woman of yours and you are to blame, for you have brought her to her death! She is here because she is your daughter, and Logan is here because she cares for his safety!" He turned to Lois and Logan and walked to the guns. "Which one dies?!"
Clark looked at his wife and mouthed, "I love you," thinking this would be the last time they would ever see each other again. Danielle looked at her mom and almost lost hope completely when, through the near-blinding pain, she saw Lois had nearly cut through the rope holding her and Logan. Clever Lois had held her pocket knife close by, and had begun cutting as soon as possible. She nudged Superman.
<Dad, Mom's nearly got the rope cut. Maybe she can get free and give us time to collect ourselves,> she told him telepathically.
Lois grinned, and before Sean could pull both triggers, she punched him square in the jaw. It simply forced him to the ground, but it gave her and Logan a chance to run from the room. As they ran, Logan knew the plan and shouted, "Catch us if you can!" and the pursuit began. Superman and Supergirl struggled to their feet, trudged to the hall and pushed the door closed. Apparently Sean had lined the door with lead, for in the hall, they couldn't feel the effects of Kryptonite and began to recover. After a few minutes, Superman and Supergirl flew from the store and hovered above it, looking for Sean chasing Lois and Logan.
Meanwhile, during the few minutes of recovery, Lois and Logan had run through every hall imaginable. Sean could be heard panting for breath behind them while they were still going strong. Finally they came to the back door and ran around to the front, Sean close behind. Logan and Lois ran inside, the door banging behind them, but when Sean threw open the door, he came face-to-face with Superman and Supergirl, who were not happy at all.
The next day, in front of City Hall, dozens of reporters, including Lois and Logan, stood waiting for Superman and Supergirl to make their statement. Logan was under the impression that Danielle had a dentist appointment and Clark was taking her, so that a certain secret was kept.
Soon, bolts of blue were seen careening through the clouds. Superman and Supergirl were about to touch down when the force of Kryptonite of both sorts was slammed into their bodies. Deciding to keep a safe distance, Superman sped down and grabbed the podium, knowing the extension cords of the microphones would reach the roof of City Hall. They landed and Superman began to speak.
"Citizens of Metropolis and people around the world, a large percent of you have bought jewelry from a man named Sean Sullivan, whose company was called Emerald's Glow. The emeralds and rubies made by this man are deadly to my daughter and me." He stepped aside and Supergirl took her turn.
"This is because these stones are not jewels. This is Kryptonite, both red and green, in a plot to destroy us by Mr. Sullivan. There are collectors waiting on the steps. If you have the jewelry from Sullivan, put it in the box and your money will be returned to you. NASA had already begun a project to take the Kryptonite collected and thrust it into space. Thank you."
"So, everything is back to normal?" Miya asked, biting into a cheeseburger. The quartet were back at Johnny's and were talking about what had recently happened with Logan and Nick's boss.
"Yeah, for now. I've gotta get a new job," Nick said. He was a little upset about his employer's previous hobbies and was out of a job.
"Yeah, and when you're at the Daily Planet, nothing is ever normal," Danielle told them, recalling stories of Christmases without hope, terrorism for money buried beneath the building and several explosions.
"Well, let's make the most of it while we have it," Logan said, and the four of them lifted their glasses.
"To temporary normality!"