By Paul-Gabriel Wiener <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: March 2002
Summary: A bored first-season Lex puts his soul in the bodies of various animals with disastrous (but hilarious) effects.
Lex Luthor stood in the office of his penthouse and looked out the window. He contemplated the city below him. Much of it already belonged to him. Even more was under his silent control. Plans to acquire the rest were progressing nicely. The appearance of this "Superman" several months ago had slowed things, but not overly so. Besides, the so-called "hero" did have his uses- he had, after all, stopped that asteroid. Much better to keep the city intact than to have to rebuild it.
On the other hand, rebuilding it might have been more interesting. These days, the process of taking over Metropolis had become so… routine. Buy out this business, threaten that owner, set his researchers along this path, "fire" these employees… he could almost have done it in his sleep. Sure, having all that power was intoxicating, but at this stage of the game, he didn't really have much to do with that power. That would come later. Somewhere in between the past excitement of establishing his criminal empire and the future thrill of extending it into new territory, Lex was bored.
Perhaps this new spiritual advisor he'd heard of might provide some entertainment. Lex had considered putting the man off for another few years, but now might be the time to see what Asabi could do.
"I see," said the mystic when Lex had explained his plight. "You have much, and yet you do little. You seek new horizons, new places to explore."
"I have something which may well be of use to you. It is called a 'spirit stone.' With it, you may transfer your soul into another body."
"Interesting. Any sort of body?"
"Transferring into a body which already has a human spirit can be very difficult, but taking the body of an animal is relatively simple."
"So, you can provide entertainment and education by transforming me into an animal. Asabi, you're a modern-day Merlin." Asabi, not as well-versed in western mythology or literature, chose to merely nod sagely in response. Lex ignored him, mulling over the possibilities. An animal… it would have to be something that people would not be surprised to see in the city, and yet something with grace and power. A predator. One that could soar over the rooftops. Hmm… "Asabi, I do believe I would like to become a hawk."
"Mmmm. A wise choice. If you can provide the animal, I will return tomorrow with the stone."
Lex spread his wings and flew. The hawk's body was as accustomed to flying as his own was to walking. He merely needed to direct it, and instinct took care of the mechanics. For a time, he simply enjoyed the experience. He glided aimlessly, exploring the new sensations. The pure novelty, however, was quick to wear off. Instead, he began to survey his territory. Soon that, too, lost its appeal. After all, looking on his empire from on high was exactly the boring activity that he'd been trying to escape.
He circled, and his sharp eyes caught sight of the Daily Planet building. It was a fairly safe bet that the intoxicating Lois Lane would be there at this hour. He winged his way over, and—
Lex tumbled in mid-air, desperately trying to regain control. What had happened? Then, just as suddenly as he'd begun plummeting, he stopped. Lex looked around, confused.
"Sorry about that, big guy," said Superman patronizingly. "I must have caused some sudden turbulence when I flew by you." Lex tried to scratch at the apologetic hero, but only managed to hurt himself. Darned invulnerable skin. Superman chuckled. "Too wild to be held, huh? You remind me of a friend of mine… Ah, well. Go, before you hurt yourself anymore."
Lex found himself launched back into the air. His wings spread without his even having to think about it. That was fortunate, because he was too busy fuming to consider little things like staying aloft. Knocked out of the sky by a man in tights, then rescued by the same inconsiderate "hero," then forced to listen to his patronizing prattle… it was intolerable!
The joy of his new form having worn off, Lex flew back home.
Flying had been fun, Lex decided, but not when he had had to share the skies. Hmm… Superman seemed to be around mostly during the daytime. Perhaps a nocturnal flier, then? A bat? No. Chiroptera bore too close a resemblance to Rodentia. Besides, there was that man in Gotham. Copying just wasn't Lex's style. So, an owl, perhaps? Symbol of wisdom to man, death on silent wings to lesser creatures… yes, that would work out nicely.
The next night, Lex the owl took wing. Again, he enjoyed the feel of the air under his wings, the freedom from gravity, and the experience of doing something that few other humans ever could. Again, the novelty was quick to wear off. Again, Lex found himself drawn towards Lois Lane. He alighted on the rooftop opposite her apartment and looked in. Before he could really see what was happening, though, he was distracted by a sound off to the side.
Why couldn't he move his eyes to see what was happening? Oh, yeah. Owls couldn't do that. He turned his head. Suddenly, he was looking past his own back. Disoriented, he tumbled off his perch. Falling, he emitted an involuntary shriek. Then, before he could get himself sorted out, he found himself cradled in an all-too-familiar pair of blue- clad arms. Lex checked his impulse to attack and forced himself to suffer the indignity.
Superman put him down, looked him over, decided he was fine, and flew off to do… whatever it was he had been doing, flying around Lois Lane's apartment. At night. As if an intelligent woman like Lois would ever choose an alien over Lex Luthor.
Still, the mood was spoiled, again. Might as well go back home.
Flying was out, Lex decided. What else could he be? A ferret? No. Ferrets were good fighters, but they were weasels. Far too common. Rodents and lizards were out. What else was there around this city? Dogs? Faithful servants, but Lex had no interest in being a servant. Cats. Hmmm. Graceful, predatory, independent. Noble relatives. A cat could get into just about anywhere, too. Perfect.
So it was that Lex the cat ended up prowling the streets of Metropolis. He leapt glorious distances. He crept around wherever he wanted. He padded softly around, enjoying the startlement he could cause. It was quite a diverting game.
Diverting, yes, but certainly not proper for a man of his stature. Skulking around dark alleys, sneaking up on people- that was for underlings. At that thought, Lex gave up his game. Instead, he decided to look over his empire from this new perspective. He found, however, that this pursuit also felt rather common. Ah, but what could be less common than the pursuit of romance?
Lex headed off in the direction of the Daily Planet. He was in an alleyway close to the famous newspaper when Superman suddenly landed nearby. Before a startled Lex could even begin to imagine what the Man of Steel was doing in a dark alley, the hero began to spin. When he stopped, he was dressed in a business suit and glasses. "Meow," said a startled Lex. The man turned.
"Saw me, did you? Well, you won't tell anyone, right?"
Lex bounded off. "So," he thought on his way home, "the alien has a disguise. This certainly makes things more interesting." He spent the rest of the trip trying to figure out how best to use this information.
When he got back to the LexCorp towers, however, he was shocked to find that the building was surrounded by a large crowd. There were pedestrian onlookers. Closer in, there was a large gathering of reporters. They were being held back by policemen. Lex stalked past them, past the police cars and the ambulances. He still wasn't sure what had happened. The noise of the crowd wasn't very helpful. Looking around, Lex noticed Asabi standing off to one side. He padded up to the mystic.
"Oh, you're back. I'm afraid I have some bad news…"
"When you take an animal's body, the spirt of that animal is put into your body. The first night, the hawk went wild. It was confused and frightened. It shrieked and scratched and flapped its arms around, but, of course, it didn't get anywhere. Still, I didn't think you'd want anyone to see your body acting like that. It certainly wasn't very safe for me by myself. So, I locked it in your room. The second night with the owl was much the same. The cat, however, was more used to travelling on the ground. It-"
"I was getting to the point. The cat crawled out to the window and tried, what seemed to it, an easy jump to the next ledge. Unfortunately, well… it missed."
"Your body is ruined, sir. Quite dead. My humblest apologies."
"Yes, well, I'm afraid you're in no position to be making any threats. You see, the cat was holding on to the soul stone when it fell. The stone has been destroyed. Without it, I cannot obtain a new body for you. You're stuck."
"Attacking me would not be advisable. With all the policemen around, you'd doubtless be taken to the pound."
Lex arrested his leap, just in time. Hissing, he stalked off. Life as a cat. It was not promising. Perhaps if this body were to die, his soul could be reincarnated. He climbed up to a second story fire escape, took a deep breath, and jumped off…
Only to land lightly on his feet. Lex sighed. Body of a cat. Right. Perhaps if he got himself run over? He padded out into a busy intersection. Cars honked and swerved. Brakes screeched. Then, just as it looked like everything was going to miss him, after all, Lex saw a ten ton truck bearing down on him. It seemed to be carrying a load of shears, he noticed absently. He braced himself and waited. It wasn't long before he felt a solid impact…
"Hey, you must have been pretty scared there," said Superman. "Don't worry, though. I've got you now." Lex felt himself being dropped back on the sidewalk. "There you go. No more wandering into intersections, okay? A lot of people almost got hurt because of you."
Well, that had been irritating. What else to try? At this rate, it would take another seven attempts. That could be seriously nerve-wracking. Perhaps he should give the idea up for a while. At least he could still try courting Lois.
He found her at the Daily Planet. Walking right up to her, he began rubbing himself against her legs.
"Someone seems to have taken a real liking to you, Lois."
Lex did his best to ignore the disguised alien.
"Yeah. You know, I don't usually do this, but maybe I'll keep this one."
"Well, if you do, you should make sure to take him to the vet and get him fixed."
THE END :)