By Betty Huang <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: July 2003
Summary: A student of Star's starts work at the Planet. No one guesses her deadly plan of revenge.
Author's Note: I'd just like to say a few short words. First, the character of Superman does not belong to me. The character of Judy — the telepathic Oriental woman — is mine. I assume all rights to her. This story came to me one day as my family gathered at a festival and talked about China. A topic on Chinese acrobats came into the conversation. Most of what we talked about was speculation but I had thought that it would be an interesting story to write about.
Edited by Nqoire, Beta Reader
<" "> = Judy's thoughts being transferred audibly to others.
It was springtime when Star walked into the Daily Planet's newsroom with an Oriental girl who looked as if she were no older than twelve. Star had met the little girl a few weeks back, during her volunteer time at the orphanage. She introduced her companion to Lois and Clark before going into Perry's office.
"So, who is this little girl, Star?" Lois inquired, not recognizing the child.
"This is Judy Lee. She's my new student — I found her at the orphanage. No one wanted to talk to her, so I offered to be her big sister. You see, she's deaf and dumb. But, just recently I found out she has this special ability; even though she is dumb, she can still converse normally."
Star turned to the Oriental child by her side and said, "Judy. Say 'hi' to Lois and Clark."
< "Hello." > Judy shook Clark's hand. Suddenly, she fell into a trance, shocking everyone in the room.
"How did she do that?" Clark could see a huge scar running across Judy's neck — a scar that did not look like the work of a surgeon. "Her mouth's not moving."
"Thought transfer. It seems like she has the ability to transfer thoughts from her brain to others."
While they talked, Judy was getting the weirdest messages emanating from Clark. She didn't know what the pictures in her head meant, but she managed to snap out of it. Nodding in agreement, she affirmed what Star had said.
< "Yes I can. Star has been a very good help to me. She taught me English. And that's not all I can do." >
Just as Clark tried to inquire about the scar on Judy's neck, Jimmy interrupted him. The messenger/hopeful photographer had come to introduce himself. Judy was interested in meeting him until he mentioned his last name — at which point she brushed him off coldly. As she glanced around the office, Judy got distracted by seeing another man, one that looked like her friend Kelvin, back in China. She excused herself and went over to help him. Clark thought that it was odd that she was so rude to Jimmy; most women fell for his charms quickly.
<"Let me help you with that."> she said with her audible thoughts. Immediately, the heavy container flew a few feet off the ground and started to follow Judy, which left an onlooker in shock. <"Where do you want it?">
The stunned janitor replied, "Oh, just in the hall closet is fine."
Clark saw the whole scene. "What else can she do, Star?"
"A lot of things. I've also seen her levitate a few feet off the ground."
"Really!" Clark was now definitely in shock.
When Judy came back to Star's side, the two women went into Perry's office.
Three days later, Perry was really happy with the new girl he had hired. She seemed able to know what he wanted her to do before he said anything. Judy even went as far as bringing Perry his lunch at the exact moment that Perry got hungry.
"Thank you, Judy, but you didn't have to do it."
<"I know… but I like to.">
The next day, as Perry walked into the office, Judy was holding a cup of coffee for him.
"How do you manage to know when I'll get here? And what I wanted?"
< "I'm a telepath.">
"Like mind readers."
< "Yes, and don't worry, I won't intrude on private thoughts.">
Two days later, Jack Olson came to visit his son for a brief lunch. Clark could see Judy glaring at Mr. Olson with an odd, concentrated stare on her face. What was even stranger was that she was hiding herself so that Jack wouldn't see her. Clark started to get the impression that Judy knew Jack Olson; knew him and didn't like him.
"Dad, are you okay?" Jimmy was concerned as his father rubbed his temples.
"Just a headache, let's go for lunch."
Once the elevator door had closed, Jack's headache disappeared.
Clark started as he heard Judy's thought yell to everyone close by. <"Shoot! Out of range.">
"Lois." As Clark had observed what was going on, he turned to Lois and suggested, "I think we'd better find out where Judy came from."
"I have a feeling that Jack Olson is in danger."
"Judy's acting strangely."
"But she's only fourteen years old. She's not even an US citizen."
"How do you know that? We don't really know much about her."
By this time, Judy had realized that she was broadcasting her thoughts when she didn't really want to. She tried not to make the same mistake again.
A little later in the afternoon, Lois heard Judy's thoughts speaking to her.
<"I'm not fourteen, Lois. Besides, I have a citizenship."> She paused in thought and then, < "I'm seventeen years old. I'm just small for my age.">
"This is really creepy," Lois commented to herself — a voice in her head, and she couldn't even see Judy.
Clark headed for the research department to look up some information on Judy. A couple of hours later, he came back, a sheaf of papers and a file folder in his hand. The file folder was from the orphanage Star had found Judy at, and the papers were the research he had been able to turn up.
"Is Judy here?" Clark asked Lois.
"No, she left a few minutes after you disappeared to research."
"Look at this." Clark pointed out a few facts to Lois. "Judy's dad was arrested by Jack Olson. Soon after that, Judy's mom died from an overdose of alcohol."
"I bet that's why she hates Jack".
CK continued reading down the page. "Judy lived on the streets of China for two years after her mother's death. Soon after that, a Christian orphanage in China took her in." Clark showed Lois the picture of the head minister and caretaker.
"He kind of looks like Perry," Lois remarked, before resuming reading her half of the records. "The head minister's name is Kelvin. It says here that Judy was taken back from the home that adopted her in China when the head minister found out that Judy was adopted only because the man needed a Chinese acrobat for his show. The man who adopted her frequently starved her because she had dropped a plate while balancing six others on a stick"
Clark read the other page that he had in his hand at super- speed, summarizing it for Lois. "And, then, she was adopted by an American family. The report didn't say as to the reason why she was taken away from her first family. Everything regarding that removal has been erased and blacked out. Her second home had to put her in the orphanage Star was working at, because the parents found out that she had started to develop these special abilities. She was placed in three other homes but all were abusive. Her records end about three weeks ago."
"And that's the day Star started volunteering at the orphanage," Lois added.
"Here's what is interesting, Lois. I looked up the history of two of the abusive families that had adopted Judy. Three members of those families are still lying in hospital in a coma. The doctor's diagnosis was brain tumors. Oh, and a judge Eden is also in a coma. Eden was the judge at Judy's custody trial."
"The judge had awarded the second family, the other one that was thought of as a non-abusive American family, full custody of Judy."
"I bet it was hard for Judy to be ripped away from her home like that. She must've been really happy with that first family of hers."
"It says here that Judy still couldn't learn English — because she was deaf. She didn't develop her powers fully until about four years ago."
But then Clark thought about the time Judy had spent at the mercy of the Chinese acrobatic master. "Do you know how she lost her vocal cords?"
"No," Lois replied.
Clark found the answer to his question in the records clenched in his hand. "Apparently, when Judy tried to tattle on the Chinese acrobatics master, he cut Judy's vocal cords himself."
Clark went back to reading his records for a short while. He read the short sentence that stated something about Judy's bruises but most of the information on the sheet was blotted out.
Lois continued to read about the Chinese acrobatic industry. There was a hidden camera report on the life of a Chinese acrobat. She flinched in horror when she read about a girl who went for days without proper nutrition, all because she fumbled on one of her acrobatic routines. Lois cried out in horror when she read about another girl who was beaten with a rod for falling from a bar.
"Poor girl," Lois said after she had finished reading the captions on what the Chinese acrobatic master had said to a young girl. It was a real eye-opener to realize where Judy was coming from.
Meanwhile, at a nearby restaurant, Judy was standing across the street, staring straight at Jack, and right away Jack reacted with a severe headache.
But when another man interrupted Judy, she glared at the intruder and began to use her power on him. The man flew backwards, fast, hit a wall and was knocked unconscious.
That evening, Jack Olson went to the doctor, because he'd noticed that, since he had gotten back to Metropolis, his headache had started up again.
Star was talking to Lois and Clark when Judy came into work. But, while Clark, Star, and Lois talked, Clark could feel his glasses starting to fly off of his face. He slapped them back into place, knowing it was Judy's doing.
"Poor girl. I never knew that. I always wondered why she was so depressed when I first met her. When I told her about this special ability of mine, she started to cling to me like crazy glue. The last time I saw her using those powers of hers, I tried to help her realize that she should use it to help others, not use it to hurt them." Star then excused herself, stating that she wanted to go talk to Judy about this. But, being an Oriental, Judy never showed her emotions. She only let Star hug her.
"Judy, you know I'm always here when you need me."
"Yes, I know. You've been the best big sister anyone can have."
Jack started taking some medications and it did stop the tumor from developing to a full-blown one.
Later, Judy was still trying to sort out the images she had gotten when she first met Clark. Then it hit her. They're not two people. They're one." Then she tried it again. She concentrated on Clark, and he immediately felt his glasses being removed, again.
"Judy," he warned.
Judy stopped as commanded by Clark. She knew she couldn't be sure, but if she was right she didn't want to give Clark a chance to hurt her. Even with her powers, she would have no protection against Clark. In Judy's mind, she saw Clark as a person to fear rather than a friend. If Clark was Superman, then he could really hurt her physically. She didn't want to play with fire.
Soon Clark heard an emergency and had to leave; Judy saw it as a chance to confirm her suspicion. She followed Clark and learned that he was indeed Superman.
A couple of days later, Clark came back into the newsroom, straightening his tie from yet another medical emergency.
"How were they, Clark?" Lois asked.
"I managed to get them to the hospital on time. You know, it's strange. This emergency is related to all the others."
"Let me guess, brain tumor and all victims in the same family?"
"Here are the files you needed, Lois." Jimmy handed the files to Lois and then went to talk to his dad.
Lois glanced at the file and saw the cross-referenced list of people who had been involved with Judy's custody problems and people who had been admitted to the hospital with brain tumors. After finding the first list considerably longer than she had hoped, she looked at the second list that came from the NIA. It listed the people responsible for Judy's dad's arrest. The people on that list made up the other half of the brain tumor victims. There was only one person left on that list that was not comatose in a hospital — Jack Olson.
"I don't think Judy's going to stop using her powers for revenge, until they're all dead or at least in a coma," Clark commented as Lois was looking over the files. She saw in the file that one of the victims actually died while in the coma.
"There's only one way to stop her Clark. Innocent lives are at stake here."
"Truth. We have to find out what really happened to Judy's dad. I'll call the NIA headquarters and talk to the guard who was in charge at the time." Lois quickly dialed the number to the NIA records department.
As Lois was calling the NIA, Clark heard Jimmy scream, "Dad!"
Jack Olson passed out cold. Judy was once again hiding so Jack couldn't see her. Clark disappeared so he could turn into Superman. Lois had finished her call and went to see what was going on. She saw the concentrated look of pure fury on Judy's face when Clark picked Jack Olson up.
The next morning, Jack Olson was released from the hospital, partially recovered. Judy stood by angrily as she saw that Jack was not comatose, as she had planned. She now knew she had to take drastic measures if Superman was going to interfere with her plan of revenge on Jack Olson for sending her father to his death.
That evening, Judy was in front of Star Labs. She used her powers and got the lock to turn to the open position. Once inside, a security guard came and told her that she had to leave because it was a private lab. Judy delivered a mental command to the officer's brain and immediately the cop fell fast asleep. Judy proceeded to the lab. As she rounded a corner, she saw security cameras; one stare from Judy's eyes made the cameras shut off.
The next two officers that came fared no better as they also succumbed to Judy's mental command. Judy went into the lab and proceeded to the vault that held the Kryptonite. Her first try was unsuccessful at opening the vault, but she tried again. The door opened. But then the alarm went off. Judy commanded the alarm to shut off. It did. Once the safe was open, the Kryptonite, in a lead box, levitated and followed Judy out the door. Before exiting the building, Judy remembered to give all the officers a mental command to forget everything that had happened that night.
Jack Olson, getting himself a cup of coffee, heard his name. He turned around and recognized Judy. He greeted her in her native language with perfect accent, "May-Boon. Nee-how-ma?"
Judy looked at Jack in pure wrath; she delivered a message to Jack in Mandarin, <"Worse then you can ever imagine. After you arrested my father, my life was a total mess. It is all your fault!">
All of a sudden, a truck driver noticed his truck was twenty feet off the ground and headed right at Jack Olson.
Judy gritted her teeth and broadcast to all pedestrians to head for shelter, <"I will have my revenge. You will die for what you did to my father. You killed him! >
That very instant, Superman came and caught the truck and managed to stop it from advancing.
<"Curse you, Clark! I know your secret. You will pay for your interference."> Judy looked to her right, into an alley, and found something she could use. She concentrated and the three objects started floating into the air and heading toward Jack and Superman. Superman stopped all of the objects.
"Judy, you have to stop this. Revenge doesn't solve anything."
<"Oh yes it will, it will give me the satisfaction that my father's killer is dead.">
"Jack didn't kill your father," Superman said.
<"You expect me to believe you?"> Judy opened the box of Kryptonite that she had kept nearby.
<"Don't go away, Jack, when I'm finished with him, I'll get to you.">
The lead box opened as Superman collapsed in weakness. The Kryptonite Bowie floated out of the box and headed right at Superman.
Suddenly, Star arrived and said, "Judy. Stop this. Superman is telling the truth. Jack didn't kill your father. Jack is responsible for arresting your father, but not for killing him. Your father couldn't live with the knowledge that he had disgraced the family name. Your father committed suicide in jail."
Judy gritted both hands into fists besides her and thought, <"No! It's not true."> Just then the Kryptonite knife dropped. Star quickly put the Kryptonite back in the lead box. But when Star looked back and heard Judy say, < "No! He didn't! He couldn't leave us like that."> she gasped in horror. Judy had collapsed.
"Judy." Star checked her before turning around to say, "Superman, she's unconscious. We need to call an ambulance." Superman came over and picked up Judy to take her to the hospital.
At the hospital, the doctor told them that Judy was now in a coma. When Lois explained what had happened just before Judy passed out, the doctor commented, "It looks as though it was a self-induced coma, or it could be stress-related. But according to the tests, her brain waves are almost down to zero."
But soon, Star and Lois saw Judy getting up out of her own body and going into Clark's. Clark began trying to keep conscious and to prevent Judy from taking over. But soon Judy had succeeded and kicked Clark into her own body. Judy used Clark's body to super-speed out of the hospital, and right to Jimmy's apartment, where Jimmy and Jack were talking.
"Superman, what are you doing here?" Jimmy said, as he saw Superman hoist his dad by the neck.
"Tell me it's not true," Superman said in Judy's voice.
Jack couldn't reply, but he recognized Judy's voice. She started choking him. But, with the help of Star, Clark was back in his own body fighting with Judy. One minute Superman was about to kill Jack. The next minute he dropped Jack and was back in the hospital. Judy made one last attempt. Superman shot one ray out of his eyes, setting Judy's own body on fire. Clark took over and blew out the fire that Judy had started and forced her to get back in her own body.
"No! I'm not going back. I want to see him. I want to see my dad!" As she tried to get back inside of Clark, Judy found herself back in her own body — sucked in by an unknown force.
Two days later, Star stormed into the room and told Lois that Judy was missing. "Lois, you have to help me. Judy's missing. I'm worried about her, Lois. I caught her trying to kill herself, twice. You have to help me. She's been trying to go see her dad on the other side since she found out that he had committed suicide."
Clark immediately tuned in on Judy's voice and said, "She's okay. She's with Perry."
Lois, Clark, and Star walked into Perry's office to see Judy crying on Perry's shoulder.
"It's okay. Let it out." As Perry patted Judy on the back, Judy tried to gather her composure.
"Judy. You had me worried."
Judy said nothing. But it was obvious to Clark that Judy had adopted Perry as her father.
"Judy, remember what I told you."
"Sure, Perry. I'll go over and do it right now."
After Judy had left, Lois asked, "Where is she going?"
"To Metropolis General Hospital, she's going there to try and reverse what she did to those people."
"Thank you, Perry." Star thanked Perry for taking care of Judy. "She's been so depressed lately, I'm afraid she's going to try to do something terrible."
"I don't think you'll have to worry. Alice also managed to talk to her a little bit this morning at our house, when she came in to see me. Oh, by the way, Star…"
Star knew what Perry was about to ask and replied to his question before he had a chance to ask. "Yes, I'm free tonight to talk it over with you."