By bakasi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted February 2007
Summary: Dr. Klein finds himself tied up in his lab when he would much rather be researching.
Author's note: This was a response to a twenty minutes challenge, starring Dr. Klein. It's not to be taken seriously; I was just thinking what aspect of Dr. Klein could be amusing enough to draw my dear reader's attention. Part of this is inspired by Hatman's question where Tempus's present incarnation is.
The characters don't belong to me; I only use them for fun, not for profit.
He shivered slightly. He was actually more angry than cold, although the temperature around him was anything but comfortable. But Dr. Klein had other problems than temperature. That his hands firmly tied behind his back was annoying, granted. But he could live with that as well. What he couldn't stand was the sight of the microscope right in front of him. It was barely six feet away, and he couldn't get to it. What monster could do such a thing to a scientist? And right now! Was there any time imaginable that would have been more inconvenient?
Man from the future, hah! If he really was from the future he would have known about scientists. He would have waited another minute. It was different with men from the past; they were always suffering from a lack of time. Besides they wouldn't have known how important this moment was for him, would they? But really, the man from the future could have stopped to think just for a minute. It wouldn't have hurt. And Dr. Klein would have had time to have a closer look at the samples that were now surely dying under his microscope. If they died, that was. Maybe they didn't, he mused hopefully. Dr. Klein struggled with his ties and tried to get free, but that was futile. He hadn't managed to get rid of that darn rope for half an hour, so why would it happen now?
He let out a frustrated sigh and looked over to the microscope again. He was almost sure that this sample was worth a Nobel Prize. Who would have guessed that Kryptonians could be compatible with Earthlings? He was almost sure and it would have taken him only another minute to confirm this. But instead of making the most important step in his scientific career, he had been shoved of his chair by a twin pair of villains. One claimed to be from the future, the other was a nasty copy born in the present days. In front of Dr. Klein's eyes, he had changed his shape. Suddenly he looked like a nasty twin of Dr. Klein. They had both grinned and had mumbled something about the destruction of Utopia.
Dr. Klein shot the microscope a longing glance. He had already screamed for Superman, but that hadn't helped. He could only hope that the hero would come to save him. Maybe, just maybe, the sperm was still alive. And if it wasn't? Dr. Klein remembered the embarrassed expression on the hero's face. He couldn't ask him for another sample, could he?
Three days! They were supposed to live for three days! Even human ones could do that. But as Dr. Klein looked into his microscope, he only saw a sorry graveyard of cells. He sighed in frustration. It couldn't be true. They had been Superman's, for heaven's sake. Why couldn't they last a little longer? The light had certainly been hot, but weren't they supposed to be invulnerable just like their donor? Obviously they weren't. There wasn't the least bit of motion. Dr. Klein sighed unhappily. No Nobel Prize today.
"I should better take you to hospital," a firm voice said from behind him.
It reminded Dr. Klein that he still had a chance to get the tests done. He would have to repeat some of them, but maybe not all. The frustration subsided and he became excited. The scientist turned around to tell Superman that he didn't have time to waste in an emergency room. He needed to ask Superman for another sample. The expression on Superman's face stopped him. The hero was uncommonly pale.
"I'm sorry, Dr. Klein. I…I didn't hear your calls," Superman apologized.
"Did you have an encounter with kryptonite?" Dr. Klein asked worriedly. Kryptonite would be bad. Maybe the sample would be worth nothing—if he got it, that was. Dr. Klein hoped it wasn't kryptonite. To his relief the hero shook his head.
"No kryptonite, I was, um, distracted," he muttered, his face slightly flushed. "The last two days have been rough. Dr. Klein, who…"
"Superman, I need new samples, so would you please…?" Dr. Klein interrupted him. He wanted to get directly to the point. He wasn't patient enough to wait any longer.
"I'm not sure I should go," the hero replied.
"You surely don't want to…here…?" the scientist asked, startled. "I don't think that's a good idea!" he was blushing as well. He was a physician. He had seen much during his internship, but not that much.
"You sure want me to leave?" Superman asked.
"Yes, please," Dr. Klein said and sighed with relief as the hero shrugged and turned towards the exit. "Uhm, Superman. You, eh, forgot something." Dr. Klein held out a small pot for the samples.
"What?" Superman asked, confused. He looked at the pot in Dr. Klein's hand.
"I told you I need samples," the scientist said impatiently. "And preferably today."
The hero's face conveyed a lack of comprehension. He still looked utterly confused, which Dr. Klein was unable understand. They had been talking about this for quite some time now! What part in his request was so hard to comprehend? Suddenly Superman's expression changed as if something had finally dawned on him.
"Why?" Superman asked. Surprise was written all over his face.
Dr. Klein's impatience was replaced by anger. The tests hadn't been his idea. But now he desperately wanted to do them. Was Superman so dense or was he just a good actor? The scientist grumbled, annoyed. Even freshmen didn't dare ask such stupid questions! Dr. Klein didn't answer; he just shot the hero a disbelieving glance.
Superman returned his look. "But you told me that I can't have children. Why another test?"
"I told you that we had to wait for the results. I didn't finish the last tests yet," Dr. Klein said as calmly as he possibly could. Why didn't Superman just go over to that room with the magazines?
"But yesterday you told me…" Superman murmured.
Suddenly Dr. Klein had an idea as to what Superman was talking about. The nasty twin! Superman had talked to the other Dr. Klein. But he didn't plan on discussing this right now.
"I didn't tell you anything. I will explain everything to you later. So would you now please give me the samples?" Dr. Klein begged. He so much wanted to do these last tests. He had waited for hours, almost days. He shot Superman what he considered a pleading glance.
Superman harrumphed uneasily. His face was bright red.
"Dr. Klein, I'm not so sure this is still possible," he muttered. "After the devastating news…"
"Don't tell me you…"
"Repeatedly," Superman replied hoarsely, embarrassed.
No! Dr. Klein wanted to scream in frustration. Couldn't heroes find another way to ease their minds? Dr. Klein mused helplessly. This couldn't be true! Not now! It was silent for a moment. Suddenly there was a slight noise. But Dr. Klein didn't hear the proverbial pin drop. It was something far more disastrous. It was a soft cling and the already dim light in the room went even a little darker. Dr. Klein's glance shot over to the microscope. The light bulb had burnt through. This had to be a nightmare!
Author's note for the next segment:
This continues two weeks after what you just read. Superman had to chase after Tempus, who gave destroying Utopia a new try by telling Superman he couldn't have children. Tempus used his present incarnation who is a shape shifter just like Tess from "Big Girls Don't Fly."
However, Superman couldn't get them, and after he had just given Dr. Klein a new sample, Tempus appeared. He weakened the hero and killed the scientist in self-defence as Dr. Klein attacked him, because the villain wanted to steal the sample.
To save the future, H.G. Wells appeared once more. Unbeknownst to him, his 14th century incarnation had travelled with him in the time machine. However, together they were able to save Dr. Klein's life and sent Tempus back to the Stone Age, hoping that he will stay there. Knowing all this now, I hope you can follow the last part. Please enjoy…
Two weeks had passed since Superman had saved Dr. Klein after a couple of villains had tied him up in the middle of his lab. That incident alone had been hard enough and Dr. Klein had thought that he was already due for a holiday. He would go just after he finished these tests Superman had asked him for. A bad mistake! He should have preferred the holiday over the slight chance of getting a Nobel Prize. It would have been wise; he knew that now. But it was too late. Two weeks later, Dr. Klein still hadn't finished any of the tests that he needed to do in order to find out if Earthlings and Kryptonians were compatible.
Instead of running a series of tests, he was running through his lab, searching frantically for the samples. He had looked literally everywhere. He had opened up every yogurt pot that anyone had ever stored in the fridge, hoping to find the most important part of his studies. His search had left him able to describe new species of mold. He had found photos of a girlfriend who had left him ten years ago. He had forgotten they even existed, not to mention the girl's name. The samples remained indiscoverable; instead a whole pile of complaint letters had appeared on his desk. Too bad it wasn't the other way round.
"Can we help you, Dr. Klein?" a friendly voice asked in attempt to be helpful.
Dr. Klein winced. He should have left the sign *Do Not Disturb* outside his lab. Another mistake! He looked at the man who had addressed him. Superman smiled at him warmly. Right next to him was a crowd of people, namely Lois Lane and two strange-looking men who were dressed so old-fashioned that even Dr. Klein was noticing it.
"Is everything all right?"
"Nothing is all right!" Dr. Klein retorted angrily. "I lost them!"
"You lost what?" Superman asked gently.
"The samples. I lost the samples. It's all because you messed up with time. Why didn't you set me back in this time *before* I forgot where I had put them?" he growled.
"It would have caused a paradox," one of the strange men who earlier had introduced himself as H.G. Wells explained.
"Paradox!" Dr. Klein replied angrily. "You're born when? And that twin of yours?"
"He isn't my twin. He is an earlier incarnation — 14th century," Wells said politely.
"You lost the *samples*?" Superman repeated, appalled. "Tell me you're not serious. Don't say that I have to do it *again*."
"Well, we'll see. But don't even start complaining about those five days of abstinence. I've been waiting for two weeks now, and just because you are too distracted. You could have found that coldest spot in the artic a little earlier, really," Dr. Klein complained.
"It's not my fault that the stress of chasing Tempus has this effect on me."
For some reason Lois Lane was blushing behind him, but that wasn't really important to Dr. Klein.
"And it surely wasn't my idea that Tempus' shape shifter incarnation did the dance of the seven veils," Superman tried to defend himself. "Thankfully I realized that soon enough, but…" his voice trailed off. "Five days were an unholy long time."
"You complain about *five* days? I've been waiting *two* weeks now! And I had to listen to your weak excuses. I've been shot at, killed. I want a vacation!" he shot back.
"Dr. Klein, can you please help Mr. Wells' 14th-century incarnation instead of running around? That's why we came in the first place." Lois Lane stopped the argument testily. "We will help you find these samples. I think he's time-sick. He needs medical attention."
"Then go to a physician. There is a reason why I became scientist!" Dr. Klein said disbelievingly. He really didn't have time for someone who had caught a cold. Superman's sperm wasn't immortal and he couldn't wait another five days, weeks more likely, given the hero's active libido. Who would have expected such obstacles in doing this relatively easy study? "Get away from that microscope!" he yelled as he suddenly realized the threatening movements of the 14th-century twin.
"Microscope?" the 14th-century incarnation asked. "What is a microscope?" He swayed a little but fortunately Superman grabbed him just in time before he did something to the microscope.
Dr. Klein's heart stopped for a moment. When he noticed that nothing had happened, he sighed with relief.
"Okay, okay," he gave in, figuring that his chances for an intact lab were better if he treated the time-sick Wells twin. "You go searching for the samples, Superman."
"How do I recognize them?" the hero wanted to know.
"It's the only Kryptonian sperm around," Dr. Klein answered impatiently. "But don't you dare bring me the animal seed of my co-worker. He'll skin me alive if that vanishes."
Dr. Klein groaned unwillingly. He wanted to go to his microscope; he wanted to do those darn tests. Instead he was stuck with a time-sick, strange time traveller and Lois Lane, who looked increasingly sick. He was a scientist for heaven's sake; he didn't need any more patients.
While Dr. Klein examined the pale 14th-century man and trying to convince him that a stethoscope was nothing evil, Lois Lane's hand wandered up to her mouth. She muttered an apology and made her way to the restroom. Dr. Klein couldn't believe it. The whole time-sickness thing might have been interesting, but he had the strong feeling that it was just some bug.
Superman was still scanning the area and Dr. Klein could only hope that whatever he used was not heat-vision. The 14th-century man was still shivering with fear, regarding all of the unknown instruments. Dr. Klein really didn't want to know what would happen if he needed to go to the hospital. And then Lois came back, still pale but obviously feeling a little better.
"Damn sickness," she muttered annoyed. "I've been throwing up each morning for several days now, and it just won't stop."
"Maybe Clark got you pregnant, Lois," Dr. Klein stated and continued working on his patient. The later Wells was watching him, amazed. The scientist could only hope it was pregnancy. That would mean that he didn't have another patient. Pregnancy wasn't his problem; at least not as long as Lois was the pregnant woman.
"I can't be pregnant," Lois stated, convinced.
Dr. Klein's heart sank. Maybe this was some kind of time-sickness after all and Lois was affected. He would have to wait even longer.
"I've had my period."
The two Wells' blushed, their faces almost violet.
"Doesn't mean anything, Lois," Dr. Klein muttered, relieved. There was still hope. What Lois had considered her period might have been the implantation. Please let it have been the implantation, Dr. Klein prayed silently. "There is a test-kit in the armoire over there. It's for Chimpanzees but I'm pretty sure it works on women as well. But if it comes out positive, you go to a real physician. I'm not an obstetrician."