Superman: Creature of the Atomic Age
(© Robert Denham)
things," another man, Doctor Mark Vance, spoke up, reminding the group. "There
were three, there; this one won the fight. It was the...’good guy’. There’s been
no sign of it, them, or anything like them, since. We honestly thought it was
Doctor Vance, it’s not dead," General Gatsby mildly scolded. "And your ‘good
guy’ did a helluva job out there," Gatsby shook his head. "I, for one, would
like to prevent the same thing happening, here."
was visibly impacted by the sharp, not-so-offhand remark. His expression
darkened, and he responded, snidely, "you of all people, General, should
understand the concept of collateral damage in combat."
two then began a tense, caustic "discussion". The others in the room stood
silently by. General Beck, the Chairman and USMC representative, merely
chuckled and drained his coffee cup.
the president, sighing, cut in sharply; "this is no time for bickering. Please
save your pissing contest for afterward, if you like." He tossed a pencil to
the table; it rolled over the edge of the yellow legal pad before him, on which
were scribbled any number of notes and figures. He sat back, chair creaking,
rubbed his eyes and folded his hands. International and domestic politics was
bad enough; terrorism, jobs, the economy. He gazed at the real-time satellite
image which, at the moment, showed only a huge dark mass, distorted by the
water, making a vast wake through the ocean. He didn’t need things like this.
But the admiral was right; at least Metropolis had its own ‘weapon’; that was
something. Always assuming that weapon was at home, of course; all too often,
he wasn’t. Their job was merely to minimize damage to life and limb.
Metropolis, though?" the president asked Vance, at last. "What’s bringing it?"
is a theory," Vance answered, after a moment’s consideration, "...that it is
attracted to sources of high-intensity radiation, which is, after all, what
made—or rather, restored—it. If there was something going on, there, that gave
off such a signal, it might have homed in on it, somehow. We don’t really know
what its qualities and abilities are."
why are you here?" General Gatsby asked.
called me," Vance replied simply, with a shrug.
have someone look into that," the president said, before Gatsby could comment
further. "If we can find out what it is, maybe we can neutralize it. Let’s get
past this crisis, first."
Metropolis Daily Planet
"Early lunch, Lois?" Clark Kent, holding his jacket, asked, poking his head
into the office of Lois Lane, star writer for the Daily Planet, a great
The pretty brunette glanced absently up from her computer monitor. Unlike many
of the staff writers, Kent included, she still preferred to use the solid,
familiar accoutrements of the—granted, more modern and streamlined—desktop
unit, rather than a laptop, or a tablet or pad. She said she found the larger
keyboard more comfortable than having to reach up and hunch her shoulders
slightly, to use the smaller keyboard on a desk-seated laptop. And actually
placing the laptop on her lap required her to find a comfortable balance for
the device, and then hunch over and reach down. Also, she said, she preferred
to cross her legs when she sat, making that comfortable balance that much more
difficult. Kent amusedly speculated that she just didn’t like to change.
"What?" Lois glanced up and asked, vacantly yet alarmed, "is it lunch time,
"Yes, almost," Kent replied with a grin. "What’re you working on?" he asked,
coming over to stand behind her desk. He noticed that her legs were not
crossed, and smiled to himself.
Behind them, out in the cityscape, the polarized glass of the new Wentz Tower a
newer, 75-story structure of gleaming steel-and-glass on the edge of downtown, gleamed
darkly in the late morning sunlight. They had watched it being built over the
last two years, from groundbreaking to completion.
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