|Clark Kent: Man of Steel
Author: Malquoria PM
Clark Kent moves to Metropolis, a city in a downward spiral. Can he succeed in inspiring the people, or will they respond to him with fear? Faced with choices that aren't clear and enemies willing to resort to any means, when things turn dark and hope seems lost, will the people turn to him or on him?Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Clark K./Superman/Kal-El - Chapters: 16 - Words: 40,433 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 05-21-13 - Published: 12-13-12 - id: 8792236
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: The rights of Superman belong to DC comics and Warner Bros. I am making no financial gain from this story whatsoever.
An attempt on a new Superman story for a movie. I must stress that I'm not a Superman comic reader. Only Superman comic series I've read was "The Death of Superman".
This is a beginning sort of story, as in Clark Kent moves to Metropolis and wears the suit for the first time. I'm planning to take some liberties of my own, nothing serious but character behaviours won't be specific to any certain era in particular. If a character acts different to what you expect, it's most likely deliberate.
Welcome to Metropolis
In an expansive mansion, a man was being served breakfast as he read the newspaper. The man sighed as he dropped the paper onto the table. The person serving the tray stopped walking away, sensing his employer's mood.
"Anything bothering you, Master Wayne?" he said, taking a couple of steps back.
"It's Metropolis, Alfred" said Bruce. "It's a complete mess."
"Well," said Alfred. "It has been in the national news for months."
"I know," said Bruce. "But it's stunning to see it's decline. It had the fourth highest annual economic output in the country, and after the recession, it's dropped to seventeen. In less than five years."
"Thinking of adding a second city to your evening activities?" asked Alfred. "Or plans to move?"
"No, nothing like that," said Bruce, waving his hand to swat that question. However, his voice displayed his doubt. "But Metropolis is spiralling into oblivion. The only thing rising is debt and crime, in record numbers."
"So why not have Batman move there?" said Alfred, curious as to his master's lack of confidence in his voice.
Bruce Wayne was silent for a moment.
"Gotham needs me," he said. "To leave one city for another would only transfer what Batman would provide. Also..."
"Yes, Master Wayne?"
"Metropolis needs something to shock it out of it's downfall," said Bruce. "Batman has been around for a bit, it won't be that shocking. I am just one man. Metropolis is desperate..."
"For what, Master Wayne?"
The cab moved through the streets in a speed a bit too quickly.
"Please, sir," said the passenger in the back. "There's no need to go this fast."
The cab driver silently obeyed.
As the buildings blurring past the passenger's vision slowed down, he allowed himself to observe the sights in between his texting. He had been to so many places around the world, but this time would be the first where he intended to live in a huge city. The air was thick with bustle and tension, the faces of people he saw etched with their own concerns and worry and their rush to go somewhere, the panhandlers in the streets appearing as destitute as any third world country he had flown to. He phone beeped and his attention once again was taken away from the sights. He looked at his phone and continued the text conversation he was having.
Chloe: So you've landed.
Me: Yeah. On a cab atm.
Chloe: And who do you have interviews with?
Me: Tomorrow I have one with Newstime magazine. Today, the Daily Planet.
Chloe: Ah the big boys. Why do you always arrive the day of an interview?
Me: Well it's not like the trip was long for me. I'm just not too confident about getting a job there.
Chloe: You will. It's a shame you couldn't join me here. The Register is looking for a couple of reporters.
Me: I thought Metropolis was more in need than Star City.
Chloe: So, you said you decided on a costume?
Me: You'll see it in TV soon enough.
Chloe: Well, then, I'm sure you'll give a few shocks when you finally show yourself.
Me: I have no doubt.
Chloe: Oh btw, don't forget to send me a pic of yourself in glasses.
Me: Fine, will do. You're enjoying yourself far too much.
Chloe: Yes. Yes, I am.
Me: Cab's stopping. Gotta go.
Chloe: Talk to you later.
The cab stopped at an intersection, and Clark Kent stepped out. He smoothed down his clothing and pushed his glasses back toward his face with a finger. He breathed in the air for a moment, and then looked around to see the building he needed to enter.
It was across the street from him. He looked up and saw an an edge of the famous globe sitting on top of the building. He crossed the street and entered.
He didn't have much trouble going up the elevator to the higher floors, and was pointed to the office of the editor. He was five minutes early and stood outside the office, waiting so he didn't enter unexpected.
The door opened in front of him however. Hovering, figuratively, for a second, Clark waited for someone to come out. When that didn't happen, Clark took the invitation and entered.
"Clark Kent?" said a man, standing by the desk.
"Yes, please call me Clark," said Clark, walking over to shake the man's hand. "Mr. White?"
"Yep," said White. "Please, sit."
Clark obeyed, and waited silently as Perry White sat behind the desk and spoke.
"I've looked at your resume," said White. "Lots of international experience, thin on domestic, apart from a Kansas newspaper. Why did you not apply for our international desk? You seem more fitted there."
"I wanted to mold my career," said Clark. "I feel this is the challenge that I'm up for."
"Okay," said White, not betraying his thoughts. "Well I am considering giving you a shot, but you're going to have to accept a job below what you were expecting."
"Your reasoning being...?" said Clark, as respectfully as he could.
"Well for one, your experience being international related," said White. "And two, you're not from the city. It'll take you time to get the sources and feel of the city. When that occurs, you'll be promoted."
"Will this reduce the importance of work I'm given?" asked Clark.
"No, only your paycheck," said White, with a grim smile. "Clark, the newspaper industry is facing a hellish period. And the Daily Planet is facing even more difficulties than others. You'll be doing multiple stories from multiple departments. No longer is someone merely a crime reporter. We can't afford that anymore. We've laid off a hell of reporters and the only reason I'm thinking of giving you the job is if you'd accept added work at substandard pay for now. I like to be honest with my reporters. Is that acceptable for you?"
"I appreciate the candour," said Clark, getting up and offering his hand. "For that, I accept."
"Excellent," said White, getting up and taking the hand. "Let me be the first to say, 'Welcome to the Daily Planet'."
"Hi, I'm Jimmy Olsen," said a young man, who Clark thought really couldn't be much older than twenty-one.
"Clark Kent," said Clark.
"I'm to show you around," said Jimmy, as he walked down the corridor with him.
They entered a large newsroom, where people sat in front of laptops, PCs, televisions... where the sound of fan blades spinning on the ceiling... where the rush of people moving about from one area to the other was constant... this was impressive for Clark, having last been in a paper with fewer than a tenth of the of reporters in the room alone.
"This is the main area you're in," said Jimmy.
"Where's my desk?" asked Clark.
"You don't have one," said Jimmy, looking at Clark in confusion.
"What?" said Clark, no less confused.
"Did nobody explain?" said Jimmy. "You would've worked in the floor below this. It was sold two years ago."
"So where will I work?" said Clark.
"Laptops and cellphones don't really need a certain location," said Jimmy. "Get the stories that sell papers and you'll have a desk."
"Where do you work?" asked Clark.
"As a reporter, I'd be on your boat, deskless," said Jimmy as he was rummaging through his bag. "But I was a photographer first and have a tiny desk somewhere around which you may see me at once in a while."
"Give me a second," said Clark, taking out his phone and dialling a number.
"Who are you calling already?" said Jimmy.
"Got to cancel an interview," said Clark, who then spoke into the phone for a couple of minutes. While he was on the phone someone brushed past him and spoke to Jimmy. Before Clark had hung up, the person had walked away. Another reporter stopped near the two.
"Jimmy," said the reporter. "Is this the new guy?"
"Yep, Clark this is Charles," said Jimmy. "Charles, this is Clark. Charles here has been here for ten years, mostly on politics."
"Well, until recently when I had to report on things like sport," said Charles, laughing.
"Pleasure to meet you," said Clark. "Who was that person talking to you earlier?"
"When you were on the phone?" asked Jimmy. "That's Lois. Lois Lane. One of the more famous reporters of ours."
"And one of the few who still have their own offices," said Charles, darkly.
"So she's good, then, I take it?" said Clark.
"Good?" asked Jimmy. "She's ambitious..."
"Ruthless," said Charles.
"Unable to work with others," said Charles.
"Persistent," said Jimmy.
"Reckless," said Charles. "The number of near-death experiences she's had, it's a question why there isn't an office pool on what story gets her killed."
"You can't deny she's effective, Charles," said Jimmy, sighing.
"That, I won't," he said. "I have a deadline to meet. Nice meeting you, Clark."
Jimmy spent the next few minutes showing Clark a few things, told Clark that he's around if he has any questions, and left to finish his story.
Clark had the day off to settle in and was beginning his work the next day. Unpacking his stuff wouldn't be an issue, but he was still staying in a motel until he found a place. He walked down the road from the Daily Planet, in a random direction. He saw covered windows of long closed-down shops, he saw peddlers in the street offering wares they claimed were of far too good quality in far too low of a price.
As he walked passed an alleyway, he heard an unusual shuffling sound and some other sounds. He stopped and tried to listen in deeper, but a block down an ambulance let out it's siren suddenly. Clark stumbled backwards, the unexpected wail really hurting his ears. He shook his head, and decided to just walk into the alley.
He saw a woman on the ground, desperately trying to push off the man on top of her. He saw another man standing by, gleefully as he was waiting his turn. Clark didn't have his new clothing he was planning to reveal himself in, so he knew he had to be quick and as subtle as possible. He grabbed a metal trash lid and threw it at the person standing. He then, using his incredible speed, rushed towards the guy on top of the woman. In one motion, he lifted the man off by his legs and tossed him aside, lifted the woman off as he moved further by the waist with his other arm and flew down the alley towards the other end which opened up to the streets again.
The woman was left in the street, and found herself rather confused and extremely dizzy for a few seconds. She looked around her, wondering what the hell had just happened. Clark observed her from the other side of the street, and after making sure she was okay, he smoothed his clothing down and walked away.
Clark hovered over the city, testing out his suit one more time. It was admittedly a little tight, and the colours were flashy, but if he was going to inspire he needed to stand out.
The city was sprawling beneath him. He listened harder and the sounds rose in the air. The sounds of cars, ambulances and other emergency vehicles, people talking or yelling, laughs, cries amongst the din of a once-great city in a downward spiral. He wished to offer as much help as he wanted, but he knew he couldn't save everyone or everything. He would only find what he managed to stumble upon. Crime would not be cured by his direct actions. His intentions were to inspire a city, to offer them a path for pulling themselves off before a downfall.
Inspiration was not guaranteed by abilities he had such as strength of flight. He was more likely to fail than succeed. Clark was not underestimating the size of his task. Clark Kent could not do this, he realised it while still in Kansas. They needed someone beyond their imagination to inspire them to push for beyond what reality said they could reach. Someone special, someone worthy, someone...