Disclaimer: I don't own Smallville and I'm not affiliated with it.

To reviewers: Thanks again for the compliments. To gosullivan: Truth be told, I was kind of getting annoyed with everyone having powers too, but I wasn't sure how to go about them being lost. This chapter should be pleasing in that aspect at least. Thanks as well, for the compliment about it drawing you in. That's what I aim for. DTS-00, I understand you can't read the Chlark. I'm not trying to overwhelm anyone with the pairing, but thanks for reading as much as you did, and the compliment. Thanks, T, terratasha, and Danni Halliwell for your compliments as well. Read on!

Chapter 24

Whitney rushed like mad, using the map Jor-el had given him to get there. He had barely yelled goodbye to Lana before zipping away from the farm.

He hoped and prayed that he would get there in time.

Lionel sat, very displeased, in his office.

"What?" he exclaimed. "How can the device be shut off?"

He thought for a minute before something dawned on him. He picked up his cell phone and dialed a number.

"Hello?" A rough voice answered.

"I thought I made it clear that Dr. Deter was to be disposed of." Lionel practically growled.

"I had her cornered but she got away. I thought you wanted a clean kill." The man answered.

"I wanted her done away with, by any means necessary, you incompetent fool. Now I have to clean up this mess you've made." Lionel yelled, and closed his phone.

Vera sat on Clark's bed, gripping the journal firmly. She sat, staring at it for a good amount of time. Finally she sighed and laid it down.

"I can't." she said. "I just can't."

"Can't what?" asked Lana, walking into Clark's bedroom.

Vera lay the journal down. "I almost gave in to my curiosity…again. It's what caused me to be in this situation in the first place."

Lana looked suspiciously at the journal next to Dr. Deter.

"I'm starting to wonder if we shouldn't trust you, but I need your help. Whitney took off quickly. Something about the caves. We need to get there."

"Caves?" Deter asked.

"Kawatche Caves. Clark is there. Get in your truck. I'll tell you how to get there."

Vera nodded and followed Lana out.

Pete, Chloe, and Clark were tied up inside the cave wall. One by one, Chloe and Pete's scars began to glow.

"What are you doing to them?" Clark asked.

"We're recreating your family on earth, Kal-el, so you never have to be lonely again." Martha said. She walked over and knelt down next to him, rubbing her hand along his face. "My baby boy. I finally get to be with you again."

Clark looked oddly at her. "Mom you have to be in there somewhere. You have to fight it."

Jonathon turned around, just as Martha fell forward a little, clutching her head. He helped her up and glared at Clark. "Silence." He said.

"Dad, don't let Jor-el do this to you! You have to be in there! I know how much you despise him! Don't let him take you over!" Clark exclaimed.

Jonathon blinked, as if understanding Clark's words, but unable to do anything about it.

Clark looked to his side. Chloe and Pete had now collapsed and their scars had stopped shining.

He sighed, wondering how he was going to get out of this one.

Meanwhile, Whitney stood in front of the caves, trying to figure out how to get in. The ship had download a lot of information but he hadn't been able to sort it all yet. It was a lot to wade through.

"Caves, caves…" Whitney said aloud. "How in the heck do I open them?"

Before he could think of answer, his hand began to glow. Confused, but understanding somewhat, he held his hand up to the octagonal recess. The symbols began to glow and turn and eventually the wall began to slide apart.

"Yes, I've done it!" Whitney thought.

Another light shot out and slammed Whitney into a wall.

He rubbed the back of his head before standing up.

"What the hell?" he said aloud.

Jonathon stood in the opening, blocking Whitney's path.

"Wha…Mr. Kent?" Whitney exclaimed.

"Jor-el." Jonathon corrected Whitney.

"So you're the imposters Jor-el was talking about." Whitney said. "Where is Clark?"

"Kal-el is safe from your inferior race." Jonathon said.

Whitney noticed a rather large scar on Jonathon's chest glowing beneath his shirt.

"What are you going to do, take over our planet? In case you haven't noticed, there's only six of you and five billion of us, and we know how to use your DNA." Whitney said, mocking him.

"We are infinitely superior to you." Jonathon said, angrily, and he quickly ran to the place Whitney was standing to try and prove that point by choking him.

But Whitney anticipated this. Making Jor-el angry was his plan. He quickly dashed out of the way and into the cave wall. Inside he saw Martha at some sort of computer terminal and Clark, Chloe and Pete tied up by some sort of white light and almost unconscious.

She looked up just as he came in. "You're not going to spoil our plans." She stated.

Clark looked up a little. "Whitney." He whispered. "The square terminal she's at. Destroy it."

Whitney heard Clark's words, and ran over to where Martha was standing. He was about to smash it when Martha, just as quickly, grabbed his hands and pushed him back. Whitney hit the wall next to Clark, denting it, but stood up. "How am I gonna get near that?" He said to himself.

"Heat vision." Clark whispered.

Whitney looked down, but didn't ask questions. Clark was much more experienced at this than he was, and by this time Jor-el had walked back in, so he didn't have much choice. He did what Clark told him. The terminal began to smoke and break down, sending sparks everywhere. Jonathon and Martha headed over to protect it, but it was too late, the machine had successfully burned out.

At this point, Jonathon and Martha quickly fell to the floor, unconscious, but Whitney caught them before they could hit their heads. The light keeping Chloe, Clark, and Pete immobile faded.

Clark stood up, looking much better.

"Are you ok?" Whitney asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks." Clark said, brushing dust off.

"No problem."

"Now, first things first." Clark said, walking over and smashing the computer to bits. "I wanted to make sure it was completely unable to function this time."

"There was a last time?" Whitney asked.

"Yes." Clark said with a frown, giving the machine one last kick. "And I won't make the same mistake twice."

After making sure most of the computer was in bits, Clark had a question for Whitney.

"How'd you know to come here? How'd you even know we were in trouble?"

Whitney took a deep breath. "Your…ship…downloaded some information into me. Jor-el said you were in trouble."

Clark's jaw almost hit the ground. "Want to run that by me again?"

"It's a lot to process. My head's been spinning since it happened. Got to respect you, Kent, if you can keep this all straight in your head."

"How'd you get in?" Clark asked, now curious.

Whitney held up his right hand, which now had the same symbols as the octagonal disk, and in the same shape.

"Geez, Whitney, even I can't do that."

Whitney shrugged.

Suddenly Chloe and Pete's eyes opened quickly, glazed over like Jonathon's and Martha's were.

"Kal-el, don't you want to be with your family on Earth?" Chloe's possessed form asked. "It's me, the one you're destined to be with! Our marriage was arranged when we were children!"

Clark looked at her with disgust. "There has to be another terminal around here somewhere." He said. "And Pete, I don't even want to know what part of my supposed family on Earth you're supposed to be."

Clark looked down to notice a blinking circular piece, as tiny as the CPU of a computer. He quickly smashed it with his foot.

Chloe's eyes went back to normal and so did Pete's.

"Clark? What happened? Where are we?" Chloe asked. She then put her hands in her hair to notice it had returned to its normal length.

Pete was too busy rubbing his head to ask anything. "Man, that is one splitting headache." He announced.

"Wait a minute, you're getting a headache?" Clark asked.

As if on cue, the scars that plagued the three teens and Clark's parents began to disappear, without pain, unlike last time.

The cave began to glow in white light around the six, and a voice started to speak.

"Kal-el, you should be safe now." Jor-el said. "With the power supply and the main body of that computer damaged it won't hurt you anymore. Lara and I will create a completely new one."

"I don't know if that's such a good idea." Clark said.

"I assure you, Kal-el, it will be brand new. We recently discovered it wasn't the computer that was defective in the first place."

"But I thought?" Clark said.

"We thought it was defective, but didn't think there was another underlying cause. Our diagnostics show that a kryptonian computer virus corrupted it before it left our planet. I recall now that in our hurry to send you from our dying planet, we did not have time to scan the AI before it left in the ship with you. Without our knowledge, by the time the trip to Earth was complete, it had corrupted the AI terminal so much that the only way to stop it was to destroy it."

Clark didn't know what to say. "So everything that's happened to me is because of a Kryptonian computer virus?" he said. "Unbelievable."

"Whitney. Thank you for helping us." Jor-el went on to say. "I hope the download wasn't too much for your nervous system."

Whitney nodded. It was still hard to believe this was real.

"I have found a solution to your problem." Jor-el said. "We can restore you to the way you were before Lionel tampered with your physiology, if you'd still like."

Whitney's eyes betrayed his feelings. He had started to get used to having abilities, but he would always rather be his normal self.

"That is the best news I've heard all day." He said. "But can I hold off for a few days? Clark and I have something to take care of."

Clark looked at him, confused, but then realized that Whitney was talking about the plan to delete Lionel's files on him.

"Take as long as you need. Come back with Kal-el when you're ready." Jor-el said.

With that, the light stopped.

Martha and Jonathon began to sit up.

"I just had the weirdest dream." Martha said.

"It wasn't a dream, Mom." Clark said.

Jonathon stood up, helping Martha up too. He noticed all of the scars had disappeared.

"It wasn't pleasant, but you did it Clark. You stopped it."

"Actually it was Whitney." Clark admitted.

Everyone turned to look in Whitney's direction. The attention began to embarrass him, and he quickly shifted the subject.

"Clark how come you were almost out of it?" Whitney asked.

"The light that comes from the caves hurts me a lot." Clark admitted. "They blasted me with some of that, and those 'ropes' were made of the same light."

"Well, now that we're all back to normal." Chloe said, on a lighter note. "At least I won't be ruining any more footballs."

"Ha ha, yeah." Clark admitted. "Shouldn't we be…leaving before someone sees this?"

"Clark's right." Jonathon said. "The last thing we need is yet another person to stumble upon this."

There was a murmur and everyone filed out of the cave opening. Clark was the last one. Before he left, however, he bent down next to the computer and grabbed a small, octagonal shaped disk from the debris. It read 'backup' in Kryptonian. Clark quickly pocketed it, to be safe, and joined everyone. The wall began to close slowly.

Whitney stood outside the opening, looking at the symbols. Chloe noticed his eyes falling over them quickly.

"Whitney, are you ok?" Chloe asked.

"Yeah. I just…wow. There's so much information here, on this wall. I never would've thought. I just thought they were funny looking symbols."

Jonathon looked at Whitney strangely. "You mean you can read it?"

"Now I can."

Jonathon, Martha, Chloe and Pete looked at him with interest.

"Shouldn't you be able to read it too?" Whitney asked.

"No, that disappeared when we returned to normal." Pete said.

"We have company." Martha announced just as Lana bounded down the tunnel to the opening where everyone was standing, a young female scientist behind her.

Lana was quickly bombarded with questions about who the woman was, but she managed to get out of the ruckus with a question of her own.

"Whitney! Are you ok?" She asked frantically.

"Yes, I'm fine Lana. Everyone's doing fine." Whitney said, embracing Lana as she came to him for a hug. He kissed her on the forehead and let her linger in his arms.

Pete looked down at the ground, shifting his weight slowly from one foot to the other. Clark noticed the shuffling motion and looked at Pete, noting the obvious sadness, disappointment, and envy in his face.

"That's the Lana I know." He thought. "Big on disappointments."

Apparently Chloe noticed the same.

"It's ok Pete. I know what it feels like." Chloe said. "It'll work out. I promise."

Pete's eyes betrayed his feelings, but he quickly pulled himself together and regained composure. "I'm fine," he lied.

Jonathon, ever the protector of his family, asked again who the young woman was.

"That's Dr. Deter. It's a long story, Mr. Kent." Lana explained, pulling away from Whitney. "She wanted to see Clark. She helped Whitney and I escape from the lab we were in."

Jonathon opened his mouth to ask more, but thought the better of it. He'd find out soon enough.

"You're Clark?" Vera asked, pointing directly to the figure, which indeed was Clark Kent.

"Yes." Clark responded.

"You're in grave danger." Vera said, pulling out what appeared to be ten folded sheets of computer paper, with lab files and computer data. "Lionel has had us using samples of your blood to integrate with the blood and DNA of unwilling human test subjects. He's had us use different methods: injection of the blood, along with liquid meteor rock, and also immersion in a liquid form of the meteor rock, with constant exposure to a blood sample. Here are the documents. Each test subject has had different results. I didn't have time to clear the labs of the information, only to print it off. And even so, this is only partial. I can't clear access to the rest of the information, which I assume are Lionel's files on you, Clark."

Clark stood back, astounded by what Vera had just told him.

"Oh no, I thought the sample was destroyed before Morgan died." Clark muttered.

"Son?" Jonathon asked.

Vera cleared her throat. "Exactly what is so important about your blood, Clark?" she asked curiously.

Clark looked weary. "I can't tell you." He said.

"I already know it gives you super-human abilities of some sort. Those were common in the test subjects. Lionel hoped through our tests we would discover a way to cure his liver disease."

"Why did you come to tell me this?" Clark asked. "Why help?"

"Because I can't go on experimenting on innocent people anymore."

Clark raised his eyebrow. "So you just…decided all of a sudden that testing on people isn't for you?" he asked skeptically.

"I'm not asking you to trust me." Vera said. "I just came to warn you."

Clark looked at the sheets in his hand. One had Lana's name on it, along with her stats. His eyes bugged out as he skimmed through the facts that had been laid before him.

"Lana, what?" he asked.

"I was kidnapped, Clark, and experimented on in a lab." Lana said. "I didn't want anyone to know. I felt so helpless."

"And Whitney knew what you felt like." Pete muttered under his breath.

All of a sudden Lana froze, looking at Whitney. Her expression held that of a person who had no control over their own actions, although she seemed to be trying to fight back.

"Oh no!" Vera exclaimed. "Our twenty minutes are up."

"You've got a lot of explaining to do." Jonathon said.

Lionel walked into his office, immediately noticing that the blinking 'device off' message had disappeared off his laptop. He gave a small smile, and typed in the access code.