Just a short tag-on to the end of my story "Devils Night", explaining more about Chloe's disappearance and the end of season three/reappearance in season four. It also fills in the link between Jenny Sparks and Smallville. Parts ofthis will be important in the next story arc.
A picture tells a thousand words
"Knock-knock." Lois stood in Chloe's bedroom doorway, "Got a few minutes?"
"Sure." Chloe looked up from her laptop, silently closing down the file shed been working on, "What's up?"
"I wanted to show you this." Lois pulled a framed photo out from behind her back, "I found it when I was going trough some boxes the General's had in storage for years."
"Let me see." Chloe reached out for the photo and she pulled it closer to get a better look. Her eyes went wide when she saw just who was in it: her mother was standing along side several other people, some of whom she recognized, other's she didn't. General Samuel Lane stood behind her, only two stars on each shoulder, compared to the three that he wore these days.
"Yeah; that was my reaction." Lois sat down on her cousins' bed, "Any idea what your mom's doing dressed in the dress uniform of a full colonel in the British army, standing next to my dad and a guy I don't recognize."
"It's a long story..."
"One you've been putting off telling me for a very long time. I know that there are things about your mom that you've not told me, and now I want the truth."
"I'm not sure you'd believe me if I told you. Hell, I wouldn't believe it if not for the things I've seen growing up in Smallville."
"Hey, I've been here long enough to get a vibe for all the crazy things that happen around this town, often involving you and that flannel-wearing farm-boy boyfriend of yours."
"I can tell you the truth, but you have to promise me you'll never tell another living soul as long as you live. I'm not kidding. This is serious stuff; there's no going back once you open this door."
"Ok, ok, I get the picture: deep, dark secrets and everything."
"Lois, what I'm about to tell you will turn how you see the world on its head: I've known the truth for over a year now, and it still makes my head spin."
"Chloe, you're starting to scare me now..."
"Good; you should be afraid. Do you still want to know the truth?"
"Ok then." Chloe took a deep breath, and looked at the photo, "This photo was taken when my mother worked for a unit called StormWatch, a special crisis intervention team created by the united Nations to deal with, unusual situations. Before that she worked for British military intelligence, part of what was known as the British Space Group."
"I never knew your mom was military."
"Nether did I; until last year. But that's another part of the story. StormWatch was made up of people with unusual and special talents, and was tasked with secretly policing other such individuals. The man in the middle of the photo was Henry Bendix, the original head of StormWatch. You might recognize those two," Chloe pointed at the man and woman standing beside her mother, "Jack Hawksmoor and Shen Li-men worked as part of my mom's team: they've been around town a couple of times. They work for an organization called Planetary these days."
"That's who you work for, right?"
"In a way: Planetary works to uncover the true history of the last hundred or so years, and to make sure that what they find is used for the betterment of mankind. Do you remember my godfather?"
"Vaguely; I remember my dad referring to him as a 'creepy old goat' on more than one occasion."
"That's how a lot of people refer to him." Chloe smiled, "His name is Elijah Snow, and he's the founder and head of Planetary. What is most unusual about him is that he shares my mom's true birthday: January 1st, 1900."
"Are you trying to wind me up?" Lois looked unimpressed, "I thought the best you'd be able to come up with some crazy abduction story..."
"I can show you her birth certificate if you want, her real birth certificate; I have a copy at the office. Or you can ask my dad; he probably knows more about my mom than anyone."
"Was your mom something like one of the infamous Smallville meteor mutants?"
"No; she was what is known as a 'Century Baby': an individual of unusual abilities born on the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, 1900."
"But a century doesn't start until '01?"
"Yeah, well, the mechanism seems to be controlled by the collective consciousness of humanity, and most of them believe it starts when the calendar hits 00. My mother was known as The Spirit of the 20th century, and she was the living embodiment of everything that happened between January 1st, 1900 and December 31st, 1999."
"So how did your mom get mixed up in all this?"
"She spent most of her life in England, although she did travel around a lot, including spending time here in America. There aren't many records; she was very good at keeping below the radar most of the time, but there appears to have been some kind of incident in London around 1980 or so. No one seems willing to tell me just what, but it was big enough to send my mom running across the Atlantic and into a bottle. It was then that she met my dad and managed to sober up enough to decide she wanted a shot at a normal life. Falling pregnant and getting married where unexpected, but welcome."
"If you're mom was so happy here, why'd she leave?"
"Two words: Henry Bendix. He was crazy, but convinced that he could make the world a better place. Elijah was worried about him, with good reason as it turns out, and needed to send someone in under cover. My moms experience made her perfect for the job. She didn't want to leave, but she understood just how important stopping Bendix. So my mom went back to England and pretended to be a drunk, making Bendix belie that she was perfect for recruitment into StormWatch."
"So what happened?"
"Bendix went totally round the bend and was killed. Another man named Jackson King was brought in to run StormWatch, but there was some kind of accident, and most of the unusual individuals who worked for the organisation where killed. But by then my mom had come to the attention of powerful, dangerous people, people Bendix was involved with."
"How dangerous can they be?"
"They destroyed the safe house the FBI took dad and me to when I agreed to testify against Lionel Luther. And it wasn't a gas leak or a bomb; it was, or so I've been told, a supposedly abandoned orbital weapons platform, built as part of the Star Wars weapons program. If Elijah hadn't found out about the plan, and sent someone with unusual methods of transport, dad and I would be dead by now."
"This is all a bit much..." Lois looked a little shaken.
"Welcome to my world." Chloe shrugged, "I've not told you everything; I don't think your ready for it all just yet, but you're well and truly through the looking glass. Your dad can probably fill in some of the blanks. If you have any trouble convincing him of what I've told you, just give me a call and I'll tell him it's ok."
"What sort of things haven't you told me?" Her cousin asked, suddenly more interested than shocked, "What else is there?"
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Lois, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Chloe grinned, "There are some things, some secrets, that aren't mine to tell. In time, maybe, you'll be ready for the whole truth. But not yet." her phone rang, "I should probably get that."
"Ok." Lois stood and walked to the door, "I'm going to go have an argument with the General."
"Have fun." Chloe opened her phone as her bedroom door closed, "Hello sweaty."
"How do you do that?" Clark asked, "How do you always know is me?"
"Caller ID. Look, I've just had to explain a few things to Lois, so she'll probably be acting a bit weird for the next few days."
"What exactly did you tell her?"
"Nothing about you; she found an old photo from my mom's days in StormWatch. Unfortunately, her dad was also in the photo, so natural she had a few questions she wanted answers to."
"How much did you tell her?"
"Enough to satisfy her curiosity, for now: I told her about the Century Babies, StormWatch and Planetary. Not enough to endanger her, but I had to explain why my mom left town."
"Did you tell her about The Four?"
"Only that they knew Lionel Luther, and were behind the destruction of the safe house. I didn't mention any names, as I don't want her to start digging into something she's not ready for just yet."
"I have no choice but to trust you on this, but I know that Elijah won't be happy."
"You leave Frosty the Snowman to me. So, why'd you call?"
"I wanted to be the one to tell you that, as of Monday, I will officially be your assistant at the Smallville office of Planetary."
"You took the job? What changed your mind? Elijah's been trying to bring you onboard in an official capacity since day one."
"He had Dr Spice and Jeroen look at my dad's medical files. They came up with something that fixed his heart, good as new."
"That was...unusually nice of him."
"I guess he figured that it was the one thing I'd join Planetary for."
"So, you're going to tell him to keep the money?"
"No; I need to pay my way through collage, and my parents are going to need help around the farm when I leave. A million dollars a year, for life, should cover that."
"Well then, Mr Kent, I can give you your first assignment."
"And that is?"
"Take me to the movies tonight."
"It's a date; I'll pick you up at 7."
"I'll be waiting."