Disclaimer: Smallville doesn't belong to me. Wish it did, though. The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne doesn't belong to me, either, though I wish it did as well. I'd keep it up and running while I'd take better care of Clark and Lex and say 'Screw the story, they stay friends!' But that ain't happening. GRRR, evil writers!
This takes place in the 1860s, and I'm not saying Clark and Lex do a Time Warp or anything. They were born and live in that time, so there are some changes to the story and such, which will come up later.
I have SAJV downloaded! Well, a few of them (QV&tGM, RotD, and Cardinal's Design). I'm still getting the rest, it's taking a while...wah. If I get it bootlegged, though, you'll hear my screams of joy Anyway, onto the story!
Perhaps a Chance Meeting
Unlike the other times, it was Jules Verne who found Clark Kent. During most of his life, Clark had noticed and would also notice the fact that, no matter what happened, he would find someone in danger and would end up either helping or befriending them. This time around, Jules had been the one to find and help Clark, though it wasn't in the same way Clark had helped people before.
At the age of 19, Clark was entering into the world and had traveled to France in order to see more of the world. While he had wanted nothing more to stay back in Kansas with his parents and help those he could, the threat of war and the possibility that it might have for Clark had gotten Clark's friend, Lex, to send him to Europe in the hopes of avoiding Clark either taking sides on his view of the war or simply breaking down due to the amount of death and hopelessness that was being reported from the battlefield. One of his childhood friends, Whitney Fordman, was already in the battle on the side of the Blues, despite Kansas being a slavery state. Lana Lang, Clark's other friend and former crush, was out there as well, aiding as a nurse to the troops. Chloe Sullivan, the one who acted most out-of-synch with the times, had run off and now was sending him weekly-to-monthly updates as she and her new friend, Nelle Bly, tried to break the barrier for women in writing.
On the farm it was quiet. One of the farmhands, Pete, was a runaway and again, while it had been a slave state, the Kents had been able to put together enough money to 'buy' Pete and then free him, allowing him room and board for work as well as giving him money for his work as well. Pete was about Clark's age but worlds apart from Clark…
But that was that. Clark had to admit, he was glad it had been Pete who had pushed him to many of the things he did, such as telling Lex 'the truth' as well as helping those he could. Pete was a good friend and companion, and Clark didn't like to think of what might have happened to him if he had been returned to his former owners.
Clark watched as Jules slowly took down the last remaining poster that had announced his play and listened as the man doing the work said that he hadn't lasted more then two nights.
"'The Tragedy of Louis the Fifteenth' lasted three nights."
"Yeah, but nobody came the third night. Not a soul."
Clark felt abashed. He had—no, that was the second night…
Clark walked up with Felix Nadar, another of Jules' friends who was poor and unluckily forced into the university of Sorborne nearby. Clark had gotten a monthly 'allowance' from Lex which would've allowed him better room and board, but after meeting Jules the first night and learning a good deal of French from him (Lex had failed to mention how few people in Paris actually spoke English), Clark had opted instead to move into the same building as Jules and watch over his new friend.
That had been the same time that Jules had been suffering from lightheadedness and odd dreams. He had said that a friend, Argo, had been taking care of him, but had mysteriously disappeared. Thus, Clark took it upon himself to watch over Jules.
During one of those times, a slight amount of strength was used and, not wanting to keep Jules in the dark about it, Clark had explained what he knew. Jules had found it exciting and sworn not to breath a word of it, and thus far hadn't even told Felix.
Clark couldn't blame him. Felix might take the whole thing the wrong way, like some others sometimes did…
They sat down at the common café they always did and Felix ordered the cheapest wine after a look at Clark. He sighed and pulled out some money, but it wasn't a lot. Most he had convinced (well, forced) Lex into sending into the care of his parents and the farm, while the rest went to lodging and food in case of bad times, which was hidden well enough that only he could get to it. That left him with little, and that little, with Jules and Felix's money, was enough for the cheap wine, some slightly-stale bread, and a small wedge of cheese, all of which were eaten quickly while a girlfriend of Nadar's stopped by to say 'hi' and both Jules and Clark shook their heads.
Time wore on, until Felix and his girl, having finished most of the wine, left Jules and Clark alone. Afternoon wore into evening, and Jules continued to sketch until the light was nearly too dim, even by lamplight. Clark stayed by his side to watch and to eat a little of the food, then both headed back to the garret.
"It's always hard to convince yourself of something, Jules," Clark had told him time and time again, and told him once more before going his own room. "I'm sure you'll do the right thing."
Clark sat in his room, noticing the walls shake. Lately, things like that had been reported in the newspapers that he had pulled in, but nothing new. He heard Jules walk to the door and he stood up as well when Jules said, "Anybody there?"
Clark looked out to see a faint light appear and Jules blink. Clark did as well, obviously worried but staying quiet. He was more used to danger, or at least dangerous situations, then Jules was.
Light and the sound of footsteps, not up the stairs but from Jules' room when Jules had not brought anyone in…that was enough to worry him.
"Who are you?" he heard Jules' voice as he slowly crept out of his own room and towards Jules'. He had to confront this man. He had said he would take care of Jules, after all.
"How did you get up here?"
Clark was at the door and heard the low, dangerous voice say, "I want to know, Mister Verne, why you intend the Queen of England?"
He hated it when people got the wrong person and garret. But still, someone wished to hurt the Queen of England? That would not be good, if what he knew of politics was right.
Which was what Lex knew of politics, which was that Europe was slowly becoming a powder keg, and an easily combustible one at that.
"What on Earth makes you think that I would want to kill the Queen of England?"
"The fact that you have designed a machine who's sole purpose is to eviscerate her."
Clark touched the doorknob quietly as the mystery man said this and was slowly contemplating his actions. Bursting in when the man could possibly have a gun and easily pull it on Jules was not the best idea. Stealth and speed would be required for this. He had the speed, and stealth…well, Bruce Wayne was better at things like that, but he had it nonetheless and could use it, at least in times like these.
He had to admit that Jules was also keeping up the image of being outraged at the man who was clearly a threat, and also not wanting to show any fear. Here was someone invading his space, and now saying that he would even design something that would kill. Half the things Jules designed were from ideas in his mind, and most he had hoped would be intended for good, such as the sub-marine ship he had been designing in the café earlier today: for work under the ocean and exploration, but never for personal gain or any idea of harming, especially others. The ship itself might have something to help if attacked, but that was designed in case of giant squid or other dangerous sea-animals, not other people or boats.
Clark knew that Lex would call Jules naïve for thinking that such a design, if given to someone even by accident, would be fully used for good or seen as 'just a drawing'. One of the reasons why Clark was reluctant to have Jules or Lex meet, even briefly.
"What machine?" Jules was still slightly angry, but it was softer now. He was trying to reason with the man.
There was the sound of footsteps and then a body thrown roughly against a wall, as well as Jules groaning before even softer.
Clark began to turn the handle even quicker now, stealth almost forgotten as he realized he had to hurry or else something bad would happen to Jules. Finally he realized that stealth might not help.
"Jules?" he said loudly, then pounded on the door, "Is everything okay?"
There was a hiss from the mystery man about making 'him' (Clark could guess it was himself they were talking about) go away, and Jules didn't comply.
"Jules?" He opened the door wide and then took in the situation. The man was dressed in fine clothing, gentleman clothing, and had sideburns that ended in points along his chin. His hair was cut short on top and only gave off the aura of being thin, but not too much anyway, and even in the dim light Clark could notice some gray hairs in there. The man's face was hard, and Jules was currently sprawled out across the bed, unconscious.
A gun was pulled before Clark could move and pointed in his direction. "Are you his accomplice?"
Clark stared the man down as he said, "I am his friend, but what do you care? You have already judged him, haven't you? Now leave him alone or I will call the police."
The gun's hammer was cocked. "No. Come with me, if you want him to live."
Damn. Clark hated situations like this, and hated it even more because he didn't know how to currently get out of this one. If he didn't do as the man said, Jules could easily die at his hands, or at least be tortured. If Clark came along, or tried to, there was a better chance of escape.
Clark nodded and slowly walked over, keeping to the side and his hands in plain view. There was no reason to force the man to shoot, especially if that meant questions later. He reached Jules and gently picked him up before looking at the man, who motioned to the window.
Was this guy serious?
Clark looked dubious but did as he was told, moving to the small window before looking out to see a ramp leading to some sort of dirigible that was quietly floating just above the window.
That explained how the man got in, but…
Careful not to drop or hurt Jules any further, Clark gingerly stepped onto the platform and headed towards the door. As he looked he used his 'see-through' vision to ensure that Jules still had his notebook with him, and then the vision on the dirigible. One other person was there, at the controls of the ship, and he quickly switched back to his normal vision before walking the rest of the way. If he used his heat vision, the man would plummet and while Clark could survive the drop, it would leave a mark in the stone and a very dead man outside of Jules' window, not a good thing. On top of that the man's valet might notice him. He was open in his own small town, but in Paris and the larger cities of the world, he had to be careful, maybe even more so now that a gun was pointed at them. One lucky shot or rebound could kill someone.
Clark entered the dirigible and didn't pause to look around, realize how idiotic it would be anyway.
"Ma—" the man, his voice accented heavily with a French tone, looked over and Clark moved further inside, holding Jules and looking over at where the other man who had assaulted Jules emerged a moment later. He seemed to have been contemplating something, but dropped it as he said to Clark, "The chair."
Clark frowned and moved Jules to a sitting position in the chair. This was not going to go over well if he didn't figure someway out of this soon. If he had access to the memories of how to fly—
Clark grimaced at that thought and made a fist with one hand. No. He couldn't be used by Jor-El like that again, not for such a purpose, not—
"It would be wise to stand up now."
Clark slowly did and finally said, "What do you intend to do with him? With me?"
"I intend to find out the truth."
"He didn't do it. He's just a student."
"I've know him long enough to say that," Clark kept his back turned to the man, not wanting to face him anyway. This man was dangerous like Lionel had been, like Lex was becoming when it came to the board members and others.
But Lex still had his friendship, and that was enough to keep Lex's dark side at bay.
--"I am the villain of the story," Alexander said, kicking Clark and then kneeling, bringing the kryptonite ring closer. "You should be glad you're still alive now. You should've taken my offer earlier."
"no…" Clark said weakly, "never…"
"Is this because of what's in those caves? Really, Clark--."—
"Tie him up."
Now Clark turned and glared fully at the man, the gun now pointed at where it would do damage and painful one at that.
"Must I remind you of what is at stake here?"
Clark's eyes narrowed at him. If he thought hard enough he could burn the man, make him drop the gun, and then—
He could survive drops, and even over Paris it wouldn't be easy but he could, but still, if he did there would be the evidence and questions and then this man would come after them, not for Jules but for Clark…
Clark balled his hand into fists and cursed his luck before looking down. "I'm not going to do it. I won't tie up my friend."
You wouldn't kill him either. You need him.
The man started to take a few quick steps forward and Clark was about to use that opportunity when something shifted in the cabin and Clark found himself swaying. A nearby emerald-tipped cane dropped closer to Clark and then glowed only faintly.
Clark gasped and grabbed his stomach, doubling over as waves of pain hit him. Inside his blood was boiling more then he had ever felt before, and dropped to one knee and then to his side.
"Master, what is wrong with him?"
The man called 'Master' knelt down, the gun out of Clark's reach but that wasn't the issue. Clark didn't want anything to do with guns anyway.
Why was there so much pain?
"I don't know. He's reacting oddly to—what?"
Clark moaned and tried to ball up, to move away from the kryptonite item but it was still draining his strength. He had never felt this much pain before from the kryptonite! What was going on? What made it affect him so much?
"h—he…" Clark said, his whole body burning and aching and being turned inside out, "he didn't…help…"
There was too much to talk and now he heard someone say something about 'binding' him, but he couldn't really think. The pain was too much, he was going to fall into darkness, fall and never return, fall—
The dark-haired boy had fallen unconscious, his eyes fluttering and his posture still that of being in pain. Both Phileas and Passepartout had to move him closer to Verne, who had been secured by Phileas while Passepartout kept a slight eye on the boy.
Phileas had to admit this was either a boon or a fluke. Both seemed to know the other and the dark-haired boy was overly protective of his shorter, lighter counterpart. As he moved him, Phileas noticed a cane, one he not particularly like and had stowed away in the hopes of losing, down nearby. The emerald tip had seemed to be lighter then usual, and curious, he moved it back to it's spot before telling Passepartout to keep an eye on them.
It was Verne who first awoke, obviously scared, while Passepartout, always the unusual one, had not only scared him by wearing the damned goggles, but then offered him a steaming cup of tea.
"Who are you?" Verne asked.
"Mister Fogg's ballet--."
Phileas now was wondering if it would be so wrong as to hit one's servant. "Valet," he corrected, then looked back from the steering wheel. "He speaks fourteen languages, all of them badly. Forget the tea, Passepartout, put that thing away and then take the wheel."
A livid bruise was now on Verne's face from where Phileas had hit him earlier before the other had shown up, and Jules turned his head to see said man stirring on the floor. His level of concern seemed to rise. Had this man been his bodyguard?
"What did you do to him?"
The man moaned lightly and started to move but then paused when he felt the restraints. He blinked as he opened his eyes and Phileas moved to the main room while Passepartout took the wheel. The man looked up at Verne with his green eyes duller then usual. "Are you okay, Jules?"
"I should ask you that," Verne said, obviously worried. Phileas realized this could be used to an advantage, but didn't want to bring that out just yet.
The man shifted then gave what appeared to have been a slight shrug. "I've been better, obviously." He glared at Phileas as he began to check through Verne's papers.
All of these things…all of them—they could be used to kill, to harm, maim, and yet he said they were 'doodles'?
"You have a deranged mind, Mister Verne," Phileas told him, not missing the glare from the man as he shifted to sit up, watching Passepartout pass him by with some of the drawings. "A seriously deranged mind. Is that why you joined a conspiracy to assassinate one of the crowned heads of Europe?"
The man seemed to settle on glaring and waiting. Phileas found this very odd. The man was bulky, as looks and moving had told him, as well as muscled, and that muscle was obviously such that one got from a farm or heavy work. If he had been so inclined, the man probably could've easily broken free of the ropes (though Phileas doubted it, they were good ropes) or even fought Phileas had he not been carrying the gun. He suited the 'hired grunt' criteria, at least, but he seemed more then that, as if he was going to do what he could to protect Verne, but at the same time was afraid to do everything, to put everything forward.
This might come in handy for Phileas.
Verne looked down and stuttered, "I—I—I told you. I'm innocent."
Phileas looked at the boy who was avoiding his eyes directly, who seemed not cowed and scared in comparison to how he had been during the beginning of the confrontation. "innocent?"
Phileas slowly got up, his movement followed carefully by both Verne and the man on the floor, as he leaned in and then grabbed Verne's throat. The man sent out a new glare as Phileas hissed at Verne, "I'm not sure I've ever met an innocent man in my entire life."
The man's glare turned fiery, and Phileas could almost see flames in those green eyes. "Then you should mark the occasion, for you just have," he told him, his voice low and dangerous as well.
As Phileas turned to look at the man while he moved from Verne, the man finally said, "If you're worried enough to harass and torture poor Parisian students, why don't you just cancel your Queen's visit?"
Phileas stood up to get himself a drink while telling them that Her Majesty believed that it was important to peace in Europe. Verne said they should change the location, but Phileas informed both that the man who had been killed had the list of alternative venues.
Both seemed at a loss for what more to suggest and he saw something in Verne's mind click, some unknown wheels turning. "I didn't make the Mole, but I know how it could operate."
Verne explained and Phileas found himself getting a slight headache. He didn't understand nor did he care, this wasn't the information he was seeking, and with the glass finished he now pulled out a rapier.
Verne was silent suddenly, obviously scared of the implications this might bring.
"Scientific gobbily-gook," Phileas told him, walking up to place the flat end of the sword against each of Verne's shoulders while telling him, "I want names, I want addresses, I want rendezvous points. Mechanical details do not interest me."
"They should," Verne said with more anger and gall then Phileas gave him credit for, "they may just save Queen Victoria's life."
Phileas paused in his swordplay to look at Verne and the other man before turning the sword point to the middle of Verne's expose front and then lowering it to where it was pointed around his heart and lungs. "Because---."
The man on the floor was the one who said it, "Because you can detect the sonic vibrations."
Phileas looked at the man, then at Verne while Passepartout, from the front, said, "They are right, Master."
Phileas cast a look at his valet, then moved the sword point up to tilt up Verne's chin. "How, exactly?"
"I—I need to do you a drawing," Verne said shakily.
Clark waited, quiet, as Jules did the drawing. Unlike any other time he did a sketch or drawing, the sound of Jules' pencil was shaky, as was his voice and he explained it. The moment the drawing was done, it was taken from him and Jules' head fell down.
The man called Fogg—Clark was going to ensure he made him pay—
Clark shook at the thought and looked back over at Jules. No. He couldn't, he couldn't allow such a thought to happen, to even creep into his mind. If the man had one form of kryptonite, even by accident, there could be a likelihood of him having another.
If it had been Red—
Jules had explained what he could and Clark looked over at him as Jules sat down, emotionally and mentally exhausted, especially from so many weapons being pointed at him and Clark being in danger. Clark looked at him and gave what he hoped was a slightly reassuring smile while he focused his hearing on the nearby whispered conversation of Fogg and the valet. The valet seemed more then amazed at Jules' work, and was convinced it would work, and not only that, that he could build them 'in a flush'. This seemed to amaze Fogg, which made him sound almost like a different person, but that didn't convince nor change Clark's current view of him. He nodded to Jules, signaling that this might be good for him, and then mouthed I'll try to help out.
Clark gave a more genuine smile now, almost amazed at what Jules could take. The fact that Jules hadn't had much to eat at all during the day spoke now, especially as he almost unconsciously eyed some of the fresh fruit in a nearby bowl.
Finally the two came back and Passepartout was handed the gun, and told to lead Jules and 'his accomplice' to the workshop.
Passepartout was slightly rough with them, but the moment the gun was put away, almost forgotten, in a drawer, his whole mood change.
Passepartout said that he invented things, and then began to make the design. Not wanting to be left idle, Clark stood to help and thus left Jules to recover and look around.
Passepartout looked over at it and smiled, "Like the sea. They are just shavings from the metal pipings."
Jules looked at him, and something behind his eyes was different. Clark almost smiled. He's back in his own world again.
Passepartout, looking at it, smiled before saying, "I am thinking you are a genius."
Jules said nothing, instead continuing to look at the metal shavings while Clark finally said to Passepartout, "Let's get those things done, while he's out. I think he's had enough thoughts for one day."
Passepartout nodded and began to work before asking, "What is name, please? I did not catch it while you were awake."
Clark looked up at him as he worked slightly (slowly, too slowly) on the item before saying, "Clark. I'm from America, actually. I came here to 'see the world'. My friend didn't want me to be in the war."
"I see. You are fighting for or against the slaves?"
Clark paused and considered, "Does it matter? They are humans, and should be freed. A few owners who made the laws didn't want to pay them, so they start a war? It's stupid."
Passepartout nodded. "True, but is human, yes?"
I'm not human. "…I've made stupid decisions too, but—" Clark sighed. "Let's talk about something else. Please."
Passepartout nodded and instead began to talk about one of the inventions. Clark smiled and nodded, watching as the valet showed it off while they worked. If Passepartout were to leave, Clark could work quicker, but if he did then there would be questions.
Jules understood, at least. Clark wished they had never fallen into such a predicament, that Fogg had never walked through the window and forced Clark to carry out the unconscious Jules.
Clark wished a lot of things. Not many of them came true.
"Why must Clark be left behind?" Jules asked as he and Passepartout moved through the sewers.
"I am guessing because Master does not like him so much, and neither does Clark."
Jules sighed and nodded. "Clark is overly-protective, but he has his reasons."
"He's from a small town, and a lot of bad thing can go on there. A lot of people recently have been acting odd as well, and he's tried as hard as he can to help them out. When he came here I was one of the first people to help him out, and now he's taken to trying to make sure I'm safe, I guess."
"Safe from what?"
Jules shrugged. "Nothing. Everything. He is…well, he's extraordinary."
"…I see, I guess."
They came to the last part of the sewers and the two set the device. "Now if anything bigger then a rat passed through here, we'll know."
Passepartout nodded and they headed up, Passepartout leaving to get Fogg while Jules waited.
Clark had his reasons for not wanting to stay behind, he had made it clear when Passepartout had left to show Fogg the first few devices. Fogg had a piece of kryptonite on a cane of his, and Clark was sure that it was refined or something because it had affected him even more then usual.
Jules didn't care to see that or know what might happen to his friend if exposed more or if he had been exposed any longer. He knew that kryptonite were rocks that were from Clark's home world and that those rocks had somehow gotten to the point where they could easily hurt Clark, or those who were affected by them could hurt him even more. Two other types weren't talked about much either: Red, which Clark said would make him 'crazy', and Black, which Clark was reluctant to talk about except that it made you see your 'darker side'. The stories behind both were unknown and Jules had not pried into Clark's past or his dealings with the Red or Black kryptonite.
But the regular one, the Green one, was the one that could kill him.
Jules checked his watch right before he heard and then felt it. He looked over as the cobblestones began to shake and just as suddenly something burst through. His eyes went wide and he ended up backing up as far as he could, but still more of the Mole came, and just as suddenly it hit some of the building behind him, causing plaster and stone to rain down on him.
This is…this was…what became of my drawing?
He hit the dust out of his hair as he looked up then saw a woman in a mask and dark clothing walk up, a rather large gun-like object over one shoulder. She removed the outer mask before saying, "Good day, Monsieur Verne. Your…dreams have come true."
Jules wished Clark was here, or in the very least would come running to his rescue. That might not happen, though, considering he was locked in the workshop on the dirigible known as the Aurora and probably didn't notice him.
Or he might. Clark's hearing was good enough—
"You—you built my design. It's real."
"Of course it is."
"How did you do it?" Stall for time, stall for time…
"Come inside and see."
"Unless you are afraid."
It's not the question of if he was afraid. It was more the question of if he had the choice or not. These people, like Fogg, were probably ruthless, and would do what they could to force him into either drawing or working for them.
"Do I really have a choice?"
Thus kidnapped again, Jules now headed into the Mole.
The door burst open after the lock was undone, and Clark turned as Fogg started to come up and threw a punch. Clark dodged and headed for the door only to be stopped as he tripped over his own feet and doubled over in pain. Nearby was the cane.
"Liar," Fogg said, walking over now and slowly, deliberately, taking the cane from it's place to move closer to Clark. Clark moaned, unable to scream, and twisted.
"He left in the Mole. So how much do you know about Verne, and where they might go?"
Jules, the Mole? His body was on fire, his mind unable to process. He once saw a small drop of his blood near kryptonite and had been surprised when he saw that it boiled like hot water.
Clark gasped for breath, his whole body burning in agony, darkness lining every edge and fire in it, he couldn't think, he heard voices, he couldn't see, his eyes slowly dimming out everything before the pain began to move away and he felt himself shaking. He saw that Fogg was blinking, standing over him and the cane was nowhere to be seen.
"What the devil does that do to you?"
Clark was now coughing, feeling sick, sicker then before, then ever. He tried to move but found himself unable to, whatever lingering effects making him too weak.
A firm hand rested on his shoulder and Clark would've shrugged if off had he not felt like the effects were still there. Was the kryptonite still nearby? Why did it hurt so much more? Had he fully recovered from the last time?
The firm hand on his shoulder slowly turned him over and Clark looked at the hazy world with Fogg in the center of it. Damn it! He learned that secret, he might learn more, and use them against him, against Jules!
"He walked into the machine of his own accord," Fogg said, "He made a fool of me. Why?"
Clark couldn't speak for a moment, he looked at Fogg and blinked, confused. "he wouldn't."
"Why not? Give me a reason."
"…he…" he what? "he…can't…because…"
"Because what?" Fogg sounded angry but the world was darkening.
"because---he ne—eds me…to protect…"
The world once more went dark, blissful darkness.
Despite himself, despite the fact that he felt Verne had betrayed him, Phileas had left up the devices. Near him was Passepartout, and he listened stoically to the Emperor's speech, wishing that it had fewer pages. Suddenly Passepartout motioned to him, and he looked outside of the window.
A firework exploded.
A nod, and then the evacuation began.
He ensured that Rebecca was with their Majesties before hearing the sound of mortar and stone being torn through. By the time he returned, he realized that the Mole, and Verne, were gone.
Damn the Mole, and damn him for thinking such thoughts of Verne. Even scared, the boy had been more then a deranged mind. The work was brilliant, but Phileas had only seen the evil work that could be done to it.
He moved to the Aurora after ensuring what he could and saw the boy, Clark, sitting up slightly, his eyes half-opened.
"I was wrong."
Clark gave a weak smile. "I could've told you that."
"You're still recovering? What in all of--."
"I can't tell you."
Phileas glared at him and said, "The person who gave it to me was of Scottish blood. A Luthor."
"I've heard of them."
"Have you heard of Lionel? He recently died, something about liver failure."
A slight nod. "I have. He gave it to you?"
"I never liked it, but it was before he died. Said it might help should I be in Paris." Phileas looked at him. "He was speaking of you, wasn't he?"
Clark averted his eyes and said, "Jules is okay?"
"The Mole got away. We're going to need many more of those items."
Clark licked his lips and said, "No. They'll try to get past, and you can't make enough for where they're going, which I'm guessing is the country."
Phileas shifted and nodded. Clark sat up a little and said, "Passepartout was working on something to stop the Mole and save Jules. You should go help."
Phileas blinked at the boy. "What about you?"
"I can barely stay awake for this conversation," he told him, his eyes seeming to drop, "what can I do to help?"
Phileas once more shifted and finally said, "I have wronged you…and Verne. I'm sorry."
Clark nodded. "I know. But it happens. Just remember to apologize to Jules. He won't understand if you don't."
Phileas nodded, then headed into the back to speak to Passepartout.
Clark looked at the lady and the man fought, considering to help her but she seemed to be handling herself. He had seen her toss a sphere thing away and then toss the man as well, before he was torn apart by the upcoming Mole. The woman had gotten out of the way and he ran over, feeling better. "Are you okay, miss?"
"Yes, thank you. Wait, who are--."
The conversation was stopped by a sudden loud sound that assaulted their ears, causing both to cover the affected area while the Mole itself now seemed grounded. After another moment, Clark moved to the dead Mole and quickly climbed up it.
"Hold on a moment!" the woman yelled but Clark didn't pay her any mind as he opened up the top only to run into a man who possibly worked the machine. He pulled the man up and out, tossing him away as Fogg came down and Clark went in. Another grunt was getting up and Clark kicked him back with a little more force then necessary. The man went against the wall and stayed there while Clark turned, saw where Jules was, and quickly did a scan.
There were a few cracked ribs, but nothing serious other then him nearly being shaken to death. Great.
"You okay, Jules?" he asked, checking Jules over with his regular vision.
"I didn't tell them anything."
"Of course not," Clark said, starting to untie him when Jules yelled, "Look out!"
Clark turned quick enough to see the lady then realized one thing.
Jules—he was still in danger.
Clark moved to shield Jules from the attack when another voice came in and he felt the wrench hit him hard in the side of the arm. Clark hissed in pain and turned to strike the lady as she tried to get at Fogg. The woman had Fogg on the other side of the ladderand Clark stood between her and Jules. She struck out at him and Clark, ignoring the fact that he could be caused pain, took one of her blows hard on his forearm before sending a punch at her.
This woman wasn't a fighter. She was thrown against the ladder and lost the crowbar, but then pulled out a knife.
"Fogg," Clark said as she glared at him and Fogg, who was trying to get into a good position, "could you possibly get her to come quietly?"
"I was hoping you could. I really hate fighting women."
The woman smiled, "But I like fighting men." She slashed at Clark and he moved back enough that it didn't hit him, "especially if I get to kill them."
Clark looked over at Phileas, who seemed to understand what he was going to do and nodded slightly, "but look at the odds," Clark said, "Two to one. Never good."
Clark lunged and pushed her back while Phileas tried to grab her. Instead, she moved away and against a panel, which instantly lighted up and she screamed as she was electrified.
The two men looked over at each other then went back to helping Jules out of the chair.
"Is she dead?"
"No," Clark told him, "there's a smell to it—never mind."
At that a new voice came in, causing all three men to turn, "Well, Phileas, I see you've been cleaning up as usual. And the young man who inquired about my health and then left. That leaves you to be Jules Verne."
Jules looked speechless. Phileas looked rather smug and adoring. Clark blinked at this woman with red hair and finally smiled. "I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch your name, ma'am."
Phileas said, "Verne, Clark, this is my cousin, Rebecca Fogg."
"Please to meet you, Miss Fogg," Jules managed to choke out while Clark nodded. "The same."
"Well, if anything, you both should call me Rebecca, seeing as how we are obviously fighting on the same side. Hmm, Phileas?"
Phileas finally gave both of those he had gone after a smile. It changed him, made him more…approachable.
"Of course. Come on."
"I got him," Clark said.
"Clark, last night you couldn't handle your own weight, and now after being hit you can handle the weight of Jules Verne?"
Clark glared at Fogg. "Don't make me prove you wrong, Fogg."
"No, by all means, do so," Rebecca said, "it's fun to see him proven wrong."
Clark very happily proved Phileas wrong, Rebecca could see. The young man was very handsome, with hair as dark as Phileas' own, but slightly wavy like Jules'. He helped the ailing Jules into the Aurora, where Passepartout mentioned that he seemed 'scrambled, like an egg' and began to mother-hen the poor boy. Clark smiled slight and seemed to agree, and Rebecca was ready to ask questions. The boy seemed mysterious, and more then a little worried over the state that Jules was in. She knew that he hadn't been around when she first investigated Verne, but now he appeared to want nothing more then to ensure Verne would be fine, and not hurt. Whatever had caused his earlier illness, which Rebecca had only heard of briefly, appeared to be a stone that Phileas had acquired from the late Lionel Luthor. Now, though, Phileas seemed more then ready to have the stone examined and tossed. Whatever pain it had caused Clark, it had unnerved Phileas to no end.
The two royals appeared, and of course praise was all around, though Rebecca knew that Phileas detested the comment about his father. She caught what appeared to be a sympathetic glance from Clark at that as he and Passepartout held up Jules, though it seemed that Clark was doing most of the holding.
"It would not have been possible without Mister Jules Verne and Mister Clark—what was your last name, anyway?"
Clark blushed as he said, "Kent. Clark Kent." He gave a small bow, all that was allowed while holding up the nearly-falling Jules. "I hate to be rude or presume anything, but I think you should allow Jules some time to sit, your Majesties. He's been through a lot."
The Queen nodded. "As you say, Mister Clark Kent. We look forward to another audience with you, though we hope it is under better circumstances."
Clark gave a slight smile and quick nod of his head. "I hope so as well, your Majesties."
The Queen and Emperor had left, and Clark had, after speaking to Passepartout, taken Verne up the stairs to the nearest bedroom before taking off the young writer's shoes, socks, and vest before lying him down. Fogg watched quietly with some interest as Clark seemed to look Verne over intently, like he was looking through him, and finally sitting down almost roughly in the chair and pinching the bridge of his nose, as if his head ached.
"Are you going to tell me what that rock is? Passepartout has assured me it's not an emerald."
Clark didn't look up, but sighed and released his nose. "It's a meteor rock. A bunch of them fell in Kansas some fifteen years ago. Luckily not many hit the settlement, only the surrounding areas. A few farmers died, and for the last few years a lot of people say that odd things were happening because of them."
"And your falling sick is one of them?"
Clark leaned against the chair. "I…I can't explain it. That one, though…it's made me sicker then the rest, and it's almost…more potent."
Phileas walked into the room where Verne was asleep then asked, "Care to tell me what, exactly, happens?"
"I don't know. I—once, my blood was near one, and it boiled."
Clark nodded. "I try to stay away from them. I'm pretty sure if I kept contact long enough I'd…"
Phileas nodded, understanding, before looking at the sleeping form of Verne. "I'm going to see about getting a doctor to check on Verne when we land. You as well."
"You were sick and then hit by a crowbar."
Clark looked at him, his green eyes once more intense. "I said I'd be fine. I heal quickly."
Phileas paused, but decided against arguing. "fine."
Clark paused as well before saying, "I think Verne needs the help more then I, anyway. Please just take care of him."
Phileas nodded. "I'm going to send Passepartout in with some sleeping gowns and such. I assure you his clothing won't be lost, unless it's not salvageable. And I'm sure Rebecca will want to speak to him as well, or at least check on him."
Clark smiled at him, then said, "I'll be here, anyway. I'm not about to let him out of my sight again."
Phileas smiled back. "I doubt I would either."