Chapter "D"

In these scenes, Lex, Bruce, and Clark have worked together for several years. Lex is riding high- LutherCorp is eroding away (but not dead, especially not the illegal stuff), and Lex has made more money than his father ever did- and helped the world out by improving everything from Healthcare tech to the energy crisis (which is quickly becoming about as much of a crisis as Y2K, if y'all remember what I mean). Unfortunately, these massive strides in technology have finally raises interest from the government, and they have started investigations and 'requested' full disclosure of all product development for 'safety inspections'. After a lot of dragging things out and delays, the three decide to let the cat out of the bag. The poor animal's yowling has been heard by everyone anyway, and the press senses a story.

(Side note: I went with President Bush, cause we have already had two of them, I figure it's kinda like the Kennedy's)

/

The three of them sat in the plain conference room on the middle level of the LexCorp building. Bruce looked icy, so far reserved that he wasn't even there as he sipped his coffee. Clark just looked nervous, before he took a deep calming breath and ran his fingers through his hair. He shook himself, pulling that alien calmness over his apprehension, hiding it away.

Lex looked grim. Neither nervous or unhappy, he just sighed to himself before looking at his partners. "Well, we knew we would have to do this someday. Shall we?"

"Of course." Bruce said, standing as well.

Clark stood, pushing himself up from the chair with both hands. He blinked, looking at the chunk of armrest still clutched between his fingers. Lex sighed. "Clark, watch your speed. You're blurring."

"Damn." Kent whispered, "I'm sorry, I'll focus more. Just give me a minute."

Lex shook his head. "I understand, these things are murder on the nerves. You should have seen me shaking the first time I went in front of the cameras for a press release. Now, just like we planned- pace yourself off me." Lex walked over to his friend. "Just one, two-"

"Three." Clark grinned. "Yeah, yeah, yeah- and we can both-" Clark stopped himself. He wasn't at the labs, they couldn't talk here. "Let's do this."

Bruce headed for the door, Lex following and Clark bringing up the rear. They walked down the corridor, guards snapping to attention as they walked past. More were waiting in the elevator as the three men walked straight in and turned around for the ride.

Lex took another deep breath, eyes glued to the numbers as they counted down.

Bruce shifted, saying, "Twenty bucks that the US Government threatens nuclear retaliation. From the first."

"We're on US soil." Clark murmured, "They'll threaten 'eminent domain' first."

"Yes, but the warning will be there. Right from the first." Bruce returned.

Clark shrugged. "Yeah, well, maybe. I think it will be at least during the second threat. Should we drop the hint that they could wipe Kansas off the map and it won't breach the first wall?"

Lex groaned. "You two. Could we at least focus on looking friendly? It might put them off…"

The door dinged, and all three plastered the friendly/competent/trustworthy smiles on their faces. They stepped confidently into the lobby, their guards met by more uniformed, armed men from LexCorp/Wayne Enterprises. The massive steel and glass lobby was lit up by the warm rays of the setting sun, the vast space filled with the chattering, yelling voices of the Press.

Lex, Bruce, and Clark bounced up the steps to the temporary platform, quickly walking behind the lone podium festooned with microphones sitting on the stage. Lex stepped forward, taking the crowd in for one brief moment.

Lex cleared his throat, and began, "Thank you for coming today. As you well know, LexCorp and Wayne Enterprises have recently been under extreme scrutiny by the United States government concerning their research facilities. There has been some question concerning the legality of the intrusion of the government in our joint venture, and it has become time for us to 'come clean' as it were. To emphasize our united front between myself and Wayne Enterprises, I will be giving a brief statement, at which time an official of Wayne Enterprises will be answering questions."

Lex smiled, an easy smile, before he started in earnest. This was a gamble, but they had all thought it was best. "Approximately fifteen years ago, LexCorp was founded. I started this company for many reasons- some of them personal, some of them more business related. Shortly after founding LexCorp, my company was granted research rights to a particular piece of technology. Shortly after being granted research rights, I formed a partnership with Wayne Enterprises- I realized that this was too big for a fledgling company to handle."

"And I will state now, for the record, that this particular piece of technology has been the starting point for ALL the advancements, patents, new biomedical technologies and pharmaceuticals, aerospace technologies, new computer technologies, and everything else that has come out of LexCorp and Wayne Enterprises in the last ten years."

Lex didn't pause as he continued. "Of course, we aren't done discovering or developing yet. And we have NO intension of letting the United States Government, the United Nations, or any other company, governments, or terrorist groups have access to the original technology. Ever." Lex smiled forcefully for the cameras, trying to convey his 'just give up now' look.

Predictably, the Press started screaming questions. Lex paused until he heard the one he wanted. Trust the Inquisitor to ask.

"Actually," Lex answered, "the technology in question dropped out of the sky."

He paused again, and then added, "No, it didn't come from some other government or country." He smiled, "At least, not one on this planet."

There was the briefest pause before absolute pandemonium broke out. Lex waited briefly before waving a hand to quiet them. They kept yelling, so Lex started talking, "Of course, this did provoke a bit of a debate. Naturally, some would argue that the government of this country should have 'first rights' to such a find." They had quieted down, so Lex asked, "But is that really wise? Take nuclear power- did the government use such knowledge for cheaper energy, or did they make bombs? Our government and the governments across this entire world have shown an alarming tendency to make weapons, not better the world. So- we kept it to ourselves, and developed products that would make this planet a better place to live."

"Some would argue that we did it for the money. True, we're making a bundle, Wayne Enterprises stock has shown that, but a check of our records will show that it's a matter of volume, and that our percentage profits are very, very low. We've offered patent rights on several technologies for prices that only reflect development costs and seed moneys for further research. We have also limited ourselves to developing technologies that are good for our planet's environment. In fact, our primary goal has been to develop a self-sustaining level of technology outside of our influence. But we don't think it is wise to let other groups 'inspect' our facilities."

"Therefore, LexCorp and Wayne Enterprises have decided to offer the following compromise. We will open our books but not our labs. We will allow a group of auditors to review our records. We will prove that our profits are not extreme, and we will continue with our work." Lex's eyes swept the crowd. "Thank you."

He stepped back, while Wayne motioned to one of his Vice-presidents to take the podium. The three of them swept back out of the lobby and up the elevator.

/

The Vice-President of the United States, Mrs. Dunich, sat side-by-side with her husband, her boss, and their other top aides. They were all sipping coffee and nervously watching the CNN announcer discuss options with an 'expert' they had dragged out of some university. 'I had a colleague that went to work for LexCorp ten years ago.' The prim physics instructor replied. 'He never came back from his interview. He just sent a very vague e-mail to give his resignation. I always wondered why. I even visited him once- brought up all the books and papers he had left in his office. He said he was happy, they, LexCorp, had given him a nice house, big yard, gated community with twenty-four hour guards and cameras. I thought it was odd for such a small town, but coming from Manhattan, I didn't think anymore about it.'

"Do you think we can blame the former administration?" One of the aides asked. The President looked at him. He cleared his throat, adding, "I mean, this all happened over a decade ago. It's not our fault we didn't know, right?"

"Damn right." Another grumbled. "Did you see the Secret Service report? The facility openly claims five thousand workers, and by correlating with the IRS, over seventy-five percent are directly related to R&D. Couple that with the satellite photos- the facility must be mostly underground."

"Good God. How did we miss this? The Anti-Terorist Act- isn't the system supposed to raise red flags about this?"

"Yes." Someone sighed. "That department is screaming that they must have had their system's hacked. Their system is somehow- you run the parameters through with any other name in another location and the alarm bells ring. LexCorp, or Wayne Enterprises, you get ziltch. You can even multiply the numbers by ten in Smallville. But they can't track it or trace it. They think it's written into the base code. I think it's deeper than that. The computers themselves have LexCorp logos on them."

"Oh Lord." The aides started murmuring, the President cleared his throat.

"The only thing I want to know- Are they going to take over? Is this some alien front to rule Earth? If this is just some All-America businessmen trying to make a buck and a good name for themselves, then more power to them."

"Sir?"

President Bush shrugged his shoulders, leaning back confidently in his chair. "Listen, politics has been in my family for years. Grandpa and my uncle- they always taught me to think foreign policy. And right now… it might be better if the government doesn't have this technology. China's already been on the phone, they're nervous as hell. Korea… don't get me started. And the Middle East? India/Pakistan? Good God, even the damn Euros. Bless the British, but even they are twitching."

"You have a point." Vice-President Dunich agreed. "But we're going to have to see inside that facility. We need to know what they're planning. And I wonder… if they don't own the spaceship, who does?"

"But… But… we can't just drop this!"

President Bush leaned over, his eyes burning bright. "Who said we would? We are going to find out what, exactly, they are doing in that facility." He leaned back. "BUT… if they are on the up and up… well, we'll decide then."

/

TO: ryuiop

FROM: ELuthor

Subject: Recent news

Date: 05/04/2018; 01:28

Hello Bro, you wouldn't believe how much Lionel hit the roof when he was watching CNN this afternoon. I heard him screaming in the other room. Dear old dad was purple in the face and throwing things. I waited in the hall- okay, I was hiding- he was yelling about 'those damn Kents' and something about you being a traitorous viper. I think he thinks you got the ship from your friend Clark.

I think I understand why you did it. You know? Leaving. I always thought it was just cause you couldn't stand him anymore- but it's more than that. You knew you could beat him. And I think I hate him now.

You know why? Even after he's given Junior everything he could while ignoring me, I didn't hate him. He's always been like that. It was just him. But… the staff all made themselves scarce while he was throwing his fit… and he started muttering. Something about how, well, you finally did something right. And if you just would have come to him in the first place, he never would hav_e had to marry 'that bitch'- and he wouldn't have to spend all this time starting over._

I've never been so angry. I was furious.

Because I wasn't alone. Junior was standing right beside me. We snuck back to my room (it is further away). We didn't talk about it, but… Junior is a snotty brat. I've always hated him, cause he knows daddy likes him better. But he was crying, like a little baby. Daddy Dearest finally showed his hand to Junior- showed him how much he was really loved.

I should have been happy, that The Brat finally got what was coming to him… but I can't be.

I guess I'm growing up.

/

TO: ELuthor

FROM: ryuiop

Subject: Re: Recent news

Date: 05/04/2018; 07:04

Sis,

What I wouldn't have done for a picture of him, right then. Waited years, you understand. But I'm a bit busy right now, with the UN calling on the phone, and the President politely making threats. I don't think I have the time to properly enjoy it- so why don't you do that for me? Okay?

Hey, how did your recital go? You said that you were doing that piece from Mozart, did the crowd go wild? Hope so. I sent someone out to get a recording of it- but I haven't had time to watch it yet. Hopefully sometime in the next week.

And yes, I'm dictating my e-mail now, straight from my brain to the net. The best part about going public is that we don't have to hide anymore how far ahead of everyone LexCorp's tech is.

Oh… just be sure to watch CNN tonight. I've got another Press Release. It's going to be enlightening.

/

Lizzy clutched her soda can to her chest, flopping down on the floor in front of the television at Bethany's house. "Oh, come on Claire! We've got to watch it, I've got inside information that he's going to say something important!"

"Gods, Liz, you're such a drama queen. Last week they said they had a spaceship, what could be more important than that?"

On the screen, Lex tapped his pen to his podium, watching the massed reporters yell and scream at him. He sighed, clearing his throat. "Excuse me, may I give my prepared statement before the questions, please? I am sure that it will answer many of your questions…"

The crowd quieted, a dull buzzing in the background as Lex Luthor straightened the papers before him, and paused before beginning. "As I said at my last press conference, LexCorp was granted the rights to research and investigate a space-craft of extra terrestrial origin some 15 years ago. I have since been threatened by the United States Government with eminent domain of the said craft and been informed that I must hand over said craft or suffer the consequences. Well, I'd like to publicly give my response to that-" Luthor paused again, "So, I'd like to say to the United States Government, the United Nations, people of the world, No, I will not hand over the Spaceship- I can't, it's not mine, LexCorp only has research rights, not ownership. I can't legally give away what isn't mine."

The background noise rose to a roar, and Lex Luthor looked to the side, and seemingly answering a question said, "Who owns it? Why, the individual that came in it, actually." The bald man paused in the ensuing wave of stunned disbelief, smiling like a cat with canary feathers between its teeth. "Though, why he needed a spaceship to fly is beyond me… Doesn't use it now."

And while reporters screamed, and Lizzy, her friends, and most of the younger generation squealed out 'I knew it!', the world's powers realized that they would never be able to directly acquire Superman's ship.