SmallvilleX: Evolution Year 2.1

Summary: 3 months after he vanished Clark returns and the X-Men soon find themselves facing off against old and new foes alike in the search for the 3 Kryptonian Stones of Power.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Author's Note: Thanks to everyone who wrote reviews for my first story and without further ado here is my sequel story. Enjoy.

Chapter 1

An image of the Professor just as he begins to speak. "Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward."

The image changes to a young woman with black hair. A news reporter standing outside a pair of great metal gates. On the wall next to the gate is a plaque. 'Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters'. She speaks. "The words of Charles Xavier spoken as an opening to the speaking tour he has been undertaking over the summer to promote understanding of the mutant race. It has been 3 months since the earth changing revelation of the existence of mutants. 3 months since the battle in New York. 3 months since the President asked us all to take time to pause and consider. However the world never pauses or stands still for long. In the last 3 months a small but vocal minority of 'human supremacists' have sprung up led in particular by a new organisation calling itself the 'Friends of Humanity'. Then on the opposite side there is the faction of mutants calling itself the 'Brotherhood of Mutants' led by the man known as Magneto whose aim is mutant supremacy. Two opposing ideologies that cannot co-exist. Does it mean war?"

The woman allows a deliberate pause before continuing. "Charles Xavier in my interview with him believed not."

The image switches back to the Professor. "Change is always difficult but is also the natural driving force of humanity. We adapt. We shape the world around us. Humanity can and will adapt to mutants and the public will see how our gifts can be a boon to benefit everyone. Those forces at the extreme are fighting against the flow of history and like other extremists who have tried to destroy what this country stands for they will fail because the American ideal is stronger and simply better than than the one they preach. In the end they must see that the only way we can reach the future we all wish for is together."

The image switches back to the woman. "Mutants and humans living together. An impossible dream?" she asks. "Martha Kent did not believe so. Mrs Kent, a human, has been living at the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters for many months. During the time I spent at the Institute after being invited to see the work carried out here I could see the care and affection Mrs Kent had for the students resident here and in return the respect and affection the students had for her. In her interview with me she re-expressed the views she gave to Congress about her belief in the basic goodness of the students. In essence her view was people are people be they mutant or human and as the Bible says do unto others as you would have them do unto you. As for her husband, Jonathan Kent, sadly since his appearance at Congress Mr Kent's health has taken a turn for the worse. The effort of giving his testimony having seemingly taken its toll. He is currently in a coma after a suspected stroke and it is unknown whether he will ever wake up. Moving onto the 3rd human living here at the Xavier Institute this had obviously had an effect on Mr and Mrs Kent's son Clark but despite this he still took the time to speak to me and let it be known how he considered it an honour to be friends with the students of the Xavier Institute."

A momentary pause.

"On a related issue there have been many queries from the local press as pertains to the figure dubbed 'The Bayville Blur'. A figure identified as the one in the blue costume with the long red coat on the tv images. A figure who before mutants were exposed had been playing the role of the local hero in the same mould as many of the other heroes that have sprung up recently particularly in New York. A figure who has not been seen since that day of the fight on the dam with the mutant criminal Cain Marko aka the Juggernaut. When I made the query of the whereabouts of the Bayville Blur to Professor Xavier he first off described the Blur as an unofficial member of the X-Men team and not one of his students and that the last time they spoke the Blur said he had to leave for awhile to take care of other business without revealing details. Professor Xavier expressed to me he raised concerns about that with the Blur but in the end he must respect the free will and choices people make but he was confident that one day the Blur would return as it is the Blur's view that it is important to use his powers to help people in any way he can."

Another momentary pause.

"3 months later and where does the world stand on the mutant issue? In the latest opinion polls a bare majority were either accepting of mutants or still waiting to see before they made up their minds. Only a minority was openly hostile towards mutants. However that minority includes powerful figures in both the military and the government. There are still many in Congress who agree with Senator Mitchell's stance that mutants need to be registered and monitored due to the danger they pose. Sources in the military describe mutants as 'living weapons' and should be treated as such. So despite Professor Xavier's many speeches and interviews over the summer it is clear there is still much he and the mutant population as a whole needs to do to cement the trust and faith of the populace at large. 3 months later the world is still watching them. This is Trish Tilby, NCBC News standing outside the Xavier Institute in Bayville handing you back over to the studio."

In his office Professor Charles Xavier switches off the tv. 3 months. Had it been 3 months already? This last summer had been a wearing one upon him as he used all his eloquence and persuasive power to try and in essence 'sell' mutants to the general population. Charles isn't certain he is succeeding. Those speeches he gave were always met by a small but very vocal protest usually led by this 'Friends of Humanity' group who had sprung up from nowhere and were attracting members rapidly. At this rate those small protests would soon be very large ones and then there were the stories. Mutants attacked on the streets if they dared admit the truth of themselves. People with sympathetic views attacked for having such views. Mutants kicked out of their homes, disowned by their parents as if they never had a child in the first place.

Even here in Bayville the students were not immune. They hadn't been attacked...yet but they had reported open hostility when they go out and apparently a new derogatory term for them had been created and caught on. 'Muties.'

To top off the problems there were members of both the local council and school board who were trying to get mutants banned from attending school. Charles was fighting them on the basis that it is a legal right for children to be provided with an education and that mutants according to Congress were still citizens and still entitled to the same rights as everyone else. Charles had had to go as far as hiring a lawyer to try and ensure this happened but with the new school year only a week away it as still in the balance whether he would succeed and the children would be allowed to attend Bayville High this term.

With so many items on his plate Charles had not had a chance this summer to seek out new recruits for the school. Primarily because they needed to rebuild the mansion first and essentially rebuild Cerebro while he was at it over the summer and even now was still awaiting the delivery of the last few essential parts to make Cerebro fully functional again so he could track down new students. They had even lost a couple of students in Jubilee and Rahne as the parents of the two girls had called them back home stating that they felt the school was no longer a safe environment. Considering the mansion was blown up it was hard for Charles to really argue against that opinion.

Charles sighs a little wearily and a little sadly as his gaze moves around his new office which was part of the mansion that was finished. Not bad for 3 months of solid work that he has not been here to oversee as much as he would have liked to due to his many other commitments. Still it was not bad so much had been done in that time scale after Lionel's actions resulted in the destruction of the entire building. The mansion was not entirely rebuilt quite yet but it was not far from it now.


Charles had been on his way to Smallville when Lionel's last 'gift' was activated. Lionel had never admitted precisely what he did to Charles directly but after a conversation with Colonel Fury about his meeting with Lionel in prison it wasn't hard to work out. Charles had been livid at Lionel's callous attempt at what was murder plain and simple.

What still confuses Charles slightly is how no-one was hurt because somehow Rogue had a precognitive flash that they were in danger.


Rogue's gaze returns to staring out the window when suddenly she spots an orange glow beneath her on the lawn. It looks like a small fire. Rogue knows she should tell someone yet she can't move or speak. She is compelled to simply look. Then suddenly the fire erupts outward and burns in the shape of a symbol. A Kryptonian symbol she somehow knows. It is a triangle with a line coming out of the base which runs into a circle with another straight line coming out on the opposite side.

Rogue continues to stare and the symbol reflects in her green eyes. The key in her hand glows once more and a word rises up in her mind. A word she is compelled to speak in a whisper. "Crusade."

Rogue blinks as an overwhelming urge rises up within her. They have to get out of! She runs over to her sleeping friend and starts to shake her awake. "Kitty! Wake up!" Rogue says in a demanding voice.

"What?" Kitty asks drowsily, not really awake.

"We have ta go," Rogue says almost sounding desperate about it.

Now Kitty is very confused on top of drowsy. "What?" she repeats rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

Rogue grabs Kitty by the hand and physically drags her to a sitting-up position. "We have ta go!" she insists and pulls Kitty out of bed.

Kitty phases meaning Rogue loses her grip on the brown haired teen dressed in her pink nightshirt and shorts. Kitty puts her hands on her hips looking decidedly miffed. "Rogue. What is like going on with you?"

Rogue looks extremely flustered and she now paces back and forth in extreme frustration. "We need ta leave!"


Rogue stops and blinks. "Ah don't know," she says sounding and looking very confused.

"Rogue?" Kitty queries puzzled by her friend's behaviour.

"Ah don't know," Rogue repeats. "Ah just know we need ta leave. Something...something bad is goin' ta happen," she explains while she struggles for words to express this feeling inside her.

Kitty's brow furrows. This was weird even by the standards of the usual weirdness that goes on around here. Just then the sound of metal clicking into place drags her eyes to the window and metal plates slide into place over it.

"What's that?" Rogue asks.

"It's the mansion lock-down," Kitty says in reply. "But that needs someone to activate it," she says in confusion because who would do that. She steps forward and places her hand on Rogue's arm. "Hang on," she tells Rogue as she phases the two of them through the floor. Once down on the ground floor Kitty runs to the Professor's office with Rogue following. Kitty starts typing furiously at the computer they had managed to scrounge up from storage to be fitted here. "I'm locked out!" she announces in denial that anyone can lock her out.

"Mansion Destruct Sequence Activated."

"Oh no," Kitty whispers in horror at the automated voice.

"What?" Rogue asks.

Kitty looks up at Rogue horror clearly written on her face. "In little over a minute this place is going up and I mean going up in like BOOM!"

"Ya can phase us out," Rogue points out.

Kitty shakes her head. "There isn't time to phase you out in small numbers."

"Then all of us at the same time," Rogue suggests.

Kitty shakes her head. "I can't. That's too many," she says thinking that she can't do that.

The big '60' appears on the computer screen.

"There's no choice. Ah know ya can do this Kitty," Rogue tells Kitty assuredly.

Kitty isn't sure but she has to do something or everyone dies. Kitty activates the alarm and she and Rogue rush out into the entrance hall and hope everyone manages to get there in time.

30 seconds pass and Kitty does a quick head countdown as everyone gathers dressed in their varying nightwear. That's everyone...she hopes. She puts her fingers in her mouth and whistles loudly. "Alright! Listen up! Long story short! The mansion self-destruct has been activated and if I don't phase us all down to the lower levels you all die so everybody make sure your touching somebody and lets do this!" Kitty orders them in a very commanding tone of voice.

There are a plethora of questions and arguments that come back in response.

"Shut tha hell up!" Rogue screams at them. "Let Kitty concentrate or ah'll drain tha lot of ya!" she threatens.

Everyone shuts up gathers close together with everyone touching someone else. Kitty places her hands on a person either side of her, closes her eyes and concentrates on trying to phase them all.


Kitty's brow furrows and sweat starts to bead upon it. There are just so many people she has to displace. She has never tried to do it with this many. Only ever 1 or 2.


Finally Kitty feels it for lack of a better term and everyone sinks slowly into the floor. They pass all the way through until they land on the floor below with a bump. Kitty has phased them down to the Cerebro room because she knows it is the most reinforced structure and its spherical shape gives it greater stability and chance of withstanding what is about to happen. Kitty then wobbles on her feet. Her eyes roll back into her head and she passes out from the effort. Storm catches her just as the explosions above begin. The whole place shakes. Pieces of metal fall from the wall. Sparks fly around as the circuitry in the walls overloads. Everyone crouches down close to the floor, holding their breath and praying the structure around them holds up.

It does and the danger passes.

"Kitten. You did it," Ororo tells Kitty using the affectionate nickname she has for the young woman as she brushes Kitty's chestnut brown hair off her face.

Kitty's eyes flutter open. "What?" she croaks.

"You did it. You saved us."

"I did?" Ororo nods. "Cool," Kitty remarks.

"Are you alright?"

"Depends. If by alright you like mean am I exhausted and feeling a strong urge to throw-up then yes I'm Jim Dandy."

Ororo breaks into a grin as do a few others. Kitty has saved them all.

Back to the present...

It wasn't until much later that they would learn what exactly had happened. It wasn't until Charles returned from Smallville he would have a chance to talk to everyone and learn about Rogue's precognitive flash that he has never been able to find any explanation for. Nor did he have any explanation for the symbol burned into the grounds. Hank couldn't explain how it had been created and all Rogue could provide was what seemed to be the translation of the symbol. Crusade. Again something there is no explanation for as to how Rogue knows its meaning because according to her she couldn't speak the language. It was all a mystery that Rogue seemed to be at the centre of.

This summer has been hard on Rogue. She has been retreating inward, reverting to the way she was when she first arrived. Introverted. Isolated. She finally meets someone she can touch and she falls in love with him only to have him vanish and it hurt her deeply. Only Domino and Kitty could seem to get through to Rogue now and even get the tiniest positive reaction from her.

To make it worst for 3 months despite their best efforts they could find no trace of Clark anywhere. Jor-El had made sure no-one would find him. When they got to Smallville Logan could pick up Clark's scent as far as the entrance to the Kawatche Caves. Inside there was nothing as if it had been wiped cleaned.

Inside the caves was where they found Jonathan alive but unconscious. When Charles tried to read his mind to find out what happened there was nothing. Literally nothing. Jonathan's mind had also been wiped clean yet his body still lived. It was almost contradictory. Jonathan was in a coma or that is the closest applicable term to describe it and 3 months later he is still in that coma and as much as it pains Charles there seemed to be nothing he could do to his help the friend who has risked so much for and given so much to the children.

It was hurting Martha greatly which in turn was hurting Charles at seeing the pain his friend was going through but Martha showed remarkable strength through all the adversity. When she wasn't at her husband's side she was here doing what she always did helping with the children and anything else she could do. When the mansion was rebuilt enough and he invited that news crew here a couple of weeks ago to see the institute and show the world what it was for she did the interview with no objections. She was a remarkable woman with a formidable inner strength.

The summer just past Charles had to say hadn't been as bad as he might have feared. Yes there were problems with mutant/human relations but they weren't insurmountable. They could have been if Magneto had stirred up trouble and that was the most curious thing of all. Magneto had been almost deathly silent for the last 3 months and Charles couldn't explain why. Either Magneto was watching and waiting to see what happened or more likely he was planning something. Charles only wishes he knew what.

Luthor Mansion, Smallville...

The sun had set as Lex Luthor sits in his chair in his office in his mansion. This last summer had been an extremely busy one for him as he tried to position his company, Lexcorp, into prime position to buy up the assets of his father's now defunct corporation Luthorcorp. Lex with his refusal to save it effectively was the one to bury Luthorcorp. He only wishes he could bury his father alongside it but his father had stubbornly refused to die.

The liver disease that should have claimed his father's life by now was in, to use a term, remission. Somehow the armoured suit crated for Project Prometheus had put the disease into remission. An unexpected and unpredicted side-effect was all any doctor could come up with. Useless the lot of them.

Lex sighs.


His doctors were the only thing keeping Lex alive after he was poisoned. Spiked whiskey. His father's doing no doubt. Lex's doctors saved him in the only way they could which was to replace all of his blood but the poison was a persistence toxin. Lex needed regular blood transfusions just to stay alive and since he was still alive he guesses doctors aren't completely useless.

Needless to say Lex had told Lana nothing about his condition not wanting to worry her. She had her studies in Paris and he wanted her to enjoy them and fulfil her potential. For all the darkness in his life Lex could at least ensure Lana remained bright and untainted.

Then there is the whole mutant issue. Honestly between almost dying and trying to salvage what he desires from Luthorcorp mutants had been down Lex's list of priorities. That will change in time. In fact seizing Luthorcorp and all its research into mutants would aid that. Lex just has to prioritise things at the moment.

Lex's attention is suddenly drawn to his desk or more accurately to one object that sits upon his desk. A typical Newton's cradle consists of a series of identically sized metal balls suspended in a metal frame so that they are just touching each other at rest. Each ball is attached to the frame by two wires of equal length angled away from each other. This restricts the pendulums' movements to the same plane. It is a fairly common ornament people possess. What is uncommon is when the balls start to move back and forth of their own accord.

Before Lex can figure it out the wall behind him is literally blown in throwing Lex over his desk until he comes to land on the floor. He groans in pain and rolls over to look in the direction he came from. Through the dust and the darkness he spots several figures enter through the now large hole in his wall.

There is a metal man. One in a long brown trench coat with even from where he is Lex can see red on black eyes. Another in a purple and yellow trench coat with pink hair. A chalk-skinned woman with blue spiky hair in a dark blue costume with a white lightning bolt running down the middle. Another young man dressed all in black. A huge man also in a brown trench coat with long hair and slightly animalistic looking facial features. There is a young man in a flaming red and orange bodysuit with a fuel tank on his back.

Lex vaguely recognises these people as the ones who broke out the patients of Belle Reve and leading them is the one who spoke on television 3 months back. The one dressed in a black bodysuit with red body armour, a helmet and purple cape. The one who called himself Magneto.

Magneto addresses the fallen Luthor. "Don't feel it necessary to get up Mr Luthor. We'll see ourselves in," he says half in jest.

Live Wire snorts in laughter. "Yeah and we'll see ourselves out as well baldy."

"Live Wire," Magneto chastises her.

Live Wire shuts up though with a sour look upon her face. 3 months since her first one she has had many more memory flashes and she was getting closer and closer to unravelling the truth about herself. Until then she obeys orders like the good little soldier.

"Guard the door," Magneto instructs his Acolytes although this won't take long. "Watch him," he also instructs them pointing at Lex. Magneto strides over to the shelves lining the wall and holds his right hand flat out up against it using his magnetic powers to search out for the metal structure he is seeking. As he does so Lex's guards run in drawn by the noise but they are soon disabled by his Acolytes.

Magneto finds what he is looking for and concentrates his powers as he rips out the hidden safe door. He throws it across the room and strides into the room it was protecting. His eyes search through the many valuable items lining the shelves inside the room until they fall upon what he is here for. A leather bound book. A journal in matter of fact.

Magneto takes the book and departs with it back into Lex's office. He stands over Lex. "Take some advice. Don't follow in your father's footsteps and you might just be allowed to live in my new world...if I'm feeling generous." Magneto then addresses his Acolytes. "Acolytes. We depart," he instructs them.

Lex watches them leave the same way they came and vanish into the darkness. He gets to his feet and walks over to the hole. No sign. Lex's eyes narrow. Magneto just made himself an enemy today but the more immediate concern is why did Magneto take his father's journal?

A journal written in a code even Lex hasn't been able to decipher but he held onto it because what the journal contained was least it was to his father and that makes it important to Lex because anything his father finds important would no doubt end up being a danger.

Now it seems somehow this Magneto must know what the journal contains and Lex hates what this means.

This means he has to go see his father.

Magneto and the Acolytes return to the transportation spheres resting where he left them. Over the summer he had taken the opportunity to review many of the files Mystique stole from Luthorcorp and amidst them he found reference to something that could potentially give him the power to fulfil his dream of a mutant dominated world.

3 ancient Stones of Power scattered and hidden across the world that would, when united as one, give someone ultimate power. Unfortunately that was about the only reference Magneto could find. It took weeks of scrutinising every line but eventually Magneto found only one other reference. An encoded finance file with a few notes attached. From that Magneto managed to gather that Lionel had spent years and millions of dollars looking for the stones and he had put all information he had managed to gather into a journal. The one now in Magneto's possession.

The fact Lionel put so much stock into these legends made it twig in Magneto's mind there could be something real to this. After all all myths have some basis in fact.

Magneto flicks through the pages and sees that Lionel's notes are written in some kind of code. Well that's not too much of an issue. He knows the perfect mutant for a task like this. A mutant who can decipher any language or crack any code. He knows this from the contacts he has made over the summer. Charles may have prevented war. That hasn't stopped their mutant brethren coming to Magneto in droves just like he knew they would.

Magneto had spent the summer beyond his reading organising them into an underground movement. Soon his army would be ready and he would need it because despite Charles' noble efforts at the enlightenment of mankind Magneto knew the truth. He knew of the persecution taking place across the world. It was just like he always said. Sooner or later humanity always returns to its base instincts of intolerance, persecution and genocide of anything that is different. War was coming. Charles only delayed it and if these stones are as powerful as the stories say they are then when the war comes victory would surely be Magneto's.

He strides forward about to enter his sphere when there are several flashes in the distance.

"Hey. They're playing my song," Live Wire comments at what she thinks are lightning strikes.

Magneto's eyes narrow and he looks in the direction that came from. That wasn't lightning. Magneto knows lightning. He can sense it and that wasn't it. Not to mention there are no storm clouds above them at the moment. In fact the sky was clear. Therefore the question becomes what was that?

A few minutes earlier...

"You know Chlo it's been 3 months and the general is still plotzing himself over the fact you were there at Congress," a brunette young woman says from behind the wheel of her car as it drives through the many winding roads of Smallville with wheat fields on either side.

Chloe in the passenger seat shakes her head in amusement. "That's nothing Lo. You should have seen my father's expression," she says in reply to her cousin which is not really a joke. That heart attack remark she had made at the time wasn't far off the mark as it turns out but Chloe defended her choices vigorously to her father.

Lois Lane chuckles. She had decided to drop in on her cousin for the summer and has to say it had been fun although it had been quieter than Lois thought after all of Chloe's stories about this town but apparently it had been quieter for awhile thanks to the King of the Trust Funds Lex Luthor and his mutant 'hit squad' as Chloe called them keeping order. Chloe was more of a sister to her than her actual younger sister Lucy who was...uh Lois didn't actually know where Lucy was at the moment. Lucy had done one of her teenage runaway rebellion acts again but as always Lucy would show up when she ran out of money so Lois wasn't overly concerned about it.

"I take it the General was on the phone," Chloe assumes from the fact Lois is mentioning her father, 3 star General Samuel Lane.

"Yeah he was checking up if I was getting ready to go back to university."

"Uh huh. This would be the university you got kicked out of and haven't told him about it yet."

"Slipped my mind," Lois says sounding innocent.

"For 6 months?" Chloe queries that knowingly. Knowing that Lois keeps avoiding telling her father.

"I'm a busy person," Lois says in her defence.

"Oh yeah. Those muffins won't hand themselves out," Chloe jokes in reference to the waitress job Lois currently has at the Talon which is once more under new management after Emily Dinsmore aka Emma Kern's disappearance.

"Hardy har ha Chlo," Lois says insincerely.

"Seriously though Lois we both know you're smart enough to do university so why?"

"Why didn't I put more effort in instead of drinking, smoking and hitting on that hot tutor with the cute butt that ended up with me getting thrown out?"

"Uh...yeah," Chloe says a little put off.

"I'm not sure academia is me to be honest. You...I admire you. Since you were like 5 you've been focussed on this one goal; become a reporter. Me?" Lois sighs a little sad at where her life has ended up. "I've never really had that focus. You know I've always been the big disappointment to the General."

"I'm sure that's not true."

"Of course it is. We both know he wanted a son to follow in his footsteps."

"They accept women in the armed services Lois," Chloe points out.

"Oh yeah. Can you see me doing that?"

"Well it would appeal to your love of violence."

"Again hardy har ha cousin of mine."

Chloe's not joking entirely about Lois. She does enjoy violence. Wrestling, monster truck rallies, demolition derbies, etc etc, Lois loves them. "What about you? Are you still plotzing?" Chloe asks getting the subject back to where it started.

"Are you kidding? I only wish I was there but I'm not friends with any mutants...I think," Lois corrects herself at the end because how do you know a mutant when you see one.

"What do you think about mutants?" Chloe wonders.

Lois shrugs. "People are people. You don't need special powers to make you a dangerous asshole. The human race has had alcohol for the last 5000 years plus to do that."

Chloe chuckles at Lois' views. "I'm going to go with the assumption you're keeping an open mind."

Lois grins. "That wouldn't be the only part of me open if I knew some of those ones that were on tv fighting the giant robots. They were scrumptious."

Chloe scrunches her eyes shut. "Ok lay off the visual there couz. TMI."

Lois smirks. Always fun to make her cousin blush. Then there is a sudden flash of light and what looks like lightning strikes the road in front of the car forcing Lois to swerve. Two more follow up until Lois is forced to park the car in the ditch beside the road with a hard bump.

Then Lois is certain she hit her head as the 3 lightning bolts converge upon the road before shooting off into the nearby field where they seem to explode out of existence. "What was that?" Lois asks.

Chloe has seen a lot of strange stuff but this was definitely new. "I don't know," she replies.

The two cousins look at each other, undo their seat belts and get out of the car and venture into the field where part of the crops have been burned out of existence and there are still small fires about. As the approach they spot a male figure lying on the ground. "Hey!" Lois calls out.

"Lo," Chloe tries to warn her off in a hiss, unsure what they are dealing with and considering this is Smallville it could be dangerous.

Lois shrugs. "He could be hurt."

The figure stands up and turns round to face them and both Chloe and Lois' eyes widen at the sight. Ok Chloe's eyes' widen. Lois' looks the figure up and down appreciatively a few times at the naked male specimen and what a specimen Lois has to say. Chiselled physique. Perfect muscles. Drop dead gorgeous face and the package to go with the whole package.

"Clark?" Chloe gasps out telling herself she should stop looking at her naked best friend but not being quite able to stop from doing so.

"Wait?" Lois queries confused. "You know him?" she asks Chloe pointing at the man.

"That's Clark. You know Clark. I've told you about him."

"Wait. He's Clark Kent?" Lois sceptically queries that because from what Chloe described of him she expected some dorky farm boy not...well not this. Of course this does explain why Chloe always seemed so hung up on him.

Chloe nods. "Um don't you have a blanket in the trunk," she suggests for covering Clark up.

"Do I have to?" Lois asks sounding disappointed.

Chloe gives Lois the patented Chloe Sullivan glare of death.

"Alright. I'm going," Lois concedes defeat as she returns to the car.

Chloe walks up to Clark who has spent all this time just looking around like he is trying to figure out his surroundings. 'Eyes on the face. Eyes on the face. Eyes not looking down,' Chloe mentally repeats in her head over and over like a mantra. She cautiously places a hand on Clark's arm. "Clark?" she queries. He looks at her and she sees no recognition of her in the blue depths of his eyes. He looks puzzled...lost even. "Clark?" she tries again. "Clark you've been gone for 3 months. Where have you been?"

"I was not gone. I was being reborn," he states flatly.

"Clark what?" Chloe asks puzzled by that.

"Why do you keep calling me this Clark?" he asks her.

"That's your name. Clark Kent."

"It is not my name."

Chloe is now just completely lost by what is going on with him. At this point Lois returns and wraps a red blanket around him trying not to look disappointed that her view has been taken away. "So what's happening?" Lois asks. "And didn't you say he vanished 3 months ago?" she suddenly remembers Chloe mentioning.

"He did," Chloe confirms.

Clark is back looking around paying the 2 cousins no attention. Lois snaps her fingers in front of his face to get his attention. "Hey! You! Smallville! Eyes here!" she tells him using a nickname she just thought up on the hoof.

He looks at her, his brow furrowing into a frown of annoyance at the mouthy brunette.

"Some thing's wrong with him," Chloe feels she has to state the obvious to Lois.

"No kidding. Should he even be upright after being hit by lightning?" Lois asks.

Chloe doesn't think Clark was hit by lightning because even if he had, ignoring the fact he is practically invulnerable, it would have melted his clothes not vaporised them. Not to mention there is barely a cloud in the sky with which to generate lightning so whatever it was she and Lois saw it can't have been lightning. Chloe reaches up to Clark's face, placing a hand on each cheek and moving his head to look at her. "Do you know who am I?"

"No," he replies simply.

"I'm Chloe. Chloe Sullivan. I'm your friend."

"I do not know you."

"Is his brain out to lunch?" Lois asks rudely.

Chloe is starting to think it is. "This is my cousin Lois Lane," she introduces Lois. It gets no response from Clark and Chloe thinks on what to say or do. Then it strikes her what he said earlier. "You said Clark wasn't your name. What is your name?"

Clark's brow furrows in concentration and he opens and closes his mouth several times as he tries to grab hold of a name but all he gets is disjointed flashes of memory and nothing coherent. In the end all he can say in response is "I do not know."

"Do you remember anything?" Chloe expands the scope of her questioning.

Again there is deep thought, disjointed fragments of memory he can't quite grasp a hold of and in the end all he can come up with in response to Chloe's quesion is one small word. "No."

Author's Note: Like the show I'm starting Clark off with what seems to be total amnesia...and the race to find the 1st stone begins. Next up; Clark returns home while Magneto tries to decipher Lionel's journal.