Characters/Pairings- Lollie to start which will lead into Clois, Chimmy, and of course Lexana
Rating- If you can watch Smallville, you can read this
Summary- What if Lois, not Martha, had been the one to speak with Jor-El at the beginning of Zod? Charged by Jor-El to protect Earth in the wake of his son's failure, Lois returns to Smallville... and her actions set her up for a surprising collision course with Fate.
A/N- As much as I loved the idea that a facsimile of Krypton was Lois Lane's idea of heaven (not to mention the startling implication that Jor-El protected her that day in the Arctic and the realization that Jor-El actually likes someone in his son's life, at least enough to keep her warm and make her feel welcome) and the ridiculous amount of plot bunnies that has inspired, I gotta say, if I were Jor-El and I wanted someone to slay the hell out my friend-turned-nemesis (who, due to Fate's twisted sense of humor, was possessing the body of my only son's friend-turned-nemesis), I can't think of anyone I'd want more for the job than Lois Lane. Well, maybe Buffy, but she was kinda busy just then, so Lois is as good a second as you could hope for.
Hence this Season 6 rewrite fic, in which Lois puts all her badassery to good use, and in which I take some major liberties with Superman canon and the legend of Naman because fuck canon, it's fanfiction and I do what I want (within reason, of course, and since everything I'm planning on doing actually has Smallville precedent, I think I'm justified). And now that I've offended and/or frightened away all potential readers with my pottymouth and belligerence... on with the show!
"In sand and thorns
I'm walking forth,
Bare and blinking as the
day that I was born.
Bells in spires of china white
Ring for an Augustine tonight."
It wasn't the noise that woke her, it was the cold. The deep, pressing chill that reminded her of St. Petersburg in December, or Chicago in January, that somehow managed to find her skin no matter how many layers she was wearing... and to be honest, since she had been on her way to Washington D.C. in August, she hadn't worn all that many layers. Once the cold had worked its way down through her silken blouse and pricked at her skin until she was well on her way to consciousness, her ears started to work again and she picked up on the roaring sound of the wind that was driving the frigid air currents.
That brought her fully back to herself, and Lois opened her eyes. The first thing that fell in her line of vision was the limply dangling bag of an oxygen mask.
For a moment, Lois was bewildered, trying to work out what had happened. Then it all came back to her in one dizzying rush. She remembered gasping for breath as the cabin pressure dropped, remembered Mrs. Kent falling to the floor, remembered struggling to her own last breaths in a desperate attempt to bring down the oxygen mask to save the woman who had become like a mother to her.
At that thought, Lois sat up abruptly, letting out a gasp of pain as she felt her badly bruised muscles protest viciously against the movement. Ignoring her own injuries for the time being, she rolled forward onto her knees and looked around the nearly-destroyed cabin of the downed airplane in search of Martha Kent.
She found her quickly, lying beneath an overturned table near cockpit. A hasty examination revealed no broken bones that Lois could find, but the Senator's bloody forehead and unconscious state worried her. She tapped Mrs. Kent's cheeks lightly, hoping to rouse her. When that failed, she shook her shoulders gently, mindful of any injuries that might have gone unnoticed, and called her name over the crying of the wind. All attempts to wake the redhead failed.
Lois let out a gusty sigh of frustration. Adrenaline was shooting through her, making her feel shaky and surreal, but Lois told herself firmly that this was not a great time to panic. Through a combination of her own inherent level-headed nature and the General's lifelong training, the panic switch had been all but bred out of Lois Lane! This wasn't the first time she had found herself in an apparently dire situation, and she damn well intended to live long enough to find herself in another one, and she'd make sure Mrs. Kent did, too!
With another soft moan of pain, she hauled herself to her feet, feeling a wince as she put weight on an ankle she hadn't realized was twisted.
Despite the sharp pains shooting through her foot and leg, Lois hobbled stiffly across the cabin to the door to the cockpit, which had been ripped open by the craft's obviously violent impact.
As she pushed aside the ruins of the door, Lois wondered how on earth they had survived the crash. From the state the plane was in, it was obvious that it had been a hell of a wreck. Yet somehow, she had come away with injuries which, as far as she could tell, were superficial, and Mrs. Kent didn't seem to have broken anything though her continued lack of consciousness was beginning to seriously frighten her.
Lois had expected to find at best, an unconscious pilot and at worst, a corpse in the cockpit, but all that remained of the man in control of the airplane was an empty seat with the cushions slightly charred and ripped.
"Guess our Floyd Bennett wannabe jumped ship," she muttered to herself, and reached eagerly for the abandoned radio set. Flipping at the controls with the ease of a familiar user, she scanned through the radio frequencies to find the strongest possible signal. "Mayday! Mayday!" she called into the headset. "Mayday! Our plane is down. Repeat: our plane has gone down."
She was met only with crackling static. "Dammit," she hissed between gritted teeth. Either the equipment was damaged, or they were out of signal range. She would have to find a way out of this herself. If it had just been her alone in the plane, she wouldn't have been too concerned. She could handle herself. But with an unconscious, possibly severely injured Martha Kent lying in the cabin behind her, Lois was worried.
At last she turned her eyes up to glance out the broad expanse of the windshield.
Maybe the equipment is just fine. Maybe, she thought in amazement, we're just so far north the magnetic pole is interfering with the radio.
An incredible sight met Lois's gaze. About two miles distant lay what appeared to be a titanic palace of ice, organic in design but obviously by design. There was no mistaking that she was seeing a planned structure. Relief melted through her. Buildings- even ones that looked like they belonged either in the Ice Age or outer space- meant people, and people meant help for Mrs. Kent.
Lois stumbled out of the cockpit back to the main cabin of the plane. For a few moments she stood there, leaning against the wall to keep her weight off the injured ankle, debating how to proceed. Should she leave Mrs. Kent here in order to reach the structure she had seen more quickly, or take her along?
It wasn't a difficult decision. She knew there was no way she could leave Mrs. Kent alone in this state. If she woke up or if her conditions, Lois knew she needed to be there with her.
Twenty minutes later, Lois set out across the tundra. She had dressed Mrs. Kent's head wound as best she could with the contents of the on-board first aid kit. Then she had emptied their two carry-on suitcases and piled as many extra layers of clothing onto the both of them as she could. She had used the larger of the two suitcases (hers, by the way; she made a mental note to tell Clark to quit mocking her for her packing tendencies next time she saw him) and the detachable handle of Mrs. Kent's laptop bag to form a crude sort of toboggan on which she laid the unconscious Mrs. Kent.
Outside the relative shelter of the interior of the plane, the frigid temperatures bit deep. Even wearing three shirts and a blazer, a long skirt over her pants, and with a decorative scarf being used as an improvisational head-covering, Lois felt the arctic air against her skin as if she were bare to the elements.
Her feet, buried deeper beneath the loose surface snow with each step, went numb after five minutes. She was grateful, because it meant the pain from her injured ankle lessened.
Her hands lost all feeling a few minutes after that, forcing her to visually confirm that she still gripped the strap she was using to tow Mrs. Kent across the snow. Her ears and her nose stung painfully, but Lois didn't dare let go to attempt to warm them, because she wasn't sure she'd be able to force her hand to curl back around the strap if she stopped now.
Lois was highly-trained for survival in virtually every environment, and she was well-aware that the bone-deep exhaustion she felt settling over her was a result of the temperature sapping her energy, but the knowledge didn't help her much.
"Come on, Lois," she whispered to herself. "You can do this."
She kept up a steady stream of self-encouragement as she trudged across the barren terrain, heaving the prone form of Mrs. Kent behind her, and doing her best to ignore the slow creep of numbness up her legs.
At last, she made it to the structure she had seen from the cockpit. Up close, it was even more impressive. The broad, multi-faceted columns captured the sunlight and cast rainbows across the surrounding snow and ice. The structure was composed not of ice, as she had initially assumed, but crystal.
Lois towed Mrs. Kent through the entryway and through a low-ceilinged passage to what seemed to be the central room. A low, pulsing crimson light filled the space, giving the whole scene an eerie, bloody cast.
"Hello?" she called loudly, and received no answer but echoes.
It was warmer inside the... building? structure? palace? Well, whatever you called it, Lois could tell that it was substantially warmer, and she began to feel sensation returning to her extremities. Despite the physical relief she was feeling, however, foreboding filled her. Something about this place felt... private. It wasn't that prickle up her spine she got when she was unwelcome in hostile territory, but she felt as if she were intruding somewhere sacred.
"I've got a bad feeling about this," she said to no one in particular. She reached out idly and touched one of the crystal columns.
Light flared from where she had laid her palm, and the already comfortable temperature abruptly warmed noticeably a few degrees more.
Lois whirled around on the spot, searching for the source of the authoritative male voice that had addressed her, but found no one and wound up spinning in a ridiculous-looking circle.
"Who are you?" she called to the waiting air.
"You have been of great service to my son, Lois Lane."
"What are you talking about? Who are you?"
A pause followed, as if the disembodied voice were considering its next words. When it spoke again, the tone was very deliberate and Lois had spent enough time being talked down to by people of authority who expected her to fall in line with whatever they happened to want to be able to tell immediately when she was being handled.
"My name is Jor-El of the planet Krypton, and that is all you need know about me... for the time being."
Lois narrowed her eyes. "And you expect me to just buy that?"
"It is of no importance whether you believe who and what I am. Time is of the essence."
She didn't quite know where to look, so Lois settled for planting her hands on her hips angrily and staring into the empty air above her. "Look, Jor-El or whatever your name is, I don't know what the hell kind of game you think you're playing, but my friend is injured. Our plane went down, and-"
"Martha Kent will be fine. The damage to her body is consequential but not life-threatening."
"How can you possibly know-?" Lois began, but a sudden suspicion seized her. "Did you have anything to do with our plane going down?"
"I was not responsible."
"Give me evidence that says otherwise," Lois retorted.
"You were taken as pawns by a being called the Brain Inter-active Construct. When he was removed from control of your aircraft, I was powerless to prevent a crash, but the systems within this Fortress were able to guide your plane to a safer landing. I have brought you here because I need your help."
Lois found herself utterly baffled, and wondered if perhaps she had actually fainted out there on the snow and was having some bizarre hallucination. The ground beneath her feet and the crystal beneath her palm felt too real, however, to be the result of hallucinations.
"Why would some alien freakazoid be interested in us?" she asked. "Is it because Mrs. Kent is a Senator now?"
After a silence of several seconds, Lois snorted. "Very forthcoming, aren't you? Why do you need us, then?"
"The Brain Inter-active Construct has used Lex Luthor as a vessel for a criminal from Krypton, General Zod, who is now spreading chaos across your world. He is possessed of great powers, far beyond those of humans, and will bring about the extinction of your race."
Now that, Lois could believe. Not necessarily the possession-by-alien-criminal parts (though she had certainly seen enough weird and inexplicable things in the past two years that she didn't dismiss the idea outright), but Lex Luthor bringing on the apocalypse? That, Lois was willing to accept whole-heartedly.
"Which brings me back to the question: why us? Well... why me seeing as Mrs. K is kinda out of commission right now?"
"My son Kal-El was charged with the task of killing Lex Luthor before Zod could take possession of his body. I gave him a Kryptonian dagger which was capable of penetrating his invulnerable skin. But Kal-El's greatest weakness is his love for humanity, and, incapable of taking a human life, he chose to use the dagger on the Construct instead. In doing so, he released Zod and damaged this structure."
"Bummer," Lois replied. "But what can I do about that?" As she spoke, her mind was whirring, trying to place that name: Kal-El. She felt certain she had heard it somewhere before.
"With Kal-El imprisoned in a place beyond my reach, it falls to someone else to save your species. I have observed you, Lois Lane. You were raised as a warrior, and possess both great courage and great nobility of spirit."
The penny dropped. "You want me to kill Lex?" she asked incredulously. "Just off him in cold blood?"
"It is necessary."
"Look, I'll be the first to say that Lex Luthor is more than a little psycho, but that doesn't mean I'm up for sticking a knife between his ribs."
"Even if it means the survival of your race?"
Lois hesitated. Those were high stakes.
"How do I even know you're telling the truth?" she questioned.
"At this very moment, a computer virus unleashed by Zod is crippling your planet's technology. Soon he will cause a tectonic restructuring of your planet which will destroy all human life and recreate Earth in Krypton's image. You do not need to take me at my word. When you are returned to Smallville, you will be able to see the truth of this for yourself."
It was crazy. It was completely, utterly, unbelievably crazy... but the fact was, if you had told her two years ago that men with the power to stun people just by touching them, and little girls who could shatter glass with their minds were walking among us, she would have called that completely, utterly, unbelievably crazy, too. Lois knew better than most that there was a lot more to the world than met the eye. This wasn't so much of a stretch after all that.
"What do you want me to do?"
"The dagger I gave to Kal-El is your only chance against Zod. Retrieve it, and use it. You will find it at the Kent farm."
"What is it doing there?"
"That is not your concern."
Lois crossed her arms. "The hell it isn't!"
"Time is of the essence, Lois Lane. To save your race, you must stop Zod before he initiates the pulse which will destroy your world."
"That's great, but how am I supposed to get there? In case you hadn't noticed, we're not exactly in downtown Metropolis."
"This structure will transport you."
Lois wisely chose to bite down the sarcastic comment that immediately sprang to mind.
For several seconds, the voice of Jor-El was silent, and Lois got the distinct impression that he was debating with himself about something. She waited impatiently, wondering if he'd just spit it out already.
"You have influence with my son, Lois Lane. In the unlikely event that he is able to free himself and return to Earth, protect him from himself."
"I don't even know your son."
She got the distinct impression that if Jor-El had a body, he would have given the same kind of dismissive shrug the General often gave when he had decided she was wrong, but was tired of arguing with her.
"As you say."
Lois considered interrogating him further, but before she could make up her mind exactly how to phrase the questions she had, Jor-El spoke again.
"You will be returned to your proper place now. Farewell, Lois Lane."
The crystal palace dissolved in a flare of light.