Title- World's Finest: Ollie's Angels
Characters/Pairings- Lois, Lana, Chloe, Oliver; no real pairings
Summary- World's Finest Issue #1. Lex Luthor is up to his old tricks again, and it's up to ace reporter and part time superhero Lois Lane to stop him. She's in just a bit over her head, but that's never stopped her before. Then her ex and patron Oliver Queen introduces her to Lana Lang, a powerhouse who operates under the handle Promethea... and who just so happens to have the inside track on pinning Luthor down. Together, the two of them might just be a match for the wicked mogul, but they're going to need a little tech help, and who better than Lois's estranged cousin Chloe to give them a hand?
A/N- It's AU in the extreme. I mean EXTREME. Details shall unfold within the text, but here's a basic rundown of must-knows:
*Metahumans do exist (for example, meteor freaks), but they hide in the shadows and do not advertise their powers, neither as heroes nor as villains
*The few superheroes that have begun to make appearances are mostly highly skilled individuals with strong societal conscience, such as Green Arrow
*These individuals are mostly written off as misguided as vigilantes or misrepresented as criminals themselves
*Clark is a non-issue in this fic. He's off in the Fortress doing his training like a good little Kryptonian.
This episodic series (with each story capable of standing as one complete "issue" in the series) is an optional prequel to a story still to be written currently titled "A Fellow Cape" in which Stiletto meets Superman and Lois meets Clark and things get complicated. However, as I just said, Clark is not involved in this story at all except insofar as the effects of his existence are felt in how he influenced Lana as a teenager. Although "A Fellow Cape" will be Clois, the World's Finest series is friendly to all types of shippers.
The full-sized poster for Issue 1 can be found here: i1153.photobucket.com/albums/p506/aceofgallifrey/WorldsFinestIssue1.jpg
The trailer for this series can be found here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCUuaALBTCE
Major Andy Gorbin was out of his depth.
An austere man in his early forties, prematurely gray hair contrasting with his dark skin, he had experienced more than his fair share during his lifelong military career. He had enlisted during the final years in Vietnam, served in the Gulf War, and had made his name (and his rank) by being one of the best tactical thinkers the U.S. army had at their disposal. He had a natural gift for strategy that had been acutely developed over the years. He wasn't the best, but he was pretty damn close to it.
And an eleven year old girl was beating him at chess.
She was the daughter of the three-star general who had arrived at the base two weeks before for the purposes of overseeing some maneuvers. General Lane was one of the most respected names an army lifer could hope to serve under, having made a meteoric rise through the military ranks in his youth and proved his worth time and time again over the years. Andy had not known, however, that he had a family. Two young daughters, specifically, whose mother was rumored to have made the General a widow some five years previously.
The two girls, obviously highly accustomed to life on a military base, had made themselves quite at home since their arrival. Andy had seen the youngest a time or two, a pretty blue-eyed girl of about eight years, with a mischievous nature, apparently more than a little musical talent, not to mention the ability to charm the decorations off everyone she encountered. The elder daughter had hardly been a shadow on Andy's awareness, however. He heard her name mentioned, but he had never yet seen her until that very morning.
She had walked straight up to him, a skinny little thing who seemed too short for her age, with huge green eyes and messy honey-colored curls pulled back in a ponytail. "The men say you're very good at chess, Sir," she said bluntly.
"I'm pretty good, yeah," he had replied, confused.
From behind her back, she had produced a battered cardboard chessboard and a plastic baggie containing a set of plastic black and white chess pieces. "Will you play a match with me, then?" she asked.
That was what had led to this moment, with his index finger pressing down on the top of his bishop, indecision freezing him in place. The General's daughter had well and thoroughly backed him into a corner, and done it so skillfully that he'd hardly realized what was happening until it was too late to head her off. She'd led with what seemed a foolhardy charge and he had expected to dismantle such an obvious and simple assault quickly, but it had really been a front for a much more subtle attack that crept behind his defenses before he realized what she was up to. Now he was stuck. No matter what he did, he would be leaving his king open to attack if he moved even one of his pieces. But he had to play.
With a sigh, he moved his bishop in an utterly futile attempt to capture her last remaining knight, but it was only a token gesture.
"And that's mate!" she exulted, leaping to her feet with both fists in the air. "And Lois wins again! Yeah!"
He couldn't help but smile at her youthful reaction. "You're very good," he complimented her.
"You are, too," she said. "Cadet Michaels wasn't lying when he said you were an amazing chess player! I thought for sure you'd see right through me about ten moves back."
"Lucky for you I didn't, isn't it?" he said. "Though you may want to work on your poker face a little. You tell too much with your eyes."
Her face slipped into a pensive frown. "That's what Daddy says, too," she muttered. "Personally I think he's just mad that I beat him." Then her eyes flicked up to his and her expression became apologetic. "Hang on... that was kind of an insult to you, too, wasn't it? Sorry."
Andy waved a hand dismissively, smiling gently at her. "Don't worry about it, kid."
"I do that a lot," she said. "I tend to leave the tact to Lucy."
"Well, we can't be good at everything."
"Can't we?" she asked quietly, and she was looking at him so intently that she seemed so much older than eleven. Throughout their game she had kept up a steady stream of bright chatter except when she was pondering a move too intently to spare thought for speech, and had seemed very young and innocent. At that instant, however, little Lois Lane in her baggy cargo pants and scuffed tennis shoes seemed to be an incredibly old soul.
He took his time before replying, slowly, "I don't know. But I suppose we can try."
She pondered that for a moment, and then a grin unfurled on her face. "Do or do not," she said. "There is no try." Impish smile firmly in place, she said, "Thanks for the game, Sir!" and sprinted off, chessboard tucked firmly under her arm.
Andy stared as she disappeared around a corner, that dark blonde ponytail bouncing behind her. He wondered if General Lane had any idea what kind of daughter he had on his hands.
Gabe Sullivan knocked on his daughter's bedroom door, wondering if he'd even be heard over the indie pop that was blaring from the other side. "Chloe?" he called, when he didn't get a response.
"Chloe, can I come in?"
He pushed the door open, unsure what to expect. He was pretty sure he was in the doghouse with his little girl, and he couldn't exactly blame her. He had promised to attend the awards ceremony for the Kansas High School Student Achievements In Journalism Awards (try saying that three times fast!), but he had been delayed at work. The hour-long commute from the Hobbs River area to the suburb of Green Park on the opposite side of Metropolis didn't help, either. His job as plant manager at the LuthorCorp fertilizer plant was a very demanding position, and despite his best intentions, he just hadn't been able to make it to the ceremony. He wouldn't blame his daughter if she decided to give him the cold shoulder for a few hours.
Whatever he had been preparing himself for, he had most definitely not been prepared to see Chloe lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling with her hair sheared off. Well, not all of it, but her gorgeous blonde locks that had fallen to her waist only that morning were now cropped viciously short and styled in an edgy, spiky bob.
"Chloe, you cut your hair!" he exclaimed.
She reached out with one hand and killed the stereo, not bothering to look at him. "Yeah, I figured it was time for a change," she said to the ceiling.
"It... uh, it looks good," Gabe assured her.
Something was wrong. There were only two people Gabe knew who were more talkative than his daughter, and if she was limiting herself primarily to one-word responses, she was definitely not happy.
"I'm sorry I missed the awards, kiddo," he said, sitting down next to her. "I really wanted to see you win. But tell you what- I'm sure AnnMarie's parents videotaped it, so here's what we'll do. We'll get a copy of the video, and we'll watch it later. I'll put on a suit and one of those stupid patterned ties your grandmother keeps giving me and we'll make popcorn and I'll bring an annoying airhorn and when they give you the-"
Abruptly Chloe sat up. "Stop!" she exclaimed. "Just- just stop!"
She averted her eyes, unable to meet his gaze. "I didn't win, okay?" she said, and he could hear the tears in her voice.
"What?" he gasped.
She looked up at him, her pretty face distorted and blotchy as she tried to keep from sobbing. "I didn't win the award. I was second place," she choked.
Gabe couldn't believe his ears. "How? You've worked harder for this than anyone! Who could possibly deserve this more than you?"
Ah. Well, he had forgotten about that. Lois's cousin, older by less than a year, had also begun delving into journalism. Her father had been transferred to Fort Ryan just a year previously, and Lois had wound up at Metropolis High, the local rival to the private academy Chloe attended. Lois had needed an extracurricular and, drawing inspiration from her little cousin, had chosen to work for the school paper. The results had been... surprising. Never having studied journalism before, Lois had shown a surprising knack for the field, and it had sown some discord in the cousins' otherwise close relationship.
There wasn't a single piece of advice in all those parenting books he had read when Moira was pregnant that told him how to deal with this situation.
"Well, she is graduating this year," he said diplomatically. "I bet they take seniority into account in these kinds of things. I'm sure you'll win next year, and-"
Chloe's grey eyes were resolute as she stared at the wall- or maybe stared through it. "No," she repeated. "I'm done. I'm not going to be a reporter any longer."
Gabe felt helpless, and floundered out a response of, "I think maybe you should take some time and think this through, Chloe. You love journalism."
She shook her head. "No, Dad. I love investigating. I'm a decent writer, but the sleuthing was what I loved. If I can't be the best, I don't want it at all."
"I'm not sure that's a healthy attitude..."
Her expression softened and she looked at him for the first time since he had entered the room. "It's okay, Dad. I promise. I've really thought about this. When I apply to schools next year, I'll look at other programs. Maybe programming or IT or something... I'm pretty good with computers."
Gabe studied her, sitting there in her deliberately out-of-fashion parachute pants, in her bedroom with walls covered in articles from the Gotham Gazette and the New York Times and the Daily Planet, and wondered when his little girl had grown up without him even noticing it.
Lana Luthor was certainly a sight to behold, Dr. Grohl decided. He had known the young bride of international tycoon Lex Luthor for over a year, but every time he saw her he was struck by her. She was tiny, but somehow she managed to dominate the room despite that. Of course, part of it was probably that he was terrified of her. Their first meeting had consisted of her blatantly (and effectively) blackmailing him, and although relations between them had improved since then, there was a great deal to be said for first impressions.
There was also the fact that she was dangerously beautiful. At only twenty-two she was still in the full bloom of youth and with her thick curtain of ebony hair, flawless complexion, and vaguely Asiatic features, she exuded a languorous grace that made him think of a viper coiled to strike. She was a strange mix of good-natured sweetness and rational ambiguity, and the duality of her nature seemed reflected in her dark good looks. It wasn't hard to see why Lex had been drawn to her.
"Is everything prepared?" she asked.
Dr. Grohl played nervously with his fingers. "It is." Making a decision, he began, "Mrs. Luthor-"
"Lang," she interrupted firmly. "And when we're finished here, it won't be long before it's 'Miss' again."
"So you're really leaving him," Grohl observed. "If you don't mind me saying so, I'm surprised."
She gave him a hard look which gradually softened into something like resignation. "I didn't marry him for his money, whatever the tabloids may have said. I married him because I loved him," she confided. "But the Lex Luthor I thought I knew didn't exist at all. And now he's never going to let me go unless I take drastic measures."
"I suppose that explains all this," he replied, gesturing around the lab they stood in.
She nodded. "This is the only way."
Grohl nodded stiffly. "I really shouldn't be doing this. The technology hasn't even been tested on humans yet."
"But you said the animal trials have all been successful."
"Remarkably so, but Miss Lang, just because we can give a rat the ability to break the sound barrier doesn't mean results are going to be consistent in a human subject!"
Her dark gaze visibly softened at his use of her maiden name. "I trust your skill, Dr. Grohl," she said. "Prometheus may have started as my late father-in-law's last desperate attempt to save himself from liver failure, but it's just what I need to save myself. I got myself into this mess, and with your help, I can rescue myself from it as well."
Grohl pressed his lips together tightly, a tacit acknowledgement of her resolution. "Very well," he said. "My assistants will arrive shortly. Let's begin."
A/N- Just a little prologue, and next chapter we get to the good stuff!