Flying in an airplane, was among Clark Kent's least favorite things to do. It wasn't that he was afraid of crashing, he knew he would be completely unhurt, and even then such an event is very unlikely in the first place. It was mostly because while inside a plane, he had to be completely powerless. If someone needed help anywhere, he couldn't be there. Even worse, this trip would take forever, nonstop from Metropolis Airport to London Heathrow, about 8 hours. For 8 hours Superman would be completely useless, something he really disliked.
"So what brings you to London?" The young woman sitting next to him asked. She looked to be of Indian descent, and spoke with a thick british accent. She was pretty, and seemed a little flirty, so Clark indulged her.
"I'm here on business. I'm a reporter, here for the Prime Minister's announcement."
"I see, have you ever been before?"
"Oh yeah, a couple of times. I travel a lot." For work he'd only been out of the country once, a trip to South Africa, but as Superman he's been just about everywhere.
"What type of reporting do you do? Television, radio?"
"Newspaper. I work for the Daily Planet."
"Ah, the Superman paper."
"Is that what you call it? I guess he is in it a lot."
"Have you ever seen Superman?"
"Yeah, he flies around all the time."
"I mean in person."
"You could say that, I mean, we've been in the same room before." We're always in the same room. "I've never interviewed him or anything like that though."
"He's quite dreamy isn't he? But I suppose you wouldn't fancy him the way I would."
"Not really." Actually, Superman is a damn handsome man.
"I'm Priya." She said with a smile.
Priya talked nonstop for hours after that, her cute British accent turned into an annoying one. Just non stop yapping, it drove him up a wall. When she started talking about her sister's pets he stopped listening completely, but unfortunately that didn't prevent him from hearing her voice the whole time. At this point even she had to have realized that he wasn't listening anymore, but that didn't deter her at all.
After the plane landed Priya tried to get Clark to join her for dinner tonight, but he politely declined and got away from her as quickly as he could. By now he already knew her life story, and he wasn't interested in the least. After leaving the airport he found a nice secluded spot to fly to his hotel.
Lois Lane's cell phone was ringing. She knew who it was because of the custom ringer, 'Country Boys' by Tyra B. She picked up the phone unhappy with being pulled from sleep she was in the middle of a fantastic dream. "Smallville, do you realize that's it's 4:37 AM?"
"As a matter of fact I am totally aware of what time it is." Clark answered, mimicking a Cockney accent.
"Why are you calling?"
"You told me to call." He switched back to his normal voice. "I just got into my hotel room, you said you wanted me to call so you knew I was still alive."
"Oh, you're right I did."
"Anything happen after I left yesterday?"
"Jimmy took your chair. Said he'd bring it back when you came back, other than that nothing."
"Man, he is serious about that thing." Jimmy had an old chair, and was jealous of Clark's much newer one.
"Yes he is. So, what are you doing with your day until you have to be at work?"
"Nothing much I think I'm just going to chill in my hotel room."
"Chill in your hotel? Really Clark?"
"Yep. I had a miserable flight, the girl I was sitting next to just wouldn't stop talking, just constant nonsense the entire flight, I think I'm going to get some sleep. So now that you have proof of life, I'll let you get in your last bit of sleep too."
"Ok thanks for calling. And be careful out there, keep a lookout for pickpockets and soccer hooligans."
"Will do Lois. See you in a couple of days." Soccer hooligans?
Clark hung up the phone and laid down in the bed. He had several hours to kill before he needed to be anywhere, so he could do pretty much whatever he wanted until the Prime Minister's announcement. He didn't want to walk around, as there was nothing he hadn't seen or done before, and quite frankly he didn't want to hear anyone talk. Priya had pretty much ruined British accents for the next year and a half, so he elected to stay in his hotel for now. After taking a quick shower and changing his clothes, he decided to catch a nap for a while.
Lois didn't believe for a second he was going to catch up on sleep. She knew what he was doing, and it was probably the girl on the plane, or maybe the stewardess, or the housekeeper. Lois knew all about his reputation with the ladies, and there was no doubt in her mind he wanted to get some woman back to his hotel so he could add to the list of continents he's gotten a woman into bed.
Clark was a head scratcher, the kind of guy who gets women by being himself. He'll actually call back when he says he will, he hails cabs, he holds open doors. And he used this old school charm to hold open women's legs, something Lois nearly experienced first hand. It took quite a while, but she finally was able to laugh at the memory of several years ago when some businessman got indicted because of an article she'd written tried to kill her. She showed up terrified at Clark's apartment with pizza and a stack of action movies, and ended up in her underwear in his bed. Ten seconds away from giving it up to her best friend.
After that she got wise, putting him in the 'friend zone' and demanding that he stay there. Besides, her eyes were on Superman, she couldn't mess that up by doing Smallville.
"Chill at the hotel my ass." Lois said to herself, "He's probably got some trashy Bond Girl dropping her panties right now."
Two hours later Lois exited the subway about a block away from the Daily Planet. There was a commotion on the street, people were gathered staring at something blocking traffic. Lois pushed and shoved until she could see what it was. She couldn't believe her eyes.
"What is this some kind of performance art?" Someone asked.
"Looks like something out of the movie 300. I want Gerard Butler and his abs!" A woman shouted, garnering laughs from several onlookers.
In the street were about 20 women, dressed in ancient Greek or Roman battle armor. Armed with shields, spears, swords and helmets. They were in a triangular phalanx, in the middle of the street, shouting at the people who gathered around them.
The citizens of Metropolis were no strangers to odd phenomena, given that Superman felled many a villain in this town, but this was a new one. After a few minutes a police car arrived and tried to clear them out of the road.
"Move off the road immediately!" An officer demanded through the loudspeaker in his car.
The woman in front broke away from the formation and spoke, her face was hidden behind the helmet, but strands of red hair could be seen sticking out the back. "You have no authority over me man! I come for your ruler, the one called Superman!"
"Put down the spear now! I'm not going to ask you again."
"Are you stupid? You have asked nothing of me, as I said I'll do nothing you say until I have what I seek."
The police officer drew his sidearm and pointed it at the woman.
"Put away your puny weapon, you cannot harm me!" She slowly took a step forward.
"Stay where you are! Do not move!" The cop demanded. But she kept coming, and he fired a shot. The round bounced off her shield, and she got angry.
Before he could blink the armored woman slammed her shield into his body and sent him flying backwards, she flipped her spear and stuck it into the pavement before grabbing the front bumper of the police car and flipping it over onto it's roof. More police cars arrived, along with SWAT and riot police. All hell broke loose after that.
Clark awoke to the sound of his phone, specifically the chime of his text tone. He rolled out of his slumber and picked up the handset. The number was blocked, but the message said turn to 'turn on the news.' Clark had a suspicion about who the unlisted number belonged to but but decided to humor the message.
He found an American news station and what he saw seemed ridiculous. A group of what looked like Greek Warrior women were giving hell to the Metropolis riot police. One woman was particularly troublesome as she was extremely strong, having lifted an armored truck over her head.
"Well, this looks like a job for Superman." Clark said to himself. He then quickly exited the hotel to get to Metropolis right away.
By the time he got there the strong woman was picking the armored truck up again. She wasn't hitting anyone, she just seemed to be playing around picking it up and dropping it to disperse the crowd.
The redhead had the vehicle above her head again, looking to toss it again and watch the people scatter like terrified animals to avoid it. But suddenly it was out of her hands, she spun around quickly to see what had happened. That's when she saw him setting down the truck in a cleared area. "Phalanx!" She shouted.
Immediately the warrior women disengaged from their hand to hand fights and got into a triangular battle formation with the redhead at the front, but she didn't hold her shield to protect herself like the rest did, she kept her arms at her side. "So finally you arrive. Some god you are to allow your servants to live in fear for so long!"
"I'm no god, and these people are no servants of mine. Who are you and what do you want?" Superman walked towards her, with his head held high and his voice deep and powerful.
"I am Artemis, and I want you."
"Is that right?" Superman said unimpressed.
He looked at the women closely, they were all tall, and muscular, wearing metal cuffs on their wrists. Based on what he'd seen they seemed to be reasonably strong but Artemis was the strongest by far. Looking closely at her he saw that her cuffs were different, and there was some sort of energy emanating from them. From what he could tell she was just as human as the others and it was the cuffs that made her strong.
"Indeed man. I will ask nicely this one time. Please come with us, you may even enjoy yourself."
"No thanks. I like it here just fine." I don't know where you're going, and frankly I don't give a damn. He thought.
"Very well, then we will simply take you." She stepped into formation and held her shield just below her eyes.
He was outnumbered, but that's never mattered before. He would end this quickly, he needed to get back to London. In the blink of an eye he charged the women, lowering a shoulder and barrelling into the redhead's shield. They toppled like dominoes, astounded by his strength.
"This one will do very nicely." One of the women said, while trying to get up. "Nicely indeed."
Superman was standing, while the warrior women were all on the ground. The citizens of Metropolis who hadn't fled already cheered for another Superman victory. In 4 years, he'd never lost a fight to anyone, and they knew that it wouldn't start now.
The women started to get up, and suddenly he was being bombarded with weapons. Spears, swords, and daggers were all thrown at him some bounced off, some he caught. Then the women threw themselves at him, they threw their entire weight behind their shields but simply bounced off him. Some dropped their shields and tried to wrap him up and throw him to the ground. One, who was a bit thicker and more muscular than the others was able to pull him to the ground. After all, if he didn't properly ground himself he was only a 240 pound man. Once on the ground kicks and punches were thrown with reckless abandon at him. He shrugged each one of them off easily, noting that these women were clearly stronger than normal humans but not significantly. However he didn't notice any blows delivered by the woman with the power cuffs.
He needed to find her, it was common knowledge to anyone who has ever been in a fight that the blow you don't see coming is the one that knocks you out. He didn't see her in time.
Artemis had been biding her time. Her sister warriors were doing an effective job at distracting him. He was a strong one, and tough too, perfect for their intentions. She needed to be smart, to deliver the perfect blow. While he was occupied with throwing the others off of him she crept up behind and spread her arms out. The perfect strike was just before her, wait for it, wait for it, now! With all her might she slammed her cuffs into each side of his head, unleashing the full power of the Gauntlet of Atlas upon him.
I'm dying! I'm dying! Superman thought as the pain surged from his skull to the rest of his body. Never in his entire life has he experienced something so excruciatingly painful. He grabbed the sides of his head in agony and fell to his knees. He was vaguely aware of the power cuff woman standing over him, but he blacked out after that.
Lois couldn't believe her eyes. Superman had just been knocked out, he crumpled to the ground and wasn't moving. When the redhead slammed him with her cuffs she saw a halo of energy surge off of them only to be absorbed by Superman's head. She wanted to scream, but her voice was lost. One of the police rifles was on the ground in front of her, she wanted to pick it up and unload on anyone who would dare hurt Superman, but her fine motor skills were useless. She watched in horror as the woman tied him up in a glowing golden rope and lifted him over her head, no doubt shouting a warriors victory chant with the others. Suddenly the woman lifted in the air, flying as effortlessly as Superman did, and out of the sky came a team of winged horses, one for each of the armored women. They mounted their horses and flew into the sky, taking Superman with them.
He came to her aide so many times over the years, an overwhelmingly helpless feeling washed over Lois knowing she was powerless to do anything for him.
Clark woke up from a bucket of water splashed on his head, and the cackling of the women who had captured him. They had removed their armor and helmets, revealing beautiful but somewhat frightening faces. They all had predatory looks in their eyes, he didn't like that one bit.
"So the super man finally awakes." Artemis mocked.
"He's a handsome one, is he not?" One asked.
"Yes, an excellent gift if I say so myself." Answered another.
"What do you want with me?" He asked.
"I want you to disrobe." Artemis demanded, pulling out a small knife.
He was shocked when he saw the knife cutting through his blue suit like nothing, and he struggled and fought to try to get away. But Artemis, still wearing the power cuffs held him down while the others laughed, and pulled off his boots.
The laughing died quickly when his clothes were removed, their predatory expressions replaced by wide eyes and gasps. "Perhaps he is a super man after all." One said, and was answered with agreement from several others. Ordinarily women staring him down like this was good, but he supposed there was a first time for everything.
"You may enjoy this night, but come morning, you will die. Farewell man." Artemis called, departing the room followed by the others.
He stood up, and looked around at the decor. "Where the hell am I?"