July 5, 2006

Just Super - Part 1

By Dwayne MacInnes

Clark sat at his desk at the Daily Planet. He ripped a sheet of paper out of his manual typewriter and placed it on top of a ream of other papers. Clark pushed his black glasses back further onto his nose and leaned back in his leather chair.

"I've finished at last," Clark said as he let out a small whistle.

Clark watched as Jimmy Olson pulled some papers out of a file cabinet and staggered off, dropping a couple of pages as he left the office. "The poor kid must be working himself too hard," Clark thought. "Well, I better get this off to the chief."

Clark made his way through the maze of vacant desks and debris that cluttered the room. With all that had happened over the last few years cleaning the office tended to fall to the wayside. Clark whistled softly as he approached the chief's office. He gently rapped onto the glass door before he entered the room.

Perry White stood with his back toward Clark as the editor looked out the window of his office high up in the Daily Planet building. The glass tinted with dirt and smudges filtered in the bright sunlight. It was the only source of illumination since Metropolis lost all its power. Clark could not help but feel a pang of sadness as he remembered the better times now irretrievably gone.

"Chief, I have finished that project we talked about," Clark said as he cleared his throat.

The chief grunted which Clark took as an acknowledgement.

"I'll leave it here on your desk so you can proof it. As we discussed it covers all that has happened over the last ten years since the plague," Clark finished before exiting the office.

It seemed an eternity now, but there was a time when things were better. Clark would trade anything now to have those days back. Even for the times when Lex Luther held the world for ransom and Clark, as Superman, had to defeat him. Saving the world then was child's play compared to what he had to endure over the last decade.

It all began innocently enough. The Venus probe was returning to Earth with valuable data collected from the distant planet's atmosphere. It was all over the news, the world waited in anticipation for the manmade satellite to make its way back to the ground so that NASA could evaluate the information contained inside. It was the first probe of its kind.

Then without warning, the probe exploded high in the Earth's atmosphere. At first, Clark suspected Lex Luther had something to do with it. The evil genius had probably tried to blackmail the government again, but when they did not give in to his demands, he destroyed the probe. However, as Clark rethought the scenario it did not make sense. If there were a ransom demand, the president would have contacted Superman to protect the probe on its return. Therefore, he dismissed it as an accident without giving it a second thought.

Every reporter scrambled to find the underlying cause of the explosion as the images replayed repeatedly on the television news networks. As usual, Lois was the most forceful, and the chief awarded her the story. Clark would assist her if she needed it and as usual, Lois declared that she would not need any assistance. However, Perry insisted and the two reporters began work with gusto.

Hours of phone calls to every contact Lois and Clark had in the government and scientific community went unanswered. This was not the usual red tape. Lois kept insisting that there was some high-level cover up. This only made Lois that more determined to find out what was happening.

"Are you hungry?" Clark asked rising from his desk.

"No, I'm fine, Clark. Why don't you get some sleep," Lois suggested. "No use both of us being tired in the morning. You can continue if I don't get anywhere tonight."

Clark knew very well, Lois would try everything to break the story while Clark was away so that she could get all the credit. Clark did not mind, but he decided that maybe a visit to the capitol as Superman would loosen some tongues.

"I suppose you are right," Clark replied smiling as he left the room nearly running into Smitty.

"Sorry, Clark I have to get this story to the chief," Smitty exclaimed.

"What's so important?"

"There's been a gruesome murder at Metropolis General Hospital. The victims were devoured by their assailants."

After leaving the office, Clark quickly changed into Superman in the Daily Planet's upper maintenance closet. He had barely flown out the window when his super hearing picked up a familiar signal. Superman sped to the source of the sound. It could only come from one area and that was Gotham City.

Within only a few minutes, Superman had flown from Metropolis to Gotham. He alighted on top a tall gothic building. The pale moon washed the rooftop in its dim blue light. If it were not for his super hearing, Superman would not have noticed Batman move out of the shadows behind him.

"Glad you made it," Batman said in his usual soft gruff voice.

"What is the big news?"

"Robin and I have been responding to some pretty unusual calls."

"Really, how unusual?" Superman's strong voice raised a pitch.

"There has been a rash of murders across the city. We cannot keep up with all the calls." Batman stopped to note the expression on Superman's normally placid face.

"Murders? Nothing new there in the city. Do you think the Joker is involved?"

"Initially yes, except two things. First, the victims are being eaten. All the victims we have come across have been partially consumed by their antagonists." A small smile broke out on Batman's face as Superman opened his mouth in disbelief.

Superman quickly regained his composure, "You mentioned two reasons why it is not the Joker."

"Arkham Sanitarium burned down tonight, there were no survivors. I personally pulled the Joker's body out of the debris along with the Penguin and the Riddler. Clark..." Batman stopped.

Superman paid closer attention. It was indeed serious if Bruce used Superman's alter ego.

"They too were partially consumed."

Superman's mouthed again dropped open in surprise. "Bruce, just before I left one of our reporters brought in a story about a similar incident in Metropolis."

"That's what I thought," Batman replied. "I had just finished talking to Diana before you arrived and a similar outbreak is happening on the west coast. So far, I have been unable to contact any of the others."

"I'm off to Washington to get some answers," Superman said grimly. "They must be covering something up. Lois and I are being stonewalled at the Planet.

"I'll let you know what I find. Be careful, Bruce."

Posted by deg at 6:49 PM | Comments (1)

July 12, 2006

Just Super - Part 2

By Dwayne MacInnes

Superman anticipated having no problem seeing the president. None had ever denied Superman access to the Oval office on a moments notice. They knew he would never disturb them if it were not something of utmost importance.

However this time as Superman's feet touched down on the front lawn a squad of marines ran up to him. The men were still in their dress uniforms carrying their M-16s at the ready.

"Sorry, Superman, the president is not able to see anyone right now," a sergeant said in a stoic voice.

"This is of extreme importance. I need to see the president now, sergeant. I am sure he will allow me in if you will just ask him."

"I cannot do that, Superman," the sergeant shot back.

For the first time in a long time, Superman felt his frustration level rising as he became embroiled in governmental red tape. Usually, his blue and red suit magically abolished bureaucracy allowing Superman a certain freedom few possessed.

"I'm sorry sergeant; I have no time for pleasantries. I am going to see the president," Superman said as he began to push his way past the marines toward the White House.

"That'll be impossible," the sergeant said barring Superman's way. "The president and all available congressional members have been evacuated from the city to a secure area."

Superman knew exactly where the top government leaders were hiding out. The fact that they were hiding informed him of how serious the problem was. Superman flew toward the large hotel resort in Maryland. Underneath the structure, there was a secret bunker so that the U.S. government could continue to function in the case of a nuclear holocaust.

Superman knew that there was no way he could enter the bunker without seriously damaging it. Even though the thought of the U.S. government exiling itself and leaving the rest of the country and possibly the world to fend for itself revolted him, Superman could not bring himself to cross the line to break into it. However, he knew a "red-phone" had direct access to the bunker inside the hotel.

Superman marched into the hotel. The hotel manager approached Superman with two bellhops following closely behind. Superman smiled. The secret service members were playing their roles well.

"Can I help you, sir?" the manager offered.

"Yes, you can. I need to speak to the president," Superman replied.

"I'm sorry, he is not here. Have you tried the White House?" the manager said in a flat voice.

"Look, I am not here to play games," Superman's voice began to rise. "I can see the congress and the presidential staff including the president himself below us. Maybe you forgot about my x-ray vision. So please point me to the red phone now or I'll simply break in."

The secret service man/hotel manager cleared his throat, "I'm sorry sir. I did not realize you just wanted to use the phone. Just this way."

The manager ushered Superman to an inconspicuous black phone that sat behind the desk. Superman picked up the receiver and heard a buzz on the other end. "Hello," the familiar voice of the president finally answered.

"Mr. President, this is Superman. What is going on?" the man of steel asked.

There was a long pause before the president began to speak. "Superman, we have a crisis of global proportions. It appears that the Venus probe was carrying a deadly virus. We found out about it too late. That prevented us from destroying the probe before it entered the atmosphere. The resulting radiation and virus have been bringing the recently deceased back too life.

We have our all our top scientist working on a cure. Until then, we have to protect the integrity of this country's leadership. The rest of the world is taking similar actions."

"Mr. President, it is not for me to dictate policy, but you need to mobilize FEMA, the military, and all emergency services if you want to protect the American people."

"We thought maybe this could be handled quietly," president said demurely. "We don't want to create a panic that could result in riots."

"Sir, the situation is worse than you may realize. You have to act now before it is too late," Superman nearly yelled into the receiver.

"You are right, Superman. I'll get on the mobilization right away. Do you think you can rally the rest of the Supers to contain this?"

"I'll do my best Mr. President."

Superman passed the information onto Batman. Batman then passed the news onto the rest of the world's superheroes. Even with the help of the military, the superheroes had a hard time containing the spread of the plague. No one appeared immune to the plague, even those born on other planets bitten turned into the undead. The first few days it appeared all would be lost until Superman received a strange request.

An ultra-high frequency whined into Superman's ear as he was rounding up the undead. Fortunately, his dense skin protected him from bites and scratches the diseased undead could inflict on others. These were always fatal to others which resulted in the now newly deceased in becoming zombies as the public at large called them.

"Superman, you are the only being with less than four legs who can hear this," a familiar voice stated. "We are faced with a grave crisis indeed and it affects us all. Therefore, I propose that we join forces. Until the situation reverses, my cohorts and I agree to help you fight the undead menace facing us all. If you find this proposition agreeable meet with me alone at the Metropolis Public Transportation office tonight at midnight."

Superman noted that this gave him only four hours to meet with the other superheroes and give them Lex Luthor's message. They only had a few hours in which to decide whether these villains could be trusted to help them. If the Supers believed they could not trust the villains, would the Supers be able to fight the hordes of zombies and combat whatever the villains could be planning?

Those valuable four hours that could be used combating the growing army of undead was instead used in heated debate on whether Lex Luthor's offer was genuine or not. Finally, Bruce broke the stalemate by pointing out that the disease did not discriminate between good or evil. It affected all of them. Finally, he pointed out that even their numbers were shrinking and any help at this state could turn the tide in their favor.

Finally, the Supers decided that Superman would meet with Lex Luthor at the Metropolis Public Transportation office at midnight. Superman scanned the area before he landed for any hidden threats. He paid particular attention to anything that was lead lined that could be concealing kryptonite. Superman finally landed after he felt reasonably sure that the area was secure.

Lex watched as Superman landed a few feet from his position. "I'm glad you could make it Superman."

Superman pushed down the desire to punch the smirk off Lex's baldhead. The strain of constant combat was taking its toll. "Look here, Luthor, I am not here for idle chatter. I have a lot of work to do."

"Very well, let's get down to brass tacks. I know we haven't been very trust worthy in the past. But, we really need to work together in order to resolve this thing. I know you do-gooders have been losing some numbers in fighting the menace, as have we. Therefore, we need to coordinate and work together or we will all lose."

Superman hated the reminder of the loss of some of his close friends in the superheroes business. The Flash and Hawkman were lost that day. Fortunately, the dead did not retain their powers after dying. The Supers learned that when the Green Lantern fell in the early stages of the fight. Superman personally eradicated the undead Supers.

"Luthor, my fellow ‘do-gooders' as you call us, reluctantly agree to your terms. We need any and all help," Superman conceded.

"Very well, we are at your disposal. However, do not think that once things get back to normal we will be buddy-buddy," Lex replied the smirk returning to his face.

Posted by deg at 8:42 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2006

Just Super - Part 3

By Dwayne MacInnes

Even with the help of the super villains, the fight against the undead army was a tough one. More Supers and more villains fell, as did an untold number of soldiers and civilians. After months of steady combat, finally the living gained the upper hand. The combined forces of the superheroes and villains were able to barricade the area from Metropolis to Gotham to Washington, D.C. and much of the Northeastern seaboard from the outside threat of the undead.

The Gotham Nuclear Power Plant ensured that the barricaded "safe-zone" had power. The combined team of Supers and villains began the task of transporting the few remnants of living to the safe-zone. Superman found himself working around the clock, only he among all the Supers could work nonstop for days on end.

However, the mental strain began to show in many of the survivors. Denying access to the safety-zone to any wounded and ill weighed particularly heavy upon Superman's mind. The Man of Steel became more and more morose. Not even Batman could elicit more than a few words from Superman's mouth.

It fell upon Wonder Woman to set the surviving humans inside the safe-zone on the task of restarting civilization. She motivated the survivors to begin the tasks of planting fields, fixing and maintaining utilities, emergency services, and law enforcement. Slowly morale began to increase as more and more survivors trickled in and less undead were roaming the continent.

Bruce Wayne worked side by side with Lex Luthor to find a cure or an immunization for the plague. Many theories were put forth and all failed. So far, the spread of the disease appeared checked. An occasional outbreak would happen, but the new emergency response teams were quick in putting it down.

Finally, after over a year of constant combat the combined forces virtually eradicated the undead menace from North America. There were only fifty million living humans, four superheroes; Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin, and three villains; Lex Luthor, Metallo, and Solomon Grundy.

Superman began to take a long deserve rest. He had not been to see Lois Lane in months. As far as she knew Clark Kent had disappeared, and she presumed him dead. Therefore, it was with much surprise to the staff of the Daily Planet when Clark suddenly returned to work.

"Great Caesar's Ghost!" Jimmy Olson exclaimed when he saw Clark enter into the main office. Everyone in the room suddenly turned to see the return of a man they all assumed was dead.

Lois ran up to Clark, "My God, Clark! I thought you were dead...or, well you know."

For the first time in a year Clark Kent smiled. Seeing his old friends alive and well greatly warmed his heart. His love for Lois had only increased during his absence. It also appeared that Lois's affection for Kent had also warmed. He grabbed Lois into an embrace and shook hands with Daily Planet staff. Whenever they asked what happened to him he would say that he was helping with the cleansing of the safe-zone.

"Lois, I need to talk to you tonight," Clark whispered.

"Sure Clark, you can drop by my place after work," Lois replied.

* * * * *

Clark was genuinely nervous when he knocked on the door to Lois's apartment. It reminded him of better days. The mental stress of the past grueling months was starting to wash away. Lois opened the door happy to see the geeky looking reporter wearing his usual dress suit and hat in hand.

"Come in Clark. I'd like to get an exclusive of your exploits," Lois said as she ushered Clark into the room.

Clark sat down on the couch Lois offered him. "Sure Lois, but first I need to let you know something."

Clark noticed the look upon Lois's face. It was one of fear and puzzlement. "Clark, I know what you want to say, but..."

"Wait, hear me out first please and then you can say what you will."

Lois sat in a chair across from Clark. She forced a smile as she prepared to listen to Clark.

"I've done a lot of soul searching over the last year. I have been through a lot. Many things I saw and endured still haunt my dreams. Sometimes I even believe I can hear the dead talking to me. Therefore, I feel that I should let you know some things about me.

"First, I am madly in love with you," Clark blurted out, his heart racing in anticipation to Lois's answer.

"That's...uh, nice Clark. But..."

Clark held up his hand to stall her, "Secondly, I believe you should know my secret." Clark removed his glasses and deepened his voice.

"I am Superman."

Lois let out a shocked squeak. She realized that deep in her heart she knew it all the time. The glasses and slouched posture really was a poor disguise.

"Having said that," Clark/Superman continued, "I want you to be my wife."

Lois laughed and launched herself into Clark's arms, "Of course, I accept."

* * * * *

Clark was returning to his apartment after breaking his news to Lois. He felt better than he had in eons. Finally, he was going to join his life with his true love. Maybe in this safe-zone, humankind could flourish again.

As Clark climbed the steps up to his apartment, the familiar signal, of Batman contacting him, reached his ears. A quick change and flight brought Superman to the rooftop to face Batman.

"Clark, good to see you looking so good," Bruce began.

"I'm going to get married next week, and I actually needed to see you to be my best man," Clark laughed.

"I'd be honored. I wish I had good news to give you," Bruce's somber tone alarmed Superman.

"OK, what is it now."

"First, Lex and I have determined that you can't spread the disease because we all carry it."

"How's that?" Superman queried.

"I mean that we are all infected. So, when we die we will turn into one those ghouls. I'm sure that even goes for you. Clark, we need to warn other species to stay away from this planet."

"Damn," Superman cursed under his breath. He sighed deeply, "I can alter some of the surrounding satellites as a warning beacon."

"That is good; however, I have more bad news. The president has not been heard from in days."

Superman's expression belied his sudden concern. Without another word, Superman sped off toward the Maryland hotel. Superman did not even land as his x-ray vision confirmed his fears. The entire exiled government of the United States of America was now a bunch of roaming zombies stuck deep in an underground bunker.

The heavy burden of depression resumed its place on Superman's shoulders. In just a matter of one hour, Superman had descended from the heights of happiness to the depths of darkest despair.

Superman shook his head. There was no way they could change the past. Therefore, he had to focus on the future. His first order of business was to prepare the satellites orbiting the doomed planet.

Posted by deg at 7:57 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2006

Just Super - Part 4

By Dwayne MacInnes

Preparing the satellites took little time. Soon several different satellites were broadcasting interstellar warnings in all know languages. The messages stated for all to stay away from the Earth at the risk of spreading the plague to other worlds.

Superman's return to Earth brought the news that Luthor and his cohorts had seized the Gotham reactors, and they were holding them ransom. If the safe-zone acknowledged them as the new rulers, power would return to all.

Superman touched down outside the nuclear power plant to land next to Batman and Robin. "Where's Diana?" Superman asked.

"Before Luthor took over the reactor, Wonder Woman needed to see if Paradise Island survived the plague. You know she hasn't been home since before the plague."

"Should I just fly in and finish them off before they damage the reactors?"

"Superman wait," Robin grabbed the Man of Steel's arm.

"They have Lois," Batman said flatly. "Robin and I may be able to sneak in..."

However, before the Caped Crusader could finish, Superman had already flown through the steel door barring the entrance to the power plant's interior. The thunderous clap of the steel door busting off its hinges reverberated throughout the power plant.

As Superman entered the power plant's operation room, he saw Luthor and Solomon Grundy holding some kryptonite.

"How predictable," Luthor laughed. "I knew you'd charge in without care."

Waves of weakness washed over Superman's body as the radiation from the glowing green kryptonite reached him. The Man of Steel dropped to his knees; he no longer even had the strength to carry his own weight.

"Solomon Grundy found pretty rock," Solomon Grundy said in his Cajun accent. Grundy was a different sort of zombie from his undead cousins. He could more or less think, react quickly, and move about freely. However, rigor mortis, slow decay and virtually no mental faculties restricted the plague zombies. Nevertheless, many of the undead mimicked duties they did in life, such as trying to drive a car without knowing how to start it.

"Before you die Superman, I want you to notice that Metallo -- even now -- is holding your girlfriend over a catwalk. If you somehow overpower us, you could never reach Lois in time," Luthor laughed again.

Superman looked over Luthor's shoulder to see that Metallo did indeed hold Lois Lane off the edge of the catwalk. It was obvious that he was to die or Lois would die.

Superman lowered his head onto his chest as his strength continued to wane. He gave one last glance up at the laughing Luthor. That was when he noticed the movement behind Metallo.

Suddenly, an object whistled past Superman's head and a batarang embedded itself into Luthor's hand. Lex dropped the kryptonite as he screamed in pain. Before Solomon Grundy could react, Batman burst into the room and slammed his shoulder into Grundy's chest momentarily stunning him. Without slowing down, Batman grabbed the kryptonite and flung it out the window and down the deep cavernous opening the led to the reactors.

Before Metallo could drop Lois, Robin had already flung a rope around her with his batarang. A quick blast in Metallo's face with a gooey compound from his utility belt blinded the cyborg.

Lois hung suspended over the catwalk as the Boy Wonder and Metallo danced around each other. Both swinging at each other, Robin was at a great disadvantage for the robot's steel fists would instantly crush him if any of Metallo's blows landed.

Superman's strength quickly returned and he launched himself into an attack on Metallo. He had to save Robin and Lois before the steel monster killed either or both of them. The Man of Steel flew out the window past the Caped Crusader fighting both Lex Luthor and Solomon Grundy.

Metallo finally grabbed a hold of Robin. He was in mid throw when Superman grabbed his arm. Metallo dropped Robin unceremoniously onto the mezzanine catwalk stunning him. Metallo turned onto Superman both locking each other in a death grip.

Batman continued his attack onto Solomon Grundy. The hulking man was the greatest threat and Batman had to neutralize him quickly. Lex Luthor pulled out a small canister that he sprayed into Batman's face.

The Cape Crusader felled to the ground coughing. Grundy and Luthor quickly left the control room and ran out onto the catwalk. Superman and Metallo were slamming each other into the wall. Huge chunks of concrete showered the room.

Luthor tripped over the cord suspending Lois. He gave an evil smile and produced a knife. He motioned for Grundy to reel in Lois. In a matter of seconds, Luthor held Lois in his arms with a knife to her throat.

"Superman!" Luthor yelled.

Everyone stopped and looked toward Luthor and his hostage. Metallo and Superman released each other. Robin started to rub his head and Batman's cough still echoed from the control room.

"I see once again the advantage is mine," Luthor laughed. "Metallo, finish him off."

The steel grin on Metallo's face opened into an electronic laugh. "Gladly, Luthor."

Superman felt Metallo's metal hands dig deeper into his throat. Superman knew he could not react fast enough to stop Luthor from slitting her throat. Grundy was now trussing up Robin.

"Oh, the hell with it," laughed Luthor as he began to slice Lois's throat. However, before he could begin the cut a black gloved arm reached out from behind him grabbing his arm. Luthor felt pain shoot through his wrist and he released the knife. In a last desperate attempt, he shoved Lois towards the railing of the catwalk.

Lois bounced off the railing and fell onto the catwalk driving the knife into her stomach. Superman watched in horror as Lois pulled her hand away from her belly to see blood flowing from her wound.

A red cloud filled Superman's vision and a manic scream escaped from his lips. In a mad rage, Superman grabbed Metallo's arms and he twisted them off the robotic giant. Before Metallo could register the loss of his appendages, Superman grabbed Metallo's head and he squeezed with all his might. The steel cranium exploded.

Robin quickly took advantage of Grundy's short lapse of attention and kicked him away. Before Grundy could swing around on the Boy Wonder, Robin had already launched into the air aiming a kick towards Grundy's skull. The vegetation-covered zombie grabbed the Boy Wonder out of mid air and slammed him into the concrete wall. The snapping of bones shot through the air.

Batman grappled with Luthor. The Caped Crusader kept one eye on Superman and Robin's conflict as he tried to subdue Lex. It was out of the corner of his eye that he saw Robin, his ward flung against he wall and slide off with a sickening crunch to the ground.

Unconsciously, Batman tossed Luthor over his shoulder and accidentally tossed the bald man over the catwalk and into the reactors below. Luthor screamed until his body landed with a broken thud onto the concrete below. Before Batman could reach Solomon Grundy, Superman flashed over to the last villain. Before Grundy could react, Superman had his head between his hands. With a sickening crack and a shower of splintered wood Superman twisted Grundy's head off and tossed it over the catwalk to join Luthor's broken body below.

Superman lowered himself down to Lois's unconscious body. He held his hand over the wound of Lois's stomach to staunch to flow of blood.

Batman held the Boy Wonder in his arms, tears streaming down his mask.

"Clark, we have to get them to the Bat Cave immediately if we hope to save them," Batman choked.

Superman silently picked Lois's body into one arm and lifted Batman into the other. In no time, the superheroes were back at the Bat Cave. Batman worked feverishly to tend to Lois and Robin's wounds. Superman paced back and forth in the mansion above.

It was hours later when Bruce entered into the darkened library. There still was not any power.

"Clark, I don't think there is anything I do for either one of them," Bruce broke the silence.

"Bruce, you have to!" Superman cried.

"Even I can't bring the dead back to life. For now they are both conscious and Lois has asked to see you."

Superman lost no time in rushing down to the Bat Cave. He was at Lois's side. Lois turned her head towards Superman and a smile broke across her face.

"Clark, Batman...Bruce, Bruce Wayne," Lois said still trying to grasp Batman's alter ego was the famous millionaire playboy.

"Shhh...don't talk. Rest, you need to rest," Superman said soothingly.

"Clark, I'm going to die. But, before I die, I want to marry you. Please hurry and grab a priest," Lois pleaded.

Posted by deg at 5:00 PM | Comments (0)

August 2, 2006

Just Super - The End

By Dwayne MacInnes

Within an hour, a priest entered the Bat Cave with Superman, and a wedding ceremony took place. Robin moaned in agony with Batman keeping vigil at his side. The priest married Clark and Lois, and then he presided over the last rites of Robin.

"Clark, thank you," Lois whispered before she expired.

The priest then performed the last rites for Lois. Superman and Batman escorted the priest out of the mansion. As the holy man left, Batman put a hand on Superman's shoulder.

"Clark, we fought till the end. I'm going to give those two a proper funeral. This mansion shall be their pyre. We have to do it before they reawaken as the undead."

Superman nodded his head in silence.

The huge fire licked the sky as Wayne Manor burned furiously. The two superheroes watched the inferno consume the mansion.

"Clark, this world has no room for us anymore. I nearly lost it when Alfred succumbed to the plague in the early days. Did you know I saw Salina Kyle devouring commissioner Gordon? I even saw Batgirl fall to a horde of undead. I have to leave the safe-zone. Maybe I'll head west, roam the land. You can join me if you wish."

Superman just shook his head. "I have to stay. You think Diana will return?"

"Maybe, if Paradise Island is safe. But, I have a feeling that even it was hit by the plague. You know we are probably the last living humans -- well you know what I mean... The last humans are those of us in the safe-zone."

Superman just nodded his head.

Sometime during the long night, Batman slipped away. Superman did not notice that he had left. The Man of Steel just continued to watch the flames.

In the morning as the collapsed mansion continued to smolder Superman walked through the ruins. Superman walked unconsciously and found himself at the Bat Cave's secret entrance. The one used by the Batmobile.

The Man of Steel was making his way back up the hillside when a noise reached his ears. It was the sound of someone rustling in the undergrowth.

Superman spun around to see Lois shambling out from the cave's entrance.

"Lois!" Superman yelled. "You survived after all."

Superman pulled the undead Lois into his arms. As he hugged her close, she tried to bite the Man of Steel's neck. Superman took this for a kiss and began to kiss his wife.

* * * * *

Clark was preparing to return home when he watched Lois stagger into the Daily Planet's office. Her skin was mottled and rotted. Her teeth showed through where her left cheek used to be.

"Hi, honey. Glad to see you made here," Clark said. "I'm just going to say goodnight to Perry."

Clark Kent rapped again on the glass door and entered the Chief's office. Perry White was still looking out the dirty window.

"Hey chief, Lois is here we're going to knock off for the night," Clark looked down upon the loose sheaves of paper on the desk he placed there early that day. "I see you've read my report. I hope you liked it."

Clark turned and left. As the door closed behind him, the blank pages of white paper fluttered off the table and scattered upon the floor. Perry White continued to look down upon Metropolis as the sun was setting. The zombie chief let out a grunt as he vacantly stared down upon the undead citizens of the safe-zone shambling about in the twilight.

Posted by deg at 5:00 PM | Comments (0)