Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Inner Demons:Chapter 4 (Inward)

Practically jumping from her car, Lana raced up the broad stone stairs to the expansive doors – grabbing for the decoratively engraved door handles, as they swung open before her.

Skidding to a halt, Lana fumed at the figure in the doorway, “Lex, damn it. Why didn’t you call us?,” but the angry outburst, which had been building up every minute of the ride from the Kents farm, died on her lips as she noticed Lex’s bloodless complexion and bleak expression.

“Lex, is he…” She paused— afraid of the answer.

Stepping back from the door with a sweeping gesture to invite Lana in, Lex answered, “He says that he hasn’t been hurt."

Lana wanted to relax, somehow though Lex’s answer seemed too carefully phrased not to virtually scream with an unspoken “but…”

“You don’t believe him?” That was somehow worse. Why would Clark lie about being hurt?

Instead of answering her, Lex led the way down the hall, past his office and into a security office.

“Lex?” Confusion tinged Lana’s voice as she stared at the bank of security monitors.

Moving to one of the desk, Lex flipped through a security manual, found the code that he was looking for, then keyed it in, as he answered Lana, “I don’t know…”

In the center of the consol, the largest monitor lit up with images of the pool-house. Punching keys, Lex continued, “He may not have a physical injury.” He found the one he wanted and zoomed in, “But…"

Lana’s gasp finished his sentence more effectively than anything he could have said.
“What happened? How? How long has he been like this?”

Raising a hand to forestall her other questions, Lex shook his head answering, “I don’t know. He was like this when I found him… just minutes before you called.”

Lex’s answer seemed honest enough, but Lana had the nagging feeling that there was more…“Okay, Lex, what aren’t you telling me?”

Somberly, Lex stared at Lana for several moments as if he was staring into her soul and judging her. Judging what – she didn’t know, but she could almost feel his appraisal of her and tried not to shift anxiously under his gaze. Finally, he seemed to steel himself as if coming to a decision, and reached into a back pocket. Pulling out his wallet, Lex opened it and handed it to Lana. Curiously, she glanced at the picture inside then up to the monitor, "Is this?"

Lex stared silently at the picture; but his stillness answered her as well as he might have. As she compared the two images, tears welled up, overflowed, and streaked down Lana’s cheeks.

Jonathon tried not to speed, but it was difficult not to urge the truck faster and faster as his thoughts dwelled on Clark. Someone found him. He’s going to be all-right.

Jor-El had said, “until he returns under his own power.” That means there’s a chance: there’s a good chance he can come home. He will! I know he will. We just have to... I just have to…

A thousand dreadful thoughts swirled through Jonathon’s mind… convince him to… to expose his secrets… to whom? To someone, who can be trusted? Or, to someone, who’ll betray him at the first opportunity? Worse than that, according to Jor-El, if I don’t, Clark will die slowly and painfully— destroyed by his own emotions.

But, can we trust Jor-El? Or, is this his way of forcing Clark to take up his destiny. By forcing Clark to expose his secrets, does Jor-El hope to make Clark fight a world that won’t accept him? Fight and possibly rule a world that hates and fears him?

The thoughts plagued him until he finally reached the dirt road leading home.


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