Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Chapter 18: Erroneous Conclusions

“I don’t know, either,” Chloe answered “I asked him to start on a story over lunch so that we could get it to the printer by 5:00 that evening. When I checked in, before lunch, it looked like he was just getting started with an internet search. But, that’s the last I saw of him until this afternoon.”

“What was the story?” Lex asked, startling them.

“What?” Chloe looked up sheepishly, “Oh, Lex about earlier on the phone, I was…”

“Did Lana forgive you?” he interrupted.

“Of course, why?” Lana supplied.

“That’s all you need then,” he said simply, but continued in response to Chloe’s raised eyebrows, “I expect less.”

Only partly stung, Chloe chuckled and shrugged-recognizing the truth when she heard it.

“What was the story?” He repeated, taking the third seat without an invitation.

“Oh, just a student perspective of the burglary.”

Lex had no need to ask “which burglary?” The disturbing story had been on every TV and radio newscast for the past week. It was even on while he was driving Clark back this morning. Although the news report had deeply disturbed Clark, Lex immediately ruled that out as a likely cause of Clark’s disappearance, “That’s remote at best. Contrary to Smallville Legends: one trip to Metropolis does not a criminal make.”

An almost-electric glance passed between Chloe and Lana when he said it.

“What?!?” Lex asked shocked that his rather obvious statement elicited such a strong reaction.

Almost simultaneously, Lana and Chloe responded “Kal.”

“Who?”

“When Clark went to Metropolis…” Lana started… but stumbled.

“When he ran to Metropolis, he used the name Kal,” Chloe finished bluntly.

“What are you talking about?” Staring at Lana, he continued suspiciously, “Why didn’t you tell me this morning?”

Lana hesitated, softening her tone and staging her words carefully, “I didn’t want to upset you by discussing… Mr. Edge.”

Lex stiffened at the name, “What does he have to do with this?”

As carefully as possible, Lana explained what she and Chloe had pieced together of Clark’s self-exile… including the rumors of what Clark had done as Kal and whom he’d been involved with… forestalling Lex with a raised hand as he started to protest that rumors didn’t mean anything. She told Lex about Clark’s first days back, about Edge showing up in Smallville taking Clark’s parents hostage and kidnapping Clark, and about her fears for Clark’s safety when she heard about the explosion and shoot-out on the news. Lex listened in stunned silence as seemingly unrelated pieces of a puzzle began to snap into place with a sickening-undeniable logic.

The timeline snapped together too perfectly.

His father and Edge were partners since childhood. Luthor founded the adoption agency that closed after Clark’s suspicious adoption. Lionel just happens to come to Smallville the same day that the Kent’s bring Clark home and even rode with Jonathon to the hospital after the meteor shower. Edge went to prison for close to 15 years charged with a crime that happened to benefit Luthorcorp. Several months after Edge is released, an explosion (one of Edge's forte's) levels the Kent’s barn injuring Martha Kent and causing her miscarriage. Clark runs away after telling Lana that it was his fault. Chloe and Lana both travel to Metropolis and find Clark acting completely out of character and possibly involved in serious criminal activities (actions so contradictory to Clark’s nature that Lex found it difficult to credit them even in this context). Jonathon forces Clark to return and Edge immediately chases after Clark (an act also contradictory to everything Lex knew of Edge’s nature) demanding his “blood” back, threatens Clark’s adopted parents, and taking Clark back to Metropolis. Edge seems to die but shows up later with a green kryptonite rosary and uses it beat Clark when he tried to protect Lex.

Some parts of his recent memories were still blurred, but Lex clearly remembered Clark trying to stand his ground even as Edge approached with the rosary. Why Edge brandished the rosary even though Clark had taken the gun didn’t make sense at the time. But now, thanks to Jonathon’s revelation about the meteor effects on Clark, it all made sense… including the one question that clinched Lex’s suspicions: how could Edge know about Clark’s weakness to meteors when the friends Clark had grown up with in the “meteor capital of the world” didn’t know.

Everything snapped into place in a disorienting rush that made Lex feel nauseous in his attempt to come to terms with the only answer that explained the time line and recent events: Morgan Edge was Clark’s biological father.

“Lex?”

“Lex?”

Lex refocused on the present and Lana’s concerned expression as she handed him a glass of water.

“Are you alright?”

“No, I am afraid you were right: discussing Morgan Edge is … very disturbing.” Lex answered honestly enough, before he stood up… continuing, “If you’ll excuse me? I need to make arrangements for Clark’s recuperation.”

1 Comments:

Blogger SlashBunny said...

WOW!

I am totally amazed at how you were able to use actual Cannon events and come up with a totally believable and yet totally erroneous conclusion. You are the only author I have ever seen do that. Clark is Morgan Edge's son... Lex is getting himself so embroiled in this fiction... I wonder just what he will think if he is ever told the actual truth... and what brings the most danger to clark... the truth, or this far more believeable fiction?

4:48 PM  

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