"The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse." - Edmund Burke
Luthor Defense Corporation Headquarters, Metropolis, Delaware, United States of America
9:43 PM EST, August 2, 1989
A man waited, calmly, listening to elevator music. He straightened his custom sewn suit, preparing to give bad news to the Board and his father. Years of planning is close to bearing fruit. As the elevator stopped at floor 123, the doors opened. A young woman was waiting for him. Before she could speak a word, the man walked past her. He was already late. Part of his play. One of his many moves. While his father fails to see the game.
He ignored his secretary's words, focused on the game. Opening the Spruce doors, his tardiness was noticed. The Board found it to be an annoyance. The father glared at the son. All he did was smile. Placing his briefcase on the table. The silence of the room was broken with a sigh from the old man, followed by the clicking of a pen.
"This is the eighth Board meeting you're late to. Explain to me why, Lex." Lionel Luthor asked. Lex grabbed a floppy disk.
"Mercy, please insert the disk in the computer." he said, calmly. As the woman grabbed the disk, he turned to his father. "Today I had to get the test results for the YF-24."
At that, the Board members murmured amongst themselves. The Sabre II is to lead the entire industry into the future. Make this company the prime defense power. The turning point for their recent failures. All part of the plan. When Mercy inserted the disk, the monitor showed the large, slim, dark fighter in a hanger, preparing to test the engines. As they pulled up to twenty percent, the technicians ran. Moments later, an explosion turned the video static. The board gasped in horror. The last hope for this company.
"My office." Lionel said coldly.
Lex closed his briefcase, before following the old man. He nodded at his secretary. She would prepare his office. When the father sat at his desk, the son closed the Spruce door. Lionel poured himself scotch.
"That fighter cost me three hundred million."
"Three point two, actually." Lex said. His father slammed his fist onto the desk.
"I spent millions in the best schools, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, so you can be the best Luthor. Yet every one of your projects costed me a fortune."
"That's called trial and error."
At those words, Lionel threw his glass into a portrait of himself. Scotch dripped off the portrait, onto the shattered glass. He bolted up, leaned on the desk. Lex held back a smirk. It wasn't rare for the old man to be angry, but he enjoys causing it.
"I want your stocks in this company." Lionel said grabbing a pen. "Tell me how much. It'll be the last check you'll get from me."
This time, Lex laughed. This was his father's move. A desperate call. He walked over to the desk, earning glares from the fool. He grabbed the pen, closing it.
"There is no amount of money you can offer for my stocks." Lex promised. Infuriating Lionel.
Lex smirked before exiting through the glass doors. Number crunchers stared at Lex. Mercy had already leaked the footage to the building. Soon more leaks will go out. Stock go down. Then he swoops in. Reaching the elevator, he pressed the button. As he waited, he heard high heels walking behind him. The doors opened and both of them walked in.
"Which floor?" Lex asked as the doors closed.
"Cut it with the crap, Lex. What happened with the Sabre?" Lena asked. He scoffed.
"Not here." he said, pressing 122.
It was only seconds until the doors opened again. She followed him to his corner office, overseeing the city. Mercy was already waiting. Holding a file. He grabbed it, setting it under a book. Lena walked to his side. Trying to spy on him. He turned to her. Studying her behavior. Concern. With hidden anger.
"Is the room clear?" he asked Mercy.
"Good." he said, walking to his chair.
Imported Victorian Era chair. The fabric was soft. The wood was sturdy. A seat of power. He opened a draw filled with files. Grabbing the file labeled Operation Green Clover, he handed it to his sister. She opened it to see the truth of the incident. Her behavior turned to fear. Hiding anger.
"You sabotaged your own fighter?" she questioned. He nodded. "Once the public learns of this, our stocks will drop."
"The price of the stock with be cheap. Then I'll buy them, show off the real YF-24. Then make billions."
"Do you know how many laws you're breaking?"
"I studied engineering, radiology, history, business, chemistry, physics, and a dozen other subjects. Mercy did I studied Law?"
"No Mister Luthor." Mercy answered with a smirk.
Lena leaned over, slapping his face. A well deserve slap. But it hurt. Brushing the red mark, Lex, looked towards his furious sister.
"I think it's time for you to leave."
"No. I want you to stop this. Before you destroy our legacy."
"And if I don't?"
"The Feds will be on your ass. No escape. Just jail for the prodigy Luthor." she said and he acknowledged the threat.
"That's the thing, little sister. I've already got the Feds taken care off. How. That's my little secret."
He didn't show any fear, anger, or concern. Pride of his tactical genius mind was all he showed. Lena was one of the few people in this world he respected. He remembered playing chess with her as a child. Even matches, but he always pulled out a win. Just as he does now. She could try moving a Knight, but the Rook will take it. Then she and their father would be in checkmate. Moving her pawn out of the way was her only chance to get through the game. Neither winning of losing.
After minutes of glaring at each other, Lena conceded this match. She walked out. As the door closed, Lex grabbed the file under the books. Locations for Project Metal Men. He went through the pros and cons of eight areas. All abandoned, but maintained. But something caught his attention. Montana Site 4. There weren't many details on the site's facilities. Odd.
"Mercy, prepare a flight for Montana. Ready a PMC unit." Lex said.
"Expecting a firefight?"
"A precaution. Something isn't right."
Luthor Defense Corporation Montana Site 4, Montana, United States of America
10:11 AM EST, August 4, 1989
The dirt road rocked Lex. Rocks cracked under the M35's tires. The poorly camouflage soldiers weren't phased. These were vets who can't take the Civilian life. That or the profit. Most of them were brutes. But efficient. That he can't deny. Not to mention, they can keep secrets. That is the only reason they're here. His Metal Men can't be on only public or official government documents. Normally he wouldn't have a PMC unit to see a potential site, but something about the empty paper trail got on his mind.
This was just to oversee a new site. Nothing was supposed to happen. But the chopping sounds of helicopters were unmissable. The truck came to an abrupt stop. The PMCs charged out, M16A2s loaded. Lex walked to the rear, seeing the soldiers taking defensive positions in the ditch.
"Two Guns A Go-Go. Southwest. Two Guardian escorts." Team Leader Darren Becker reported.
Lex jumped down from the truck. He ran for better cover than a green truck in a barren field. Putting distance between him and the PMCs, he crawled into the ditch. Gunfire erupted from the PMC unit. The Army fired rockets at the men. He curled into a ball as rocks, dirt, and probably blood fell on him. His ears were ringing. He stood up as the dust began to settle. Turning, a platoon of soldiers marched towards him. Rifles raised. Aimed at him.
Luthor Defense Corporation Montana Site 4, Montana, United States of America
2:03 PM EST, August 4, 1989
Hours have passed since the incident. The site's PMC gave Lex medical treatment, before locking him in an interrogation room. He had taken the time to observe the site facilities. All of it was upgraded by the military. Lionel would never have allowed anything not produced by the company on his site. Which means the Army was paying him to keep quiet and modify the site for their needs. It intrigued Lex. This kind of operation isn't the standard for Black Operations. Something bigger was happening.
He looked at the camera, watching him. He tapped his foot, breaking the silence. Lex waited for some officer to enter for the interrogation. He doubted that they'll let a PMC come in. Which means the Army will intervene. Hopefully his contacts in the DOD or DOJ will come in handy. When the door opened, an Army Colonel walked in. Which means there is a higher rank on base. Observing the interrogation.
"Mister Luthor. You could have called ahead. We would have laid out cookies." the Colonel said, closing the door. Lex chuckled at the humor.
"Had I known you were here, I would have taken you on that offer." he said, studying the officer. His name tag had McLain written. Behavior reveal he was cool. Relax. Belief that he was in control. Lex leaned back, creating plans to outmatch the Colonel.
"Can I get you anything? Water? Food?"
"How about we cut the bullshit and get to the real reason why we're here." Lex said leaning forward. Crossing his arms on the table. Staring at the Colonel's eyes. "You are using this site with my father's permission for a Black Op. You already called him and since I'm not getting an escort out, that means he's not going to help. You want to know what I know. Which means the FBI is searching my office, home, and other property. But you're not going to get anything."
McLain tapped his knuckles on the table. Lex has played his first card. Now to see what the Colonel has. To the businessman's surprise, the soldier laughed. He leaned closer. His behavior was calm, hiding frustration. A new card was about to be played. An unsuspected card.
"Tell me why you were coming here. Or I'll get my tools. Your choice."
"Ah, torture. A crude method. Can't guarantee the information you'll get. Lies become a way to end the pain. Truth is rare."
"Why would the Army go through all this trouble? What are you hiding?"
Annoyed, the Colonel flipped the table. He pulled Lex up. Anger was in the officer's eyes. Perfect for Lex. His hand went to the officer's neck. Pinching the nerves, the soldier went limp. Alive, but unconscious. Guards will be rushing towards him. He searched McLain pockets, finding a keycard. He ran to the door, sliding the card in the lockpad. A beep unlocked the door. Instead of opening the door, he opened the pad.
Lex hardwired the security system getting complete access. Alarms, doors, cameras, and other's access. First he cut everyone out, but his card. Shut the doors. Every alarm going off. Then shut down the cameras. Finally he looked for where the most heavy security was located. Sublevel ten. He walked out of the room taking a left turn. At the first door, he unlocked it to find four guards with pistols aimed at him.
"Hello gentlemen. If you want to survive this, I suggest you let me through." Lex ordered. The PMCs looked at each other confused. None of them knew what to do. This clearly wasn't a situation they were prepared for. The Sergeant in the group grabbed his radio.
"Collins to Big Screen. We got Luthor in our sights. What are your orders."
Lex didn't show any fear. He just stared down the gun barrels, waiting. If the Site commanders want the base back operational, he'll need to work the genius. He had control of the situation. But the wildcard was out there.
"Secure the Colonel's ID card." the commander ordered. The Sergeant holstered his gun. Lex observed their movements. As the soldier tried to grab Lex's arm, the tactician twist the soldier's arm. The three subordinates fired their guns. Their rounds struck the ballistic vest. He grabbed the soldier's pistol. Fired three rounds. All three fell limp. He pushed the Sergeant to the ground. Firing a single round into the man's head.
He kneeled down, grabbing what he can. After tightened the vest, he opened another door revealing the elevator. As he expected, he required the keycard. It opened for him. Walking in, he pressed Sub Ten. He hummed a little tune to pass the time. A nursery rhyme his mother use to sing to him. When she was actually there for him.
When the elevator reached the sublevel the cold made his skin crawl. He walked through the dimmly lit hall. Pistol raised. It appeared that the floor was abandoned. There was only one door ahead of him. Metal plattings signaled him of interior defenses. But they weren't activating. The reason made him nervous. He opened the only door to find a large room filled with computers and a unusual rocket. Examing it closer, it had space for a small payload inside it. Not the convential weapon payload. Living payload. Only enough home for an infant.
He went to the closest computer. Putting the keycard in a lockpad, he hoped to get into the system. But the Colonel didn't have access. Lex cursed to himself, before noticing a spiral staircase going down to a bright red light. Cautiously he walked down. To his confusion, he found a glass wall. Behind it was a frail man dress in a white suite. The red lights shine inside the cell. All of it was a mystery. He tapped on the glass and the man jumped, startled. He crawled to the other side of the room. Mumbling something.
Lex looked around the cell to see a terminal where food is brought in. But there was no way in. So, he'll create a way. Aiming the gun at the glass, he pulled the trigger. The bullets shattered the glass, pieces falling to the ground. The previous alarms turned off, for a new one.
"All security personal report ground level. Containment team to duty." the alarm ranged. The man looked at Lex confused. Walking across the glass, making sure not to trip, he examined the man. White. Male. Five foot ten. Very much a scrawny man. Lex kneeled down, setting the gun aside.
"Hello. I'm Lex Luthor. What's your name?" Lex asked. The man eyed him nervously, but he opened his mouth.
"Kal-El." he answered. At that, Lex raised an eyebrow. From all of the cultures he know, Kal-El wasn't one common in any culture.
"Can you walk?" he asked and the man nodded.
Helping him up, they walked out of the cell. Kal flinching as he stepped on the shattered glass. Walking up the stairs, footsteps echoed from the hall. Looking around the room, he saw a side door. It is their only option. Lex opened the door, helping the man inside. They were greeted by a group of scientists. The lights were UVs. It was just strange. The scientists backed away. They were afraid. Not of Lex, but Kal. Before the two could take another step, the click of a rifle sent chill down his spine. Turning, they saw a heavily armored man with a AAR3 aimed at Lex.
He thought of the irony. The weapon creator, killed by his very own invention. But Kal stood between him and the gun. It was brave, but stupid. Lex noted the nervousness of the soldiers. They actually backed up. Then Kal apperantly grew taller. Confused, he looked down to see the man floating inches off the ground.
"Kal-El, get on the ground now." a soldier ordered, his voice cracked at the end.
"Leave me alone." Kal said, anger in his voice. Then all of a sudden red beams of lights cut through the soldiers, walls, and the undoubtly the pillars. The ceiling began to collapse in on itself. Kal speed faster than light under the ceiling. As it began to fall, he held it up. "Get them out!"
"What?" Lex asked confused. The only other people down here was the scientists. The ones who put him in that cell. If Lex was in the postition, he would let them die.
"Get them out!" he repeated. Lex turned to the scientists.
"Where's the exit?" he asked and they ran to the hall.
He followed them, knowing the only exit in there was the elevator. The worst place to be in an emergency. Dust fell down as the group got into the elevator. He pressed for the ground floor, hoping Kal can hold the building up longer. When the elevator rocked or the sound of metal beams breaking echoed, he flinched. At the ground floor, they ran. Until they reached a sealed door. Lex went to the lockpad, getting into the system. He opened all of the doors. They continued running as cracks opened up on the structure.
At the exit, Lex jumped out moments before the building sunk into the Earth. Smoke clouded his vision. When it cleared, he turned over to see nothing but rubble. Standing up, the sound of guns loading caught his attention. He raised his arms, turning around. A large group of soldiers had their guns trained on him.
"I don't suppose we can talk this out?" Lex asked. A final retort. His eyes closed thinking this was his end. But before the bullets were fired, a rumble echoed the Site. He looked back in time to see Kal fly out of the rubble. The man was miles in the air. No one moved. They just watched as the superhuman lowered himself down to the ground. Next to Lex. "You're full of surprises."
"What now?" Kal asked. He didn't know anything about the world. So much power, but so little knowledge. A perfect tool to mold into something great. Lex turned to the soldiers.
"You all know what Kal-El is capable of. I want a plane and promise of no retaliation." he said. The terrified soldiers moved out of their way. Straight to the runway.
Luthor Defense Corporation Headquarters, Metropolis, Delaware, United States of America
10:54 AM EST, August 5, 1989
Lex waited, calmly, listening to elevator music. He straightened his custom sewn suit, preparing to give one final blow to the Board and his father. Years of planning is just minutes away. As the elevator stopped at floor 123, the doors opened. Mercy was waiting for him. Before she could speak a word, the man walked past her. He was early. No more plays. One of his final moves. While his father failed to see the game.
"Everything prepared?" he asked the secretary.
"Yes sir. The transfers have been finalized, the YF-24 reports are in this case, evidence against Lionel Luthor is on Lilith Station Twelve, and Kal is secured with Miss Kowalski." she said. He smirked as he opened the spruce doors. Everyone was surprised to see him early for a meeting for once. He took a seat at the end, glaring at his furious father. Lionel grabbed a sheet of paper.
"First item of business is that several board members are leaving us. I wish you the best and good luck." Lionel said.
The entire board left, leaving the father and son. Lex was smiling. He owns forty-five percent of the company. While his old man had fifty-five percent. A fact the old man hated. He stood up, looking out the window. Realizing he was in a game. And he was losing. Lex opened his briefcase, grabbing the floopy disk.
"You should not have left that Site." Lionel said and Lex smirked. "They told me they would use lethal force on intruders. yet you survived."
"Yep. Because you are a pathetic failure." Lex said. The father turned sharply, his face filled with anger. "You couldn't see the sabatoge I caused. My share of the stocks growing as they shrunk. Or getting complete control on several of our sites. Hell, you didn't realize that when you were losing money, my accounts were growing."
"How dare you." Lionel said as Lex put the floop disk in.
"The only reason why this company hasn't went bankrupt was because of me." he said as a video appeared on screen. The real YF-24 on a runway. Getting ready for it's maiden flight. Lionel walked closer, shocked to see the fighter taking off.
"But it was destroyed."
"YF-24A was destroyed. This is the YF-24B. The fighter I'll be presenting to the Air Force. If you sell me ten percent of your shares." They watched as the fighter performed high G manuevers like it was nothing. Lionel turned to his son, furious.
"You ignorant, simple minded, child. This is my legacy. You would be nothing if it weren't for me."
"No. I would still be great. Smarter. And you would have reason to fear me. Now choose. Lose everything as the stocks drop. Or sell them to me and live in comfort."
He had the old man in the cornor. Lex had a Rook blocking Row 7 while the Queen waiting on A5. If his father refuses to Resign the game, then Lex will take everything in Checkmate. Lionel sighed. He walked over to the window watching the city. He had accepted the match was over. He had lost the game.
"You'll have them this afternoon."
"Good." Lex said before walking towards the exit. Stopping at the door, he smirked. "Oh, we will need to switch offices." A twist of the dagger. He left to be greeted by Mercy. His smile was all she needed to know how the meeting went. His goals was achieved. Now to move along to his next task.