May 31, Metropolis

Lionel was looking out of the Plaza and could feel the hounds yapping at his heels. It was a gift that warned of danger and had saved the family time and again or so his Grandfather had told him. He could feel the warnings in his sleep and he knew that something was amiss. He had vague sense of danger since his deal with Lex but he ignored it. His son was displaying all the signs of nobility that Jonathan did. He wanted so much to hurt Jon, to make him pay for his humiliation but he had already conquered the All-American hero twice. He had to do something to push Lex and also to force open warfare among his own top lieutenants. That would give him time to find out what was bothering him and deal with it accordingly.

He looked out over his domain again. He was the undisputed master of Metropolis and he controlled his own destiny. He had a few messages delivered in the old time Luthor fashion for the Daniels incident. He knew that Lex was getting happy and secure in Smallville and he wanted to shake his son up. He knew that tests were the only way to benchmark achievement and Lionel decided that Lex required a test. Lionel smiled and turned his gaze from out to in and picked up the phone to arrange a few problems in Smallville.


Lex was looking at the new servants villa. He had gotten rid of the old carriage house and designed a new two-story villa to blend into the new grounds. He was here to see the beginning of the Pavilion on the water. He did not realize the flooding problem defrosting the lake would cause. It had not disrupted the Palace but it stopped construction of the new service road and made a general mess. He could `hear' Clark and Whitney arguing about what they should take on the trip to Houston. Lex loved them but they could act like kids sometimes. He picked up his phone and called Whitney.


"Would you two stop arguing! We will be in Texas, in June, it will be HOT!"

"Don't get so mad. I wanted Clark to take his short shorts but he said it leaves nothing to the imagination."

"I vote with you. It is the idea that counts." Lex hung up and he could hear Clark's voice ringing `HEY' in his head. Lex loved to pick on Clark, it was easy and also he realized a true sign of affection. Lex liked picking on Whitney but in different ways. He realized that all three of them had different ways of dealing with each other. Clark and Whit had a relationship, Whit and he did and so did Clark and himself. Then there was the relationship when they were all together. There was no tension or fighting over spending time together because in a sense they were never apart. He loved the easygoing nature that both Clark and Whitney tended to exhibit. They had their moments but it was part of life.

Lex looked around and saw that the entire superstructure was complete. The towers were being built and the new exterior stonework was almost done. The interior was still far from complete but the place would be livable in a few days. That was of some comfort to Lex but also he knew it meant that Clark would have to tell his parents that he was moving here to live with Lex and Whitney. He knew it had to happen but he did not want to come between Clark and his parents. All Lex could do was hope it all worked out in the end.

Monday June 2, Houston

Tristan wanted to shoot Lex. He had been sent to Houston to look into possible acquisitions of refineries or refining companies. Tristan knew it was Minerva related and had to do with the new alternative fuel and the production capacity problems. So he was in the Energy Capital of the World and he had no idea what he was looking for. He had contacted some buddies in the Investment Banking world to find some leads. He spent hours on the Internet researching various companies, cash positions, capitalization, debt ratings, and most importantly refining capacity. The more he looked the more he also began to get antsy about distribution. He knew that Minerva would have to go public in order for it to buy any existing company. He was aware that there was some strain between Lex and Bruce and he did not want to get in the way. He was staying at a downtown hotel and was hit by a wall of humidity when he walked outside. He noticed that few people at the office buildings were wearing suits. He had his target list for day one and the target list for day two. It was then that Lex & Co. would arrive and decisions would have to be made.


Damien was watching CNN report that the Shining Path rebels had routed the Peruvian army in a battle fifteen miles outside the capital city of Lima. Damien's facilities in Costa Rica and in Mexico had already shipped the new weapons supplies to forces and interests that backed the rebels. There was one problem for Damien and the possible rebel victory; the Organization of American States was meeting in emergency session to determine whether Peace Keepers could be sent to Peru. The United States Government's official position remained that the current Peruvian Government was democratically elected and was legitimate and any attempts to remove said government would be opposed by the United States.

That was bad news because it left open the possibility of American soldiers fighting the rebels to return the elected government to power. That would mean CIA would increase its presence in the region to locate the weapons trail and that was very bad for Damien. On the other hand the last round of weapons had been very expensive and he was not going to send that money to Lionel for his personal use. As it was Lionel was going to receive the majority of the money from the arms sales to the People's Republic of China. That was in excess of $100 million and Damien was going to be greedy at this point. He had reestablished the arms trade and had new facilities up and running for minimal costs. He also had the new lab under Hamilton's direction operating all he needed for that was some meteor samples from the United States.


Tristan was exhausted. The city was experiencing an early heat wave. The temperatures had soared into the triple digits. Tristan was thankful that everyplace in the city was air-conditioned. He decided to investigate a few companies a little more but he had narrowed the choices down to five companies that fit the profile that Minerva needed. The primary problem came down to the availability of the companies and Minerva's lack of upfront capital and access to credit. Those were issues that Lex and Bruce would have to work out before Tristan could actually declare any intentions to purchase. He did have the parameters down now. He wanted regional refining capacity to cut down on transportation costs. The upfront purchasing costs for such a company would be higher than a company that was relatively centralized but that was the price of the profile Minerva needed.

June 4, Gotham City

Bruce was looking at the Business pages of the Wall Street Journal and was not happy. He was unaware that both Stark International and Worthington Enterprises were challenging key business divisions of Wayne Industries. Stark was taking on Wayne Tech and according to the trade papers, had product lines that could take away market share from Wayne in the next year. Worthington was attacking the industrial turbine and other heavy mechanical production. For Bruce it was a nightmare to have two of his most reliable lines face intense competition at the same time. He was in the middle of negotiating with his creditors to retain Wayne Industries solid gold rating. It made borrowing money very inexpensive. A sudden negative outlook for earnings and the expected slip in stock values meant much tougher set interest rates. Bruce was not worried because Wayne Industries was as solid as a company could be but in the current environment of accounting scandals his company could pay a price.


Lex, Clark, and Whitney were looking at the suitcases that were not packing themselves. They had a flight in a few hours and they had done nothing to get ready. Clark and Whitney had done laundry but the clothes had not made it past that point. Lex was pissed because Clark promised he would have everything ready and he didn't. Lex knew there was a reason Clark kept trying to coax him into having sex. He would have to remember that as a sign that Clark is avoiding something.

"Clark, we have to get things moving or we will be late and I want to get to Houston before midnight."

"Lex...I want to play and so does Whitney."

"Oh no you don't. This is between you two Clark, I am the innocent bystander."

Clark muttered under his breath, "innocent my ass."

Lex stared at Clark and then kissed him. "I heard what you said...nicely done."

Whitney started packing his stuff and began to do Clark's as well. Lex stood there and watched as Whitney did all of Clark's packing for him. "What about me?"

"What about you? I was getting there since neither of you seem inclined to actually pack a suitcase."

Clark silenced the coming tirade with a kiss. "You will be rewarded later. I guess I'll help with his stuff."

The rest of the afternoon was spent gathering all the things they would need and that included three laptops. The bags were packed and if Houston was having a heat wave then Lex promised they would go shopping for cooler clothing while they were there. Clark and Whit decided that they were going shopping while Lex and Tristan were doing the business thing. All they needed was one of Lex's credit cards.

June 6 Houston

The boys were dressed for the Ballet. It was appearing at the Wortham Theatre in Downtown Houston. Lex still could not believe the conversation in the hotel earlier.

"Guys, I know I wanted to take you to an opera but the season is over, it will have to wait until the fall."

"What...did I just hear you say you made a mistake?"


"Oh wow, hey Whit, Lex said he made a mistake."

"Clark, I would not push the issue."

"Why not, you told me I was perfect."

"Whitney told you that you are perfect?"

"Yes he did, in mind, body, and soul."

"Whitney, you created a monster. Clark...while I can say that you are unique, `perfect' would not be one of the top fifty traits."

Clark's face fell as he stared at Lex.

"Don't get mad. You are a wonderful but goofy guy..."


"Brilliant but absent-minded..."


"Beautiful and loving. Clark, we all have faults, even me."

Whitney walked up and could hardly contain his laughter looking at Clark's face. He had started by picking on Lex and instead got it thrown back at him. Whitney hugged Clark from behind and kissed his cheek.

"Now, Lex, be nice. He is as perfect as they come and he is sweet. I know I have faults and we know you do as well but Clark here well his faults are not so glaring."

"Whitney, we can't have an egomaniac with his abilities running loose, I am enough of an egomaniac for the three of us."

Clark smiled at Lex. "As long as you know then it is fine. I love you too by the way."

"Clark, don't you and Whitney have to get ready?"

"Fine, but I'm telling you now that I don't want to go to the ballet."

"Well, I made a new rule. For every baseball game I go see, you two have to see a cultural event with me."

"Baseball IS culture."

"Yeah, whatever...go get dressed."

The limo pulled up to the reception area of the solid marble and granite structure known as the Wortham Theatre. The boys disembark and head inside into the two-story ceilings and hanging chandeliers. Lex wanted them to see an opera but the ballet would do for now. He wanted to `civilize' Clark and the only way for that to happen was to read books, see live performances, and visit museums. For Lex all three offered relaxation at the highest level. He did not want to tell Clark that he actually was beginning to enjoy baseball but he liked the current quid pro quo. He knew that Whitney could not wait for the fall when he was going to go see every Sharks game from the owner's suite. Lex never liked Great White Stadium. It was very much his father's domain but he knew Whit and Clark would never forgive him if he did not let them go to those games. He did not forget his promise to his father to meet his lovers. That was an event he wished to delay for as long as possible.


Lex's thoughts were broken as he saw Whitney giving him a quizzical stare. "Yes?"

"Are you okay?"

"Fine thanks. Shall we go in and begin the classical education of Clark."

"By all means."

Don Quixote, the ballet that had been performed earlier, impressed Lex. Clark had left mesmerized by the beauty of the music and the power of the dancers. Lex had taken a great deal of pride in Clark's reaction but did not press the issue. Whitney liked it but wanted to see an opera. Lex was happy that his boys could share some of the things he liked and vise versa.

"Lex? Come and lay down with us. The movie is dumb but entertaining."

"Okay. What are you and Clark watching?"

"Psycho Beach Party."

"Is Clark hungry yet?"

"When isn't he?"


Lex and Whitney walked into the bedroom and saw Clark stretched out on the bed clad only in a pair of boxer-briefs. Lex slipped out of his suit and climbed into the bed where Whitney had interrupted Clark's viewing of the movie, not that he minded when he picked up the lust that was radiating from both of his partners. Whitney started by licking his shoulder while Lex attacked one of Clark's nipples. Soon Clark's shorts were next to the bed and his cock was freed from its cotton confines. He soon was kissing the top of Lex's naked crown, licking the sweat that had formed and the tiny droplets opened his taste buds to the salt. Clark moved a hand and ran it down Whit's chest. He was stuck between the two and was happy to be there.

Lex was working his way down Clark's chest and nipped at the hood surrounding the tip of Clark's exquisite cock. He licked at it but did not take it in his mouth. He knew Clark was too far-gone to 'hear' what Whit and he were plotting. Clark had noticed Whit's tongue tracing the contours of his back and soon the tip was between his cheeks and probing his pucker. Lex moved Clark's legs so he could caress his ball sack with his tongue. He too loved the taste of sweat and Clark's was unlike any on Earth.

Clark was beyond thought and reason. Lex in front and Whitney behind had driven all but the pleasure from his mind. He felt the tongue burrow deeper into his ass and a finger that was teasing his 'hotspot.' His moans echoed in the room and soon he felt Lex take his cock in his mouth and Clark could not hold back as his vision dimmed and his ecstasy was unleashed. He soon heard Lex and Whit kissing above him and he ran a hand along each of their flanks. Lex was prone on the bed as Whit repeated the process for Lex as he done for Clark. Clark shifted on the bed and began to kiss Lex while running a hand along Lex's dripping erection. He did not push but wanted Lex to enjoy the moment of bliss, without anticipation, only that timeless reference when the body only knows joy and need.

Whitney entered Lex slowly, he could feel the rhythm that Clark had established and he followed it. He used the down stroke to tease and the upstroke to excite but soon he was caught in the maelstrom of need and rode it out for all that it was worth. He knew when Lex had passed the point and he followed over the edge. Clark kissed Lex and then Whit and they ended the night in a sated heap joined in pleasure, joined in love, happy to be joined together.

June 7

Lex and Tristan narrowed the list of possible acquisitions down to three. It had been a tough choice, considering the lack of knowledge in the industry. He was preparing to go to another baseball game at Astros' Field with the boys. They were the guests of one of the oil companies that Tristan had spoken with about refining. Lex could at least enjoy the suite and let the boys enjoy the game. Lex laughed at himself because he was picking up on the rules of the game and enjoyed them. He went to football games because his father insisted on his attendance for Shark's home games. He realized how much more fun things were when people enjoyed the sport and not the business part of a game.

"Come on Lex, I don't want to be late."

"Clark, we are nine blocks away and we have an hour and a half."

"But Lex...I want to walk around the stadium and well...pick up some souvenirs..."

Whitney walked up and hugs and kisses Lex, "Lex you know what he REALLY wants to do..."

"Yes, but I want him to tell me that."

Clark pouted for a minute. "Fine! I'm hungry okay but I didn't want to give you the satisfaction of making fun of me."

"Clark, you know Whit and I only pick on you cause we love you..."

"Glad you love me, hate to think what you'd do if you hated me."

"Clark...what is wrong with you?"

"Nothing, can we just go?"

"Whitney you ready?"

"Yes sir...come on Clark, lets get you fed."

The game was good. There were a few other teenagers in the suite and one flirted with Whitney the whole time. Lex watched with a hint of amusement but Clark was possessive. Clark actually went over and removed the guy's hand from Whit's shoulder at one point. Lex had his hands full with the daughter of the host. She was a tall blonde college senior and to Lex it was obvious she saw dollar signs. Tristan talked to the other execs from Orasco Oil. Whitney tried to get away from the guy but he was as tall as Clark and played rugby. Whit was scared for the guy because Clark looked like he was going to deck him.

"Clark, calm down, I think he likes me as a buddy not in a sexual way."

"Whitney, he was staring at your ass."

"Huh, look, keep calm, I'm yours remember?"

"Yeah well I want him to know that."

The tall guy walked over to Whitney and started talking to him again.

"So, Whitney, what school did you say you were going to?"

"I'll be going to Metropolis University next fall."

"Cool, I'm at the University of Texas, I play baseball for the Longhorns."

"Great." The tone was lost on Brian but Lex heard it and struggled not to laugh. Clark heard it and sneered at Brian.

"Look Brian, it was nice to meet you but I'm going to go sit down with my boyfriend and watch the game."

Brian did leave them alone after that and Lex managed to get Sharon away from him as well. They enjoyed the retractable roof stadium and the game but were very happy to be away from the pests that occupied the suite.

Lex was happy that they decided to head home after the game. He was more than happy to charter the flight, it was a business expense and that was good in Tristan's eyes. He could not believe they were leaving with twice as much stuff as they had come with. He was never letting Clark and Whitney go shopping unsupervised again. They had spent over eight thousand dollars in a shopping frenzy that lasted only three hours. They mainly bought summer wear it was astounding. Lex was going to punish them once he got them home. They thought they had been clever but Lex checked his balance once he got the card back and almost feinted. He did not want to think that he had created monsters.


Lionel had been unable to shake the feeling that something was wrong. He had taken possession of a third cash infusion from South America and retired some more short-term debt. At the current rate he would be able to move in any way he wanted. Even the current accounting scandals plaguing Wall Street had not affected Luthor Corp, much. He had instructed the CFO to triple check the books to make sure that everything was in order. He knew that Wayne Industries was taking it in the neck at the moment but that was being driven by competition not by scandal. He was concerned because Stark International and Worthington Enterprises were making some serious moves and that did not bode well for the vision of Luthor Corp. At the minimum, Wayne would be unable to render any aid to Lex for the foreseeable future and that for the best. He knew Roger Nixon had been digging into various matters but Lionel's information sources could not be specific. Not for the first time did he miss Nathan. He at least would be able to report something of value to Lionel.

He had set in motion his plans to force Lex to make moves as well. Lionel knew that Lex would hesitate to engage in battle with him despite the earlier arguments. Lex was not tough enough to take him on and Lionel knew it. He knew that Lex was spending too much time with the Kent and Fordman families and that was making him weak. Lionel was going to pull the gloves off because South America was providing all the additional liquidity he needed. His financial position improved daily and with Luthor Corp stock trading higher than it had in March after the takeover, well Lionel was in the mood to humble his son.

June 10 Washington

Sen. Madison was having lunch with Sen. Adkins. She was intrigued when he asked for a meeting alone and away from the Capitol. He had been very broad in his reasons but she knew him well enough that if he wanted a meeting then it would be worth her time.

"I have been the beneficiary of some possibly damaging information regarding Lionel Luthor and Luthor Corp."

"What kind of information?"

"The kind that would spark Congressional Hearings and a Justice Department probe."


"Mary Alice, the evidence is enough on the surface to tarnish the company and the man but it would not hold up in court, but a fishing expedition..."

"I would have to review the information but I am interested."

"The evidence is of bribery and collusion plus with the current accounting inquires going on..."

"The IRS and the SEC would have to take a look at the company's books and maybe Lionel's?"


"You get the added benefit of seeing your opponent in the fall weakened by all of this."

"No good deed goes unrewarded."

"I understand. Now will it be my committee or Joe's?"

"The Majority Leader will have to decide but we do have Sen. Kelly's comments on record so the Minority Leader can not oppose."

"Lionel Luthor is going to have a very bad summer."

"We need to keep this as quiet as possible. If we have the element of surprise then Lionel can not respond as he has been given to in the past."

"We do need to let the Counsel's Office know, there are still legalities that must be adhered to."

"Of course."

June12 Smallville

Jonathan and Clark were walking along the back fence talking about nothing in general when he noticed the silence.

"Clark, do you hear anything?"


"That's the problem."

Jonathan ran out and saw the devastation that was the north pasture. The entire herd was dead and chemical drums bearing LuthorCorp logos littered the area. Jonathan could not believe the sight before him.

Clark saw and pulled his phone out and speed dialed Lex. "Lex, there is a problem at the farm please hurry!"

"Clark what is it?"

"Lex hurry!"

Lex saw the pasture and felt sick. He knew that this act had been directed at him and the Kents were the perfect target. Lex was angry and betrayed. His father was behind this even if he had no proof. Lex knew his father had violated their agreement in hopes to drive a wedge between him and the Kents. Little did his father know that it would take divine intervention to get him and Clark apart from each other.



"I'm sorry, this was meant for me."

"No, it was meant for me."

"Excuse me."

"How do we fix this Lex? The CEP is out and the chemicals are heavily saturated, this pasture and the surrounding acres are of no use any longer."


"Environmental regulations about contamination and food products. Half the farm cannot be used for anything for years. We have to wait for the ground water testing results but..."

"Can you tell me why he had this done?"

" is too painful at the moment."

"Yes sir." Lex walked away and Jonathan looked over the fence at his ruined property and Lex felt a cold fire burn in the pit of his stomach. His anger directed at his father who was so callous as to attack at his weakest point. It hit Lex then that his father was following standard military doctrine `always attack at the weakest point.'

`If that is the way he wants it then so be it.' Lex was going to violate the agreement in open breach actually. He had been keeping tabs on his father's financial state and while it was better than it had been two months ago it was still far from healthy. Lex was in the mood to make it terminal.

June 13 Gotham City

Bruce had asked Lex to come to Gotham to meet with him. It was an unexpected request but Bruce was rather insistent so Lex showed up the next day. He arrived at Wayne Headquarters and was met and taken directly to the Executive Suite. He was ushered in with no stops and was greeted by Bruce.

"Lex, thank you for your rapid response."

"Hello Bruce. May I inquiry as to the nature of this meeting?"

"Please sit down and I will explain everything." Lex sat down and Bruce continued, "Wayne Industries stock is down 25% this month alone. We are under heavy pressure from competition and from Wall Street."

Lex looked at Bruce for a moment, "And...I am here why?"

"Lex, the only thing that can boost my stock value at the moment is something unexpected. I want to launch Minerva was soon as possible."

"Funny you should mention that. I was in Houston looking at refining capacity and the only way to achieve that would be for Minerva to go public."

"I thought that is why you would be there. I am transferring my ownership to Wayne Industries in exchange for stock. The long-term potential will boost the assets of my company."

"One thing, Minerva owes me over $3 billion in royalties, I want that in stock and it will be MY company with you as the largest secondary investor."

"I figured it would come to that. Agreed but the value of Minerva must not fall below a certain threshold or Wayne stock will suffer. I am agreeing to this because it is the only card I have left to play."

"The company will be valued, conservatively, at $27 billion. Together we will hold 60% but I get an additional seven percent. One third of the stock will go on the market in early July. I will begin to set that in motion."

"How are Clark and Whitney?"

"Do not start Bruce."

"It is a simple inquiry and a common courtesy to ask such a question."

"They are well thank you."

"Thank you for your time and once Minerva is launched, I will let you run it as you see fit."

"Excellent. Our partnership will prove to be most profitable."

June 14 Florence, Italy

Shearn Phipps was as happy as he had felt in years and it bothered him to no end. He could not get over that feeling that things were about to change for the worse. He heard a few rumblings in Washington about information that could indict Lionel Luthor and he could see the daily American papers talking of accounting scandals and lack of investor confidence. He was aware of power struggles between corporate giants but he was aware of power struggles in other arenas as well. That did not concern him but he was part of the Luthor drama in ways he had never imagined. He had information that he was willing to sell to Lex Luthor but if he did then he was taking sides and that could have consequences later on.

He was now keeping an idea on Damien Parker in South America and was well aware of the strides his operations were taking. He knew that it was providing Lionel much needed capital but he also knew that it was making Damien a new Power as well. The person he had recently learned about was Dominic Haynes and he had no idea what his game was. Unknown players were wild cards and could prove all the more dangerous than the known powerful ones. He had Dominic's movements tracked and was able to see at least two visits to Prague. The curious thing was his division had no contracts in Prague and Shearn knew that the Hardwick division was in no mode to expand operations or take on new orders at this point. He had noticed a few odd things that Dominic had done but he lacked context and thus all behavior was odd. He had placed a shadow on Mr. Haynes and if that failed to yield the required information then additional measures would be taken.

June 15 Metropolis

Roger was worried. He had heard through some sources that Lionel was not pleased with his article. He also knew that Lionel knew that he was Lex's source of information. That made his position dangerous in more ways than one. Roger grabbed his overnight bag and made sure to grab his PDA, that was his only email link to Lex and he needed it. He knew that there was a shaken down of sorts from the `Daniels' Affair' but he did not want to be an unwilling participant in a Luthor lesson.

Roger ran down the back stairwell of his apartment complex. He stopped and keyed in a quick message to Lex and also left details for Lex should anything happen to him. He needed to get out of the city before things got too hot for him. He placed the key in the ignition switch and turned.


Four surrounding cars went up as well and glass was shattered in the closest apartments. For the Fire Department and the Homicide Unit it would be clearly marked as a hit.


Damien looked at his reports and was very happy. He received word that he was getting a hidden bonus in Luthor Corp stock. Damien had almost forgotten that he was still an employee but he was fine with the bonus. He could sell it later and use the proceeds as he saw fit. He was also happy with the growth of his underground network. His arms trade was now entering the United States and the world's largest commercial market was where he was going to make all the additional income he desired and Lionel would never need to know.


Clark, Whitney, and Lex were watching television in the Kent's den when Lex's cell phone rang. He listened for a moment before he hung up. Clark and Whit noticed the change in demeanor and looked at him intently.

"Roger Nixon was killed in a car bomb a few hours ago." Lex got up and went to get his laptop. He quickly got to his email and saw the note form Roger. Lex felt a calm sense of purpose take over and he was going to war. His father had attacked the Kents and had killed his information source. Lex could feel that his father was deliberately goading him to action. His father still had no clue what he was capable of achieving.

Monday June 17, Metropolis

Jeff had to go to Metropolis to meet with Luthor Corp executives. The topic on the agenda was the outstanding loan balances to the Luthor Corp processing plants in Lowell County underwritten by Smallville Trust. SCDC was removing problem loans from the portfolio and Luthor Corp had been late on numerous payments. The old Bank President had been too worried about balances to worry about the loans, which could be made good at any point. However, Jeff and the others were signaling a new attitude and Luthor Corp was about to get a rude awakening. Tristan and Jeff had impressed on Lex the idea of creating a new financial institution using some of the Venture resources. Jeff discovered that Venture had over five hundred thousand warrants for S.T.A.R. Labs. He saw that Venture underwrote part of their expansion before Lex had invested in the company. LFK was now the sole owner but all rights under previous ownership had been retained. The translation was Venture held roughly two million shares of S.T.A.R. Labs at a fraction of current market value. The warrants would mature and the value would increase Venture's numbers by almost $700 million dollars.

Jeff walked into the meeting and met Nick Brady. The handshake was a moment too long but no one noticed it in the room other than the two shaking hands. The entire meeting with the three executives, Jeff caught himself staring at Nick from time to time. Jeff stated clearly that the Luthor Corp loans were going to be closed out at the end of the quarter. The contract was clear that changes in ownership allowed for such. While the loans that Luthor Corp had with Smallville Trust were insignificant in the long run, this loss would change the dynamics of the company's finances and force them to juggle dedicated resources to cover the loss. Such changes also had a negative impact on Wall Street and that was the real target of this change.


Dominic was happy to see that the lab and all the pertinent research was now active in Slovakia. It had been a near thing but Dominic was now a silent partner to a small group of manufactures in the former Eastern Bloc. They would be able to supply new light advanced weaponry within five years to many new clients. He knew that they would never rival Ares but he could create a niche in Europe and that was a bonus.

He had not heard any news out of Washington concerning Luthor Corp and that made him nervous. He had no idea what Sen. Madison was going to do but Dominic was antsy because he was now exposed. If Lionel caught wind of the information in the Senator's hands then the game was up. Lionel was not powerless but he had to be caught unawares to render said power useless in the face of media scrutiny and a Congressional Investigation.


Jeff was on his way home and he pondered the meeting. While he knew he wasn't gay per se, he had fooled around while at Stanford with a few friends. He considered himself to be bisexual he just didn't think he could actually date a guy. Sex was fine and fun but he never seriously considered it a possibility. He liked Nick and all meeting he kept making eye contact but he knew it was a huge mistake to mix business and pleasure. He cut off his thoughts and turned back to the puzzle he was working on before the Luthor Corp meeting.

S.T.A.R. Labs was going to be absorbed by a major corporation; they were going to be taken to create an R & D department for any company that wanted to join the technology race or by an existing player to end the race. Jeff knew that Venture would have something to say about this before it was all decided but with other items on the agenda he knew he would have to watch this very carefully. He knew that Lex was interested in this as well because some of the key players were also the ones taking on Bruce. There was a huge fight spoiling among the big boys and that meant that the fallout was going to be terrific.

June 19 Smallville

Lex was nervous because the stakes were so high. He was about to raid all the illegal accounts and use the money for his purposes. He needed to deprive his father of that possible source of rescue. Lex was planning specific uses for the money and how it would become so much more in his hands. He knew it was tainted but his whole fortune was tainted except that which came from his Uncle. Lex knew he had the opportunity to make great strides in a short time with the old Luthor fortune and the illegal funds. He knew all the accounts and had been resetting the passwords for each.

He had used his passwords and security levels to gain illegal access to the security and phone systems for Luthor Plaza and for the Tower as well. He was monitoring all communications from his father's office and was able to see what numbers he was calling to or receiving from. Using that information was next step because he also had access to his father's calendar. He tried to access his email but that would be very tricky so he opted not to do that. He had also placed a keystroke registry on his father's computer so Lex could see what files he was viewing once he left the office.


Clark stood outside Luthor Corp Plaza. He had an access card that Lex kept active but was for the cleaning people. He had all floors but Clark was under orders to get in the building and get to the Executive Suite and leave the cell phone he had in his hand there. Lex had some plan that required this. On his way down, Clark was to go into the server room and upload the CD-ROM he had in his hand. It was some sort of worm program that would bypass all the virus security that Luthor Corp employed. Clark searched the building for the current security guards. He wanted to make sure the path was clear before he started this plan.

Clark entered through the front doors and walked to the stairwell, he opened the door and zoomed up the stairs until he reached the 59th floor. He used the key card to open the door and went to the suite where Lionel Luthor's office was housed. He went in and found the place that Lex instructed him to leave the phone. The phone was set on silent ring and auto answer. After one ring, the phone would answer and Lex could eavesdrop on his father's conversation. Even better was the fact that Lex had programmed the phone to hang up with a remote signal. He could use it more than once to see what the mighty Lionel was up to. This was one of the ways he needed to get a lead on his father. What Lex really needed was to get wind of his father's plans for all those illegal funds. Lex needed a little more time and he would be able to seize those funds and put them to his own purpose.

Clark left the office and headed to the server room and the target drive that would allow Lex to destroy the records he needed to go missing. The worm would hit the backup sites and the files would cease to exist on any system. If there were paper records that were not in Lex's possession he did not know about it.

Clark projected his thoughts at Lex and let him know that he was clear of the building. He moved to an adjacent building and waited for word to come down.

Lionel walked into his office and waited for the CFO to arrive. Soon he was in a meeting and they were discussing the current financial situation and all the accounting errors that had been rectified. Lionel did hear that some files had been downloaded but they had been unable to find out who and where it happened. Lionel did not know a hidden cell phone was recording the entire conversation and that this was forcing Lex to make his move.

"James, I want to begin looking at acquiring S.T.A.R. They seem to be the cutting edge of the technology field right now."

"Lionel, the stock price is outrageous at the moment."

"You have seen Nick Brady's plans."

"Yes, I have but that is not his purview. I will find a way to cover the loan losses but I still have at least five days to present a plan."

"No, I want five thousand workers laid off and I want you to place that at his feet. It is his job to deliver bad news, is it not?"

"Yes sir, it is."

"Very well, find me a way to have S.T.A.R and to cover our cash flow shortfalls."

"Very well, sir. Thank you."

Lex heard the conversation and had to move quickly. His father had plans and that meant Lex had to steal the march on him.

June 20 Smallville

Lex sat at his computer and was hesitant to make the move. He, Tristan, and Jeff had been making plans. They had sat down with Jonathan and Martha about the course of action that was about to be taken. He had talked to them about this the night before.

Lex sat down with Jonathan and Martha. Jon was still devastated by the loss of the herd. Lex knew he was going to get lectured for his proposal but he had long since acknowledged his respect for Clark's parents.

"Jonathan, Martha...I need to discuss something with you and it is very important."

"What is it Lex?" Martha inquired.

"A way to deal with my father and to deprive him of his empire."

Jonathan perked up at that. "What are you talking about?"

"Sir, before we go any further please let me be clear that I have recently learned how corrupt my family is needless to say you were right to doubt me in the beginning. What I want to do is to deprive my father of assets he knows about and turn them against him. He can not claim them stolen because their sources were illegal."

Jonathan and Martha exchanged a look. He spoke up, "Where did the money come from?"

Lex looked down and then met the stern gaze of the elder Kent. "Almost fifty years of legal, quasi-legal, and blatantly illegal arms trading primarily."

Martha paled and Jonathan's face hardened. "Lex, what do you plan on using the money on once you have it?"

"Assuming that we are successful, I am going to use that money in combination with another source of funds to fuel a few projects. Please trust me on this, I will divulge everything to you all but I can not at this time."

"That is a tall order at the moment Lex."

"I know, please...I am going to deprive my father of that money but I want them to end up under LFK's umbrella."

Jonathan and Martha sat silently for a few moments and acquiesced. Lex nodded and sighed internally because he did not want any discord between him and Clark's parents but he knew this course of action must be taken.

The paperwork was completed and the billions in Luthor holdings overseas were now assets belonging to the Marauder Group. The entire portfolio that Chloe had helped uncover was housed by a subsidiary of LFK. Lex now had to get phased two of Marauder up and running. This was the sticky part; this was actually stealing from a tyrant. Once this began then Lex would have to see it through. He would follow his plan to the end; he had no choice once events were set in motion.

Lex, Tristan, and Jeff were in one of the rooms in the Palace that was up and running. All the computer equipment and satellite relays were in place. Lex had state of the art telecommunications equipment and he and the team were ready to get going.

Lex typed in the password from his laptop and watched as Tristan signed in on his laptop. Jeff was in another room on a conference call with Lex's associates out in the Bay Area. It was very early or late as the case may be. Tristan motioned to Lex.

"I am online with the Bank of Cathay...transferring $ 300 million dollars to Citibank, Tokyo."

Jeff signaled, "Transaction confirmed, balance sitting at $300 million for Marauder Group."

Lex nodded, "Online with Hang Sheng Bank of China, transferring $450 million dollars to Citibank."

"Transaction confirmed..."

Tristan and Lex moved all the regional assets to the Citibank account. Jeff watched as the funds reached the $5.8 billion they wanted it to hit. Lex used one of the shell accounts that was hiding the true ownership of Minerva as the first stage transaction to get the money away from Lionel's clutches. In the end Lex figured his father was stupid for leaving all this money sitting out in the open for years.

"I am initiating the final transfer to the Bahamas."

Lex and Tristan waited..."Confirmed."

Lex and Tristan waited as the European banks to open and begin round two. They were getting nervous. Anytime sums of money that large are moved there is bound to be someone noticing. Soon the transfers began to move the money. Bank of Zurich, Bank Paribas, Deutsch Bank, ABN Amro, Bank of London, Barclay's among other began a series of complex transactions from dormant accounts to other dormant accounts and finally by the time the trading day had ended more than $14 billion from the European banks had moved to the Bahamas.

Tristan, Jeff, and Lex looked up and could not believe that it was over. All the money had moved and was sitting in third level accounts. All the money was part of the new Marauder Group and the cash was going to be a hedge fund. Most importantly it was a point of vast private capital that few people on the planet had access to. Lex was going to roll his Venture group into Marauder giving him a hedge, mutual, and venture capital abilities house in one company. LFK had become one of the wealthiest private partnerships in the world over the course of the day. Lex was getting the second phase of his strategy ready to be put in play.

Clark and Whitney knew that Lex and everyone was going to be busy and they were bored. They had stayed in Clark's room and beat the crap out of each other on the Playstation II but that got boring as well. Clark knew that he had to tell his parents that he was moving out soon but he did not want a fight. He knew his dad was still depressed because the damage to the farm was extensive. He also knew that Lex was using this as a cover to begin to remove the meteor fragments from Lowell County. Clark was happy to hear that but he wanted to know how Lex was going to get it done without arousing Lionel's suspicions.

"What are you thinking about Clark?"


"Clark, you've been real moody recently, please tell me what is bothering you."


"Am I going to have to play twenty questions with you in order to get an answer?"

Clark sighed, "I don't know okay. The dreams and the solar flares are getting to me okay. I know its not as bad as when it first started but I'm uncomfortable and then this whole chemical spill and the fact that Lex said the Master suite will be ready next week..."

"Clark, things change and we move on. It is okay because a great deal has happened." Whitney kissed him and began to run his hands along his body. "Clark, you don't have to keep it all to yourself. I'm here and so is Lex. We will always have time for you. I promise to stop picking on you so much if it really bothers you."

Clark chuckled, "I don't mind that...much but I don't want to be a burden."

"Clark you will NEVER be a burden. Please think about it because Lex and I do love you and you know that to be true."

"Yes, I do. Okay but you have to promise me that you will not get mad at me even if you think I am being silly or childish."


Clark kissed Whitney deeply but they refrained from having sex. They knew that Lex could not be distracted at the moment so they left the house and headed to Metropolis for a shopping spree. Clark and Whitney wanted to restock Lex's DVD collection for the Entertainment room at the Palace. They had gotten into big trouble for the amount of money they spent in Houston but that would not stop them from spending their own money.

They waved at Clark's parents who were still dealing with the aftermath of the chemical spill. Kent Farms was closed for the foreseeable future and there was nothing anyone could do about that. The ground water had higher than legal levels of pollutants and state officials quarantined the entire farm until further notice. Everything was too toxic to take the risk.

June 21 Metropolis

Luthor Corp announced that it was laying off more than five thousand employees worldwide in a restructuring effort. Lionel was happy because the news hit Wall Street with the results he wanted. Luthor Corp stock was gaining value. He had set a peg number before he would openly declare his intent to purchase S.T.A.R. Labs. He was trying to be patient but he knew that Wayne Industries had stabilized and was regaining some of its lost value. That irritated Lionel but he could not worry about while he was dealing with Lex. He was not surprised that Lex had yet to take any action after the Kent farm accident and Roger Nixon's untimely death. Lionel knew his son all too well and could not expect him to change, he had always been weak.


Sen. Madison and Sen. Adkins left the Majority Counsel's Office with great news. The counsel said the evidence was such that the Senate could authorize an investigation. He did warn that Justice, the FBI, the IRS, and the SEC had to be informed at some point. The Senators agreed but did not want Lionel Luthor to bring to his resources into the game just yet. If he were able to get out in front of this then any investigation would be useless but if he had to play from behind then he would never be able to gain the advantage.

"So Mary Alice, when do we bring this up before the full Senate?"

"Next week, we need to talk to the law enforcement and oversight agencies before we announce but they can not leak this at all."


June 22 Costa Rica

Dr. Hamilton was very happy with the new lab. It was the best facility he had ever seen outside the United States. Moreover he had a few samples of the meteor fragments from outside of Smallville. He was curious to see if they had different properties. He knew he had seen a rare blue fragment but that had been lost with the original lab.

`If I had only known that this was the promise then I would not have put up a fight at all.'

He moved to the computer bank and began to see the radioactive properties of the different sites. They were all the same color green that the ones in Smallville were but he at least had a few samples to begin working with. He was in heaven.


Lex sat down in the Kent living room and it felt like a tomb. He had no choice.

"Jonathan, Martha, I want to repay your hospitality and ask you to move into the Palace next week when I move. Clark wants to with me and Whitney but he doesn't want to leave you here at this time."


"Look, the farm can't be used for years and I do have people looking into rehabilitating the soils but this place is not healthy at this time, emotionally I mean."

Martha looked at Jonathan and sighed, "Jon, he's right. Yes we will Lex besides if your father did that what else will he try."

"Martha, I really wish you had not asked that question but that is the other consideration, security."

Jonathan looked at Lex, "Okay, but we need to move Clark's stuff first, I assume you have a secure place there we can hide it."

"Yes sir, a vault that is in the sub-basement."

"Good. How are your plans going?"

"Phase one is complete. The new Marauder Group is worth $40 billion. Phase two is the launch of a company the Bruce Wayne and I have been working on for over three years. Where are Clark and Whitney?"

"They are hiding from you, probably at Whit's place."


"You don't know? Lex...they went shopping again."

"WHAT? How much this time?"

"Best we could figure, over two thousand dollars."

"On what?"

Martha could not stop her chuckle, "DVDs and CDs. They bought a few games for Clark's PS2."

"I have created monsters."

Jonathan laughed for the first time in days, "Yes you have, you reap what you sow."

Lex groaned, got up, and left to go yell at his lovers. He could not fault them but that meant they had spent over ten thousand dollars in less than one month.

"But Lex, that was OUR money, not yours or on one of your credit cards."

"That is not the point. You two have spent a serious amount of money on JUNK in the last month."

"Hey, we are teenagers and we are impulse shoppers. We have money to spend so..."

"Give me strength! Look, can you two please try to keep the spending to a reasonable level? I set monthly spending limits on those cards, where did you come up with two thousand dollars?"

Clark and Whit laughed but did not answer.


Whit finally spoke up, "Well, see Clark and I decided to reset our card limits, so we added a zero."

"You both have five thousand dollar limits now?"

Clark laughed, "Yeah!"

"Give me the cards right now."

"Lex, that is not fair. Look you've been busy and we were bored so we went shopping. Consider it done for the good of the nation's economy."

"The cards...NOW!"

Clark and Whitney pulled out their wallets and handed Lex their household account cards. Lex took them and placed them in his wallet.

"If you want to go shopping then you will ask me for the card and maybe you can go. I can not believe you went and reset the spending"

"You forgot to disable the live link when we were in Houston so I used my laptop to pretend to be you and since the password is saved..."

"Whitney, if I did not love you I'd seriously hurt you right now. Clark, you went along with this?"

"Yes. It was fun."

"Fine. I wish I could complain but seeing how I just broke a ton of laws or was highly unethical in the least. Clark, your parents are going to move to the Palace next week and Whitney, I want your family there as well. I do not trust my father's actions. The game has taken on ominous dimensions and no one is safe."

"Well, you will have to discuss that with them. I can tell you now that my mom will think you are nuts."

"I have to try."

Monday, June 24 Smallville

It was early in the day and an unexpected knock on the front door disturbed the quiet of the morning. Martha went to answer the door.

"Good morning, may I help you?"

"Good morning, I am looking for Mr. Lex Luthor, is he here?"

"Yes, please wait on the porch while I tell him..."

"I am Christian Smith, I am a courier for Shearn Phipps. I have a message for him from Mr. Phipps."

"I'll let him know." Martha turned and headed to the guest bedroom and knocked. "Lex?"

Lex heard the knock but it was too early to get up. Hell even Jonathan was no longer getting up early since there was nothing to do on the farm anymore. "Yes?"

Martha opened the door, "Lex, there is a gentleman on the front porch who says he has a message for you from a Shearn Phipps."

Lex heard that name and his mind instantly recognized the connection. Lex sat up quickly, put his robe on and went downstairs to meet the man.

"Hello, I'm Lex Luthor."

"Mr. Luthor, I was sent by Mr. Phipps to give you this disc. He said to consider it a token of respect and a way to open a new information pipeline with the recent death of Roger Nixon."

"I take it that there are contact instructions on the disc?"

"Yes sir, there are. If I may, I must depart and catch my flight back to Ireland."

"Yes and thank you and please thank your boss for me."

"Yes sir."

Lex looked at the material that had just been delivered and formed an alternate plan. It was going to dovetail right into his original idea and his father was going to pay a heavy price for underestimating him. He picked up his phone and called Tristan.

"Yes sir."

"Start bidding up Luthor Corp stock. Short trade it and make us some money. I want to push the price higher in the next two days."


"Because dear old dad is about to get a kick in the nuts. Do not hold any of the stock overnight, okay?"

"Yes sir. Bid it up and sell it off, got it."


Tristan started by contacting the Brokerage Houses that Marauder set up accounts with. He then moved the money and began the buying and selling of Luthor Corp stock. Jeff began doing the same thing with currencies. The Hedge fund was up and running and Lex wanted Lionel's company to be the first victim. Tristan knew it was going to be a long day.

Lex went back upstairs and noticed for the first time that the pictures on the walls were down. He walked into Clark's room and saw that it was mostly packed as well. He leaned over and kissed Clark. Clark responded by pushing at Lex. "It's too early, don't wanna play."

"Clark, please get up, I need to talk to you."

"Fine. What." Clark's hair was in a million directions and he looked like he was still asleep. Lex leaned over and kissed him.

"What is going on?"

"Sleep was going on but you ruined that."

"No, I mean all the pictures are off the walls."

"Mom and Dad said you were right and they are packing up the house. They will put some in storage but they are taking the sentimental things with them."

"Oh, okay."

Clark grabbed Lex and pulled him into the bed with him. "Now, I'm going back to sleep and you are welcome to be my teddy bear or pillow."

"Clark, its 8:30, it's time to get up."

"No, it is summer vacation and I sleep until I wake up. So nap time." Lex watched as Clark's head hit the pillow and in moments was back asleep. Lex could not believe it. He got up and went downstairs and grabbed a cup of coffee. He was apprehensive about the events currently in motion. He did not want anyone he cared for to get hurt and he was aware that something major was brewing in Washington. Lex hoped that those events slowed his father down because Lex was concerned that he father was lost all reason.


The background briefings were now being done with members of the Minority Leader's staff. A small but select number of members of the media were also being briefed. A press conference was scheduled for Thursday morning. The independent regulatory and law enforcement bodies were also being informed and presented with the evidence at this point. Official Washington now had over fifty people who knew what was going on and no leaks were allowed to occur until late Wednesday night. The story was to break overnight and the press conference on Thursday would be a firestorm.


Nick Brady was having problems working for Luthor Corp. His name was used in reference to the massive layoffs and restructuring that was taking place. He knew that was his roll when he took the job but he now had the feeling that he was being set up for something worse. He decided to take a drive to Smallville and see Lex.


Lex was at the Talon because the Palace was still under construction but the living areas were almost complete. He was in the office when Lana called and said he had a visitor. Lex went to see who it was.

"Nick, what brings you out here?"

"I need to show you some stuff and talk to you."

Lex and he talked for three hours and Lex knew he had hard evidence that would nail Luthor Corp to the wall. This was also less incriminating than the evidence he had about the arms dealing.

"Nick, I don't know if they are setting you up but do your job and it will work out in the end, I promise."

"If you say so."

"I do and again, don't worry."

Lex watched as Nick walked down the stairs and left to head back to Metropolis. He had to think about the path he wished to take. He had many avenues open to him now and he wanted to make Lionel suffer for all the pain he so casually inflicted. At the same time he did not want to be his father. It seemed that he would always have to watch his actions because it was so easy to lose sight of what was important to him.

Lex, Clark, and Whitney were hanging out in the loft and Whit and Lex could feel the misery coming from Clark. They did not need to ask but Clark answered any way.
"I'm going to miss this place. It's my home. I'll miss this loft, it was my place to go when I needed some time for me."

Lex and Whitney let Clark talk and did not say anything because they knew he simply had to express his feelings. All they did was support him and helped him when he needed it. It a way it was hard for all of them. Having to move and be together was great but there was a loss of innocence associated with the move as well. Lex would never forgive his father for the pain he caused but he would feel better once they were all safe. That was the heart of the matter. Lex did not know if he would ever be able to make them safe.


Damien was bittersweet when the Peruvian Army was able to hold the capital. It meant that the rebels had not won but it also meant that the US Army was not going to be coming here either. The one good piece of news was there would be an increased need to armaments and ammunition. That meant profits and that was all Damien wanted.

June 26 Smallville

Tristan, Lex and Jeff watched as Marauder moved money around the globe and was making the correct calls. Since his order on Monday, Luthor Corp stock had raised by over thirteen dollars a share and that was what Lex wanted. The stock was trading in the stratosphere and that would make his father arrogant. That was also one of the goals Lex wanted to achieve. He knew his father would continue to goad him but soon Lex would nail his father and the idol would fall from his pedestal.

New York Stock Exchange

Lionel Luthor was looking down on the trading floor and was so pleased nothing could ruin his day. Luthor Corp stock had closed at an all time high and he was going to use it to buy S.T.A.R. Labs and that was the key to pushing Stark, Wayne, and Worthington from their lofty perches. The only problem Lionel had was his Achilles heel, his son, but soon even that might be taken care of as well. He had come to close on a few personal items and to take a few meetings. He could not be more pleased. His son made done nothing and Lionel was now confident that Lex would never do anything to protect what was his. Lionel always knew Lex was a failure but he had shown flashes of promise earlier in the year. Lionel knew better than to get his hopes up that Lex would ever be a worthy heir.


The first editions of the New York Times and the Washington Post were being printed and delivered. The front-page story was one of corruption and deception and they had evidence that would indict Lionel Luthor and Luthor Corp. The Post was reporting that a Senate Committee had plans to investigate this matter in one week's time, ignoring the Fourth of July holiday. The Times was also reporting rumors of liability problems for a subsidiary of Luthor Corp, Cadmus Labs. These two papers would greet the policy makers and financial markets first thing and there was nothing Lionel could do to stop it. The traders in Tokyo and Hong Kong would be the first to see the Internet news and overseas trading of Luthor Corp stock would set the benchmark opening price for the NYSE lower than the previous day's closing. For Luthor Corp it would be a day of public relations nightmares and no strategy to deal with all the different issues. The one matter that was overlooked was the report that Lionel Luthor had made an offer to buy S.T.A.R. Labs at a reception in New York the evening before hand.

The Queen's Gambit

Index Page | Love & Glory | Fordman Fiction | Other Realities
The Art Gallery | The Litney Universe

Contact Authors at

Site Design: B'Lane for Silver Moon Design

Disclaimer information: Don't own them, just have fun with them.
Each story may contain or does contain explicit NC-17 material. You have been warned.

Author's Notes: This is a work of fiction. All points of reference to real events are there to provide context and keep me from having to invent everything.

Disclaimer: I own none of it, only borrowing the characters and events from DC, Marvel, and the WB.

Cast - Photo Gallery

Click for Photo/Bio
Knights, Bishops & Rooks
Enrique DeSantos
Henry Gyrich
Senator Robert Kelly
Shadows in Spring
Christopher Smith
Echoes of the Past
General Sam Thames
Shearn Phipps
Scores & Solutions
Stephen Hamiltion
Nathan Daniels
Battlements & Barricades
Tristan Fordman
Nick Brady
Damien Parker
Dominic Haynes (Senatori)
Gabriel Sullivan
Lionel Luthor
Anne Fordman
David Fordman
Sebastian Fordman
Jeff Fordman
Bruce Wayne
Plans, Detours, Goals:
Chloe Sullivan
Lana Lang
Clark Kent
Whitney Fordman
Lex Luthor
Jonathan Kent
Martha Kent
Pete Ross
Victoria Hardwick