BOOK I: PART EIGHT
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
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
"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
Clark muttered under his breath, "innocent my ass."
Lex stared at Clark and then kissed him. "I heard what you
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
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
"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
"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
"Are you okay?"
"Fine thanks. Shall we go in and begin the classical education
"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
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.
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
"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
"Glad you love me, hate to think what you'd do if you hated
"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
"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
"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
"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
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
"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
"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."
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 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
"I'm sorry, this was meant for me."
"No, it was meant for 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?"
"Later...it 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
"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
"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
"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
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
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
"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
"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
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."
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
"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
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
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
"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
`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
"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
"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
"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."
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
"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
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
"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
"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."
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.
"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
"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."
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
"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
"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