Chapter 4: Kara
Chapter 4: KaraThe next day
“Lane, report,” Perry ordered.
“I’m in at The Metro Club,” Lois announced. “Waitress and singer. Toni Taylor is definitely calling the shots. Thomas Edge appeared in the club about ten o’clock, sat through my song. He discussed something with Toni but I didn’t get close enough to hear what they were saying.”
“Then bug the table, Lane!” White growled.
“I will. I didn’t get the chance last night is all,” Lois growled back, offended at his suggestion of incompetence. “There’s a new bartender-slash-singer as well. Charlie King. Great voice, hot as hell, and apparently knows Thomas Edge.”
“How?” Chloe asked, curious.
“I don’t know. They had a conversation that seemed to leave Edge dissatisfied, and King said something about the ‘sins of a misspent youth,’” Lois informed them, casually brushing a loose strand of naturally dark hair from her face. “I think it’s more significant that Charlie King looks a hell of a lot like Clark Kent.”
“What?” Jimmy asked, startled. “We spend all day trying to rig up something for him to hear and you stumble on him by accident?”
Lois shrugged. “Where do you go when you’re trying to hide? He’s got the dark hair – different haircut though – broad shoulders, similar skin tone, if pale… I mean, he’s got brown eyes and he’s wearing glasses, but those could easily be disguises.” Her eyes sparkled. “Oh, and he really hates his ex-wife. Dedicated his song to her.”
“He hates her and dedicated a song to her?” Bart asked, confused.
“‘She’s Not There.’ The Zombies. The bitterness was oozing out of him,” Lois explained. “Poor guy.”
“So now what?” Oliver asked.
“Now I introduce you to the one person who might be able to convince Kent we’re on his side.” Perry hit a button. A tall, blue-eyed blonde appeared dressed in a black suit, her face utterly expressionless. “I’d like you to meet Kara Kent.”
“Kara? But she – you disappeared right before the trial!” Chloe cried, standing up suddenly.
Kara’s face cracked and she offered a smile. “I’m sorry. I’d already been hired on and I had a mission to accomplish.”
“You idiot,” Chloe scowled, even as she drew the taller woman into a hug. “God, Clark really could’ve done with you here.”
“I know,” Kara sighed sadly, “but I didn’t have a choice.”
“Where were you?”
“Her mission’s classified,” Perry interrupted. “Lane, we need to get hold of Kent as soon as possible. I want you to get Kara in there tonight if you can.”
Lois gave a sigh. “Okay, but this guy… There’s something dangerous about him. I’m sure I saw him threatening someone as I left last night.”
“Prison changes a man,” Perry pointed out. “He’s spent three years locked up with some of the most dangerous minds in the country. If his memory was working all that time – he’s got to have picked up a few unconventional skills.”
Kara nodded in agreement. “Clark’s the smartest man I know. He’s going to be searching for proof of his innocence – but it won’t be the same way he would have before all this began. He’ll have delved deep into himself to survive. I’ve read the prison reports – it’s a miracle no one discovered his ability to heal given the injuries some of them inflicted. And considering what happened after they started drugging him in order to convince everyone he was insane…”
“I thought those reports were sealed,” Jimmy frowned.
“Well, I unsealed them.” Her expression darkened. “They paid someone to attack Clark. His training kicked in before his mind did. The would-be assassin ended up with a shattered sternum, broken nose, five broken ribs, broken arm and wrist and internal bleeding in the abdomen. The drugs meant he couldn’t control himself. Then when he finally realised what had happened… That was when the guilt kicked in and they upped the dosage to send him into a downward spiral.”
“Holy hell…” Oliver murmured in shock. “Clark did that?”
“He learned the martial arts at college as a way to help him control his abilities and figure out how to incapacitate people without giving away his strength or hurting them too badly,” Kara explained. “The side effect is that they taught him that his body is a deadly weapon. I’m the only person on the planet who can risk going against him in a fight. If we’re lucky, it won’t come to that.”
“So what, we head into the club, you find Kent and convince him to come in to us?” Lois asked. “I don’t think he’s that trusting.”
“I have my ways,” Kara replied secretively. “Things no one else could know.”
“So, how are you and Kent related?” Lois asked in her apartment later that day.
Kara shot her an enigmatic smile. “My birth name is Kara Elliot.”
That statement brought the spy up short, causing her to drop the dress she was holding. Swearing softly, Lois picked it up, brushing off dust as she slung it back into her wardrobe. “So you’re his biological cousin? What’s with the Kent thing then?”
“My father was a scientist like Clark’s. Zachery Elliot and my mother, Alura. When Uncle Jordan and Aunt Lara died, my parents went into hiding. They would have taken Clark in but my mother was already pregnant with me and Mr Potter figured that Clark would be safer elsewhere, even with his abilities. Aunt Lara was his cousin, though, so we knew we could trust him.”
Lois frowned at her. “How?”
“Family is everything to the Elliots and the Potters. Mr Potter sent Clark to his second cousin on his mother’s side, Martha Kent, who was incapable of having children. My parents were discovered and killed when I was ten and I was taken in by Mr Potter and his family. When I left, they set me up with a new identity as Clark’s cousin via the Kents. Uncle Jonathan had a cousin in Minnesota who died a few years earlier so it wasn’t hard to fake my appearance. The Kents welcomed me with open arms.”
“Doesn’t surprise me. I’ve met the Senator and Mrs Kent. They’re good people. Didn’t deserve what happened to their son. Neither did Clark,” Lois sighed. “I’ve seen what happens to innocent people in prison, Kara. And you’re right. He’s not going to be the same man that went in. Especially considering what he’s learned about his wife.”
Kara winced. “Lana fooled us all. I mean, we should have known, given their stormy history, but still… I couldn’t believe it. The only way that money could have got into that particular account was if someone put it there – and it wasn’t Clark.”
“What about his laptop? Shouldn’t that have gone into evidence?”
Kara shook her head. “When Clark was taken into custody he was working on a huge story. That’s all he’d tell anyone. Every note he had was on that laptop. That’s one of the reasons I disappeared. I took the laptop with me. I couldn’t crack the protection – no one can – but I didn’t want to risk it falling into Lex Luthor’s hands. He’s behind this, all of it. Whether it was because he wanted Lana or because of Clark’s story, I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure he has a connection to the Crimson Hand.”
Lois stared at her. “You’re sure?”
“Positive,” Kara replied with a single, pensive nod.
“Damn.” Lois sighed. “I mean, we’ve had our suspicions – they don’t exactly act like ‘normal’ terrorists, if there’s such a thing, but… Well, it would explain a hell of a lot.”
“Wouldn’t it just? Like how the Crimson Hand manages to get its hands on military-grade weaponry for a start.” Kara quirked a brow, before sighing. “So, what am I going to need to do to get in there?”
“I think you’d be better as a guest than an employee. Easier for you to suddenly disappear,” Lois explained. “You can either go for the ruthlessly professional look – a bit like your suit now – or for the ruthlessly sexy look.”
“But I have to be ruthless either way?”
“They’re all ruthless in there,” Lois replied.
“Alright then. What did you have in mind?”
By the evening, Lois had disappeared into the club for her job while Kara Kent was decked out in a jet black designer trouser suit. She wore a black silk camisole beneath and heeled black boots. Her blonde hair was slicked into a neat bun and anyone who looked closely enough might have been able to see the gun hidden in the small of her back. It wouldn’t matter if they did – there was another strapped to her ankle and a knife in the other boot. She looked like a professional, the corporate kind of assassin who could leave you bankrupt and facing the police if you failed to pay your debts. Which was, after all, the look she was going for.
Initially no one noticed as she entered but slowly people began to pay attention. Including the owner of the establishment.
Toni Taylor walked up to the young woman with interest. “I see no need for anyone to have to drink alone in The Metro Club.”
“Oh, you don’t?” Kara enquired in the English accent of her youth. It was impeccable, memorable and – more fun in her mind – it was the accent Americans constantly seemed to associate with ‘baddies.’ She wasn’t entirely sure why since, on the whole, Britain’s criminal underworld wasn’t nearly as turbulent as other countries’ – including America. Maybe it was just that they played evil so well.
“No. Toni Taylor. I own the place.” Toni offered a hand.
“Laura Pierce.” Kara accepted the handshake, the contact allowing her to plant a permanent chemical tracking device on the other woman’s skin without arousing any suspicion.
“So, can I help, Ms Pierce?”
“I’m looking for someone.”
“Aren’t we all?”
Kara gave a cold chuckle. “Perhaps. Charles King.”
“Our new bartender?”
“News travels fast. His voice is… distinctive,” Kara explained. “Let’s simply say I wish to head-hunt him.”
“Well, he’s actually done his act but one of our girls called in sick so he’s had to do an emergency rehearsal for a duet with Lola, another of our singers.” Toni sighed. “Those two –they’re the best hiring this place has done in years.”
That was new and certainly unexpected, Kara mused. Lois and Clark singing together?
“When will he be finished?”
“Soon, they’re on in a few minutes. I can go now and –”
“That won’t be necessary, Miss Taylor,” Kara replied with a crooked smile. “I can wait.”
“Very well. But won’t you join me at my table?”
Kara bit her lip for a moment before nodding. “I suppose you have a better view.” It would also give her the opportunity to plant a bug.
With an easy grace she picked up her martini – her own private nod to her fictional idol James Bond – and followed Toni to the best table in the house, close to the stage. She was rather looking forward to hearing Clark sing. She had always wondered why no one had heard his voice since that had always been another Elliot trait, although Clark’s freeform dancing left a lot to be desired. Lana had spoken of his serenading her in his proposal but no one had really thought he could sing.Keep your talents and advantages to yourself,
she thought. Hide and surprise. Guess it was a good idea.
Meanwhile backstage, Lois was worrying about the duet.
“What if something goes wrong?”
“You don’t strike me as the nervous type, Lola. We’ve both had plenty of applause tonight. They’ll lap up a duet,” ‘Charlie’ assured her.
“Easy for you to say, Romeo,” she huffed. “You knew the song.”
“So did you.”
“Not well enough to perform!”
“You know it now.” Charlie rolled his eyes, causing one of the coloured contacts to slip for a split-second. Lois forced herself not to react to this confirmation of her hunch about his true identity.
“Maybe… So why did you know it? You ever sing it with anyone?” Lois asked curiously as she tugged on the outfit they had selected for this number.
“No. I just liked it.” Charlie – Clark Kent – shrugged, but she could tell he was holding something back. There was another reason he knew it.
“So, you ready to go out and wow the audience?”
“I’ve been ready for the past five minutes. You’re the one still changing.”
,” Lois acknowledged, bringing up a lipstick to freshen the colour even as another girl tightened the corset she wore.
No one would be able to deny she looked good. They had managed to find her an outfit that suited the song they were singing – a white off-shoulder blouse with a dark red corset and a black skirt. A red rose pulled back the auburn-tinted hair on one side. Thank God Keith had discovered a way to make the illusion last and respond to her commands, or she’d be dealing with wigs or dye every night.
“You ready, partner?” Clark asked, offering her his arm gallantly.
Lois nodded, slipping her arm into his. “I’m ready… partner.”
“Ladies and gentleman, for your enjoyment, a Metro Club exclusive, please welcome to the stage the talented Mr Charles King and the exceptional Miss Lola Dane!
Sorry, this should have gone up ages ago. Will try to be better behaved about posting! Unfortunately, I can no longer remember which pieces of fanart (obviously not the chapter titles) matched the chapters. Should I keep them, or just use the chapter titles and store the rest in a separate story of fanart?
Let me know what you think - and you're free to guess at Lois and Clark's duet.