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               EXT. CENTENNIAL PARK - DAY

               Clark is sitting on a bench next to a woman, BARBARA SMITH.
               She's a younger woman, holding a BABY in her arms.

               Barbara is watching a swarm of reporters who surround the

                         Shouldn't you be talking to the
                         mayor, or someone important?

                         I am talking to somebody important.
                         This isn't supposed to be about
                         politics. I don't need to hear what
                         the plans are for his next term. I
                         want to talk about why we're here

               Barbara looks down at her baby.

                                   CLARK (CONT'D)
                         Tell me about your husband.

                         What do you want to know?

                         Why don't you start by telling me
                         how you met?

                         It was... Well, I guess it was
                         technically our freshman year of


                         We were in the same dorm, but we
                         didn't really talk or go out.
                         We'd see each other in the hall, or
                         at a party. Smile. Say hello. I
                         didn't even really notice him.

                         When did you first notice him?

                         He noticed me. About a year and a
                         half later, we ran into each other
                         at the library. Turned out, we had
                         a class together. He told me that
                         he missed a day of class, so he
                         wanted to borrow my notes. 
                         I found out later, he never missed
                         a class. He just wanted a reason to
                         see me again. We used to talk after
                         class. Get a cup of coffee. Compare
                         thoughts. Eventually, we started
                         talking about other things. Movies.
                         Music. Religion. Politics.

               Clark winces. 

                         Dangerous topics.

                         Not for us. We just clicked.
                         Everything fit. From there, it was
                         downhill. We got married three
                         years later.

                         When did he decide to become a
                         police officer?

                         About a year after we started
                         dating. His brother was attacked
                         and murdered outside of his
                         apartment. Dennis decided that he
                         couldn't just sit by and let it
                         happen to someone else. He felt
                         this duty to do something about it.
                         To change things.

                         That must have been scary.

                         For me, or for him?


                         It was, I guess. The thing is
                         though, no matter how scared I got,
                         I was always more proud. I admired

               INT. DAILY PLANET - CITY ROOM - DAY

               Clark and Jimmy walk out of the elevator, headed for Clark's

                         Shouldn't we have waited? Y'know...
                         until the marathon was over?

                         Perry wants the story ready for the
                         website within the hour. 

                         But we don't know who wins.

                         You heard the Mayor, Jimmy. It's
                         not a race. 
                             (checks watch)
                         Besides, we have a while before
                         anyone finishes. Just enough time
                         to get ready for the after party.
                         We'll swing by on the way and catch
                         the finish.

                         I guess.

               As they walk, they see PERRY WHITE and a GROUP OF REPORTERS
               huddled around a wall-mounted TV screen. They're watching
               Lois' sparring session with Lex.

               Clark and Jimmy stop to watch with the others.

                         How's she doing?

                                   FEMALE REPORTER
                         Lois is kicking Luthor's ass.

                         Did we ever doubt her?

                             (eyes on the screen)
                         You have that story ready for me,

                         Not yet, sir. We just got back.

                         Then you shouldn't be watching TV,
                         now should you?

                         No, sir. I'll be at my desk if you
                         need me.

               The others continue to watch the TV.


               Clark is now at his desk, staring at his computer monitor. He
               is, however, not working on his article. Instead, he is
               watching Lois' appearance on GBS' website.

               He watches with great intensity as the debate goes back and

               INT. GBS BUILDING - HALLWAY - DAY

               Lois is walking through the hallway, toward the elevators. As
               she walks, she talks on her cell phone.

                         Thank you, sir. I'll see you back
                         at the office.

               She ends the call and slips her cell phone into her pocket.

                                   MALE VOICE (O.S.)
                         You always did know how to stand
                         your ground.

               Lois stops in her tracks and turns around. She finds herself
               standing face to face with GENERAL SAM LANE, in uniform.

                         Dad. What are you doing here?

                                   GENERAL LANE
                         I'm giving an interview in about an

                         I didn't know you were in town.

                                   GENERAL LANE
                         It was a last minute invitation. I
                         was going to call--

                         --But you're a busy man. I know.
                         Well, don't let me hold you up.

                                   GENERAL LANE
                         I was going to call you later.
                         After I got out of here.


               There's an awkward silence.

                                   GENERAL LANE
                         I saw you on that show earlier.

               Lois is a little surprised by this. She almost expects him to
               be proud of her.

                         You did? What did you think?

                                   GENERAL LANE
                         I think you're a little naive when
                         it comes to this Superman guy.

               She deflates.

                         Why is it that I'm always surprised
                         when you do this?

                                   GENERAL LANE
                         I didn't do anything.

                         Yes, you did. You did the same
                         thing that you always do, which is
                         find something negative to say
                         about me.

                                   GENERAL LANE
                         Would you rather I lie?

                         I'd rather you didn't have to.
                         I need to go.

               Lois starts to walk away, but General Lane grabs her arm to
               stop her.

                                   GENERAL LANE

               She stops and turns around. She looks him squarely in the

                         You should get ready for your
                         interview, General. 

               Lois continues toward the elevator. General Lane watches her
               for a moment and then turns to walk away.

               As Lois reaches the elevator and presses the "down" button,
               she turns in the direction of her father. When she does, she
               is just in time to see General Lane shake hands with Lex
               Luthor. The men are talking politely as Lex's assistant,
               MERCY GRAVES stands nearby.

               Lois shakes her head and turns back to the elevator.

                                   LOIS (CONT'D)

               She continues to wait for the elevator. Eventually, Lex and
               Mercy join her.

                         Your father is quite an
                         accomplished man, Ms. Lane.

                         Yes, he is.

               Mercy steps in front of Lois to press the "down" button. She
               and Lois share intimidating looks as Mercy moves back to
               Lex's side.

                         Tell me, what does your father
                         think of the Superman situation?

                         Why do you care what my father

                         He's a respected military mind. 

               Lois turns to glare at Lex.

                         My father has nothing but respect
                         for the men and women who protect
                         this country.

               Lex grins.

                         I imagine he does.

               The elevator doors open.

                                   LEX (CONT'D)
                         After you, Ms. Lane.

               Lois steps into the elevator, with Lex close behind her.
               Mercy is the last to enter, pressing the button for the

                             (to Lois)
                         Which floor?

               Lois leans past Mercy and presses the button for the ground
               floor. Mercy steps back, resuming her position by Lex's side.

               INT. LEX'S CAR - BACKSEAT - DAY

               Lex and Mercy get into the backseat. The car begins to drive
               just after they close the door. For a moment, Lex is silent. 

                         I thought that went well.

                         Well? I looked like I was more
                         concerned with the bottom line than
                         with human lives. Exactly how would
                         you interpret that as "well"?

                         Since when are you so critical of
                         yourself, Lex?

                         This is a very important time for
                         me. How I come across to the public
                         is critical.

                         You did fine.

               Lex doesn't respond.

               INT. DAILY PLANET - CITY ROOM - DAY

               Clark is sitting at his desk. There is a takeout container
               open in front of him, with a sandwich and some chips inside.

               Clark is busy typing, leaving his sandwich vulnerable. Lois
               takes advantage of this as she walks past, grabbing half of
               the sandwich and settling into the chair at her own desk.

               She rolls a little closer to Clark.

                         Did you see me on TV?

                         I was in the field, so I only saw
                         part. You looked good though.

               Clark realizes what he just said and stops typing. He looks
               to Lois.

                                   CLARK (CONT'D)
                         Sounded good, I mean. What you were
                         saying was... good.

               Lois smiles.

                         Nice cover, Smallville.

               Lois takes a bite of the sandwich.

                                   LOIS (CONT'D)
                         You know who else saw it? The

                         Your father?

                         That's the one. And you want a real
                         shocker? He was once again
                         disappointed in his little girl.

                         That's... I'm sorry.

                         It's nothing new. I'm used to it by

               Something about that last line doesn't ring entirely true.
               Clark doesn't press the subject though.

                                   LOIS (CONT'D)
                         Then, to cap it all off, I see him
                         shaking hands with Lex Luthor in
                         the hallway.

                         Maybe he was just being polite.

                         They looked like golfing buddies,
                         bonding over their mutual distrust
                         of Superman.

                         Your father's not a fan?

                         Just about the only member of
                         America's military who doesn't like
                         the guy. I swear it's just because
                         of my friendship with Superman.

                         I doubt your father tries to work
                         against you.

                         You don't know the General.

               Lois notices a fancy invitation on Clark's desk for a
               fundraiser following the marathon. She picks it up and looks
               it over.

                                   LOIS (CONT'D)
                         Yup, my dad can stress me out like
                         nobody else. If only I had some way
                         of unwinding. Some way that
                         involved an open bar.
                         So, do you have a date for this

                         Only if you count Jimmy.

               Lois leans across Clark's desk and gives him a coy smile.

                         Some say I take a pretty good
                         picture, m'self.

                         You have some mustard on your chin.

               Clark hands Lois a napkin. She wipes her chin.

                                   CLARK (CONT'D)
                         You really want to go?

                         Beats sitting around, watching
                         myself on Tivo all night.
                         What do you say, Clark? Can I be
                         your date?

               Clark swallows hard.

                         Sur-- um-- Sure. Yeah. 
                         I mean, if you want to.

               Lois sits back and takes another bite of food.

                         Cool. Pick me up at eight. My dress
                         is blue, so don't wear anything
                         clashy. I know how much you love
                         your primary colors, but I swear,
                         if you show up in a red cummerbund,
                         I will kill you.
                         Oh, and if you must get me a
                         corsage, I prefer white.


                                                         FADE TO BLACK:

               OVER BLACK

                                   LESLIE (V.O.)
                         Welcome, ladies and gents, to the
                         Heroes of America annual marathon.
                         This year, hosted by my dear home
                         city of Metropolis.
                         Can I get a woop-woop?
                         Now, in honor of all the brave men
                         and women who put their lives on
                         the line for us every day, let us
                         call upon the dude who doesn't even
                         know what it's like to have a paper
                         cut. The man of steel. The guy who
                         can give a nuke a big ol' hug as it
                         goes boom, and live to tell the
                         tale. That's right, folks. Today's
                         honored guest is none other than
                         Superman! Insert pre-recorded
                         cheers here.
                         Does anyone really think that this
                         is the guy who should be standing
                         up before these brave men and
                         women, their families... their
                         children, and give a big speech
                         about how brave they are? What does
                         Superman know about brave? What
                         does he know about pain or
                         sacrifice? What does he know about
                         being human? 
                         Oh. I forgot. There was that guy
                         who managed to give Superman a boo
                         boo that one time. I totally see
                         how it all fits together now. My
                         Right now, I'm standing in
                         Centennial Park. The starting line
                         of the marathon. The finish line of
                         the marathon. The place that was
                         abandoned by the masses about six
                         seconds after the runners started
                         on their truly honorable mission
                         today. These runners are men and
                         women who serve our country. People
                         who deserve to be honored and
                         remembered. Everyone cheered as
                         Superman became the first man to
                         cross the finish line this morning,
                         but the place is now completely
                         empty, unless you count myself and
                         a homeless guy who's eating
                         leftover nachos from a container
                         someone left on a nearby bench.
                         Remind me to give that guy five
                         But why am I still here?
                         Why am I not getting ready for the
                         fancy-ass party tonight? Well,
                         besides the fact that my invitation
                         was somehow lost in the mail, I'm
                         here because the last runner has
                         yet to cross the finish line. He's
                         just now running up the street. The
                         last man in a long line of good
                         people who put in this valiant
                         effort today. Okay, so he's not
                         exactly speedy. Does that make his
                         role in today's marathon any less
                         admirable? Let's ask him.
                         Congratulations, sir! You made it
                         across the finish line. Any words
                         for my listeners out there in

                                   MALE RUNNER (V.O.)
                         Just that I'm happy to be here
                         today, running for a worthy cause.

                                   LESLIE (V.O.)
                         I'm sure you are. Now tell me, how
                         does it feel to know that Superman
                         stole your thunder about ten hours

                                   MALE RUNNER (V.O.)
                         I don't think it's about who
                         finishes first. It's about honoring
                         the heroes of our country.

                                   LESLIE (V.O.)
                         You sound like a nice guy. It's a
                         shame that nobody will care about
                         your effort today. When the papers
                         come out, the headline will be all
                         about Superman. Mark my words.

                                   MALE RUNNER (V.O.)
                         Superman is as much a hero to this
                         country as any of us.

                                   LESLIE (V.O.)
                         You're very charitable. So where
                         are you from, friend? What's your

                                   MALE RUNNER (V.O.)
                         My name's Barry. I work for the
                         Central City forensics department.

                                   LESLIE (V.O.)
                         Well, thank you for talking with
                         us, Bar. We still love you, even if
                         you are a little slow.

               INT. LESLIE'S LOFT - NIGHT

               Leslie's loft is one large room with a kitchen section to one
               side and a sleeping area toward the back. Near the living
               room area of the loft is a desk, with an impressive computer
               setup on it. The walls are bare brick, and the large windows
               give a beautiful view of the wall of a building next door.

               LESLIE WILLIS walks through the door, struggling to pull the
               key out of the deadbolt as she enters.

               Leslie is a small woman in her early late 20's or early 30's
               with a sleek geek-chic look working for her. Her hair is
               black with streaks of blue, but is styled in a way that makes
               the look almost professional.

               Finally pulling her key free of the lock, Leslie closes the
               door and makes her way into the room. She leans down to turn
               on a table lamp. As she touches the lamp's switch, a static
               shock catches her off guard.


               She turns on the lamp and sticks her finger in her mouth to
               dull the pain of the shock.

               She walks to her desk and pulls an audio recorder from her
               pocket she sets it down, removes her jacket and sits down,
               turning on her computer monitor. As her monitor comes to
               life, Leslie plugs her audio recorder into the computer. She
               also brings a microphone closer to her.

               She opens an audio editing program, and clicks the record
               button, leaning closer to the mic.

                                   LESLIE (CONT'D)
                         That concludes my marathon
                         coverage, and this week's podcast.
                         I hope you found it as thrilling as
                         I did. Over the next week I'll be
                         scouring the papers for stories
                         that don't involve a man in blue
                         tights. Will I find one? 
                         I doubt it.
                         That's why I'm also working up a
                         story on the inherent sexism in the
                         Superman madness that has swept our
                         world. Would we be falling all over
                         ourselves if this were a woman? Is
                         it possible for a female to gain
                         this level of adoration, or would
                         we be demanding more revealing
                         costumes and a spread in Maxim?
                         This week, I'll also be meeting
                         with some people about a new job
                         that I can't really talk about yet,
                         but it'd be a big step up for me,
                         so wish me luck. Hopefully I'll be
                         able to spill some beans about that
                         next week. Until then, kiddies,
                         keep your eye on the skies and
                         watch out for presents from the
                         birds that fly overhead. I know I

               Leslie clicks another button and the recording stops. She
               leans back in her chair.


               The ballroom is an extremely high class ballroom, at the
               moment filled with 1940's style decorations. A BIG BAND is at
               the back of the room, playing some WWII-era music.

               Fitting the theme, all of the GUESTS are dressed as though
               they are from the 40's. This includes Clark and Lois who make
               their way into the ballroom and take a look around.

                         You do know how to jitterbug, don't
                         you, Kent?

               Clark looks to Lois, troubled.

                         I... You mean...?

                         Relax. I was joking. I could use a
                         drink though. Shall we?

               Clark and Lois make their way into the room, walking toward
               the bar. As they walk, they notice several couples swing
               dancing in the center of the room.

                                   LOIS (CONT'D)
                         There was a time when I wanted to
                         learn how to do that.

                         What happened?

                         Took one dance class and still
                         couldn't do it. Turns out I'm not
                         very patient.

                         You don't say.

               They reach the bar. 

                                   BAR TENDER
                         What can I get you folks?

                         I don't know. What was good back in
                         the 40's?

                                   BAR TENDER
                         Martinis seem popular tonight.

                         We'll take two of those then.

               As the bar tender gets to work, a flash bulb pops. Clark and
               Lois turn around and find Jimmy standing behind them, holding
               an old fashioned camera. He's wearing a less than dressy suit
               with a bow-tie and a camera bag over his shoulder.

                         Jimmy. Nice camera.

                         It was my Grandpa's. Cool, right? 

                         You think Perry will think so?

                         That's why I have a digital camera
                         hidden in my bag.

               Jimmy removes the used flash bulb and digs a replacement from
               his bag.

                         You know that this is black tie,

                         Umm... yeah. Right. I couldn't
                         really get one of those in time.
                         But I'm totally in keeping with the
                         period, so it's not like I'm not
                         playing along.

                         Uh-huh. If anyone asks, you're with
                         the Globe.

                         Yes, ma'am. 

               The bar tender hands Clark and Lois their drinks. As they
               sip, they walk toward the center of the room, taking a look

               Lois notices a "Buy War Bonds" poster near the podium at the
               side of the stage.

                         I'm guessing the DNC didn't arrange
                         this party. 

                         It's just a theme.

                         Nothing is "just" anything in this
                         world. Haven't you learned that by
                         now? There's always an agenda.

               The music changes to a slower song. Clark notices this and
               turns to Lois.

                         Care to dance?

                         With you? 

               Clark nods. Lois smirks, debating whether or not to make a
               sarcastic comment. Finally, she decides not to and hands her
               drink off to Jimmy.

                                   LOIS (CONT'D)
                         Why not?

               Clark hands his drink to Jimmy as well, then takes Lois'
               hand, escorting her to the dance floor.

               Jimmy waits behind, holding the two martinis.

                         I'll be here.

               A WAITER passes with a tray, which Jimmy puts the martinis
               on, freeing him to take pictures.

               Clark and Lois reach the dance floor and begin dancing.

                         Try not to step on my feet.

                         I know how to dance.

                         Just making sure.

               They continue to dance for a moment, settling into a comfort
               zone. Eventually, Lois sets her head on Clark's shoulder.
               Clark doesn't mind this at all.

               As the song nears its finish, Lois looks toward the back of
               the room. She picks up her head.

                                   LOIS (CONT'D)
                         Oh, God.

                         What's wrong?

                         My father's here.

               Clark immediately assumes a much less intimate dancing
               distance with Lois.

                                   LOIS (CONT'D)
                         Cute, Smallville.
                         What is he doing here?

               LOIS' POV

               General Lane is standing near the back wall, not watching the
               dance floor. A moment later, Mercy Graves walks up to him
               (dressed in 1940's style). She whispers something to General

                         They look cozy.

                         That's Lex Luthor's assistant. 

                         Are you sure?

                         I saw her a few hours ago. I'm
                         pretty sure that's her.

                         Why would Luthor's assistant be
                         talking with your father?

                         Good question.
                         I'm going to find out the answer.

                         This isn't a story, Lois. You can't
                         trail your father.

                         Give me a good reason why not.

               Clark doesn't respond.

                                   LOIS (CONT'D)
                         That's what I thought.

               The General and Mercy start to walk toward the exit.

                                   LOIS (CONT'D)
                         You stay here and get your party
                         story. I'm going after bigger fish.

               Lois walks off, following General Lane and Mercy out the

               Clark is left, standing alone, watching Lois walk off. Jimmy
               soon joins him.

                         Left on the dance floor. That's
                         happened to me.

                         She's trailing... a story.

                         Hey, they have mini-quiche over
                         there. Want some?

               Clark takes a quick glance toward the door that Lois is
               leaving through. He then heads toward the quiche with Jimmy.

                         Yeah. Sure.

               As Clark and Jimmy walk across the room, Clark spots
               COMMISSIONER HENDERSON having a drink with his wife, MRS.

                                   CLARK (CONT'D)
                         I'll catch up to you in a minute,
                         Jimmy. I want to ask the
                         Commissioner for a few comments.


               Jimmy continues toward the food while Clark walks toward
               Commissioner Henderson. 


               Commissioner Henderson looks up and sees Clark.

                                   COMMISSIONER HENDERSON
                         Clark Kent, Daily Planet.

               The Commissioner extends a hand.

                                   COMMISSIONER HENDERSON (CONT'D)
                         What can I do for you?

               Clark shakes the Commissioner's hand.

                         I was hoping to get a few quotes
                         for my article. 

                                   COMMISSIONER HENDERSON

               Clark pulls an audio recorder out of his pocket.

                                   COMMISSIONER HENDERSON (CONT'D)
                         That hardly looks 1940's to me.

                         I tried to bring an old tape
                         recorder, but it wouldn't fit in
                         the cab.

               The Commissioner is just about to reply when his cell phone
               rings. He pulls it out.

                                   COMMISSIONER HENDERSON
                         My phone booth wouldn't fit in the
                         cab either.

               Henderson looks down at the caller ID and starts to walk off.

                                   COMMISSIONER HENDERSON (CONT'D)
                         Sorry, Kent. I have to take this.

               Clark doesn't have time to respond before Commissioner
               Henderson is gone. He finds himself alone with Mrs.
               Henderson. They exchange awkward smiles.

                         Excuse me.

               Clark walks off. As he walks, he spots Commissioner Henderson
               on the other end of the room, talking on his cell phone.
               Clark stops and focuses his hearing.

                                   COMMISSIONER HENDERSON (O.S.)
                         How many?

                                   OFFICER ON PHONE (V.O.)
                         One gunman, four hostages. All
                         First Bank employees.

                                   COMMISSIONER HENDERSON (O.S.)
                         I'm on my way.

               Commissioner Henderson hangs up and heads for the door. Clark
               watches the Commissioner leave.
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