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.
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.
Not for us. We just clicked.
Everything fit. From there, it was
downhill. We got married three
When did he decide to become a
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.
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
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?
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
The others continue to watch the TV.
INT. DAILY PLANET - CITY ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
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
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?
I'm giving an interview in about an
I didn't know you were in town.
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.
I was going to call you later.
After I got out of here.
There's an awkward silence.
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?
I think you're a little naive when
it comes to this Superman guy.
Why is it that I'm always surprised
when you do this?
I didn't do anything.
Yes, you did. You did the same
thing that you always do, which is
find something negative to say
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
She stops and turns around. She looks him squarely in the
You should get ready for your
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.
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
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
I imagine he does.
The elevator doors open.
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
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
This is a very important time for
me. How I come across to the public
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
Sounded good, I mean. What you were
saying was... good.
Nice cover, Smallville.
Lois takes a bite of the sandwich.
You know who else saw it? The
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.
Then, to cap it all off, I see him
shaking hands with Lex Luthor in
Maybe he was just being polite.
They looked like golfing buddies,
bonding over their mutual distrust
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
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
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
You have some mustard on your chin.
Clark hands Lois a napkin. She wipes her chin.
You really want to go?
Beats sitting around, watching
myself on Tivo all night.
What do you say, Clark? Can I be
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:
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
INT. METROGRAND HOTEL - BALLROOM - NIGHT
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
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.
There was a time when I wanted to
learn how to do that.
Took one dance class and still
couldn't do it. Turns out I'm not
You don't say.
They reach the bar.
What can I get you folks?
I don't know. What was good back in
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
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
Uh-huh. If anyone asks, you're with
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
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?
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.
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.
My father's here.
Clark immediately assumes a much less intimate dancing
distance with Lois.
What is he doing here?
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?
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.
That's what I thought.
The General and Mercy start to walk toward the exit.
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.
As Clark and Jimmy walk across the room, Clark spots
COMMISSIONER HENDERSON having a drink with his wife, MRS.
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 looks up and sees Clark.
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.
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 Commissioner is just about to reply when his cell phone
rings. He pulls it out.
My phone booth wouldn't fit in the
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.
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.)
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.