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Underground - Chapter One - Investigation

Chapter One - Investigation || Chapter Two - Rest || Chapter Three - Lucy || Chapter Four - Wreckage || Chapter Five - Obstacles || Chapter Six - Test || Chapter Seven - Homecoming || Chapter Eight - Aid || Chapter Nine - Ache || Chapter Ten - Doug || Chapter Eleven - Richard || Chapter Twelve - Answers? || Chapter Thirteen - Fear || Chapter Fourteen - Jason || Chapter Fifteen - Resolve || Chapter Sixteen - Persuasion || Chapter Seventeen - Reasoning || Chapter Eighteen - Breakthrough || Chapter Ninteen - Shattered || Chapter Twenty - Frustrate || Chapter Twenty-One - Bill || Chapter Twenty-Two - Complications || Chapter Twenty-Three - Monster

__________

Disclaimers: Superman, its characters and storylines, are property of Warner Bros. Studios and DC Comics. I gain no profit from it, and certainly see no reason to believe I would. I’ve got more things to worry about, anyway.

 Chapter One

            The silver SUV turned yet another corner before making a stop. A set of squeaky tires, wet with the rain and slightly brown with dirt, pulled across from a darkened building and settled when the engine died. Inside, behind the wheel, the driver took one look at the building and sighed.

            No wonder he wanted to get this place fixed. In this part of the city it could masquerade as a crack house.

            She opened the door and stepped out. Another sigh passed her lips.

            Why did I decide to wear heels to this place? I knew it was raining, but no…

            A gust of wind pulled strands of hair from its bun. Waving them away irritably, Lois reached inside her jacket pocket and pulled out a faded piece of yellow paper, rereading the address before scanning the building trying to find its match. Richard had said that this was the place, but surely…

            Then again, the man had always been full of surprises. He had always talked about how sometimes the last missing pieces to a puzzle were right in front of you the whole time – the best things were right in front of your face.

            Whatever that means, she thought with a huff. Even though she knew flying was one of his passions, Richard would never go to a place like this. The building was just off the pier, a fix-‘em-up for planes and boats and other water-based machines. A small dock ran into the water, while an open garage might have been a place for jet skis to be worked on. Rust covered every surface, and the darkened skies did nothing to help the place look any more appealing. The roof looked like it was slightly caving in on one corner. Set above an opened door in need of paint, was an old sign that matched the name and address written on the paper. I guess this is it.

            She took a few steps toward the building, listening to her heels echo across the empty surroundings, and pulled her coat closer to her when the wind blew again. The door handle was cold to the touch and creaked when opened. Obviously the building had been abandoned for some time.

            “Hello?” she called out, scanning the walls before her. There were pictures hanging crookedly on the walls, papers scattered everywhere. She took another step inside. “Lois Lane, Daily Planet. I’m Richard White’s fiancée. Is anybody here?”

            The howling wind was the only sound that met her ears, the force of it making the building groan and slightly shift.  There would be a storm soon. Better to finish things now than get caught in the rain at the docks. Or caught by whoever lives around here. She shuddered at the thought.

            A small desk occupied one corner near a window. Most of the papers on the floor had to be from that area, and Lois, noting the open files on the desk, took a glance at them, keeping them in place when another gust threatened to blow them away. They were records of past clients. Several paragraphs were highlighted in yellow, others in pink. She folded back some more papers and checked the last names, pulling out a single sheet of paper with Richard’s name on it.

            Oil changed, engine and propeller blades cleaned… nothing out of the ordinary. He said these needed to be checked before he left. She scanned the paper. It recorded everything from what was cleaned and how much space was in the small plane, but there was no sign of a charge.

            The building groaned. For a moment Lois froze and looked outside. The wind had stopped blowing. Was water collecting on the roof?

            Her hand moved into her pocket and closed around the small silver lighter inside. Since she had gotten rid of her cigarettes and vowed to stop smoking, the lighter had become something she had come to rely on, a lucky charm for any mess she had gotten herself into.

            But this isn’t a mess, right? This is just a check-up on Richard and how the repairs went. If only there was someone here.

            Shaking her head at her foolish fears, she folded the paper and tucked it into the breast pocket of her jacket, taking one more glance around the small room before making her way to the door.

            The building groaned again. Loudly. Wood cracked from above her head and glass shattered all around her. Before she could scream she was buried under wet wood and sheetrock. One piece in particular, a section of the door frame, slammed hard into her leg and forced her to the floor. Her head cracked against the concrete and for a moment she saw stars.

            Water flooded over her eyes and face. If time had passed she was unaware of it. Her entire body protested every movement, and her throat felt so sore she could barely speak. Groaning against the ache in her chest when she took a breath, she braced herself for the worst and muttered pathetically, “Help.”

 -----

            In the chaos of the newsroom, with papers fluttering and voices chattering, coffee pouring and mouths screaming and muttering, keys clicking and pens clacking, footsteps racing to beat the deadline or moving slowly to their destination, the world outside as thunderous as ever, he heard her. He turned his head to the window, staring straight at the direction of the docks, and froze for only a second before racing out of the building faster than the human eye could see.

 -----

            She couldn’t feel her leg. Or her arm. She was pretty sure that trying to move anything was going to require more effort than she could manage, and would cost more pain than she could bear. The piece of the building – whatever it was – on her chest seemed to get heavier and heavier with all the water flowing onto it. Had it started to rain? And if so, had she been knocked out for that long?

            White flashed into her vision. The section of the roof was being removed but at an odd angle. She screamed, but her voice was so raw that it creaked before volume made any difference. The piece stopped moving.

            “Lois?” His voice echoed into the haze of her mind. Gentle fingers removed small pieces of debris and dirt from her face. When she finally looked up at him, squinting at the light surrounding his frame, she could barely stay awake to talk to him. “I know it hurts to move it, but it has to be removed. I’m going to lift it straight up on the count of three.”

            She tried to open her mouth to protest but found that she couldn’t do it. Her torso was being crushed beneath the roof’s weight and the pain had to be cracked ribs. She could hear his voice faintly in her mind but she couldn’t concentrate on it. He was saying something… slowly… numbers?

            Suddenly the weight was gone and only the pain remained. After a few seconds of screaming in agony, she finally fainted.

            “Lois? Hang on! Lois!?”

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
htbthomas
Oct. 1st, 2006 03:15 am (UTC)
Can I come back later to comment? I will... I just finished my Ch. 26, and I need to go to bed now. But let's see, a drabble to fire up the creative juices...

How about: It's Lois' birthday, and Clark wants to get her something special (this can be with her knowing the secret or not, you decide)
sean_montgomery
Oct. 1st, 2006 11:27 pm (UTC)
Can I come back later to comment? I will... I just finished my Ch. 26, and I need to go to bed now.

Sure. I've got all the time in the world. I'm a servant in the house of Sleep, so get all you need. *grin*

It's Lois' birthday, and Clark wants to get her something special

Hmm... 'something special' extravagant, or 'something special' simple? Or 'something special' Clark-ish? Favorite choice? I'll let you decide - unless you want me to.
htbthomas
Oct. 1st, 2006 11:43 pm (UTC)
Something special Clark-ish. Something only he could get. :)

Chapter's posted.... :)
sean_montgomery
Oct. 1st, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
Something special Clark-ish. Something only he could get.

Making it a little tougher on me, aren't you? *winks* Something only he could get... hmm...

Chapter's posted....

I read it. *big grin*
bistyboo1974
Oct. 1st, 2006 06:58 pm (UTC)
Ooh, nice start, Sean. :-) I love Clark clearly hearing Lois's "pathetic" cry for help, even over the din of the newsroom. I know he'd hear her anywhere and through anything, wouldn't he? *sighs*

I'd love to read more...

As for drabble ideas, hmm. *thinks* How about Jason discovering a new superpower? Silly or serious...your choice. ;-)
sean_montgomery
Oct. 1st, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC)
I know he'd hear her anywhere and through anything, wouldn't he?

That was the image that inspired this chapter, actually. I could see it in the theaters - Lois under the rubble trying to take a deep breath and muttering a cry, then BAM! Clark's head in the corner of the screen and he turns to the windows - not too quickly, but enough that the audience knows he heard. He's always tuned in to her. Good ol' Clark. *grin*

And you'd love to read more? Whoo hoo! I'd be more than happy to give you more!

How about Jason discovering a new superpower? Silly or serious...your choice.

You got it! I can see the drama and humor in those ideas...hmm. I might have to do both. *thinks about it*
bistyboo1974
Oct. 1st, 2006 11:38 pm (UTC)
Good ol' Clark.

*giggles*
sean_montgomery
Oct. 1st, 2006 11:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Just a subtle tip-of-the-hat. *winks*
jenna_knight
Mar. 8th, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
OK, look at me, I'm finally reading your story. Sorry it has taken me so long. I think I'm going to try and read it as you post to the Superman Returns community.

What an excellent start. You really know how to capture the audience! I really want to know what happens next. OK, off to read the next chapter.
sean_montgomery
Mar. 10th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)
Jen! You've come along for the ride! *high five* I have everything I've written so far on ff.net, but don't think that means I don't want you to keep commenting here! : D

A dynamic start was needed for this project. If I wasn't able to capture your attention from the first chapter on, it was going to be difficult to keep you in the mystery and tell the tale at the same time. Glad it got your attention. : )

On to your other reviews...

alphielj
Mar. 9th, 2007 04:11 pm (UTC)
Well that's quite a way to start off! I can tell you're an action writer, which makes me jealous. I don't write action very well. This was nicely paced and I *love* Clark heaing her little "help" from sich a distance. Love that he's tuned into her!

sean_montgomery
Mar. 9th, 2007 11:57 pm (UTC)
Yay! You've started reading it! *twirls*

Action was my first love in the writing world. I wrote for a few primarily action-based fandoms for a while, and my style and creativity have grown enough over the years that I can do it better. Good thing, too, 'cause it's only going to get worse...

My particular favorite moment of the chapter is Clark hearing her. I think, with her being the mother of his child, that he'd be tuned into her now more than ever.

Glad you liked it!
elliania
May. 12th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
What??? Oh my God, you can trust me when I tell you that I'm GALD I didn't start reading this fic from the begining!!! The ending of the first chapter's killing me!! *run to the second chapter* AAAHHH!!
sean_montgomery
May. 14th, 2007 12:34 am (UTC)
YAY! You're reading it! I hope you enjoy it! *heads to the second chapter*
saavikam77
Sep. 3rd, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
Sooo.... I feel completely remiss for not having come to read and review before now. I think I might have read the first chapter or so on ff.net way back last year, but somehow lost track of it. Anyway, I've heard so many good things about this fic that I knew I needed to get my butt in gear and head over here. ^_^

This was a great first chapter! I love that you opened with action, giving us a great hook into the story. And I *loved* that Clark heard Lois from clear across town, even through the wailing tempest outside and all the confusion of the newsroom. ^_^ That was a perfect Clois moment.

On to the next! :D

Oh, and I hope you don't mind if I friend you. You don't have to friend me back. I'm just here for the ficcish goodness. ^_~
sean_montgomery
Sep. 3rd, 2007 01:56 am (UTC)
Ah! Saavi! THE Saavi! The Saavi who beat me for Best Action Saavi! XD

Glad to see you're enjoying it so far! I'm thrilled that you've picked it up! (just give me a chance to wind this soon-to-be-epic-length fic down, and I promise I'll give Aftermath a run-through!)

And I don't mind if you friend me! Not at all! Welcome to organized chaos! And please... take all the ficcish goodness you can get your greedy little hands on. ;)
saavikam77
Sep. 3rd, 2007 02:09 am (UTC)
Ack!!! O_O

O_o

o_O

Yeah, I guess that's me. :p (And now I'm having one of those celebrity moments that I never expect O_O)

I'm definitely looking forward to getting into this fic, of course, and I can't wait for you to come over and read Aftermath. I'm posting it to my LJ as I edit - the finished story is up at The Planet - and "The Big Edit" has all the good changes and added scenes, so that's where you'll want to go, eventually. :p

Glad to be part of the organized chaos! ^_^ Thanks!
sean_montgomery
Sep. 3rd, 2007 02:11 am (UTC)
I have about five different fics I need to get started on, so I'll get to you eventually. ;)

Yeah, I guess that's me. :p (And now I'm having one of those celebrity moments that I never expect O_O)

*dies* Our small little circle of popularity. :P
saavikam77
Sep. 3rd, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
Yeah, I've got a long waiting list, too. :p

*dies* Our small little circle of popularity. :P

LMAO!!! ^_^
brdwaybebe
Nov. 27th, 2007 03:49 am (UTC)

No wonder he wanted to get this place fixed. In this part of the city it could masquerade as a crack house.

At first I thought Lois was house shopping with Richard and I was like; he wants a fixer upper that looks like a crakchouse? Or is Lois being picky.

Why did I decide to wear heels to this place? I knew it was raining, but no…

I love how in one sentence we already get an idea of what Lois is like. That little sassy spark that is so uniquely her.

Then again, the man had always been full of surprises. He had always talked about how sometimes the last missing pieces to a puzzle were right in front of you the whole time – the best things were right in front of your face.

-cough- hehehe like Clark Kent? -cough cough- hehehe excellent little seed plant there!
The howling wind was the only sound that met her ears, the force of it making the building groan and slightly shift. There would be a storm soon. Better to finish things now than get caught in the rain at the docks. Or caught by whoever lives around here. She shuddered at the thought.

This whole time there has been a overlaying feeling of discomfort as a reader. Like things just aren't right but you cna't quite figure out why. They choice to have it not only be raining but storming was very well used. You kinda laid it down in layers, making the danger slightly more noticeable as you went. Bravo!
Her hand moved into her pocket and closed around the small silver lighter inside. Since she had gotten rid of her cigarettes and vowed to stop smoking, the lighter had become something she had come to rely on, a lucky charm for any mess she had gotten herself into.

Love the call back to her smoking. You could have just had her have a lighter handed but it was a great brush stroke to add that

In the chaos of the newsroom, with papers fluttering and voices chattering, coffee pouring and mouths screaming and muttering, keys clicking and pens clacking, footsteps racing to beat the deadline or moving slowly to their destination, the world outside as thunderous as ever, he heard her.

Literally sighed here. Go get her, Clark.

“Lois?” His voice echoed into the haze of her mind. Gentle fingers removed small pieces of debris and dirt from her face. When she finally looked up at him, squinting at the light surrounding his frame, she could barely stay awake to talk to him. “I know it hurts to move it, but it has to be removed. I’m going to lift it straight up on the count of three.”

I just loved the angle you told this rescue from. Kind of crazy and hazy like poor Lois' brain but the way his voice bleeds through to her and how sweet he was. Man doncha just love him?? -swooon-

sean_montgomery
Dec. 10th, 2007 03:17 am (UTC)
This whole time there has been a overlaying feeling of discomfort as a reader. Like things just aren't right but you cna't quite figure out why. They choice to have it not only be raining but storming was very well used. You kinda laid it down in layers, making the danger slightly more noticeable as you went. Bravo!

I'm an action writer at heart. I kinda gave that away here. ;)

Literally sighed here. Go get her, Clark.

Amen! :D
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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