Title: Advanced Superheroics (1 of 3)
Fandom/Pairing: Community, Superman; Jeff/Annie, Superman/Lois Lane
Spoilers: None so far
Rating: PG, but G for this chapter
Word Count: 756
Disclaimer: Community and the related characters are © Sony Pictures Television Inc. and and Open 4 Business Productions LLC. Superman and Lois Lane are © DC Comics.
Description: Lois Lane receives a disturbing phone call from Annie Edison.
"National desk, Lane."
The voice on the line was soft but urgent. "Hello, Ms. Lane. My name is Annie Edison. We met at the ACP convention in Denver."
Lois rolled her eyes. J-students, she thought. You're nice to 'em for a minute or two at a grip-and-grin somewhere and they think you're best friends. "I'll take your word for it, Miss Edison," she said, a little brusquely. "Let me tell you up front that the Planet's not hiring right now …"
"What? Oh, I'm not looking for a job."
That was a pleasant change of pace this time of year. Of course, that meant …
"I have a story."
Of course she had a story. Lois sighed inwardly and wondered, not for the first time, why she got so many calls like this from students. Why do these kids want me to report their scoops? Do they think I got where I am by giving away my best stories?
Lois put down the receiver, put the phone on speaker, and resumed working on her own story, waiting for an opportunity to give the girl the brush off. But she just kept going, barely even pausing for breath. Bits and pieced filtered through: a nursing home in Greendale, Colorado; mysterious disappearances; locked rooms; armed guards … actually, it sounded like it could be a decent story, but not necessarily one for the Daily Planet. And she liked how the kid talked: her diction was clear and precise, and there was none of that rising intonation at the end of her sentences that was so common among young girls and so irritating. What the hell, I'll give the kid a break.
She was reaching for her Rolodex, intent on finding the name of a former colleague now working for the Denver Post, when the girl on the phone stopped abruptly in the middle of a sentence. She heard another voice, indistinct but gruff and angry. Lois frowned, suddenly worried. She'd had more than a few phone calls interrupted by angry men with gruff voices, and it had never been a good thing. "Miss Edison?" Lois could hear the girl talking to the gruff man, but she couldn't make out the words. The nervousness in her voice was perfectly clear, though. "Annie? Is everything OK?"
Suddenly the line went dead. Lois sat staring at the phone for a moment or two before hitting line two and calling her husband using a number that only one other person on the planet knew. She didn't know where he was, but it didn't matter; the alien technology the Justice League's communications network was built on would route her call to him no matter where on or off the planet he happened to be.
When the call connected, she heard a series of beeps that told her he could speak to her because he was flying faster than the speed of sound, but that he was able to listen to what she had to say. "Hey, Clark. There's a story I think you should look into, a nursing home in Colorado …"
Coincidentally, Clark – better known as Superman – was in Colorado when Lois called. More precisely, he was above Colorado, flying upward in a tight spiral, dragging with him a swirling cylinder of smoke and flame, remnants of a wildfire that had recently been sweeping through a national forest. He listened carefully to Lois as he spiraled through the stratosphere. When he reached the mesosphere, where the lack of oxygen, intense cold, and strong zonal winds would extinguish the flames and disperse the smoke and ash, he spun out of the spiral and turned to search for any large pieces of debris, which he vaporized with his heat vision.
He was on his way down when Lois finished her account of the call from Annie Edison. "I'm only a couple of seconds from there," he said as he scanned the forest miles below with his telescopic vision. "Looks like the fire's out. I need to go back and talk with the firefighters …"
"Do you have to do that right away?" Lois asked. "The Greendale thing shouldn't take too long."
"Probably not," Superman said, and adjusted his flight path. "Between you and Jimmy, I have a lot of practice when it comes to rescuing reporters."
"Ha ha. By the way, can I get an exclusive?"
Superman smiled at the eagerness in his wife's voice. "You know my policy, local media gets priority."
"Fine. See if I ever share a story with you again."
To be continued ...