Steel Terror! (IAOS)

Previous storylines of the Interactive Adventures of Superman have been collected here for you to read. The story on this page was a prelude to the "Voodoo Childe" storyline.

"Steel Terror!" Chapters:
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight


"STEEL TERROR!"

The Story So Far...

Chapter One - "Smoke and mirrors"

The skyline of Metropolis is famous worldwide. There's the Daily Planet, what some consider the soul of Metropolis, and Lexcorp, the lifeblood of the city. A few years ago the skyline of the world's greatest city was changed forever. The world was changed. Earth's champion had arrived, clad in red, blue and yellow. That champion was called, Superman.

Clark Kent was a troubled man. The woman he... loved?... was still ignoring him after he beat her to the Superman exclusive. Still, Clark thought, that was better than her almost hateful remarks. He had decided from the moment he knew he liked her, that it would be as Clark that she should be attracted to him, and not Superman. That would be too easy. Too shallow.

Though he did not need to drink or eat, Clark helped himself to another cup of coffee. He had booked the weekend off from work at The Daily Planet, and so far it looked as if his duties as Superman would not be needed either. That suited him fine, except for the fact that he couldn't get Lois Lane out of his mind. Oh, for a distraction, the man from Smallville thought.


Across town, in one of the more up market places, a man dressed in leather trousers, boots and a biker's jacket entered Price Towers. He was soon stopped.

"I'm afraid you can't come inside, sir. You do not meet our dress code." said the doorman politely.

"I have rented one of your overly priced apartments. Now let me through." replied the biker. As he stepped through the doors into Price Towers, the doorman blocked his path.

"I'm sorry, sir, but I know everyone here and I don't know you." he said firmly.

"I just moved in." the biker said casually as he glanced back outside and onto the darkened city streets. The man looked back at the doorman, an elderly man, earning a few extra dollars to help cover his pension. "You should be careful. Working too hard could give someone your age a heart attack."

The doorman began to wheeze. He reached inside his smart green jacket and pulled out a battery pack.

"You know, those old pacemakers, they don't work so good."


Clark heard the explosion and had arrived, as Superman, way before the fire crews had left the station house. Price Towers was surrounded by smoke at the seventeenth storey up and climbing. Superman could see as he approached the apartment where the explosion had started. It was strange. The explosion had been rigged to cause maximum smoke, but minimum fire damage.

A quick x-ray scan showed that no one was in the apartment. Another look showed that the building was structurally sound. A third showed that no one was hurt, though many people were sitting up in bed, or had gotten up in the confusion.

The corridor window was open. Flying through it, Superman headed for the damaged apartment. Everything looked normal except for the fire extinguisher that was lying upside down and halfway up the wall. The door knob, number plate and post slot of the opposite flat were also stuck to the wall. Superman tried to pull the extinguisher off. Stuck fast. Magnetism.


Chapter Two - "Warning: cutlery can seriously damage your health"

With a little more effort, Superman was able to pull the fire extinguisher off the wall. The effort required was incredible, the extinguisher was strongly attracted to the wall. Superman let go of it and watched it rush back to the wall and land with a dull clang. "What's happening, Superman? What was that noise?" came a woman's voice from behind The Man of Steel. Using his heat vision, he melted the lock and opened the door. "Go back to your apartment, Ma'am. Everything is under control." he answered as he stepped over to the door of the apartment. To a normal man the smoke would have obscured everything but with Superman's supervision the smoke-filled flat couldn't hide anything.


"What do you make of the message, Superman?" asked Maggie Sawyer as she and Superman stood in the apartment's kitchen. Police officers busied themselves around them collecting evidence. When Superman had cleared the area of danger and made double sure there was no one in the apartment, he opened the windows to clear the atmosphere. Everything was normal except for the kitchen where a message had been written on the wall using various pieces of cutlery. It said. "Piece Two. The next will be more valuable."

"It's clearly a threat. Who lives here?" answered Superman.
"Sharon Snape, she's a model."
"If this is the second piece, what was the first?" asked superman rhetorically.
"Ms Snape can be the only one who can really answer that."
"I assume someone has checked on her?"
"She's across town doing a fashion show for one of LexCorps charities. I've sent people to see her." answered Capt Sawyer.
"I think I best be going." said Superman suddenly.
"Why?"
"If piece three is more valuable than this" he looked around that the flat, "it could well be Ms Snape's life!" Superman had barely finished the sentence when he shot out of the open window.


Camera flashes seemed to endlessly barrage some of the most beautiful women in the world as they walked down the catwalk. The compare stood behind his podium spouting his sales talk for Cavalieri suits and dresses. The compare's microphone suddenly jumped out from it's stand and struck him directly between the eyes. No one else noticed when a man in biker leathers stepped into the compare's place, well not until he spoke.

"Ladies and gentleman," he began. His voice sounding as rough as his appearance. "sorry to interrupt, and will someone turn that awful music off. As the music came to an abrupt ending people began to panic and the models ran from the catwalk screaming.

"I would like to direct your attention to the various guards positioned around the hall here." people naturally looked and saw the "LexCorp" security had drawn their weapons and were pointing them at the audience. Two of the guards seized a fleeing model and dragged her to the biker.

"All I want is the beautiful, Ms Snape and that master of commerce... Lex Luthor. Or," He placed a gun against the models head. "the hostage dies."


Clark had seen an advert for this Celebrities evening in the society column of the Daily Planet. He was there in seconds, standing on the roof. A lead roof! It didn't matter, he had looked through the walls as he approached. Now was a time that didn't require subtlety. Spinning at an incredible speed, Superman drilled through the roof and landed on the catwalk with a sizable pile of rubble.

"This is your only chance!" Superman demanded "Surrender!"


Chapter Three - "Magnetic Personalities"

"I said, surrender!" repeated Superman as he stood at the end of the catwalk looking at the biker and Ms Snape.

"Surrender?" The biker was quiet while he thought about the option. "Very well, I accept."

"What?" Superman replied, thrown by the biker's answer.

"I accept you offer. Now leave us be." The biker tightened his grip around Ms Snape's throat and began to drag her away and out the back of the catwalk.
"All I need now is Luthor. Guards!"

Superman turned and watched as two guards walked down the aisle and towards Luthor who sat by a particularly beautiful woman at the end of the catwalk behind where Superman was standing. "NO!" snapped the Man of Steel. "Release her, and call off your men, whoever you are."

"Do you expect me to fear you Superman?" replied the biker. The guards continued to move towards Luthor. "You've been flying around these skies, for how long now? Six, seven months? I assure you, that is more than long enough to learn your MO. I know you won't harm me, my guards, or most importantly, risk harming any innocents in this hall."

"Don't bet on that."

"Oh, Superman, I already have." The biker turned his attention to Luthor. "Seize him. Bring him to me." The two burly guards grabbed the balding businessman. The girl beside him screamed.

"Let me go! What is the meaning of this?" bellowed Luthor, the last remains of his red hair flying wildly as he struggled.

"Mr Luthor, don't you remember me? Superman, you wanted to know who I am, why not ask, Mr Lex Luthor here."

"What's going on here, Luthor? Who is he? Why does he want you and Ms Snape?" asked Superman. Luthor's eyes seemed to narrow as he looked at the man at the far end of the catwalk. The two guards, with Luthor in a double nelson, hauled him up onto the catwalk and past Superman. As the Man of Steel watched them pass he felt torn. Luthor was his sworn enemy, but he could still not allow him to die. But if he moved, the remaining guards could open fire on the helpless audience.

Superman watched Luthor being dragged before the biker where he was forced to the floor. "Dear Mr Luthor..." the biker lashed out kicking the fattening man in the face. The audience screamed and Superman began to move. "I don't think so, Superman. Stay right there, and I'll tell you a story..."

"Luthor here is responsible for what I am today. You see," the biker let go of the hostage, and handed her to one of his guards, "I was a scientist, I was Dr Hudson. Remember me now, Luthor?"

He did. A year ago Luthor Labs was carrying out a series of experiments into magnetism. The idea was to create a new superweapon. A superweapon he could "accidentally" lose to Quarc, so the American Government would also buy his invention. The experiment was a failure and the lab exploded.

"But... you're dead." said Luthor.

"Oh yes, I am. For all intents and purposes I am. My life ended then, or at least everyone thought so, everyone that mattered like my wife, my family."

"And you want your life back?" asked Luthor. "I can do that."

Dr Hudson rolled his head back and laughed. "Why would I want that? I'm better than before. Bring them." Hudson turned, and began to walk away and out the back of the stage, his guards and hostages following him.

"Wait! Regardless of your past I cannot allow you to take those people." said Superman suddenly.

"Oh yes. I forgot about you." replied Hudson. He turned and looked at Superman. "This, Man of Steel, is why I'm quite happy the way I am." Hudson held up his hand and flicked his finger towards Superman. Superman was lifted off the stage and thrown to the floor, his super dense body crashing through it. "Finish him boys!" cried Hudson. Around the auditorium the guards began to move in and fire at Superman. It didn't matter where they fired, up in the air, away from the Man of Steel, all the bullets homed in on Superman's magnetised body.


Chapter Four - "Mistakes and Tragedies"

Dr Hudson holding Ms Snape at gun point!Hudson and his small group of hostages and guards disappeared from the stage as the rest of his men kept shooting bullets at Superman.
"Is all the equipment in place?" asked the doctor.

"Of, course, Sir," replied one of the men holding Luthor.

"Good. Take this piece of fluff and move." Hudson handed over Ms Snape in the roughest manner he could. The guard had to rush in to stop the model from being thrown to the floor.

Luthor took his chance. He kneed the remaining guard that held him in the stomach. As soon as he was released he reached inside his dinner jacket to retrieve the gun he had placed their before leaving his executive suites that evening. The gun was soon in his hand and pointing at Hudson.

"You won't take me that easily. I am Lex Luthor. I should crush you like the worm you are!"

Hudson looked on with a stony face. "Go ahead. Make my day. Pull the trigger, Luthor." The gun in Luthor's hand began to turn and point back at him. Luthor put his left hand on the gun to try and stop it. It made no difference. Luthor dropped the weapon. Just as it was about to hit the floor, it took a graceful arc and landed in Hudson's hand. "A foolish attempt, Lex. You should know by now I control all metals and metallic-like substances. Now, move. We have a pressing engagement to attend.


It took a while for Superman to recover. He freely admitted that being lifted off his feet came as a surprise, but not as much as being pelted by hundreds of hot lead bullets. He thought it was only steel and iron, that were magnetic? How am I effected. He didn't spend to much time worrying about it. He had to save Ms Snape, and sadly, Lex Luthor. He leapt up out of the hole and hovered once more in the auditorium. As soon as he reappeared the gunmen stopped shooting.

"It seems you got the message. Throw down your weapons!" ordered Superman. The guards turned and began to fire on the hundreds of panicking people in the packed room. They had been briefed by Hudson before the hostage taking. "We know," he had said, "that bullets won't harm The Man of Steel. Therefore we have to kick him where it hurts. If he comes after me, shoot the rich, decadent *$@&#!", and so they did.

"NO!" Superman bellowed. His heat vision lanced out as he twisted in the air, melting as many of the weapons as he could see. Around him people began to fall as bullets struck them. The auditorium was filled with carnage. Guns were still being fired. There were still more guards out there. As Superman began to use his super senses, Maggie Sawyer and her SCU burst in through the doors. The room filled with even more panic.

"Superman!" a voice called out. A woman's voice. Lois Lane's voice. Superman would recognise it anywhere. A quick glance revealed where the remaining gunmen had gone. Using all his superspeed, Superman flew down and landed in front of the famed Planet reporter just as the gun men began to fire. Once more the bullets began to pelt him, but at least Lois was safe. The bullets seemed to become less and less, until eventually they stopped.

"Superman?" It was Maggie Sawyer's voice. As he turned to look at her, he noticed the gunmen lying on the floor, all shot in strategic places to cause a "take down" wound, but not kill them.

"Is it over, Maggie?"

"Yes, my men are securing the area. But there are dozens of wounded. Ambulances are on their way, but there are a few wounded who I don't think will make it. You must fly them to hospital!"

"But what about Hudson?"

"I've sent some of my men after him. And if we lose him, we have a source of inside information." replied Maggie. Behind her, some of her team began to cuff the shot gunmen and read them their rights.

"It's too dangerous, I must go."

"They can handle it, but these wounded people WILL die if you don't help them."


Chapter Five - "Dead ends and Rivalries"

Superman carrying the wounded to hospitalThere were four people who were mortally wounded. Superman rushed to the back row of chairs in the auditorium. Using his heatvision, he severed a row of four seats from the strip, and then tore them from the bolts that held them to the ground.

"Everybody climb aboard. Fast trip to Met ER." said Superman as he beckoned the people to sit down in the chairs. Once they were seated, some helped by the SCU team, he added. "Hold tight. I'll try and be as smooth as I can."
Gripping the row of chairs, Superman and his cargo, slowly rose up into the air and disappeared through the hole he had made in the roof on his way in earlier.


"But chief, these are great pictures." whined Jimmy Olsen.
"Olsen... Don't call me chief!" shouted Perry White as he walked back into his office and shut the door, leaving a crest fallen Jimmy to wander over to Clark Kent.

"Well, Jimmy, I think they're ok." said Clark, a warm smile crossing his face.
"Gee, thanks, Mr Kent." Jimmy put the photos down on Clark's desk and glanced at Clark's monitor. "What's that?"
"An old LexCorp file. Hudson used to work for Luthor. It appears everything he said last night is true."
"And the guy just disappeared?"
"That's right, Jimmy. By the time Superman returned the trail was dead."
"Dead to Superman perhaps, but not, Lois Lane!" The voice of the paper's star reporter came from behind the chatting friends.
"Hi, Lois" said Jimmy, and then quickly disappeared.
"So, Kent, seems I got this Superman exclusive."
"Going to tell me?"
"Yeah, right, Kent after you took my Superman exclusive seven months ago?"


"You are in a world of trouble mister. No one, and I mean no one kidnaps Lex Luthor and gets away with it!" Lex was practically foaming at the mouth as he sat, tied and helpless in the chair, Sharon Snape bound on another chair behind him.

"Oh no, dear Lex, it is you who is in a world of trouble. You see, now that we are safe and secure in my secret headquarters, I can torture you and not worry about who hears you, because no one will. Let me demonstrate." Dr Hudson, walked over to a small stainless steel table which had a variety of medical instruments laid out on it. "I can use anyone one of these," he pointed to a row of scalpels, "and I don't even have to hold them. Tell me, Lex, have you ever cut up a bull's eye? At school perhaps?" Suddenly the scalpel lifted off the table and shot across the room straight towards Lex's eye.


Superman glided gracefully through the air as if he didn't have a trouble in the world. He landed in front of the police precinct, and walked in. Finding Maggie Sawyer's door, he knocked. He waited for an answer and walked in.

"Superman." said Sawyer, nodding her head and stubbing out her cigar.
"What information did your interrogation bring out?"
"Well, Hudson's men where tough cookies, I don't mind telling you that. It seems Hudson is in the business of hiring mercenaries. Among the captured we had ex-British agents, Mossad, Russian Spetsnaz troops, a regular pot pourri."
"Some dangerous men..."
"Sadly, none of them really told us much. Honouring their contracts I guess."
"Anything? Anything no matter how small?"
"Well, there was the suggestion that maybe Hudson went to his old lab."
"The one that blew up?" asked Superman.
"Seems a little obvious, doesn't it?"
"Well I have a few ideas of my own. I'll let you know if I find out anything."

Superman left the precinct, and rose up, up and away.


Chapter Six - "Hideouts and Lookouts"

Though it seemed a little too obvious, Superman decided that Hudson's old lab gave the best options in an investigation, where he was making no headway. LexCorp security where being very helpful, for once. Clearly they wanted their boss back. However, the wily chief of security, Drake had insisted, between puffs on his cigarette, that his team be allowed to come along. LexCorp working with Superman? Was it possible?

With a team of 10 LexMen following behind, with Drake on point, Superman cruised over Metropolis, checking his speed so as not to leave the others behind. Something came to Superman's attention. It was the sound of a siren. Superman swooped down to the location, leaving Drake and his men behind.

Gracefully landing on the ground, Superman used his x-ray vision to look through the walls and into the bank. Five men where holding it up, the customers lying face down on the floor. Superman needed to deal with this fast. Looking around he saw exactly what he needed.

The workman was resting for a while, wiping the sweat from his brow. Digging a hole in the middle of the busiest street in Metropolis was not the easiest job. As well as the work, he had abuse hurled at him all day.

"Hello. Mind if I borrow your tent?" Superman pointed at the small, plastic, orange and white workman's tent.

"You're... you're...." was all the man could say.

"Yes. I'm Superman. I'll take that as a yes." Superman smiled and flew off with the tent to the bank.

Inside the five men began to shove the cash they were being given into large bags. One of the customers tried to lift their head off the floor.

Seeing this one of the criminals yelled, "You were told to lie sti...." he was cut off as the tent scooped him up. He was quickly joined by his four friends as Superman flew through the bank and out the other side.

"Drake." called out Superman. "I have a new assignment for you." Superman handed over the tent of hoods over to two of the LexCorp men. "Take these to the police." Superman turned, and flew off.


They say that head wounds look worse than they are. By looking at Lex Luthor you would hope so. Blood had poured from below his eye and ran down his face. Hudson smiled as he left the scalpel spinning before the industrialist's eye.

"You see, there is nothing that I cannot do. From the most intricate work..." The scalpel stopped spinning and moved down to towards Lex's left cheek. The blade put pressure onto the skin, and slid in. The blade moved down, opening a slit down the flesh. "...to the most... well, not so intricate."

Lex said nothing. He decided long ago that Hudson enjoyed watching his victims rant and rave. Now, Luthor held nothing but disgust for the man. He had given Hudson everything, and taken it away. That was his right.

"You are nothing, Hudson" Lex said in the calmest voice he could.

"If you made nothing, Lexy, then why is your face currently in tatters. If... IF! you should escape, I hope that your plastic surgeons are as good as you claim."

"Not as good as LexCorp security. They'll find you and hunt you like a dog."

"Lex. Their suits are made of metal, and as you know, there is no metal that I cannot control." The scalpel slipped from Luthor's cheek and raced towards Hudson outstretched hand. "I think we are about to have company. According to MY security, Superman is approaching."


Superman gets angry with HudsonThe site of Hudson's old lab had soon recovered from the explosion. The small hillock was now a nice, green, lush area. Flying as fast as he could, Superman began to spin and drilled into the hillock and kept going till he burst through into the lab below. Through the dirt and dim lights, Superman could see Hudson, and his two captives.

"Give it up, Hudson" said Superman pointing at the maniac.

"O.K."

Superman was used to Hudson's unexpected answers and if he was surprised by it, he didn't show it. He walked purposefully towards the two bound captives, keeping his eyes firmly fixed on Hudson, just in case. Luthor looked terrible. Superman kept whatever pleasure he got from this deep within his heart.

"Are you two O.K.?" he asked as he knelt down beside them.

"What do you *%£$*&# think?!" replied Luthor.

"Don't worry. I'll have you both out of here."

Hudson folded his arms and watched as Superman went to untie the ropes that bound Sharon Snape to the chair. "Wrong idea, Superman."

The explosion was so fierce that Superman's body was thrown away from Hudson and his captives, back through the lab roof and the covering soil. His body span and span as it was carried back towards Metropolis.

Superman was vaguely aware that he stopped moving. Drake held The Man of Steel in his arms. "You O.K.?"


Chapter Seven - "Enough is Enough"

"Are you OK?" Drake repeated as he looked down at The Man of Steel's body.
"No, I am not." Superman replied rather forcefully. "Hudson has gone too far!"
"Hey, calm, down Supes."
"Hudson is mine. You and your men wait right here."
"Okay. I can see that you need to do this alone, but here," Drake handed Superman a radio head set. "Just in case you change your mind."
"Thanks." Superman smiled and suddenly he didn't look so grim anymore. "Now, Hudson gets what's been coming." Superman took a moment to place the headset on, and then rocketed off.
"Boy, I wouldn't want to be Hudson right now." said one of Drake's men.
"He did look a bit ticked off didn't he!" Drake smiled.


Superman came to a sudden halt above the newly churned wreakage. "Right. No more mistakes. Start using your head, Clark."
A quick scan with his x-ray vision showed all that he needed to know. Below the soil was the room that he had been in moment's earlier, now just more crushed concreate and twisted metal. Below that was another room. A room he would have noticed if he had used his head before. He could see Hudson, his hostages and a some of the guards from the fashion show. Before the bound Lex and Sharon Snape was a video camera. What he had seen before had been some sort of projection which obviously triggered some sort of explosive device when he tried to rescue the hostages.
Not this time.
This time he scanned throughly, there didn't appear to be any thing to worry about. Just the guards and Hudson. Superman began to drill his way down.


"Sir, Superman has returned" announced one of Hudson's guards from his computer terminal.
"As we expected. You know what you have to do."
"He's about to arrive n..."
Superman continued to spin as he came through the ceiling and hovered in the air.
"Fire!" ordered Hudson.

The remaining guards from the Fashion Parade opened fire on the Man of Steel. Superman continued to spin. As the bullets came towards him, they got caught in the votex he was creating and dropped down in a harmless pile beneath his red booted feet. Slowly one by one the guards ran out of bullets. Superman stopped spinning. With his arms folded across his chest, he slowly shook his head in disgust as he melted all the weapons in the rooms. The guards ran.

Hudson clapped. "Most impressive, Superman. Most impressive."
"I'm not here to impress. I'm hear to put you away, where you belong."
"Superman as you know, I can control magnetism and as such I am able to control a human like a puppet as we all have iron in our blood. In this way I can control you. Whether you know it or not, I currently have control of your body."
"I think not, Hudson."
"Then watch." Hudson moved his left leg up in the air. "What? You should have done the same!"
"I'm not like other humans. I'm a mutant of some sort. Obviously I have no iron in my blood." Using his heat vision, Superman cut the hostages free and then, at superspeed, flew over in front of Hudson. Taking his wrists, Superman said "Now, give yourself up."
"Superman. I might not be able to control a mutant freak like you, but there are plenty of things in here I can. Now let me go." Suddenly all manner of steel objects; girders, computers, began to slam into the Man of Steel.
Superman took the pounding and smiled.
"Very well, if I can't control you..." Hudson said as he looked over at the freed hostages.
"Hey!" it was Luthor. Luthor's body began to twitch and jerk as it moved towards Superman. "What the hell are you doing to me Hudson?"
"Taking away all of your control as you took all mine. Don't resist it, you'll just damage yourself."
"Let him go, Hudson!" demanded Superman.
"By all means, when he has served his purpose."
Superman felt a puch in the back and then heard a loud cry of pain. "My hand. You just broke my hand!"
Superman turned to face Luthor just as he took another punch at him. Superman blocked the punch. There was a loud snapping sound.
"YaaaaaaAAAA! My arm. You broke my *@#%$ arm!" cried Luthor.


Chapter Eight - "The Source"

Superman knew that Luthor would turn his bones to jelly if he allowed "him" to keep hitting him. Hudson might be controlling Luthor and forcing him to attack Superman, but the Man of Steel was definitely in control of himself, and he must take control of the situation.

Hudson watched for a few seconds, a perverse grin on his face as he watched Luthor's body getting smashed. It was time to make a quick exit. He had achieved what he had wanted... for now. Luthor was well and truly being put in his place. Hudson ran over to the only guard that had remained behind after Superman had destroyed all their weapons. The computer operator. He continued to sit at his terminal, wiping his glasses, cleaning off the dust from Superman's entrance.

"Come on, Beedler, it's time to get out of here."

"I'll be right with you, sir. I just need to pack up these things, and delete the files."

"Forget it! If Superman gets us..." Hudson paused and pointed his finger at the terminal. "That shower of magnetism should erase everything." he smiled.

"You're not going anywhere, Hudson." Superman snapped as he ran over to the two men. Lex followed after him in his spasmodic way.

"Bye!" smiled Hudson. Suddenly the floor dropped out from beneath him and his computer expert. They fell. Beedler screamed.

Superman removed the radio set that Drake had given him and threw it to Sharon Snape. "Use that to call in the cavalry. Lex should get to hospital but I have bigger fish to fry."


As they fell, Hudson created a magnetic field around them. He used it to control their descent, until they finally touched the ground.

"Sir, we can't possibly out-run Superman." said Beedler.

"You're a coward. He'll make sure Lex is alright first."

"You are so wrong." said Superman as he followed them down the shaft. "I wish you would stop making assumptions about me. It's what you've been doing all along. But we have already seen that there are things you don't know about me. You can't control me."

Hudson flicked his finger in Superman's direction. Superman was pushed back by an invisible force and smashed into the rock face behind.

"Maybe I can't control your body, but my magnetic fields can push you around. I can use these fields to hit you."

Suddenly Superman's head twisted sharply to the right, then he doubled up and his body slid to the floor. Whilst Hudson "punched" Superman, Beedler moved around to the rear of Hudson. Superman tried to get to his feet, but he was just pushed back down again. "Give it up, Superman. You should know by now that..."

Hudson was cut off as a gun shot and then a cry of pain echoed through the chamber. There was another shot. Hudson's scream was so loud Beedler had to drop his gun and cover his ears. Hudson fell to the floor. The two wounds in the back of his legs making it impossible for him to stand anymore.

Superman felt the force lift from him. At superspeed he moved to Hudson and punched him, knocking him out. Hudson landed face down in the dirt.

"That was either very brave or stupid." said Superman to Beedler. "Thanks for the help, but you'll be going to prison too."

"I don't think so." Beedler pulled out something from his pocket and showed it to Superman. "Officer Beedler, SCU. Pleased to meet you."

"You're the inside source that Maggie Sawyer mentioned?" [in chapter 4] asked Superman. "You can tell me all about it, but first we had better get rid of Hudson here."


"...and we managed to get Beedler on the inside. Good job too by the looks of things." said Maggie Sawyer.

"Ms Sawyer, are there any plans to award Beedler with any citations?" asked Clark Kent.

"I believe that Mayor Berkowitz has something in mind. Now if that's all, I'd like to finish the press conference. Can't have the press complaining that we aren't on the beat catching criminals." Maggie Sawyer left the room amid camera flashes.

Clark Kent turned to Lois Lane. "So your hunches didn't pan out, Lois. Still, at least Superman got his man.

"Beedler actually, Kent."