Haven't read parts 1-3 of my plot for World's Finest, my own idea of a Batman/Superman crossover that serves as a sequel to [Man of Steel](movie:15593)? If not, than you better go read them! Follow the links below!
But if you have read through parts 1-3 of my plot, then wait no longer! Here's part 4! *drum roll please*
The scene cuts to Kent Farm, which has been pretty much all fixed up in the few weeks since Zod's hoedown there (in which the Kent truck had been thrown through the house). Clark and Lois sit on a couch in the living room across from Martha, who is sipping a mug of hot tea as she sits in an armchair opposite them. She looks worried. An antique TV hums quietly off to her right.
"So just how much did he know again?" Martha asks, taking a sip of her tea.
"Ma, I'm telling you, he knew everything." He looks over at Lois, his expression covered with concern. "Even more than Lois could have ever dreamed of figuring out. He knew it all, and I could sense that he knew far more than he was even letting on. He's smart, incredibly smart. I don't know if he's someone that I want to be on the bad side of."
"Clark, I'm sure you don't have to worry," Lois says, patting him on the shoulder. He looks at her and feigns a smile. "Batman's a good guy. The stuff he's done in Gotham -- it's miraculous. Crime rates have shot down dang near exponentially since he showed up. He'll make the right choice. He's on our side."
"But is he?" Clark asks. "He said he isn't sure that he trusts me, so even if we are on the same side, he might not know it. I'm afraid of what could happen if he decides he can't trust me."
"Clark, Lois is right. You have nothing to worry about. Who cares if he doesn't trust you? He can't stop you, can he? He's just a regular guy with a little too much money and free time on his hands. That's why he didn't try to provoke a fight. He relies on intimidation and his tactic worked: it shook you up. But it shouldn't. You don't need his approval."
Clark frowns. "I don't know, Ma. There was this moment -- this quick moment right after he made it clear that he knew who I am when I hang up my cape -- when I wanted nothing more than to just punch him. I was afraid that him knowing my identity might put you or Lois or, heck, even Pete Ross in danger, and I was afraid I'd have to eliminate that threat. My arm got read to strike him, Mom. I held myself back, but I know he had to have noticed. And he didn't even flinch. He must have something up his sleeve."
Martha nods. "Well, maybe he does, but I think that's just all part of the act too. As long as he can get you to think he has the upper hand, he will have it. That's what your father would have said, I think."
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"But...that's not it, Mom. It's not just him. I can't be flying around saving people if they don't trust me. He's just one man! What if it starts with him and then spreads, until one day everyone just sees me as nothing but the alien who's going to snap eventually? I can't live in a world like that. It's not the fact that the famous Bruce Wayne doesn't trust me, and it's not the fact that his Batman character doesn't either...it's the fact that there are people out there in general who won't trust me and there is nothing I can do to stop it."
"You've got understand that that's how it is going to be," Martha said sadly. She took another sip of tea. "But honestly, I--"
Clark holds up a hand, signaling her to stop talking as he catches something through his super-hearing. The camera zooms in on his ear, where we can see small, shaky sound waves causing the eardrum to vibrate (something that has been done to an extent in previous Superman movies). We hear a female's voice say, "--this morning, Lex Luthor was questioned about his true opinions about Superman."
Clark grabs the remote control off of the coffee table, turning to the television and turning the volume up. The news reporter continues talking, and then the screen goes to video footage that was apparently just taken a few hours before. Clark, Lois, and Martha sit and watch in silence.
"Mr. Luthor, yesterday the Daily Planet published an article that quoted you for having hinted that you don't like Superman. Is that true?" a news reporter asks, holding his mic up to the young billionaire's face as he exits LexCorp tower. Lex looks a bit shaken up and also a bit tired, presumably from his nightmare the previous night.
He looks over at the reporter in an annoyed fashion, as if annoyed about being asked about Superman. His persona is totally different to their persona that we saw in Clark's interview with him and Wayne. "I never said that. I said that he's an alien and I don't think that he belongs here." He makes his way to a white limousine, parked just at the edge of the street. A guard pushes the paparazzi back, grabbing the door and opening it for Lex, who starts to get in, his head disappearing into the car.
"But is that all? What is your personal opinion?" the reporter asks.
Lex reaches up and grabs the door frame and pulls himself back up. He looks angry, like a kid who was woken up from sleep five hours earlier than he had been asked to be woken up, and looks with bloodshot eyes into the camera:
"My personal opinion? Hmm...well, hundreds of people are dead because of him. Look at our city, the once great Metropolis, now reduced to ashes and ruins thanks to the threat that he brought to us -- a military leader who sought to terraform our entire planet and kill us off by the millions. I know that everybody loves him because of all the good he's doing now, but they need to open up their eyes and see the pic picture: Superman is no hero. He's nothing but an alien, seeking refuge on our planet and refusing to leave, taking the law into his own hands like some sort of vigilante from outer space. He considers himself a god among us, prancing around with such self-confidence and optimism that he's fooling every last one of us into believing that he is a hero who brings with him a message of hope, a sense of security. But I ask you this: What happens on the day when he himself turns into General Zod? We can't stop Superman, can we? He's invincible for all we know. All he has to do is snap his fingers and we would have no choice but to bend to his will. Right now he may be tricking us into believing that he really wants to offer a helping hand, but the day will come when he decides to overthrow us. Superman is no hero. He isn't even human. He is an alien and cannot be trusted. So in answer to your question: yes, everything that the Daily Planet reported is one-hundred percent factual. I don't know what to make of the man other than the fact that he is no man. He is an alien and does not belong on our planet." Luthor gets into the limousine and slams the door. The video cuts, and the news lady comes back on, discussing Luthor's rant and what it could potentially mean. Clark grabs the remote and turns the television off. He looks over at Lois, and then Martha.
"Looks like you have to worry about him more than you have to worry about Batman," Martha says.
Clark and Lois drive down the highway in Clark's pickup truck, one of Clark's hands on the steering wheel while the other is wrapped around Lois (one can assume that their relationship is "complicated," probably very secretive and difficult to keep in check due to Clark's dual identities and Lois having to decide which one she wants to be with). They don't say much, but both are obviously thinking. The sky is cloudy.
"I know what you're thinking," Lois says.
Clark smiles and looks over at her. "What's that?"
"You're thinking that you have to meet with Batman again."
Clark shakes his head. "Nah. Just like my mom said, I probably have to worry more about Luthor than I have to worry about Batman. Batman will go back to Gotham; Luthor is staying in Metropolis. He'll be the thorn in my side, I can tell you that."
"Are you going to talk him, then?" Lois asks.
"I don't really know," he replies. "I'm considering it." He pauses. "I just need the people to trust me. I know we just had a long discussion about it, but it's going to bug me, Lois. I need them to trust me." Lois doesn't reply, knowing that nothing she can say will ease his mind. She simply smiles and looks at him sympathetically.
Clarks pulls over to the side of the road just under an overpass. He puts the truck in park.
"Sometimes I wonder what he would think of all this. If he'd be proud of me. If he'd know how to handle this situation."
Lois looks over at him. "Who? Jor El?"
Clark shakes his head. "No. My dad."
Lois' eyes grow wide, realizing where they were parked. "Wait, is this where...?"
Clark nods, biting his lip as he looks at the road before them. "Imagine cars lined up as far as you can see...people running around frantically as they try to escape the huge tunnel of air lowering down." As he speaks, the camera cuts to flashbacks/footage from Man of Steel, with people trying to escape the tornado.
"I could've helped," he continues, tears forming in his eyes as he speaks. Flashbacks continue to take over the screen. "I wanted to, but he knew that it wasn't time yet. I don't know how he knew, but he did. He gave his life in order to preserve mine...or at least to allow me to enjoy a regular one for the little while I could. He gave his life protecting me, some kid he found in a field. He found me in a field, Lois! That's why I owe it to everyone else to protect them. I was alien to him, yet he protected me and I trusted him to do so. These people, they're alien to me, and they just need to trust me to protect them like I trusted him. I just don't understand why they can't. The thing is...the toughest guy on earth couldn't scare me because I know that he can't hurt me. But not being trusted? Being the guy with the question mark on his face? That scares me more than anything. Having people look at me in fear...like the alien that I am...that is my greatest fear." Clark's hand squeezes the steering wheel, and when he moves it, we can see that he has accidentally bent it, very similar to the way he put a dent in the fence pole during the "bullying scene" from MoS.
Lois just looks at him, tears forming in her own eyes. She doesn't need to say words because all of her feelings are clearly expressed on her face. Pride. Sorrow. Sympathy. Faith. Hope. Trust.
"Clark, he gave his life knowing that that was the best help he could give. He knew you'd learn how to make the right calls in the future, and he knew that the day would come when everyone did look up to you and did trust you. And they do trust you, Clark! Look at the thousands of people out there. You're their hero. You can't put the opinions of two billionaire playboys over the cries of the thousands, the millions. You're an inspiration to these people, Clark, and no matter what happens, you will keep their trust. Just give it time."
He looks over at her and smiles again, the few tears he'd shed drying on his cheeks as he did so. "I know you're right." He pulls her in close and puts the truck in drive, pulling back onto the highway. "I know you're right," he repeats, and she leans her head on his shoulder.
Lex Luthor sits at his desk up in his penthouse at the top of LexCorp tower, sitting at his laptop, his eyes scanning the screen before him. The camera pans around until we see the back of his head, which in turn allows us to see the screen before him: he is reading the latest news about Superman -- recent saves, recent interviews, etc. Everything Superman, Superman, Superman.
All of a sudden, the camera takes a close-up of Lex's face, and we see his eyes look up from his computer, as if he has suddenly heard something. A small grin forms on his face.
"Hello, Superman!" Lex says enthusiastically, making a show of slamming his computer shut as he stands up from his desk, turning to face the caped figure that floats just outside his window. He approaches the window and looks up at the alien before him.
"I heard that you don't like me," Superman says, floating with his fists clenched. "I want to know why."
"Well, Mr. Kal, I would assume that if you know that I don't like you, you would also know why I don't like you. Just a fair assumption." Lex shrugs, acting as cocky as ever. He eyes the Man of Steel with that familiar flame in his eyes. He is excited to be challenged.
"You don't like me because I'm alien."
Lex makes a quick transfer from humorous to angry. The flame burns brighter as his expression goes dark. "Because your alien. Because your alien? No, Superman," he spits the name, "the reason I don't like you isn't just because you are an alien. It is because..." He pauses, almost as if just for dramatic effect. He looks into Superman's eyes, his own filled with malice. He looks down and closes his eyes in thought.
(For those of you haven't read the comic Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, I feel that I must notify you that Lex's upcoming monologue is not of my own creation. It is from that comic, and I felt that his words were so powerful that it was necessary that they be included in this plot.)
"You've been referred to by some as the World's Greatest Boy Scout...fighting for truth, justice, and the American way, as if that were some inseparable, Holy Trinity." He looks up at Superman once again. The Man of Steel just floats there, silently, arms crossed and eyes locked on Luthor.
"Truth?" Luthor continues. "That's in the teller. Just calmly messaged words that very well may be nothing but carefully finessed lies." He begins to pace his penthouse, eyes locked on Superman the entire time.
"Justice? Belongs to the judge, who sits above those who put him there because they can't trust themselves." He looks down at the ground and smiles, as if applauding his own speech.
"And the American Way? It constantly evolves out of something that proves to be true and a lie, just and more..." He makes his way back to Superman, who still floats in the same pose, directly outside the window.
"All men are created equal. All men. You are not a man," Luthor concludes.
"So it is because I am an alien, then," Superman says, his body stiff. "Because I'm not a man."
Lex laughs. "Let me finish, O great Boy Scout. The thing is...they've made you their hero and they worship you. So tell me, what redemption do you offer them? Those red eyes, I'm sure they look right through me, like I am nothing more than a nuisance. But when I see you? I see something no man can ever be. I see the end. The end of our potential. The end of our achievements. The end of our dreams. You are my nightmare."
(end of Lex Luthor's comic book monologue)
Superman looks at Lex and appears slightly boggled by his words. "Mr. Luthor, that is not the image I intend to give off..."
"You don't have the choice, my friend!" Lex says, his voice rising in intensity. "You were born into this life. It was your destiny. You were born to be a god. It is little people like me that have to put you in your place."
Superman actually moves, his body floating a little further away from the window. Whether his movement is intentional or not can be up to debate. He just moves backwards. "What do you mean?"
"Don't you see, Superman? We were meant for each other. You were meant to be the god, and I was meant to be the one who was here to teach you your true place. To humble you. We are inseparable. We were meant to foil each other. We are the opposite sides of the chess board."
"It doesn't have to be that way," Superman says, actually appearing concerned.
Lex smiles. "Doesn't it, though?" He turns away from the Man of Steel. "Goodnight, Superman."
Superman floats there, closing his eyes in disappointment.
"Oh, and Superman?" Lex says, turning back to the caped hero. Superman opens his eyes and makes a what-do-you-want kind of face. Lex clicks his tongue. "It's your turn, big boy." He winks at Superman and turns around once again, walking away to his bedroom.
Superman turns away and flies into the night sky.
(to be continued...)
So I hope that all of you liked Part 4 of World's Finest, and I hope that y'all all return for Part 5 when it comes out! I've loved reading and seeing y'all's feedback, so keep it up!
Make sure to comment in the comment section and vote in the polls to help me along with the story -- your answers in the polls and comments in the comment section most definitely help me shape the direction that the plotline will go, so keep it up! Let me know what you liked, what you didn't like, and what you would like to see in [Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870), and if you have any suggestions, I have open ears! See y'all in Part 5.