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Chapter Three

June 15th, 2009 (08:30 pm)
creative

I'm feeling: creative

I think this weekly update thing is working well, how 'bout you guys?

Chapter Three: Reactions: The Kids Part- II

--

Lucy Martha Kent, Vanderworth Academy, Metropolis

“Alright, stop, stop!” the conductor yelled, tapping his baton against the music stand as the entire orchestra groaned. “Someone in the strings is lagging behind,” he declared.

“Not again,” Lucy Kent rested her saxophone on the ground and turned to talk to her friend Sasha in the flute row behind her. “I bet it’s James,” she whispered, “I hear his bow goes limp a lot if you catch my drift.”

“Lucy,” Sasha gasped before collapsing into giggles, “that is so wrong, and he’s a senior.”

“I don’t know from personal experience, idiot,” she laughed, “I overheard Jenny in the girls bathroom complaining to Tess.”

The girl next to Sasha snorted and Lucy realized it was Patricia Fall, the daughter of a Senator who‘d recently been exposed as having an affair with his secretary while stealing government money for extravagant gifts for his mistress, the fact that Lucy‘s parents had written the article hadn’t‘ put the two girls on good terms.

“Shut up, Kent,” Patricia snapped, “everyone knows you’re all talk. I bet you couldn’t get a guy even if you wanted one, not with your father tripping over everywhere, he‘d probably cripple the poor kid on your first date,” she spat at her, referencing the incident at the last school dance at which her parents had chaperoned, Clark had tripped into the table and knocked the punch bowl all over the principal. It was a low and unimaginative insult but Lucy still glared at the girl.

“At least on dates, my father only goes out with my Mom,” Lucy shot back, regretting the even lower insult almost immediately as the girl’s face twisted in rage and shame. Sure Lucy’s Dad might occasionally act clumsy but he did it to protect his family from the enemies of his alter-ego, she doubted Patricia’s father had anywhere near such noble reasons.

Sasha giggled at the look of Patricia’s face which made Lucy feel a little guiltier until she pushed it away, what did she care what some snotty Senator’s daughter thought, she got enough hassle from her classmates anyway, it was nice to get one back.

Vanderworth Academy was one of the best private schools on New Troy Island and most of the children had rich, well known or famous parents. Lucy and her sister Ella sometimes got looked down upon for being the children of mere journalists. It didn’t help that said parents had at one time or another reported upon the other children’s parents in a less than favorable light.

Lucy occasionally felt like she didn’t belong either, her brother Jason and sister Sophie had both attended. Sophie on a scholarship and Jason with the help of her Uncle Richard who still wished to be a part of his life. Dean hadn’t got in but nor did he even want to, school wasn’t really his thing and he had practically begged his parents not to waste their money.

Lucy and Ella hadn’t expected to be able to attend the prestigious Academy, they knew their parents weren’t exactly poor but to send two children at the same time was beyond their means- until Ella had qualified for the same scholarship as Sophie. That just left Lucy’s fees which her parents were happy to pay to give their daughter the best although Lucy sometimes wondered why they bothered, she wasn’t stupid but she’d certainly never been at the top of the class. Music and Drama were really her only two good classes.

“Okay, from the top,” the conductor’s voice called, snapping Lucy out of her self-pitying musings. “This time I want- oh, Principal Reed, to what do we owe the honor?”

The whole orchestra turned as one to see the tiny, confident woman who ran the school striding towards them although a the moment she looked anything but confident, in fact she looked almost flustered.

“I would like to borrow Miss Kent for the moment if I may, Mr. Linn.”

The words sent a flurry of whispers through the students and Lucy distinctly heard someone say, I told you she did it. Lucy had no idea what she was supposed to have done but she didn’t really blame them, it wouldn’t be the first time she’d been called into the principal’s office for breaking the rules. Although this time she was sure she was innocent.

“Mrs. Reed we are in the middle of rehearsal for a very important-”

“I know, but this is highly important, Lucy please follow me. The rest of you please clear the stage and remain in the auditorium.” She turned and waited by the door, Lucy hurried to put away her sax and grab her bag, her nerves not helped by the entire orchestra staring at her and speculating what she’d done this time.

“Come quickly please,” Mrs. Reed said as Lucy hurried out the door, her tone implying it wasn’t a request.

She dumped her saxophone case and hurried after the principal. “Is something wrong?” she asked, surprised at how fast the woman was going.

“I shall explain everything once we retrieve your sister.”

“Ella?” Lucy felt her heart jump into her throat, Ella never participated in her misdemeanors, if they were bringing her then it was something to do with their family. “Is something wrong? Is someone hurt?”

Please dont let it be Dean, she thought, she’d been worrying about her brother ever since he’d announced his around the world trip with his friends. He came back every weekend to see them and dump some laundry but Australia was a dangerous place, she’d heard of people dying over there all sorts of ways from crocodiles to spider bites. Not that those would hurt her brother but she still found horrible ideas of how he could be hurt coming into her head.

“No one is hurt,” Mrs Reed assured her, slowing so that she could turn to look her in the eye, “I can tell you that now, you’re family is fine.” Her mouth twitched slightly and then she seemed to correct herself, “Well, no one’s hurt.”

Ella must have seen them coming because she was running across the field towards them before Lucy could spot her group of friends on the field.

All students please report to the auditorium in a calm and orderly manner for an emergency assembly.

Lucy felt her heart sped up as she x-rayed the far wall to watch her classmates file towards the auditorium, the general mood was annoyed rather than worried or confused. She couldn’t blame them, it wasn’t the first emergency assembly the school had had. Some had been serious, like when they’d had a bomb threat last year but some had been just plain stupid, including the memorable one last month called after someone had dinged the vice-principal’s car.

“Miss Kent are you okay?” Mrs. Reed‘s voice brought her back to the present and she looked over to see her sister holding her head with a pained look on her face.

“I’m fine,” Ella muttered. Lucy realized Ella must have been using her powers to see what was going on a wondered why she hadn’t thought of that.

She narrowed her eyes and the far wall of the office disappeared and the van on the side of the road seemed to draw closer.

“The reason I called you in here is because I thought it would be best you heard it here rather than outside from the media and your friends,” the principal began, apparently not noticing Lucy’s distraction.

Lucy felt her eyes widen as she saw cameras and reporter stepping out of the vans, that must be what the principal meant by the media. But why were they there? She tried to focus her hearing but it had proved to be a temperamental ability lately and it took a moment for it to reach across the field.

“About an hour ago there was a fire in Hob’s Bay,” the principal was saying back in the office, “Your parents were both there and… well-” she stopped but Lucy didn’t notice, she was too intent on listening to the reporters outside the school.

-Acadamy where Lucy and Ellen Kent, the twin daughters of Clark Kent attend. Now, youll remember that Clark Kent has just recently been revealed to merely be a cover or secret identity if you will for Superman and already questions are being asked about what sort of advantages this might be giving his children, one daughter at Harvard and the other two attending a very exclusive private school. Now-

Lucy stopped listening, not really sure what to make of it- she supposed she aught to be shocked or something but all she felt was mild surprise that they seemed to have gotten quite a few facts wrong, for example who on Earth was Ellen Kent? She returned her attention to the principal who was explaining the story to Ella.

“-I don’t know the full story but your father evidently threw himself in front of a bomb of some sort and now everyone knows he’s really Superman,” mrs Reed was explaining.

“What?” Ella gasped, looking stunned.

“Oh, did you not know?” Mrs. Reed asked, her eyes widening.

“Of course we knew, he’s our father,” Lucy glared at the woman, surprised that she‘d even think that. “He’s our father,” she repeated, to drive the point home, “why wouldn’t we know if he had a secret identity?”

“Lucy.” Her sister was looking at her with the same stunned look.

“Eleanor,” Lucy replied, rolling her eyes at her sister‘s slowness of grasping the situation, “it doesn’t matter anymore, those vans outside were news crews, Principal Reed is telling the truth. Dad mucked up or something and now everyone knows who he is.”

“Everyone?” She could barely hear the question but she just nodded.

“A very convincing video has been seen several times on the news channels,” Mrs. Reed told them, “I called you in here to spare you finding out some other way, and I’ve sent the other students into the auditorium for their own safety.”

“You’re not going to tell them are you?” Ella seemed rather terrified by the prospect and Lucy frowned, wondering what was going through her sister’s mind.

“They’re going to find out somehow.” Mrs. Reed said, stating the obvious in Lucy’s opinion

Shes right, Lucy realized, everyone was going to know about their father and in turn them and who they were and what they could do. “You know what this means?” she asked, finally seeing the good side as her heart thudded excitedly in her chest. “We’re going to be famous.

--

Eleanor Lois Kent, Vanderworth Academy, Metropolis

“And what did you get for number fourteen? ...Ella? Ella, what did you get for number fourteen?”

“It’s not that hard, Kim,” Ella sighed, knowing she'd just keep on pestering her 'till she replied, “I gave you the answers to the first ten, can’t you figure this one out yourself?”

“But this one's harder,” her best friend moaned.

Ella saw her other friends rolling their eyes as she relented and handed Kim her math book. She knew it was probably bad to allow Kim to take credit for all her hard work but the two girls had been friends since primary school and Ella knew Kim was smart enough to figure it out herself, she was just a bit lazy.

Kim grinned as she began copying the homework which was due next period. Ella lay back down on the field and closed her eyes as she listened to the conversation of her other friends going on around her. That was another reason she didn’t want to refuse Kim and have her pestering her all lunch, the sun was bright today and she just wanted to lie back and enjoy it.

“Do you have sunscreen on? You‘ll get burnt,” a voice asked, louder than the others, clearly directed at her.

Ella propped herself up on an elbow and raised an eyebrow at the boy who’d spoken. “no,” she answered simply.

James, her other best friend laughed. “I know you’re new here,” he said to Rick, who’d just joined their class a week ago, “but don’t you know the amazing Eleanor Kent is immune to all those pesky mortal inflictions including sunburns?“

Ella kicked James lightly and frowned. “I don’t really burn,” she explained with a shrug.

“But you’re so pale,” Rick commented, “in fact you look kinda like a girl in my music class, Lucy or someone.”

That comment sent the whole group into fits of laugher and Rick turned a rather interesting shade of red as he looked around in confusion. Finally it was Kim who took pity on him. “Lucy and Ella are sisters,” she told him, “twins actually, although they’ll deny it if you ask them.”

“Wow, you’re a twin?” Rick asked in a familiar tone. Ella inwardly sighed, she was always glad her and Lucy weren’t identical because then she only got these sorts of questions when someone deliberately mentioned it. “What’s it like?” Rick asked, continuing with the usual, “Who’s older? Can you read each other’s minds?”

The rest of the group had heard most of her responses and returned to talking amongst themselves but Ella just shrugged. “I have five brothers and sisters,” she explained, “Lucy’s just the same age, in fact I’m closer to my older brother Dean than I am to Lucy, and no we can’t read each other’s minds,” she said with a slight shudder, she doubted she wanted to know what went on in her sister’s mind.

Rick looked like he wanted to ask more but the look on Ella’s face must have warned him against it. She usually politely answered the ‘twin’ questions when they came up but it didn’t mean she liked them. Although, she wasn’t as bad as some, there were a pair of identical twins in the senior class and Ella knew one of them once got detention for threatening the younger students for staring at them during lunch. Then again that one was a bit odd anyway.

“Hey, Ella, your Dad’s Clark right?” Kim asked a few minutes later as she frowned at her cell phone.

“Mr. Linn will kill you if he sees that,” one of the other kids warned. Ella didn’t know his name, it was a beautiful day and the groups sitting on the field all seemed to have merged into one.

“He’s not looking over here,” Kim said, checking that her phone was obscured by her skirt anyway. “But my sister just text to ask if I’d heard about Clark Kent yet.”

“What?” Ella sat up suddenly, her heart rate accelerating as she looked at her friend, "What about him? Is he hurt or something?" It was unlikely but possible.

“Ella, calm down.” Kim held up her hand as she tapped out a message on her phone, “I’m just texting her back now, and besides, if it was really bad or something you’d know by now.”

“But-”

“Just breath, El,” Kim tried again, “I’m sure it’s nothing, in all the time I’ve known you no one in your family has even been sick. Stop thinking of the worst possible thing.”

Ella sighed, Kim was right, her mind did tend to jump to the worst possible conclusions. But it wasn’t really her fault, her Uncle Perry always told her bad news sold better than good so it was only natural that when someone found something so interesting they felt compelled to text their little sister in the middle of the day it would be bad news.

“Oh, man,” James muttered a moment later, “Ella, don’t freak out or anything but my cousin just text me like the exact same thing.”

“What?” Ella snatched his phone from his hand, ignoring his protests. On the screen was a simple message: Hve u seen dis Clark Kent thng? Insne right?

Ella tried to think of a rational explanation but all she could think of was her Dad had somehow been injured, or worse, and it had been in a way that made the news.

“Hey, what’s going on over there?” someone asked, Ella looked up and was surprised to see the speaker sitting almost halfway across the field, she frowned, when she was distracted her powers trended to get away from her, she brought her hearing back under control but still followed the speaker’s pointed finger to the edge of the field where a large black van had just pulled up on the other side of the school gates, joining three others that were already there.

Ella was about to draw her friends’ attention to the strange gathering when Kim placed her had on her shoulder. “Ella don’t panic but you sister and Principal Reed are coming over here.”

Ella stood up so quickly that she might’ve taken off had she been able to fly. Kim was right, Lucy and Principal Linn were walking towards their group, Lucy looked worried and confused and the Principal looked grim. Ella didn’t even wait for anyone to say anything, she grabbed her bag and ran straight over to them. “What’s going on? Is Dad hurt? Kim got a text and-”

“He’s not hurt,” he sister interrupted her, “but Mrs. Reed won’t tell me what’s going on.”

“This is not the place,” the small, yet stern woman said, “you must come to my office, I will explain everything there.”

“Explain it now,” Ella demanded, not really caring about respecting authority at the moment, she was too worried about her family.

“Something’s happened,” the principal admitted, walking briskly back across the field, Ella and Lucy in tow. “It does have to do with your… father,” she paused before the last word, her mouth clenching oddly as she spoke it. Lucy and Ella shared a confused look- confirming they’d both seen the strange twitch.

They walked off the field and into the main office. Mrs. Reed nodded to the receptionist as they passed and she returned the gesture. The sisters followed the principal into her office but the reason for the nod soon became evident as the PA system crackled to life.

All students please report to the auditorium in a calm and orderly manner for an emergency assembly.

Ella heard Lucy’s heart sped up at the message and suddenly the chatter and groaning of confused students annoyed they were missing half their lunch hour filled her ears as they began to head towards the auditorium. She gasped and pressed her hand to her temple, trying to get it under control.

“Miss Kent are you okay?” Mrs. Reed asked in concern.

“I’m fine,” Ella muttered once her hearing was under control, she quickly glanced at her sister who had a very strange expression on her face as she stared at the far wall.

“The reason I called you in here is because I thought it would be best you heard it here rather than outside from the media and your friends,” the principal began, apparently not noticing Lucy’s distraction.

“About an hour ago there was a fire in Hob’s Bay,” she said with a slight frown and the general air of snobbery and disapproval someone from the upper class possessed when talking about the area more commonly called the ‘Suicide Slums’. “Your parent’s were both there and… well-” she sniffed and shifted in her chair as though not quite sure how to continue.

“Were they hurt?” Ella asked urgently, wishing the woman would just get on with it.

“No,” the woman assured them, “but your father-” her mouth twitched again before she took a breath and continued in a rushed way, “-I don’t know the full story but your father evidently threw himself in front of a bomb of some sort and now everyone knows he’s really Superman.”

What?” Ella felt all the air rush out of her lungs as though she’d been punched. Her mind didn’t seem to be able to grasp the words the principal had just said.

“Oh, did you not know?” Mrs. Reed asked, her eyes widening.

“Of course we knew, he’s our father,” Lucy said from beside her. Ella turned and was shocked to see that her sister didn’t look surprised at all. “He’s our father,” she repeated, “why wouldn’t we know if he had a secret identity?” She sounded more offended by the principal’s words than surprised.

Lucy,” Ella hissed, glaring at her sister, horrified that she’d just blatantly told their secret. If there was one thing all the Kents had learnt growing up it was that they were never to tell anyone who their father really was.

Eleanor,” Lucy replied in a similar but mocking tone, “it doesn’t matter anymore, those vans outside were news crews, Principal Reed is telling the truth. Dad mucked up or something and now everyone knows who he is.”

“Everyone?” Ella asked, her voice barely rising above a whisper.

“A very convincing video has been seen several times on the news channels,” Mrs. Reed started explaining again, “I called you in here to spare you finding out some other way, and I’ve sent the other students into the auditorium for their own safety.”

“You’re not going to tell them are you?” Ella gripped the arms of her chair so hard she felt one of them crack. She shuddered to think what her friends might see her as if they knew she was only half-human.

“They’re going to find out somehow.” Mrs Reed told her and Ella remembered the texts her friends had been getting. Half the school probably already knew by now anyway.

“You know what this means?” Lucy asked.

Yeah, Ella replied silently, sinking into her chair, everyones going to know Im half-alien.

--

Christopher Brandon Kent, Eastview Primary School, Metropolis

The class was supposed to be drawing the most interesting thing they’d seen yesterday but with the minute hand only a short tick from lunch time not many of the seven year olds in Miss Dally’s class were focusing on the assignment.

“I wanna be on the robber’s side this time!” Chris Kent protested to his friends as they made plans for lunch.

“But you’re so good as a cop,” his friend, and team leader of the cops, Jane, protested.

“But being a robber is more fun.” He frowned, he probably shouldn’t love being on the criminal’s team so much but it wasn’t his fault it was a lot more fun.

“Can we have a Superman this time?” Tommy, who sat across the table, asked.

“No- it’s more fun with just cops and robbers,” Jane said, reminding Chris a little of his Mom as the girl tried to sound stern and in charge.

But Lois had had a whole lifetime to perfect her commands and Jane was soon on the defense. “What’s the ‘Superman’ person do anyway?” LaTanya, the fourth kid at table 4 asked.

“Well, you know how the cops have to hold the robbers for three seconds until they’re caught,” Jane jumped in before Chris or Tommy could start. “The person who gets to be Superman only has to tag them before they go to jail.”

“That sounds boring,” LaTanya frowned, sticking her tongue out as she traced the outside of the flowers she was drawing.

“Yeah, but then the other team gets a Luthor who can make the Superman go to jail,” Tommy explained, rolling his eyes as though it was obvious. “Chris, you could be Luthor on the robber’s team, ‘cause you’re good at chasing people.”

“No!” Chris protested, slightly louder than he’d meant. “I don’t want to be Luthor,” he said, quieter this time. He’d never meet the real Lex Luthor but he’d heard about him from his brothers and sisters about how much the bad man hated their Dad and he didn’t want anything to do with even the idea of such a mean person. “Can’t we just play normal cops and robbers?” he asked.

“Fine,” Tommy sighed and Chris knew from his tone that he wouldn’t be getting half of Tommy’s fruit roll that lunch hour.

The children settled into silence as they scribbled away at their drawings, Chris was once again drawing a picture of his Dad saving someone. This time Superman was hovering next to a building and holding two smiling kids as flames leapt from the windows.

The bell shrilled a moment later causing a rush to put away all their pencils and drawings in the desks. “Last one to the playground’s a rotten egg!” LaTanya yelled as the kids rushed to the door almost bowling over the principal as he walked in.

Luckily, Mr. Randall was a good-natured man who just laughed at the rush of children and waved off the occasional ‘Sorry sir!’s with a laugh. “Go on, it’s a lovely day outside, excuse me for getting in your way.”

Chris knew the principal could be strict when necessary but today didn’t seem to be one of those days. But when Chris tried to leave he was stopped by a hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry, Christopher but you’ll have to come with me,” he said, his mood switching from jovial to serious in an instant.

“Me?” Chris asked, trying to make his eyes wide and innocent like he did with his Dad, “Did I do something wrong?”

“No, no, it’s nothing you’ve done,” Mr. Randall assured him. “but your-” he stopped then frowned slightly, “-I mean someone is here to pick you up, you’re going home.”

“In the middle of the day?” Chris asked in confusion, “but I’m not sick.” the only other time he’d gone home in the middle of the day had been when his Mom had made him a chicken sandwich and he’d thrown up in math.

“No, you’re not,” he agreed, “but you are going home, grab your things and come to my office, your father is waiting- I mean, I think…” Mr. Randall frowned again then shook his head slightly, “I mean he will explain.”

Chris decided not to argue and went to retrieve his bag, he didn’t mind going home early. The principal’s behavior confused him slightly, it reminded him of the careful way his parents spoke when they were fighting and didn’t want him to know, maybe something bad had happened and Mr. Randall didn’t want him to know about it.

He didn’t have much time to think on it though, the principal’s office was just down the hall from his class and Mr. Randall was walking fast, Chris had to jog to catch up to him.

“Here we go,” he muttered as he opened the door to his office, letting Chris go in ahead of him.

Chris took one step in and stopped dead, his father was standing there in his full Superman suit looking rather odd. Almost nervous, the young boy realized, as he recognized the look from the last time his Mom had decided to try cooking.

“Superman?” he asked, confused as to why he was bring called into the office if his Dad had come as Superman, and why Mr. Randall had said ‘your father’. He turned to the principal. “He’s not my Dad,” he said quickly, doing what his parents had always said and denying any relation to the Man of Steel.

“It’s alright, Chris,” Clark said from behind him, “he knows.”

Chris looked from the principal to his father and back again. “How?” he asked finally.

His Dad looked uncomfortable again and Mr. Randall wasn’t looking at him or Clark. “I think I’ll explain on the way,” Clark said, stepping forward to pick his son up in the usual way he held him while flying. “Thank you,” he said to the principal and before he had time to reply or Chris had time to ask anymore questions the world blurred around them, turning brighter as they went outside then darkening again before resolving itself into an unfamiliar room with three people in it, two Chris recognized as his sisters, Lucy and Ella.

“Dad!” Lucy yelled at the same time Ella cried, “Superman!”

“Oh, give it a rest, Ella,” Lucy snapped rather rudely, turning to her sister, “pretending it didn’t happen won’t make it go away.”

“What happened?” Chris asked. “Does she know too?” he asked, looking at the third person in the room, a short woman sitting on the other side of a desk.

No one answered him however, the woman was staring at his Dad with an open mouth and wide eyes, Lucy and Ella were glaring at each other and his Dad felt really tense. “Lucy, Ella, we need to go, we’ll figure this out,” he said the last part as if he needed to convince himself as well as the kids.

“Good,” Lucy muttered, grabbing her bag and standing up. Ella didn’t say anything but gathered her things while the woman just kept staring.

“Thank you, Mrs. Reed,” his Dad nodded to the woman before he picked up the girls and the world blurred again. Chris barely had time to wonder what all the rushing around was about before the world re-aligned itself once more into their apartment.

“I’ve got them,” his Dad announced to the living room, which Chris was surprised to see contained not only his Mom but also his older siblings, Jason and Sophie. “The media were already setting up camp outside both schools but they didn’t see me or the kids,” he continued. “Is everyone here?”

“Can someone tell me exactly what’s going on?” Ella asked and Chris agreed, he wanted to know what all the rushing was for and why two teachers seemed to know the family secret as well.

“Wait a minute,” Lucy interrupted Lois as she opened her mouth to reply, “Where’s Dean?”

--

A/N: One more chap of reactions- I won't tell whose though- and then we're off into the main story! Reviews are love.

Comments

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I'm really loving this story! The kids are so much fun, and their reactions really ring true. Great job!

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