Categories > TV > Smallville > Despair's Edge0 Reviews
Lex formulates a plan to get Clark out. Clark's cellmate disappears just before he is rescued.
By the second day, Chloe had exhausted every resource available to her. All she had come up with were dead ends. Pete and Jonathan had widened their search radius as far as Metropolis, and still they came up short. Lana stayed with Martha, making phone calls and waiting for any news. Still none came.
It was the third day, and they finally had something of a lead. Some friends of Martha's up in New York had also reported someone missing, and suspected LuthorCorp. They promised to help in any way possible, but everyone doubted it would be much help.
At least, not as much help as their next plan of action. As soon as he'd heard what happened, Lex began digging through LuthorCorp files and records, searching for clues. Finally, he'd struck gold.
"The Phoenix Operation was an extraterrestrial research program jointly funded by LuthorCorp and Wayne Enterprises back when the first meteor shower hit Smallville," he explained. "My father is resurrecting the project, and has been abducting suspected aliens from all over the country. Most of the abductees were just crazy. A few were actually mutants, born with special abilities or affected by the meteor rocks. It looks like Clark was on the list."
He paused and glanced around the table, waiting for his words to sink in. The Kents, though hesitant at first, had opted to let him in on Clark's secret, if it meant finding him faster. "If my father realizes what he's got his hands on," Lex concluded, "Clark won't survive in there for very long. So far, no one has."
No one had anything to say for several moments. At last, Martha broke the silence. "So... what do you suggest we do?"
"I say we use what we've got." Lex glanced pointedly at Lana. "Clark may be without his powers in there, but we still have them available for use. We can break him out. Or, more specifically, Lana can break him out."
Clark shifted uncomfortably on the hard metal table. He was once again in the lab, awaiting his next session with Dr. Teng. His previous cell mate was lying unconscious on an identical table nearby. Both were heavily restrained, though he couldn't understand why. At the moment, his short conversation with the other man was replaying itself in his head. What was he had said? They though I was the alien. I tried to tell them I wasn't, but they locked me in here anyway. Away from the sun... They're killing me, and they don't know it.
Away from the sun...
What does the sun have to do with anything? So far, although he couldn't explain it, he had also begun to feel the effects of being in the dark for so long. No, not so much in the dark as /out of the sun/. He could feel every cell in his body screaming for energy. If he could just get outside...
His thoughts were interrupted by a soft sound somewhere to his left. The other man stirred slightly and opened his eyes. "Tol' ya," he rasped, his voice slurring drastically. "They're killin' us. An' they don' even know."
The hacking cough again racked his body. Clark took the opportunity to ask some questions. "How are they killing us?" he asked when he could be heard. He felt his own voice taking on the same fatigued quality and wondered how long it would take in this place for him to be reduced to the same level.
Taking several deep breaths, the man continued in a much weaker voice. "Th' sun... We're different. You and I... We're special. Th' sun... sun gives us our power. Th' sun... gives us our life. Without it... without it, we die."
"How long? How much longer am I going to last in here?"
He shook his head. "Don' know. I been here... several weeks, I think. For you... maybe not as long..." His voice trailed off as he closed his eyes once more.
Dizziness washed over Clark and threatened to return him to unconsciousness. He struggled to stay awake, listening as his friend said one last thing. "She's coming for me. She's coming to get me out."
And then he felt it. A slight tingle in the back of his neck, like a hand searching for something... or someone. And then it was gone, moving on and seeming to say, "You are not the one I seek." And he knew, somehow, that it had come for the other. That it was this "she" he had referred to. Lapsing at last into darkness, he wished the man well.
When he awoke again a few moments later, he was not surprised to find that he was alone again.
Lex moved quickly down the many corridors of the Phoenix Operation wing of LuthorCorp Labs. He was currently on the phone, and trying to look as inconspicuous as possible, regardless of the fact that, in the past hour, he'd only come across five other people in the entire building. "No, Chloe, I haven't found it yet," he was saying. "So far, I've covered the entire first and second floors. I'm working on the third level now."
"What happens if your father finds you wandering around?"
"I play dumb, plain and simple. I pretend I want to know what's going on, and that I want in on it. Once I get Clark's exact location, it's all up to Lana from there." Something brushed past him, causing him to stumble backwards. Turning around, he saw at the end of the hall behind him a young woman supporting a frail and mostly unconscious man. She didn't speak, only glared at him, daring him to stop her. When the man began to cough violently, she held him affectionately, comforting him. With a final glare at Lex, she disappeared.
"Lex? Lex, you still there?"
At first, he was too stunned to answer. "Yeah... yeah, I'm still here," he answered slowly. Glancing back down the hall in the direction he had been going, he saw a large metal door swinging shut. "I think I found it." He started toward the door.
Clark's entire body shuddered as the coughing fit took over. Aside from the deadly meteor injection flowing through his veins, he was beginning to feel the effects of the "sun deprivation" his friend had been ranting about. He wondered how long it would take for him to die.
And then the door opened.
The sound of a young man's voice traveled across the room to his ears, but his brain was slow to register the words that were spoken. "I found him." There was the snap of a closing cell phone immediately following. The voice was very familiar, but he just couldn't put a face to it in his hazy state of mind.
After what seemed like an eternity, but was really only a matter of seconds, the face that it belonged to appeared in his line of vision. "Good, you're still alive."
It was Lex Luthor.
"Lex," he hissed between teeth clenched together against the pain.
"Yeah, Clark, it's me," Lex replied, nodding his bald head and glancing him over, taking in his current state. His voice quickly went from casual and relieved to highly concerned and slightly disappointed. "You know, you really should have told me sooner. But I guess that doesn't matter anymore, does it?"
"Lex... please... get me out of here," Clark managed to whisper.
His friend nodded. "Don't worry, Clark. Lana will be here any minute."
"What... what are you talking about?"
"I've pulled up the GPS tracking on his phone. Once you get inside, you'll have to call him for more specific directions to the lab where they've got Clark." Lana glanced over Chloe's shoulder at the address on the screen. "You sure you're ready to do this?"
"It doesn't matter whether I am or not," Lana replied calmly. "This is probably our only chance to get Clark out of there before they kill him." She paused and drew a deep breath. "I'm going." And with that, she was gone.
By the time she reached the lab, Lex had already left. They agreed that this would be best, both to decrease suspicion, and so that she would only have to worry about getting Clark out.
As she pried the metal door open, she braced herself for what she might find inside. Lex had said he was still alive, but in bad shape. She wondered how bad "bad" was. She got her answer. Nothing could have prepared her for what she saw inside that room.
In a moment she was by his side, staring at the brutality he'd been through. His arms and chest were covered in bruises and cuts. His skin was pale, and his breathing was slow and shallow. His eyes were glazed and hollow. Frequent coughing fits shook his entire body. "Oh, Clark..." she breathed. "What have they done to you?"
"Lana..." he choked out. "Lana, you have... have to get me outside."
Without another moment's hesitation, she snapped the metal restraints that bound him to the table and helped him to the floor. Letting him lean against her for support, she glanced around the room for an escape. She highly doubted that she could use his superspeed - her superspeed still sounded too weird - to get them out, and the way she came was too dangerous. She stared hard at the far wall - an exterior wall. They were only on the third floor. Maybe they could make it...
Half-dragging Clark along with her, she closed the gap between them and the wall. Pulling back her arm, she gave it a quick, sharp smack with her hand. It gave way easily, and a good-sized hole opened up. She kicked away the remainder of the wall to make the hole big enough for them to squeeze through, held her breath for a moment, and jumped.