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The Return of the Living Shadows (DCU fan fiction)

Discussion in 'The Story Board' started by hobbyfan, May 14, 2013.

  1. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Preamble: This is a follow-up to the 1988 Superman cartoon episode, "Night of the Living Shadows". Since the series was subsequently cancelled due to low ratings, let's see what might've happened had those shadow-suits been reactivated........

    All characters appearing in this story, save for incidentals I've created, are copyright DC Comics/Warner Bros./Ruby-Spears.

    Setting: Six months after "Night of the Living Shadows":

    Chapter 1:

    It had been six months since Lex Luthor had been captured and sent to federal prison on, of all things, income tax evasion, thanks to an expose by his ex-girlfriend, Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane, who was now one of his biggest enemies. Lexcorp was basically running on empty.

    Chief scientist Sidney Happersen had emptied his lab and was removing the last of his personal effects when he thought he heard something. Tracing the source of the noise, Happersen found himself face to face with.......a living shadow.

    "No! This cannot be happening! Those suits were supposed to be destroyed!", he cried.

    "Oh?", the shadow replied. "Let's just say that this time, it's about giving back to Metropolis, one step at a time."

    With that, the shadow slithered out an open window, and into the night. Had Happersen cared to follow the trail, he might've seen it glide toward a car in the parking lot. Once there, the shadow solidified into human form and drove away.

    The next day, Happersen, frantic, went to Inspector Bill Henderson at Metropolis Police Headquarters, but was quickly turned away, his story dismissed as litlte more than the ravings of a madman.

    Later that same night, Lois had returned home after a long day at work, made longer with an interview with a foreign dignitary and his translator, who seemed to be more interested in mixing business with pleasure, but was met with a curt "no thanks" in the form of a kick to the family jewels when he tried to cop a free feel at the wrong time.

    After a hot shower, Lois was preparing for bed when she heard a noise in the living room. Wearing only a towel, she donned a bathrobe and slippers and crept toward the living room, only to find the living shadow, sitting on her sofa.

    "Please, don't be scared, Ms. Lane.", the shadow said. "I'm not here on behalf of Lex Luthor. Instead, I'm asking you for help against him."

    "Against him?", Lois asked. It was then that the shadow unmasked, revealing one Jessica Morganberry, Luthor's erstwhile secretary-girlfriend.

    "Have I got a story for you!", Jessica said. There was no sign of the bubble-headed ditz who'd been Luthor's armpiece for nearly a year before his arrest, but rather a mature, assertive young woman, one who'd been betrayed and scorned by Luthor, like Lois before her.

    "Excuse me a moment while I get dressed.", Lois said.

    "Take your time. We've got all night."
    =====================================================================
    Ok, so Jessica isn't your average dumb blonde. But how did she obtain a shadow suit and learn how to use it? We'll see in chapter 2.
     
  2. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 2:

    Around the same time, Inspector Henderson had been called to Lexcorp. Some personal papers belonging to Lex Luthor had been stolen, and the secretary who discovered the theft, Lorraine Saunders, was afraid that the missing papers included some of Luthor's defense designs for the government. However, a quick check of the jailed executive's desk revealed that those particular items were safely tucked away in his safe.

    "I realize Mr. Luthor made a lot of enemies.", Lorraine said, "But I never thought they'd stoop this low while he is away."

    "You probably haven't been here very long.", Henderson said. "Luthor's been a magnet for trouble."

    Meanwhile, Jessica filled Lois in on how she adopted and adapted the shadow-suit she was wearing.

    "Everyone got the impression that I was just a ditzy blonde who didn't know anything.", she said. "But what Lex didn't know was that I was taking night courses at Metropolis College to get my degree in electronic engineering. I wanted to be more of an asset to the company than just a pretty face and a set of legs, but that's exactly how Lex saw me. A living alibi."

    "So, I take it you got your degree?", Lois asked.

    "2 weeks ago. Masters degree. After Lex went to prison, I changed my schedule and started taking day courses. The more I learned about Lex while he was gone, the more I realized I'd been used the entire time I was with him. Now, I'm looking to hit him where it hurts him the most, and that is his enormous ego."

    Jessica reached into a pouch in her costume, and produced a list of names, most of which Lois knew.

    "Lex's defense contracts were legit, but he overproduced on purpose, and the surplus was given to the men on this list for their activities. As I'm sure you know, Superman busted most of them and confiscated the weapons, but at their core, they're still small time thieves and racketeers.", she said. "Some of them are back on the street, busier than ever."

    "Hmmmm. I think we can do Superman a favor and take these guys off the streets.", Lois said. "Pardon me a moment."

    Ten minutes later, Lois returned, now dressed in her own shadow-suit, which she had pilfered to go undercover months earlier. Jessica examined the belt.

    "It has the same original coding, so it won't work with mine.", she said. "But if you give me a few minutes, I can fix that."
    ==============================================================================================================
    The next morning, Lorraine returned to Lexcorp, as she normally would, but found Whitey Mercer waiting for her at the front gate.

    "Heard you told the cops some of Mr. Luthor's papers were stolen.", he said. "He had a list of contacts, and my name was on it. Was that stolen?"

    "I'm afraid it was. Truth be told, I was more concerned with the defense contracts, but they're safe."

    "The list should've been with the defense papers. That's the way he set it up. Have you any idea who might have it?"

    "No, I don't. Now, if you'll excuse me.."

    Lorraine entered the building. Whitey started to follow, but checked himself. No sense alerting the cops or Superman to his presence, since he was supposed to be lying low. Mercer then turned and headed back to his car. He soon left, and made a note to himself to return later in the evening before Lorraine left the office.

    Later that afternoon, Lois was leaving the Daily Planet for the day when she got a call from Jessica.

    "I just got a call from an old friend.", Jessica said. "Says she's being followed."

    "Where are you?", Lois asked.

    "Shuster Park. How soon can you get here?"

    "In virtually no time at all."

    Lois left the building, walked to her car, and drove off. Halfway to Shuster Park, Lois pulled into an empty alley, and stripped off her outer clothing, consisting of a dark blue pantsuit, revealing her shadow-suit underneath. She slid the mask on, then put her other clothes in the trunk and headed for the park. Jessica, also in costume, was waiting as Lois pulled into the lot. Spotting Whitey, the two women switched to shadow form and followed him to Lorraine's apartment building, about half a block from the park. They slithered along the sidewalk, undetected, and entered the elevator with Whitey. Once he was all alone, the two shadows solidified.

    "What the----", Whitey gasped as Lois lunged toward him. Jessica low-bridged him, and Whitey hit his head on the wall, knocking himself out. At the next stop, the women dragged Whitey into an empty room.

    "Wh-What do you want with me?", he cried. "Where did you get those suits?"

    "None of your business!", Lois snapped, disguising her voice via a modulator attached to her belt. "The real question is, why were you following Ms. Saunders?"

    "I thought she was lying when she said she didn't have the list I was looking for."

    "Idiot.", Jessica growled. "You know Lex Luthor wouldn't entrust something like that to an inexperienced secretary."

    Whitey pushed free and pulled out a knife.

    "Oh? Let's see if you shadows can bleed."

    He pointed the knife in Lois' direction, but Jessica caught him from behind and knocked him out again. Whitey was quickly tied up and left for the police to find with an anonymous note. Lorraine found him a few minutes later as he was being led away. She immediately realized what happened.

    "There's nothing to worry about now, Ms. Saunders.", Henderson said. "We found some of Whitey's tools of the trade in his car. I think he was going to take you for a long ride to the river."

    Meanwhile, Lois & Jessica returned to Jessica's apartment, and Jessica crossed Whitey's name off the list.

    "Thanks to you, Lois, I'm getting the hang of this.", she said. "Like I told Happersen, we'll do this one step at a time."

    "No problem. With Superman away, it's left to us to do the crime fighting around here, anyway, for a few more days.", Lois said, stifling a chuckle.
    ===========================================================================================
    So who's next on Jessica's list? We'll see in chapter 3.
     
    #2 hobbyfan, May 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2013
  3. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 3:

    Wilbur Keegan had been a henchman for a number of arch-villains through the years. Toyman. Joker. Penguin. Luthor. Now, he was in business for himself, selling the arms that Luthor had supplied him with to foreign powers. The best part was, Luthor had no idea he had been double-crossed. Keegan and his two brothers, Walter & Wendell, had been in negotiations with some power brokers from Colombia, an arms for drugs deal, with the closing to be at midnight at the Ace of Clubs, a popular Metropolis waterfront bar.

    Walter Bibbowski, "Bibbo" to his friends, had bought the Ace a few months earlier, but was on vacation. Gloria Morrissey, Wendell's girlfriend, had arranged everything for the Keegans to use the club, since she'd been promoted to assistant manager and would have the run of the club for a few nights. Everything seemed to be going well. Too well.

    Midnight came, and Oscar Lezcano, with three bodyguards, arrived at the Ace for the meet. Unbeknownst to both parties, Jessica & Lois, in their shadow forms, had staked out the Ace.

    "Oh, this is too rich.", Jessica whispered. "The Keegans and Lezcano are both on the list. We can----"

    "No, Jess. Not yet.", Lois warned. "Let's let this play out first, and then we'll take them down."

    Ignoring Lois, Jessica slithered toward the window and entered. Lois had no choice but to follow. Diego Salvador, one of the bodyguards, thought he saw something enter, and sounded a warning. He fired a shot that knocked the light bulb out of the chandelier above the table. In pitch darkness, Lois & Jessica struck quickly, disarming Salvador and the other guards, but when Gloria turned on the auxiliary lights, the now solidified shadows were caught in a defensive posture. However, the sound of police sirens distracted the Keegans and Gloria. That allowed Lois & Jessica to revert to shadow form and escape.

    With the Keegans and Lezcano in custody, along with Gloria & the bodyguards, Lois & Jessica were finally able to relax. Or would they? Jessica had trouble just reaching the window of her 5th floor apartment until Lois led her in. Lois deactivated her suit, but found that Jessica couldn't.

    "Jess! What's wrong?", Lois cried as she unmasked.

    "I don't know.", Jessica sobbed. "I can't change back."

    Jessica kept trying to deactivate her suit, but the belt wasn't working. Lois could see some sparks in Jessica's belt.

    "You've got a short circuit. We have to act fast.", she said. Shifting back to a living shadow, she led Jessica to the one place that could help her----S.T.A.R. Labs.

    Dr. Jenet Klyburn was working extra late on a top secret project. When Lois & Jessica arrived, she knew what had happened.

    "Oh, dear God. I was afraid of this.", she said as she helped Lois lead Jessica into a stasis chamber after Jessica removed her belt. "How long has it been since you last used the costumes?"

    "Before tonight, a month.", Jessica said. "It was working fine before."

    Dr. Klyburn revealed to Lois that she had helped Jessica modify the suits in the first place after Luthor had gone to prison. Working feverishly, she repaired the belt and gave it back to Jessica, who was finally able to deactivate the suit and return to solidity.

    "That was a close call.", Dr. Klyburn said. "It looks to me like a stray shot from a gun may have caused the short circuit."

    "Or something else, like maybe a cord getting cut.", Lois suggested.

    "Yes!", Jessica confirmed. "Now I remember. The barmaid clipped my belt during the fight. I didn't realize what happened until I got home."
    ====================================================================================================
    The next morning, Jessica replaced her suit in its hidden compartment in her closet. She crossed off the names of the Keegans and Lezcano off the list, and found that her job was finished. Later that night, she met with Lois at the Metropolis Public Library.

    "I never gave it a thought that the last four men on the list would all be together at once.", she said. "But now, it's over. I no longer need the suit."

    "After that close call last night, I don't blame you, Jess.", Lois said. "We waited a month for them to appear, and we didn't even have to travel out of town."

    "I take it you had a lot to do with the cops showing up."

    "I had to take a precaution and sent an anonymous tip to Inspector Henderson. This way, we had backup in case there was a problem."

    Jessica gave Lois her suit the next day, and Lois took both suits to S.T.A.R. Labs. Dr. Klyburn was understandably relieved.

    "I will give Jessica all the credit in the world for quitting while she was ahead.", she said. "And you, too, Lois, for giving up a trophy that Superman had to talk me into letting you keep in the first place."

    The suits were placed in a sealed room with the rest of the confiscated shadow suits. It would be a long time before the shadows would come to life again.

    The end.
     

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