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The meteor shower hit Smallville in 1983, instead of 1989. Robert Queen was in Metropolis for a business meeting, along with his wife, Laura, and their three-year-old son, Oliver. Afterward, the Queens decide to take a drive in the country and have a picnic. The meteor shower hits on their way back to Metropolis and they're shocked to find a space ship with a roughly three-year-old boy inside. After some discussion, Robert and Laura, who've been unable to have more children, decide to adopt the boy and raise him as their own. How will Clark's personality differ when raised as a Queen instead of a Kent? And how will Clark and Oliver react when, raised as brothers, they realize that they've fallen in love with each other?
Upon the departure of Rex Hunter, the CEO of Hunter Tech, Robert Queen let loose a sigh of relief and loosened his tie. He had planned to take off and spend some quality time with his wife and son, but Rex had other plans. He was one of those difficult businessmen who needed their hand held and refused to deal with anyone other than Robert Queen himself. So, when Rex's office called late the previous day to inform Robert that the purchase of Hunter Tech by Queen Industries that Robert had spent the last six months arranging was on the verge of collapse if Robert didn't meet with Rex in Metropolis, Robert had little choice.
Thankfully, Laura understood and Oliver was still too young to really understand what was going on. Robert agreed to the meeting and was determined to wrap it up no later than noon, so, he had Laura and Oliver accompany him to Metropolis, so that he could spend at least half the day with them after his meeting. So, when the meeting with Rex came to an end at quarter to eleven, Robert was thrilled. Informing his secretary that he was taking the rest of the day off and not to contact him for any reason, Robert left the Metropolis offices of Queen Industries and headed for the Metropolis Alexandria Hotel, where Laura and Oliver were staying.
"Laura? Oliver?" Robert called out as he entered the hotel room. A huge smile soon graced his face as his three-year-old son came toddling towards him, shouting, "Daddy!"
"There's my little man," Robert said as he scooped his son up in his arms and placed a kiss on the side of the little boy's blond head.
"Hello darling," Laura said as she came into the living area from their suite's kitchen. "Did everything go okay with Rex?"
"Yes, it did," Robert said. "He finally signed the papers, so Queen Industries is the proud new owner of Hunter Tech. Not having to deal with Rex anymore is definitely a cause for celebration – the man has got to be one of the most difficult people I've ever dealt with." Robert was sorely tempted to precede difficult with a certain expletive, but, refrained from doing so, since he had his hands full with a very impressionable toddler and did not want the expletive he had in mind to become his son's new favorite word.
"Congratulations, Robert," Laura said with a smile as she kissed her husband briefly on the lips, before she also placed a kiss on Oliver's cheek. "I thought we could take a nice drive in the country this morning – I just finished packing a picnic lunch for us."
"Sounds great, honey," Robert said as he handed Oliver to his wife. "Just let me go change into something more casual and we can get going."
Three hours later found Robert, Laura, and Oliver in the small farming town of Smallville, Kansas, where they found the local park in which to have their picnic. The Queens' butler, Gabriel "Gabe" Sullivan, his wife, Moira, and their three-year-old daughter, Chloe, accompanied their employers on their picnic. Many Smallville residents were there as well, rooting for the Smallville Crows, the high-school football team, who were playing their homecoming game. After finishing their picnic, the Queen family got back into their limousine, telling the chauffeur to drive around for awhile longer, before returning to Metropolis. The Sullivan family followed behind in a blue pick-up truck.
Meanwhile, in a helicopter flying from Metropolis to Smallville, the billionaire CEO and Founder of LuthorCorp, Lionel Luthor, was reading the Daily Planet newspaper. The headline read, "Queen Industries to Purchase Hunter Tech for $1 Billion."
Also in the helicopter were Lionel's wife, Lillian, and their three-year-old son, Lex, whose eyes were tightly closed.
"Open your eyes, Lex," Lionel said, once he'd put away his paper and saw that his son's eyes were closed.
"Lionel, he's three and he's never been in a helicopter before," Lillian said. "He's afraid."
"Luthors are not afraid!" Lionel exclaimed. "We don't have that luxury. We're leaders. Lex has a destiny, Lillian. He's never going to get anywhere with his eyes closed."
"Lionel, this grand destiny you love talking about can wait until he's old enough to form complete sentences and walk without falling down," Lillian said. "Until then, just shut up and leave the boy alone."
Lionel would have said something to Lillian, but at that moment, the helicopter began to land and Lionel's mind instantly reverted to the reason for his visit to Smallville. He was here to buy several tracts of land surrounding the Ross Creamed Corn Factory, which he also planned on purchasing. He had no intention of telling the people whose farms he was buying the real reason for the purchase, just as he had no intention of telling the Ross brothers that he had no interest in keeping their factory open – at least not as a creamed corn factory. No, Lionel was going to convert the factory into LuthorCorp's third fertilizer plant.
Arriving at their destination, Lionel immediately starts talking business with two farmers whose farm was the first on his list to purchase that day. Turning around briefly, Lionel said, "Lillian?"
Lillian didn't respond, however, as she just wondered into a nearby cornfield, with three-year-old Lex in her arms. Turning his mind back to business, Lionel asked, "Where do I sign?"
"Right here, Mr. Luthor," one of the men said as he pointed to the correct place on the bill of sale.
Wandering into the corn field, Lillian soon heard a voice call out, "Help me. Help me, please."
"What on God's Earth?" Lillian asked herself, as she began to follow the sound of the voice. She soon came upon the source – a young brown-haired boy, probably about fourteen, stripped down to his boxer shorts with a large letter 'S' written on his bare chest and strung up like a scarecrow.
Seeing the woman holding the toddler in her arms, the boy said, "Hey, lady, help me, please."
Setting Lex down, Lillian began to untie the ropes on the boy's feet and asked, "Who did this to you?"
"The football team," the boy answered. "It's a homecoming tradition for them to pick an unpopular freshman and make them 'The Scarecrow' every year."
"Kids, I swear," Lillian muttered. She may have been a member of the popular crowd in school, but she never liked many of the pranks that her popular classmates liked to pull on the unpopular kids because many of them, like this scarecrow tradition, were just plain cruel. Working on the knots tying the boy's feet, she asked, "What's your name?"
"Jeremy Creek," the boy answered. "And yours?"
"Lillian Luthor and this is my son, Lex," Lillian answered as she finished untying Jeremy's feet.
"Luthor? As in LuthorCorp?"
"Yes, my husband is Lionel Luthor," Lillian replied as she attempted to reach the ropes binding Jeremy's right arm. Her high heels did add a little bit to her height, but, she was still a little too short to reach the ropes. She kept trying, however, until her eyes widened at the sight of a large fiery rock with a thick plume of black smoke trailing it over Jeremy's shoulder. Abandoning her attempt to untie Jeremy and grabbing Lex, Lillian said, "I'm sorry, Jeremy," before she took off running as fast as she could, while the rock, a meteor, impacted the corn field about thirty feet away.
"Mrs. Luthor! Please come back!" Jeremy cried out, but Lillian just kept running, determined to save herself and her son, as a huge cloud of dust and dirt from the meteor's impact spread out in all directions, leveling the corn, and soon consuming Jeremy.
Lillian looked over her shoulder briefly and saw the dust cloud getting closer and she tried to run faster, but running through a cornfield when you're wearing high-heeled shoes is not very easy. Lillian knew she was probably nuts to even walk into the cornfield wearing heels, but, it was too late to do anything about it now. Catching the heel of her shoe in an irrigation ditch, Lillian soon found herself falling. She knew that the dust cloud was quickly approaching, so, she did her best to shield Lex with her body.
Driving down a country road, the Queens passed a large field full of cows, prompting Laura to point to one of the animals and said to Oliver, who she was holding in her arms, "Look, Ollie, that's a cow. Can you say cow?"
"C-Cow," Oliver repeated and Laura and Robert smiled.
Pointing to the other side of the road, where there was a large cornfield, Robert asked, "That's corn, can you say corn?"
"Corn," Oliver repeated again, much to the delight of his parents.
Suddenly, a large meteor streaked down from the sky and obliterated the 'Welcome to Smallville' sign, causing Oliver to start crying, while Laura asked, "What's happening, Robert?"
"I don't know," Robert answered, as the sound of the limo's tires screeching on the road could be heard, as the chauffeur has just slammed on the breaks to avoid another meteor which has just struck the road ahead of them. A moment later, the limo lurched forward slightly as the Sullivans' pick-up truck lightly rear-ended it. Thankfully, however, it wasn't very hard as Gabe had put on his own breaks a few seconds before the chauffeur did, so, the truck was only going like five miles an hour when it hit the back of the limousine.
Getting out of the limo to inspect the damage and try and figure out what the hell was going on, Robert was shocked to see a small dark-haired boy about Oliver's age, standing near the side of the road – completely naked. Laura saw him too and handing Oliver to Robert, she walked over to the boy, picked him up, and carried him back over to the limousine. Reaching into the backseat, she grabbed the tote bag that she carried around with her when she had Oliver with her, which among other things had an extra set of clothes inside.
The dark-haired boy was the same size as Oliver, so, Oliver's clothes fit him quite well. Robert smiled at his wife and said. "I'm going to go see if I can figure out what just happened."
Still carrying Oliver, Robert walked over to the side of the road and followed the trail of crushed corn which was near where they'd found the naked boy. Laura was following, clutching the little boy, and Robert looked over his shoulder at them and said, "Kids don't just fall out of the sky, Laura." He knew all too well that his wife probably wanted to keep the child, as they wanted to have more children, but, had not been so blessed.
"Then where did he come from?" Laura asked.
"I don't know, but he must have parents," Robert said as he walked up a slight embankment of dirt, which had obviously been caused by whatever had impacted the field.
Coming up behind her husband, Laura saw what Robert was looking at. It looked like a tiny space ship, half-buried in the dirt. Looking at it for a moment, Laura said, "Well, if he does, they're definitely not from Kansas."
Turning to look at his wife, who was clearly smitten with the little boy, Robert said, "Sweetheart, we can't keep him. What are we going to tell people? That we found him out in a field?"
"We didn't find him, he found us," Laura replied and smiled as Oliver reached out towards the little boy with a smile on his face. "See, Ollie likes him, Robert. We can't have more children and it would be nice for Ollie to have a brother."
Robert never was able to say no to his wife, so, after a moment, he sighed and said, "Okay, fine, we can keep him. We'll have to name him, though, because we can't very well call him space boy."
Thinking for a moment, Laura smiled and said, "How about Clark? Clark Joseph Queen?"
Robert smiled. He knew his wife well enough to know that the Clark was after her favorite actor – Clark Gable – and Joseph had been her father's name. Their own son, Oliver, had been named after Robert's father, Oliver Robert Queen. Oliver's middle name, Jonas, had been Robert's mother's maiden name.
"Clark Joseph Queen it is," Robert agreed, before he called out, "Sullivan!"
Gabe Sullivan soon ran over and asked, "Yes, sir?" and then seeing the ship in the small crater, he asked, "Whoa, what is that?"
"Well, I guess it's a space ship," Robert answered. "And judging by its size, we're guessing this little boy we found is the one who was in it."
"Ah, okay," Gabe answered.
"Laura and I have decided to take the boy in as our own," Robert said. "It's probably better than the alternative. If we tell the authorities, then this poor little boy will probably end up growing up in a laboratory somewhere being poked and prodded for the rest of his life."
Gabe nodded and said, "No child deserves that. What can I do to help, Mr. Queen?"
"Help me get the ship into the back of your truck," Robert said, as he handed Oliver to Laura. It was a little hard to hold two three-year-olds at once, but she managed. "If we're going to keep the boy's origins a secret, it wouldn't do to have the ship found."
Gabe nodded, but remained silent as he climbed down into the hole along with his employer and the two of them began to dig the small ship out of the dirt, before carrying it out of the field and placing it in the back of Gabe's truck. Thankfully, the truck had a cap with tinted windows, so the otherworldly cargo would not be very easy to see, but, just in case, Robert and Gabe also covered it up with a large canvas tarp that happened to be in the backend of the truck. Once that was handled, Robert swore both Gabe, his wife Moira, and the chauffeur to absolute secrecy. Both Moira and the chauffeur agreed that a lab was no place for a child, alien or not, to grow up and readily agreed not to say anything to anybody.
Within minutes, Gabe and Moira were back in their truck, and Robert, Laura, Oliver, and Clark Queen were sitting in the back of the limousine, as the two vehicles headed back towards Metropolis.
"Lillian! Lex!" Lionel shouted as he ran out into the field that Lillian had wondered into – the same field that the meteor had impacted not that long ago. Pushing his way through several corn stalks, Lionel was shocked to see all the corn for what looked like miles to be pushed down.
"Lillian! Lex! Where are you?" He shouted again. Looking around, Lionel's eyes soon caught sight of a small lock of red hair at his feet. Bending down to pick it up, he ran it through his fingers briefly, before he noticed a rise in the corn stalks ahead of him. Running forward, he moved the corn aside and was horrified by the sight before him. Lillian was lying motionless on the ground, her body curled around Lex's small form, doing her best to shield him. Both Lillian and Lex were bald, save for a few stray hairs.
Kneeling down, Lionel moved Lillian onto her side and pressed his ear to her chest, searching for a heartbeat. He could hear a very faint heartbeat, so Lillian was alive, but, for how much longer, Lionel couldn't know. Lex seemed to be fine, although he was shaking and making incoherent noises. Looking around frantically, Lionel spotted a black limousine and a blue pick-up truck approaching on a nearby road. Running out in front of the limousine and waving his arms, Lionel yelled, "Stop, please!"
"What now?" Robert asked, as he lowered the partition between the passenger area and the front seat. The chauffeur caught Robert's eyes in the rear view mirror and said, "There was a frantic man in the road and I had to stop to avoid hitting him."
Robert nodded and lowered his window, just as the man came running up to it. Upon seeing who the man was, Robert wasn't the least bit surprised that he had run to the back end of the limousine, rather than speaking with the chauffeur.
"Lionel Luthor," Robert said. "What seems to be the problem?"
"My wife, my son, they're..." Lionel was clearly frantic and couldn't string together a clear sentence. Moving Oliver onto the seat next to him, Robert quickly unfastened his seatbelt and got out of the limousine.
"Where are they?" Robert asked and then took off running in the direction that Lionel pointed.
Running out into the corn field with Lionel following him, Robert soon came upon Lillian and Lex and was rather shocked to see that they were both bald. Placing his fingers on Lillian's neck, Robert could feel a faint pulse, but knew that if she didn't get medical attention soon, she would surely die. Lex's pulse was stronger and other than the loss of his hair, Robert couldn't see anything wrong with the little boy.
"What's wrong with them?" Lionel asked. "Their hair..."
"Give me a hand," Robert said, as he took off his jacket and laid it over Lillian, before picking her up. When Lionel didn't move, Robert said, "Lionel, I can't carry both of them."
Robert's words seemed to snap Lionel out of his stupor, as he came forward and took off his own jacket, which he wrapped Lex up in and the two men quickly headed back to the limousine. Reaching the limo, Robert got Lillian situated in the back seat, before allowing Lionel to climb in with Lex. Before getting back in himself, he went over to the pick-up truck and said, "Gabe, take the you know what to the Clock Tower, we'll deal with it later. We need to get Lillian and Lex Luthor to the hospital."
"Yes, sir," Gabe said with a nod of his head.
Getting back in the limousine, Robert said, "Andrew, we passed a medical center in town. Head there, please."
"Yes, sir," Andrew, the chauffeur, said.
"Can't we go to Metropolis General?" Lionel said. "I don't want my wife and son being treated by some small town doctor who doesn't have all the right equipment."
"Lionel, your wife is on the verge of death," Robert said. "Metropolis is a three-hour drive and I don't think Lillian has that long to live without treatment. So, unless, you want her to die, I suggest you swallow your pride and let the small town doctor treat her."
"Yeah, fine, okay," Lionel said, before he noticed the dark-haired boy in Laura's arms. "Who's that?"
"Our son, Clark," Laura answered.
"I didn't know you had another son, other than Oliver," Lionel said, as he motioned toward the blond boy in Robert's arms.
"Clark is adopted," Robert said. "We just finalized the adoption a few days ago."
"Adopted?" Lionel asked.
"Yes," Laura confirmed. "We recently found out that I'm unable to get pregnant again and we wanted Oliver to have a sibling, so, we adopted."
"Oh, okay," Lionel said and didn't say anything else on the matter.
Robert knew that he'd have to pull some serious strings and use his money and influence in Star City to get adoption papers filed for Clark as soon as possible, because he didn't doubt for a second that Lionel would check up on the sudden adoption eventually.
Arriving at the Smallville Medical Center, Lillian was rushed into a cubicle. Unfortunately, shortly afterward, she went into cardiac arrest and try as they might, the doctors couldn't revive her. Calling the time of death, one of the doctors walked out and said, "I'm sorry, Mr. Luthor, but, your wife didn't make it."
Clasping Lionel's shoulder with his hand in a show of support, Robert closed his eyes. He may not have liked Lionel Luthor all that much, but, Lillian had always been a kind woman and she didn't deserve to die so young.
Lionel remained quiet for a few moments, clearly trying to reign in his emotions, because as devastated as he was over the loss of his wife, he was a Luthor – and Luthors did not show weakness in public. And emotion was definitely a weakness in Lionel's book. After a moment, he asked the doctor, "What about my son? What happened to his hair?"
"I imagine it got burned off in the meteor shower," the doctor answered. "It'll probably grow back."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Luthor, but I can't be sure," the doctor said. "I've never dealt with victims of a meteor shower before. Since this is the first time there's ever been one in Kansas that I know of, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a doctor even in a city like Metropolis who's dealt with this kind of situation before."
Arriving back at the Clock Tower, the Metropolis headquarters of Queen Industries, Robert made plans with Gabe that Moira and Chloe would fly back to Star City with the family on the Queen jet, while Gabe would drive the pick-up truck back to Star City, as Clark's ship, while small, was too big to fit inside the baggage compartment of the jet. He also didn't want to risk anyone else, such as airport officials, seeing the ship. Once that was taken care of, Robert called the lawyer of the Queen Foundation, the charitable arm of Queen Industries, and asked him to draw up the adoption papers for Clark and to date them October 9th, 1983, despite the fact that it was October 16th, 1983. Thankfully, this would not be the first adoption that the Queen Foundation had facilitated, so, it wouldn't look all that strange for it to suddenly process one adoption and then never handle another one again.
Once they were back in Star City, Robert, Laura, Oliver, and Clark headed into the mansion and proceeded to introduce Clark to the rest of the household staff and asked the housekeeper, Mrs. Elizabeth McCready to prepare a bedroom for the newest member of the Queen family.
|To be continued . . .||Next|