Lois risked a look back at Clark, slumped against the wall. Her heart stopped and her stomach roiled painfully in what felt like another backflip. Blooming across the royal blue fabric, just above and to the left of the ‘S’ shield, was a dark crimson stain. The wild shot must have ricocheted and hit him!
(The Story Continues)...
“Richard!” Lois jerked her head wildly toward the fallen superhero, who had not made even one sound of pain at the wound. “Get him out of this room. Please. There’s kryptonite!”
Richard looked over at the crates, noticing them for the first time. He nodded shortly and moved quickly over to Clark’s terrifyingly still form. Mitchener started to rise up on his elbows, and Lois aimed and pumped a bullet into the parquet flooring only inches from his hand. Splinters showered across his forearms. Even to her ears, her voice had a dangerous edge. “I said… Don’t even twitch!”
“Lois…” Richard warned, hefting Clark up carefully under his arms. She began to cast Richard an unapologetic look, but then her eyes fell on Clark, whose head was lolling to the side as Richard dragged him toward the door. Is he unconscious? Or worse…? She looked back at Mitchener, now curled up on the floor and muttering something incoherent. Her eyes narrowed vindictively. I should have drilled a hole in that baby-soft, manicured hand…
As Richard got close to the doorway, she realized that the deputy mayor’s cowering body was still keeping the door ajar. She couldn’t let it fall shut again… Making a wide circle around him, she caught the edge of the door in her free hand, and ordered, pistol gleaming in the light, “Give them room.”
She was almost disappointed when he didn’t argue, scooting carefully away from the door. Richard, grunting with effort, slowly dragged Clark all the way into the hallway, smearing a trail of bright blood in their wake.
As his red boots cleared the doorway and moved out of sight, Lois’ heart clenched. If not for the sleazeball still in front of her, she would be out there with him… The sound of dragging ended. “Richard! Is he all right?” she called over her shoulder frantically.
“I can’t tell right now. There’s a lot of blood, Lois…”
Lois felt a rush of furious anger, and her hand tightened around the handle of the gun. A murderous red haze was clouding her mind. Lord help me, if Clark doesn’t come out of this okay… She gave an inarticulate growl of frustration out loud. But we need him alive in order to pin this destruction on him, she reminded herself. And he’s the only link we have to Luthor right now. “Richard, could you please come and take over for me?” She let a wicked edge enter her voice as she added, “I’m not sure I can trust myself not to accidentally wing him.”
Brow furrowed with concern, Richard came into the doorway, and slipped the gun out of her palm with a smooth motion. Their eyes met, and his were soft with a concern and compassion that tugged at her heart. “It looks bad, Lois. I checked for a pulse… but I don’t even know if his heart works the same way…” He shook his head. “How long do you think he can last?”
“Once he’s away from the kryptonite…” Emotion prevented her from finishing the sentence. Blinking back the tears that threatened, Lois gave Richard’s shoulder a grateful squeeze. Then she raced to Clark’s side. Kneeling beside him, she tried to inspect the wound, tearing the thin fabric of his blood-stained suit away from it with her fingernails. Richard was right, there was a lot of blood. But the wound was deep, and she had no idea how she would begin to try to get the bullet out…