Part 9 Submission
Nearly one hour passes down in the well before Superman feels he has the strength to try and rise up off the radiation well’s reflective steel alloy floor. The agonizing effects of the bombardment have passed but he is very weak. Sullenly Superman staggers to his feet stumbles and recovers as he raises one of his hands to his temple. Superman’s soaked cape clings to his upper body and legs defining his muscular legs. Completely soaked with sweat he slowly staggers carefully to one of the lead walls. Superman holds his palm against the lead wall to support his weight and cranes his head upwards squinting at the blazing spotlights shining down into the well wondering how to get out of this trap he so foolishly blundered into. The realization that he is trapped and utterly at Eden’s mercy became obvious during the time he had remained cringing in fear on his knees. After several minutes Superman wipes the sweat from face and slowly walks over to lead lined panels that block access to the ladder that leads to the lab above. He runs his figures over the surface of the lead gauging its strength and examining its tight fit to the concrete passageway.
Suddenly Eden’s voice echoes down into the pit. Eden here again: ”Superman! Or do you prefer Clark Kent? Or your original name Kal El? Yes Clark I know all about you from the professor’s notes. I don’t have to tell Evan Frost about your secret identity or the secret stockpile of kryptonite you have hidden. Cooperate Clark; I’m sure all your friends at the Daily Planet, not to mention Ma Kent on the farm, would be of great interest to Mr. Frost – I’d bet you’d do just about anything to prevent harm from coming to them!”
Superman hangs his head as tears well up in his eyes.
“So Clark, or Superman; please consider carefully what I know about you, your friends and family. I’ll give you one more chance. Kneel and beg me for mercy Kal El! Do that immediately and I’ll keep your identity secret when I collect the bounty on you! Don’t forget the professor – he’d be a target too! I’m waiting Superman. I want your pride! I want the Man of Steel, Superman, to beg! I want to see Kal El grovel on his hands and knees begging Eden Cross for mercy!
Superman sullenly drops his hands from the lead panel and turns away from the sealed passageway and hangs his head as he turns to face the middle of the well. He knows he has no choice; he is completely at Eden’s mercy while he is trapped in the professor’s radiation well. Eden knows everything; his friendship with the professor – Lois, Jimmy, Perry; even the existence of the large pieces of kryptonite that are lethal to him. Superman swallows hard, and then sullenly he slowly drops to his knees, swallows hard again, and falls slowly forward on his outstretched palms with his head bent low to reflective floor. He slowly crawls to the center of the trench draped by his drenched red cape that clings tightly to his backside defining his large muscular frame and powerful legs. In the center of the well Superman stops and lowers his face to an inch above the floor. As sweat drips from his hair and face he speaks the word, “Mercy.” “LOUDER!” booms Eden’s echoing voice from high above the well floor. Superman clenches his palms into fists and swallows hard and speaks the word again only louder. “Mercy,” LOUDER! Superman screams loudly, “MERCY!” I don’t believe you’re sincere Superman, replies Eden, his voice booming from the speakers above. Superman’s sullen expression turns to horror as the numeric keypad flashes and chirps three times and stop followed by now familiar three short but loud successive whops from a siren and the loud audio warning state from the mechanical voice: “Elemental Exposure Sequence Initiated.” Superman swallows hard and stumbles and staggers up off his hands and knees to his feet with a wild look of fear as the room goes completely dark and the disks strobe bright white three times in quick succession. He instinctively stumbles and staggers back against the lead panels blocking the passageway to the shaft. Superman presses his sweat soaked body tightly back against the lead panel as all the panels slowly ramp up again in brightness bathing him in the eerie green glow. Superman groans as the familiar wave of dizziness washes over him and as tears begin to stream down his cheeks as he hears: “Exposure Level Minimal,” echoing from the speaker. The panels begin to slowly glow brighter and the room is filled with the same loud electric hum that steadily increases in volume proportionate to the intensity of the green glow. Superman raises both hands over his head and interlocks his fingers tightly around his head as his face contorts in pain bathed in the green light reflected from the polished steel floor. “Exposure Level Moderate” informs the voice echoing down from above. Superman knees buckle slightly as another wave of dizziness envelops him. Superman closes his eyes and unlocks his fingers and screams dropping his hands from his head as the panels come to full illumination and the pit is brightly lit again in a blinding green light. “Exposure Level Maximum” states the voice. The electrical hum is now deafening within the well and Superman squirms and twists wildly, pressing against the lead panel. Exhausted his legs buckle and he slumps to both knees and slowly doubles over forward on, his face racked in pain as he covers his head with his hands again and cowers from the bombardment. The merciless pummeling continues for several more minutes. There is a loud mechanical thud that echoes through the well and the sound level and green brightness begin to slowly ramp down until the panels go dark and the Well is dark and silent. “Exposure Sequence Terminated,” informs the cold voice. The lights of the well illuminate revealing an exhausted Superman cowering doubled over on his knees in the well with his hands over his head soaked in sweat. Eden here again Superman! Try it from the top Superman or receive another demonstration! Be sincere and make me believe you are really begging. I’ll give you fifteen minutes to regain some strength to beg properly, declares Eden’s echoing voice from high above in the well.
Fifteen minutes pass. Eden here again Superman! Your allotted time is over. Several more minutes pass before the caped figure has the strength to act. Superman sighs and swallows hard as he slowly lowers his hands from his head and then eases slowly forward on his knees onto his outstretched palms. He bows his head low and pleads to Eden, “Mercy. Please have mercy on me Eden! I’m begging on my knees for mercy Eden!”
That’s much better. Now, who is your master Kal El?
Superman closes his eyes as a pang of intense humiliation sweeps over him and as tears stream down his handsome face he replies dispiritedly, “You are my master Eden.”
“GOOD! Now if I am your master what are you Superman?”
Superman swallows hard and weakly replies, “I am a slave.”
“Whose slave Superman?”
Superman gulps and says in the loudest voice he can muster, “I am the slave of Master Eden.”
Yes Superman, you are a slave; my slave; I am your master. I intend to sell you to Evan Frost for 20 million dollars; then you’ll be his slave. Brains over brawn! Mind over muscle Superman! Now remain in that position of submission. Stare at your pathetic reflection on the floor! Stare at a broken has-been superhero. Remain there until I give you permission to do otherwise slave!” The well is silent again as Superman obediently remains down on his hands and knees. Tears stream down Superman’s cheeks as he realizes that he is helpless and at the mercy of Eden; that he has finally been taken down. He stares down at his reflection on the floor; a reflection of defeat. Superman begins to softy cry as sweat drips off his drenched costume and pools on the reflective floor of the radiation well.
In the control room above Eden watches with glee the images on the large screen of the broken hero dripping with sweat as he cringes in fear on the well’s floor in total submission. “I’ve tamed the mighty Man of Steel,” boasts Eden. He lights a cigarette and smokes exhaling a large bloom of smoke. “We’ll I’ve had my fun with muscle boy. I made the mighty Superman crawl and beg! It’s just about time to whack Superman, hoist his dead carcass out of the well, box him up and collect my bounty. First things first; I’ll finish my smoke and enjoy the show.”