THE CAPTURE OF SUPERMAN!
Originally “The Capture of Superboy,” story by L.Cross.
Modestly text-enhanced by Rick Henry, 05-2021, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part Seven -Temporary Reprieve for Superman
The Kryptonite fragments Bart exposed Superman to have effectively reduced him to the stature of a quivering slug lying dully exposed on the concrete floor unable to move speak or construct a coherent thought. His mind, numbed by the pain, Superman merely lies face down naked, his body stiffened by the unrelenting ache of pain. Dumont has taken Superman’s famous red and blue costume as a trophy and Superman is left wearing only a blank expression with drool trickling from the open mouth of his craned head.
Dumont grins wickedly as he hurries around the vault collecting the man’s discarded costume: leather boots, cape, belt, briefs, and tights. He roughly compresses the costume and boots and shoves the items into the large black canvas bag he brought with him. As Dumont zips the canvas bag he leers over at the helpless man. The grin leaves his face as he realizes it is time to decide Superman’s fate and begins to ponder.
Despite all my bravado of the past quarter hour I cannot risk selling Superman to anyone for any price. If he ever managed to escape captivity, he’d be sure to look me up. Nor do I stand a chance of obtaining Kryptonian technology. Superman is a man Scout and would never willing share it with me; and I don’t have the time to beat it out him. The longer I allow him to live the greater the risk I take. I’m taking a big risk by keeping the broomstick. No one aside from my nephew Bart can ever know I destroyed Superman.
Killing Superman will be easy now that I have him where I want him. I merely leave him right here with the Kryptonite. I can stop back in a few weeks to make sure Superman succumbed to the Kryptonite radiation. Then I’d simply leave the dead carcass down here and fill in the shaft to the surface using a steady stream of concrete trucks. The Man of Steel will be entombed down here forever. My instincts tell me to walk away now and leave Superman to die.
But if I divert a tiny bit from the original plan it would allow me to go forward with a new and exciting project. A couple more days of life for Superman would allow me to collect priceless and irreplaceable samples. I’ve been toying with an idea but had all but dismissed it as improbable, thus I did not bring the equipment necessary to gather the samples. Now that I’ve had the opportunity to examine Superman ever so closely my interest in cloning a Superman has been rekindled. I would need sperm, hair and blood samples; Superman might still be bullet proof even in a comatose state but I image Kryptonite fashioned into a shard would allow me to draw blood and cut hair; collecting the sperm won’t be at all difficult thinks Dumont as a smile crosses his face.
“Imagine! A small army of Superman’s cloned from the original Superman. An army of Superman’s all loyal to me and minus his man Scout tendencies. I would be unstoppable. I could rule the world or at least a large chunk of it! It will take years to accomplish and success is not guaranteed by any means but the samples are obviously essential to even try. …Hum? I could send Bart back here tomorrow and camp out upstairs for a few days while he collects what I need. I have much to do work to do to get this project going and I don’t want to waste time baby sitting Superman while I collect the necessary ingredients. Heck Bart will enjoy tormenting that muscle bound kid as he gathers the samples. With the Kryptonite back in the lead container Superman’s bodily functions should return to normal, including sperm production. He will be conscious but powerless and will remain that way as long as I deny him sunlight!
“When Bart finishes his collections, I’ll have him pull the plug so speak on Superman,” says Dumont coldly as he quickly gathers up all five fragments of Kryptonite and places them in the lead box in the anteroom and secures the cover back onto the box. Immediately the green hue vanishes and Superman’s mind-numbing pain subsides and the naked man visibly relaxes and un-stiffens in sudden relief on the floor. His eyes blink several times and his mouth closes as his breathing becomes less labored and returns to a normal rhythm.
Dumont walks past the naked man and retrieves the shackles. He returns and begins to restrain Superman in the collar and shackles. Superman’s mind begins to clear ever so slowly and he is vaguely aware of what’s happening as he feels the cold steel collar locked again around his neck and his arms are tightly drawn together behind his back and his wrists are shackled tightly in place. He vaguely comprehends a mocking voice saying, “Good Morning sleepy head.” Moments later Superman senses the cold steel of the shackles locking his ankles tightly together but is yet unable to protest or offer even token resistance.
Several minutes later, the Kryptonite encased in lead, Superman’s head finally clears and he is able to begin to collect his thoughts. He snaps completely out of his vegetative daze as he hears the blast door descend. The large door slams shut with a bang as blooms of compressed air vent and slowly dissipates and silence returns to the underground vault.
Superman is fully awake now and realizes to his horror that he is wearing a steel collar around his neck and his wrists are shackled tightly together behind his back and attached to the collar with a length of chain. To make matters worse his ankles are shackled tight together and slightly draw back towards his back by a short length of steel chain attached to the wrist shackles to prevent him from standing upright… and worse yet he is completely naked!
He twists tightly restrained in the shackles, his chest and legs rubbing the dirty concrete, as he tries with all his might to break free. Superman then remembers all too well the cruel teenager with the strange fragments he called Kryptonite that rendered him weak and helpless.
He squirms and twists naked in the tight steel restraints as he awkwardly maneuvers his head to look around the room and determines it is the same room with the lead arch and blast door. The Kryptonite is gone but so is his strength and costume too! What have they done to me thinks Superman in terror?
He panics and twists and bucks wildly trying to break the steel chains only to be reminded that he has been somehow stripped of his super strength. Superman cranes his head around inspecting his naked body that is completely filthy with sweat and dirt. Who stripped me naked? Where is my costume? Why can’t I break these chains? Why am I naked? Will I ever get my superpowers back? What are they going to do to me?
These questions and many others race through Superman’s mind as it begins to finally set in that the mighty Superman has been completely trounced… and by a kid with a green rock. I should have been more careful and not been so arrogant thinks Superman as his arm, chest and leg muscles flex and strain as he again futilely struggles to break the steel shackles.
“I should be able to snap these chains light as a pretzel,” screams an exasperated Man of Steel. Superman panics again and strains sweats and grunts loudly for several minutes as his powerful muscles flex impressively, but in the end cannot snap the steel restraints; frustrated and fatigued, Superman slips into a worn exhaustion and lies motionless on the floor with his face buried in the dust. Realization sets in as Superman finally comprehends that he is a prisoner and can only lie there, tolerate and adapt to the intolerable, and wait impatiently for his jailer to reappear.