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Chapter 16

When Lois almost reached the kitchen she heard laughter, and the sounds of cooking. She looked into the kitchen to see a familiar figure beating batter in a bowl with a whisk. Jason and the android sat at the table eating flap jacks. "Good morning Lois!" Superman remarked. "Sit down! The boys are having juice and milk. But the coffee's just about ready."
Wide eyed, Lois sat down. Richard came in. "Superman!" he remarked.
"Good morning, Richard!" Superman acknowledged. "I don't think I have ever properly thanked you for the fine care you take of Jason and Lois. You remind me so much of my adopted father here on Earth! I will always be grateful to you!"
"Well, to be honest," Richard answered, "I have an ultermotive!"
Superman only smiled at him. "Boy, those smell good!" Richard remarked. He looked at the android curiously. "You eat?" he remarked.
"Oh, yes!" the android answered. "I am equipped with a system that converts matter into energy but I am programmed to enjoy the taste of food, though I can consume almost anything. These are phenomenal!"
Superman sat fresh plates in front of Lois and Richard, and cups of fresh coffee. Lois sipped hers.
"Exactly the right cream and sugar!" she giggled.
"Super memory!" Superman answered. "Richard's easy. He always takes his black!" Superman filled his own plate and sat down. "I hope you don't mind me dropping by!" he remarked. "I figured out what happened at the church, found the traces of cooling fluid. This young fellow is remarkable!" he continued, nodding towards the android. "He's not Kryptonian technology, and he was made nowhere on Earth. The material of his casing is extra terrestrial! He's quite a mystery! And so is this! Jason, will you show your mother your locket, how it works?" Jason smiled, took his locket from around his neck, and opened it. As he did so the back expanded, becoming big enough that he could easily pull out his Superboy costume.
"What to blazes...?" Richard remarked.
"Transdimensional engineering," Superman commented, "the space inside the locket is better than the space outside. I've heard of such things, but never seen it. This is the first example I have come across!"
"Certainly impresses me!" Richard remarked. "This guy always impresses me! You have no idea where this stuff came from, who this Darklight is?"
"No," Superman answered. "But this," he pointed to Jason's locket, "gives me a clue. I've seen one similar to this before, and the next time I see him I intend to have a talk with its owner. But what is even more curious are the crystals! They're all there, including the ones that Luthor experimented with, and my fortress of solitude is gone!" "What?" Lois gasped.
"I went to check on it," Superman remarked, "and it's gone! Not only that, the matter that was used to create it has been replaced! I would say with material from the asteroid belt. Judging from its chemical make up, also, the material that created the asteroid I threw into the sun has been replaced. All of this makes no sense! Even I would have a great deal of difficulty doing these things. I do not think one person could accomplish them. It has to be an incredible team effort."
Superman reached into the pocket of his cape and pulled something out. "Apparently the fortress' defense system activated. This is the crystal that produced the numbing beam that would nock anybody out and keep them in suspensioan until I could deal with them. It's only half of it! It's been cut in two, perfectly, right down the middle, disabling it! Nothing on Earth is hard enough or sharp enough to do that! Only something from Krypton could damage this crystal. It is all an incredible mystery, one I would like to solve!"
"You're not the only one!" Lois sighed. "Jor-El is planning on dictating Krypton's history to me. Do you object?" "Absolutely not!" Superman answered. "I would appreciate the gesture! To have my people remembered would be extremely pleasurable to me. Well, I must be going! If you don't mind, I'd like to take Jason on a little trip tonight, someone I would like him to meet, somebody very special!"
"By all means!" Richard put in before anything else could be said. "He needs time with you, and we have somebody that can be here so nobody will know he's gone! I've just got one question. It's been bothering me since yesterday! Why didn't you replace Jason when Mrs. White was looking for him yesterday? I'm sure the two of you could've easily changed places later."
The android smiled. "I didn't have the specialized clothes," he answered, "for the impending ceremony. Jason took them with him."
"Of course!" Richard cried, "The tuxedo! Damn! That's something we're going to have to keep in mind. Whatever outfits Jason has he's going to need duplicates!"
"A very good thought!" Superman agreed. "Now, I must be off!"
Superman walked out of the kitchen and there was a whoosh.

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