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There’s nothing left to lose.

Her father is away right now, safe in Gotham on a business trip, and her mother safe in the private institute funded by Queen Industries. Clark and Ollie and his boys can protect Lois. Lex would never hurt Lana. And Riley is completely out of the picture. As for Clark… well, it isn’t as if Lex doesn’t already have issues against the farmboy. So, it’s safe now when the only life at risk is her own.

She sits at her desk in the lower levels of the Daily Planet. The desk lamp is dimmed and all the other lights are off. By now, most of the employees have been at home for hours. Only the few dedicated - or crazy - reporters and editors remain, each locked up in their respective worlds of news and bylines. It’s not the first time Chloe Sullivan has stayed late at the Planet. The emptiness doesn’t bother her.

The keys click away as she types furiously. She knows this is going to be the story of the century as much as she knows that she won’t be around to see its effects. Lex never got near her back up information storage, hidden safely in Clark’s barn. He might have confiscated some things, but not enough to wipe the slate clean.

Luthorcorp Crimes Against Humanity: Luthor Heir Continues Nazi Tradition of Human Experimentation the headline reads. Her name follows. And below that comes a detailed expose on Level 33.1. It’s everything she’s ever heard or read about the place. Interviews, photographs, illegally obtained files – all of it. It’s all there. She makes sure to mention a Justice League, the group of masked crusaders Lex’s PR people have given a bad spin on. She tries to correct that: these men are the good guys, working to free those unwilling meteor infected or otherwise enhanced individuals.

She talks about the army of super soldiers. She talks about all the numerous doctors and institutions Lex has bribed. Statistics, accounting sheets that don’t add up, interviews with those few brave employees that stepped forward. She has them all. She even has her own memories of being one of Lex’s victims. Tonight she’s going to finish the article she started to write those couple of weeks ago.

When it’s done, she reads it over and smiles. It’s the best piece she’s ever written. She knows just by looking at it that it’s Pulitzer winning material. And she knows that she’ll never be around to see it.

Luthors don’t joke.

Before logging off, she sends off an email. It’s to Clark and it’s an apology. She tells him that she’ll always love him, that she knows he’ll make even more of a difference in the world than she has. And in the very end, she asks him to watch over her family and Riley – to make sure they live the happy and long lives they deserve. She asks him to tell Riley that she really did love him. It’s the closest thing to a suicide note she ever wrote.

Then, it’s upstairs to her editor’s office, right before the clock strikes dawn. He thinks she’s crazy. Calls her insane. She promises that she knows what she’s doing. It’s an article that’s been in the works for a long time. She has the necessary protection. That part’s the lie. Her arguments, and the too good to be true article her editor has in his hands, win out. The presses are stopped and the cover story is replaced.

This time, when the bomb goes off, Chloe is standing right above it and proudly looking at her cover story making headline.

There are no regrets in the end.

[based on milliways bar.
words: 619]
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Chloe Sullivan

December 2008


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