Crime Syndicate of America: Earth-Three Remembered, Chapter 4: The Fortress of Science

by Libbylawrence

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In the days that followed the conquest of Arnoldtown, D.C., the military met with one crushing defeat after another at the hands of the super-powered terrorists who had made the White House their new base. Fighter planes zoomed into view over the rubble, only to be shattered by Green Gladiatrix’s lethal ring as she giggled maliciously. The tanks were overturned with ease by Amazon Princess, who disdainfully sneered at the male soldiers, representatives of what she considered the weaker sex. Hypernion was a one-man army as he crushed entire squadrons with no regard for life. Speedfreak was seemingly everywhere as he terrorized California and carried off starlet Michelle Piper for some amorous action of his own. All the mayhem was coldly guided by their leader, the enigmatic Darknight, who seemed to lack super-powers but was still feared and respected by his super-powered partners.

“People of America,” said Darknight, broadcasting live to the world. “We are the new leaders of your nation. We are the Lawless League, and we will destroy anyone who opposes us. Accept that, and you will live longer.”

“I’ve felt their power, and he’s not bluffing. We’ve got to stop him, but first things first,” declared Alexander Luthor as he led his family down several steps to a waiting craft below.

“What is it?” asked Lois Lane Luthor.

“I call it the Mighty Mole,” he said. “It’s our escape vehicle. I can’t fight these fiends while you three are in danger from them. It’s only a matter of time before they come for me.”

“Alex,” said Lena Luthor, “where will this thing take us that could be safe from the powers they have?”

Alexander smiled. “To the secret base I’ve already built for the purpose of opposing the Crime Syndicate, should they ever arise again. I call it the Fortress of Science.”

***

The Mole soon carried them through the center of the Earth to emerge in a spacious chamber full of equipment. “Look at this place — it’s amazing!” cried Lena as she ran around the huge, brightly lit fortress.

“I tried to plan for any emergency, so I have full weaponry, supplies, communications, and lab equipment within my Fortress of Science,” explained Luthor. “Here below the Earth, even those monsters can’t find us, or so I hope. Ultraman is not a thinker, but this Hypernion and Darknight seem much smarter.”

Lena glanced at the equipment. “What does all this do?”

Alexander said, “I hope it will stop the Lawless League. It was meant to fight the Syndicate, of course.”

Lena frowned. “My dream about some group like them has come true, but at least the originals are still imprisoned.”

“Lena, about them, I fear…”

“Alex, I don’t like that look on your face,” said a concerned Lois. “You’re not seriously considering…?”

Alexander Luthor replied with a rare sharpness, “I have no choice. To survive and defeat the Lawless League, I must free the Crime Syndicate and enlist their help.”

***

Alexander Luthor had listened to and argued with his family for hours before they retired for the night. He gazed down on the sleeping forms of Lois and Lena. He could not imagine life without them, and he definitely could not allow the world to be destroyed and brought down to chaos by the Lawless League. He worked feverishly to come up with some way to stop them, but all he could come back to was the need to ally with the Crime Syndicate.

He paced the floor and turned to see Lois waiting for him silently. “Alex, come to bed. We’re behind you all the way. If you feel the right thing to do is to free the Syndicate, then of course it must be the right thing for us all. We believe in you. Lena just fears them so because of the accident.”

Alexander nodded. “Power Ring once blew up a road, and my parents died in the ensuing car wreck. He didn’t know them. He didn’t care about them. It was a merely a random use of his power to him, and they were caught in it. Poor elderly folks, and Lena was the only survivor. No wonder she hates the Syndicate so much. I raised her after that and came to fight them eventually, though I wonder if I would ever have done that without the inspiration of the two Supermen and you!”

“Take Ultraman alone,” said Lois. “How can you reason with or trust that inhuman brute?”

“I think if I use my own sense of honor as a bargaining device, they will come around,” replied Luthor. “I’ll say that they can’t rule without defeating these newcomers, and that if they help me, I’ll reward them.”

Lois remained quiet. The only thing Alex could offer them was either his life or his pledge to not oppose them. Either way, he would lose greatly, as would her world. She held her husband as the machinery chimed and whirled around them in the vast chamber below the earth’s surface.

In the far corner of the Fortress of Science stood a robotic humanoid figure. It was not finished, but when it reached completion, the Brainiac would have a major influence on them all.

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