Appearing in "Small Perceptions"
- Lex Luthor (On a TV or computer screen)
- Emilio Quinones
Synopsis for "Small Perceptions"
On a news broadcast, Cat Grant addressed reporters about President Lex Luthor, in conjunction with other world leaders, having announced a program to develop an array of anti-invasion weapons to orbit the Earth and protect against alien attack.
In a small, out of the way diner, Clark Kent and Perry White talk about the former's undercover reporter assignment. Luthor has been covertly mining Temeryl through a subcontractor, which is illegal in the United States, since Temeryl is a powerful explosive which doesn't require the presence of oxygen to burn. Clark will use a fake ID, go in undetected, and try to get some evidence against the President. Perry hands Clark some letters intended for Superman, and they depart each other's company.
In Utah, a foremen of the Temeryl mining operation rushes the men to keep them on schedule, telling them to ignore certain things they seem concerned about. A worker named Jerry talks with Jon (Clark's code name) about getting a beer at the only place in town that serves drinks, the Sinkhole. Clark/Jon asks about why everyone's in such a rush and so secretive. Jerry suggests that it's because Temeryl is so poisonous and the backer of the operation is not very concerned about safety. He also tells Clark/Jon that Temeryl, when mixed with certain chemicals, can make a compound much worse than napalm that can work in the vacuum of space.
At the Sinkhole, Clark/Jon stops a potential fight between two workers, and when they tease him, he says it is so the workers won't be banned from the bar. He offers to buy both of the angry men a beer. Later, Jerry and Jon/Clark observe a television reporter talking about the relevance of the missile program to the metahuman population. Jerry tells Jon/Clark that Lex is looking out for regular Americans. Clark asks him what he means. Jerry tells him that he doesn't believe Superman cares about ordinary people, and that he might not even exist. Clark tells him not to worry about Superman.
Clark breaks into the mining office and finds a document. It reveals about the benefactor (presumably Luthor) that the Temeryl mining goes well, all miners are well screened, and safety aside, production can be sped up. It also illustrates that all communication is shredded within two days of receipt. Clark calls Perry that he couldn't get the document, but he read it, and he describes it to him. Perry tells Clark to keep trying.
Six days later, the mine collapses. Jerry is trapped, but he is saved when Jon rises shirtless from the rubble with glowing red eyes and saves him. Jerry takes back what he said about Superman. All of the miners are saved.
Clark returns to Metropolis and reads a letter, which reveals to be written in Spanish. As Superman, he traces the letter to Guatemala, where the letter is dated long before his stint as a coal miner. He finds a nun and a doctor pulling the sheet over a dead mother. Superman has arrived too late. He finds Emilio, the young boy who wrote the letter outside, crying. Superman tells the boy that he's an orphan too, and the city can adopt him, just like the world took Superman in when he was a boy. The boy tells Superman that he wishes he were his father. Superman hugs the boy. The town arrives to take care of the boy, and Superman tells them that it will be all right. Superman later attends the funeral, and a grateful Emilio waves as Superman takes off.
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