- Men, women, children. Everyone. Pets included. I look into every house, every business, every shed throughout town. Can't find a single heartbeat either. It killed them all.
- -- Superman
Appearing in "Combat"
Synopsis for "Combat"
Superman bursts into a Russian facility, bypassing a series of security measures obviously meant specifically to prevent him from getting in. He finds all of the scientists inside dead by very brutal means, and when he discovers a strange alien space-chamber, he knows they were meddling with something they could not understand. He watches video records of the research team's efforts, discovering that the submarine he had encountered some time ago was actually retrieving the alien pod, and that whatever was inside it was fast enough that it could not be seen before the it destroyed the camera upon its escape. Suddenly, someone in the room shouts for Superman to freeze, and he recalls that he heard someone else say that to him once already that day.
Then, it had been Jonathan Carroll, Lois Lane's current boyfriend, who apparently had been invited to the dinner that Clark Kent was obligated to pay for, in order to make up for forgetting to pick Lois' sister Lucy from the station. Of course, this was extra pay-back, because in addition to having to pay for Lois' boyfriend's meal, they were eating at the most expensive restaurant in the city.
Clark had expected the dinner to be extremely awkward, but as it turned out, Jonathan was a decent man, and the differences between Lucy and Lois were actually intriguing. Lois hadn't had time to show Lucy around, so she conscripted Clark to take her sister out to see the city. Lucy demanded to be taken to Bogdanove Bridge, where there is a burgeoning bungee jumping subculture - Clark was expected to participate.
Morgan Edge appeared at their table, and quickly got into an argument with Lois about the ethics of having run a story on Superman's dual identity that nearly got a civilian killed. All at once, the journalists received messages indicating that there is an incident occurring in Russia. The military had been mobilized with rumours of death an destruction at a research installation rampant. A small town's nuclear power facility had gone dark which could indicate a nuclear incident of disastrous proportions. Lois urged Lucy to take a cab home while Clark apologized for leaving her there alone. Lucy was further annoyed by the fact that they had left her alone to pay for the exorbitant bill.
Now, Superman finds himself under attack by the military, but fortunately, his ability to speak Russian catches the attention of a Russian security agent who calls off the guns. He refers to himself as Ivan, explaining that this research facility was created in order to find a Russian-controlled rival to Superman. Since they couldn't develop their own, they searched outer space for one - unfortunately, the one they found wasn't interested in working with the government, and killed everyone. The creature was drawn to a nuclear reactor west of the facility, and though Ivan doesn't know why the creature is attracted to it, it can't be a good thing.
Superman investigates the village nearby, and finds that every living thing in the area has been killed; man, woman, and child. Suddenly, he comes under attack by an unexpectedly powerful explosive. His opponent reveals itself, and it is much faster than he expects. It dodges his attacks, and actually manages to scratch him. It plants a device on Superman's suit which explodes, rendering it dysfunctional.
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