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Sometimes I wish I could fly, Like a bird up in the sky

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Lois has a secret identity and no one knows. That would be the part where it's a secret.

Okay, maybe its really pathetic secret and she has the not hiding anything tinted glasses to prove it.

That's not the point.

The point is she catches the M line and sits down by the door. A couple of teenage boys trying for dangerous with their careful duck-tail-hair-rebellion throw short words at her. They don't know her. She's a secret. They get off at the next station and she has the car to herself.

She doesn't take it personally. She's a smelly secret. She smells like a garbage dump. That would be the part where she's come from the dump. She grins at a billboard for a dishwasher. She'll take hers takeout if you please. She grins and she'd do a little raz mataz, but her feet are killing her. None of that matters. She's young. The night is young. It's Saturday. She's already got her copy in for a front page Sunday byline about three members of the City Council lining their pockets with a little sanctioned redlining. Thank God they hired some pathetic goon to kill her or it would be thirteen inches of copy about mortgages.

She's feeling pretty good, which is when the giant robot strolling down 75th decides to pick up the car and give it a shake. It's like she's been pricked by a pin. Her story's is going to be buried on page twenty-million. She holds on and snaps a picture as the robot tosses the car. The whole thing's flying. She briefly bitters that she doesn't have a damn Pulitzer yet and she's going to die smelling like rotten cabbage when something grabs the car. Now they're sailing through the air like some sort of gondola.

Nothing for it really but to finish what the robot started and smash open the window - who knew she'd use the brass knuckles twice in one day - and lean out for a look. There's a very black man in a very blue union suit with a very red cape and very red underwear flying the car up Vine street, and he's humming "Night and Day". She snaps a picture, but in black and white it's not going to capture how utterly wonderfully weird this is. The man looks over at her. "Don't worry, I've got you."

Lois slides back into the car. Mutters, "You've got me. Who's got you?" Considers the idea that he has himself.

Grins to herself, because she's got the pictures. Words forming themselves up into the front page to be.

He sets the car down lightly. He looks at her long and level. "You'll be safe here," and takes off in a blue-red-black blur.

She shakes her head. He doesn't know her yet. Ten dollars lighter and a bicycle richer, she's back on 75th, all the better to climb up a giant robot's leg. He's got a couple of friends. With ray beam eyes, which they are using to zap the holy hell out of this particular block. Underwear man is zipping around the ray beams and beating on them with a telephone pole, but he's just one man.

Lois gets in a panel and pulls a blue wire to see what that does. Apparently it makes the giant robot jitter like a beat poet, which she wished she'd known because she'd have pulled the red one instead. Her robot runs into a robot that underwear man has just hit. She waves at him as they all go crashing. Finds herself floating on air. He says, "Didn't I already save you?"

She shrugs, "I'm not the sort of woman that stays saved," wrinkles her nose to push up her sliding glasses, "even by a guy who can sweep a forty-foot robot off its feet."

His answering smile lights his face. Then he glances away. He doesn't know her yet.

She thinks what the hell. "You doing anything after this? Off to fight radioactive dinosaurs? Ice monsters? That flasher in Planet Square." He laughs and they're still floating. "Feel like a coffee? I'm doing a series of articles about truth, justice and apple pie. We could go get some." She waves a hand at the Four Seasons, glittering on its building top. "Think they'll serve us?" He snorts, and she rolls her eyes so they're on the same page.

He says, "I've already read that story. Anyway, I'd rather have key lime." He smiles at her as he sets her down on the ground and zips off to wherever flying men in underwear go. She lights a mental cigarette, because it was good for her, too.

But that doesn't get the story written. Gets down to business.

She looks back inside her robot. Really, if Lex Luthor wants his giant robots to be a secret, maybe he shouldn't put his initials all over the insides. Which pisses her off because those are her initials and they won't prove anything and Lois has not had a chance to win a Pulitzer with those initials. Yet.

L. Lane. Intrepid investigative reporter for a daily metropolitan newspaper. Indeterminately gendered. Indeterminate everything L. Determinate. Determined. That's her.

She takes a picture to express her annoyance. Frames her string of words.

Men and women tumble out of shops. One half shaved white bread specimen says, "Was that the flying negro?"

She sighs because forty-foot tall robots zapping buildings with ray beam eyes and it's the flying black man they notice.

Another prime specimen of white flight manhood says, "What do you suppose the S stands for?"

She says flat as she can, "Superman." Shakes her head. Laughs with all the irony that her body can hold. "I mean look at him. He's a Nietzschean Superman all wrapped up in a red cape." Her body can hold a lot of irony.

She leads with that headline. Superman, not the irony. Maybe some of the irony. Most of it she saves for later. After she calls in her story to the Planet. Messengers in her film. She never goes in herself for the obvious reasons, and Perry would rather have her byline.

She holds it all in until after she slumps into her apartment. Passes a picture of her family smiling back down at her. Leaves a trail of clothes to the bath. Takes off the blue tinted glasses that she doesn't need. Washes her hair, which she then irons flat. She looks at herself in her tiny mirror. Sees her parents's bones under her blended skin. Sees a poem of them in the shape of her face, of her eyes, which are nothing like almonds or sloes or what the hell ever. Smiles and winks and thinks about how it felt to fly.

She can practically feel the Pulitzer and it tastes like coffee. Justice. Sunshine?

She'll think of the right word later. Right now, she hums her dad's favorite Fitzgerald song and falls asleep thinking about playing on a swing. Drifts on the moment when she'd let go and fly.