“So, you’re sure about this?”
“Jimmy, seriously, this guy doesn’t faze me in the least.” Lois Lane slid her finger across her Q-Pad, reading her notes as the duo waited on the President.
“Oh, no, I get that. I mean are you gonna be able to keep your cool.”
“When have I ever lost my cool?”
“Ha.” Lois glared at the young man with braying laugh.
“Sorry?” Jimmy held his hands up in submission, camera dangling around his neck. Jimmy knew if Lois possessed his pal, Superman’s heat vision, he’d be a goner.
“Anyway, I’ve interviewed Lex a million times; how much different could this be?”
“Well first, Lex Luthor’s a genius, this guy, not so much.” Jimmy ran his hand through his short red hair. “I have a bad feeling he’s going to regret requesting this interview and we’re all gonna hear about.”
“Can’t live in fear, Jimmy.” Lois tapped the young photographer’s cheek. “Especially of guys like this.”
It certainly wasn’t Lois’s first time in the Oval Office, and she was positive it wouldn’t be her last. It was different now, the odd choice of hanging a “Dogs Playing Poker” painting up seemed somewhat unorthodox and decidedly un-presidential. There seemed to be more gold embellishments than the office had prior to recent renovations. Sconces, candle holders, door knobs all gleamed and glittered. For Lois, it had all the charm of a bad Elvis impersonator.
The President entered the room and Lois stood to greet him. He took her hand. Now, Lois Lane had heard and seen video of this peculiar man’s crazy, power-trip handshakes but he also had never stood side by side with members of the Justice League like Lois. There’s not too much that can intimidated you when you’ve spoken to Batman or stood next to the towering Amazonian Princess, Diana. It also didn’t hurt knowing you were married to a guy like Clark Kent. You’re on top of your game when you can tell the most powerful man on Earth it was his turn to vacuum and take out the trash.
Lois held her hand firm and the president seemed a bit surprised with her strength.
“Wow,” he said, “What a grip on you? That is a strong hand.”
“Well, Mr. President, I’m sure we’re not here to talk about hands, are we?”
The president snatched his hand away as if from boiling-hot tea kettle. He cleared his throat and adjusted his tie.
“No, of course, let’s sit and we can begin.”
Lois kept stealing glances at the president’s wild hair style. She searched her brain for where she’d seen that color before, it was so unnatural. Then it clicked; it was the color of Bizarro’s nasty teeth, the exact opposite of her husband’s pearly whites. A slight smile crossed her face when she realized Bizarro would have to take up chain-smoking with John Constantine to get that exact shade of—she was going with yellow.
“That is a lovely smile you have Lois. May I call you Lois?”
“I’d rather you didn’t.”
The President’s confused face made it clear he couldn’t tell if it she had told a joke, which she had not.
“Anyway, let’s get into this. Let’s start out with the why. Why me and Why the Planet?”
“Well, come on, the Daily Planet is a phenomenal newspaper. I get so much bad press from all these fake news sources and the Planet is not fake news. It doesn’t get any more big-league and real as the Daily Planet.
“That Vicki Vale from GNN, she hates me; so biased. It’s sad because she’s really a very nice looking young lady but all that nastiness inside it does nothing for her face.”
Lois took a deep breath.
“I’m not here to discuss Vicki Vale. That’s actually inappropriate and we’re moving on.”
“That right there,” the president pointed a tiny finger toward Lois. “That fire. That no-nonsense attitude. It’s definitely why I wanted you for this interview.”
“The first thing I want to talk about is the investigation on your campaign and business practices. Amanda Waller has been named special prosecutor and knowing Ms. Waller that can’t be a great feeling.”
“Oh, Amanda is another very nasty woman. Just look at her and what they call her. They call her the Wall , you know? She’s built like brick shithouse.”
“Ahem,” Lois cleared her throat. “Again, Mr. President, with all due respect, we’re not here to discuss Ms. Waller’s appearance but her investigation in that you received aid and finances from Russia. That there’s evidence your son was even seen taking a meeting with Anatoli Knyazev, a top level Russian Assassin.”
“Did you know that Amanda Waller knows that man well, has worked with him even?”
“It’s been documented, yes.”
“Yeah, documented. It’s all hush-hush. And I say how is there things I’m not allowed to know about? No one answers. How do I know Waller isn’t trying to set me up or something? Sad nasty woman; a real pig if you ask me.”
“I didn’t and you’re getting off topic again.” Lois flipped the notes on her tablet. “Okay, we’ll come back to Russia and Ms. Waller in a moment.”
“No, we will.” Lois nodded, assuring him she’d be revisiting that conversation. “Right now, I want to talk about the controversial appointees you’ve selected. First, Professor Hugo Strange, your new Secretary of Health and Human Services. He was declared insane an imprisoned in Arkham Asylum in Gotham and now he’s your HHS Secretary?”
“Well, I can vouch for Hugo. Great guy, big heart, loves medicine and helping people.”
“His most recent arrest was because he was using genetic splicing to create monster men. How does that—“
“And all that has amazing military potential. Hugo can give those ideas to our boys in R&D and we’ll do big things with them, I guarantee it.”
“Okay well how about trying, unsuccessfully, to recruit known eco-terrorist Ra’s Al Ghul to be your secretary of the EPA? Isn’t that quite a conflict of interest? Not to mention he’s the leader of an organization known as the League of Assassins.”
“Firstly, what is an eco-terrorist? That’s not even a real thing. And the League of Assassins has very good people involved. Everyone wants to paint them as these dangerous killers. It’s fake news.”
“They’re assassins. It’s right in their name.”
“I know, and so unfair how people push labels on them, dishonoring a noble profession. “
Lois took another deep breath, silently counting to five.
“What do you have to say about the list leaked to the press of candidates for other positions?”
“We know where that leak came from. That was Lex Luthor and he’s just having sour grapes because his presidency ended so badly. This list is completely fake but also a lot of those people are great professionals there’s at least four doctors on that list.”
“Yeah, let me read those names off: Dr. Jonathan Crane, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, Dr. Pamela Isley and Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva.”
“She’s an archeologist, that Dr. Minerva. That’s quite a rare and useful skill.”
“Mr. President this is a list from one of the earliest incarnations of the Legion of Doom. There’s a freaking zombie on this list.”
“Zombies aren’t real Miss Lane. And these people are all highly recommended.”
“Solomon Grundy is very real and I thought you said the list was fake?”
“It is. It isn’t. Who’s to say really? It doesn’t change the fact their all doctors.”
“Moving on to world leaders. You already seem to have hit two major snags: King Arthur of Atlantis and Black Adam the ruler of Kahndaq. Neither head of state seems to care very much for you at all.”
“I don’t believe Atlantis is even a real place. But I’ve said to Arthur, Arthur, bring that wife of yours to the White House or down to Florida for a weekend we’ll talk. I haven’t heard back.”
“Not surprised.” Lois really wanted that meeting to happen. This creep tried putting the moves on Mera, she’d destroy him. “Black Adam has been quoted as saying “he’s a disgrace, a foul swine who will never step foot on Kahndaqi soil.””
“That Adam has a temper for sure. But he doesn’t want to get too far out of line. My army will invade that piss-ant, little nation so fast Adam’s head’ll spin.”
“Jesus,” Lois said under her breath. “First it’s not your army and second: Have you seen photos or even know exactly who Black Adam is? And if so do you think it’s smart to threaten him.”
“I’m not afraid of him or his rinky-dink country. You can quote me on that.”
“Oh, I absolutely will.” Lois made a note in her tablet, and made sure their conversation was still being recorded.
“So you look fantastic in purple. How often do you work out?”
“Oh, daily, there’s so many creeps and perverts out there you never know what you’ll have to be ready for.” This got a snort out of Jimmy who had been sitting quietly behind her.
“So true.” The president nodded completely oblivious to the joke.
“You’d definitely know.”
“Of course. Of course. I’m very intelligent. Nothing gets past me.”
“Moving on, Bruce Wayne?”
“Ah, not worth my time. He’s a weak-minded man and quite frankly a failure of a business man.”
“Okay, then, why did you ask him to be a part of your administration?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“You did. You said back in January, and I quote: “Bruce Wayne is one of the greatest minds in business today, my team needs a guy like Wayne.”” Lois pursed her lips as the president scrambled for something. She’d give him a few seconds. “And Mr. Wayne gave you a resounding no. He compared your election to Oswald Cobblepot’s bid to be the Mayor of Gotham.”
“Oswald Cobblepot is a great man. Not much to look at but a fine gentleman. I’ve been to his Iceberg Lounge Casino on numerous occasions. Not nearly as extravagant as my own casinos but still very nice. And Oswald has always been good to me.”
“Like when he donated several hundreds of thousands of dollars to your campaign?”
“Oswald has been quite kind to me and our great country. He was my first pick for my chief strategist. But between fake news and weak politicians smearing the man’s name, it didn’t work out.”
“To the best of my knowledge all the news and politicians did was point out Cobblepot’s rap sheet. The Penguin has been the shrewdest crime boss Gotham has ever seen.”
“Please, Miss Lane, I’ll not stand for trash talking in the Oval Office. Oswald was a victim of crooked police commissioner James Gordon. Crooked Gordon has a vendetta against him, that’s been fruitless. If Oswald is such a crime boss, as you say, why isn’t he in jail?”
“Friends in high places.”
“I’m sure he has plenty of friends he’s an amazing guy. Fun at parties. That Gordon is the one who needs investigating. What a rat, a real crook. Amanda Waller should consider his background and leave me alone. “
“Jim Gordon is a fine man and an excellent law enforcement officer.”
“Says you. And I’m starting to believe this was a bad idea, this interview.”
“Why is that? A lot of people want to know how your mind works. So why does this now, suddenly seem like a bad idea?”
“Do you have any more important questions, Miss Lane?”
“I do. Last one and Jimmy will get some photos and we’ll be out of here.”
“Okay, okay fair enough.”
“The Jokerz, the gang that marched on a college campus in Star City. They’re a hate group who worship the machinations of a madman and yet you refused to condemn their actions.”
“Those are just young boys, pretending to be clowns. They just wanted a little attention.”
“They were terrorizing the students and faculty of SCU. Three people were killed and countless others injured. They brandished crowbars and knives.”
“And everyone’s always blaming guns.”
“Focus,” Lois snapped. “They had weapons, they spouted off about wanting to burn the world down starting with those that made them feel disenfranchised. This was a tragedy and you blamed the Green Arrow and Black Canary for showing up to get things under control.”
“Well, sure. These vigilantes think they can do whatever the hell they want. If they didn’t show up those boys would have held their signs up, sang their little songs and that would’ve been it. These costume whackos show up and then chaos erupts.”
“A report from the Justice League states that Arrow and Canary were staking the rally out and only intervened when things got violent. Green Arrow said, “it killed me, but I let them have their damn free speech rally and because of that three people are dead.”
“See, he even blames himself. This was a problem on both sides. Plus, how do we even know that’s true. What authority do the Justice League even have?”
“Okay, we’re done.” Lois stood up and placed both her fists on the desk in front of her. “I’m not exactly sure how much authority they have, but I’ll take the word of Superman over yours any day of the week. Green Arrow and Black Canary are heroes, there is no telling the damage this group would have caused if they hadn’t intervened.”
“Superman is an illegal alien I might add.”
“No, you may not add anything, you pompous ass. I’m tired of your incoherent rambling, praising guys like Penguin and Hugo Strange over the likes of Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon and even Superman. You’re pathetic. And I for one can’t wait for Amanda Waller to really get started tearing your life to pieces. She’s not the Wall because of her looks, she’s the Wall because you don’t get past her and that should make you very, very nervous.”
Lois turned away from a red-faced president and stopped only when she saw her phone buzz. She looked at it and smiled. Turned back to the man at the desk. “Oh, I sent a little message to your friend Vicki Vale. Might want to check out the news.”
The doors to the Oval Office popped open as an aide came in with his smart phone in hand. “Sir, you should look at this.”
Vicki Vale’s voice talked over photos of Kahndaq.
“A very defiant president is unimpressed with the leader of Kahndaq and wants his feeling to be known. “
“I’m not afraid of him or his rinky-dink country. You can quote me on that.” A shocked president listened to his own words he spoke minutes earlier.
“Sources close to the Kahndaqi leader are saying Black Adam doesn’t want a war with the United States but is interested in meeting with the president to “teach him some manners and the ways of the world”. This is Vicki Vale for GNN back to you, Snap.”
Jimmy shook his head and smiled. “I thought you weren’t going to lose your cool?”
“I kept my cool,” Lois said as they walked out of the White House. “I was able to listen to that wind bag, take notes and send an audio file to GNN. Only cool heads can multitask like that.”
The duo made it all the way to their car when they heard the first crack of thunder and a bolt of lightning split the blackening sky.