The Scam

by mobiusklein

The Scam

Lucas looked up at his visitor. "I'm sorry I'm not dressed for the occasion," he said, referring to his orange prison uniform and handcuffs he was wearing in the visiting area.

The reporter from the Daily Planet sat down opposite him. "I'm willing to forgive that." He turned on his recorder. "What I'm not willing to forgive is the death of two dozen people in the middle of the Arizona desert."

Lucas smiled and said, "You know that I'm not responsible for their deaths. I'm a thief, not a killer."

"You may not have been the one to poison them but you were the one who left them utterly defenseless. They deserve more than that."

Lucas gave him a look of weariness and irritation. "You know what? I just don't get why people waste sympathy on the stupid."

Clark restrained the impulse to grab him by the collar and yell. "Why do you say that?"

Lucas sighed. It wasn't like he really wanted to be here but between sitting in his cell with nothing to do or talk to this drone, well . . . at least there was a chance for some small amusement here. "I tell them a fantastic little story about how someone from outer space is going to come and save them and make all their little dreams come true. How they're finally going to be safe, pure and be one of the chosen. All they had to do was fast, pray, give me some money for expenses and just drink the `astral' water." Lucas shook his head, smiling. "Man, you wouldn't believe how much they want to believe all that."

Noticing the angry look on Clark's face, Lucas said, "Look, I'm not laughing about them being dead. As I told you and as the records prove, I didn't kill them. All I wanted was the money while they took a little drug-induced nap, wake up and feel so utterly humiliated that they don't call the cops. In fact, in a way, I'm doing them a favor by giving them a bit of an education. Don't believe pretty people with pretty words simply because you want to. The lesson may be a wee bit harsh but it's a very good lesson and worth every penny."

"If one of them hadn't woken up early, thought that you had been the only one beamed up, then tried to help the rest get to the mother ship by putting a pillow over the faces of the rest."

Lucas finally looked a little chagrined. "Well, I didn't anticipate that. Believe me, I wouldn't have chosen him if I had known he would do something like that."

"Why aliens?"

"Why not? I was thinking about talking about angels and Revelation but . . . actually I'd have to give credit to Superman."

"Superman had nothing to do with this!"

Lucas chuckled a little. "I'm not saying he planned it and I'm not saying he's my partner. No. But driving through my brother's city, I can tell how much they worship the guy. They think he's a god and believe in him. And I thought to myself, I'd like a slice of that. Hell, one of them even asked if he'd be like Superman when he woke up. I told him no, you're going to be better."

"You . . . bastard."

Lucas gave him a pained smile. "Why are you telling me something I already know?"

The End

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