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Man Of Steel
You guys can't have this one, sorry.
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Just a place for me to jot down some ideas I have for a post-intergang Metropolis underworld. Mostly a placeholder but if anyone's interested, I'm glad to discuss them.

Crime As A Whole: Metropolis, the City of Tomorrow, has not entierly surpassed ethnic-based gangs, but by and large in a post-Superman world, the old ways of running numbers and protecting turf have two ways to evolve: they either become so localized that they are under the radar of the Science Police, Superman, Black Lightning, the Guardian, Supergirl, and whoever else is in Metropolis at the moment, or they innovate. Like every other part of life in Metropolis, the majority of people have chosen to embrace innovation; gangs split along preferred methodologies more than anything, with vicious struggles between the mystics, futurists, cultists, pragmatists, anarchists, and everyone else. Intergang used to dominate Metropolis's underworld, but has receded in power in recent years, thanks to a crackdown on their ability to obtain and utilize alien technology.

Science Pirates: Just what it says-these thugs specialize in the abduction and redistribution of Metropolis's most prominant asset, cutting edge scientific innovation. Hovercrafts, jury rigged armor, secret subway trains, and similar. Lead by Captain Baud, an engineering student who started the gang as a way to research his thesis.

The Ostermanns: 50s style rugged movie science meets nihilism. Square jawed men in tight pants and smoking wooden pipes, with a pecking order based entierly on whom is capable of creating the deadliest weapon at any given moment. Despite catching the 'leader' several times, Superman and the Science Police have been unable to disperse this particular gang, and the current theory is that their real leadership isn't a person at all, but a set of memetic instructions that somehow writes itself into the mind of whoever is brilliantly murderous enough to be top dog at the moment.

Killa Club: Inspired by Japan's 'hip' suicide-obsessed subculture, the Club shares the sentiments that the only real way to leave an impression on an uncaring world is through death. The difference is that the Club wants to die in the most artistically destructive way possible. They recruit new members and work to arrange the deaths of those who have logged enough hours fighting for the cause to earn the end with artistic precision.

Junior Astrominers: Came together as a reaction to the Dominion war and the rise of ET Town(bad name?), Metropolis's newest ethnic neighborhood, a pressure cooker of the various alien species that have decided to, for whatever reason, immigrate to Earth. The Juniors, despite the goofy name, are deadly serious in their ambition to dominate the rackets in this exciting new market; some hold a Luthorian fear of the xeno, while others are simply fascinated with the aliens and believe that the best way to learn more about them is through exploitation.
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"Just put the money in the bag..." For the first time in thirty years, Lucky Lawrence's nickname wasn't going to be sarcastic. The hood held a shaky palm out in anticipation, while the other hand kept a silvery pistol trained on the terrified young woman he had cornered.

"J-just let me get this picture of my mom..."

"The whole thing!" What little cool Lawrence had in him evaporated with the stalling tatic, "Now!" And just as his greedy hand wrapped around the purse, Lawrence felt a rush of wind that was all too familiat to Metropolis's criminal element. "...no..."

"Yep." The red and blue form took a heartbeat to solidify, as super-speed became something percievable by the human eye, and the faintly smiling form of Superman hovered in front of the young woman, "Sorry, Larry. Shouldn't have lost your temper with the lady."

"Y-yeah!" Larry shouted, as this was it, pointing his fun at the Man of Tomorrow! "Yo'hearin's always been too good...so th ways I see it, y'gonna hear this loud and clear, man!"

"Your bullets cannot harm me." Superman crossed his arms over his chest, narrowing his eyes and preparing to melt the bullets so the richochet off of his skin wouldn't hurt anyone. "Surrender peacefully, and the law will be mercifu-uuuuuuuulllllll!" This shout came with the Man of Steel falling to his knees, clutching his ears while his face twisted in agony.

"The Science Pirates don't need no stinking bullets, Superman!" Larry crowed triumphantly, being careful to hold the fiercly vibrating weapon at Superman's face, "We turned your powers against you, yo! And another thing!" A click of his heels, and Larry was in the air, propelled by the blue flame of a pair of jet boots! "Those tights make you look like a fatty!"

The second the punk was gone, Superman could feel his senses returning to him as the terrible pressure between his ears unclenched itself. He greatfully took an offered hand up, stumbling for a second while he regained his equliberium. "Sorry about that." Superman finally said, smiling a little at the woman. "If this takes longer than a minute, I'll be sure to drop your purse off. I promise." The fact that her eyes believed him gave Superman the strength to get right back on the bull, hurtling into the air!

It didn't take Superman long to find the crude exhaust trail Larry's jet boots were leaving, his super vision working overtime to keep focused. Indulging in a scowl, Superman poured on the speed, ripping through the sky after the self proclaimed pirate, twisting around signs, under monorail tracks, and even through the hole of a giant plastic donut. "Halt!" Superman, finally in yelling range, shouted, "This is your only warni...is that kind of gesture really nessicary, Larry?!"

"Lawrence!" Larry bellowed out mid-rude gesture, turning to make eye contact with the Man of Steel. "Law-Rench! It's not hard, is it? I don't think it's-oh God!"

It was a guilty pleasure of Clark's, seeing the look on a criminal's face as they realized that they had been outfoxed by big, dumb, jockish Superman. Larry stared at his melting jet boots in shock, kicking at the air in an attempt to stay afloat...and managed, through sheer luck, to steer down an open subway staircase! "Darnit." Superman mutters to himself, saying, "Excuse me folks! Sorry! Coming through!" as he raced after the crook! Finally getting to a point where he could see, Superman followed the vapor trail down a broken down monorail track, slowing down measurably as he worked at being more alert for the inevitable-


It caught him by suprise anyway. "Holy cow!" Superman shouted, quickly landing, planting his feet, and pumping his arms up a second before the massive hydroulic press would've smashed his head in like an overripe pumpkin. Struggling against the massive weight above him, Superman juggled which enemies could've planned this; Luthor, Prankster, Toyman-with the startling realization that the weight was...changing. One second, the load was a little easier to bare, another, he felt half of the press shove down harder than the other half...it was almost like struggling with a living opponent. But how...?

"Well well well!" A tinny voice clipped out from-Clark closed his eyes...three speakers hidden in the walls around him. "The Man of Steel. I admire your perception! Not everyone can follow a pair of Supafly Jet Boots! But tell me this, Superman? Can you handle the genius computer brain...of Captain Baud's Hypothetical Press?!"

Can he? Who is Captain Baud? And what is the terrible secret of the Science Pirates?! Find out next month, in the adventures...of Superman!

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