Lois used the drive from the Daily Planet to her destination to compose herself. This was going to be one of the most unpleasant interviews she had ever conducted, and she knew she had to remain professionally detached. Whatever she uncovered would be
the story of the year and she had to stay on the ball.
Jimmy and she were all too soon in the front office of Killinger's euphemistically named “Training and Re-education School”. The building could only be described as a mansion, located smack dab in the centre of the metropolis central business district.
Contrary to its old fashioned opulence however, it was newly built from the ground up with the absolute latest security.
These places were in fact off limits to the public and the press, perhaps with good reason. Rumour had it that none of the security was to keep the convicts in; all of it was to keep would be rescuers out, and it did so very well. There had been no reports
of rescues. Successful rescues, any route.
It was not a comforting thought.
The foyer was empty in that eerie way that intimated hidden weaponry. The automated voice added to the impression. “The Metropolis Training and Re-education School is a restricted area. Only authorised personnel may proceed. Please identify yourself
and state the purpose of your visit.”
“My name is Lois Lane. I’m here for a nine-o’clock interview with Mr. Killinger. … Oh, yes, and this is my associate, Jimmie Olsen.”
“Gee, thanks for remembering me, Miz Lane.”
After a short wait, the inner door opened, revealing an elegant foyer, and a blond-haired woman in a very revealing outfit. That wasn’t shocking in itself. Whether it was athletes or super-heroines, Lois was used to confident women wearing fighting leathers
or skin-tight lycra. The way the woman carried herself made it clear that this outfit was indisputably more suited for a bedroom than a boardroom.
Everything about the woman simply dripped of sex; from her wild mane of blonde hair, to her stocking covered legs finished with a pair of insanely high heels. But it was the woman’s demeanour that made her status perfectly clear. The way she walked, the
way she carried herself, and mostly the slutty, submissive expression on her heavily made up face; all bespoke a woman whose mind had been simplified to sex and obedience.
As if the collar around her neck was not clear enough.
“Master Killinger is waiting for you, Miss Lane. Please come in.”
Lois steeled herself to follow her into Killinger’s lair. She paused as the automated doors closed and firmly locked behind her.
“Please walk this way,” bade the blonde slave. She turned and sashayed along the hall.
“Golly, Miz Lane. If you could walk …”
“Don’t! Don’t even say it, Jimmie.”
“Sorry, Miz Lane.”
They followed the slave woman down a series of hallways to an office. The slave walked slowly to the centre of the room, where she paused to pose provocatively. “Master Killinger, this is Miss Lane … and Mister Olsen.”
“Thank you, DeeDee.” Turning his attention from the slave staring at him with smouldering eyes, Jack Killinger smiled at the female reporter attempting to be oh, so professional. Lois Lane wore her long, dark hair pinned up and off her shoulders, and although
she was wearing an unflattering, beige, business suit, there was just no way could she hide the curvaceous, luscious form underneath. “Welcome, Miss Lane. Please make yourself comfortable.”
Lois sank down into the proffered seat. “I want to thank you for this opportunity, Mr. Killinger.”
“Think nothing of it.” He smiled and sat down into a chair opposite her. Jimmie was left standing uncomfortably next to the stationary slave who stood poised in the corner like a mannequin.
“Would you mind if Jimmie taped this interview?”
“Of course not. Feel free. Before we begin, is there anything I can get you? A coffee or tea, perhaps?”
Lois was not going to accept anything of the kind. “No thank you. I’m fine.”
“Very well, then. Let’s begin.”
Lois glanced nervously at the slave woman. She briefly wondered which super-villainess she’d been before being unmasked and slipped into that scandalous outfit.
“Oh, don’t mind DeeDee. I assure you she’d trained to remain unobtrusive.”
“As your readers must know, the new government swept to power under a platform of law and order. They promised to be tougher on super-crime, and to end the virtual revolving-door process of super-criminal incarceration.“
“Indeed, Mister Killinger, it proved to be surprisingly popular with voting public.”
“No, not surprisingly at all. They no doubt felt that incarceration of super-criminals was too much of a burden on themselves, the tax payers. Especially when courts consigned criminals to places like Arcam where rehabilitation has proven to be simply
ineffective. After all, when super-criminals were released or, more commonly, escaped from custody they simply perpetuated another wave of crime and terror. People were fed up with it, and wanted tougher action.”
“They certainly got it! Police and courts were granted powers and resources needed to combat super-crime. Resources, such as AGEIS power armour, ARGUS metagene scanners, the neural inhibitor collars, and other technologies needed to apprehend super-criminals
were issued. But powers of arrest have been widened, the rules of interrogation relaxed, and civil liberties have been suspended. Have they gone too far?”
“Not at all. It was all clearly spelled out in the party’s manifesto. There’s no way to claim that they’ve overstepped their bounds. Exactly as promised, police have been given the means to catch super-criminals, and the court’s penalties have been made
much more meaningful.”
“Which is where your ‘school’ comes in, Mister Killinger?”
“Indeed. This is how facilities like mine serve their purpose. Jails and asylums for super-criminals have been abolished. Under the new system, the consequence of super-crime has become something to be feared! Psychological conditioning is used, after
which the convict is then indentured for a specified period of hard, physical labour.”
Lois ignored the clear evidence of what form of ‘physical labour’ the slave standing in the corner was made to endure. She pressed a different issue. “That specified period is often life, Mister Killinger.”
“Of course. In light of the extraordinary physical endurance of most super criminals, how could it be anything less?”
“But it is, literally, a life sentence without parole, release, nor apparently chance of appeal. In a very real sense then, legal slavery has been reintroduced.”
“Unashamedly, Miss Lane. But far from such extreme measures outraging the public, they have gained enormous popular support. Too long have ordinary citizens felt helpless under threat of super-crime. Too long have they watched police and courts powerless
to handle super-crime. Too long have they relied on vigilante action of super-heroes to save them. Now ordinary citizens take extraordinary delight in watching broadcasts of the most feared super-convicts being rendered powerless, and placed under strict
“You mean humiliated, brainwashed, stripped of dignity—not to mention clothes—and auctioned off?”
“If you wish to put it so crudely; then yes. Exactly.”
“But the public wants to know more. The public needs to know more. What actually happens inside these secure facilities. Just how are hardened super-villains converted into obedient super-slaves?”
“Ah, now we get to the crux of the matter, Miss Lane. Naturally many of our methods are of a proprietary nature. But I believe we can enlighten your readers with a demonstration.”