Metropolis Ė CEP Building, Office of Paul Hendrix.
Paul Hendrix, a man with long curly dark hair, moustache, beard, and wearing a dark suit, stands, looking out the windows of his office at the streets and buildings of Metropolis.
Rickmen: Killer view.
Hendrix turns at the sound of Rickmanís voice and the office door closing. Bob Rickman, a clean-shaven, dark-haired man, enters in a suit and black topcoat, pulling gloves from his hands.
Hendrix: Good morning, Mr. Rickman. Thank you for coming in.
Rickmen: So what can I do for the Center for Environmental Protection ?
Rickman sits in a chair across from Hendrixís desk. Hendrix moves to the desk and sits in a chair behind it as he answers.
Hendrix: Well, I heard your people were down in Smallville doing some surveying. I wanted to discuss your intentions.
Rickmen: My intentions are to build a new plant.
Hendrix picks up a clear bottle filled with an orange-brown liquid from his desk and sets it down again near Rickman.
Rickmen: Whatís this ?
Rickman picks up the bottle as Hendrix answers.
Hendrix: Groundwater from the last town where you built a plant.
Rickmen: Well, I find that very hard to believe. Rickman Industries has always had a very good relationship with the CEP...
Rickman glances at the name plate on the desk Ė ďPaul Hendrix, CEP District 42.Ē
Rickmen: ...Paul. Can I call you Paul ?
Hendrix: No. Tomorrow Iíll have a restraining order preventing you from moving into Smallville until every case against you is settled.
Rickmen: (Sighs) Thatís too bad. I Ė Well, I had my mind set on Smallville. This town has a Ė it has a special place in my heart. I donít suppose thereís anything I could do to change your mind ?
Hendrix: Iím afraid Iím not as easy to buy off as my colleagues.
Rickman rises and leans over the desk.
Rickmen: Iíve never bought off a soul in my life. People listen to me because they know Iím right. When they do, they end up better for it.
Hendrix stands and holds up a blue file folder.
Hendrix: Tell that to the 96 cases of vinyl chloride poisoning Iíve tied to your pesticide plants.
Rickmen: Well. I see thereís little else to do. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate your candor. I wish you luck.
As he is speaking, Rickman walks around Hendrixís desk. Rickman extends a hand, and Hendrix takes it. Rickman grips with his other hand, and a green glow emanates from the clasped hands. Hendrixís expression changes Ė he looks stupified.
Rickmen: Now, listen, Paul...I can call you Paul, canít I ?
Hendrix looks confused.
Hendrix: Uh...I guess.
Rickmen: You strike me as a man of passion, Paul. Passion hurts, doesnít it? Hmm? People donít understand. They donít see how you devote yourself to whatís right. I bet youíre afraid youíll give all that passion to a job that no one even cares about. Hmm?
He looks at Rickman, and then looks down.
Rickman leads Hendrix over to the windows.
Rickmen: Look at that world out there, Paul. Is any part of it yours?
Rickmen: No. All that pain you feel? Thereís only one way to make it stop.
Rickman looks down at the street below, and Hendrix follows his gaze. Rickman looks back over at Hendrix and moves to leave, picking a piece of lint off of Hendrixís suit before he goes. Hendrix continues to stare at the street below.
CUT TO CEP Elevator. The elevator chime dings and its floor indicator reads ď30Ē as the doors open. Rickman steps in and speaks to a woman already inside.
Rickmen: Going down?
She nods, and the elevator doors close.
CUT TO CEP Lobby. The elevator floor indicator reads ď1Ē and the doors open. Rickman holds the door and the woman exits.
Rickman pulls a cell phone from his coat and dials as he walks toward the open doors that lead out of the building. People walk in and out of the building as well as on the sidewalk outside, and a yellow taxi is parked just outside the doors.
Tyler: On the phone Sir?
Before Rickman says anything, Hendrix crashes into the roof of the taxi, shattering the rear windows. People gasp, yell, and rush toward the car.
Rickmen: Tyler, bring the car around. Weíre going to Smallville.
Man: (From outside) Somebody call an ambulance!
CUT TO Woods. Clark, Lana and Chloe are horseback riding on a misty dirt trail in some woods.
Chloe: (To horses) Okay, here we go. Whoa! (To Clark and Lana) I thought learning to drive my dadís Volvo was difficult. But at least the car came with windshield wipers.
Clark: Chloe, youíre doing fine for your first time. (To Lana) So, howís Whitney holding up ?
Lana: His dadís still in the hospital, so heís been working shifts at the store.
Clark: Itís tough running a family business.
Lana: I think he secretly wants his dad to sell it. He doesnít want to be saddled with it when he graduates.
Clark: I donít blame him. I donít see myself being a farmer when I grow up.
Lana: What do you want to do ?
Clark: Iím not sure. Just as long as it doesnít involve putting on a suit and doing a lot of flying.
Chloe: Whereís my Ė oh Ė I dropped my camera.
Clark: Chloe, what did you bring that thing for, anyway ?
Chloe: Iím not out here doing this butt-bashing thing for fun. These woods are like the Bermuda triangle of Smallville. No, Iím serious, you guys, people come in here, and when they leave they canít remember a thing. Thereíve been dozens of incidences in the past ten years.
Lana: Iíll go get your camera.
Lana turns her horse and heads back along the path.
Chloe: Thank you.
Clark: The stories in these woods go back to the civil war.
Chloe: No, Clark, what Iím talking about happened like a week ago. Some surveyors from Rickman Industries came screaming out of the woods, and they canít even remember what happened.
Clark: Iím sure you have a theory about this.
Chloe: Kyle Tippet.
Clark: The guy who sells weird sculptures in town ?
Chloe: Yeah, donít you think itís odd he lives out here all alone in the woods.
Clark: Thoreau did.
Chloe: So did the Unabomber.
A scream echoes from farther back on the path.
Clark: Lana ! (To Chloe) Stay with the horses.
Clark dismounts and runs back along the path.
Chloe: UhÖokay. Whoa ! Whoa ! Whoa ! Whoa !
Clark stops and looks back to see that Chloe is looking at the horses, away from him, and then runs down the path at super speed. Chloe turns and finds Clark gone, and looks around in confusion.
CUT TO Lana, lying on the ground, opens her eyes to see Kyle Tippet, an unshaven man with dark hair, over her. Clark arrives to see Tippet with arms on Lanaís shoulders and Lana struggling to sit up.
Clark: Get away from her !
Kyle runs, and Clark rushes up to Lana.
Clark: You okay ?
Lana: Yeah. Yeah, Iím fine.
Clark helps Lana to her feet and the two look around. Thereís no sign of Kyle. Clark sees Chloeís camera on the ground and picks it up.
CUT TO Kent Farm Ė Inside Clarkís Home.
Clark rewinds the tape in Chloeís camera and he and Jonathan watch what it recorded on a television. It shows Kyle coming up to an unconscious Lana and shaking her.
Jonathan: What do you think happened, Son ?
Clark: I donít know, butÖit just doesnít look like heís trying to hurt her.
Martha enters, speaking into a cordless phone.
Martha: Okay, Nell. Thanks. Bye.
Martha hangs up.
Clark: (To Martha) Howís Lana ?
Martha: She has a mild concussion. Other than that, sheís fine.
Jonathan: And Nell ?
Martha: Thatís a different story. She wants Clark to go to the police and say that he saw Kyle spook Lanaís horse and attack her.
Clark: Thatís not what I saw.
Martha: From Nellís tone, I doní think weíve heard the end of this.
Jonathan: Did Kyle seem at all dangerous to you ?
Clark: He seemedÖscared. Chloe mentioned that some surveyors were spooked last week in the woods, and now us. I wonder if thereís a connection ?
Martha: Jonathan, you should go talk to Kyle, get this cleared up.
Jonathan stands and starts to move across the room. Clark stands as well.
Clark: No, Iíll go.
Jonathan: Clark, I doní think thatís a good idea.
Clark: Itís not like he can hurt me.
Jonathan: That is not the point.
Clark: Dad, I understand what itís like to be hidden from the world. Give me a shot.
Jonathan and Martha exchange a look.
Jonathan: All right. Do you know where Kyle lives ?
Clark: I just follow the trail of bad sculptures.
CUT TO Rickmanís Offices. The large offices are decorated with balloons and posters of plants and flowers with the Rickman Industries logo. A model of a plant sits in the center of the room. Victoria Hardwick is looking at one of the posters, holding a glass.
Rickmen: Miss Hardwick, Iím surprised to find you in Smallville.
Lex comes up behind the two.
Lex: Donít encourage him, Victoria. Itís funny, I was just saying what this town needs is more pesticides in the water supply.
Rickmen: Oh, now donít tell me you mind someone else sharing your little sandbox.
Lex: Only when theyíre polluting it. Hello, Bob.
Rickmen: (Chuckles) Lex.
Rickman extends a hand to Lex, who turns and picks up a glass from a waiter instead of accepting it.
Victoria: Iíll leave you boys alone.
Lex: Photos are a bit over-the-top, but I like what youíve done with the place.
Rickmen: Oh, itís only temporary. Here, have a button.
Lex: Pass out enough of these and maybe they wonít notice youíre rendering the town uninhabitable.
Rickmen: Iím just like you, Lex. Government employee sets my emission levels and I abide. You have an objection ?
Lex: Letís call it an interest. Smallvilleís my home now.
Rickmen: Thatís right. Yes, Lionel had mentioned that heíd exiled you here. Had dinner with him a couple of weeks ago.
Lex: Yeah ? What happened, somebody more important cancel on him ?
Rickmen: Ha ha ha. Donít worry, Lex. Iíll keep my concerns away from the Luthors. Already found the perfect place for the plant. Itís out of the way. Itís near enough to the river.
Lex: The Kent farm? I assume youíve approached them?
Rickmen: Well, thatís just a formality.
Lex: The way licenses and zoning permits always seem to be a formality for you, Bob. I know the Kents, and not even you could convince them to sell that farm.
Lex starts to leave.
Rickmen: Youíd be surprised.
Lex stops and turns back to Rickman.
Lex: Trust me, Bob. Youíre not that charming.
Lex tosses the logo button to Rickman and leaves.
CUT TO Kyleís trailer Ė Exterior. Clark pulls up in the Kentís blue pickup truck and exits. The area outside Kyleís trailer is surrounded with modern art-style sculptures made from salvage. A fire burns in a barrel. Clark looks around as he crosses to the trailer and knocks, looks in a window next to the door, then knocks again. After no one answers, he turns and is startled to find Kyle behind him.
Kyle: Youíre trespassing.
Clark: Howíd you do that ?
Kyle: Magic. Havenít you heard of crazy Kyle who lives in the woods by himself? Heís somewhere between Bigfoot and the Blair Witch.
Clark: Iím Ė
Clark extends a hand to Kyle, which Kyle does not shake.
Kyle: Clark Kent. Jonathan and Marthaís son.
Clark: Howíd you know that ?
Clark withdraws his hand.
Kyle: I live in a trailer, not a cave.
Clark: I wanted to talk to you about what happened this afternoon.
Clark walks toward a pile of salvage.
Kyle: You mean the girl? Well, the horse threw her and I went to make sure she was still breathing.
Clark: So you donít make a habit of scaring people out of the woodsÖand spooking their horses?
Clark turns to Kyle as he speaks, holding a blue hardhat with the Rickman Industries logo on it. Kyle takes the hat from Clark.
Kyle: If I wanted to explain myself all the time, Iíd get a job. But I left that world behind for a reason. Goodbye.
Clark: Why are you so unfriendly ?
Kyle: Because Iím not interested in friends.
Clark: Everyone needs a friend.
Kyle: No they donít, because theyíll always betray you in the end.
Kyle enters his trailer, leaving Clark outside.
CUT TO The Beanery. Clark enters and takes a seat at a table, across from where Lana already is sitting.
Clark: How you feeling?
Lana: Better. Thanks. Nell said you were going to talk to the police.
Whitney approaches the table from behind Clark carrying two drinks.
Clark: Actually, I went out and spoke to Kyle.
Whitney: You talked to that psycho ?
Clark: Yeah. He said that he was just trying to make sure Lana was okay.
Whitney takes a seat at the table next to Lana.
Lana: Do you believe him?
Clark: Yeah, I think I do.
Whitney: If I were there, I would have done something.
Whitney and Clark exchange a look, as Lana looks at Whitney.
Clark: Do you remember anything?
Lana: Not really.
Clark: I gotta get home. Iím glad youíre okay.
Clark stands and walks away from the table, stopping at the counter near the door and taking a seat on a stool when Lex speaks to him.
Lex: That looked uncomfortable. Listen, has Bob Rickman been by the farm ?
Clark: Why would he be interested in us ?
Lex: Heís interested in buying your land.
Clark: (Scoffs) You have met my dad. Why are you even worried?
Lex: Iíve seen Rickman talk people out of house and home. Heís a locust, Clark. He tears through a community and betrays anyone who trusts him. Tell your dad to be careful.
Clark: (Seriously) Okay.
CUT TO Rickman Offices. Rickman is bent over, eyeing the model for his new plant when he hears footsteps and straightens.
Rickmen: Hello, Kyle. Wondering when youíd stop by.
Kyle: We had an agreement. You do whatever you want with the rest of the world, but when it comes to this town, you leave it alone.
Rickmen: We made those rules a long time ago. Worldís changed, Kyle.
Kyle: Maybe itís time the public knew the whole truth about Bob Rickman.
Rickmen: (Chuckles) Public believes whatever I tell them. I spent the past nine years honing my skill while you just hid in the woods, because you were afraid.
Kyle extends his hand to Rickman.
Kyle: Take my hand. See how afraid I am.
Rickman eyes Kyle, but refuses to take him hand. After a moment, Kyle points at Rickman as he speaks.
Kyle: Youíve been warned.
CUT TO Smallville Ė Exterior Ė Street outside the Beanery and Rickmanís Offices. Whitney leaves the Beanery to see Clark, on the other side of the street, approaching Rickmanís offices and encountering Kyle.
Clark: (To Kyle) Kyle. What are you doing here ?
Kyle: Uh, just registering a complaint.
Whitneyís face turns angry and he starts across the street.
Clark: What do you have against Rickman ?
Kyle: There used to be a time when people just minded their own business.
Clark looks down, but both look over at Whitney as he approaches Kyle.
Whitney: Hey, Tippet!
Kyle: And whatís your problem?
Whitney: You are. Touch Lana Lang again, and Iíll take care of you myself.
Clark: Whitney, back off.
Whitney: Iíve got my eye on you.
Whitney turns and walk toward his truck, disabling the alarm as Clark and Kyle continue to talk.
Kyle: (To Clark) Thatís why I donít come into town.
Clark: You want a ride home ?
Kyle: Why are you being so nice to me ?
Clark: I figure youíre not a bad guy. Youíre just not a people person.
Kyle: (Laughs) What gave that away ?
Clark: You want a ride or not ?
Kyle: Yeah, I gotta stop and get groceries.
Clark: No problem.
Clark walks toward his truck and opens the passenger door for Kyle.
Rickman, watching the scene from the door to his offices, calls to Whitney, who is staring at Clark and Kyle, and is just about to enter his truck.
Rickmen: Excuse me ! Iím sorry, I couldnít help, uh, overhearing. Are you having a problem with Kyle Tippet ?
Whitney approaches Rickman as Clark and Kyle drive off.
Whitney: Yeah, he attacked my girlfriend.
Rickman extends his hand to Whitney.
Rickmen: Bob Rickman. Maybe I can help.
Rickman clasps Whitneyís hand with both of his, and a green glow emanates from his hand and Whitneyís eyes.
CUT TO Kyleís Trailer Ė Exterior. Clark and Kyle pull up to Kyleís trailer. Kyle holds a bag of groceries on his lap.
Kyle: Thanks for the ride, I really appreciate it.
Clark: Next time donít talk my ear off.
Kyle moves to open the door and exit the truck.
Clark: Hey, uh, why were you at Rickmanís?
Kyle sits back.
Kyle: Why were you at Rickmanís?
Clark: I heard a rumor heís trying to buy our farm.
Kyle: Stay away from him.
Clark: Do you miss it? A regular life, I mean?
Kyle: Some people werenít meant to have a regular life, Clark. Thanks. Bye.
Kyle exits, and Clark drives away as Kyle crosses to the door of his trailer. While unlocking the door, Kyle sees a reflection of Whitney approaching him in the glass of a window next to the door, and turns. Whitney swings at Kyle with a bat, knocking the bag of groceries from his arms. Kyle ducks as Whitney swings again, smashing the bat into the trailer door.
CUT TO the road leading from Kyleís Trailer. Clark slows as he notices a truck parked off to the side of the road. He stops his truck and exits, recognition apparent on his face.
Clark dashes back toward the trailer at super-speed.
CUT TO Kyleís Trailer Ė Exterior. Whitney continues to attack Kyle, missing several times before connecting with Kyleís chest and knocking him to the ground. Whitney tries to hit Kyle again, but Kyle kicks him back, knocking the bat from Whitneyís grasp. Kyle picks it up, and Whitney grabs a flaming beam from a barrel fire and swings it wildly at Kyle.
Kyle swings at Whitney, connecting with his chest and causing him to double over and drop the beam. Clark arrives as Kyle is about to hit Whitney with the bat, and places himself in the batís path. The bat shatters against Clark. Clark pushes Kyle against the trailer, knocking him unconscious. Clark bends down and grips Whitney, who looks up at Clark, panting. Clark looks over at the unconscious Kyle, his expression a mixture of confusion and anger.
Kyle is guided into a police car by a deputy as Jonathan crosses the scene to where Clark and Whitney are leaning against a second police car.
Jonathan: Theyíre booking Kyle for assault. All right, what happened, guys ?
Whitney: I saw Kyle in town. He blew me off, so I came out here to talk.
Jonathan: So you drove all the way out here in the middle of the night ?
Whitney: Yeah. I had a feeling he was going to attack Lana again. Next thing I know, he attacks me with a bat.
Jonathan: (To Clark) Is that what happened ?
Clark: I did see Kyle swing at Whitney, butÖ
Jonathan: But what?
Clark: Kyle says Whitney swung at him first.
Whitney: Thatís crazy. Why would I do that?
Clark: I donít know. None of this makes any sense.
Whitney: Yes it does! First he attacks Lana, then he comes after me. The guyís dangerous and needs to be locked up Ėď
Jonathan: Whitney, weíve all had a rough night, why donít you just calm down, alright?
Whitney: (To Clark) You saw it with your own eyes. That freak tried to kill me! Now youíre saying itís my fault?
Whitney shakes his head and walks off.
CUT TO Smallville High - Torch Office. Chloe holds a copy of a newspaper with a story and picture of Kyle.
Chloe: Tippet hasnít broken hermit status in years and all of a sudden heís one of Smallvilleís most wanted ?
Pete: Something must have made him snap.
Clark: I think itís Bob Rickman.
Chloe: Yeah, but what does our rural Rodin have against Rickman, other than the obvious ďpoisoning the environmentĒ angle ?
Clark: I donít know. Could you do some digging, find a connection ?
Chloe: Yeah. Absolutely. Sounds like an interesting story Ė tree-hugging hermit versus pesticide tycoon.
Chloe hold a separate story with a picture of Rickman alongside one of Kyle. Pete takes the two and looks between the pictures.
Pete: What do you think they have in common?
Chloe: Definitely not their personal grooming habits.
Lana enters, obviously angry.
Clark: Lana. Hey, whatís wrong ?
Clark stands and walks up to Lana.
Lana: (To Chloe and Pete) Can you give us a minute ?
Chloe and Pete leave.
Lana: Whitney said you accused him of attacking Kyle.
Clark: I didnít accuse him, I just have some questions.
Lana: Like what ?
Clark: Like why was he there ?
Lana: He was just trying to talk with him. We both know Whitney can be a little overzealous, but his heartís in the right place.
Clark: I just donít think Kyle would do something like that. He doesnít seem like a violent person.
Lana: And you can tell that from knowing him for two days ? Heís lived in the woods alone for ten years.
Clark: That makes him odd, not dangerous.
Lana: Whitney wouldnít attack anybody.
Clark: He strung me up in a field.
Lana: So thatís what this is about ? You havenít forgiven him.
Clark: Lana, I just think thereís something else going on here.
Lana: Yeah, there is. Youíre looking for an excuse to knock Whitney. You know what heís going through with his dad. If you donít like him, just say it. Donít pretend to be his friend.
CUT TO Kent Farm Ė Barn. Jonathan, wearing work gloves, shovels some manure and hay into a wheelbarrow as Rickman approaches. Some of the manure falls onto Rickmanís shoes.
Jonathan: You know, a barnís no place for shoes like that.
Rickman: Didnít like them that much, anyway. Bob Rickman, Rickman Industries.
Rickman extends a hand to Jonathan.
Jonathan: I know who you are.
Johnathan shakes Rickmanís hand while wearing the gloves, apprently preventing Rickman from affecting him. Rickman continues to speak with Jonathan.
Rickman: Well, then you probably know why Iím here.
Jonathan: Yeah, I hear that youíre interested in this farm, and you have a reputation as a very persuasive fellah. But I gotta tell ya, thereís not a snowballís chance in hell Iíd consider selling, especially not to Rickman Industries.
Jonathan walks across the barn, removing the gloves as he goes. Rickman follows.
Rickman: You got a problem with progress, Mister Kent ?
Jonathan: No, Iím just skeptical about anyone who thinks they can solve my problems with money.
Rickman: Whyís that ?
Jonathan: Because if I was interested in money, I wouldnít be a farmer, would I? If youíll excuse me, Iíve got some real work to do.
Jonathan points toward the barnís exit. Rickman shrugs his shoulders, turns, and starts to leave, but sees Jonathan put down the gloves and pretends to turn his foot, falls to the floor with an exclamation. Johnathan turns to him.
Jonathan: What happened? You all right?
Rickman: Oh, I twisted my ankle. (Chuckles) I guess you were right about these shoes. Could you, uh, give me a hand?
Rickman extends a hand to Jonathan, who approaches him and pulls him up. Rickman uses his power on Jonathan.
Rickman: Now, are you sure I canít convince you to change your mind?
CUT TO Kent Farm Ė Inside Clarkís Home. Clark enters to find Jonathan sitting on a stool, staring at a contract bearing his and Rickmanís signature, and Martha standing, speaking to him.
Martha: How could you do this without telling me? What happened to ďthis land is our legacy?Ē
Clark: Whatís going on, guys?
Martha: Your father sold the farm to Bob Rickman.
Clark: What? How?
Jonathan: I donít know. One minute Iím telling him he doesnít stand a chance and the next thing I know Iíve got a signed contract in my hand.
Martha: I called our lawyer. He said he canít do anything until he sees the contract but ďthe devil made me do itĒ argument wouldnít hold up in court.
Jonathan: I just donít believe I did this.
Clark: What did Rickman do?
Jonathan: Nothing. He made his case, he shook my hand, that was it.
Clark: It canít be that easy.
Jonathan: Well, then, how else do you explain my signature on this contract ?
Jonathan puts the contract down on the counter, and the three Kents exchange looks. Clark picks the contract up and starts to move away.
Clark: I think I know someone who can help.
Jonathan: No. I will not owe Lex Luthor anything. Thank you.
Martha: Right now you donít have anything to owe.
Clark leaves with the contract.
CUT TO The Beanery. Clark, carrying two drinks, passes Whitney and Lana, who are talking but pause and give him cold looks. He slows for a second, but then continues to where Lex is sitting. He sets a drink in front of Lex and takes a seat. Lex closes a file folder heís holding and leans forward to talk to Clark.
Lex: Ouch. Whatís that all about ?
Clark: I just wonít cave on my opinion of Kyle Tippet. Itís put me on the outs with Lana.
Lex: So youíre Atticus.
Clark looks confused.
Lex: Atticus Finch? ďTo Kill a Mockingbird?Ē
Clark: Never read it.
Lex: You should. You two have a lot in common. Small-town heroes. Believe in the truth. Not willing to back down.
Clark: Howís it end?
Lex: Itís not about the ending, itís about the journey.
Clark looks over at Whitney and Lana.
Clark: What kills me is that I know that Iím right. I just wish I could get them to see it.
Lex: That, my friend, is the key to leadership Ė not only knowing youíre right, but convincing everyone else. If you can do that, the worldís your oyster.
Clark: Right now, Iíd settle for getting our farm back.
Lex: The good news is the dealís worth three times market value. The bad news is, itís ironclad. Meaning itíll take a dozen extra lawyers. Fortunately, Iíve got an army of them.
Clark: For once, I think my parents will be glad for your help.
Lex: Iíd love to know what Rickman said to convince your father. I know the farmís in debt, but heís going to pave it over and turn it into a wasteland. Hardly better than the offers Iíve made.
Clark: I just know that my father would never sell the farm.
Lex: Except that he did. Rickmanís known for getting past peopleís defenses, but thatís just good businessÖunless you think thereís more to it than that.
Clark considers what Lex has said, and his expression changes. He grabs his coat and stands.
Lex: Where are you going?
CUT TO Rickmanís Office.
Rickman is reviewing some papers in a file (presumably the contract to purchase the Kent farm) as a deputy approaches him.
Deputy: Got a call you had a problem, Mister Rickman.
Rickman: Yes, thank you for coming by, Deputy.
Deputy: No problem.
The two approach each other, Rickman extends a hand, and the Deputy takes it.
Rickman: I need you to take care of an old friend.
CUT TO Smallville Jail Ė Interior. Kyle sits in a cell, his back against the bars. A deputy (not the one who was with Rickman) enters.
Deputy: Letís go. On your feet. Youíve got a visitor here.
Kyle stands, and the deputy opens the cell. Kyle holds out his hands, and then grabs the deputyís. The green glow of Rickmanís and Kyleís powers surrounds their hands.
CUT TO Smallville Jail Ė Exterior. Kyle, wearing the uniform of the deputy he just ensnared, walks between police cars, heading away from the jail. From farther down the street, Clark calls to him.
Kyle turns to see Clark, and they both turn at the sound of a gun cocking. The deputy that Rickman entranced aims and fires at Kyle.
Shifting to super speed, Clark watches the bullet sail past his head, heading toward Kyle. Clark starts to run, grabbing Kyle and pulling him to the ground behind a cruiser, but not fast enough to keep the bulet from passing through Kyleís shoulder. The deputy continues to fire his gun at where Clark and Kyle fell, but when he approaches, the two have vanished, leaving only a bloodstain on the ground. The deputy looks around, confused.
CUT TO Luthor Estate Ė Interior Ė Bedroom. Lex and Clark stand in a bedroom where Kyle lays on a bed. A scruffy-looking man with long hair, and earring and necklaces, sunglasses perched on his head, and wearing a stethoscope, attends the injured, unconscious recluse, stitching his wound. Clark has bloodstains on his shirt.
Lex: How bad ?
Doctor: Itís no worse than when Ozzy snorted that row of fire ants down in Queensland.
Clark takes a few steps closer to Lex.
Clark: (Softly) This guy really a doctor ?
Lex: He was. Now heís more of an on-call specialist. You knowÖactors, rock stars, billionaireís sons.
Clark: How do you know him?
Lex: Long story.
Doctor: Whatís a guy gotta do to get a drink around here?
Lex: Finish sewing. (To Clark) Donít worry, Toby appreciates discretion. Nobody will ever know Kyle was here.
Lex: Iím curious. Why did you think Iíd be willing to harbor a fugitive ?
Clark: I figured my parents would freak. And if I took him to a hospital, theyíd put him back in jail. Youíre the only one I could trust.
Doctor: All in all, itís easier than that knife wound of yours. Club Zero, remember that? Bled all over my Mustang.
Lex: Can we talk to him now?
The man stands and picks up a doctorís bag.
Doctor: I gave him something for the pain. Itís lights out Ďtill the morning. My usual payment?
Lex looks at Clark, then answers.
Lex: Brown bag on my desk. See you, Toby.
The man picks up a coat from a chair and exits.
Lex: (To Clark) Youíd better get home, itís late.
Clark starts to leave, but pauses near the doorway of the bedroom when Lex speaks to him.
Lex: Hey, AtticusÖyou may want to change your shirt.
Clark looks down at the stains on his shirt, then over at Kyle, and leaves. Lex looks down at the unconscious hermit.
CUT TO Kent Farm Ė Barn Loft. Lana sits in Clarkís loft as he climbs the stairs. Surprise is evident on his face when he notices her waiting for him. She stands.
Lana: Hi, Clark.
Clark: Youíre the last person I expected to find here.
Lana: I heard Kyle Tippet escaped. I was a little freaked out.
Clark: Donít worry. Heís not coming after anybody.
Lana: How do you know?
Clark: I just do.
Lana: Iím sorry I bothered you.
Clark: If you were worried, why did you walk all the way over here, instead of calling.
Lana: I donít know, I thought you might have changed your opinion.
Clark: Well, if you came over for an apology, youíre out of luck.
Lana: (Emphatically) Clark, he escaped from jail! You have to admit, it looks pretty bad.
Clark: You donít know the whole story.
Lana: Then tell me. What is it?
Clark: I donít know it yet! But youíve already made up your mind about the guy, so what do you care?
Lana: I wanted to clear the air and preserve our friendship, but now I donít even know why I bothered.
Lana leaves. Clark comes close to saying something, but doesnít, looking frustrated.
CUT TO The Beanery. A waitress serves a foamy mug to Lex at the counter.
Waitress: There you go.
Lex: Thank you.
Rickman enters and approaches Lex.
Rickman: Hello, Lex.
Lex turns, and Rickman extends his hand. Lex looks at it, not accepting it.
Rickman: Oh, come on Lex. This ďArt of WarĒ stuff is for amateurs.
Lex: Itís not that. I just donít like you.
Rickman rubs the fingers of his hand together as Lex moves around him, heading into the other section of the coffee house. Rickman follows.
Rickman: (Chuckles) My attorney tells me that my purchase of the Kent farm is being challenged.
Lex: I warned you that the Kents were a tough nut to crack.
Lex takes a seat at a table, and Rickman sits across from him.
Rickman: I recognize LuthorCorp lawyers when I see them. Why are you involved ?
Lex: Smallvilleís my home, and the Kents are my friends.
Rickman stands. Rickman: Well, with friends like you, LexÖ
Rickman puts a hand on Lexís shoulder as he passes him.
Lex: Donít touch me. Speaking of old friends, I heard Kyle Tippet escaped from jail.
Rickman: Now, why do you assume weíre old friends?
Lex: Just a rumor.
Rickman: Have you seen him?
Lex: I never met the man, but Iíll be sure to pass on your regards when I do.
Rickman starts to leave, and runs into Chloe and Clark. Chloe goes to sit a Lexís table as Clark confronts Rickman.
Clark: Howíd you get my dad to sign that contract ?
Rickman: Oh, you must be the Kent boy. Iím a good businessman. No hard feelings, huh?
Rickman extends his hand to Clark. Clark takes it and squeezes, and Rickmanís hand audibly crunches. Rickman is surprised he is unable to entrance Clark, and winces in pain at the handshake. He leaves, and Clark takes a seat next to Chloe at Lexís table. An old newspaper article with a picture of Rickman and Kyle holding a plaque sits on the table in front of Chloe as she speaks.
Chloe: So, I spent the morning delving into the exotic world of agricultural equipment, and it seems that Kyle and Rickman were partners in the mid-80s.
Lex: They sold farm equipment?
Chloe: Yeah, they were Salesmen of the Year, three years running Ė í89, í90 and í91. Then the year after that Rickman started his own company and Kyle went ďWalden.Ē
Clark: Wonder what happened.
Chloe: I donít know but I found this story in the Smallville Ledger.
Chloe hands the clipping to Clark.
Clark: ďSalesmen trapped in car after meteor shower.Ē
Chloe: Iím guessing whateverís going on started that sunny October day, twelve years ago.
Lex: Letís go ask him.
Chloe: What, you know where he is?
Clark looks over at Lex, who smiles thinly at Chloe.
CUT TO Luthor Estate Ė Interior Ė Bedroom. Lex, Clark, and Chloe enter the bedroom to find a woman in hospital scrubs sitting on a chair, reading, next to the unmade bed where Kyle had been asleep.
Lex: Whereís Kyle?
Clark crosses to Lex.
Clark: I think I know where he went.
Clark and Chloe leave.
CUT TO Kyleís Trailer Ė Exterior. Kyle steps out of his trailer carrying a duffel bag as Clark and Chloe approach.
Kyle: I appreciate the help, Clark, but Iím done here.
Clark: We know that Rickman used to be your partner.
Kyle: That was a million years ago.
Kyle walks past them, headed toward the woods, but stops as Chloe speaks.
Chloe: What happened to you guys in that meteor shower? Trust me, youíre not the only ones that were affected by it.
Clark: Whatís going on with you and Rickman? How did he get my dad to sell our farm?
Clark approaches him, and Kyle turns to Clark.
Kyle: You know, until that day we were the worst salesmen to ever carry a catalogÖand all that changed after they pulled us out of that car. With a single handshake we could get people to do whatever we wanted them to do. Buy a tractor. Stand on one leg.
Clark: Youíre saying you have the power of persuasion?
Chloe: How long does it last?
Kyle: Until the person does what I tell them to do. Could be two minutes, two hours, and then they come out of it without a memory.
Clark: What happens if they canít do what you want?
Kyle: They keep trying, unless theyíre forcibly snapped out of it like your friend, Whitney.
Chloe: Well, it sounds good in theory, but, uh, how Ďbout you prove it?
Clark: Chloe Ė
Chloe: What? The guys lives in a crappy trailer out in the woods. Youíd think if he has this power heíd use it to sell some of these sculptures.
Kyle: Itís dangerous.
Chloe: Iím used to living on the edge.
Kyle grasps his hand, Chloe takes it, and Kyle grasps hers with both of his, as a green glow surrounds his hands.
Kyle: You have feelings for Clark, donít you, Chloe? You see him, and you want him. All this time, youíve been hiding it. Now you can show him.
As Kyle speaks, Clarkís eyebrows go up, then he smiles and looks unconvinced. His eyes go wide when Kyle finishes talking and Chloe turns to him, runs her hands up his stomach and across his chest, grabs his coat and shirt and pulls him into a kiss. Clark struggles a little as Kyle looks on, finally breaking the kiss. Chloe turns back to Kyle as Clark stands, stunned.
Chloe: Okay. Come on! Iím ready.
Clark and Kyle exchange a look.
Chloe: What? Why are you looking at me like that? And why is my mouth minty?
Clark: Letís just say he proved his point.
Clark wipes his mouth.
Chloe: OhÖGod, did I just Ė
Clark: Donít worry. It was fine.
Chloe puts her hand to her head in shock, and Kyle picks up his bag.
Kyle: Well, now that the party trickís overÖI gotta hit the road.
Clark: Wait. You have these gifts, but you hid in the woods. Why?
Kyle starts to walk away, but stops at Clarkís question.
Kyle: Because I was scared that I wouldnít be able to control it and that Iíd wind up like Bob.
Clark: What happened between you and Rickman? Why does he want to kill you?
Clark walks to stand in front of Kyle.
Kyle: He knows that I know his secret, andÖI threatened to expose him if he ever built a plant here.
Chloe: Yeah, but heíd been destroying communities like this for years. How come you let him get away from it for so long ?
Kyle: Because I wanted to be left alone ! As long as it wasnít here, it wasnít my problem.
Clark: My dad lost our farm because you didnít tell anyone.
Kyle: Do you know what itís like to have to hide because of who you are ?
Clark: Yes, I do. But when you have a gift you canít just hide in a hole and hope it goes away.
CUT TO Luthor Estate Ė Lexís Office. Rickman enters. Lex looks up at him from behind his desk.
Lex: How did you get in here ?
Rickman: Oh, your guard at the front gate let me through. Heís a great guy.
Lex: I didnít realize we had a meeting on the books.
Rickman: We donít. I come with an olive branch. I just want to let you know you can call off your lawyers. I am dropping the Kent farm as a proposed site.
Lex: Whatís the matter? Losing your touch?
Rickman: (Chuckles) No, Iíve just decided that Smallville really isnít worth the hassle.
Rickman: Least I know where Iím not wanted.
Lex: Okay, then. Thanks for stopping by.
Rickman: Well, since you won, how Ďbout it? Truce?
Rickman extends his hand to Lex.
CUT TO Gas Station Ė Exterior. Clark stands in a phone booth, talking, as Kyle leans against the Kentís pickup truck.
Lex: (On the phone) Hello?
Clark: Lex, itís me.
Lex: Whatís going on?
Clark: Iím with Kyle. He wants to go public about Rickman.
Lex: No kidding. Wha-what does he know?
Clark: Enough to bring him down.
Lex: Alright, Iím coming to pick you up. Where are you ?
Lex arrives in a black four-door sedan, which he parks near the gas pumps. Clark and Kyle exit the truck and walk over as Lex exits his car and speaks to them.
Lex: I called some friends at the Planet and the Inquisitor. Would you be willing to talk to them?
Kyle: Iíll do what I have to, to stop him.
Lex: Get in. I have to fill up if weíre going to Metropolis.
Clark: Thanks, Lex.
Clark and Kyle get into the car, and Lex swipes a credit card and lifts the pump. He clicks his remote, which locks the car doors.
Lex begins to spray gasoline all over the exterior of the car.
Clark: Whatís going on ?
Lex takes a few steps away from the car, lights a lighter, and tosses it onto the gasoline on the ground. The fire spreads to the carís exterior.
Kyle: Rickmanís got to him!
As Lex watches, Clark tries to open the door, and failing, kicks it off the car. Clark rips open Kyleís door and tosses it away, and Clark and Kyle run. The car explodes, knocking Kyle to the ground. Clark picks Kyle up and runs toward the gas stationís garage at super speed, disappearing.
Lex: ClarkÖyou have some explaining to do.
Rickman pulls up in a car, exits and speaks to Lex.
Rickman: What just happened?
Lex: I have my suspicions.
Rickman: Well Iíd hate to think that you failed to get the job done.
Lex: Relax. Failing isnít something I do.
Rickman lifts a machine gun, wipes his prints from it, and hands it to Lex.
Rickman: Just in case.
Lex takes the gun and heads toward the garage as Rickman looks on.
CUT TO Gas Station Ė Interior. Lex enters the garage where Clark and Kyle hide. Lex slowly searches for them.
Lex: I always knew you were keeping secrets from me, ClarkÖbut I never thought they were this good.
Lex spots the injured Kyle and grabs him, lifting him and pushing him against a car.
Lex: Clark? You know that guy youíre trying to protect? Iím going to shoot him now.
Clark emerges from his hiding place, behind a car across the garage.
Lex: There you are.
Lex lets go of Kyle, who slides to the ground, apparently unconscious.
Clark: Donít do this. Iím your friend.
Lex: Oh, please. You think I donít see the way your parents look at me? The way half the town looks at me? Youíre no different. Friendshipís a fairy tale, Clark. Respect and fear are the best you can hope for.
Clark: Rickmanís doing this to you.
Lex: What if he did?
Clark: You hate Rickman !
Lex: You can learn a lot from someone you hate.
Lex opens fire on Clark. Clark twists and turns, dodging some of the bullets, but finally Clark turns his back as they begin to connect. Clark falls to the ground.
Lex stops firing, approaches Clark, kicks him onto his back, and aims the gun at Clarkís chest. Clark grabs the gun away from Lex and kicks him, sending Lex flying into a set of shelves, knocking him unconscious.
CUT TO Gas Station Ė Exterior. Rickman sits in his car, uneasy. He reaches in his coat pocket and pulls out a handgun, then exits the car. Kyle approaches from behind and grabs Rickmanís shoulder and the hand holding the gun. The two grasp hands around the gun, their hands glowing green.
Kyle: Hello, Bob.
Rickman struggles, and his eyes glow green.
CUT TO Gas Station Ė Interior.
Clark rushes to the unconscious Lex, checking to see if he is hurt.
Clark: Lex !
Clark turns as he hears a gunshot from outside.
CUT TO Gas Station Ė Exterior. Clark runs from the garage to find Kyle standing over Rickmanís body.
Kyle: I always was the better salesman.
Clark looks from Kyle to the body, and then back.
Clark: Are you okay ?
Kyle nods, and Clark nods back.
Kyle: I saw you get shot, Clark.
Kyle: Donít worry. Just donít hide in the woods like I did. You got a gift. Use it to do great things. I think Iíll do the same with mine.
CUT TO Kent Farm Ė Inside Clarkís Home. Clark and Jonathan sit at the kitchen table, while Martha stands next to Clark. Jonathan has a newspaper with an article about Rickmanís suicide. Clark has his shirt open and off the shoulder, exposing several red bruises.
Martha: I canít believe each one of these bruises was a bullet.
Clark hisses as she touches one of the bruises with a cloth.
Jonathan: Guess that answers that question.
Jonathan tosses the paper on the table.
Clark: Itís weirdÖI get shot at and the bullets are fired by my best friend.
Clark pulls his shirt on. Martha and Jonathan exchange a quick look, and then Jonathan looks at Clark.
Jonathan: What do you think happened to Kyle?
Clark: I donít know, but I think heís out in the world making a difference now.
At the sound of a knock and a door opening, Lana enters the room.
Lana: Hi, I, uh, hope Iím not interrupting.
Clark: No. Come on in.
Jonathan: Weíll, uh, weíll be outside.
Jonathan and Martha leave. Clark walks to stand next to Lana.
Clark: I didnít know if we were still talking.
Lana: Iím not sure what happened with Kyle, and itís really not important. I think our friendshipís worth more than one argument.
Clark: Yeah, me too.
Clark and Lana exchange smiles.
Clark: You know, I thought we were done there for a while.
Lana: You and me are going to be friends for a very long time. We may have our ups and downs, but thatís just the way it works.
Clark smiles again.
Lana: Did Chloe really kiss you ?
Clarkís smile fades to a look of mild embarrassment.
CUT TO Kent Farm Ė Barn Loft. Lex climbs the stairs to find Clark sitting on a trunk near his telescope. The morning star shines in the loftís opening.
Clark turns and stands as Lex approaches him.
Lex: You can tell your dad I talked to my lawyers. Because of Rickmanís untimely demiseÖtheyíre not expanding. They ripped up the contract.
Lex: Hey, what are friends for?
Clark: How you feeling?
Lex: I still donít remember what happened. Are you sure I didnít hurt you?
Clark pats his chest, and Lex smiles slightly, then moves to look out at the sky through the loftís opening.
Lex: I wonder where Kyle is now?
Clark moves to stand next to Lex, the telescope separating them.
Clark: I donít know. Itís still strange to think that he and Rickman were once best friends. (Turns to Lex) Think weíll ever end up like that ?
Lex looks at Clark.
Lex: Trust me, Clark. Our friendship is going to be the stuff of legends.
Lex smiles slightly, and Clark smiles back. The two turn and gaze out at the morning sky.