She leans her forehead against the window of Lex's office and tucks an errant strand of dark hair behind one ear. Rain is falling outside, turning the darkened skyline of Metropolis into a dizzy array of blurred light. The droplets refract and distort the white, gold and red of the landscape and for just a moment, Mercy Graves almost succeeds in convincing herself that it might all be just a dream.
Mercy's world fades rudely back into reality as the local news bulletin reports what she already knows all too well. She turns towards the plasma screen, hung handsomely on the adjacent wall, and smiles grimly as a perky young woman begins her report from the steps of the Federal courthouse.
"Metropolis titan, Lex Luthor, was indicted today in Federal court on charges of conspiracy, fraud, and -"
"But they didn't get you on tax evasion," Mercy gives the picture of Lex on the screen a thumbs up. "At least you've shown up Capone," she says to no one in particular. Most of the LexCorp offices have been empty for several days. Only a slim support staff remains on hand to keep things running, albeit at a bare minimum. Mercy has lived here around the clock since Lex was arrested.
Finding the remote on his desk, Mercy hits the mute button. The blond woman on the screen continues prattling on in silence as Mercy turns back to the bank of windows. From here she can just make out the illuminated globe of the Daily Planet. That had been her future once. It had been her future when her past still consisted of late night paste-ups in the Torch office, espresso fixes at the Talon, and clandestine meetings with rich and powerful men; men with their own agendas.
Thanks to those men, the girl known as Chloe Sullivan had lost one life and gained another. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Chloe had miraculously walked away from a firebomb intended to silence her. It had its intended effect, but only for so long. The bomb had done more than ensure Chloe's silence; it gave her life and ensured her eventual revenge.
Mercy Graves was not born on that day, in fact, she was not born until years later. Mercy was born in a small, but luxurious, clinic in the south of France. There was no birth certificate, but if there had been, Alexander Luthor qualified to be listed as the father. And in return for her new life, Chloe had signed over her old one, taking the name Mercy - Lex's idea - and a place by his side as he built his empire.
It wasn't a job she was readily suited for. She couldn't act as bodyguard, and neither thought that playing trophy particularly suited her talents, so eventually the newborn Mercy settled in at Lex's side. It was where she had always been; it was where she belonged.
But now Lex was shut away from her in a cold, cement cell much like the one that must have housed the elder Luthor years before. Mercy couldn't see the jail from her vantage point, but she shivered in sympathy. Lex Luther had been her past and had given her a future. She had already promised Lex do everything possible to ensure his release, but she made the vow once more, silently and to the darkened city of Metropolis spread before her.
She may have shirked promises in the past, but this was one she intended to keep. The girl once known as Chloe owed him that much.
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