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Sequela Afterword

The African Queen (1951)

While rummaging about that there interweb thingie, I saw this clextheclassics challenge. I looked at the list of movies, mainly just wondering which ones I'd seen. There were a lot of fine movies listed. The rules said that any non-canonical pairing was allowed. My favorite non-canonical Smallville pairing is, of course, the Liona. (Lionel+Lana OMG MENT2B 4EVA!!!!!!11!!!) I thought that I could do a fun, "African Queen" type story involving Lionel and Lana and an alien invasion and a cunning plan and a truck full of Kryptonite and a fuel-oil-and-fertilizer bomb. I signed up for the challenge, and even wrote part of the story. Then I got the actual challenge prompt:

Quote: "I never dreamed that any mere physical experience could be so stimulating!"

Object/Location: Boat

-If you want to work the actual quote into the story/art, that's great. Or feel free to tweak the quote to fit within the context of your story/art. But don't feel obligated to do so. The quote is there to serve as a jumping off point, not the bottom line.

-Object/locations. Try and include it if at all possible. That's part of the challenge, right? *g* If you're having trouble though, feel free to drop us a line.

Well, okay, yes, fine, "I never dreamed that any mere physical experience could be so stimulating!" is a line that I can easily imagine Lana saying under a variety of circumstances. Even Lionel might say it, with an ironic twist of his mouth, given the suitable occasion. Unfortunately, what with the story I'd been thinking of being set in the middle of Kansas and all, I'd pretty much decided against a boat and in favor of a truck instead. (Actually, I figured out a way to bring a boat into it later, much later, but by then I'd already received a beta back on 'Sequelae.')

So, what to do? I poked around amongst the other stuff that I already had partially written on the disk, and I found those 'Vacation' drabbles. Somebody had said I should write more on them, and I actually did have a couple of paragraphs, starting with, "Train from Metropolis to Olympia, ferry to Vancouver, a low-end cruise ship to Anchorage, and train again to Fairbanks." Well, there's your boat right there, and it's almost always in-character to have Lex quote something. Also, the vacation story is considerably Clexier than the alien invasion thing. (Though that one's post-Rifty, too, in a way.) The Clex is the non-canonical pairing mentioned in the challenge title, after all. I decided to expand on the Alaska story, and keep picking at the alien invasion Liona story a little bit, in case the Alaska story didn't work out. I may still finish the Liona story someday. If I do, the title may very well be "The Prairie Queen."

The wonderful thing about "The African Queen" is that both Rosie and Charlie have had their worlds destroyed. They go through a big adventure together, relying on each other more and more, and ultimately they perform a valiant act of war which they don't seriously intend to live through. They can only do all this great stuff because their previous lives are pretty much over -- it's a real slash-and-burn operation, to put it in the language of my old gaming group. Then at the end, they unexpectedly survive, and they have the potential of a new life, a much better one than they ever had or expected to have before, solely because of all the things they've built and grown together while figuring their lives were already over. They have nothing left in all the world except each other, but that's so much more than they ever had before. I like it. It would fit Lionel+Lana really well, because I think (especially before they inexplicably let Lionel out of prison) a scenario in which neither of them has anything left that they really care about is eminently plausible. It fits the Clex pretty well, if you're in a Rifty universe. It has a happy ending, which is almost a Scorpion story requirement. It has people continuing the struggle even in the face of overwhelming odds, which I always enjoy (although that fit the Liona story much more than 'Sequelae.') All in all, a fine template for a fanfic story.

Plus Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. Hoody hoo!