Member # 4722
Sarah thought about the last words Lex had spoken to her. “I want you to tickle Superman.” It had been about a day since he’d told her about her new tickle target. She was starting to wonder when Lex would force her to put whatever scheme he had into action, and the waiting was killing her.
“He crazy,” Sarah said to herself. “He’s absolutely crazy.”
He had to be crazy to come up with a plan like this. Superman was the most powerful being in existence. He could catch bullets, go through an explosion without getting a scratch on him, and lift who knows how much weight without breaking a sweat. Lex expected a man like that to be vulnerable to tickling?
Then again, she’d witnessed tickling turn many other people into a mess. Perhaps the man of steel was ticklish? If that was the case, she couldn’t help Lex this time even if she could.
Suddenly, Lex and Nigel came bursting through the door to Sarah’s cell. They both looked oddly cheerful.
“Who wants to take down a God today?” Lex asked enthusiastically.
“What makes you think Superman is ticklish?” asked Sarah. “He’s Superman, for goodness sakes!”
“I don’t know,” Lex replied with a smile. “It’s just a gut feeling.”
“Let’s say he is ticklish,” Sarah replied. “How exactly do you expect to get the tickling drug into his system? He’s invulnerable. I doubt you have a needle that can penetrate his skin.”
“I’ve thought about that,” Lex replied. “I’ve thought about everything.”
“You haven’t thought about one thing. You haven’t thought about me refusing to work for you anymore,” Sarah replied defiantly.
“Actually, I did,” Lex replied.
He tapped his finger on the wall, and another room behind a wall of glass suddenly became visible. Sarah’s mother was standing in the center of the room with her hands suspended above her head by chains. The way she was standing caused her shirt to rise up, revealing just a little bit of her belly. A woman and a man were standing at each side of her.
“As you can see, I decided to add your mother to the equation,” Lex said sinisterly.
“You monster!” Sarah yelled as she lunged at Lex, but she fell short and began rolling around on the floor laughing. Lex had activated her tickling boots.
“Hahahaha – Stop it!” Sarah screamed.
Lex deactivated the tickling boots and reached for a microphone. “Mrs. Carter, tell me, are you ticklish?”
Sarah’s mother replied, “Who are you? Why am I here?”
“Tickle her,” Lex ordered.
The man and the woman in the room with Mrs. Carter began to lightly tickle her exposed belly, causing Mrs. Carter to yelp. She jumped from side to side, but since there was a person at each side, she wasn’t able to escape the tickling fingers.
“How funny, she looks more ticklish than her daughter,” Lex said with a grin as he turned to Sarah. “While you’re doing what I want you to, My friends will be tickling your mother. If you take to long – well, let’s just say the torture will be a lot worse than tickling.”
“And none of us want that, correct?” Nigel added.
“Correct,” Sarah replied as she hung her head in defeat.
“Now, what I need from you is to rob Washington Savings,” Lex ordered her.
“Rob a bank?” Sarah replied in astonishment. “You’re one of the richest men in the world, and you want me to rob a bank?”
“To set a trap for Superman,” Lex explained. “You rob the bank and wait for Superman to arrive. Leave the rest to me.”
“I guess I don’t have a choice,” Sarah replied sadly.
“You don’t,” Lex replied.
Later that day, Nigel pushed Sarah out of a car in front of Washington Savings. Sarah stumbled a bit and then turned around.
“Really? A little bit of gentleness would be nice considering the circumstances,” Sarah replied. “After all, you are forcing me to rob a bank.”
“Just get in there,” Nigel replied as he pointed towards the main entrance to Washington Savings.
After Sarah entered the building, Nigel casually walked towards a payphone. He picked up the receiver and dialed 911.
“Yes, I just exited Washington Savings, and I saw a woman going in with a gun. She’s that Sarah Carter, The Tickler. I think she plans on robbing another bank.”
He hung up the phone and smiled. Then, he dialed another number.
“She’s in there,” Nigel said into the phone.
“Perfect,” Lex replied. “When you see Superman, call me immediately, and I’ll order Banks’ kidnapping.”
“Of course,” Nigel replied. “But, why do we need Banks? Certainly Sarah Carter can do what you want Banks to do.”
“Sarah’s too disobedient,” Lex replied.
“But she knows who we are,” Nigel answered. “Doesn’t that present a problem?”
“No,” said Lex. “I’m one of the most respected men in Metropolis, and she’s a bank robber. She has no proof.”
“I see,” said Nigel.
Inside the bank, Sarah held her feather duster-gun at her hip and ordered everybody to put their valuables in the center of the room. Then, she looked down at her watch anxiously.
“When is he gonna get here?” Sarah asked herself. “So much for faster than a speeding bullet.”
Sarah was lost in thought when all of a sudden, somebody walked up and punched her right in the gut! Sarah fell to the ground and tried her best to get back up, but the person punched her again. This time, Sarah dropped her syringe and tickling drug. She looked around on the ground for it, but she was too late. Without warning, the person injected Sarah with the tickling drug. Finally, Sarah looked up, and to her surprise, she saw Lois!
Outside of the bank, Superman flew down from out of the sky and rushed into the bank. Nigel immediately picked up the phone and called Lex.
“He’s here,” Nigel said.
Then, he hung up the phone and got back into the car.
Superman came dashing into the room expecting to see what he usually saw during a bank robbery, but what he saw was completely unexpected. Sarah was tied to a chair in the middle of the room with her head bent back laughing uncontrollably. Lois was holding one of her boots in her hand and using the feather duster-gun on Sarah’s bare foot. Several other people were also standing around Sarah and tickling her as well.
“Lois!” Superman scolded her. “What’s going on here?”
“You know what they say,” Lois replied. “What comes around goes around. She came in here planning to use her tickling drug on one of us. Instead, we used it on her.”
Lois could tell from the look on Superman’s face that he did not approve.
“What?” she asked. “She tickled me on more than one occasion. I just figured I’d get a little payback. Besides, I just caught a bank robber. You should be thanking me.”
Superman smiled. He figured Lois did owe Sarah just a little bit of payback.
“So, do you have anything to say for yourself before I hand you over to the police?” Superman asked Sarah.
He was hoping she’d say something about Lex Luthor. Unfortunately, his question was interrupted by the sound of a distant police radio.
“This was all a distraction, wasn’t it?” Superman asked anxiously. “Dr. Banks, your former employer, was just kidnapped.”
“What?” Sarah replied in shock. “That wasn’t supposed to be part of the plan.”
“Well, what exactly was the plan?” Superman asked.
“I was supposed to lure you here for some trap or something,” replied Sarah.
“Who forced you to do this?” Superman asked.
“I don’t know,” Sarah lied. Her mother was still in danger, and she didn’t want to risk getting her hurt. “He wore a mask.”
“Well, whoever it was tricked you. You weren’t meant to set a trap for me. You were meant to distract me so that Dr. Banks could be kidnapped without my interference.”
Meanwhile, Lex brought a blindfolded and handcuffed Dr. Banks to the same cell where he’d kept Sarah trapped. You could still see the room next door, and Mrs. Carter was still being tickled.
“What shall we do with her?” Nigel asked.
Lex looked at his watch. “They’ve been tickling her for about two hours now. Let’s send her back home after three hours.”
“Of course, sir,” Nigel replied.
“Who’s being tickled?” Dr. Banks asked. “You’re misusing my tickling drug, aren’t you?”
“I’ll misuse the tickling drug on you if you don’t do exactly what I tell you to do,” Lex threatened him.
Dr. Banks was clearly disturbed. “I know just how much torture that drug puts you through, too. After all, I did develop it.”
“So, you won’t be any trouble, will you doctor?” Lex asked.
“What do you want me to do?” he asked.
“It’s a very simple task,” Lex explained. “I need you to convert the tickling drug into a gas.”
“That’s all,” Dr. Banks replied. “That’s easy.”
“Good,” Lex replied.
As Lois and Clark worked on two separate stories, one about Sarah’s recapture and one about the kidnapping of Dr. Banks, Mrs. Carter hobbled towards them. Her clothes were saturated in sweat, her makeup was a mess, with mascara running down her face, and her hair was sticking up all over the place as if it had been uncombed for days. She was also missing one high heel shoe.
“Mrs. Carter!” Clark called out as he stood up and rushed over to help the woman sit down. “What happened?”
Lois got her a drink of water and stood next to her as she sipped it.
“I was kidnapped and brought to some strange cell, and…”
“What did they do to you, Mrs. Carter?” Lois asked in a concerned tone.
“They… they… tickled me,” she replied as she wiped some sweat from her forehead.
“Clark, she must have been kidnapped by whoever kidnapped Sarah,” said Lois.
“No wonder she wouldn’t tell us who was forcing her to work for them,” Clark added. “They were using her mother to keep her quiet!”
“Mrs. Carter, is there anything you can tell us that might help us figure out who kidnapped you?” Lois asked.
“My daughter… is she all right?” Mrs. Carter asked.
“Yes,” Clark replied. “Please, tell us anything you can remember.”
“I’m sorry,” Mrs. Carter replied. “I was blindfolded the whole time. They tickled me for what seems like for hours. My hands were chained above my head. Then, they drugged me. I woke up in my bed looking the way I look now.”
Early the next morning, Clark awoke to the sound of fire engines. He rapidly spun into his costume and flew out the window to check out the fire. He scanned to see where the fire engines where heading and discovered that it was the Daily Planet. He hastily flew over to the Daily Planet and blew out the fire easily. He then sucked the smoke into his lungs to get it out of the air. However, unbeknownst to Superman, the smoke from the fire wasn’t the only thing in the air. He also inhaled tickling gas.
To be continued...
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