Perry and full cast, from "Perry"
isclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Read the story from the beginning here.
Read Chapter 13 here.
Perry felt a wild mixture of panic and exhilaration as he plummeted over the edge of the scenic outlook, toward the gorge below. He came to a very abrupt halt, thanks to the rope he'd tied around his ankle. But he hadn't counted on having two hundred pounds of Kansas farmboy holding onto him, and the jolt was tremendous. He realized he was lucky his leg hadn't snapped like a twig.
Clark's momentum carried him further. He barely escaped plummeting into the gorge by grabbing onto Perry's hands. Perry dangled there, his spine stretched to the point of real pain, and looked down into the farmboy's eyes.
"Fun's over!" he yelled, as jauntily as he could manage, considering he was hanging upside down, dangling from a rope like an overgrown spider. "Time to unleash those awesome powers!"
Young Kent looked back at him, and the panic and terror in his eyes was unmistakable.
"I don't have any powers!" he shouted.
Lana and Pete leaned over the railing of the outlook. Below them, Perry and Clark dangled above oblivion on a too-thin rope. Clark looked up at them, his eyes huge.
"Pete!" he shouted hoarsely. "In the camping gear-- there should be a rope!"
Pete took off for the car, and Lana shouted, "Hold on, Mr. White!"
To her horror, she saw the rope beginning to unravel under a strain it hadn't been designed to withstand. Clark stared up at her, wordlessly pleading for help. She couldn't remember ever seeing him look truly afraid, but there was no doubt that he was terrified.
Pete darted back and tossed the end of the rope down to them. Clark grabbed it just as the other rope broke. Perry started to fall, and Lana screamed. But Perry somehow managed to grab onto Clark, and clung to his waist. He started to slide, but caught Clark's legs and hung on desperately.
She looked over the railing, seeing Clark clinging to the rope, Perry's not insignificant weight hanging on him. Clark was strong from working on the farm, she knew, but she also knew he couldn't possibly hang on long. But even as she watched, he began struggling upward, hand over hand, a look of grim determination on his face.
Admiration filled her. But she knew he couldn't make it all the way up on his own. She saw the strain in every muscle of his big body. He might have been able to pull himself up on his own, but it was too much for any man, no matter how strong, to pull himself and another man's weight up a rope.
And then he looked up at her, his eyes imploring.
"I can't hold on much longer!" he cried.
Pete had tied the rope to the bumper of his car, and now he was beginning to slowly back up. She turned and waved her hands at him in a hurry-up-do-it-now gesture.
"Pete!" she shrieked. "Get moving!"
Pete hit the accelerator harder, and Clark and Perry began moving upward. She saw Clark's hands slip, saw him grab hold again. It must have hurt, because his face contorted with pain and effort.
"Hang on!" she cried. "Hang on!"
They rose slowly to the outlook. The men grasped the chain-link fencing and scrambled over, with her assistance. And then Clark dropped slowly to his knees, looking more stricken than she'd ever seen him. He had the white-faced look of a man who'd confronted his own mortality, and had been well and truly frightened by the experience.
Perry sat there, panting, staring at him. Clark stared back, and said nothing at all, only slowly held out his hands.
They were covered with blood.
Perry stared at the kid's outstretched hands, and then looked up into his accusing green eyes. A terrible anguish filled him.
His reporting instincts had led him astray this time. This kid was just... a kid. An ordinary Kansas farmboy. A decent, nice, good kid, who hadn't hesitated to risk his life in trying to save a worthless old alcoholic whose best days were way, way behind him.
And he, Perry, had almost caused the young man's death.
Self-loathing swept through him, and he blinked hard.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. "I'm sorry."
Read Chapter 15 here.