Prologue: After serving a five year sentence in the federal pen for inside trading, fallen businessman Lex Luthor finally gets released from prison, determined to save his failing company from imminent bankruptcy. Looking to turnaround his fortunes, the master criminal utilizes some new (and highly unethical) business practices that he had learned all about during the time he was incarcerated. And, soon, the ruthless villain is able to acquire most of his chief competitors with surprisingly very little resistance. Within a few months, ‘LexCorp’ goes from near-financial ruin to one of the biggest, most powerful conglomerates in the world today. No one is quite sure how Luthor was able to stage such a miraculous comeback. But Billionaire Bruce Wayne is about to find out the ‘real’ secret behind Lex’s current success as the conniving criminal decides to make Wayne Enterprises his next acquisition …
It’s 8 AM on a Friday morning and Clark Kent has just arrived for work when, even before he has a chance to sit down at his desk, the phone rings.
“Hello, Clark Kent, Investigative Reporter for The Daily Planet. … May I help you … ”
“Clark, Bruce Wayne here. I thought I should let you know … I just got an unexpected call from your old pal Lex Luthor this morning.”
“Luthor? … What the hell did he want? … ” Clark asks.
“He wanted to schedule an appointment with me for later this morning …” Bruce informs him. “Some kind of ‘presentation’, at least I think that was the ‘term’ he used.”
“So what did you tell him?”
“I told him that I’d see him at 11:30 for a half hour meeting … no longer. … as a business courtesy, of course … ” Bruce answers.
Clark is suspicious, “I wonder what he’s up to? …”
“Well, the way LexCorp has been absorbing rival companies lately, I guess it was only a matter of time until he got around to trying out his sales pitch on me. … ” Bruce assumes.
Clark laughs at the mere suggestion, “A merger between Wayne Enterprises and LexCorp??? … Now we both know how delusional Luthor can be, especially me … but even he can’t seriously believe that you would ever consider such a ridiculous proposition?”
Still Bruce can‘t help but be curious, “Well, I figured that I’d better hear what he has to say … you know, just in case he is planning to stage some sort of a hostile takeover or something. … You know the old saying, ‘Keep your friends close’ …”
“ … ‘And your enemies closer’ ,” Clark finishes his thought. “That’s probably a good idea. Bruce. Maybe you will be able to learn just how Lex has been managing to acquire almost all of LexCorp‘s main competitors.”
“Precisely what I was thinking, Clark.” Bruce replies. “You know Luthor … He will try to impress me with all of his achievements and boast of his many accomplishments. ....The guy can’t help but brag about himself … Maybe he will slip up and say something he shouldn’t … “
“Right, Bruce. Meanwhile, I’ll do some more digging around into his recent business dealings … see what I can find out for you. … Why don‘t you give me a ring right after your meeting and let me know how it goes? … ”
“Will do. … Oh, there’s someone on the other line. … Gotta go. I’ll talk to you soon, Clark.”
“I‘ll be expecting your call, Bruce. … And watch out for Luthor. You never know what tricks he might have up his sleeve.” Clark warns him
Bruce reassures him, “Don’t worry, Clark. I’ll be careful. … Bye.”
Later that morning, around 11:30 am, that bald-headed bad guy Lex Luthor arrives at Bruce Wayne’s office right on schedule.
“So, Mr. Luthor, why are you here?” Bruce asks.
“Please, call me Lex … may I call you Bruce?”
Wanting to keep his distance, Bruce Wayne replied, “Mr. Luthor, your reputation as a corporate pirate is well known .....”
“Now, that is entirely unfair. All of my, shall we say, ‘acquisitions’ have been done with the blessing of the principles!”
“ .... what you say may appear to be true ... on the surface. All I know is that, initially, firms are ironclad in their desire to resist your overtures. But soon, somehow, for some reason, the CEOs and Powers That Be become your ..... ” Bruce searched for the appropriate word.
“ ... boys ... ?” Lex interjected .... wanting to get that word into Wayne’s subconscious as early as possible.
“ .... disciples .... " Bruce continued. “Well, I can assure you, Mr. Luthor, if that is your purpose for being here, to take over my firm .... which I have spent a lifetime building ..... you are wasting your time. In fact, I agreed to see you ONLY as a business courtesy. So, in response to your question, Mr. Luthor, only my friends call me Bruce, but you may address me as Mr. Wayne!”
(Inwardly, Lex smiled. “Oh good,” he thought to himself, " a defiant one. They always prove to be the most fun to manipulate and subjugate .... . and this one has such a nice firm body which I am going to enjoy having at my beck and call!”)
But to his prey, “I see. Then Mr. Wayne it shall be .... for now. But then, to be consistent, I would like you to address me as Dr. Luthor!”
There was a hurried knock on the door and, before Bruce Wayne could respond, a young man rushed in. “Sorry for the interruption, Bruce, but I thought you should see these figures!”
As Bruce examined the document, Lex carefully studied the intruder whom he judged to be 3 or 4 inches shorter than his own 6'2 and weighing about 180 pounds ... a very muscular 180 pounds. ("With the proper training, this young stud would make a very good lure for the other fish," Lex thought.)
"Yes, yes ... this is what I expected," Bruce remarked. Then, remembering his visitor, Bruce quickly changed the subject. “Forgive my rudeness, Mr. Luthor, this is my young ward, Dick Grayson.”
The two men exchanged a firm handshake as Lex says, “Hello, Richard, a pleasure to meet you. Well, you certainly are a nice looking young man. Why, you‘re almost getting to be as big and strong as your legal guardian here.“
Blushing, Grayson replied, “Actually, I prefer Dick .... (“Oh no, not another one”, thought Luthor) ..... but thank you for the compliment.”
“So you work here too?“ Luthor inquired. “Aren’t you fortunate to be the ward of one of the richest and most successful entrepreneurs in the world today.” He then says to Bruce, “Well, Mr. Wayne, it must be such a comfort for a bachelor like yourself… to know that whenever you are ready to retire, you will have someone like young Grayson here to leave the family business to. .....”
Dick laughs nervously at the suggestion, “Well, Mr. Luthor, I may be his ward at home … but around here at Wayne Enterprises, I am just another employee. Besides, I don’t think Bruce …. I mean, Mr. Wayne .... is planning on stepping down for a long, long time.”
Bruce sets the record straight, “Actually, Mr. Luthor, Dick is still getting his degree. He is just serving his apprenticeship here during summer break.”
Luthor asks, “Oh, and what university do you attend, Mr. Grayson?”
“Hudson U. .....”
“Ahhh yes, now I remember… I have seen your name a few times in the sports section of the local newspaper ..... So I take it that you are quite the college jock, Mr. Grayson .....Well, no wonder, with a physique like yours ....”
Dick‘s face turns beet red, “Thanks for noticing, Mr. Luthor. Yes, I guess you could say that I really prefer collegiate athletics to sitting in some stuffy old class room … you know, football, wrestling, gymnastics, weight training, …”
“Well, anyone with eyes can see that you are physically fit, Mr. Grayson. As a matter of fact, I was thinking about going back to gym and getting myself in shape again … You know, these pesky love-handles … Perhaps you wouldn’t mind working out together some time and giving me a few pointers, Mr. Grayson?”
“Just stay away from my people, Luthor .... especially Dick .... understand!", Wayne said with some irritation in his voice.
“Tell you what, Mr. Wayne …. after he leaves your office, I won’t set eyes on Mr. Grayson ever again .... unless you give me your blessing ..... And you are there to supervise us, of course … ”
“Well, that will never happen.", Wayne shot back. Then, turning to Dick, he nodded towards the door, indicating he had better leave. Grayson got the message and shook Lex‘s hand goodbye before he made his exit.
“I mean what I said, Luthor .... Stay away from him …. Or any one of my employees, for that matter … You got it? .... Now where were we..?”
“I had just requested that you address me as Doctor ...”
“Doctor? .... There is no data in our dossier on you that indicates that you are a Doctor .... but this is immaterial however, as after your short presentation to me .... what did I tell you that I would allow .... one half hour .... we will not be seeing each other again! … But, still, I can’t help but be a little curious ... just what is your degree in, ..... Mr. Luthor?,” Bruce asked.
“Psychology ... with a special interest in the subconscious. The fact that you were not aware of this is by my design. I purposely keep a low profile when it comes to my achievements in this field ... except for those I chose.”
“And you have chosen me .....” Bruce asked in a mocking voice.
“Yes .... For I have chosen you specifically, Brucey BOY .... ,“ Luther said just to ’tick’ him off (as he thought to himself how much fun he was going to have making Mr. Wayne one of his ‘boys’!)
“I told you to call me Mr. Wayne, Mist.... Eh, I mean .... Doctor.”
The fact that Bruce had, even in his anger, corrected himself and used the term he was instructed to use both pleased and excited Lex. It showed that Bruce’s subconscious mind was every bit as pliable and adaptable as he had hoped.
“Well, as you know, I can be a very persuasive man .... Who is to say what I’ll have you believing or agreeing to by the time you’ve finished viewing my presentation!”
“Well, I for one can .... and I’m telling you you’re wasting both your time and mine. I shall not be swayed by any of your mind games!” Bruce states with confidence.
(“Not only shall I have you swaying to my mental manipulations, my big hot stud”, Lex thought to himself, “but I intend to program you to my liking as well!”)
“Well, I guess I should warn you, Mr. Wayne … I am not one to take ‘no’ for an answer,” Lex informs him.
“And let me assure you, Mist …. Eh, Doctor… My will power is just as strong as yours. Now, I suggest you begin as you have already cut into your allotted time and I have to leave very soon for a very important lunch date,” Bruce says impatiently, looking up at the clock on the wall.
Lex catches Bruce off-guard with his next question, “… With your girlfriend, the beautiful Vicki Vale?”
“Not that my personal life is any of your business, but, yes, with Miss Vale. But, how did you know?” Bruce wondered.
Lex answers, “I don’t only read the sports page, you know. I have also seen your name make a few headlines in The Gotham Times too. And, according to all of the gossip columns, they say that you are a real playboy … Say, is there any truth to that rumor, Mr. Wayne?“
Bruce has had just about enough of his guest, “Look, I’m a very busy man. I just don‘t have the time right now to sit here and give you my whole life’s story. Besides, my patience with you is starting to wear very thin. So let’s just get on with it and then you can be on your way, Doctor.”
(Lex thinks to himself, “As far as lunch with the lovely Miss Vale is concerned, I think you’re going to decide to break it off, Mr. Wayne… of your own ‘free will’, of course… In fact, you will soon be canceling all of your afternoon appointments as well… just so you can spend the rest of your day here alone with me in your office!”)
“Very well.” Lex says in a more serious tone. “A moment ago, you referred to your reluctance to see me. This is actually the reaction I not only expected from you, but I had planned for. You see, Mr. Wayne, you have surrounded yourself with nothing but ‘ass-kissers’ and ‘yes men’ for so long now that you are afraid to listen to someone who may not agree with everything you have to say ..... Someone who might just be able to teach even a powerful business tycoon like you a thing or two….”
“Now, wait just a minute .....", Bruce interrupted.
“Shhhhhhhhhhhhh”, Lex urged Bruce, who was still unaware that the villain had already begun his mental assault on his vulnerable brain. Speaking softly, Lex had been subtly lowering his voice all the while, thus insuring Bruce would have to concentrate even more on every word he said. “This is my allotted time .... so I want you to be a good boy and just sit there in your chair and listen ..... you will do that for me .... won’t you, Mr. Wayne? .... It’s only fair ....”
As he spoke, Lex wiggled his index finger in a side to side motion. To his excitement, Bruce’s eyes followed the movement of the finger.
“Only fair....” Bruce responded in a whisper as his head nodded while his eyes continued to follow the swaying finger. Lex also noticed that Bruce’s voice had lowered to match his own .... another good sign that he was succumbing to Lex’s mental manipulations.
“Good boy”, Lex purposely used the phase ‘boy’ as often as possible to condition his prey to its sound.
Lex slowly moved his finger in front of his face so that now, as Bruce's eyes followed, he unknowingly looked right into Lex’s own deep green eyes as the villain held him in his mesmerizing stare …
(“Mr. Wayne is already starting to fall for my hypnotic powers of persuasion. Now to spin a sexual cocoon around this heterosexual caterpillar and transform him into a submissive and obedient homosexual butterfly,” Luthor thought to himself.)
To be continued …Next page