While I referenced The Shadow and his world in my Not a Boy Scout story, which this story takes place in that universe, I also had plans for doing a story for a more in-depth focus.
Pretty much my enjoyment of his character has started to grow on me somewhat, mostly from watching the 1994 film. Sadly, the Shadow film never got any sequels, since it is an enjoyable movie in my opinion.
I would recommend at least going on You Tube to watch The Best Scene in The Shadow 1994 clip for those who have not seen the film at all since it helps gives better idea in this story for some of the stuff I write. Especially The Shadow's voice and laugh.
Because I'm drawing a good bit from the 1994 film with my own stuff mixed in, like being in the modern-day.
For actors Lamont Cranston/The Shadow I'm using Alec Baldwin who played him in the film, and Penelope Ann Miller who played Margo Lane.
The Lamont/Margo romance was done surprisingly well in this film, and a healthy one to which is refreshing these days.
Enough of me chatting and on with the program.
New York City in the 8th police precinct during the night
A woman with long blonde haired, though currently tied into a bun with being five foot seven inches tall walks through a slightly busy hallway. Margo Lane is wearing a simple hoodie, and blue jeans with sneakers to blend in easier, and remain nondescript. A face everybody sees but nobody can recall as Lamont told her, with being asked why not simply use her mental ability to persuade them to look the other way her husband explained for varying reasons.
One being it requires energy which could easily be saved, and also why for example his guise of The Shadow has his own clothes instead of just remaining clouded all the time is if you get injured or need to fight, you still have a fallback plan. Of course, Margo notes Lamont's clothes for being a knight in darkness is a scare tactic as well when need be.
Focusing on her current assignment for getting information out of Gerhard Zorn who as a detective in the NYPD can keep police patrols from responding to the areas where the gang led by Ivan Zarnovitch attack victims, for a cut of the gang's profits. Either by giving a false call to lead a patrol car elsewhere or by bribing the squad car's officers themselves to not respond. Information about Zorn was supplied from Harry Vincent an agent of The Shadow's who serves as informant in the criminal underworld or other roles when needed.
Just more criminal scum for Zorn, Margo notes with distaste having experienced her fair share. Going all the way back to how she ended up involved in all of this was about a year ago when making a long flight to Hong Kong, as a very bored socialite. Instead due to her plane getting veered off from bad weather and crashing near a poppy field she became entangled in a war.
One fought between opium dealers and a lone man known as The Shadow, who recused her. Lamont having finished studying under the Tuku was destroying the organization who once served Yo King. Events during those months in Tibet before returning to New York, changed her life in another way as Lamont began teaching her how to harness her own mental abilities with teaching her other skills from lock picking to martial arts.
Coming back to the present Margo nears an office where Gerhard's name is printed on it, no doubt bought himself a nice cushy room Margo thinks. Entering the room Margo sees Zorn at his desk looking up as she closes with the door, and recalling her old seductress skills walks over to the desk before perching herself on it.
As Zorn grins, obviously enjoying this woman boldly strutting in here, Zorn reaches up to grab Margo's thighs who quickly grabbing his hand twists it, breaking bones inside his wrist as Margo's eyes become dark since she's using the stronger part of her mental powers.
"You will not scream in pain; you will, however, tell me where your gang you take kickbacks from is going to strike next" Margo orders.
Eyes glazed over "They are waiting outside of Gibson's pizza restaurant" Zorn starts for telling the various locations where the gang will be.
"Now you will go to sleep and forget about me, this conversation never happened. In an hour you will wake up and explain everything to Detective Barry Allen. Every bribe you've ever taken or gave, every murder you committed, kidnapping, etc. Understand?" Margo commands.
Eyes still glazed over "Yes" Zorn replies.
Margo removes her mental hold onto Gerhard's mind with getting off the desk and walking away as Zorn slumps forward sprawled out over the desk unconscious. Exiting the room Margo closes the door, to see a young man with brown hair, in a red long sleeve shirt, blue jeans with a black overcoat standing there. Alongside him is a young woman near his age who has long brown hair while wearing black pants, red button-down dress shirt, and a white lab coat.
These individuals are Barry Allen and Caitlin Snow Allen, the medical examiner for this precinct or well one of them, with being Barry's girlfriend. On Barry and Caitlin's hands are two dull silver rings having a round, red Girasol jewel in the middle. The same ring is on Margo's finger next to her gold wedding ring.
"The sun is shining," Margo says.
"But the ice is slippery" Barry and Caitlin reply.
"Wait about an hour then Gerhard Zorn is going to have some interesting information to reveal," Margo says.
"Understand, I'll be around to arrest him" Barry replies.
"Did you need anything from me?" Caitlin asks.
"No, I'm good for now," Margo says.
"Oh, how is he doing after his run-in with the Mexican cartel earlier this week? He wasn't in the best shape" Caitlin says.
"Who?" Margo replies pointedly then decides to cut them a break "He's doing fine, thank you for patching him up."
"Well, it's the least I could do after everything," Caitlin says.
Nodding then glancing at the brown-haired detective "You know you running into me here is a bit suspicious like you knew exactly where to find me?" Margo asks.
"I saw you come into the building earlier. I know we are not supposed to be talking about it this, especially not him openly given the rules, but we are a family in our own way. We look after each other" Barry replies caringly and somewhat nervously.
"Yeah I guess we are" Margo replies touched "And relax he won't be coming down on you for feeling that, he knows we're human beings. It's the telling other people outside the circle he would have a problem with."
Barry and Caitlin nod while Margo walks off moving down the hallway with reaching a secluded corner since she needs to contact him telepathically. One of the few in the world even able to do that, and for them their mental bond is so strong they can communicate from anywhere in the world to each other.
"Lamont, it's me. I have the information you want" Margo says sending out a message to him telepathically.
"Go" Lamont replies mentally.
Later in New York City
Exiting a pizza restaurant with wearing causal clothes Clark and Chloe start walking down an empty sidewalk. In Clark's case is a gray T-shirt, blue jeans, brown jacket with boots. Chloe is a green blouse, with ashen pants and a pair of shoes.
Clark and Chloe are laughing for a few minutes over something before Chloe holding Kent's hand looks up at him.
"You know with how insane our lives have been it certainly is nice have a normal meal, and evening" Chloe replies happily.
"Yes, it is," Clark says grinning.
Suddenly three men, and a woman, in average worn street clothes, come running out of a nearby alleyway pointing handguns at them.
"Into the alley, now. No heroics" the woman says.
Glancing at each other Clark and Chloe know since they are both kryptonations, well Chloe human turned into one, although that makes little difference, these robbers can't harm them. However, they decide it's best to take these thugs down where fewer people will be watching. Deciding to play along, for now, Clark and Chloe follow them into the dimly lit ally.
On a fire escape concealed in the night, Lamont Cranston is six feet tall with a muscular physique. Wearing clothes that identify him as The Shadow, Lamont Cranston is in a black long sleeve shirt that is made specially out of Kevlar, black pants and boots.
There's a long black overcoat on his body, gloves, fedora with a dark red scarf wrapped around the lower half of Cranston's face. A black cloak runs from Lamont's shoulders down near the Shadow's ankles. Using his ability to cloud other people's minds, Lamont makes the only visible part of The Shadow's face have harder looking features with a distinctive hawk-like nose.
Down below Lamont knows the three men are Al Gromm, Bammy Stone, Ivan Zarnovitch and the woman is Esmeralda Aguilar. A group of mismatched scum who rob and murder their victims for fun. No different scum then a branch of the Mexican cartel he stopped earlier this week who were bringing their drugs, human trafficking, and illegal weapons on supply lines from the Mexico border.
Even when he was in the darkest period of his life as Ying Ko as one of China's prominent opium dealers before the Tuku found and showed him a path to redemption, he never allowed rapists in his organization. Before that when in the special operations division of the CIA under his Kent Allard alias for being sent to infiltrate and kill dealers in such businesses, like opium, human trafficking and so forth. Now Lamont notes how his life has come full circle.
Choosing to move into action Lamont clouds the criminal's minds so they can't see him, except for his shadow being the only thing he never will hide.
"You've killed innocent people, maybe the New York police refuse to do anything, the politicians keep making laws that help you, but did you think you would get away with it? Did you think I wouldn't know?" The Shadow inquires mockingly, his voice ominous.
"Whose there? Who said that? Answer me" Esmeralda yells waving her handgun around and looking everywhere in fear.
Not that the rest of the crew are any better. Especially once Lamont begins projecting a cold, inhuman laugh echoing throughout the alleyway, which terrifies everyone to the bone. Well not so much Clark or Chloe, although they are lightly unsettled.
"Something you can't run from or kill Esmeralda Aguilar." The Shadow replies "I know what evil lurks in all your hearts."
Glancing around "How do you know our names?" Ivan yells.
"The Shadow knows" Lamont replies while letting out another laugh that seems to go on forever.
Removing his colt 45 handguns that were in shoulder hostlers concealed beneath his long coat, Lamont opens fire. Al Gromm and Bammy are hit in their upper bodies sending them to the ground dead before Lamont quickly hops down from the fire escape.
The three remaining robbers begin shooting at the fire escape, which Lamont helps by projecting a mental image in their minds that he is still on the fire escape until they run out of bullets. Once more the laugher begins again further driving the remaining murderers into a continuing state of terror.
Doing his best to keep their minds clouded, although having to quit trying to cloud the two victims' minds since that was becoming increasingly difficult, Lamont moves in towards them. Pulling out his handguns Lamont shoots Esmeralda in her chest near vital organs sending her to the ground choking on blood while dying.
Seeing Ivan turn around with starting to run The Shadow drops his mental focus on clouding Zarnovitch's mind runs after him with having holstered the Colt 45's given using all seven bullets in both clips. Because Ivan's running Lamont does not want to waste time reloading. Very quickly, especially since his body is in peak physical shape catches up to Ivan with throwing him into a nearby wall.
"Don't kill me, I don't want to die" Ivan whimpers.
"You're a murder and rapist, killing you is a deserving punishment. Only you will get a worse fate because child predators do not survive in prison. Go down to the eighth precinct on second avenue and confess to everything" The Shadow growls.
"If I uh don't?" Ivan asks finding a bit of strength left.
"Then I will be in every room, every corner you turn, as inevitable as your own guilty conscious Ivan Zarnovitch" The Shadow replies.
Ivan is only able to nod before Lamont slams Ivan's head against the wall hard enough to knock him unconscious. Turning around The Shadow eyes the two supposed victims curiously, since putting aside most people would have long fled, there is something else about them like they are brains are made differently which makes it harder for him to manipulate their minds, or even read their thoughts. Perhaps Tuku who had decades more experience, centuries in a way by rebirth, and the holy man who broken down Ying Ko back into Lamont Cranston with teaching him how to harness his natural telepathy abilities would have had better luck.
"Who are you two?" The Shadow asks curiously.
Glancing at each other Clark rushes over grabbing Lamont by the arm then a few minutes later arrives up in the loft at the Kent Farm, followed by Chloe who comes in having super sped over there as well. Lamont looks around for a few minutes getting his bearings only to shrug given his own past for experiencing involving the unexplainable with turning his attention back to the Kryptonians with gesturing to continue.
"Our real names are Clark Kent and Chloe Sullivan, but ever heard of Superman and Power Girl?" Clark asks.
Giving a nod "Have you come to recruit me for your Justice League?" The Shadow asks.
"No, we actually ran into by accident and we were going to take those muggers, but thanks for the assist Lamont" Chloe replies smirking.
"How to do you know who I am?" The Shadow asks not bothering to deny it. After all, fair is fair, though personally would have preferred they not know.
"X-ray vision, a little difficult based on whatever magic you're using and we do recognize your picture from the papers," Clark says.
"You're not metahumans, are you given your wide array of abilities? How do you do all this, magic? Because your brains do not have the same passageways a normal" Lamont says as the realization sinks in "Unless you're not even from this earth, are you?"
"Well I'm not, Chloe is not human anymore after some experiment Lex Luthor forced her into using my blood turned her into a Kryptonian. Although the Justice League destroyed the lab, and the Green Arrow killed Lex. I had to use a piece of technology from my own home planet at the Fortress of Solitude to save Chloe's life as Kryptonian DNA was killing her" Clark replies.
Clark grimaces because even though he really didn't want to talk about his Fortress he wanted to make sure the fellow vigilante knew the full picture about somebody messing around with human and Kryptonian genetics.
"How come you're running around as a vigilante during the night Shadow?" Chloe asks.
"Redemption to fight against the evil I was" The Shadow replies with a clear tone for no more inquiry.
"Is there any way we can contact when needed?" Clark asks.
"For certain people, I select I have these" The Shadow replies reaching into his pocket.
Pulling out two rings with the Girasol jewel, The Shadow tosses the items to Clark and Chloe who expertly, but causally catch them. For the first time, they notice the same ring on Lamont's gloved ring finger on his right hand, so they slip them onto their same fingers.
"Do not ever take those off. I've saved your lives; they now belong to me; you shall become one of my agents like dozens of others around the world. When you hear an agent say the sun is shining you will reply but the ice is slippery. This will identify you to each other" The Shadow replies.
Rolling her eyes "A bit melodramatic, with the speech, especially since we are in the same business, but we get the point. Guessing these will begin flashing when we are contacted?" Chloe asks.
"Yes," The Shadow replies and is reminded of his beloved Margo Lane from the way Chloe acts.
"How do we contact you exactly?" Clark asks.
"One of my agents Burbank has set up a sub-network that bounces between the radio and cell towers allowing the calls to go undetected. To use it dial 3142 and same for emails" The Shadow replies quietly.
"That's impressive to set something like that up, especially for communicating agents all over the globe," Chloe says knowing from her own computer experience, and helping set up Watchtower's communications.
Feeling his cellphone ring Clark answers with it a quick "Hello."
"There's a massive flood problem in the Panama Canal, they could use immediate help. I know this was your guy's date night but" Victor Stone replies trailing off.
Currently Victor's at Watchtower with using his own tech to reroute this call through multiple satellites making it impossible to find. These days Victor spends a good bit of time at the monitor station watching events all over the world for directing members of the Justice League.
"We're on it," Clark says.
Stepping over Clark grabs The Shadow's arm before super speeding back into the alleyway, followed by Chloe.
Taking a few steps back away from the Shadow Clark step lets the Kryptonian nanotech that creates his suit emerge from underneath his skin and quickly form the Superman suit in under a minute. Meanwhile Chloe a few feet away has already changed into her Power Girl suit as well due to the same tech.
In seconds Superman and Power Girl are flying through the night quickly traveling across America heading for people in need of help.
Meanwhile back in the alleyway, The Shadow looks at where they were just standing than to the sky with a bit of amazement given, Clark and Chloe moved so fast he didn't even see them. On the street, a dull, worn down yellow Taxicab pulls up as The Shadow walks over with getting in the back seat before the cab drives off.
Just before the conversation with Clark and Chloe, he had sent a mental summons to Moe Shrevnitz his most trusted, and only driver, for pickup. One of the only people besides Margo Lane who knows who The Shadow really is, until tonight. And discounting the Tuku in Tibet at the Temple of the Cobras who helped him.
Dropping any clouding around his face Lamont sighs heavily, especially given the headache from the mental strain required to keep up the projection of a different face. Glancing up at the review mirror Lamont sees his own much softer, handsome features staring back at him. Mind you covered in sweat given the exhausting physical and mental activities of tonight.
Not just taking down that gang but other criminal operations. Including two human slavery operations at the docks run by the Japanese Yakuza and the Russian mafia respectively, then an opium production factory ran by the Chinese Triad, Lamont notes.
"Busy night boss?" Moe asks from the front driver's seat.
"Yes," Lamont replies tiredly.
"How did it go for taking down the gang?" Margo asks sitting next to Lamont.
"They won't be causing anyone any more problems and Ivan Zarnovitch is heading to prison if he knows what is in his best health. Did Zorn make a confession?" Lamont says.
"Yes, found he had evidence to put away various NYPD members to a few politicians. Commissioner Wainwright Barth is out in front trying to deflect everything, mostly to save his own self from having made pacts with those same politicians to further advance Wainwright's own career" Margo replies in disgust.
"My uncle is more of a scratch the right person's back and does in such a way to avoid crossing over to total corruption but does not make him in any less of the problem. From what I remember he used to be a good cop once but has long since given up when unable to beat the system" Lamont says grimly.
"Where to boss?" Moe asks.
"The Cobalt Club" Lamont replies.
Letting out a sigh Lamont knows it's time for a weekly dinner with his uncle and while hates going, it is helpful because Wainwright might let something slip that can prove to be valuable information to help The Shadow's mission. The only reason why he even bothered bringing his public self from the dead is connections the Cranston name has in the elite circle.
Looking over Lamont notices but to his surprise and enjoyment, Margo has changed from her former clothes, with now in a white-colored dress that highlights all her curves and flows down to her feet. Margo's hair is free-flowing so no longer in a bun.
For a few moments, Lamont's throat goes dry because Margo can still render him speechless, although Margo is beautiful in anything she wears, but knows her real beauty is on the inside. Particularly given Margo's willingness for wanting to be with him, even after everything he did as Ying Ko.
"You still being too hard on yourself again" Margo gently chides telepathically.
"I know" Lamont sends back mentally.
"But still I like the part about how good I look; you can keep that up if you want" Margo replies giving a sultry smirk.
"While I would like to, I need to get changed so we can meet my uncle at the Cobalt Club," Lamont says.
"Fortunately, your public self has a habit of always being late to meet your uncle there and has frequently complained I've done nothing to improve that" Margo replies.
"I know. Why should we start now?" Lamont says smirking.
Reaching over Lamont passionately kisses Margo on her lips who returns it as eagerly returns as they kiss for a few minutes, before ultimately stopping when in need of air.
"I love you," Margo says.
"Love you too" Lamont replies.
"So, anything interesting occur tonight or just your usual ones?" Margo asks curiously.
"I met a couple of aliens" Lamont replies casually shrugging his shoulders.
"What?" Moe asks in surprise.
While Margo's mouth opens in disbelief then closes wanting to know exactly what happened.
Meanwhile, Lamont gives a laugh similar to the Shadow's finding their reactions humorous as the cab continues down New York's busy streets. And Lamont begins his story of tonight's events about two new agents and a different group he's become a apart of, given it's only a matter of time until he starts working with the rest of the Justice League.
Hope you all enjoyed this one-shot and let me know what you think in a review if you want.
First for Margo having the same mental abilities as Lamont does, in the 1994 film, Lamont said referring to Margo for having power, not even she is fully aware of them. And while she showed the surface ability for picking up thoughts, it wasn't much more than that.
Given Lamont has been with Margo for quite some time now, plus training her, Margo's skill in using her abilities has increased.
Kent Allard in the novels and some comics is his real name with Cranston just being a persona he uses, while the real Lamont was overseas. It was the old radio show that first made Lamont Cranston his true identity for simplicity.
I decided to use Kent Allard alias as a nod to the pulps, but flipped with the reference of him being a spy is backstory I got from the old novels too.
How Lamont and Margo met is my own version of events.
The reference to Harry Vincent who is an actual agent from the old novels, some comics and Harry's the main character in various novels. Walter Gibson who under the pen-name Maxwell Grant, wrote 282 of the 325 Shadow novels, and created the character in 1931, usually kept most of the focus on Shadow's agents. Not the man himself.
I could have used a police force contact from the actual Shadow novels well what's the fun of being in the DC verse then? So, I decided to use Barry Allen and Caitlin Snow show up for a cameo.
Given this is the Smallville universe somebody else is already the Flash, or rather Bart is Impulse.
Until next time