DISCLAIMER - Lex, Clark and all things Smallville are not mine, they belong to DC Comics, the WB and anyone else who rightfully owns a slice of them. From Eroica With Love and its characters is the copyright of Yasuko Aoike and Princess Comics. Story, such as it is, copyright Karen Colohan, May 2002.


by Karen Colohan

Lex Luthor stood in front of the glass display case, staring at it, perplexed. If you didn't know better, it seemed that nothing was amiss. It looked like just another museum display containing a card announcing that the exhibit normally found within was on loan to some other institution for an indefinite period. The only trouble was, Lex did know better.

Inside the case there was a mannequin. Its bare torso seemed to mock the group of people who, together with Lex, surrounded the brightly lit display. The priceless breastplate the mannequin should have been adorned with, the one worn into battle by Alexander the Great, was indeed gone. In its place, resting on the floor of the case, was a small card. However, when one looked at it closely, said card did not announce the loan of the breastplate to some other museum. What it actually read was, "From Eroica, with love."

When he'd first got the call from the Metropolis police in the small hours of the morning, telling him the exhibition in Luthor Hall had been robbed of its most precious exhibit, Lex hadn't known what that meant. Now, a good few hours later, he was beginning to understand. Guards, and the most sophisticated security system money could buy, hadn't protected the breastplate from one of the world's most notorious art thieves.

Lex had never heard of Eroica before, but he'd been informed that the thief operated mostly in Europe. Obviously, though, the man had considered the breastplate of Alexander the Great worth the transatlantic flight. With the millions of dollars worth of jewels that encrusted it, Lex couldn't entirely blame him.

He released a long breath and rubbed one hand distractedly over his smooth scalp. There didn't seem to be much Lex could actually do here. Apparently the call from Metropolis PD had been more a formality than anything else. They'd tried his father first, but he was on business in Japan and had declined to return. Which had left Lex to fend off whatever questions might be asked about the theft from the Luthor sponsored gallery. Though Lex doubted there was anything he could usefully add to the guards' reports.

It seemed that some form of gas had been used to knock them out while the thief worked and the cameras and other security measures had all been disabled with perfect precision, not a single alarm had been triggered. Doubtless the newspapers would have a field day with such a high profile theft, and enjoy dragging the Luthor name through the mud for the hell of it at the same time. So much for trying to buy good press with a little artistically inclined philanthropy, Dad, thought Lex tiredly.


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