Doctor Shay Veritas had worked with the Man of Steel for several years. Years ago she had created a facility known as “The Block”. It was a training facility built specifically for Superman, but in the past several decades it had fallen into disuse. After all why would the most powerful man in the universe need to better himself. He had all his trinkets now, so there would be no need for the human ingenuity that Kal-El had once relied on to help make him the most effective hero known to man.
Now Kal-El wanted to be the greatest leader known to man. He wanted to be a visionary and push humanity to the next stage of evolution. He often spoke to her about how he was going to make order out of all the chaos. Though she did not see the effort he was making. He instead seemed more like a petty dictator, who had been reduced to viewing people as either tools to be used or as cogs in some machine running. Unfortunately, Shay knew that she just so happened to be one of the tools that would keep the machine going.
Shay had been in her early thirties when she first met Superman, but the one thing that scared her more than the wrath of the county’s fearless leader, was the idea of dying. When she had turned thirty five she had developed a tumor on her brain. She had felt that what had happened to her was unfair, and she felt there was still much she needed to do for the world, so she took it on herself to repair the damage. She performed extensive and experimental surgery on herself removing and repairing the brain tissue that had been damaged. She made a full and miraculous recovery. Many of her colleagues could not believe what they had seen. It was a true miracle, but it was no miracle of supernatural significance, but rather the miracle of science.
She had studied the subject known as Brainiac, one of Superman’s former adversaries. She incorporated Brainiac’s structural design into her own, and merged her flesh with machine. With her mind now reinforced with cybernetic technology, she could process more information now than she could when she was just an aspiring Nobel peace prize winning scientist. The initial surgery had been addicting though. As more and more of her body parts began to fail, she replaced them with cybernetic ally enhanced flash copies of the organs that had ceased to function properly.
Though now she was going on eighty nine years old, she didn’t look a day over thirty. Her tanned skin still appeared smooth, and not a single one of the violet hairs on her hair showed any sign or graying or falling out. If she had been the once ego-maniacal being known as Brainaic she might have viewed herself as perfect, but she was not like that creature. Veritas saw herself as an imperfection, sure she appeared beautiful and healthy, but there was always room for improvement. There was always more to learn, for that was the motto that Shay Veritas had always lived by, and it was that motto that had elevated her to such a high ranking position in Superman’s house.
Today, Shay stood in the Oval office of the White House, busily typing away at the reports that were being gathered from the rebel subjects, that her most recent partner, the clone known as Kon-El, had apprehended. It appeared that the rebels had been injected with a super speed serum known as Velocity 9. It was an old drug that had been developed by Vandal Savage ages ago, and it had been believed to have been completely wiped out, but that was apparently not the case. At the time there was no way they would be able to trace the drugs origin, seeing as the files on the drug had went missing.
“These traitors have my son Dr. Veritas, and I need answers,” Kal-El stated calmly at first before turning to face Shay, “and you’re telling me that our best lead to find where he was taken to have been stolen!”
“Yes, Superman that is exactly what I am saying. We only discovered this a few hours ago, and SHADE is investigating. I would have more information for you if I could, but your green friend has locked me out of my lab.”
“I don’t want excuses!” Superman shouted. The helmet of Nabu was off and on the desk, so Shay could see the anger in his eyes. It would take nothing for Superman to snap her neck like it was a twig, but she knew that he wouldn’t dare. She was valuable to him.
“You’re supposed to be my chief of staff on the science committee, but so far all I’m getting from you and your department are a lot of shrugs and guesses! You haven’t even made any progress on the cloning movement that was recently uncovered” Superman spat, but Shay just glared back at him.
“Well, If you would tell the Martian to get off my back, and stop hindering my investigation the perhaps I would have answers, but I suppose SHADE is this nation’s main source of security. After all without SHADE we might know too much, and it would be a shame if we knew something we weren’t supposed to. We have to be protected from all those nasty little facts don’t we Superman.”
Superman growled and gripped the edges of the desk in his hands crushing what was in his palms to splinters. His eyes started to go red, until Diana walked up and put her hand on his shoulder.
“You forget your place, Veritas.” Wonder Woman said, “We respect you as our colleague, but keep in mind you are questioning your president, and I can promise you that Kal is acting within our nation’s best interest.”
Veritas clasped her hands in front of her and bowed, “Forgive me, I speak out of turn.” She said before standing back up straight, “These past several hours have been frustrating. I assure you I will try even harder to assist you in putting a stop to this fight.”
“You had better.” Superman grumbled.
“Now,” Diana said, “Onto other busin…” Diana was suddenly interrupted when the phone intercom rang. Superman reached over and pressed the button to open the line.
“What is it?” he asked
“Sir, you have a visitor, and he says he needs to see you.” It was the receptionist at the front desk.
“I’m not receiving visitors today.”
“I know sir, but this one is really persis…Wait sir! You can’t go in there without proper clearance! Security! Help! Security!” The receptionist started shouting, and it was only seconds later before the doors to the oval office were blasted off their hinges, and flew across the room. Shay hit the ground as quick as she could, hoping to avoid the debris. Diana had remained in place only shielding her face. The only one in the room who did not move was Superman. When the dust finally settled, Shay looked up to see none other than the clone, Connor Kent standing where the door had once been. His eyes were glowing red, heat vision just waiting to burst out, and his first were clenched tight.
“MURDERER!” He screamed out at Superman.Shay started to lift herself up off the floor and dust herself off as she watched the peculiar event unfold in front of her. Connor marched forward coming face to face with the Man of Steel.
“Connor, what is the meaning of this!” Diana shouted at him.
“I’ll tell you what the meaning of this is! I want to know why! I want to know why Kal, that you decided to kill our friends! Why did you kill the Society, the Ten, and Hal! Why did Billy and all our friends have to die?” The room was silent for a moment, and everyone’s gaze in the room shifted to Superman.
“They were traitors. That’s why I killed them.” Superman replied calmly.
“Traitors!” Connor said appearing taken aback, “These were our friends Kal! People we fought beside for years and you strike them down in cold blood!?”
“Yes, you were there at the Massacre. You know that the Society never showed, nor did the Ten. Hal himself showed his cowardice years later. Had these people had showed the courage that you had that day, and then perhaps the Massacre might not have happened. Perhaps your friend Tim might not have died.”
“Don’t you dare say his name! Tim had more courage than you or I both! You have no right”
“I have all the right!” Superman shouted, “You weren’t the only one who lost loved ones, Connor. I saw Kara murdered right in front of me. I almost died myself. I chose to stay and fight, but what did you do.” Superman paused for a moment before getting inches away from his face and muttered, “You ran.”
Connor did not attempt to retort this remark. As Shay looked on she only saw Connor lower his head. A small part of Shay felt a bit of pity for Connor. There was a since of nobility and loyalty in his words that was not very common these days. She watched on in silence as Superman continued.
“You ran away Connor.” Superman spat, “You told me all those years ago, that you were done. That you couldn’t stomach it. So I let you go, in honor of what you once meant to the world to Diana, and even me.I let you rest, because I saw you as my family. Yet you spit at me claiming I was wrong in striking down those who turned their backs on all of us. You know when I went to the Society and asked them where they were, they turned on me. Attacked me! The people that you say were our friends, attempted to kill me and strike me down right there. They forced my hand Connor. People like that I could not let live, and I could not let their powers go to those who might misuse them. So it was my responsibility to take on what they had disgraced. So tell me, boy, do you understand now, why I killed them.”
“Whatever it was, whatever your reason. The Kal-El I know would have never killed his friends. Regardless of their crimes.” Connor said in return, “I don’t know what happened to you Kal, but I know that you,” Connor pointed at the S on Superman’s chest, “Don’t deserve to wear this anymore.”
“Well if that is what you think,” Superman growled, “Then you can leave, and go back to Smallville and die like the old coward that you are.”
“What did you say to me!”
“I said no.” Connor said calmly, as he stood up straight, “I didn’t come back to fight for you. I came back to do a job. I came back because I found out that the people who are trying to destroy the world that I and my friends fought for are attempting to use the technology that was used to create me to make monsters whose only purpose is to destroy, and I’m not going to allow that to happen. I’m going to stop these rebels, and put an end to their plans. I’m going to re-establish order to his world, and unlike you. I won’t kill my friends in the process, and when I’m done, then I will go home knowing that I provided the people with a symbol of hope. Like you once did.” Connor turned around and began walking away, but before he walked through the gap where the door had once been he said, “Goodbye, Son of El.”
There was silence for a moment, until Superman brought both fists down on the desk crushing it.
“You little shit!” He roared, “How dare you talk to me like that! I’ll kill you!” Superman started to move forward, but he was stopped once again by Diana.
“Out of the way, Diana. I’m not going to take that from him!”
“Yes you are!” Diana spat back at him, “We have more important things to worry about, like finding our son!” Superman calmed himself, but the look of rage never left his face, “Besides, we can still use him. Connor doesn’t need to agree with out methods in order to carry out the task he has to do. Don’t worry though; we’ll keep an eye on him. Now calm yourself husband, and let’s get back to the matter at hand.”
“You’re right,” Let’s do that, Superman turned sharply and walked out of the room. Through an adjacent door that led into the next room. It was then that Diana turned to Dr. Veritas who had just finished observing the whole ordeal.
“Doctor, I want you to continue with your initial orders. Turn your attention to the rebel’s cloning efforts, and put a stop to it as soon as possible. Also in the meantime keep an eye on Connor, and be sure he doesn’t do anything, rash.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Doctor Veritas said giving a bow, as Diana exited the room following her husband. Doctor Veritas did her best to hide the smirk that was growing on her face. She had just witnessed what was said to be impossible. She just witnessed an act of insubordination and contempt against Superman, and the aggressor had actually just walked away. The very concept of it sent chills through the organic parts of Shay’s body. She turned and walked away grinning from ear to ear. It seemed like things were about to get very interesting.