By Delphic 15 Comments
About five months ago, I started writing for a group known as Corrupted. The whole idea behind Corrupted was pretty much as the title states that the Justice League became corrupted by the power they obtained after an event that left the United States without a government. In the near future, a group of rebels would rise up against this tyrannical regime and fight back against the tyrannical rule that held them in it's grasp. When I first had the idea for Kon-El, I wondered if there were still people from times long past who still had good in them in this Corrupted world. Thus the idea for Kon-El was born. A man who had given up the cape for a simple life must return and don the cape once again and fight for what he believes is right: peace. Here in this post I have collected the three initial chapters detailing Connor Kent's leaving and return to the good fight. Also collected in this volume is the short story "Little Corner of Smallville". I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Metropolis. The city of tomorrow. It was hard for Connor to look out across the beautiful city, with its towering skyscrapers, and down at the clean streets below. It was hard to believe that only a couple of weeks ago the city had been a battleground. The streets below had been littered with blood, and pieces of flesh belonging to friend and foe alike. It was enough to drive any hero insane, or make them want to run away.
Connor had not had a good night’s sleep since before the battle, and now when he tried to sleep he had nightmares. He could hear screams, feel the blood on his fingertips, and hear the voices of friends now dead pleading for him to save them. Many had died, and Connor knew he would forever be haunted by them.
He and a few others had tried desperately to stop them. Asked them to cease and desist to prevent further bloodshed, but it was in vain. Deathstroke had struck the first blow when he fired off three rounds at Superman. After that, everything happened so fast. He had seen Kara and Dinah butchered, Dick burned alive, and worst of all Tim bled out in Connor’s arms. Blood and screams were all that he could pull from the shredded remains of his memory.
When Connor looked back at the final reports; he could scarcely believe what he had done. His kill count had been massive. According to the reports, Sinestro, Black Manta, Sliver Banshee, Metallo, Cheetah, and many others had fallen to him, but Connor could barely remember any of it. He remembered seeing Cheetah plead for her life before he ripped her head from her sholders, but outside of that it was a blur. By the time it was over and Connor finally woke up, he could scarcely move, and he was holding a broken, but still breathing Cassie Sandsmark in his arms. For that one brief moment, he was thankful.
His hands though were covered in blood, and no matter how many times he washed them it seemed like the blood would not come out. Cassie, who was now in recovery, had sustained a few burns, a laceration on her right leg, and a broken arm, but she would not even look at him. She said that she had seen firsthand what he had done, and that for the first time in her life she was afraid of him. Even now she refused to see him.
In truth, he couldn’t even stand the sight of himself anymore. He refused to wear the ‘S’ because he felt like it didn’t fit him anymore. Connor just wanted all the pain and emptiness he was feeling to go away, he wanted to forget about it, but he knew he couldn’t do it in Metropolis and that was why he currently stood on the roof of the Daily Planet waiting. He was waiting for the only person he could think of to reach out to at the moment. Suddenly there was a slight change in the wind, and the person he had been waiting for had arrived.
“Took you long enough.” Connor said turning around and looking up into the face of the Man of Steel.
“You’ll have to forgive me. “ Superman said, “As you know there’s been a lot going on.”
“Yeah tell me about it.”
“Is Cassie still refusing to see you?” Superman asked, landing next to Connor, and leaning up against the side wall of the building.
“Yeah, how did you know?”
“Diana told me.”
“Oh, I see.” Connor replied. A moment of silence passed between them. Connor knew Clark had not been without his losses as well.
“So what did you want to talk to me about?” Superman asked, and after a brief moment Conner let out a sigh as he said.
“What?” Superman replied with a shocked tone.
“I can’t do this anymore Clark. Kara, Dick, and Tim. They’re all gone. I tried so hard to stop everything from happening, but I failed, and I got pulled right into it. Now I have blood on my hands.”
“We all have blood on our hands. Me, Diana, and even Cassie does.”
“Maybe you can live with that Clark, but I can’t. I can’t close my eyes without seeing their faces. The friends who died. Those I killed.” Connor spat a look of rage on his face before finally pausing and looking away and muttering under his breath, “Those who fear me. I still see Cheetah begging for mercy when I close my eyes. She was crying. Saying ‘please spare me’, but all I could think about was what she did to Tim. I loved the feeling of my hands around her face as I pulled, the sounds of her screams in the palm of my hand, and the sound of ripping skin and muscle as I took her head.” Connor said as he held his palms up looking down at them. “I loved it so much that I would do it again, and that scares me.”
Superman stood there, not saying anything, but just looking away.
“I’m sorry,” Connor sighed, “I forgot to ask. How are the wounds?”
“I’ll live.” Superman replied, “Look Connor, I understand what you’re going through. We’ve all had to do things in this fight that years ago we would have never dreamed of doing.” Superman walked up to Connor and placed his hands on the nineteen year olds shoulders. “Are you absolutely sure about this, about walking away from all of this? The world needs you.”
“Yes.” Connor replied. “I’m sure.”
“Then I guess you’re mind is made up. Do you know where you’re going to go from here?”
“Yeah, I thought about going back to Smallville, and maybe fixing up the old place. Living the rest of my days out there in peace, you know?”
Superman let out a short laugh, “That doesn’t sound too bad. Will you take Cassie with you?” Connor was silent for a moment, but finally replied.
“No. She can’t stand to see me right now; besides, she’s better off without me.”
“So you’re going to end it?”
“Yeah, I guess I am. It’s too bad though. I really saw a future before, but now…”
“It’s alright Connor, I understand. Do you know when are you leaving?”
“First thing in the morning.” Connor replied “I have to pack a few more things first, and I have to figure out how I’m going to tell Cass.”
“Alright. If you do this though, I have one condition.” Superman said causing Connor too look at him with a puzzled look, “Swing by the Fortress and pick up Krypto. I’m not there as much these days, and he’s been spending too much time alone. I think some wide open spaces would do him some good. Just promise me you’ll take care of him for me.”
“You bet.” Connor smiled, and held out his hand. Superman smiled back, and took the boy’s hand.
“Goodbye Connor.” Superman said, shaking the boy’s hand in friendship, for the last time.
Thirty years. It had been thirty years since Metropolis. Thirty years since a majority of the world’s heroes and villains were wiped out in one bloody conflict. Thirty years since the world suddenly went in a new direction. Thirty years since the man who was once known as the Superboy, turned his back on the world to choose a life of peace and humility.
Connor Kent took in a deep breath of fresh air as he stepped out onto the front porch of his home. It was a beautiful day in the Midwestern plain. The sun was just beginning to rise up over the horizon. The roosters rose up out of their pens and began to crow, and Connor could hear the flutter of wings as birds in the dogwood set out in front of the house took to the air to search for their morning meal. Connor wished he could just remain standing and watch as the Sun rose to begin the day, but he had responsibilities, and he had seen many a sunrise in his lifetime, so he stepped off the porch to begin the days work.
Life on the farm had been somewhat of a blessing for Connor. In many ways Smallville had been untouched by the hands of time. It was still a small rural community where many of the people knew one another. Most of the people tended to be fairly nice, and usually greeted you with a smile, but like any place there was always the occasional grumbler or someone that wanted to stir up trouble. Overall though, it was a nice place for a person seeking rest from the world.
Connor’s role in the town had been that of an unassuming citizen. Most days he worked the farm, and some days he would sit in on the occasional town meeting. He attended Thursday night book club at the local library, and often caught the eyes of the local single women, much to his discomfort sometimes. He even attended church on Sundays despite not really believing in the sermons, but he loved the sound of the old hymns sung by the choir, and he loved the sense of community. Most of them knew of Connor too, and he often would help out if any of them needed something.
For a fifty year old man living alone, Connor had to admit that he wasn’t doing so badly. Then again if he had told anyone that he was fifty years old, they would have never believed him. He had a little bit of gray in his hair and beard, but not enough to really notice. Also the fact that he had the body of a twenty year old body builder that was six foot tall and two hundred twenty pounds made it even harder to believe.
The Kryptonian DNA in his system is what made him that way. His cells would soak up the sunlight, and that gave him an advanced healing factor which kept him fit and healthy. It also caused him to not physically age as fast. The human side of him still felt some of the signs of old age. His joints and back did ache a little and his eyesight, though still better than most humans his age, was not what it used to be.
Growing old had not been without its perks though. Connor had the growing suspicion that some of his Kryptonian abilities had grown. He felt like he could lift more, hold his breath for much longer, and move at faster speeds than he could when he was a teenager. Then again his DNA structure was constantly in flux, so it was never certain what was going on with him internally.
After a couple hours the animals were fed, eggs were gathered from the coop, the cow was milked, and the horse stall was cleaned. If he had wished he could have probably finished all of it in just a few seconds, but he liked taking his time. It helped to put things in perspective, which was that he was still part human, and sometimes being Super didn’t mean rushing through the small things, but more so appreciating them.
The only problem with that perspective was that it was still a lie. He was Kon-El, the Superboy, and no matter how hard he tried, he knew he couldn’t run away from it. Sometimes he fooled himself into thinking that maybe the world had forgotten about who he once was, but on days like today, he knew just how foolish such a thought really was.
He had noticed her out of the corner of his eye at first, as a black dot on the horizon, but once he focused, he could easily make out the form of belonging to the Queen of the new world order. He wasn’t expecting any visitors today, least of all Wonder Woman.
As she touched down near him his gaze met hers. He had to admit for a woman well into her seventies, she was still very beautiful. The gray in her hair was less noticeable than his own, and where most women her age were wrinkled and frail, Diana was the exact opposite, still sporting the physicality that most Amazon women in their prime were known for. He supposed being the daughter of Zeus had a lot to do with that. She was dressed in her traditional outfit of the red and blue with the headdress, bracelets and eagle emblem adorning her chest; however, it had sustained some changes over the years. She had pants now. Connor could still remember the days that Diana sported a one piece swimsuit as a battle harness. He still couldn’t quite tell if that had been a ploy to deceive her opponents, or if it was the Amazons ignorance in what they perceived as how women presented themselves in America at the time. Regardless of her outfit though, some part of him was still happy to see her.
“Hello Connor,” Diana said smiling at him in greeting.
“Hello Diana,” Connor replied, “How are you?”
“I’m doing well, I see you’ve been busy” She said while looking around at the farm.
“Please, it hasn’t changed that much since you last were here. The horses have done more to the place than I have since then.” Connor retorted, causing her to chuckle a little.
“No I guess it hasn’t changed much; although, that was nearly fourteen years ago now.”
“So what brings you out here this time?” Connor said as he set his tools down, and wiped his hands on the handkerchief that he had pulled from his back pocket.
“Cutting to the chase pretty quick aren’t we?” Diana retorted holding her hands out in a jesting manner.
“We’ll I don’t get a lot of visitors, outside of a couple folks. It’s even rarer that I get visitors from outside of Smallville, and normally they want something other than to just catch up on old times. I mean, why else would anybody want to bother an old war veteran living out in the middle of nowhere?”
“Because he’s needed.” Diana answered, changing her tone. Connor easily picked up on the serious nature, and new right away that apparently something was going on.
“What’s happened?” Connor asked as he knelt down to pick a dandelion, and trying to act like he wasn’t really interested.
“Pretty much what you see in the news.” Diana replied, crossing her arms, “The rebels are causing a lot of trouble, and the people are becoming more zealous in protesting Kal’s policies.”
“Then perhaps he should change them?”
“Connor, you know it’s not that simple. The world is still in chaos, and you know Kal is the only one who can bring order to the world. As world leader he is constantly caught up in bureaucratic matters. He rarely even steps out of the White House anymore. The people have no one to really look up to anymore, and as a result their losing faith in what we are trying to achieve.”
Connor let out a sigh as he stood up, and dusted off his coveralls that he normally wore around the farm. He thought about Superman and the world he had left behind. Not long after he had first emerged from the cloning tubes at Cadmus, it didn’t take him long to see what Superman was doing. He was bringing about peace, and wiping out a criminal element that had caused so many deaths. He believed in a vision for a better world, and he knew without a doubt that if anyone could pull it off, it would be Superman; however, though he believed in Superman’s dream it was something he had left behind a long time ago, along with many other things.
“What do you want from me?” Connor asked.
“We…” Diana paused for a moment, considering her words, “I want you to come back to Metropolis, and serve as the symbol of Superman to the people.”
“The answer is no.” Connor replied without pausing for a breath.
“Connor, please think about this!” Diana pleaded.
“No! I left that place years ago, because the world didn’t need someone like me in it. You know what I did that day. The world doesn’t need a loose cannon serving as Superman’s symbol.”
“Connor that was thirty years ago, and you had just witnessed your best friend die. Anyone would have lashed out in anger after witnessing that.”
“Clark wouldn’t.” he exclaimed, but Diana glared right back at him.
“I think we both know that’s a lie.” Diana countered. There was a brief moment of silence between them, as Connor thought about what Diana said. Connor himself had seen Superman’s rage first hand many times. Sometimes it had even been him that had calmed the man of steel down from fits of rage. “Look Connor, I don’t want to argue, and the choice is still yours, but I don’t want you to say no without really considering just what it is I’m asking of you.”
“Alright,” Connor said throwing his hands up, “Go ahead say what you need to say.”
“Metropolis is one of the cities that we are losing the fastest.” Diana revealed, “There are more and more riots every day. The jails are crammed full, the people are complaining about how we aren’t paying any attention to them and how they don’t feel safe. The rebels are gaining more and more leeway over the city every day. The Hawkmen have done their best to enforce the law, but they have been unable to bring these criminals to justice. They’re destroying the city, and it’s because we have no-one operating in the city as a fixed agent that’s willing to take risks. The city needs the Man of Tomorrow, but it can’t be Kal anymore, it has to be you.”
“I left Metropolis and came here to Smallville for a reason. I don’t even know if I could go back.”
“Of course you could Connor. Yes, you will have to face a lot of your own personal demons; I won’t deny that. If you come back though, serve as a symbol to these people, and show them that its government hasn’t forgotten them, then perhaps you can defeat those demons and maybe give your mind some peace. You’re not going to find it by running away, and tending crops. That’s not you.”
Connor didn’t bother to reply, but simply remained there silent and taking in all Diana had to say. She was right after all. He had come to Smallville to get away from all the killing, but he could still remember everything that had happened like it was yesterday. Tim gasping for air as he drowned in his own blood. The weight of Cheetah’s head in his hands. Cassie’s lingering silence as he left her room after breaking up with her. It was all still there when he closed his eyes.
“Listen, if you still need convincing, I have one last piece of information to give you.” Diana reached around and pulled something from her waist band, and held it out to Connor. Connor recognized it immediately as a Mother Box. Mother Boxes were very powerful sentient computers that were once used by the New Gods. These days every prominent member of the League, and the various heads of the Hawkmen legions had one. Each one was different though, with varying capabilities. Obviously the heads of the League would have ones that were the most capable.
“This mother box contains all the information we’ve gathered thus far on the rebels operating in Metropolis. We’ve discovered that they’ve been using old Cadmus cloning specs in some of their labs.”
Suddenly Connor’s eyes went wide as he looked up at Diana. “You’re kidding!” Connor exclaimed, hardly able to believe what he had just heard.
“I only wish I were.” Diana crossed her arms, “So far we haven’t seen them accomplish anything, but if they do, I hate to imagine what they will do with it.”
Connor was dumbstruck. He thought all the Cadmus files had been destroyed long ago. The idea of an army of abominations soaring through the skies caused a sick feeling to rise up in his gut. If the rebels really had the ability to create more super clones like him, it would be a complete disaster. Hundreds would die, entire cities would crumble. Connor agreed that something like this had to be prevented from ever happening, but was he really the one to do it? He just didn’t know.
“I’m going to have a look at this,” Connor said holding up the Mother Box, “Do you mind giving me some time to think this over?”
“Of course,” Diana nodded, “, but need to know your decision within twenty four hours; try to understand that we need someone in Metropolis now.”
“I promise that I’ll let you know as soon as I can.” Connor replied. Diana started to lift off to fly away when Connor called out to her again, “Diana wait a second!”
“What is it?” Diana replied
“How’s Lyla doing?”
“She’s doing well, as a matter of fact she’s close to wiping out the remaining resistance in Bialya, and she should return back home soon.”
“That’s good to hear.” Connor said breathing a sigh of relief. “Anyway, I’ll get back to you about this other.”
“Thank you, Connor. I really appreciate this. I’ll talk to you soon.” Diana waved and then turned around before flying off, and leaving Connor behind to stir in his thoughts. Connor who had planned to go out to the fields and work, decided to instead put the tools back away and go into the house.
Once inside he sat down at the table and placed the Mother Box down on top of it.
“Show me.” Connor said to the mother box, and suddenly a hologram appeared before him showing him all the information he needed to know. As he looked over it all he reached up, and rubbed his eyes. It was a lot to take in all at once, and Connor had no idea where to start.
It had been a long time since Connor had been here, but he knew the streets of Metropolis as if it were only yesterday. In a way, it was very surreal because being in the city felt in a way a lot like looking at an old photograph. That feeling you get when you see the picture, and start reminiscing the good old days, but you know those so called good old days are in the past, and will never return. The thing was he had returned though, and it made him feel very uneasy. He had a job to do though.
Connor stepped into the main hall, of the Themysciran embassy. A long time ago the embassy had been used to spread the Themysciran culture to the rest of the world, but it had long since been converted into an operations center for the league. It stayed busy with people coming in and out of it. Most of them government employees, and leaders of the Hawkmen Corps. He looked around for a familiar face, or hopeful some sort of notification of where to go. Then he spotted a young woman walking up to him. She looked familiar too him, but he couldn’t quite place her. She had very exotic tastes in style and attire. Her outfit looked almost alien in nature, and her violet hair draped down past her shoulders. She held a tablet in her hand and was looking through it, seemingly not paying attention to her surroundings, but somehow she managed to move through the crowd with ease.
“Nice of you to join us Mr. Kent.” The woman said, “If you would please come with me, we have been waiting for you.”
“Uh, sure. No problem.” Connor replied, falling in behind the woman. She took him upstairs away from the main hall and through some double doors at the top. As he followed behind her, he couldn’t help, but shake the strange feeling of Déjà vu. He knew he had seen this woman before, but he just couldn’t place her name. He opened his mouth to speak, when suddenly they stopped at a set of large double doors, with a lock next to it.
“We’re here.” She said while pulling her badge from around her neck and swiping it through the card slot. There was a loud click and the door swung open. Inside there was a large computer monitor, with what appeared to be dossiers all across them. There were a few Hawkmen, and some other people moving about in the room, but standing right in front of the monitor was none other than Wonder Woman herself.
Diana turned around at the sound of the doors swinging open, and her face broke out into a smile.
“Ah, Connor, I’m glad you could make it. I hope the trip wasn’t too hard.” She said.
“The trip was fine, but your guards at the front door caused me a little trouble.” He laughed,
“I see. I’ll see that they are properly taken care of when this is done.” She said, shocking Connor slightly.
“They were just doing their job. No trouble really.”
“I hold my guard to a higher standard than any others under my command. Even you. They should know when an arrival is official or not. Now I will hear no more of it.”
“Alright fine, Anyway, I do have a couple things I want let known before I do this job.”
“And those are?”
“No press and no costumes. You said you needed an agent, not a Superhero, and I believe if we take that approach then things should go a lot smoother.”
“Very well, I see no problem with that. Now perhaps we can get down to business?” She asked, and Connor nodded. Diana started typing into the console, and brought up a gallery of pictures. It appeared to be an underground bunker of some kind, but it had tables all around, some turned over. The place was littered with all kinds of lab equipment. In the center of the room were three large tubes. Two of them had bodies floating in them, which were shriveled up and deformed. The other tube had been broken, but one of the pictures showed the former occupant on a stretcher. The body was so warped that it didn’t even look human.
“These are from the assault on the terrorist cloning facility that we made a few weeks back. As you can see they haven’t been successful, but their progress here suggests that they don’t have much standing in their way. DNA testing on the husks has shown to have Kryptonian DNA, but we don’t really know how the rebels managed to get ahold of it. We have assumed that they are using your old genetic structure.” Diana explained to Connor, who remained silent starring at the images.
“We have obtained documents from the facility that lead us to believe there are other labs like this one.” Diana continued, “Your job is to find them and destroy them.”
“Any idea where to start?” Connor asked,
“That will be up to you and Doctor Veritas here.” Diana said motioning toward the woman who had come in with Connor, and suddenly Connor remembered who the woman was.
Doctor Shay Veritas was at one point in time Clark’s personal doctor. Since he had been Kryptonian, he couldn’t exactly have gone down to the local clinic for a checkup. Luckily, Dr. Veritas was an expert in Xenobiology, and she had helped Clark many times. Connor had met her once, many years ago when a battle with a villain had messed up his genetic structure, and it had been thanks to Dr. Veritas that he had been cured. Had it not been for her, he probably would not have been alive today. One thing surprised him though, about the Doctor. She had seemingly not aged a day, but as far as Connor knew the doctor was human. It would be something he would have to ask her about later.
“There is one other thing Connor.” Diana said, causing Connor to shift his attention back to Diana. “You’re secondary objective will be to find the leader of this operation an eliminate him. On most of the terrorist we have a decent amount of information, but this one has avoided us.” Diana brought up a data file. Normally these dossiers were accompanied by a picture, but this time there was only a grey box.
“They call him the Outsider.” Diana informed him, “It’s very rare that anyone sees him. Rumor has it, most that have don’t live to tell the tale. The only real evidence we have of his involvement is this recording.” Diana clicked a button on the console and an audio file opened up. The voice that spoke belonged to a male, but something was wrong, because he sounded half crazed.
“You think you can stop him? Haha, no one can stop him. You can’t lock him in a cell, or crush him like everyone else. You can’t derange him. Haha! You all have no hope! He’s an ideal. A symbol to us all. He…He’s the wrath of mankind and he will bring in the new age of the world. Long live the Outsider!”
Suddenly the tape stopped, and Connor looked at Diana who had a look of concern on his face.
“That was taken inside the lab. One of the technicians working on the clones was left behind. We found him half crazed, and he shot himself before we could take him into custody.” Diana explained. Connor started to feel like he was already in too deep. This was war he was dealing with, and though he knew he was coming into that scenario, the grim reality of it was enough to shake any sane man to the core. It wasn’t the death or pain caused by this Outsider fellow, and it wasn’t that the labs were an abomination. What mattered were the people still alive. The people that needed saving and Connor knew that in order to save those people, the war must end, and for the war to end, people like the Outsider needed to be stopped.
Suddenly, the room went dark and red flood lights came on, and alarms began blaring throughout the building. Diana was the first to move in the room. Pressing the comlink on the console.
"Status report!" She demanded.
"There have been multiple attacks across the country ma'am. At least twelve confirmed right here in Metropolis." There was a pause for a moment, "Dear god, the terrorists are attacking medical facilities."
"Raise the forces, get the Hawkmen mobilized. If the terrorists, want war this badly then we'll bring the fight to them."
"Ma'am, reports just in. The white house is under attack as well!"
"What!?" Diana's shrieked, "Bring me up a visual!" As soon as she commanded it a live feed was brought up on the view screen. The white house was on fire, Connor could make out what looked like several others moving at speeds he had only seen Wally and Bart accomplish. The skies were filled with Hawkmen, all concentrating attacks on two men. Connor recognized one as Black Adam, but the other looked like Captain Marvel.
"What the hell? Why is Billy fighting against us?" He wondered. Connor looked over at Diana who had a slightly panicked look on her face. She had a son in the midst of all that, and he knew full well what if felt like to have a child in the midst of battle. Not knowing the well-being of your kid was worse than most tortures. He also knew that she didn't need to be here. So much for not making a public appearance.
"Diana, Go!" Connor said, putting a hand on Diana's shoulder, "I'll take care of things here. When I'm finished I'll join you in Washington."
"Alright, just make sure you come back alive. I didn't go through all the trouble of bringing you back just so you could die before you even start to make a difference." Diana said, and then turned to Dr. Vertias, and started to speak to her. Connor didn't stand around to listen to their conversation. Instead he stormed out of the room, down to and out the main hall onto the streets. To the people, looking on it would have seemed that he only stood out in the open for only a brief second, but for Connor it was an eternity.
As he closed his eyes and focused on his other senses, the world seemed to slow down so much that the movement of the polar ice caps would have seemed like a blink in time. He felt the sun's rays wash over him, and the Kryptonian part of him awaken. He clenched his hand into a fist, and flexed his muscles feeling them tense like never before. He could hear everything, people's screams, the sounds of ripping metal, and the clatter of boots on the ground as they moved at speeds that no normal man or woman should. He opened his eyes.
"I see them." He said under his breath, and in what seemed like only a blink of an eye Connor set himself free. He took off flying through the air at speeds that were faster than he had ever gone. He had little time though. Clinics were being destroyed every few seconds. People running and hiding from the chaos would have only seen a flash suddenly followed by a great thunderous sound and a gush of powerful wind that broke windows and blew over cars. People would stumble, some would fall, women would scream at the sudden change in the air. They had no way of knowing what was now soaring through their skies.
Connor was approaching the first clinic, and could see the first of the rebels. A young man, wearing a suit. Frictionless. Designed to increase speed and reduce wind resistance. He never saw Connor coming.
Connor drew back and slammed his fist into the speedsters jaw, stopping his motion and sending him tumbling down the street in front of the clinic. He heard every bone crack as the sudden change in momentum, and unforgiving force of gravity slammed him repeatedly into the pavement like a stone being skipped across the surface of water. Connor paused long enough to make sure that he had misjudged the hit. People were fragile, like cardboard. They were so easily broken, but Connor was not here to break them, but repair them. He listened, and could hear the man's heart beat, and slow wheezing breaths. He would need medical help soon.
"Oh my god!" Connor heard, and looked up to see himself surround by three other men similarly dressed as the rebel he had just defeated. "He just took out Harv, but how man! We're moving too fast. Can't no one hit us!"
"Holy shit, man!" Another one said, "It's him! It has to be. Look at his face!"
"Shut your pie hole!" The one Connor assumed was the leader said, "Ain't no way he's the big S. Probably just some new hyped up recruit. We can take him. No way he can stop the three of us."
"I suggest you cease what you are doing," Connor barked, "Leave this place, you're hurting innocent people. On my word your friend will receive medical treatment, but stop any further action now. Take your forces and leave, or so help me I will crush every single one of you."
"Good luck with that, you tyrannt! Come on boys let's get him!" The three speedsters took off toward him, but the moved so slow. Too slow. They took up a circular formation moving around Connor at speeds matching hurricane force winds. Fools.
Focusing on the heels of one of them, he sped up the molecules on the suit and just on the edge of his skin. Heating them up, and causing one of the speedsters to scream out and crash to the ground and curl up cradling his burning limb. Connor reached up and grabbed the leader by the neck and slammed face first into the ground. He was out within seconds. One left
Connor was almost too late. The last one saw what happened to his teammates, and fear had run through him faster than he was moving. He was brave though, and had taken off through the clinic doors as fast as he could. He was about to slam his first through the main operation console for the purple ray machine, when he suddenly stopped.
Connor grabbed him by the shoulder and turned him around. The boy's eyes were wide in shock. Connor smirked, and held up a finger wagging it back in forth in a disapproving gesture. He then rose up his fist, preparing to strike,
"OH GOD PLEASE NO! DON'T KILL ME!" The boy screamed, as Connor's fist raced towards him, but only stopped just in front of his face. Then Connor thumped him. Thumped him hard enough that it cracked his helmet, and caused his eyes to roll in the back of his head, and pass out. Connor dropped him to the floor, and heard people start to come out of hiding. Connor stood there, and raised his hands up looking at them. He felt strong, and thrilled like he hadn't in years. He had forgotten, just how good it felt, and just why he became a hero in the first place. Then he picked up the sounds across the city. There were fifty seven medical clinics in Metropolis. Twenty had already been hit, twenty four were in the process of being attacked, and the remainder hadn't been attacked yet, but Connor could hear the boots fast approaching.
He couldn't waist time any longer. The rebels weren't going to stop. Drawing on his strength he soared out the front door of the clinic. Moving as fast has he could push himself. All he could see were faces, and the boots of the rebels as he tripped, punched, burned, and froze in place one rebel member after another. It finally ended in city square, where Connor stood holding the last member of the rebel attack force on Metropolis. The rebel fainted, and Connor finally slowed himself down long enough to get a grasp of his surroundings.
"Oh-no." he muttered as he looked around. There were crowds of people. Hawkmen stood still either hovering in mid-air or looking up at him. The jumbo screens all had his face, there were so many cameras, all looking up at him.
Suddenly the crowd erupted into cheers and applause. Connor stood there, froze in the moment, unsure of what to do, until one of the Hawkmen approached him.
"Sir," He said gestured toward the fainted rebel Connor was holding. Connor hesitated for a moment. A little unsure of what to do, but he took a breath and looked at the Hawkmen with a glare of authority.
"Round them up," Connor said tossing the rebel to the Hawkman, "Have your men search the city, and arrest any stragglers. I have to get to Washington. There's a lot of work to do still."
"Yes, sir" He replied and took the rebel away, and began briefing the other Hawkmen on what to do. Connor looked at the cheering crowd one last time, before looking to the sky and taking off. He wasn't sure how he heard the voice of one little girl over that entire crowd, but nevertheless her words rang clear in his ears.
"Mommy, Mommy, look! It's Superman!" the little girl piped. Connor didn't really know how to take that statement, but for some reason, he couldn't stop from smiling.
Notes from the Author: When I first wrote this I had intended it to be part of my Corrupted story, but I cut it out because I felt it didn't really fit with the story I wanted to tell. Despite cutting it out this piece still meant a great deal to me, because in many ways this is a part of my life, and I feel it wouldn't be right to let this sit in a file on my desktop. So without further ado, I present...
Little Corner of Smallville
Smallville, Jun 19, 2034 4:32 PM
Connor took a deep breath as he looked at the old Kent farmhouse. In truth it had seen much better days. The paint was peeling, a couple of the windows were broken, the back porch had fallen in, the doors were boarded shut, and not to mention the grass was at least waist high. The barn was now a really a large pile of burnt wood, which was the result of a lightning bolt strike that had happened a few years ago.
Before Metropolis, Connor remembered how Kal-El often talked of fixing the place up in his spare time, but the only problem was that he was Superman, and Superman didn’t have spare time. The good news for him though was that a retired Connor Kent had all the time in the world. Connor knew he had a lot of work cut out, and a long life ahead, but despite that he couldn’t help but smile. For the first time in many days he felt like some of the burden had been lifted.
A whimper came from around his knees, and Connor looked down to meet the longing eyes of his newly adopted, yet longtime friend, Krypto the Superdog.
“What’s the matter boy?” Connor said to the dog as he knelt down and patted him on the head. The dog merely whimpered more in reply, and then moved his head slightly before he started to lick Connor’s face. Connor quickly pulled away, and laughed.
“Don’t worry okay.” Connor said while rubbing the dog’s head slightly, “It doesn’t look like much now, but before you know it, I think this will be a good home for the both of us.” Krypto let out a bark and began to pant, and Connor smiled.
“You know what boy. With you and me, I bet we may just be able to pull this off.
30 Years Later…
Connor hadn’t been sleeping much for the past few days, but this time around it wasn’t nightmares that were keeping him up, but instead a sense of responsibility that fueled the restless nights. He had only slightly dozed off, but Connor could tell it was time and he would not be going back to sleep. He stood up and walked slowly over to the bathroom, turned on the sink and splashed some cold water onto his face. When he looked into the mirror placed over the sink, it was no longer a young boy looking back at him.
Connor was pushing 50 years old now, but for what Earth considered old did not appear that old to Connor. In truth he looked like a human who was just starting to hit thirty. His hair still had color, but the gray was showing, and he had grown a full beard which was showing gray as well. Physically speaking though, it was as if he had the body of a person in their mid-twenties. He still stood tall and his frame was still muscular and toned, of course being part Kryptonian had a lot to do with why he looked the way he did.
Connor remained standing there for a few moments, staring back into his reflection. He didn’t want to move, but he knew what he had to do, so he took a deep breath and closed his eyes focusing in on a particular sound with his Super-hearing. It was a quiet night in the Kent house. In the house, Connor could only hear the sound of two hearts beating, one a lot slower than it used to be. He took one hand, ran it through his hair, and sighed deeply. It would do him no good to beat around the bush any longer. He had made a promise after all.
Moving with a steady stride he left the bathroom, and began to descend the stairs that led into the living room. From the living room he could see the Kitchen, which still had its light on. The sound emanating from it caused a lump to rise up in Connor’s throat. He wanted to turn back, because he didn’t want to see what lay beyond that door frame, but after all, he had made a promise.
He let his feet do the work, with each heavy foot fall bringing him one step closer to what lay in the Kitchen. Within what seemed like forever, he finally stepped into the Kitchen. In the floor, lying on his bed was Krypto. His chest heaved heavily as if each and every breath he took was more painful than any hit he had ever taken from any villain. His heart beat which rung like thunder in Connor’s ears, began to have longer and longer spaces with each passing beat.
The dog had grown frighteningly thin, his fur was discolored and crimped. His eyes were wide open darting from left to right around the room, full of fear. His lips began to curl inward causing his teeth to show, and his tongue stuck out sideways in between the gaps.
It took everything Connor had to make that next step, as he moved over to the dog and sat down into the floor next to him. Connor picked the dog’s head up and laid it in his lap. He brought his hands down and fixed the dogs lips to where the fangs wouldn’t dig into them. Krypto looked up at Connor, with eyes longing for mercy and relief.
“It’s okay boy,” Connor said, his tone shaky. “I’m here now.”
Krypto let out a half whimper and brought one trembling leg to rest on Conner’s leg. Connor ran his hand down the dog’s side, rubbing him gently.
“You don’t have to fight anymore boy. You’ve done an amazing job. All that’s left now is to let go, I’ll be all right. Don’t be scared okay, because I’m not going anywhere.” Krypto’s eyes seemed to change at that point. They were no longer filled with fear, but instead a look of thankfulness and acceptance. Kyrpto moved his head and laid it flat on Connor’s lap, no longer looking up into his face. Connor remained there holding the dog and petting him until there was only one heart left beating in his little corner of Smallville.
In Memory of B.C.
Rest in Peace Old Friend.