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Mr. Beeto
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Long Live the Movieverse

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Location: Warren, Michigan, USA
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Family Reunion - 3/?
Aug 13th, 2008 at 10:57pm
 
Title: Family Reunion
Author: Mr. Beeto 
Rating: PG-13
Beta: htbthomas and Shado Librarian
Summary: AU Twist on Donner/Singer Movieverse: Tie the three films together into a cohesive whole, and provide a more credible and interesting reason for Superman to have returned to Krypton.

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Author’s Notes:

Well, I promised a better reason for Superman to back to Krypton. I always thought the the premise from Superman Returns about astronomers finding Krypton was weak. (1) It's too far away, in another galazy, according to the first film, and (2) If they could see it, it would be Krypton of the distant past, and (3) To go there because, well, because it's there? C'mon! Anyway, here's my better reason, and my extreme AU twist on the Movievese. As always, my thanks again to the beta team of htbthomas and Shado Librarian.

Chapter 3 – Distress Call

Thursday, September 7, 2000 10:30AM

The interaction between Lois Lane and Clark Kent seemed to be back to normal, though Clark wasn’t quite as cheerful as before. Their joint byline graced the front page of the Daily Planet that morning, which pacified Perry somewhat. He had been pushing for an exclusive interview that would explain Superman’s dramatic increase in activity, and Lois was his best shot at that. However, the Man of Steel wasn’t answering her calls from the roof. Perry had asked about it again at that morning’s staff meeting.

In the meantime, Lois and Clark were pursuing the gang leads that Clark’s alter ego had turned up. “Your source doesn’t think this one is local?” Lois questioned.

Clark shook his head. “It’s an opportunistic crime. Intergang’s taking the heat, and a lot of their crews are being watched, so this competitor from L.A. thinks he can move in.”

“Any idea who the competitor is?” Lois asked thoughtfully.

“Not with certainty,” Clark admitted. “The L.A. detective who knows the gangs from that area the best isn’t known for a good relationship with the press. He thinks the press has given his department a raw deal, glorifying alleged police abuses and ignoring all that they’ve done to bring the gangs under control. He won’t return my calls.”

“Give me the number,” Lois answered. “I’ll try.”

After Clark handed Lois a post-it note with the phone number, he was distracted by a hypersonic sound similar to what Lex Luthor had used to lure Superman into his kryptonite trap three years earlier. However, this time it was the voice of Jor-El that he heard, rather than Lex Luthor. “Kal-El, we have an emergency. Please return to the Fortress at once… Kal-El, we have an emergency. Please return to the Fortress at once…”

After a quick glance to make sure that Lois was preoccupied with her phone call, Clark slipped out of the bullpen, and exited through the roof of an empty elevator, leaving a sonic boom in his wake as he sped North.

-o-o-o-


Kal-El scanned the Fortress with his hearing and vision before entering, and though empty, he detected crystal growth activity from the rear of the fortress. He entered and apprehensively called out, “Father?”

“You’re finally here,” Jor-El noted. “Good, we have much to do.”

“What’s the emergency?” Superman asked, “And why are those crystals growing over there?”

“We’ve received a distress call from my brother, Zor-El,” Jor-El informed him. “His ship’s departure was delayed, and they were caught in the shockwave from the supernova. Though they survived, the ship was disabled, and power reserves were depleted by the energy required to shield them from the blast.”

“Where are they now?” Kal-El asked, eyes wide in disbelief.

“If my calculations are correct, they are approximately two and one-half light years from where Krypton’s Sun once was,” Jor-El informed him. “You’ll need to go on a rescue mission.”

“What are our odds?” Kal-El asked. “You told me that it took my ship nearly thirty-eight hundred years to reach Earth. Can they survive that long?”

“No,” Jor-El answered simply. “In fact, power reserves were so low that the adults aboard sacrificed themselves so that there would be sufficient power to keep your cousin, Kara, alive…”

“Sacrificed?” Kal-El interrupted, stunned. “They survived the nova just to take their own lives?”

“The alternative would have been worse,” Jor-El explained. “Either Zor-El and Allura had to sacrifice themselves so that Kara would live, or none of them would have survived. It was a simple mathematical calculation. No other Faster Than Light civilization in the twenty-eight galaxies explored by Kryptonians could have arrived in time. You were the only alternative, despite the distance and the knowledge that you wouldn’t be able to respond for several thousand years. However, the energy required to maintain life support for that period was only sufficient to sustain one of them. They chose life for their daughter.”

“How did they choose life for her if the reserves won’t last long enough to get there?” Kal-El asked forlornly.

“We’ll grow a faster ship for your trip back.”

“I don’t understand,” Kal-El admitted..

“Kal-El, as you know, the council refused to consider my evidence of our sun’s instability,” Jor-El explained. “They accused me of trying to provoke panic and insurrection by warning others of my results. I was under virtual house arrest, and the best that I could manage to save you without arousing their attention was an escape pod, which is a much slower vehicle than a proper Kryptonian ship. That’s also why your mother and I could not accompany you here. A proper ship, like the one now growing behind me, will make the same trip in approximately three years.”

“Three years each way?” Clark inquired.

“That is correct,” Jor-El confirmed. “Get your affairs in order. You’ll depart in thirty hours, when the ship’s growth is complete.”

Six years! Kal-El thought. “Can’t we send an unmanned ship to get her?” he wondered.

“Not enough is known about the circumstances,” Jor-El clarified patiently. “We know what the ship's condition was when the message was recorded, and what the expected conditions would be. However, circumstances could have changed over the millennia, and would require us to actively search them out or make ad hoc adjustments to the rescue plan. If you do not go, our odds of successfully retrieving Kara are greatly diminished.”

He lowered his head, nodding his acquiescence and his thoughts turned to Lois. Despite the current prohibition on their relationship, he had clung to the slim hope that they might someday find a way to be together. I don’t want to leave you again, he lamented. But I can’t ask you to wait six years for me. I’ve lost you all over again.

-o-o-o-


Thursday, September 7, 2000 12:30PM

Perry White surprised Clark by insisting on taking him to lunch when he’d offered his resignation. He now found himself sitting across from his editor at Adrian’s Ristorante, an upscale Italian restaurant near the Planet. “Think about what you’re doing, son,” Perry implored him sympathetically. “I understand that you’re going through some things personally, but I don’t think packing it in and exploring the world is the right answer.”

“I’m sorry, Perry, but this is something I have to do,” Clark explained somberly. “I will miss this… and the people.”

“How long do you expect to be gone on this world tour, ‘finding yourself’?” Perry inquired.

“I’ll have enough to get me by for up to six years,” Clark revealed.

“That’s a long time to be away from the business,” Perry pointed out. “Are you sure you don’t want to at least take some time to consider the pros and cons of this?”

“I already have,” Clark informed him. “I have to go. I’m sorry for the short notice, but…”

Perry acknowledged the younger man’s statement with a nod. “Well, normally quitting on such short notice would make you ineligible for rehire, but I’ll take care of that. That doesn’t mean you’ll get your old job back when you get sick of seeing the world, but we’ll at least be able to consider the option.”

“Thank you, Perry,” Clark told him sincerely. “I really do appreciate that.”

“Have you told Lois, yet?” Perry asked. He chuckled at Clark’s wide-eyed expression, and commented, “Well, you can tell her that she won’t have to worry about you scooping her in the near future.”

“Thanks for the tip,” Clark answered quietly.

-o-o-o-


Friday, September 8, 2000 – 3:00PM CDT

Martha Kent stood embracing her son in their west field. Finally finding her voice, Martha asked, “So, Kara’s seven?”

“Yes,” Clark confirmed. “She was seven when Krypton’s sun went nova.”

“And she’ll still be seven when you get back?” Martha inquired. “Six years from now.”

“She’ll still be seven,” Clark acknowledged. “She’s in deep stasis – basically frozen in time. I won’t revive her until we get back here.”

Martha again pulled the picture of Kara from her pocket. “She’s a pretty little girl,” she commented. “Thank you for bringing her pictures to me.” She pondered the picture silently for a moment before she continued, “Well, I’ve got her size now, too, so I’ll have some clothes waiting for her. Oh, and I’ll order home-schooling materials for K through 2 so she can catch up to the other kids in school.”

“Mom…” Clark started. “There’ll be time for that when we get back.”

“Do you have to leave so soon?” Martha asked tearfully.

“The timing is going to be close enough as it is,” Clark informed her sadly. “We don’t have more that a few hours margin of error before her ship runs out of power for life support… You have all of my power of attorney forms now, and… and Ben Hubbard said he’d help out if you need it. I expect he’ll check in from time to time.”

“Have you told your friends about your plans?” Martha probed.

Clark sighed deeply before answering. “I got a hold of Pete and told him I’d be traveling abroad for awhile, and I explained things to Jimmy, too, before I left. Lois was out of the office. I left a letter with Jimmy for her. From Clark.”

“Is Superman going to talk to her before he leaves?” Martha inquired.

“I wasn’t sure what I’d say, and I put it off a bit too long,” Clark admitted. “I went looking for her, and found her boarding a plane for L.A., probably to corner the detective on that gang story we were working on. Superman couldn’t exactly pull her out of line for a good-bye – not without validating all of the tabloid stories and putting her face back on the front page of all of those rags. I’m just going to have to hope for the best when I get back.”

“I understand,” Martha revealed sadly. She hugged him tightly, and said emotionally, “I’m going to miss you!”

“Me, too, Ma,” Clark told her as he returned the hug. “Me, too.”

-o-o-o-


As the new ship approached completion, Superman reviewed the ship’s AI programming with Jor-El. “I’m not comfortable leaving the Phantom Zone in such close proximity to Earth while I’m away,” Kal-El stressed. “How much of a drag on our speed would it be to trap the Zone in the ship’s wake?”

“You intend to tow it back to Krypton with you?” Jor-El inquired. “It shouldn’t slow you significantly, but with Kara’s power reserves so low, it would be best to avoid delays as much is possible. We should be able to tow it a short distance from Earth. There’s an uninhabited red giant approximate twenty thousand light years away that could be a suitable home for the Phantom Zone. You can drop out of hyperspace just long enough to eject the Zone from your wake and continue on your journey.”

“Let’s plan on that, then,” Kal-El instructed his father. “I won’t leave it here unguarded.”

“Very well,” Jor-El acquiesced. “I’ve coded in the programming change. I’ve also programmed the sensors to scan for anything caught in your ship’s wake and eject it before translating back into normal space, as you requested. I believe that everything is in order for your launch. It is time, Kal-El.”

Kal-El nodded his acknowledgement, and pulled the father crystal from the console and stepped back as the crystal console retracted into the floor. Finally heading over to the new ship, he inspected it briefly before climbing aboard and inserting the father crystal into the ship’s console. He sealed the hatch, secured himself in the pilot’s seat, and reluctantly said, “I’m ready, Father. Let’s go.”

Jor-El’s voice responded, “I am initiating the launch sequence.” The ship floated up in the chamber, crashed through the roof and accelerated through the atmosphere, quickly escaping the Earth’s gravitational pull. Kal-El looked back through the viewport at the rapidly shrinking Earth, and thought to himself, Good-bye, Lois. Please stay safe.

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« Last Edit: Sep 10th, 2008 at 1:25am by Mr. Beeto »  
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