Superman shares his greatest secret with Kara Zor-El in his attempt to convince her of the truth of his identity — her long thought dead cousin Kal-El.
Continuing the fanfiction “Herald of Darkseid.”
If you want to start at the beginning, CLICK HERE!
Thirty minutes of flight time later, Superman and Kara arrived in the Arctic Circle. They hovered in front of a mountain of ice as big as a Las Vegas casino jutting from an ice flow that stretched about them for miles in all directions.
The only sign that anyone had ever been to the area was a yellow arrow made of metal that pointed at the mountain. It was easily as big as the freighter on which Superman had left Solomon Grundy buried.
“Your proof is in a frozen wasteland?” Kara asked.
“It keeps the curious away,” Superman replied.
He looked to the mountain, studying it with his x-ray vision. Satisfied, he flew down and hovered in front of a position halfway up the mountain’s face.
Superman used his super-breath to clear an area of snow there, revealing a narrow, linear hole in the mountain.
As Kara watched with interest, Superman flew over and attempted to pick up the giant arrow. He strained but couldn’t accomplish the task. Looking to Kara, he said, “Guess you really took a bit out of me.”
“Has your time with humans weakened you that much?” Kara asked while crossing her arms.
Superman smiled. “Hardly.”
Kara rolled her eyes.
“As for the humans,” Superman said while looking for a better handhold on the arrow, “I find where they lack physical strength, they have incredible spirit.”
Superman tried the arrow again. This time, he picked it up. “You’d be amazed how far spirit can get you.”
Kara remained passive, but Superman could tell she was a little impressed. To her amazement, Superman inserted the arrow into the linear hole in the mountain.
A section of snow next to the hole-turned-lock shifted, then fell away, revealing a ten-by-ten doorway. The section of metal receded into the mountain, then slowly slid up out of view.
Superman withdrew the arrow-turned-key and replaced it on the ice.
“What is this?” Kara asked, truly astonished by the activity before her.
Superman flew to Kara’s side. “I call it my Fortress of Solitude.”
Kara looked at Superman, and then back to the doorway. A hallway lay beyond the entrance. Superman floated inside. Kara followed him.
At the end of the hallway, the space inside the mountain opened to a vast hall composed of crystalline structures and walking spaces.
Superman moved further into the hall. Kara stopped at the entrance, her eyes wide in amazement.
The main area was open, established with several shelves and pedestals as if its designer intended to make this a museum of some kind. The area’s centerpiece was two statues: Kal-El’s parents Jor-El and Lara.
A distance beyond them was a terminal for receiving more data crystals. Kara saw the green one Superman had mentioned in the center of the terminal.
Beyond that area was an array of floor-bound, circular devices Kara recognized as Kryptonian projectors.
“This is Krypton!” Kara said in amazement.
Superman smiled at the girl’s recognition. He drifted to her side.
“My father, your uncle Jor-El, sent me to Earth when I was a baby.”
Kara looked to Superman as he continued.
“An Earth couple, Jonathan and Martha Kent, took me in, raised me as an Earthling. When I was in my early teens, they revealed my origin to me. Well, the fact that I wasn’t from Earth. They showed me the rocket that brought me here.
“In that rocket, I found a single green crystal.”
“Kryptonians used crystals to store data,” Kara said as if half remembering.
Superman nodded. “That’s what I eventually learned. Something drew me and the crystal here. When I arrived, I threw it into the ice.”
Waving his hand in reference to the area, he added, “The crystal created this fortress.”
Kara looked to the interior of the fortress.
“Please, go ahead in,” Superman said.
Kara checked to see if Superman was sincere. He smiled, then realized a trained warrior would never turn her back on an enemy, especially in the proximity of his domain.
With this in mind, Superman floated ahead and into the fortress. Kara tentatively followed him.
As he crossed the threshold, he said over his shoulder, “The big key keeps most people out, but in case someone does get in, the Kryptonian technology that created the fortress also provides a variety of security measures.”
Kara immediately stopped. Superman floated ahead a few more feet before he realized she wasn’t following him. He smiled again.
“Those defenses work against anyone or anything that isn’t Kryptonian,” he explained.
His blonde cousin studied Superman, still unsure if she could trust him. She looked past him, to the world inside the fortress. Superman watched her struggle between suspicion and homesickness.
When Kara’s sense of wonder won out, she took a tentative step further into the fortress. She honestly looked surprised that nothing attacked her.
“See? You’re one of us,” Superman said.
Kara shot him a look, obviously noting the irony of Superman turning her thoughts on him as an imposter around on her. Moving on from the remark, she floated about the fortress.
Superman followed her at a distance, comforted by the thought that Kara trusted him enough not to attack her.
She eventually made her way to the data terminal. Kara ran her fingers across the crystals, stopping at the green one.
“This is an exact copy of Uncle Jor-El’s workspace on Krypton,” Kara said. “I used to play there as a child, while our fathers talked their science.”
Superman could hear the amazement in her voice. “He must have programmed it into the crystal,” he said. “He also programmed an artificial intelligence into the fortress.”
Off Kara’s inquiring look he added, “I have it turned off. Didn’t want to freak you out.”
Kara thought on this, eventually nodding in acceptance.
“You can watch whatever you’d like,” Superman said. “It’s how I learned our history… and about you.”
Kara abruptly pulled away from the crystals. She turned on Superman. He floated to the ground near her but remained a respectful distance away.
“This is all too much, too perfect a recreation of my homeworld to be a lie,” Kara said. When she looked to Superman, her expression had softened from that of a hardened warrior to a homesick, teenaged girl.
“Which means you truly are the son of Jor-El, my little cousin all grown up.”
Superman took a tentative step forward. Kara used her speed to cross the distance and embrace him. She nearly bowled him over.
Kal-El returned the embrace in kind.
To be continued…
While writing this fanfiction, I used Green Ronin’s Mutants and Masterminds, 3rd Edition RPG, to leave some things to chance. Check it out!
Like this fanfiction? Check out Mark’s original “Shadowdance” saga books!
The characters Maria Hill, Captain Marvel/ Carol Danvers, SHIELD, Abigail Brand and Nick Fury are Copyright Marvel Comics
The characters Superman/ Clark Kent/ Kal-El, Supergirl/ Kara Zor-El, Darkseid, Maggie Sawyer, Solomon Grundy and Parademons are Copyright DC Comics
I don’t own any of the characters as this is fanfiction, done for fun and as a creative exercise