By Paul-Gabriel Wiener (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: A what-if story that has Kal-El landing in a remote jungle of South America, where he is discovered by a tribe descended from the Incas.
email@example.com: All characters not created by the author belong to D.C. Comics, Inc. or the Inca empire. This story may not be reproduced even with permission from the author. For personal use only…don't even think about selling it (as if people would pay for this…). This product may be toxic- do not eat it. A few notes for the interested reader:
1. The thought line behind this story was inspired by a story I once read called "Ubermench." I don't remember who the author is, or where I read it, but it was a good story.
2. The culture in this story is somewhat loosely based on the Incas… perhaps the tribe has Inca ancestors. Most of the names are, of course totally made up…I have yet to hear of a list of common Inca names. If you hear of one, tell me.
3. For those of you who read these for WAFFs and such, Lois is not even in this one. In a way, neither is Clark…
4. Topa was the grandson of a prominent Inca emperor, who happened to be named for the Inca god of the creation. I thought it an appropriate name here. I chose not to use the son's name for two reasons. First, the sun god is the son of the deity in question, and secondly, the king's son's name was a lot longer.
5. Don't worry…my sense of humor has been left out of the story itself.
6. As the Incas did not have a written language, they had to use some other means of recording their history. This was accomplished using a complex series of knots in special cords. I've called them "record-cords" here.
7. Words in CAPS are emphasized.
Any comments (please! I can take it!) should be sent to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Questo was walking alone when he saw it. A large fireball from the sky fell into the Ucalali River. He rushed back to the village. The other villagers had seen it, too. They hurried to the site, and found a strange metal pod sitting in the river. The water all around it was boiling, as if the pod were on fire. As they looked on in wonderment, the pod opened to reveal a strange creature. It looked human, but its skin was white! This strange child was surely sent by Inti, the sun god. After all, it had come in a ball of fire from the sky and landed at Cuzco, just outside the temple of the Sun!
After the river stopped boiling, and the pod seemed approachable, the villagers constructed a litter and brought the child back to the village. They sent the strongest warriors back to bring the pod into the temple.
Since this was clearly a matter of the gods, it was left to the priest of Inti to decide what to do with the child. He performed a divination, and when it was over he announced that Inti had told him to raise the child. Questo was happy about this, since it would mean that he would have a brother. He was currently the priest's only child, and as such, he was very lonely.
As Questo and the child grew up together, they became good friends.
(14 years later)
It was the day of the child's initiation into adulthood. So far, he had grown up almost normally. Today, he would receive his adult name. Questo had completed the ceremony five years ago (his name was used earlier to avoid confusion). During the ceremony, a stone fell off the wall of the temple. It looked as though it would crush the child, but instead, he simply caught it. The villagers were amazed. That stone would have killed a full-grown warrior, but this CHILD had CAUGHT IT! Remembering his strange origin (although they had never truly forgotten), the villagers decided that this child must be Inti's son. With strength like that, and the divine protection the child must have, it was clear that he would become the greatest warrior in the village. If necessary, he would become the village protector. From then on, his training would be different from everyone else's. The ceremony continued, and finished normally. The child was named Topa.
As he grew, Topa not only became stronger, but he developed other powers as well. He could make fire with his eyes, see inside anything, sense even the smallest detail, and run faster than anyone in the village. The village historian joked that he would need a whole record-cord just for Topa's feats.
Once, Topa and Questo went on a long hunting trip deep in the jungle. They practiced their survival skills, eating whatever they caught or whatever edible plants they came across. They stayed out in the jungle for a whole moon. Since almost no light came through the dense forest canopy, Questo needed a torch to see, even in the daytime. Topa used his powers to keep Questo not only safe, but amused. He would juggle large stones, outrun any animal Questo chose, then suddenly stop, turn around, and pick it up. Questo would laugh at the poor creature's bewilderment. When it suddenly lashed out, they did not worry because they knew that nothing could hurt Topa. As the days past, Topa slowly began to feel weaker and weaker. He did not tell Questo because he did not want to worry his older brother. However, he could not hide his trouble forever.
One day, a wildcat attacked. Topa, wanting to keep his brother safe, jumped in front of it. The cat sprang at him, and they fought. Topa won, of course, and the two settled down to make camp and cook their dinner. They didn't know if wildcat tasted good, but they decided to find out. After dinner, they began to settle down to sleep. Questo was shocked to see a small bruise on Topa's shoulder, where he had hit it against a rock during the fight. Topa admitted that he was not well.
Questo took Topa back to the village that night, and they talked to their father. After a brief divination, he figured out the problem. Topa had been sheltered from the rays of his natural father (the sun) for too long. A few days proved the priest right. Topa slowly regained his powers by staying in the sun.
(3 Years Later)
Topa was getting toward marriageable age, and he needed to find a bride. As not only the son of the priest, but of the sun god himself, Topa was to select his bride from among the "chosen women." These were the most beautiful and intelligent women in the tribe. The tradition of the chosen women had been carried down since the days of the emperors. Topa took a liking to one of the chosen women, named Lumana. He began courting her. As the two were walking through the forest one day, Lumana remarked on the beauty of an orchid high up on a tree. To the surprise of both of them, Topa suddenly rose up from the ground and flew to the flower. When he got there and realized what had happened, he lost his concentration. Suddenly, he stopped floating, and fell onto a branch. For a while, he was unsure of what to do. Then, not trusting this newfound ability quite yet, he began climbing down. When he got to the bottom of the tree, he presented Lumana with the orchid. Amazingly, despite being smashed against Topa's body, the flower had remained whole. It seemed that just being close to him had kept the flower safe.
When they got back to the village, they told everyone about Topa's new powers. His protective "aura" had been there before, but they hadn't really noticed it until now. It did explain why his poncho had never ripped. Later, Topa went off by himself to practice flying. He was embarrassed that he hadn't mastered this power naturally, as he had his other abilities. He did not want to appear weak in front of the others. He was the son of Inti- he should be able to control all of his powers as soon as he got them!
And so Topa grew. He mastered his powers, and used them whenever someone in the village needed him. After all, he was the protector of the village. As was the custom, when he married, he became a full adult. When the priest retired, he was named the successor. It was not entirely uncommon for a younger son to succeed his father. In this case, it was expected. Questo did not mind. He had never really liked the idea of being a priest anyway. As a sort of nobleman, Topa had the right to marry another woman, but he chose not to so long as Lumana was alive.
It was around the time when Lumana first got pregnant that they first heard the sound. It seemed like thunder, but there was not a cloud in the sky. The sound continued to rumble on, and Topa could hear plants and trees falling. Topa decided to investigate this strange occurrence. He flew in the direction of the sound. As he approached it, he slowed down and landed in a tree. The sight that greeted him when he looked towards the sound was horrible. A large yellow THING was knocking down trees and eating them. When he looked more carefully, Topa saw what seemed to be a man riding it. To his surprise, Topa noted that the man's skin was as white as his own!
Topa watched for a while, and then decided that this must be a demon sprit. It obviously had great power, and only a supernatural creature could have such coloring. The demon's strange golden hair convinced Topa. He performed a quick, and somewhat cramped, divination and discovered that he was right. His father had told him to destroy the demon.
It was much simpler than Topa had expected. Perhaps the demon wasn't as powerful as it seemed. Topa simply flew down in front of the demon's THING and ripped it up. Seeing what Topa had done, the demon was scared. It jumped out of its metallic mount (while destroying it, Topa had discovered that the thing was made out of some strange metal). The demon fell on its head. Before the startled Topa could get to it, it had died. Topa was surprised to see that the demon was bleeding. If it had been so easy to destroy, maybe this wasn't a demon after all.
The next day, Topa heard another one of the metallic creatures in the forest. He destroyed that one, too. This time, however, the creature mounted on the metallic thing lived. Topa decided to let it escape.
Topa followed the creature, making sure that he wasn't noticed. When it got back to its home, the creature tried to tell its fellow demons what had happened. Topa did not understand the demon's language, but he could tell what was happening. The other demons did not believe this one, and were laughing at it. Topa stopped paying attention to the demons for a while, and looked around at their village. Their homes were built out of a strange kind of stone that Topa had never seen before. Outside, there was a whole herd of the metallic beasts that the demons rode. Topa decided that he would not harm the demons (especially since he wasn't sure they WERE demons). Instead, he would make them powerless. After the last one went to sleep, he stole into their village and destroyed all their metallic things. Then, he went home.
When he got home, he told Lumana what had happened. At first, she was horrified by her husband's description of the demons and their creatures. After he had told her how easy it was for him to defeat them though, she laughed. They told the rest of the village the next day. Everyone reacted the same way Lumana had, but after they absorbed everything that had happened, they praised Topa for his courage and mercy.
As he was thinking about the demons, Topa realized that there could be more of them. The next day, he went out and searched the jungle. Sure enough, there were more demons there. From that day forward, Topa destroyed at least one of the metallic creatures each month. To protect as much of the forest as possible, he would choose a different area each time.
As word of these attacks spread and the village's stories of Topa leaked out into the rest of the world, a jungle legend began to take shape. Some thought the jungle had become cursed. Others thought the old gods were taking revenge on the desecration of their land. The local people began to avoid that part of the jungle. Some of the white men laughed at this "jungle superstition." Some went hunting for this strange creature.
At first, the villagers were scared of the new demons who came into the jungle. Their metallic creatures were not as large, but they had fire-sticks that made thunderous sounds and killed. Topa quickly found out how to deal with this threat, though. He could hear their metal beasts a long way off. He would fly out, and when he came back there would be no trace of the demon's metallic creature. The demon itself would be lost in the jungle.
A few of the demons eventually found their way to their fellows. Usually, it was more luck than skill. Still, their stories about a man who could fly, who was strong enough to lift a whole Jeep, and who was invulnerable to bullets or any other weapon were mostly ignored as insanity or the effects of some exotic disease. Eventually, the hunters stopped coming. The cutting down of the forests, at least in that area, slowed to a halt.
Topa continued to protect the jungle even as he and Lumana raised their children. The children grew up and had adventures of their own. Those, however, are different stories for another time.