By Robert O' Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: January 2004
Summary: A story set in the past about the events leading up to the destruction of the great planet Krypton.
As you well know, there is only so much we know about Krypton. From the Superman movies we learned a lot about the phantom zone and how Krypton exploded and all of that stuff. But we have learned next to nothing about the moments leading up to Krypton's death in 'Lois & Clark'. The only times we found out about Superman's heritage was in the episodes that introduced us to Kryptonite, and the episodes when the inhabitants of 'New Krypton' returned to bring Clark back to them. This is a story set right before that tiny clip in the credits sequence where you see Kal- El's rocket ship speeding away from the doomed planet.
NOTE: This has some elements of how Clark will get the Fortress Of Solitude. I know the fortress was never actually shown (or even mentioned) in the show, but I like to think that it was secretly present, and that we just never saw it. The fortress appears in a few of my other stories as well.
Hope you like it.
"No!" Jor-El shouted, after waking up from a bad dream.
Lara woke up with him and comforted him. He had been experiencing terrible nightmares of late. Lara was starting to worry about him. She neared over to him and hugged him. She then pecked him on the cheek sadly.
Jor-El put his arm around her and kissed her back. He then climbed up out of the huge, silver bed. There was no way he could sleep in these conditions. He touched a point on the wall near the bed, and glowing lights appeared at the top of the room, illuminating the vast white and silver bedroom.
"Jor-El!" Lara protested, but Jor-El did not answer her. He moved to the end of the bedroom, where he touched a small round white shape on the silver walls. A revolving door opened mechanically, making way for Jor-El. He undressed from his pyjamas and pulled on his robes, which were inside the closet he had just opened.
Jor-El moved down the spiralling stairs until he came down to the hallway of his house. He and Lara lived here, along with their loving son Kal. But Jor-El foresaw that this happiness was to end in the near future. He believed that Krypton was to explode within the next week. He tried to convince the council, he even tried convincing his closest friend Kon-Zur, but even he would not believe him. His loving wife Lara was the only person to have any faith in him. She took his belief with a pinch of salt, and only prayed (like Jor-El himself) that he was wrong.
Jor-El touched another circle that was found on another wall. This opened another door, leading down to a vast laboratory. Jor-El moved down to his laboratory. Around the lab were tools and accessories that Jor-El needed in his experiments. Down at the far end was a diagram that Jor-El had used to write down his beliefs so that he could double- check them. Unfortunately, he still could not find any way that he could possibly be wrong.
In the centre of the laboratory was Jor-El's latest (and quite possibly last) experiment. It was a rocket ship. The outside was still relatively naked; Jor-El had not finished covering it up yet. Also, the engine was not quite finished. This was what Jor-El planned to spend his night doing.
Jor-El had promised to the great council of the planet Krypton that neither he nor his wife would leave Krypton or cause a panic. And due to the Krypton honour code he was compelled to keep this promise. But he did in fact find a loophole. His son. Not only had the council overlooked forbidding Jor-El from sending his son away from the planet, but also this would give young Kal-El the chance to live on.
Kal-El was not yet old enough to talk. He had no idea what was going on around him, and Jor-El was only glad of this. But he loved his son. The thought of his life being taken away from him because of the foolishness of the council made Jor-El furious.
Jor-El moved to the right side of the room, where a tall shiny robot stood, deactivated. Jor-El flipped a small switch on one of its ears, and it buzzed to life. The robot had the build of a human man. Its head was much flatter than the head of a human, because it did not need a brain, or teeth. Its body was metallic. Its hands had fingers in the shape of those of a man.
Jor-El ordered the robot to finish plating the rocket ship. While Jor-El tended to the engine, the robot buzzed around with large pieces of a seemingly indestructible alloy that Jor-El himself had discovered. He had been praised for this invention, along with numerous others. He found it ironic that the ones who had praised him before belittled him and dismissed him with his latest beliefs.
Finally the rocket was finished. Jor-El stepped back and surveyed his achievement. In different times, of lesser tension and anxiousness perhaps, Jor-El probably would have appreciated his invention much more than he did now. But this was no time for bragging.
Jor-El moved to the robot and switched it off.
The great planet Krypton was magnificent. Vehicles (of Jor- El's creation) flew around, carrying people to their destination, while huge holo-screens above the bustling capital played entertaining music. In this city there were stores, places of entertainment, observatories, laboratories, museums, everything that made Krypton the brilliant but yet peaceful planet that it was. The inhabitants of the planet moved blissfully about, unaware that every step brought them closer to their doom.
There was of course, a small minority that believed in Jor- El. But they were a whimsical minority. On the streets they tried to spread a panic, but to no avail. The policemen of the city quickly rounded them up.
"The end is nigh!" they would chant together.
But even though they followed Jor-El's beliefs, that was not to say that they believed them completely. They were simply the worrywarts that would believe anything anyone respectable threw at them. Subconsciously, they knew this and they believed that nothing was wrong.
Lara woke up the following morning and saw the alarmingly close red sun of Krypton beaming down at her. A few months ago, she might have greeted it back, but she knew that it was to be her planet's undoing, and that her natural instinct was to hate it.
Lara walked downstairs to where her beloved had fallen asleep in a stool in his laboratory. She smiled weakly and nudged him slightly. His eyes bolted open, sending a chill down Lara's spine.
"Good morning, my love," Jor-El said, yawning.
Lara switched on the robot again and ordered it to go and prepare breakfast. She moved over to a table covered over by a piece of leather. She removed the leather and saw a series of globes. Lastly, she saw a green crystal. Jor-El moved over to her.
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" She asked.
"My son will live a good life," Jor-El started. "He will be powerful, but he will be heroic; he will be superior, but he will be one of them."
"But he will not be one of them! He will always be one of us!" Lara yelled.
"He will be a guardian over all men. He will provide something that earth so sorely lacks. Righteousness. In the time I spent on the timid planet, I saw nothing of the sort. It was insignificant. It was puny. Their laws were illogical and corrupt. Nothing like we have on our fine planet."
Jor-El was obviously dodging her questions and simply pushing his pros in front of her cons. She did not want it to come to this.
"He will be.isolated. He will be an outsider, unsure of what his purpose is." Lara said sadly.
Jor-El did not respond. He picked up the green crystal.
"No," Jor-El said, "he will never be alone."
Outside in the streets of Krypton's fine capital city, there were riots occurring. One of Jor-El's cult followers was starting a panic. They had taken a group of scientists hostage. They said that unless Jor-El altered his beliefs these men would surely die, at the hands of their laser weapon.
Jor-El and Lara were eating a breakfast of exotic Kryptonian foods. Lara was looking back on her life, and thinking about the events leading up to this day.
Lara Lor-Van and Jor-El were not familiar with each other as children. They spent three years in one of Krypton's advanced learning facilities, before studying the subjects they wished to continue for the remainder of their lives.
Lara was set at birth to marry a man by the name of Jir- Kon. He was a rich, stubborn man, but he was wealthy. Much more so than the El family.
Every year, Krypton would hold a marriage ceremony, where the younger inhabitants would ultimately confirm their vows to the ones they were destined to be with from birth. At the altar, a reverend would ask the couple if they promised to love and cherish one another for the rest of their lives. In the entire history of the world of Krypton, no one had ever said that they would not do those things. It was simply routine. If they were to decline and say that they were in love with someone else, the community would boycott them.
Lara came into acquaintance with a younger Jor-El on the night before her wedding confirmation. Jor-El was set to marry an optimistic, but fairly stupid and ignorant young woman by the name of Kir-Von.
Lara was spending the night on the town with her mother when the young and handsome Jor-El came into their acquaintance. When Lara saw the dumbfounded look on his face, as though he were noticing her for the first time, she was taken aback. It was love at first sight. Lara's mother had been pestering Lara when a beautiful necklace caught her eye. Her mother rushed off to purchase it while Lara and Jor-El talked to each other. They both expressed their dismay to each other about marrying both the arrogant playboy and the ignorant dingbat. After a few minutes of talking, Jor-El and Lara wandered off, forgetting completely about Lara's mother.
That night, Jor-El treated Lara to a night on the town. They went to an opera, followed by dinner in a nice restaurant. At the end of the night, they walked the capital's canal, and watched the moon hang in the sky, as though the moment would last forever. While Lara gazed longingly at the moon, Jor-El was unable to take his eyes away from her face. The beauty of it sent Jor-El into a state of euphoria, and he simply could not take his eyes away from it. After what seemed an eternity, Lara finally turned to face him. Jor-El stared into her eyes. The further he gazed into her eyes, the more he forgot about the ditz he was supposed to marry. Jor-El was in love with Lara; he would not allow himself to be controlled by pointless traditions. He would make history by being the one man who would marry for love, and not for wealth or family friendships. With a passionate kiss, the two sealed their love forevermore.
After dismissing their arranged fiances, Jor-El and Lara promptly married each other, much to the dismay of their families. But after Jor-El became a much respected scientist, and gained an awesome wealth, their families returned to them.
Some time later, Jor-El travelled to earth on a special expedition. Lara wished him not to. She said that there was no way Jor-El would survive under the harsh cruelties of Earth's inhabitants. But Jor-El promised her that he would return. Luckily for him, that promise was too easy to keep.
When the expedition of twenty Kryptonians arrived on this strange planet Earth (by means of an advanced starship), something very strange happened. The team discovered that they were in possession of amazing powers. Due to the yellow colour of Earth's sun, they had acquired the strength of steel, the speed of light itself, and even better, the ability to defy gravity. and fly.
Krypton was a civilised planet, and the expeditors had no intention of trying to take over the planet. But they knew this knowledge would be of use to them. And it was. At least for Jor-El anyway.
After Jor-El returned to Lara (his superhuman powers depleted, under the influence of Krypton's red sun), they celebrated their love and loyalty by having a child. They named the baby Kal-El. He filled the only void in their happy lives.
Jor-El finished his breakfast and looked out the window at the world of Krypton.
"What a waste," he thought sadly.
Suddenly, a screen in the far corner of the room started flashing and beeping. Jor-El moved briskly across and touched the button beside it.
The face of his best friend Kon-Zur appeared on the screen. He looked worried but yet agitated and angry at the same time.
"Kon-Zur?" Jor-El asked confusedly. "What is it?"
"It's your outrageous theories!" Kon-Zur exclaimed angrily. "These crackpots believe them to be true, and unless you prove otherwise, they plan on killing twenty others!"
Jor-El rushed outside to his all-purpose vehicle. Lara ran out after him.
"What do you plan on doing?" she asked him.
"I plan on doing what is right," Jor-El said to her comfortingly, "I only wish that this is not goodbye."
Jor-El kissed his wife on her forehead, and climbed into his vehicle.
The criminals were escapees from Krypton's Insane Asylum. Upon escaping, they overheard Jor-El's attempts at convincing the council, and started a panic. There were three of them. One held a powerful laser weapon, pointed at the crowd. The other made sure that there was no one trying to escape. The third was screaming for Jor-El.
Finally, Jor-El arrived. Kon-Zur was waiting there with several other police officers. He would not let Jor-El pass.
"This is not right, my friend," Kon-Zur said.
"What?" Jor-El asked.
"It is not right to convince them that they are in fact doomed." Kon- Zur sighed. "Better to let the people inside die."
"Are you saying you believe me?" Jor-El asked, with a ghost of a smile playing across his lips.
"Yes. If one is not loyal to one's friend, there would be nothing but chaos."
"I'm glad you think so," Jor-El said. "But we have to save those people. Better let them die from natural causes than from insane criminals."
Kon-Zur did not argue. He followed Jor-El into the bank where the hostages were kept. Three officers tried to stop them, but Jor-El simply pushed them aside.
"Jor-El!" One of the criminals smiled. "At last you have arrived!"
"You must let these people go," Jor-El ordered, "this is none of their concern."
"I will not let them go until your conclusions are changed!" the criminal shouted.
This was getting very tedious for Jor-El. What was this criminal trying to prove? Jor-El was not some god that could change the natural course of life and death.
The criminal started weeping.
"All those deaths.I just could not stand it.please." the criminal cried, with his face in his hands.
Kon-Zur ran at the crying criminal and pinned him to the ground. Jor-El handled the man aiming the laser weapon at the people. He tackled him to the ground, while the third criminal ran away (soon to be caught by the police outside).
Jor-El and Kon-Zur brought the criminals outside to the police and were met with cheers of praise. After handing the criminals over to the police, Jor-El turned to Kon-Zur.
"Thank you for trusting me." Jor-El smiled weakly at Kon- Zur.
"I went over your conclusions," Kon-Zur started. "They are very accurate. There is little possibility that you are wrong."
"There is nothing we can do now," Jor-El said. "I am forbidden to leave."
Suddenly Jor-El had a brainwave.
"You are not!" he exclaimed. "You could bring my son to earth and raise him, and help him in his quest!"
"I could not think of leaving you here alone, my friend. I will stay with you until the end."
Jor-El did not even think of trying to persuade him otherwise. It was the same choice he would have made himself. They climbed back into Jor-El's all-purpose vehicle, homeward bound.
When at last they reached Jor-El's home, Kon-Zur heard a small beeping noise in Jor-El's pocket. Jor-El took a small circular object from his pocket. He drew his finger across it, and a hologram appeared above it. In Kryptonian numerals, it displayed the time to Jor-El.
Kon-Zur looked worryingly at Jor-El. Jor-El nodded sadly, and they made their way into the house.
Lara was waiting inside, holding Kal-El in her arms. She had a sad look played across her face. She knew it was the end also. Jor-El kissed her gently on the head, and made his way into his laboratory, followed closely by Kon-Zur.
After the final preparations were made, Jor-El and Kon-Zur placed the ship directly below the skylight above the laboratory. Jor-El tapped on the top of the ship, and the roof opened. He moved over to Lara. He smiled at her, and she handed Kal-El to him.
Jor-El moved over to the ship. And placed his only son inside.
"Never forget who you truly are, my son." Jor-El smiled as he put his arm around his loving wife. Kon-Zur placed the globes around Kal- El's body, and finally the crystal.
"Wait!" Lara said, before Kon-Zur could close the ship.
Lara ran over to the cabinet at the far end of the laboratory, and opened a small drawer. Inside, was a piece of clothing material. It was a red triangular patch, with a red S in the centre. The parts of the object in between the perimeter and the S were yellow.
Lara handed the S to Jor-El. It was the symbol of the El family. It was his legacy. This one Kryptonian symbol would last many millenniums more, thanks to Lara.
Jor-El smiled and took it from her. He placed over Kal-El's tiny body.
"Wear it proudly, my son."
He tapped the top of the ship, and whirring sounds began underneath it. Suddenly, rumbling sounds began under the ground they were standing on. Kon-Zur was running out of the room, closely followed by Jor-El, and Lara, when suddenly, a huge chunk of the ceiling landed on him, blocking off the exit.
"Kon-Zur!" Jor-El shouted.
"It is too late for me, old friend." Kon-Zur wept.
A small tear fell from his eye, along with Jor-El's. Blood dripped out of his mouth, and Kon-Zur closed his eyes.
"I am truly sorry," Jor-El said to his lifelong friend.
Things did not look good at all. Jor-El's calculations had been slightly inaccurate, and the quakes were beginning much too early. Luckily, Kal-El's ship had finally finished its preparations. It rose gracefully into the air, and turned, until it pointed upwards. It then shot out of the room at an unimaginable speed. The shattered remains of the skylight fell to the ground.
"Teach them," Jor-El whispered to his son, "do not control them."
Jor-El turned to Lara and kissed her gently on the lips. They were soon to die. But their love would pass through generations, rivalling their own son's.
"I'm sorry, my love," Jor-El said closing his eyes and holding onto Lara tightly. "I really am."
All around Krypton, people screamed in terror as massive chunks of debris fell on top of them, killing them. Inside the science council, there were many more screams, but one man, the man who had made sure that everyone doubted Jor- El. But he knew Jor-El was right. He knew all along. But he did not care. He would rather die than see his greatest enemy be the hero. Jor-El had stepped in and taken everything that belonged to this man. But the man grew more powerful than Jor-El ever could have anticipated. He gained the trust of the people. The people believed him when he announced something, and he often used this to his advantage, which was how he became the all mighty chancellor of Krypton. This was an evil man. This man was Jir-Kon. The one Lara was supposedly destined to marry.
From hundreds of miles away, the baby Kal-El watched through one of the tiny windows as his entire heritage blew up in a massive explosion. Thousands of huge green, glowing meteors flew in every direction. The pain from these meteors was unbearable for the baby, and he wept until the ship brought him safely out of range. He continued his descent toward the place he would now call home.
For months, the ship travelled through space, past planets and star constellations. The baby was still inside, happily playing around with his feeble hands. The baby had been fed with a special compound Jor-El had given him. The compound ensured that Kal-El would not need to be fed for over fourteen months. This gave the ship ample time to reach its destination: Earth.
Jonathan Kent's truck rattled along continuously while his wife Martha stared out the window, hoping. Jonathan looked over at her.
"I'm sorry, Martha," he said with a warming look.
"What?" Martha asked pretending to be oblivious.
Jonathan and Martha were unable to have children. It was impossible. For as long as Jonathan knew his wife, he knew well that she had always wanted a husband and a child of her own. The Lord had granted one, but had left her without the other.
"You know what I mean," Jonathan said.
Martha looked sadly at him. He gave her his hand, and she took it.
Martha had always known that she had done right by marrying Jonathan. He was a good man that respected her feelings and cared for her deeply.
Deep in space, the space ship carrying young Kal-El was still whizzing through space at an unimaginable speed, finally reaching Earth's atmosphere. The huge blue planet was spinning slowly, and it looked to be a sure bet that the rocket would land in Russia. It was nearing closer and closer to the planet. But the estimates were wrong. The rocket was now well on its way to the New World. America.
Suddenly, Jonathan saw a huge fiery blur sail right over the truck. He slammed on the brakes.
"What the heck was that?" he asked worriedly.