The Birth of a New Superman PRIME, by Shamar Bryan Coxum 2013 ©

Rebirth of Superman (PRIME)

            Superman returns to Earth to his wife Wonder Woman after a long search through the cosmos for the key to a problem bigger than anything he’s ever faced…cancer. Superman’s floating home station stays afloat, replacing the old Watch Tower that once was in space, being destroyed in a galactic war with Brainiac. Superman with his face wearing the consequences of age, having black hair being replaced by the settled grey, sees the weak Wonder Woman lying in slumber. Her body so frail and fragile laying there bewildered by an unknown cancer. Superman coming back with nothing to help this problem begins to weep, his eyes slowly turning laser red. He looks down at his hands realizing he doesn’t have much time on this planet anymore, accepting the fact with no struggle, somewhat content in realization.

            Superman thinks back on his life as Clark Kent hundreds of years ago. He could still smell the printer ink at The Daily Planet. Writing stories about himself just hours after a well fought battle. His mind drifts to the image of Lois Lane. He gets caught up in remembering her long black hair that blew in the wind, her shining blue eyes, and her feisty attitude. He gets up from the bedroom and walks down the hallway to the elevator leading to his crystal Fortress of Solitude. He walks across the crystal palace to a bright room. He puts his hand on a crystal column and a wall moves. He enters the room, turns right, and presses a button. The room turns dark and images shoot to a display area. Pictures of Superman and friends are what he looks at when he sits down. A picture with the old Mayor of Metropolis is the first to pop up. Next comes shaking hands with the various Presidents that have gone by. Next comes the Justice League. Pictures with Batman, and then with his replacement (Batman Beyond). His Son Batwing. Batwing’s successor Night Watcher and now the current hero in his 40’s Dawn Soldier. Pictures of the original Flash with his son and successor Wally West. Third generation of heroes Flash Junior as a baby, and then him with the current Kid Quick, better known as the full grown hero Quickster . Superman finds it bittersweet looking at his old friends’ lives, and somewhat feeling a taste of jealousy for them being able to die and witness only one lifetime. The images keep turning and then suddenly he hears footsteps. He immediately presses down on a crystal and gets up as the display descends. He walks out.

            “Who goes there?” he asks jokingly, “An evil doer, a thief, a criminal?”

The voice of a young man goes through the dwelling. “Maybe so, with a sword made of Kryptonite for yah.”

Superman laughs. “I’m ready to fight, foe!” Superman says as he raises his fists.

An image of a small boy appears on one of the walls. The boy walks into the hallway and faces Superman. A boy about 5’5” muscular but slender, stands in the hallway with a metallic tinted red and blue skin tight suit looking at his dad with great enthusiasm. Gold bands are wrapped around the boy’s wrists and ankles used for limiting his strength so he can interact with humans.

            “Kal-EL Junior”, Superman says as he hugs his son. “How was it today?”

            “Which one dad, going to school or being a hero?”

            Superman’s face changes immediately. “What do you mean being a hero?!”,  Superman says in shock.

            K.E.J getting intimidated “Well I, uhh…“

A spark of anger grows in Superman, “What did I tell you about fighting crime? You shouldn’t…”

            “But dad! I…”

            “But nothing!  I told you you’re not ready for dealing with real criminals, especially with your bands on!”

            “Why not!” snapps K.E.J. “I still have super strength over anyone here. I can still break mach 3 on foot.”  K.E.J.’s bands grow red as his anger flares. “I can freeze anything within 15 feet of me”. His irises begin to turn a crimson red. “And I was not even the one who wanted to do it, Super G…”

            “Hey! That’s Superwoman to you Junior”, says a voice coming around the corner. “You should really respect your elders”, the person says while rubbing K.E.J.’s head.

            “Shut up!” says K.E.J. while folding his arms.

            “Kara! I told you he shouldn’t be doing hero work while he can’t fully control his powers”.

            “Kal, why are you getting so mad?  I’m with him. I’m the new Supes around here, what more protection does he need?” Kara asks stepping, feeling uncomfortable and confused.

            “It’s not just for his protection, it’s for everyone’s! His, yours, the criminals, and Diana!”

Silence enters the fortress.

            “His mother?” says Kara.

            “My mother?”  both K.E.J and Kara speak simultaneously.

            “That’s not what I meant. I…I…” Superman stutters as he walks to a glowing seat and sits down. K.E.J. sees his dad troubled and walks towards him, kneels down next to him, puts his hands on his shoulders, and looks him in the eye.

            “Dad…am I bad for mom…am I bad for you…am I bad for everyone?”

Superman says nothing. Tears grow in both Superman’s and K.E.J.’s eyes. Superman places his hands on K.E.J.’s and reassures him.

            “That’s not what I meant son. You’re not bad for everyone. I spoke poorly”.

Kara sees what is going on and says, “Kal, why don’t we head upstairs, it’s late and some rest for you would probably be best”. Kara takes K.E.J.’s hand and walks him through the hallway. Superman watches them leave.

Suddenly he begins to feel an aching pain in his chest. He falls out of the chair and hits his forehead on the ground cracking the fortress floor. “Not again, not now!” he yells as he twists and turns. He groans and shakes vigorously until he suddenly stops and lays still and silent. Sweat begins to perspire on his forehead as he sleeps.

Kara and K.E.J. go up the transparent elevator open to the floating home station above. K.E.J. looks at his hands and then back up at Kara, “Am I dangerous?”

Kara responds, “Oh, no Kal, it’s just that your dad has been through a lot lately and there’s been a lot on his mind with your mother and trying to help her.”

“What am I supposed to do? I feel so useless! I can’t fight crime because I’m too dangerous, I can’t help my mom because I don’t know anything about medicine and dad says I need an education so I can’t even travel with him.” K.E.J. being upset turns his shoulder and looks to the sunset.

Kara sees K.E.J. troubled and tries to speak just as an explosion hits Metropolis. They both turn to see smoke and fire arising from the city. A small gust of wind picks up from the city across the ocean to the station.  Kara hears screams coming from the city, talking of a meteorite hitting Metropolis. Reporting in seconds of hundreds of people dead from the impact alone, struck through the air ways. Screams of a rock-like creature coming out of the meteor are heard.

Kara being astounded by the sudden accident turns and looks at K.E.J. “I’m sorry Kal, I would talk more but I…”

K.E.J. cuts her short, “I know go ahead, tons of people dying is more important than anything having to do with me right now.”

Kara feeling bad for him hugs him and says, “Kal, if you want you can come…”

K.E.J. reassures her, “No it’s fine, you can go.  I need to take care of my mom anyway, it’s like she’s getting worse and worse every day.”

Kara smiles and rubs K.E.J’s head, “You’re a great son, Kal, and both your mother and father love you.”

K.E.J. smiles and hugs Kara before he says, “Thank you”, and then he pauses for a second before he says, “But I have a question.”

“What’s that?”

“Why aren’t you in Metropolis right now?”

Kara smiles and shakes her head “See ya Kal”, is the last thing she says before zooming from the transparent glass of the elevator heading to Metropolis.

As K.E.J. sees her gone in a flash, the elevator has arrived on the home floor. He walks to Diana’s bed looking at her. Her frail and old body brings tears to his eyes. 

            Diana hears him crying and begins to wake up, “Oh baby, what is the matter?”

            At this point she hears. “I don’t want to lose you mom.”

            She gives him a hug, “Oh son, I’m going to be fine. I feel myself getting better every day. I’m just resting up so the bad guys have time to get prepared for Wonder Woman again.” 

            They both laugh and smile hugging each other.

 

Superman screams, “Where am I?!”

He finds himself alone in complete darkness, but feels that there is something inside of him.

            “What is this? I know someone’s in here”, he says before shooting heat vision out of his eyes to evaluate the area.  The beam stops about 5 feet in front of him by a being that seems to be him. He screams at the sight of what appears in front of him.

            Stepping back from the being in front of him he yells, “WHO ARE YOU?”

            A woman’s voice breaks through the darkness around him, “Oh why, he’s you of course.”

Superman turns around trying to see, “Who are you? What is this? Show yourself coward!”

            The woman says in response, “Relax, I’ll answer all of your questions in that order. My formal name is far too long and hard for you to pronounce, so I’ll say… my name is Lady Mystic. I’m a guide for people who are going to die soon to explain the process of what happens so they aren’t frantic or surprised when it is upon them. The area which you are in, is an area all heroes go to before they die, or like in your case go through a major transformation so that way there is a visual as well as an audio piece to the story I am going to explain to you.”

Light slowly surrounds the area.

            “You’re telling me I’m going to die soon?” Superman says.

            “Oh yes, very soon”, says a voice coming from behind him.

He turns to see a small green wrinkled woman wrapped in purple drapes from the neck down and a yellow towel-like piece of clothing worn around her head.

           The woman points behind herself. “As you can see behind me is you, but like I said, transformed.”

“If I’m not going to die and this is a place where people come before they die, why am I here?”

“Because you are going to die Kal-El” she said in a stern tone.

Superman’s eyes widen from the news “How do you know my name?” Superman says surprised.

She responds plainly, “I work for the Monitors, I know everything about you, what has happened to you, what will happen to you and so on, but what I’m trying to do is focus on the immediate.”

Superman couldn’t respond for a second. “Both of them?” asks Superman, being confused and not understanding the situation.

The woman sighs impatiently, “Yes, but I’ll explain that later – we’re running out of time.”

“For what?” asks Superman with his mind now racing.

“Now you’re asking the right questions”, the woman says before going on to explain. “Now there is a creature here by the name of Difeet”, a circular screen is formed in the middle of Superman and the woman. “He just landed on Earth. He is a Krypton hunter made of the meteors that were in the meteor shower that destroyed your planet nearly two-hundred years ago as you know.”

A holographic image of Difeet beams up on the side of Superman and Lady Mystic. A large dark rock creature stands at 8 foot tall entirely made of black rock. It’s eyes glow yellow, light-blue crystals pierce through his body at the elbows, knuckles, knees and toes. The creature is doubled in size on a muscular scale compared to Superman. 

Superman analyzing the alien says, “Yes, but you said he was made of the meteors that destroyed my planet. How is that possible?”

“The same crystals that make your fortress were of course on your planet when it collapsed and exploded. The meteors from the shower were caught in between the crystals and they rubbed together with such force that it sparked the creation of life for the meteors, therefore creating a small race of meteorite aliens like him.”

“And why is he hunting Kryptonians?”

“Because his species must collect the crystals”, she pauses before continuing. “They know that all Kryptonians have the crystals…like you, some of them had them and some of them didn’t but none the less, they were killed in assumption that they were hiding them.”

The screen in between them showed them the other Kryptonians dying.

            “I didn’t know there were any more”, says Superman.

            “Of course no others found you except your cousin and Zod”,  Lady Mystic pauses. “Speaking of which, this is how Difeet found you.”

A display of Zod and the creature come up on the screen.

            “You’re looking for Kryptonian crystals – get Kal-El, he has the most of anybody”.

            The creature yells in his face, “WHERE!”

            “Earth”, responded Zod before having his body ripped in half.

            The creature sighs, “Thank You.”

Superman watches the screen concerned, “This monster kills me?”

            “What do you think? And he’s about to kill another one right now”,  as she points her finger at the screen.

Superman doesn’t answer. The screen changes to Super Woman and Difeet fighting. The creature holds her up by the cape punching her in the face repeatedly. The crystals on Difeet’s hand go further and further into Kara’s face with every punch.

            Superman in horror, “Let me out of here. I have to save her!”

            “Superman…Kal-El, we have things to discuss about Prime!”

            “Whatever Prime is, it’s not more important than my cousin and if I die then so be it”.

            “Superman, I really don’t think you understand how big this is. This is changing tides for the future of the universe”

            “Let me out! I don’t have time for this, she’s dying!”

            “Superman! She is ready to die, I’ve talked to her too”.

            “NOW!” he said as he’s holding her by her yellow towel.

            “You can’t save her Kal-El.”

            His tone became calm, “It’s time for me to go.”

The lit area turns back to the fortress and he flies out leaving Lady Mystic behind. She speaks to herself sympathizing for him. “Poor boy, couldn’t even tell him about Diana.”

In moments it takes Superman to arrive in Metropolis, flying through the buildings. Knowing of his death seems to make things go in slow motion, color seems dim, and sound is sharper than ever. As he comes to the crash site, he sees the buildings within a mile radius are decimated and others knocked over. Ambulances and police surround the area. A low ring of cries and screams break through his ears. He doesn’t hear anything the same, he feels disconnected from the world. The question in his head that’s repeating itself, “Am I going to die?”.

            Superman feels the vibration of Difeet’s punches through the air. He finds Difeet holding Kara. He lands in the broken ground and looks forward at Difeet. He sees her being held by her cape the same way he saw it on the screen. “Am I really going to lose? Am I going to die? To him? He looks like any other alien creature I’ve fought.”

Difeet raises his hand for another punch “Don’t you touch her!”

“What are you going to do Superman?” says the alien before going in to punch the woman.

Before Difeet’s hand reaches Kara’s face Superman puts both of his hands to the creature’s fist. The creature punches through Superman’s hands making him and Kara’s body collide. Difeet watches as Superman’s body goes flying. Kara’s body flies in the air and flips over so her back is aimed at the ground. As she flips over, Difeet grabs her legs and lifts his knee aiming for the middle of her back. Superman soaring through the air catches his bearing quickly just before seeing Difeet’s knee enter Kara’s back.

            A moment of silence occurs before Superman whispers in despair, “Kara.”

Difeet turns her body over holds her by her head.

            Kara smiles at Superman and says, “It’s okay Kal.”

As she says that Difeet presses his thumb down on her head breaking her neck. Superman screams at the sight of his cousin dying. The pain in Superman’s chest occurs again making him shoot down to the ground. A small crater is created around his body. He looks up and coughs as he forces himself up. Tears enter his eyes as he stands back up.

            “Dad!” says a voice coming from behind Difeet.

            “No!” yells Superman watching K.E.J. running in.

Difeet turns as the boy runs from behind him and swings his arm around clotheslining K.E.J. making him fly back. As he flies back, his feet drag through the street cracking through the road before the boy slams into a building.

Superman yells, “Why don’t you pick on somebody your own size.”

            The creature laughs, “Nobody is my own size, but you do need to give me those crystals Kryptonian.”

            “I was willing to reason with you before but you’ve already gone too far.”

            “Then it’s time for you to die”, said the creature in a cold voice.

            “Let’s go then”, said Superman.

            “That’s all I’m here for.”

Superman flies towards Difeet cocking his right arm back. As he swings Difeet catches his hand and throws an uppercut right into the pit of Superman’s stomach and then swings him into K.E.J. running back. Their bodies hit each other making them both go flying.

            Superman gets up and checks if K.E.J. is okay before he says, “Son, you don’t need to be here, this isn’t your fight. I need you to take care of your mother.”

            “But dad!” K.E.J. shouts.

            “She is more important than this fight. I’ll be back in a moment”, says Superman as he holds his stomach.

K.E.J. sees the blood coming through his father’s finger. “Dad, be safe” says K.E.J. before hugging him.

K.E.J. runs off as Superman turns to the creature standing still as if is a statue in the street.

            “Let’s go, old man” says the creature.

Superman sets his right leg up to move forward. By this time his feet are set. Difeet’s fist has already made contact with his face. Superman feels the hard cold diamonds cut through his face. Superman hasn’t felt this kind of pain in a long time. It is refreshing to him. Superman shoots a ray of heat vision in the monsters face. The alien looks into Superman’s eyes through the beams.

          “Your cousin already gave me this, what do you have to offer?” askw the alien before clasping his hands together and knocking Superman’s face into the building rubble.

Superman begins to realize this monster might actually kill him.

            This battle extends from hours to days. Superman realizes what damage this fight is doing to the Earth and that it can possibly destroy it if they continue to keep the fight here. To protect Earth he makes a request.

“Let’s take this somewhere else; you want Kryptonians not humans so let’s leave them out of it”.

Difeet laughs “Whereever you bring me Kal-El you will still die. The arena makes no difference to me”.

Superman turns away, sighs in relief, and zooms off into the sky. Difeet follows. They travel to the near by planet Jupiter. With the wounds from Difeet and the sharp pain in his chest again, Superman feels a shortness of breath and begins to come crashing to Jupiter’s surface. Difeet sees this and flies straight at Superman’s back making him shoot down and crash to the surface. A crater instantaneously appears on the surface. Superman wills himself to turn over to try and challenge Difeet’s might as he levitates above him seeming to punch harder and faster every blow…only to be unsuccessful. Through the hundreds of punches Difeet throws at Superman, one snaps through Superman’s right arm and to his face. Superman screams in pain sending vicious vibrations through the air. Difeet clutches his hands to his ears. Superman sees this as an opening and heat vision blast from his eyes to the creature’s chest. A split second of the blast is endured before Difeet clasps the rays to Superman’s face with his palm. A spontaneous explosion erupts between Superman’s eyes and the creature’s hand. Superman’s body goes further into the ground, while Difeet stands over him unphased.            

            Suddenly Superman hears on Earth K.E.J., “Mom? Mom? Can you hear me?”

Superman slowly turns his head slightly and hears more closely to her heart. It flat lines. Superman has finally come to the conclusion that it is his turn to die. Clark Kent, Kal-El, and the greatest superhero of all times, Superman. Like his colleagues through the many generations of heroes that have come to the world he must leave the planet and head to the other side of resting. Superman in a nano second, with all the might left in his body flies to the creature and clutches his waist before flying at light speed to the sun.

            In this moment words are muttered from Superman’s mouth as he feels his spirit leaving his body, “You came to Earth after traveling the cosmos looking to kill the last pure Kryptonian, and well you’ve done it, I hope all that traveling was worth it.”

            The creature responds, “More than you know.” As Difeet says this he grabs Superman by his waist. They approach the sun and as it is less than 50 miles away from them, just before hitting the surface, Difeet throws Superman into the sun. Something strange happens as Superman touches the sun’s outer shell. His body being damaged so badly by his fight with Difeet and his blood having tiny crystals of the creature in his skin, an effect never endured by Superman happens now. Superman’s skin begins to simmer and boil underneath his costume. He feels nothing but the searing pain of the sun turning his body to liquid, but is too weak to move away. Slowly his body fades and melts into the Sun’s surface until there is no more. Difeet watches as the body disintegrates and closes his eyes in bittersweet triumph. “The deed is done.”

             Difeet flies away and goes back to Earth to enter his ship. As he lands on Earth he sees a boy about 5’5” muscular but slender standing in the street with a metallic tinted red and blue skin tight suit looking up at the creature. The gold bands that had once been wrapped around the boys wrists and ankles are now gone. His eyes glowing red and his fists clenched as Difeet is about to enter his pod. He analyzes the boy curiously for a moment before heading into the ship.

            Difeet thinks to himself, “I have seen this boy before, he wore the sign of hope and has strength, but his blood is not of pure Kryptonian blood. He should be irrelevant.” He continues to enter his ship. As the top closes to the alien’s pod, a heat blast shoots through the cockpit of the meteor-ship and makes a hole right through Difeet’s shoulder. Difeet brings his hand to his shoulder in pain. He takes his hand away and sees his yellow blood in the palm of his hand. This injury is shocking to him. He looks up at the street only to see the boy standing there about a hundred feet away from him.  Difeet blinks and in that millisecond; K.E.J. appears right in front of the ship. K.E.J. punches through the ship grabbing the alien by his neck and lifting him out breaking the shell of the ship.

            The alien seeing the boy floating while holding him tries to process what is going on. “What exactly are you boy?”

            “I’m the next of kin to the man you just murdered, but since he’s gone you can just call me Superman.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Meanwhile, back on the surface of the sun, just before Superman’s cells are about to be completely incinerated, mitosis occurrs within Superman’s cells and the remnants of Difeet’s skin in his blood being heated by the Sun – another being is created. This being though having a similar cellular structure, has lost its memory and all thought of Earth and Krypton and having had a son. This being is much stronger than the old Superman having far more dense skin and bones. Having been connected to the Sun on a cellular level he can give off amazing amounts of heat from his body and is able to absorb it for more strength. He could be called Superman but the name would not quite fit. The proper name for him would be Superman PRIME.

 (C) 2013 Shamar Coxum

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