"One Universe" RPG thread.

Discussion in 'RPG Archives' started by Logan Howlett, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. wiegeabo Omniposcient

    Jul 13, 2002
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    I try to open my eyes, but the light is so bright...

    I squint my eyes open and notice that lights pass above me. Dark, light, dark, light...

    "Jay? Jay, it's going to be alright. Everything will be fine if you hold on." I squint my eyes again, looking for the source of the voice. The source I know all too well. But I don't see...

    "Over here, Jay." I look back, and there she is. The greatest love of my life. Funny, I didn't see her there before.


    "You hold on buddy. It ain't time to kick the bucket yet."

    I know that voice too. "Ted...?"

    "Just hold on," I hear Joan say again.

    A door opens and the next couple of minutes are a blur. I feel my clothes being removed. I'm placed on a bed as a shower of warm water ruches over my body. My awareness fades in and out...


    "He should be dead, doctor. That level of exposure-"

    "Well, Fury wants a full workup and diagnosis or it's going to be our asses."

    "Geez. What are they, war buddies or something?"

    "You're lucky he didn't hear that. They saved each others lives more times then you can count during the war."

    "Joan? Ted?" My eyes squeek open. I know it's not their voices I'm hearing, but maybe there still in the room.

    Someone rushes to my side. "Sir? Sir, can you hear me?"

    "Don't...call me...sir." My head is pounding. I feel a sting in my arm, and the pain eases...and doesn't come back. But painkillers don't work on-

    "Sir, stay with me."

    "I'm here. Keep calling me sir...I'll get Fury on your back." I eek out a smile. I see the doctor, now I can tell he's a doctor, smile back.

    "Understood...Flash. How do you feel."

    "Like I just went 10 rounds with Ted." I notice him look at me oddly. "He's a friend." My eyes snap open. "Where is he? Where's my wife? They were here."

    "No one was here s-Flash."

    "I heard them. I saw them!"

    "You're onboard the Helicarrier. None of your family is here. You took a lot of radiation-"

    Radiation? "Superman!"

    "We don't know how, but he seems fine. We decontaminated both of you."

    I look down at my hand and see it covered with blisters, some of them oozing clear liquid. I quickly look away before my stomach empties itself. "How...how bad?" I ask, preparing myself for the worst.

    "Best guess, six or seven hours." I close my eyes tightly.

    Joan. I'm so sorry.

    "You should be up and around by then."

    I open one eye. "...What?"

    "You metabolism is amazing. Anyone else would have died hours ago from that amount of exposure. Your body is healing from the tumors and damage. Faster than I could imagine. We've never seen anything like it."

    I smile, then laugh, cough, and laugh again. No wonder I haven't metabolized the painkillers out of my system yet, my body is too focused on the damage. Thank god for little miracles. "How about that," I say. "How'd I get here?"

    "Superman said you got him far enough away from the blast zone to regain his strength. He literally broke into the helicarrier to get you some help. Personally, I think he scared Fury himself."

    "Don't let him hear you say that," I say. "Zod?"


    I close my eyes, relief and a small amount of sadness flooding me. I hate death. Even the idea of my worst enemies dying turns my stomach. But Zod...

    "I'd like to see Fury, and Superman."

    The doctor nods and heads off to use an intercom. I close my eyes and get a few minutes of rest.
  2. Batman Dramatic Example

    Oct 1, 2003
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    IC: Superman

    For some reason I just... don't feel comfortable being here. After taking Flash away to do who know's what to him, men coated in yellow rubber begin examining me with machines. Ma and Pa always worried about something like this... me being examined in this way. It's almost like their fears are coming into fruition.

    But just as I'm about to do something I could potentially regret in leaving, A man in an eyepatch steps forward. I think I may actually recognise him. From one of the Planet archives. And I actually believe I heard one of these men mention his name before...

    "They called you Colonel.", I finally say, after a moment of limitless silence. "Colonel... Fury? Nick Fury? Of S.H.I.E.L.D?"

    He seems hestitant at first. But eventually, he gives me one nod. Probably untrusting of me. Which is something I can't say I'm a stranger to. But if this is Colonel Nick Fury, and I'm at a S.H.I.E.L.D base... Then this is the only man that can provide me with answers.

    "If that's true, then you can tell me what I need to know. What exactly... did I survive, Colonel?", I question.
  3. Andy C. Repent, Harlequin!

    Mar 1, 2006
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    "I think you already know that."

    Fury let his words hang for a moment, as he tried to come up with an explanation.

    "You know just as well as I did that Zod had to be stopped, and permanently. He killed over two thousand people in Chicago alone, and God knows how many today. If he lived, there's no prison in the world that would hold him. He'd just start killing again, and there's no telling how many more people would die next time. You had an opportunity to put him down for good, and you didn't take it....so I did.

    "I gave the order, and a thirty-megaton warhead was dispatched over your position."

    Fury paused for a moment, trying to judge Superman's reaction.

    "If we'd established contact with you before, we would've tried to get you out of there, but there just wasn't any way. So I did what I had to do. And frankly, what really scares the hell out of me is that it didn't work."
  4. Batman Dramatic Example

    Oct 1, 2003
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    IC: Superman





    How did... Why am I... there's no way that I could've... that he... I... What is going on? That isn't possible. I couldn't have survived something like that. I... But... my powers, they-they were never tested to that limit before... so I guess, it isn't completely inconcivea-... I... I mean...


    Great Krypton. I survived a nuclear warhead. I'm... I could be the most invincible being on Earth. And yet, I can't even think that. All I can think is... what if it had been different? What if Zod hadn't come here for the last moments of our battle? Would Fury have just lost his patience and bombed us irregardless? I know that I survived it... But somehow, some way... I was still almost killed. And that leaves me more worried than ever for anyone who could've been in that blast.

    That explosion could've killed thousands. Millions. Maybe... billions of people. And the fact that it didn't kill me isn't even something that I want to think about; but I don't even think I could've destroyed that many people in a single sweep, if I wanted to. I don't think Zod and I combined could've killed that many. And the reason people fear me... is because of what I can do?

    I don't even think they're aware of it... but I think I may actually be the least of their worries. They themselves could be their biggest threat. Especially if SHIELD isn't the only one with access to a thirty megaton warhead. And people fear my potential?

    I finally look up at Fury, as all of this comes to me. This man could very well have the power to destroy the world. The fact that he hasn't is the only reason that I'm not going to do anything drastic. Because while I do question his better judgement... especially after what's happened... He's right about one thing. I had the opprotunity. And I didn't seize it.

    "You can stop being afraid of that, Colonel.", I finally say. "Because if it wasn't for The Flash's effort... I very well would've died. And beyond that, Zod already did. So in the longrun..."

    I stand up, face to face with him. I should be tense. I should be angry, at what he's done. What he could've done. But I'm not. Because Zod can't threaten anyone else. And I guess... this statement holds true for both of us:

    "...You got exactly what you wanted."

    "Colonel Fury. Superman. The Flash has been decontaminated and revived, and requests both of you at once."
  5. wiegeabo Omniposcient

    Jul 13, 2002
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    "Mr. Wayne! Mr. Wayne!" The press shout as I step off my personal jet. My arrival in New York was supposed to be kept quiet, but someone at the company must have slipped it to the press. I sigh as I step on the tarmac.

    "Mr. Wayne! Ben Urich, Daily Bugle. Any comment why you've decided to pay New York a visit?"

    I put on my best free-wheeling playboy smile. "Well Ben, it is Ben right? Well, there's a couple of buisness dealing I'm looking into. I'm not at liberty to say of course. Very hush-hush. After that, well, I'm sure there's more than a few parties to drop in on in this city."

    A couple of reporters laugh. I keep myself from throwing up in disgust. A few of the tabloid reporters try to get me to say what parties I'll be attending, but I ingore them. Security keeps the press held back as I get into the waiting limo. We enter the parking garage. A minute later, three identical limousines leave, pulling and splitting up all the waiting reporters and their vehicles.

    Ten minuets later, a mid-sized car leaves the parking garage, completely unmolested by reporters. "Where to, Master Bruce?"

    "To the hotel, Alfred. We get checked-in, then set up our base of operations tonight."
  6. Andy C. Repent, Harlequin!

    Mar 1, 2006
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    "We're on our way; don't want to keep the fastest man alive waiting."

    The medic nodded in the affirmative, and went back to his work. The Colonel turned his gaze back to Superman, and did his best to remain stern; after all, it wasn't easy trying to stare down a man who could literally kill you by looking at you the wrong way.

    "Don't look at me like I'm the bad guy, Superman. We held off on the nuclear option as long as we could to give you the opportunity to stop Zod. Believe it or not, our job is to save lives, too. We just don't all have heat vision to solve our problems."

    With that, Fury began walking towards the room where Flash was waiting. Before he reached the door, he stopped.

    "Oh, and just for the record, while we don't quite know your connection with the Daily Planet yet, you might want to leave this last bit out of the story when you tell it to them."

    The Colonel opened the door, and gestured with one hand.

    "After you."
  7. wiegeabo Omniposcient

    Jul 13, 2002
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    I'm sitting up in bed now, finishing up the cup off orange juice the nurse gave me. Many off the burns and blister have healed. I still look pretty bad, but my appetite is starting to return. Which means my metabolism is finally catching up with me, and I'll probably be very very hungry when the nausea finally fades. Unfortunately that also means I'm starting to burn through the painkillers again and the morphine isn't doing much for me anymore. They've offered to give me something stronger, but I declined. The morphine's still taking the edge off, and that's all I'll need.

    I shift my position to get more comfortable in the bed. That's when the two men I wanted to see walk into the room. I look at Fury, then Superman, then back at Fury. "Who knows how many billions of dollars went into building this ship, and you still can't get comfortable hospital beds?" He smiles, slightly.

    "You're a bastard for using that nuke," I say to him bluntly. Fury stiffens. "But there still aren't many others I'd want covering my back other than you."

    "And you," I say, turning my attention to Superman. "If you represnt the next generation of good guy, I'd say this world is in good shape. You're a hell of a hero."
  8. Andy C. Repent, Harlequin!

    Mar 1, 2006
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    The Colonel flinched a bit; he'd been called a lot worse for doing a lot less, but hearing it from an old legend like Flash....

    "Like I said before, a lot has changed since the good old days. Still, you did some damn good work; if we had to drop that bomb in a populated area....well, thanks to you, we didn't have to.

    "Anyway, the both of you are going to be commened for your actions today, as well as Mr. Cage and Mr. Queen. Zod's gone, but I get a feeling this isn't over by any means. The world's getting awfully dangerous, even for super-types like you two. Just remember: you're not the only ones in the fight."

    With that, Colonel Fury gave the two of them a quick salute, and began to walk away.
  9. wiegeabo Omniposcient

    Jul 13, 2002
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    I watch Nick walk off. I know that I hurt him, and he knows why I did it. But the man has a thick skin. He'd have to in order to survive so long. It's not the first time we've told each other off, probably won't be the last. And I know the next time we run into each other outside of a crisis, we'll be throwing back more than a few beers. Especially if Ted is there.

    I look back at Superman. "Thank you," I say. "For everything. And now that things have started to calm down, I'd like to discuss something with you..."


    It's been several weeks since, as the military calls it, 'The Incident,' or as the press calls it, 'The Battle for Earth.' And the world is still trying to heal. Not surprisingly, SHIELD was able to cover up the nuclear attack and keep it from the general public. The cover up was made easier by the fact that most were more concerned with healing from the devistation Zod had reigned down.

    Pokolistan-Russian relations were in chaos. Zod had ripped the small country asunder with his coup. So many people had died on both sides. Even now the area is a volatile powder keg.

    Chicago had cleaned up what was going to be the future site of the New Sears Tower. The city still hurts, but the people decided they weren't going to let Zod win.

    Washington DC had taken some damage as well during the Superman/Zod fight. But now most of the damage had been repaired and, thankfully, no lives lost.

    The tidal wave caused when Superman's body hit the ocean damaged coast lines in Eurpoe and Africa, and caused minor damage to the east coasts of both Americas. All totaled, Zod had directly or indirectly caused nearly four billion dollars in damage and taken 18,534 human lives.

    The number still haunts me.

    I've also been busy these last few weeks. It had taken some time for me to fully recover. And I had gladly spent those days back home with Joan. She hovered over me like I was on the verge of death, but no matter how much I wished she wouldn't, I never complained. We nealy lost the planet, and I was thankful for every moment we had together.

    After recovering, I paid visits to everyone I could find. Superman, Zatanna in San Francisco, Olliver Queen in Star City, Ted in Gotham, Spider-Man in New York, and most recently Tony and Dinah. I even happened to run into Juggernaut down in Texas. Why he was in Texas he didn't say, although, honestly, he didn't say much except four letter words as he told me he wasn't interested. I even spoke to Batman again, but he was as indifferent, and frightening, as ever.

    I told all of them the same thing. That soon, we would be meeting to create a new group of heroes to make sure that what happened would never happen again. And if they were interested, to meet at the old JSA Brownston here in Gotham on the specified day. And that day...

    ...is today.
  10. Andy C. Repent, Harlequin!

    Mar 1, 2006
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    The last few weeks had taken their toll on everyone, even grizzled old soldiers like the Colonel. While the world was focused on healing the collateral damage done by General Zod, S.H.I.E.L.D. was silently making sure that his legacy didn't continue.

    In the wake of his initial arrival, Zod had led the nation of Pokolistan into open revolt with Russia, leading to a war which killed thousands and nearly crippled the Russian military. With the General dead, there were several of his lieutenants that were claiming themselves the new leader of the "Army of Zod." Fury himself had been leading several covert missions himself to terminate all of the would-be successors. Within a month, the Army of Zod was no more, but the nation itself was still in ruins. The damage done in Pokolistan, in Chicago, and all over the world during Zod's battle with Superman was starting to get to the Colonel, especially due to his failure to stop it.

    Today, Colonel Fury sat alone in his darkened office, lit only by the glowing red embers of his cigarette. After the raids in Pokolistan, he had been sulking by himself for days, while Maria Hill once again resumed most of the command of S.H.I.E.L.D. He used to be the very best, the greatest soldier the world had never seen. Now, he was just a man, and in a world where super-men were quickly becoming the norm, what could one man do?

    There was a knock on the door.

    "Ummmm.....Colonel Fury, sir? Nick? Whaddya doin' cooped up in here?"

    It was 'Dum-Dum' Dugan and Gabe Jones, two of the other Howling Commandos from the old days. They were now the Head of Internal Security and Recruitment, respectively, and they were also two of Fury's closest friends.

    "Gabe...Dum-Dum...," Fury addressed them nonchalantly. "I suppose you're here to drag me out of the office to join Flash's meeting in Gotham. The new JSA or whatever Flash is going to call it."

    "Well, no sir," Jones began, "though we really were hoping you'd try and show up. We're here to update you on some of the cleanup from the Incident."

    The Colonel pressed a button on his desk console, bringing up the lights in the room. Jones and Dugan stepped inside, still uneasy about the state of their old buddy.

    "Well....spill. How is Cadmus doing with what's left of Zod?"

    "No good. They told me that, once he was killed by that mineral--Kryptonite, they're callin' it--Zod's DNA decayed too fast for them to get a good sample. Long story short, dead's dead."

    Fury wasn't pleased; he was hoping that, if there had been enough living tissue, Cadmus would be able to replicate it. Superman may be one of the good guys, but what if another Zod shows up? What if something worse shows up?

    "Little bit of good news, though. While Superman was onboard being decontaminated, apparently some of the boys were able to get a viable blood sample from him. Cadmus says they're laying out the groundwork for a clone now."

    "Hmmm....and what about the Kryptonite? What do we know about it?"

    "Not much, just that it kills Kryptonians. Thing is, all the reports say it only affects Kryptonians--not humans, not mutants, not anything else. It also has an energy output more powerful than Plutonium, and isn't as volatile. There's still a chance that long-term exposure could have side-effects, so the boys in the lab are playing it safe and keeping it locked up until we know everything we can do with it."

    "Good. If it's cleared as safe for combat use, I want a sample sent to the team working on Project: Wideawake. And another for the Weapon Plus Program.

    What about the new recruits, Gabe? How are they doing?"

    "Well, Colonel, every one of them is passing with flying colors so far. Agents Woo and Flumm are currently operating in Pokolistan under Commander Bridge, cleaning up the last of the insurgent leaders there. Agent Romanova has infiltrated deep into Russian security, and has uncovered all sorts of information about the forming of a new Rocket Red Brigade, which may or may not be linked to Albert Malik, who killed the Agents Parker back in the fifties. Agent Wilson was able to track down and capture a number of AIM agents, who may be able to lead us to the heart of their organization. No word right now from Agent Cage.

    "Oh, and we've got a new candidate up for promotion into the agency: a fella by the name of Connor Hawke."

    Jones handed him the dossier on Hawke. Fury grinned for the first time in days, and slid the document aside.

    "Well, we've all been busy, and we've got a lot more work ahead of us. But you know what? I for one don't feel like reading right now. And if I understand right, our old friend the Flash is having his big meeting today. So what say us old soldiers head down to Gotham and watch?"


    It had been a long trip from Coast City. Hal was amazed he was able to get the time off he needed, let alone bring Tom along with him. He still wasn't quite able to explain everything that had happened: Abin-Sur giving him the ring, Sinestro grabbing him out of nowhere to take him to Oa, the nightmarish battle with Galactus, and his rescue at the hands of the Silver Surfer. The only way he was able to convince his pal that he wasn't insane was by using the ring to lift a car over his head. Since then, they had been working on the last orders Hal had been given by Ganthet: find the man who wields 'the Starheart.'

    It wasn't easy, but after some fairly in-depth research, Hal and Pie were able to find some information on a man who had called himself 'Green Lantern' back during World War II as part of the JSA. After the group disbanded, most of the members were never seen again, but one last report claimed that he was sighted somewhere in Gotham City.

    Hal decided to travel by car; he still wasn't sure how much power the ring had in its charge, and he didn't want to run out thousands of feet up along the way.

    "I dunno, Hal," Tom said for what must have been the fiftieth time on their cross-country drive. Gotham's an awful big city; I mean, if I wanted to hide a secret identity, that's just the sort of place I'd go. How are we gonna find this guy, if he's even still alive in the first place?"

    Hal sat calmly in the passenger's seat, inspecting his power ring.

    "Gotham's a big city, yeah, but it's one where there's always some sort of crime going on. I figure I can use my ring to do some good while we're there. And when I do that, we won't have to worry about finding him, because he'll want to find us."

    "Okay, but I still say you're crazy."

    "You call me crazy every time I get into a plane, Pie."

    "So what does that tell you?"

    Hal chuckled, then caught a glimpse of the skyscrapers coming up on the horizon.

    "Well, we're almost there. Gotham City, say hello to the new Green Lantern."
  11. Batman Dramatic Example

    Oct 1, 2003
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    The Metropolis Marvel Outlasts Otherworldly Menace: How Does Metropolis Feel About The Man Of Steel Now?
    By Lois Lane and Clark Kent

    Photograph by James Olsen

    "You know, in all my years in this industry, I've seen everything from stories with promise to mediocre abominations of the very concept. But when I read this, I only saw one thing. Phenominal work. Damned phenominal work."

    I never thought I'd see the day. Perry White... impressed by the work of his own staff. Not to say that Perry isn't an ideal boss... I could've had worse. But when you think of a man like Perry, you never think of someone put on the edge of his seat. Which is exactly what I'm seeing, right now. And that makes me feel good about my future here.

    Lois, Jimmy and I stand across from his desk, as he eyes the story once again. How it came together is quite an interesting story in itself... One I'll never be able to tell fully. But I have to say, I'm quite proud of what I put into this one. And that's not even taking the fact that I am the story into account.

    Perry looks up again.

    "I called you three in here to tell you that the issue's was sold out within the hour it was put on the stands.", He begins. "Faster than any other issue in the history of The Planet. And while you may or may not believe it, I'm going to commend you three for pulling off some of the finest work I've seen in journalism."

    I smile at that. Lois does too. But not as much, since it's obvious she's used to that sort of praise. However, I'm just getting used to it. I don't even want to know how Jimmy's taking it, but I'm pretty sure he's more than thrilled.

    "And work like this doesn't go without reward.", He continues.

    A... a raise? I'm getting a raise? Oh boy. Finally. I've waited to rid myself of my money problems for awhile now. Maybe I finally can, with this-

    "You'll find them in your mailboxes this evening. Three tickets to the Metropolis stage production of "The Wizard Of Oz". My treat."


    Guess I'll have to work a bit harder than I thought.

    The room is dead silence, for a moment. Lois shrugs, getting up from her seat.

    "Oh, what the hell? I've got no better way to spend my Friday night.", She says. "Thanks for the praise, Chief. But if you need me, I'll be at my desk, working on tommorow's bi-line."

    As she walks out, Jimmy and I turn back to Perry, who nods at her exit. He turns to us, seeing our visibly disappointed faces.

    "What did you expect? The Key to the City? You heard the woman... Get out there and get on the next issue! This isn't some crappy award ceremony!"

    Needless to say, it doesn't take long for us to exit. I turn to Jimmy, who has his hands in the pockets of his jacket, head down. I guess he expected a raise too.

    "The Wizard Of Oz? Oh, man! I wanted to see 'Guys and dolls'..."

    I raise an eyebrow, as he walks past. Guess I'm really the only one with money troubles, here. But considering my other duties... I guess I have better things to worry about, too.

    It's been about two days since the Zod incident. Lois and Jimmy covered the battle, and the story that just sold out was the story of my victory. But I can't help but wonder how much I've really won this battle.

    Sure, I've been called a hero by alot of people for what I did. I defeated Zod, even watched him die without resorting to being the cause. And I survived that nuclear blast. But people still fear me. They still don't trust me, or my heritage, especially after Zod's impact. I've tried my best to win it over in the past two days I've spent helping in cleaning up the mess I made. But even then, I could tell that people were hesistant to accept me as aide. And in truth, while the article does say that I 'won the battle for Earth', that's only because SHIELD got rid of any traces of their involvement. I was the only one left to take credit, even though I didn't. That, as one could imagine, was all Lois' idea.

    I walk past her desk, on the way to my own. But as I do, I look back, seeing that she's still got the same Superman desktop as before on her computer. I smile a little wider, at that. But the moment she turns back to me, the smile fades. She raises an eyebrow.

    "Something funny, Smallville?", She asks.

    I push my glasses closer to my face, clearing my throat as I respond.

    "W-Wrong? Nothing's wrong. I mean, after all... What's wrong in having a little crush, Lois?", I ask, trying my best to hold back another smirk.

    She sneers at me. I think I might've struck a nerve, with that. Which usually means I should just keep quiet for the rest of the morning.

    "Crush? That's rich. Like I have some assinine schoolgirl crush on that flying, cape wearing... adonis... that zips around Metropolis' skies like nobody's buisness.", She says, before pausing. It's getting a little harder to hide the smirk. Lois looks at me, as I look away. "...Alright, so I maybe I have one. But if you say one word, Kent, I'll..."

    "Oh, don't worry, Lois. Your secret is safe with me...", I respond, finally letting the smirk out as I walk back to my desk.

    I remember those thoughts that I had about her, when I was contemplating surrender to Zod. In some ways, I admitted to myself that I was in love with her. In others, I could've been thinking out of desperation. I'm not entirely sure. But what I do know is that as long as we're going to work together, my career in journalism is going to be... interesting, to say the least.

    "So...", I say, thinking of something. "Does that mean you're not availible? For coffee, or something, I mean..."

    She immediatley turns around, eyebrow raised.


    "Um... Yeah. Coffee. With me, sometime. There's a cafe right across the street, and I thought... You know, maybe if you're not too busy tommorow morning, we-"

    She narrows her eyes.

    "...I'm taking that as a rejection."

    She smirks.

    "You're not as dumb as I thought you were, Kent."

    "You know, you can call me Clark if you-"

    She begins to turn around again. Guess I forgot the part about 'keeping quiet for the rest of the morning'...

    "Right. Sorry."

    She laughs, a little.

    "It's not that you're not a nice guy, Kent. But if you're trying to be Superman material, just stop right there. Because, no offense... but you're hardly in his league.", She says, continuing on with her story.

    I can't help but notice the irony in that statement. But I guess I should get used to it. Because I have a feeling I'm in for a whole lot more, in the future.

    As I continue with my own portion of the story, I remember some of the things that I was told, in the past two days. Starting from when I was on that SHIELD helicarrier.

    Firstly, Nick Fury's words. My opinion of the man is a bit undetermined at the moment, since he obviously is one of the people that doesn't trust me, but I remember what he last said. About the world getting alot more dangerous, even for people like me. And I can't find any arguments to that. Because Zod is only one of many threats I've faced in the past year, and I know it's not impossible for there to be plenty more, in the future. But I knew it'd be hard, when I came into this life. So I guess, I'll just have to fight through it, and hope the world makes it along the way. Because I'm not backing down now... Not ever again. And that's a promise.

    I got a call from Ma and Pa, yesterday. Seems they're doing pretty good. Pa just found a white pup in the cornfield, which he's decided to adopt. Says the little guy's pretty strong, but I can imagine they'll take good care of it. They already have the track record, as I can attest. After telling the tale of how they hid in the cellar during the tremors caused by the battle, they went onto say how they were proud of me for my decision to defend Earth against Zod, rather than surrender to him. And while I was a bit underconfident in myself after the battle, that did lift my spirits.

    Also got a call from Reed Richards, who commended me for a job well done. I haven't seen him since the invasion, but he said that he had aqquired a piece of rubble from the battle that gave off a strange radiation. Said he'd look into it for me, when he got the chance. I was relieved, given that I want to know why I was weakened so badly during the fight.

    The oddest commendation for my efforts came from Bruce Wayne. Though he didn't personally congratulate me, face to face... He did fax a letter to my home. Which was gratious... More than I'd expect from someone like him. And while I'm more than positive that he's The Batman of Gotham City, I still intend to keep his secret. Not just because he knows mine, aswell... But because I've seen the work he's doing for that city. It's pretty commendable in itself. Maybe someday, we'll get the chance to work again...

    And then, there was The Flash. His praise probably affected me the deepest. Though he didn't have very much to say, He was the only other one on that battlefield... So anything he did have to say probably meant more because he saw everything firsthand. But he thanked me, and... called me a hero. And while I am more grateful for that then he'll ever know... I feel the same as what I told him before I left that Helicarrier: I'm no hero. I'm just trying to help out.

    He also mentioned he had something to discuss with me, when he got back on his feet. Wonder what that could be about. But in any case, I'm interested, to say the least...

    Another thought occurs, as I finish another paragraph.

    This has been... well, one heck of a year. I still remember how I started it: In Africa, wrestling lions and flying over heards of zebra. How that went from me coming back to America, landing a job at the top newspaper in the world, and making a new identity for myself... I'll never know. But it's been a whirlwind ever since. With the Hulk's attack in Star City, Darkseid's invasion, Zod... I've meet some of the strangest people yet. Both good and bad. But then again, I'm a bit of a hypocrite for saying that. After all, some of them weren't capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

    There are still some worries. Whether Lex Luthor's true colors will ever show. What that means for Metropolis, even the world. Whether they'll ever trust me, or what I'll have to do to earn it. Whether or not I'll ever be able to truly fit in.

    But, all of this has also made me realise something, aswell. Something I used to lie awake at night, thinking about. All going back to that dream I had, about when I was sent here. With my biological parents. They told me not to forget that I'd ever be alone... And at the time, I didn't believe them. But people like Flash, Fury, Luke Cage, Oliver Queen, Spider-Man, Batman, Reed Richards and The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Jimmy, Perry, Ma and Pa, and especially Lois have all taught me something very important: I am no longer alone.

    A smile comes across my face, as I type the same out on the screen ahead. It's not part of Clark Kent's side of the story of course, But I'm using it as a quote for Superman. I get up from my desk, and casually walk out of the room, towards the nearest janitor's closet.

    Maybe some people will get what I meant, maybe some won't. Only time will tell. But for now... I've got other matters to attend to. There's somewhat of a panic on. My hearing just picked it up. From the screams and the reports, Some large purple monster is attacking the city. Calls himself The Parasite.

    I look out at Metropolis, as I open the window, taking off my glasses. Huh. Large purple monster. And just when I thought I was the strangest thing to ever happen to this city...

    As I fly out the window, one last thought occurs to me. This is going to be a bit hard to handle. Maybe even more difficult than I realise. But you know what? I'm going to see what I can do to help, anyway. Because, and I know this is going to sound a bit silly, but... well...


    "This looks like a job for Superman."

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