|The prophecy of Rao Season 1 & 2
Author: Lordheaven PM
AU/SML – Set after Kal-El's escape from the Phantom Zone, Cor, son of Van-El, presumed dead resurfaces on Earth in search of his destiny. Trying to escape his father's plan for him, he discovers that destiny is not something one can escape easily.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Supernatural - Chapters: 26 - Words: 172,424 - Reviews: 37 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 02-21-12 - Published: 04-21-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6925618
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N1: This is the end season two. Soon there will be Miniseries, four parts each with three or chapters, before the launch of season three.
Disclaimer: The story is based on DC comics' characters and the mythology created in Smallville (i.e. property of the CW network), and originally created by Jerry Siegel and Joel Schuster.
"At the height of moon upon the bridge of Solace, the Ventu Collaris shall play its last, and the Dragon shall rise to lead his people to the light!" – Dragon Scrolls, verse one, chapter thirteen.
Rise of the Dragon – Part II
At dawn, the Yllyans had gathered on the sides of the bridge of Solace. It was one of the most interesting things within each Yllyan settlements. Eight great columns incorporated the elements of life – the environment (in this case the lake flora), the construction materials (metal and wood), the essence of life (the blood of its builders), and the core element (collarium). Each column held the crests of all losers of the challenge of respect while the ground around them held the crests of all victors.
The columns were positioned in a circular fashion – two by two on each side depicting the beginning of the bridge and four in the middle, standing two by two facing each other. The space between the four is where the challenge takes place. No party may leave the perimeter of the bridge. If one falls over (not by purpose) that he is to be returned back to the bridge to continue the combat. The challenge ends with either total surrender or death.
Ventu Vincent arrived on the right side of the bridge. He was alone as no one had the right of helping him as per the traditions, the challenger is always alone. He was dressed in the combat dress of the Ventu Collaris – all in purple wearing the mask adorned with the collarium crown.
He was holding the only weapons a Ventu Collaris carries – the tears stars (which are a fusion between metal and diamond and are a deadly weapon) and the ritual staff of Collaris (whose sides are sharpened so it can be a sword and a staff at the same time. The sharpened sides are controlled by the Ventu Collaris at will).
Cor arrived too but he was not wearing his Dragon Herald attire that he did yesterday. No, he was wearing his Yllyan attire. It was not something fancy – a simple verdant long shirt over his blue linen trousers. On his waist he wore a beautifully crafted Yllyan leathered belt. He had no weapons other than his sheathed sword. Ventu Vincent smiled at himself. This boy was indeed arrogant. He wore no protection and probably he was thinking it would bring him some sympathy but he was deadly wrong. He would get none from him.
The combatants took their places right between the first two columns on their sides and waited. The moon reached its highest and the master elder raised his hand. The combat was initiated.
Ventu Vincent did not attack at once. He waited to see what his opponent was going to do but all Cor-El did was to move slightly forward, unsheathe his sword and throw it in the middle between the four columns.
Ventu Vincent curled his lips. He took the chain containing the tears stars and loosened each on the ground. Then each of the stars rose from the ground and formed a crown around his head like angry wasps.
His focus reached its peak and he directed the deadly stars at his opponent. Cor evaded each the stars by simply moving out of their way. But they swirled around and came threateningly back at him.
Cor did not have the time to play Ventu Vincent's game so he did the unthinkable. He caught the first two stars with his bare hands then he started catching the others. When the last swirled at him, he used one of the stars in his hand to meet in mid flight and direct it back at Ventu Vincent but this time helped by his own telekinetic push.
The star flew straight at Ventu Vincent who had to wipe his wide smile and duck. Cor then used another of the stars and sent it straight at his opponent. Ventu Vincent had to duck again as he could not stop the star's momentum. These two stars were not out of the combat perimeter. They could not be used again. All weapons that leave the combat zone stay out of the combat zone till the end of the challenge.
The other stars in his hands Cor directed directly out of the combat zone without threatening his opponent. It was going to be as it seemed staff against sword. The sword was the only Kryptonian weapon present and something Ventu Vincent hated most.
The damned thing was made durable, hard and almost impossible to break. All Kryptonian weapons much like their crystals imbedded the properties of all surrounding materials in them which were why Cor had used the last star to hit his own weapon. His sword incorporated the strength and durability of the tears stars.
Ventu Vincent made the first steps towards the center columns. He reached the middle before Cor and took possession of the sword. Now the young hybrid was going to die.
Cor reached his opponent but still did not attack. Ventu Vincent on the other hand was not that noble. He swung the sword from high up but Cor simply ducked out of the way. Ventu Vincent turned the blade back into Cor's direction but Cor evaded the swing in the same manner.
This frustrated his opponent much as every time he was missing his target. Ventu Vincent was getting angrier by each unsuccessful swing. At one swing Cor moved back and then directed a kick at Vincent's hand. The sword flew out of his hand and landed in Cor's.
Ventu Vincent moved back and summoned his staff. The real combat began at this moment. Ventu Vincent was a grand master of the staff. Even back in the days of Aerie he had almost no equal with the staff.
The staff being longer than the sword kept Cor at a safe distance away from him. But Cor was countering his blows perfectly. Cor proved to be quite proficient with the sword which forced Ventu Vincent to cut the distance between them.
At close range, Ventu Vincent managed to get the high ground. He managed to cut Cor's right shoulder then his left arm, and then got rid of the sword in just a few moves. The sword left Cor's hand and landed near one of the columns.
Ventu Vincent using the momentum of his staff hit Cor straight into the chest which made him flew across and splash into a column with a loud thud. Ventu Vincent moved to him, swung high but managed only to get his left shoulder as Cor moved out of way.
Clutching his bleeding shoulder wound Cor staggered back to his feet to face his enraged opponent. Another swing with the staff – Cor ducked and then got hold of it. His hand was cut immediately as the staff was evenly sharp anywhere. Ventu Vincent's gloves were made of material that protected him from the sharpness of his weapon. He smiled victoriously.
With screeching pain, Cor used his left hand to push Ventu Vincent with his telekinetic skill. Vincent did not expect it and flew backwards falling to the ground. He came back to his feet promptly. The staff had remained however in Cor's hands but Cor did not use it. He threw back at in Vincent's hands.
This alone managed to piss Ventu Vincent beyond belief. He charged Cor angrily and the battle took on a ferocious aspect. Ventu Vincent managed to inflict other smaller wounds onto his opponent crippling him even further but Cor held his ground.
Vincent then started using his telekinetic skills without mercy throwing his opponent into the columns, crushing his body into them.
To all watching it seemed Cor did not stand a chance. They could not understand why Cor was giving his opponent so much freedom of movement but Cor had his reasons. He really did not want to get angry. The last time he truly did he almost killed the Emperor. And the other reason was because he wanted to avoid his destiny. He truly did not want to become the Dragon Herald. The Dragon Herald was a dark legend and he did not to be it because ironically things were more predetermined than anyone could realize. He was not going to give his life easily though. He could not do that but he was not truly fighting his opponent either. Cor had once more decided to run, run away from destiny. For him it was the only way to avoid the darkness coming forth. But it was never to be either. His vision had become blurry. He was just inches away from death when the Lord of Life stepped in. He presented Cor with a vision of the future and all the suffering General Zod and Ventu Vincent and all malevolent evil would bring to the Earth should the Earth's protectors ever give up.
'Is this that you are, young Cor-El? Are you the one to give up every time you are presented with an obstacle? Is this why your parents sacrificed everything?' – Gallean's words resonated in his mind.
Cor-El resented the tactic the Lord of Life was using – guilt but he was right. Cor had given up when Chloe had been taken. He was willing to let her in Vincent's hands. He did not care and he was afraid as he is afraid now to face his destiny. He did not want to find the reasons why he had no powers on the Earth so Tess had to do for him. Then he did not want to find a way to use Kryptonian skills so hid behind his bracelet containing the Blue Kryptonite. He used the excuse that his training was standing in his way – nothing but excuses. True it was going to take time to find a balance but a balance could be found. He did not want to face Zod because this was another excuse.
Ventu Vincent was certain of his victory. He swung one last time to finish off his opponent and thus he did not see Cor's sword fly in his hand. The sword blocked the staff. Cor then pushed his opponent off of him. He staggered back to his feet and focused all his power onto the sword as he had done before into the water before the Yllyan defenses.
The sword took on an eerie green glow that shone like a star startling everyone. Vincent however was not impressed. He swung again but this time he was due for a surprise. Cor attacked too and his sword broke the staff into two (it was something that has never happened. A Ventu Collaris staff is made off the hardest metal in existence and once made, once it cools off it can't be broken).
Cor then let the sword on the ground and attacked. It was hand to hand combat and here Cor had the upper hand although he was injured and bleeding out he did not stop even when Vincent was reciprocating on his hits. Cor was ignoring all the pain. His adrenaline was off the roof as was his determination and focus.
Ventu Vincent was retreating under the pounding pressure. He had never met an opponent tougher than young Cor. The cold fury in his eyes was a like an incoming dark storm. He was losing his ground when he was so close to victory. He tried to fight back but it was not helping. In hand to hand combat, Vincent was not that good and he knew it so he retreated and focused his abilities as Ventu Collaris. Here, he knew he can smash his opponent. The problem was there were no stray objects to use against him. The last time they met he had the advantage as there were many such objects.
But even without the help of such, Ventu Vincent was more powerful or so he thought. He had never heard of Cor's induction to the Collaris ranks. Young Cor had managed to defeat the High Master, four Ventu Collaris and the emperor, while he was very young.
Ventu Vincent seemed to winning though. His power and hatred were great indeed. But near the end, young Cor focused like never before. The sword on the ground glowed brighter than ever and rose up. The power it unleashed cut all defenses destabilizing the collarium once more. But the odd thing was that the water did not crush the city.
The Yllyans who sensed the fall of the defenses were baffled. Why wasn't the water crushing them? The answer was very simple and yet astonishing. Cor's powers were keeping the water away. In this one moment suspended in eternity, Cor had become the Dragon, the High Protector.
The collarium core stabilized and all looks were in the direction of the bridge of Solace where they saw Ventu Vincent die. The sheer strength of the telekinetic scream had swept away Ventu Vincent's life like wind blows a candle. Ventu Vincent had employed all his power to resist the scream but it was beyond his skills and abilities to stop this power.
It is said against true power there are no defenses. And young Cor had reached the very place he had feared. He still feared it though but today he had come once step closer to becoming the Dragon Herald of Rau. For today, he had become the Dragon Guard as prophesized by the Dragon Scrolls. The Dragon had risen.
Cor of course had fallen down almost immediately after he initiated the scream. His strength had left him and now he lay once more bleeding out.
The Master Elder and the others of the grand council had hurried towards the bridge of Solace to help the victor. They moved him to the healing center but the healers were not optimistic.
"He has lost a lot of blood, Master Elder." – The master healer informed looking grim. "I fear he will not survive."
"There must be something we can do." – The master elder said.
"I'm sorry. By the end of the day, Corin Tassir will die."
The master elder shook head while looking at young Cor. The boy, the man had fought valiantly and worth of any of his predecessors. He had also done something he, the master elder considered impossible. He had focused the telekinesis power into a blade. He knew now what had reversed the streams.
It was turning to be such a tragic day losing the only and last of the Ventu Collaris and the last heir and child of Aerie. But that was life. It had its ups and downs. It had what can be foreseen and what can't. It was a sad.
A sudden commotion interrupted his thoughts. A woman had arrived at the security perimeter and was pushing to get inside.
"What is this noise?" – The master elder asked as he approached the guards."What is going on?"
"I'm sorry, Master Elder. This woman is persistent." – The guard replied.
"Well, let her speak then."
"Yes, Master Elder, speak woman!"
The woman was old, grey going to white haired. She belonged to the house of Caretakers that much was clear from her insignia – the White Sea Flower with its white and blue petals. She came and bowed to the Master Elder.
"Forgive the intrusion, Master Elder," – She said with a hoarse voice. "But the moment I learnt who has come I had to come and see him."
"You are not the only one, caretaker. Why should we make any exceptions for you?"
"You don't understand, Master Elder. I'm Mercia Alun." – Mercia stood up. "I'm…I was the royal caretaker, specifically, young master Cor-El's. I hear he is injured and you cannot heal him. He has to…"
"Let her in!" – The master elder said. "Follow me!"
They entered into the healing ward. Mercia reached Cor's bed and saw his fading colors. Her eyes sought something on his hand and then she visibly relaxed. The master elder wondered why.
"Master Elder, there is only one way now to help young master Cor-El."
"Really?" – The master healer asked approaching them. "We have tried everything. He has simply lost a lot of blood. There is nothing we can do."
"You have some audacity, caretaker." – The master elder interjected.
"Forgive me, Master Elder but you do not understand. Young master Cor-El is half Kryptonian."
"We are aware of this." – The master healer said tiredly.
"And being such on the planet of the humans…" – Mercia hinted.
The master healer slapped himself on the head. He had missed this little but significant detail.
"Of course…what?" – The master elder exclaimed looking from one to the other.
"Master Elder, the healing power of the humans' sun can cure him." – The master healer responded. "I'm actually surprised he hasn't healed yet."
"He is wearing his family bracelet." – Marcia explained showing the bracelet. "It is made of collarium, the bond metal and Azure."
"By Collaris, of course," – The master healer exclaimed. "Azure is blocking his Kryptonian abilities."
"But why would he wear it if he it does?" – The master elder asked perplexed.
"He would do it because in the challenge, Master Elder, it has to be Yllyan versus Yllyan." – The master healer said. The young man had grown more into his eyes now. "We have to be quick."
"When then we have a problem…" – The master elder said. "It is already nightfall and you said he will not make it to dawn."
"There is still hope, Master Elder." – Marcia said. "The Kryptonians made an alliance with the Consortium of Mars."
"The Martians were destroyed." – The master elder countered.
"This is true, Master Elder, but there is one left." – Marcia countered back. "He is currently in Metropolis. We have to summon him here."
"A Martian – in our colony…" – The master elder objected.
"I do not believe you have a choice, Master Elder, or we will lose Master Corin."
The master sighed deeply. "Very well, make contact with the Martian."
"I thought it best we use the star projector." – Marcia proposed.
"The projector?" – The master elder exclaimed. "In order to use the projector, caretaker, we need a Ventu Collaris, and sadly we lost the only one we had."
"You do have others in training, don't you?"
"Well, we do but their skill is nowhere near that."
"One by one perhaps, but together they should be strong enough. It is the fastest way."
"Summon the master trainer at once!" – The master elder turned to the guards who went promptly to execute the order.
The master trainer Collin arrived shortly after. He was still in his sleeping attire. He was given not time to change.
"Forgive me, Master Elder, in not being presentable but the guards insisted."
"It is alright." – The master Elder said and pulled him away to explain him the complex task. They returned shortly after that. "Can it be done?"
Collin sighed deeply. "I believe so, Master Elder, but we must know who we are trying to contact. It would help considerably if we had something of his."
"Now that will be a problem."
"No, it will not!" – Marcia said and darted off the healing ward. She returned several minutes later carrying a small raggedy blanket. Calming her breath she explained. "It belonged to his child. It will direct straight to him. His name usually among humans is Jon."
"Well then, this will certainly help." – Collin said. "Master Elder it would be preferable we conduct the star projection in the training complex with young master Corin in the middle of us."
"Master Healer, see to it. We don't have much time!"
"Oh, and I need to take this away." – Marcia said and took off Cor's bracelet of his hand.
The master healer and his men transported Cor to the training complex and made him as comfortable as possible while Collin gathered the trainees explaining them the complex act of the star projection.
They had to focus all their power in sequence and with the help of a mind master to direct it at Jon, the Martian bounty hunter, using the blanket.
"Do not be discouraged if it doesn't work right away," – Collin was saying to his students. "You have never performed this ritual before. It is going to take time."
"Hopefully before young master Corin expires." – The master Elder couldn't resist adding.
"I hated when people use hopefully at the beginning of a sentence." – Marcia interjected.
The trainees gathered around Cor-El in the fashion of the bridge of Solace. Each had one hand in the air and the other over Cor's body. The mind master was holding the blanket, the link between them and the target sought.
The first few times nothing happened but with Collin's soothing words his students focused more, relaxed and the effect was immediate. The blanket was encompassed in starlight and star projection cut through the veils of distances and straight to its target.
Jon Jonson, the Martian bounty hunter, was in the precinct signing off a few papers. He then moved to his car to see what his next target is to be. On the way, he sensed a presence, a powerful one. It made the hairs on his back stand on edge. He looked around but there was nothing and then out of the blue he saw it.
It was an astral projection. It circled around an object he thought he would never see again – a blanket. But it was not just any blanket. It was the blanket his wife used to warp his child, back on Mars, all these years ago.
Next to the blanket, a figure stood. He recognized her at once. It was Marcia Alun, the Yllyan caretaker his wife had borrowed from the Yllyan royal court.
"Jon!" – She called. Her voice was eerie but perfectly clear.
"Marcia?" – Jon exclaimed still shocked of the manner of her appearance.
"We don't have much time. I don't how long they can maintain the connection. I need your help."
"Ah…" – Jon stuttered. "Of course…"
"I need you to come to us."
"The Yllyan colony…"
"Yes, we are on the Earth."
"Yllyans on Earth?" – Jon exclaimed stunned. "How did you…we miss you?"
Marcia smiled. "You will have your answers, Jon. But I desperately need your help. I just hope you haven't lost your abilities."
"No, they are perfectly intact."
"Good. I need you to come to us."
"Alright, ah, where are you?"
"Follow this map!" – Marcia started to fade but in stars he saw a map written in the extinct now language of the Martians. "I will wait for y…" And she faded completely.
Jon stood still. He was so shocked of the news. Yllyans on planet Earth – how did they miss them – but then maybe the reports, the strange reports he had seen were not so strange. The masked figure in the museum was one of them. He had never associated it with the Yllyan royal guards, the dreaded Ventu Collaris. And yet, it was clear the Yllyans have survived and obviously prospered on Earth undetected by anyone.
The map was still clear in his mind. Why had Marcia used his language for this? Jon thrust head. It was obvious why. She did not want anyone even if they see it to understand. Yllyans were not particularly keen on sharing secret locations. However today they did which only emphasized how serious the situation is. They were truly desperate.
Jon left the precinct's grounds and headed to a secluded area. From there he rose up into the sky and headed to the Yllyan colony.
Once he arrived shortly after at the designated coordinates he was actually surprised of the location – the Lake Baikal. No one would have ever suspected there is a settlement of aliens in there.
He noticed Marcia on the surface waiting for him. He landed near her.
"Marcia!" – He exclaimed hugging her. It has been so long.
"Jon!" – She replied affectionately. "There is no time to lose."
"Wouldn't it be faster if we took flight?"
"Yes, straight through there."
He took her in her arms and flew in the given direction. It turned out to be a land aperture that led deep underground and as he sensed under water passageway. Soon after, he noticed the unmistakable sun like glow of the Yllyan settlement. The guards stood aside while he was passing.
"Head for the dome!" – Marcia said.
Jon looked up ahead. "Which one?"
"That one!" – She pointed.
He flew in and landed. Before him the Master Elder stood. He recognized him at once too.
"Master Elder, it has been a while." – Jon said and bowed in respect.
"It is you she meant then." – The master elder replied and smiled. "It has been a while indeed."
"I understand you need my help."
"Yes, we do." – The master elder said and led the way. Jon and Marcia followed till they reached a large luxurious room. "What we are about to show you cannot be shared with the heir of Jor-El, do you understand?"
Jon frowned. Why? – was the first question that popped into his head.
"Do you understand, Martian?"
"Ah…" – Jon truthfully did not. He could not understand what Jor-El's heir had to do with this, whatever it was. "Yes!" He said nonetheless.
When the Master Elder stood aside, Jon's jaw fell to the floor. He closed his eyes and then opened them again. He was definitely not dreaming though what he was seeing was impossible.
"It can't be!" – Jon muttered.
Marcia moved to him and held his hand. "Jon, I know Jor-El left you to watch over Kal-El but he can never know his cousin is here."
"Ah…" – Jon snapped out of his initial shock. "You don't really have to worry. Kal-El knows nothing of Cor-El anyway."
"He doesn't? – The master elder exclaimed.
"Well, Jor-El, he…."
"He never dwells in the past." – Marcia finished his sentence snorting. "Typical…"
"Anyway, Kal-El can never know." – The master elder said. "Do we have your word?"
"Yes, you do!" – Jon nodded. "But how…is this possible? How did he survive? I know for sure he died on Krypton."
"It is a story for another time." – Marcia sighed. "Cor-El had lost a lot of blood."
"He was challenged by the only surviving Ventu Collaris and he won."
"With his Kryptonian skills this is not such a wonder." – Jon noted.
"NO! Corin Tassir did not use his Kryptonian skills. He would never." – The master trainer said.
"It was the challenge of respect." – Marcia added and Jon knew they were speaking truth. "He was carrying his bracelet. It contains Azure. I believe you call it Blue Kryptonite."
"Yes," – Jon nodded. It takes a particular kind of bravery and honesty to fight equally when one has such a terrible advantage. But he knew well the Yllyans they fought honorably. "But then why hasn't he healed yet?"
"We noticed the bracelet with some delay." – The master elder admitted.
"Jon, he needs the healing power of the sun otherwise at dawn he will die." – Marcia said.
"I will take him." – Jon said and bent down taking Cor's body. "I need a clear path to the surface. He is very weak."
"It shall be provided." – The master elder said and then turned to the elder guardian that has come too summoned by the former. "Open a hollow corridor."
"Yes, master elder," – The elder guardian bowed.
"I hope, Jon, you don't mind a bit of vacuum?"
"No, I do not." – Jon smiled.
They marched to the center of the atrium. The dome above their heads opened and a light corridor appeared. Jon rose above ground and darted through it. The hopes of the Yllyan Empire were now in his hands.
Jon felt fresh air almost instantaneously. He put some more speed and seconds later was out of Earth's atmosphere. He directed himself at the sun. He knew the inevitable price he would have to pay once more but he owed a debt of honor to Marcia. The pure light of the sun encompassed both of them and it reached into Cor's cells providing the necessary hand to stimulate the healing process.
On the flight back, Cor came back to life. Jon was actually surprised of how quickly he had recovered. Even Kal-El did not come back this quickly the last time he had to make a flight to the sun.
Cor opened his eyes and they met with Jon's. One look around told him everything. He understood the terrible risk Jon had taken. The Martian's Achilles heel was heat and fire. He knew Jon would lose his abilities and he also saw it in his eyes. As it appeared it was not the first time.
Jon landed on the surface of the lake letting go of Cor. His abilities were lost once more. He was back at being human. And this time Dr. Fate was not around to restore his powers.
Cor opened his mouth to thank him but Jon silenced him with a wave of his hand. "You have Marcia to thank. I owed her."
"Marcia?" – Cor exclaimed pleasantly surprised.
"You didn't know?"
"No," – Cor shook head. He looked concerned at Jon. "They are gone, aren't they?"
"Yes," – The simple answer was. His voice indicated he had accepted the fact rather peacefully.
Cor sighed. So much loss lately…but the day was not over yet. Jon had sacrificed his powers over a promise and a debt of honor.
"It is not over yet, Martian!" – Cor said cheering Jon up. "You helped…you saved my life. Whether it was for a promise or a debt of honor, I'm going to repay it. Come with me, Jon."
Cor offered a hand. Jon took it and they darted off. Cor's Kryptonian skills were at a fritz the first time he had tried but now Cor has never felt more confident and focused. They entered the Yllyan settlement and Cor headed straight for the Collarium Core chamber where they stopped.
The elder guardian bowed to him. "Lord Tassir!"
"Bring me my sword, Elder Guardian." – Cor asked.
"Yes, milord!" The elder guardian bowed and left to execute his order.
"My powers are gone, young Cor-El. There is nothing to be done." – Jon said.
"That's not entirely true, Martian." – Cor countered with a mysterious smile on his lips. "Stay here I shall be back soon." Cor darted off.
The elder guardian returned with Cor's sword. Cor has not returned yet but he waited as did Jon. He still wondered what Cor could possibly want to achieve. He did not possess the ability to restore his powers.
Cor returned with Marcia. The attire on him attracted Jon's full attention. His eyes dwelled in the direction of the crest – the House of El and the Dragon of Tassir.
Marcia was carrying the blanket and stood next to Jon offering him a hand. Jon took it but still did not understand what Cor was up to. Cor ordered all guardians to leave and seal the door behind them.
"Marcia, have you brought Azure?" – Cor demanded.
"Yes, young master Cor." – She took the bracelet from her pocket.
"Separate the Azure from the bracelet and place it before the core."
She obeyed his command and as Jon noticed she had no idea what Cor had in mind either.
"You see, Master Martian, Collarium has unique properties. It is the core element of our planet and of our sun – Collaris." – Cor began.
"I'm aware of this." – Jon interrupted.
"Now, Kryptonian swords, well true swords anyway, have also interesting properties." – Cor continued. "Like the crystals they incorporate the properties of all surrounding materials. My sword has the properties now of Azure and Collarium that were part of my family bracelet. In short moments it will have the properties of the Collarium Core itself plus two other elements – my Kryptonian power and my Yllyan power. Together through the core's power they will cross and mingle into the one object with no powers – your child's blanket. Using the blanket's memory however through the hand of the one who has held it in her hands you will have powers back."
Jon stood dumbfounded at this statement. "That's not possible!" He whispered. "It is just a blanket."
"No, Jon, it is not just a blanket." – Cor shook head and smiled. "It is the blanket your child had been sleeping in. It holds the code of life – its and yours and with it the abilities of the Martians. Marcia having been on Mars during that time she had been breathing the air of Mars. In her hands the code of life is present too. You held me. In my body it is present as well. We are the conduits and memory of them."
Cor raised his sword and levitated it towards the core. The sword reached the core and eerie green mist encompassed it. He then focused his telekinesis and the sword glowed briefly in blue and green. From his eyes, a ray hit the blade and it started to heat.
An eerie aura surrounded the sword. An aura of blue, red and green then left the blade and crossed into the core. For a moment suspended in eternity, the core glowed in all three colors and then the mingled light left the core and filled in the blanket.
Marcia felt the surge of energy cross her body and through her hand into Jon's whose body left the ground and rose a feet. Marcia left go of him. In a brief moment, the image of Mars filled in the room, Jon's body became transparent and then back to normal.
Jon could safely say he had never felt like this before. He could feel the power inside him and he could also feel his child alive in his mind, and it brought tears to his eyes. He then gently touched the ground.
"COR-EL!" – He exclaimed as Cor was lying on the ground unconscious.
Marcia knelt next to Cor and felt his pulse and then sighed relieved. He was still there. That boy was full of surprises. She remembered back in the days, he would read any insane and ridiculous theory or hypothesis and try to make it happen. This one was no exception but this time he actually succeeded.
"He is so special." – Jon said softly.
"Well, he is full of surprises." – Marcia shared. "You should have seen him the last time he was on Aerie. He defeated the High Master of the Ventu Collaris."
"He did what?" – Jon exclaimed stupefied.
Marcia smiled. "Yes, people talked about it for a long time. No one could understand how this youngling was able to do so."
"I can understand them." – Jon said. "This is not an easily achievable feat."
"No, it is not, not to mention in the process he shut down all lights in the palace."
"It must have freaked everyone."
"Freaked no, startled yes,"
"How long has he been on Earth?"
"Three maybe four years,"
"Where has been all this time?"
"I don't know. The master elder did not share this information though I think he does not know either."
Jon was thoughtful. "Some time ago, I received a report of a masked figure robbing the British Museum. The figure was described as – purple masked figure. At the time, I did not associate it with the Ventu Collaris mostly because of the way it chose to exit."
"I heard of it and no, it was not Ventu Vincent. At the time, he was winning about the old days."
"This leaves, young Corin."
"Why do you think it was him?"
"I think so because Kal-El shared that when he and the Green Arrow went to help they were stopped by this figure that also happened to know his name."
"So Cor has met his cousin?"
"It would seem so."
"I told you he is full of surprises."
"Well, Kal-El was not so fond of him. He did pierce the Green Arrow with his own arrows."
"Cor must have had a good reason."
"I hope so!"
"Jon, he just restored your powers using an insane hypothesis. If he was evil he wouldn't have cared less."
"I know." – Jon acknowledged. He picked up the sword still lying near the Core. It was a marvelous craftsmanship. There were probably just a few blades like this one. Every Kryptonian soldier carried a sword but Jon doubted they were made that way. He had been always amazed by the properties of the Kryptonite but this was amazing side effect.
The Azure crystal was still glowing. He picked it up and put in his pocket. Cor opened his eyes at once.
"Did it work?" – He asked as he was standing up.
Jon shifted to his transparent self and then back. "Yes, thank you," – Jon replied.
"Oh, thank Rau!" – Cor exclaimed visibly relieved.
"Although, it shouldn't have worked at all." – Jon added. "I'm grateful but this shouldn't…"
"Yeah, well, the more one fights his destiny the more he finds out he can't." – Cor replied mysteriously and left the two alone.
"Destiny?" – Jon looked at her but she shrugged. "He is indeed full of surprises."
"Come, we have so much to catch on." – Marcia said offering a hand that Jon gladly accepted.
Far from the Yllyan settlement on a tower high above the city of Metropolis, General Zod was taking in the view. Soon, all this will be his. The humans did not stand a chance. With his people spread throughout the globe, the Justice League and its counterpart the Justice Society could not stand in his way. Soon, the book of Rau will come to him whether in his hands or those of Kal-El, and then he will destroy this infernal device.
But his people were not complete many were missing. They have not come forth when his crest filled the world. The thirty something he had with him were sufficient to subdue any resistance for now but in the long term he would need all of them.
He rose above the tower and headed to Tess' office. He had access to her system. She undoubtedly held the information of where the rest of his people were. He reached it without any troubles. Inputting the password he gained access to the system. Tess had managed to hide her files well but he had come to know her. He quickly found what he was looking for.
It seemed most of his people have gathered just outside Lima. He nodded satisfied. His victory was so close now. With the full ranks of his regiment no one can stop them not even Kal-El. He would give him, of course, another chance to join up. He had so much to learn about his people.
The one act as of late, Zod regretted the most was killing Fiora. She had been pregnant with his child but his fury blinded him. Of course, her death he used to rally support and as they regained their powers they were loyal to him once more and it would never waiver again. They were ready to take over the Earth.
Of course, once more, crucial to that was the destruction of the book of Rau. It should not have ever been brought to Earth but unfortunately the high council had it their way. But it did not matter victory was close.
Two of his fellow Kryptonian landed behind him. He turned to one of them.
"Rak'nor, I have a mission for you." – Zod faced him. "It is a very important mission." He emphasized. "We are not complete. There are more of our brothers and sisters out there still defenseless. You will seek them out and bring them here with their powers restored."
"Yes, General Zod," – Rak'nor replied bowing to his master. "Should any of them refuse?"
"Why would they refuse the return of their birthright? Here, take my blood." – Zod used the knife imbued with Green Kryptonite to cut his hand and fill in a phial. "Go to them and restore their abilities."
"Where would I find them?"
"They are gathered outside of Lima. You will have no trouble finding them."
"One more thing," – Zod said and lowered his voice. "Come with me!"
They both left for the tower. When they landed Zod turned to Rak'nor. "If they do not join us then they stand against us. Do you understand, Rak'nor?"
"Their leader is Vash. Whatever his choice would be, kill him!"
"Kill him? General?" – Rak'nor looked up at his master doubt present in his eyes.
"The house of Vash is full of traitors. In the last days after the fall of Kandor, we learnt disturbing news. The forces of Black Zero had infiltrated our city with the help of traitors. The house of Vash was one of them."
"I shall do as you ask, General." – Rak'nor bowed and left the tower.
Zod smiled on himself. Vash was the only one under his command who had true leadership abilities and he was the only one that could oppose him. Of course, back in the days, he would have never considered such a strategy. He would have given everything to protect his regiment. They were his family, his friends; they have bled together for Krypton.
Ever since they came to the Earth he had lost some of them. It was tragic every time he had to spill Kryptonian blood. But in those times it had to be done. It was their way. He only wished Kal-El would understand that but he was too much entangled into the human's way of life. And he was definitely following in Jor-El's steps and shame.
There was a time long ago he would have gladly given his life for Jor-El without hesitation, without a second thought. That changed when Kandor fell. He lost his wife and son he lost his life then. He was never the same again. And among all grieving only a foreigner helped him through. Her name was Sarah, Sarah Tassir, the princess of the Yllyan Empire.
He wondered after the time his blood was taken what has become of her. Had he stayed with her and had another child? Or did she marry someone else, perhaps that lunatic of a scientist, Jor-El's cousin, Van-El? Yes, Zod smiled, she probably married the lunatic and had a child with him. She always had the hoots, as the humans would say, for him. At the very least, he hoped he had retained her friendship. She was one of a kind. And perhaps after he conquers the humans he would try to find out. Yes, he would. Zod turned his gaze back to the sleeping city of Metropolis.
Back at the Yllyan colony, Cor was preparing to leave. He had come to his Yllyan brothers and sisters, and destiny had caught up with him but now it was time he took care of the rest of his people, the Kryptonians.
There was a gentle knock on the door. "Come in!"
The door opened and Jon ventured in. Marcia had him wear the traditional Yllyan dress. He looked kind of funny in it.
"Cor-El!" – Jon said. "I have come to say goodbye. I have to return to Metropolis. But before I go I wanted to ask a few questions."
"Then don't be shy, Martian, ask!"
"You died on Krypton. I was there when…it happened. Only a piece of your tunic was found. It was all that was left of you."
"My death was highly exaggerated although in a way I did die."
"What happened? Where were you?"
"I had a built in safeguard." – Cor replied. "It transported me to the Phantom Zone."
"The Zone?" – Jon's hair stood on edge. "That place is dangerous for you."
"Yeah, tell me about it." – Cor said and smiled though it faded quickly away. "In a way, I was lucky."
"Being in that place is not luck, especially for a member of the House of El."
"Very true," – Cor acknowledged. "But when I arrived I had no memory of who I was. My tunic was burnt thus the crest of House was not present. Wraiths came out of nowhere. They were probably going to kill me but a few dwellers came around and drove them away. One of them happened to be Kafal."
"KAFAL?" – Jon exclaimed. "Oh, he is ruthless. He is a killer."
"Well, in that shithole everyone is more or less equal. Ironically he thought I could be of some use to him and of course once he laid eyes on my bracelet he thought I was of Zod's minions."
"Nonsense, anyone who knows Kryptonians would know the difference and how to recognize a member of the El."
"True but Kafal is not Kryptonian. He knew Zod's crest and that was enough for him."
"He is a fool then."
"Oh, Kafal was many things but a fool he was not. I can vouch for that. Anyway, over the years, I saved his life as well, many, many times. Most of the baddies stirred away because I had Kafal with me.
In time, I started having flashes. I started to remember. And I had to stir away from the others, from the group we were with. In the corner of the Zone, I built my own home, a sanctuary. Nothing and no one could get in there not even the wraiths.
When I fully recovered and remembered everything, I stayed in the sanctuary. It would have been difficult to return to Kafal. One false move and I could have given myself away. I could not risk telling anyone for obvious reasons."
"Then why didn't you leave the Zone?"
"And go where?" – Cor sighed. "I learnt that Krypton was gone then a few years later I learnt of the fall of Aerie. I had nowhere to go."
"You could have come to Earth."
"Earth is not my home. As strange as this would sound the Phantom Zone was my home. I had everything. Well, it was not perfect – constant danger and all but it was home, and I had my mother."
"Your mother died on Krypton with your father."
"True," – Cor nodded. "But her soul crystal remained with me."
"And four years ago, the portal opened and Kal-El fell through. He left shortly after but he also released some of the phantoms and prisoners."
"I know. He had a hard lesson to learn since then."
"I imagine. My mother then suggested I leave the Zone and help my cousin."
"And I said no. It was his responsibility and he had to fix it. And then my mother decided to play the destiny card."
"And you didn't believe a word?" – Jon smiled.
"No," – Cor smiled too and shook head. "But…uh…she was very convincing."
"So you left? Why didn't it attract other phantoms and prisoners?"
"It did not because I did not use the same portal."
"Oh, so you used Zor-El's?"
"No, I used mine!"
"YOURS?" – Jon looked at him stupefied.
"Well, yeah, I had built one too. When I was young, my father from time to time took me to Jor-El's lab and the main scientists' center. One day, when they were talking about something, I poked around. Later, years later, I came back in the middle of the night and made a few changes. Adding my own portal was one of them."
"So you came to Earth?"
"Well, not right away, I had an encounter with Kafal at the portal. It appeared he had been following me. When he saw the portal opening he thought he was getting out and it was the time of truth. And then I fought him. I had to stop him. I did not kill him though but he did."
"You are alive?"
"Yes, I managed to cross and I was on Earth. I took me nearly two months to heal."
"Why did not heal the moment you arrived?"
"I did not because I was wearing my bracelet and for the next four years it never occurred to me that my bracelet was holding me back until a few days ago when I had an illumination."
"But if you were on Earth then where were you? Why did not you make contact with your cousin?"
"Does he know about me?" – Cor answered with a question.
Jon smiled. "No, he doesn't know you exist."
"Well then you have your answer. I couldn't simply go there and barge in. Besides, I never knew where he was."
"But the prisoners in the Phantom Zone must have talked?"
"They have but all I knew was that Jor-El's son survived and he was on Earth, and that's all. I have never asked where."
"Then where did you go?"
"I went to Montreal and stayed there."
"Montreal, where in there?"
"I worked for the shelter, Luthor's shelter."
"Oh, don't worry, I practically ran the place. Of course, Luthor junior came one day trying to tell me how to do my job, I told him where to shove it."
"He didn't fire you?"
"That's a bit difficult to believe."
"Oh, I can be persuasive."
"Then I imagine Tess Mercer took over and changed things?"
"Oh, she tried but I'm a tough nut to crack."
"And she did not employ her…"
"Oh, she did. We met. She's quite charming, a bit thickheaded, but charming."
"Kal-El is not on the same opinion."
"I don't know about him but I do know what I know of her and I think she will surprise everyone."
"Does she know who you really are?"
"No," – Cor did not feel sharing this point with Jon. He had clearly sensed the hostility towards Tess in Jon's voice.
"Just by the way, you wouldn't have met Kal-El in person, let's say in the British Museum?"
Cor smiled. "Yes, I have."
"What you did to the green Arrow…um…?"
"You want to be sure it was for a good cause?" – Cor smiled back. "Yes, it was. Kal-El gave me no choice. He was not backing down. I had to get him away from the museum. I could not allow him in."
"I can't tell you that."
"Now that you have your powers why not make contact?"
"It is not time."
"He needs you."
"No, he doesn't." – Cor shook head. "I have things to do on my own. I cannot stay in the way of his path no more than he can stand in mine."
Jon sighed. He tried but maybe Cor was right. It was not time yet for them to properly meet.
"I do hope you two will meet some day."
"We will. You have my word unless I die before that."
"Don't say that."
"Well, it is not the first time I kick the bucket. A year ago, I had unpleasant encounter with two Yllyans Vec and Vellis. They used…they used an air elemental against me."
"A what – air elemental?" – Jon frowned.
"Yes, he looked like…like a genie of the bottle. He was a formidable opponent but with Vec and Vellis on his side I did not stand a chance. I fell several hundred feet and died."
"And yet you are still here?" – Jon had hard time believing that story.
"True, you could say…I had…a help." – Cor replied mysteriously.
"Another time, Jon," – Cor diverted the conversation. "There is something I wanted to ask you to do for me."
"Not now though," – Cor said. "A year after Kal-El reaches his potential (whenever that time might be); I want you to give this to Chloe Sullivan." Cor reached out of his robes and passed him on a dark magenta crystal. "Tell her all she needs to do is touch it and speak my name. The rest will become clear on its own."
"Sure," – Jon took the crystal and put it in his pocket. "So you met Chloe too?"
"Yes, she is very nosy but she doesn't remember. Tell her my name – Cor-El."
"She doesn't remember?"
"Her memories were taken away."
"You don't have such power."
"No, I do not." – Cor smiled. "But a witch friend of mine does."
"Then they can be revered and …"
"I know what you are thinking, Jon, but it is not going to work." – Cor said. "Her memories are sealed with a special incantation. It is of a kind no other witch or wizard will ever dare to break unless he or she doesn't want to render Chloe's brain a vegetable. The incantation power of the Blackshire's Lords has no equal."
Jon was impressed and terrified. He had heard of the dark glory of the Blackshire Lords. He would have to wait. He could not risk Chloe's life recklessly.
"I will not tell her until the time is right. You have my word." – Jon said.
Jon nodded and headed for the door. He had almost gone out when Cor called him back.
"One last favor, Jon,"
"I need to get to Lima fast."
"Cor-El, you can fly."
"Well, sadly it would seem flying is not yet in the menu."
"Very well, are you ready?"
"Not yet, I have to speak to my people first."
"Of course," – Jon said and ventured out.
The Yllyans had gathered before the throne in atrium. Cor-El arrived shortly. He stood next to the throne and then spoke.
"You have come far since the fall of Aerie and you have settled on the world of the humans to preserve our way of life. But this world is the world of the humans and I want all of you to remember that. They may not know you are here and to be honest they should never find out however this world has also become our home. And as such we are bound to protect it against all threats.
There will be a time when the humans will no longer fear outworlders and at that time we will reveal ourselves but not before. They are a younger race. They still have much to learn about the surrounding universe and they will on their own. We are not going to hasten that moment.
You will remain here hidden. Don't get me wrong I don't say you can't go to the surface but you will not interfere in their development or reveal our presence. We still have much to rebuild ourselves."
"Corin Tassir, our lord and…" – The master elder was saying but Cor interrupted.
"NO?" – The master elder looked up perplexed.
"No means no, Master Elder. I'm not going to assume the throne. It doesn't belong to me. It belongs to Jordana Tassir, daughter of Vellisha Tassir. They live in the country of Italy. You will make contact with them but under no circumstance you are to mention I'm alive. Is this understood?"
"Understanding is not required obedience is."
"No, Master Elder, understanding is required. I'm not going to fall on the old ways. Every person has to right to speak his or her mind. New times have come. Not everything old can be upheld. Some things have to change for the good and survival of our race. You are the last sons and daughters of Aerie. You have to preserve our race."
"Of course," – The master elder bowed to Cor.
"I wished I could be with you but I have to follow my own way. In time, when I grow up, I will be back. But before I leave, I want you all to know that I couldn't be any happier than seeing all of you together. Do not stay only in this place. There are many other places spread throughout this earth where our society can prosper. You are not confined to this place alone.
The Collarium Core needs to blossom but it also requires as much from its offspring. You have to spread them. The power of the Core comes from unity and diversity, the diversity of different places. It needs to learn and grow much like we do.
Be there for one another. It is the only way to the light of Collaris! Farewell!"
Jon was once more impressed and a recurring appeared in his mind – the boy is full of surprises. Cor-El had a way with words. His speech touched and uplifted the colonists this much was clear. His spirit was strong.
Cor left the throne and took the collarium out of the crest and put it back into his bracelet. He then nodded at Jon who walked to him, took him by the shoulder and bolted out of the colony.
Jon left Cor outside of Lima and returned with haste back to Metropolis. Cor on the other hand covered the rest of the way on his own. He found his people and confronted Rak'nor, forth lieutenant of General Zod, and won him over.
Many of the Kryptonians wanted to stay but Cor convinced them otherwise. The Kryptonian race needed to survive as well. Some he could not talk into leaving. They stayed behind. These ones Rak'nor converted using Cor's blood. Zod's blood was preserved for another time. Those staying behind each gathered a blue kryptonite and held to it. When the time came, the skies opened and their friends departed for the new world.
When the skies closed, the few dozen remaining Kryptonians gathered around their new leader, Cor-El.
"What shall we do now?"
"Now, we will build a new home away from praying eyes and when the time comes we shall return." – Cor-El said and smiled. The Kryptonians followed him and vanished into the shadows of the new day until the time they are needed. "Some time into the future, Kal-El, you will meet the Dragon Herald of Rau!
Somewhere far to the south in a cave illuminated in pure light, the legendary artifact – the Disk of Dawn glowed briefly. Its time had not come yet but soon the Dragon who is to become the Herald of Rau shall come to claim it and thus fulfill the ancient prophecy.
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