Disclaimer: The television series "Smallville" is owned by the WB. Characters on which it is based are owned by DC Comics and were created by Jerry Siegler and Joe Schuster. This fanfiction is purely for entertainment, and no profit is being made from it.In Somno Omne Revelatur
By Jeune Ecrivain
Genre: drama, romance (Clana)
Summary: A dream reveals all and forever changes Lana's understanding of a certain farmboy.
Lana Lang surveyed the interior of the Kawatche caves, only half-sure of what she was doing. She didn't consider herself a superstitious person, but circumstances had to be taken into account. Being possessed by a French witch doesn't exactly leave one with much reason to deny that there were supernatural elements at work in the world, despite what modern science and reason may ceaselessly preach. Plus, her otherwise Mayberrian hometown had a history of odd phenomena. Most of them involved somehow desperate or even disturbed individuals who developed strange abilities generally thought to be induced by exposure to the meteorites that had rained on the town about a decade ago. When she really thought about it, Lana marveled that the otherwise peaceful town of Smallville hadn't been swarmed by government scientists years ago.
She had barely had the time to recover from her boyfriend Jason's death, whom a part of her missed despite the fact that she would've broken up with him anyway after learning of some of the drastic and even violent measures he'd resorted to in search of a shiny stone with mysterious properties. Lana wondered sadly for a moment why all of her relationships seemed to end in tragedy, mystery, or both.
Shaking herself away from that line of thought, her eyes fell on the mysterious, presumably ancient American Indian artwork on the cave walls. Slowly and deliberately, she brought her fingers to the center of a concentric octagon of drawings and hieroglyphs, remembering the dream from the night before that could possibly explain a lot that had happened in her life surrounding one of her closest friends.
Lana found herself in the Kawatche caves, staring at what appeared to be the center of the drawings and paintings on the rocky walls. She could hear a slight murmur from within the wall. Just as she stepped forward cautiously to investigate, a bright white light erupted from the center of the paintings and lit up the cave. She stepped back in awe. Part of her was telling her to flee, but something else within her kept her rooted to the spot.
Her eyes widened as a ghostly female figure seemed to form at the end of the broad beam of light. It looked as if the wall was projecting a holographic image of a beautiful woman with long, curly auburn hair and deep, intelligent brown eyes. She was dressed in white and silver, and Lana wondered momentarily if she was seeing an angel.
The woman spoke. "Please do not be intimidated, Lana."
Lana was surprised when the figure spoke her name without ever having been introduced to her. "What is this?" she asked, half to herself and half to the figure.
"I am the digitally preserved essence of a person and a race long gone," the figure answered. "You may call me Lara."
"Digital?" Lana repeated. "But…I don't see any machines or computers."
"My people had the capacity to embed our equipment within most natural surfaces," Lara explained gently.
"That's pretty advanced technology," Lana observed. "I've never heard of it."
Lara smiled warmly. "I believe your race is not far from achieving some of what my own has accomplished."
"Your race?" Lana repeated her again. "You're not human?"
The woman pursed her lips, and her expression clearly stated her intent to get down to business. "Technically, I am. I am a Homo sapiens, but I am not a Homo sapiens terrae." Lana looked puzzled, and Lara noticed this. "You see, your people are forever wondering if there is intelligent life beyond Earth. I believe I can trust you with the answer to that question."
"You're from another planet?" Lana asked, not having expected that even in Smallville.
"I was," Lara corrected, emphasizing the past tense. "I was a member of what could best be described to you as an extraterrestrial human subspecies. Homo sapiens kryptonis, in the taxonomical language of Earth."
"Kryptonis," Lana repeated once more.
"We do not know how we got separated from the humans of Earth. Our historians never solved that mystery definitively. All we do know is that our race as we knew it began thousands of years ago and ended just fifteen years ago."
"What happened?" inquired Lana, her curiosity beginning to overtake the sensation of being in the Twilight Zone.
Lara smiled sadly to no one in particular. "Our planet shifted too far out of orbit and fell into the gravitational pull of our red sun."
"Oh, my God," Lana said empathetically. "Did anyone survive?"
"Yes. One." Lara tilted her head in reminiscence. "My husband, Jor-El, knew what was happening and did his best to convince the Grand Council, but they would hear none of it. Knowing it would cause a panic if we were seen trying to evacuate, they threatened him with the death penalty if he attempted to depart."
"So, did he escape?"
"No," said Lara. "We both knew it was hopeless for us and for the rest of our race, and so…we resigned ourselves to die a noble death with the rest of our people. But we determined that our hope would not die with us."
"How?" Lana asked, now completely intrigued.
"We spent our final hours preparing our infant son, Kal-El, for a journey that would take him to a galaxy far from our impending doom to a planet with a yellow sun. He alone would be the last survivor of our race."
"You sent your baby here?" Lana marveled. Then, the realization hit her. "The meteor shower…"
Lara nodded. "I can't even begin to say how sorry I am that your parents died because of Kal-El's arrival. Please believe me, we never meant for that to happen. And please do not blame Kal-El. Ever since he discovered the truth about his origins, he has always felt responsible for it on some level. He is plagued enough by guilt as it is."
Lana swallowed. Part of her wanted to be angry at Lara for taking away her parents, but the sheer earnestness and regret on the holographic ghost's face somehow deflected that anger.
"You said 'when he found out about his origins,'" Lana said. "Where has he been all this time?"
"When Jor-El visited on Earth as a youth, he met a farmer in Smallville who helped was of great aid to him when he found himself in dire trouble. Jor-El programmed the ship so that it would land in the presence of the farmer's son, who by the time of Kal-El's arrival was grown and wed. As Jor-El anticipated, this couple raised Kal-El as their own, bearing the secret of his origins along with him. They raised him into a fine young man with compassion, integrity, and courage." Lara chuckled sardonically. "But now, Jor-El's preserved essence is making it known that these adoptive parents that have given our son so much were little more than pawns in his plan to restore the Kryptonian race.
"What do you mean?" Lana queried, growing concerned.
Lara pursed her lips, holographic tears emerging from her eyes. "We sent our little Kal-El to Earth, where he would have a future." Her voice turned bitter. "A future," she restated. "It seems Jor-El had a very narrow-minded idea of what that future would be." Lara looked downcast. "As I said, Jor-El visited Earth when he was seventeen years old in Earth age. It was sort of a punishment imposed by his father. Ironically, during his stay, Jor-El fell in love with a beautiful Terran woman. She was your great-aunt, Louise."
Lana's jaw dropped. "Louise had an affair with a drifter named Joe. Someone tried to kill him and ended up killing her."
Lara nodded. "Jor-El was that drifter. He returned to Krypton with a broken heart, and his father used the experience and distorted it in a way that helped him instill in Jor-El his racist beliefs of Terran inferiority. By the time I became aware of how far it had gone, we were already married." She spoke of her father-in-law's brainwashing distastefully and with great resentment.
"So how did that play into Kal-El's future?" asked Lana, the name feeling strange on her tongue.
"Jor-El's memories and essence were digitally preserved as well as mine, and our technology allows such virtual personalities to exert their will on their relatives. Jor-El believes Kal-El's destiny is to conquer the Earth and rule it like a demigod."
Lana arched her eyebrows, her concern for the fate of the world gaining strength within her. "How would he do that?"
Lara swallowed. "Krypton revolves around a red sun. The Kryptonian race evolved rather rapidly to adapt to and nullify the effect of that sun's radiation. This is a large part of what differentiates us from your race. Early in our history it was discovered that the very genetic differences that allow us to remain unharmed by the rays of Krypton's red sun causes Earth's yellow sun to have a dramatic effect on our physiology if we are thereunto exposed."
It was Lana's turn to swallow. The conversation seemed to be leading to the conclusion that the sun gave Kal-El some special abilities that would make him able to conquer the world, and she certainly didn't like the idea of her beloved Earth being annexed by an invader from another planet. "What happens?" she asked.
Lara looked at her gently, perhaps sensing her train of thought. "A Kryptonian on Earth has physical strength far beyond that of even the strongest Terran. He can also move at speeds that rival that of a bullet fired from a Terran firearm. However, even if he could not move with such speed, no bullet, blade, or flame could scathe or penetrate his unbreakable skin. He can emit beams of heat and fire from his eyes, which are also capable of seeing through solid surfaces. A fully mature Kryptonian can also defy Earth's gravity and exhale air so cold it freezes anything it strikes. Kal-El is not quite that mature yet."
"What will happen when he is?"
"I do not know," Lara shook her head. "Kal-El wants nothing of Jor-El's designs, a fact of which I am secretly very proud. He wants only to use his special abilities to save lives and help people in need, and he resists Jor-El's will as much as he can." Lara continued with great seriousness in her voice. "But Jor-El is quite talented at making his will known. He has driven Kal-El away from his home and family once, having convinced him that staying would only harm the ones he loved. I consider him very lucky to have been brought back."
It then occurred to Lana that one question that she should've asked at the beginning of this eerie conversation had yet to be spoken. "Why are you telling me this?"
Lara smiled at her. "You are among those Kal-El loves most. I fear Jor-El is planning another affront to our son's free will, and although his adoptive parents are doing all they can, quite admirably I might add, he needs someone else that he can trust and love by his side. I have only now managed to free myself enough from my husband's silencing hold to come to you in your dreams and divulge this to you."
Lana swallowed. "You must have some pretty amazing capabilities if you can make me dream of you."
"Indeed. These are the very capabilities Jor-El uses to impose his Machiavellian will upon our son."
Lana nodded, beginning to greatly sympathize with Kal-El. This, however, brought up another question. "You said I'm one of the people he loves," she said. "So,…I know him?" It was more of a statement than a question.
Lara nodded and smiled gently. She turned back towards the origin of the light that surrounded her almost as if looking for something. Before Lana's eyes, a second holographic figure formed next to Lara. Lana watched intently, and her eyes widened as she found herself staring into a familiar pair of blue-green eyes. "Clark!" she uttered in astonishment.
"This is my Kal-El," Lara confirmed, giving her holographic son a warm look. "On Earth, he is known as Clark Joseph Kent."
Lana stepped up cautiously, spellbound by the still yet so realistic image before her. She reached a hand up to touch his cheek and let out a small gasp as her fingers met nothing but air. She paused a moment, gathering her thoughts, before turning back to Lara. As if on cure, the holographic Clark dissolved behind her. "But he was the scarecrow," she stated, the memory seeming much more distant than a mere four years past. "If he's as strong as you say he is, Whitney and his friends wouldn't have been able to subdue him and tie him up in the cornfield."
She was speaking more to herself than to Lara, but the latter nevertheless seemed to understand. "Kal-El does have two weaknesses."
Lana's gaze focused on Lara. "What are they?"
"One is the green meteorites that came with him to Earth. Whenever exposed to their radiation on Earth, a Kryptonian loses his titanic strength, speed, and invincibility. It causes their blood to thicken, and exposure to it for a duration of three hours can be fatal."
"My necklace…" Lana realized. "I gave it to Whitney." She suddenly felt a pang of guilt for having armed her now-deceased boyfriend with the one thing that rendered Clark defenseless. She swallowed. "What's the other weakness?"
"The second is not a physical weakness, but it is just as potent and dangerous. A rarer form of the meteorite, one of a deep red color, affects his mind. It removes nearly all of his inhibitions and causes him to act in an increasingly brazen and amoral manner." She scowled. "Unfortunatel, Jor-El has ways of inducing similar effects without the aid of meteorites.
"He acted like that in Metropolis," Lana recalled. "I never knew…"
Lara held up a hand. "As I hope you do not blame Kal-El for your parents' passing, I also beseech you not to blame yourself for not knowing Kal-El's vulnerabilities. It is not your burden to carry." She pursed her lips. "For that reason, I am going to give you a choice, Lana Lang. Kal-El needs you, perhaps now more than ever, but I do not wish for you to feel obligated to become involved. Kal-El is strong, and I believe his true character will ultimately triumph, so the autonomy of your planet is not dependent upon your decision. However, I do foresee great struggles ahead for Kal-El if he is to overcome Jor-El's stubborn presence, and I hate to see my baby suffer alone."
"I know what you mean," Lana said, recalling her tragic experience with Evan.
"So, Lana, you have a choice. Many Terrans have waking memory of only a fraction of the dreams that they have. If you choose to help Kal-El and share in his struggles, you will bear great responsibility to keep his secret safe. If you feel that it would be too much to bear, and I shall understand if it is so, you will awaken from your sleep with no recollection of this dream."
Lana nodded her comprehension, but one last question needed to be asked. "If this is all a dream, how will I know when I wake up if any of what you've told me is real?"
Lara gave her a gentle half-smile. "After you awaken and have passed a few hours of the day, come to these caves. I will make my true presence known to you then." Lara then paused courteously, apparently giving Lana due time to make her decision.
Lana pursed her lips and fell silent, contemplating her decision. Her brain told her to give it due thought, but her heart had more or less made up its mind almost immediately. She knew what to do. "I never stopped caring deeply for Clark," she stated. "I know there are risks, but I'd feel terrible if I let him face them alone now that I know the truth." She looked Lara in the eye. "If he needs me, I want to be there for him."
Lara smiled at her warmly. "I have always had faith in you, Lana. You are a strong person." With that, the light that projected her image grew momentarily brighter before disappearing abruptly, and at that moment, Lana woke up.
Lana now sat cross-legged in the cave, still wondering if she wanted it all to be true or not. As her eyes refocused on the center of the cave paintings, a familiar light emerged from the lines forming the ancient artwork. Lana rose to her feet in anticipation. "Lara?" she ventured to utter.
As if on cue, the same angelic figure she had seen in her dream materialized before her. "Now you know," said Lara. "Thank you, Lana, for being a true friend to my son. Look after him for me."
Lana nodded, wordlessly making a promise to Lara. Lara smiled for a final time before her image dissolved and the light faded.