Keitaro hovered high above Tokyo, extending his senses as far as he could. His eyes were closed as he sorted through the multitude of sounds vibrating through the air.
"-Moon Prism Power-!"
"-I WILL be a great teacher damnit-!"
"-Urahara I'm going to kill you-!"
"-Mayday, mayday, Tokyo Flight 334! Inflight emergency-!"
Keitaro opened his eyes and followed the sound of the frantic pilot's radio call, soon hearing other sounds as he did. Screaming people, flames burning, a jet engine turbine…
There! He thought, spotting the plane only a few miles away. One of it's engines had burst into flame. Keitaro accelerated past the speed of sound, easily catching up to the airliner as it continued it's dangerous descent. With a grunt he grabbed the tail, tugging back and trying to slow it down.
"WOAH!" Keitaro yelped, falling back as the plane's tail came off. Keitaro hovered in mid-air, feeling incredibly stupid as the airliner began to spin without its primary stabilizer. He smacked his forehead before tossing the tail aside and speeding after the plane.
"Great going, Kei," he muttered to himself, diving under the plane and taking a wide grip on the fuselage. Gently, he rotated the plane and kept it oriented correctly. He looked over his shoulder, gritting his teeth.
Okay, at the rate we're falling… We can't make it to the runway at that airport in time. Damn… There's gotta be... AH HA!
Keitaro moved up to the nose of the plane, taking a firm grip and pulling the plane forward. He grunted, straining to apply enough force to accelerate the airliner but not so much that he'd rip it apart.
"Right… Just… A little… Faster!" Keitaro growled. He grinned as the airliner began to pull up, his addition to it's thrust increasing it's lift.
"YES! Okay…! Now I only have to…" Keitaro groaned as the runaway came into sight. Another plane was lifting off from the same direction!
"Damn, damn, damn, damn!" He muttered, increasing the plane's speed but pulling it down.
"This… Will be close," Keitaro decided. He winced as the incoming plane roared bare meters above Flight 334. He blinked… And grinned.
"Hey! Ripping off the tail was actually a smart thing to do!" Keitaro shook his head at his incredible luck. The runway came into view for normal humans, and Keitaro gradually began to slow the aircraft down, tipping it's nose up.
The plane roared for the tarmac, Keitaro noting that it's landing gear wasn't coming down. He grunted in extertion as his feet hit the pavement ahead of the aircraft's nose, and he dug his feet in, tearing through the concrete as he focused every bit of his strength and control to softening the airliner's landing.
KFOOM! The fuselage made contact with the runway and began screeching at the friction, Keitaro suddenly finding the weight of the plane forcing him deeper and deeper into the ground like a plow. Still he held on, still he struggled, and the airliner began to slow down, bit by bit…
The rescue vehicle's occupants could only stare in amazement as Tokyo Airlines Flight 334 came to a gentle stop, it's left engine still on fire, it's tail ripped clean off… But otherwise intact. The rubble and debris under it's nose seemed to cushion it. The ambulances and fire trucks moved forward to assist the passengers now leaving via slides and ladders.
The rubble stirred, and a moment later Keitaro pushed his way out. Wiping his brow, he took a deep breath and looked the plane over, ignoring the shouts and stares of the people surrounding him. His X-ray vision revealed no casualties. With a smile, and wave to the shocked flight crew, he took off into the clear blue sky.
"Well, at least the costume's all right," Keitaro decided as he flew high over Tokyo proper. He shook his head.
"I don't want Suu and Shinobu to have to fix it right after my first day on the job," he chuckled, and began to scan for more trouble.
Shino Amara laughed in perverse glee as he exchanged fire with the police outside the bank. His buddies were just finishing up grabbing the loot, and he was to cover their escape. He enjoyed this part of their jobs immensely, the sadist in him reveling gunning down cops with his M-16 assault rifle.
He didn't know how their boss had gotten so much raw firepower, and frankly he didn't care. He was unstoppable! The pigs were scrambling for their lives, bullets whizzing around them, sure to find a mark and-!
CRUNCH! Shino saw a large, strong hand on the barrel of his rifle. The hand had smooshed the gun's muzzle shut, jamming the rifle. He followed the blue-clad arm attached to the hand, up to a broad shoulder partially covered by a red cape flapping in the breeze. Finally, Shino's eyes met those of the man who was standing there. Brown, large, and narrowed in determination.
"I suggest you give up," the man said in a strong, commanding tone. Shino let go of his M-16 and pulled his sidearm, bringing it right up to the guy's chest. He didn't know who or what this guy was, but he'd pay for interfering!
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! CLICK! CLICK!
Shino gulped, as the man smirked. Every bullet had hit, all right… But they'd slammed into the red and yellow 'S' symbol on his chest and dropped, as though hitting steel armor plating.
"Guess I'll have to be more convincing," the man stated, and pushed Shino back with a simple flat palm to the chest. It felt to Shino more like a truck had shoved him, and he hit the ground with a thud!
Shakily Shino looked up as the man stood above him, proud, fists held against his hips as the wind made his cape wave like a flag.
"Wha-What the hell?" He muttered. He heard the bank doors slam open behind him, and saw the guy look up. More shots were fired, obviously from Shino's buddies. Bullets fell after impacting the guy's chest, dropping onto Shino's shirt.
Keitaro kicked in his super speed, grabbing the guns out of both masked men's hands and crushing them in his fists. They gaped in horror. Keitaro slapped them both upside the head, knocking them out. He checked and made sure there were no other burglars, before walking into the bank itself with a friendly smile to the shocked customers.
"Who the heck are you?" An attractive girl in a schoolgirl's outfit demanded, up from the floor before any of the other former hostages. Her red hair was done up in a high spiky ponytail. Keitaro smiled kindly at her.
"Wait, wait, let me guess… Superman?" She asked incredulously. Keitaro grinned, glad for his family's symbol's resemblance to the letter 'S'.
"And you're… What? A superhero?" She asked. Keitaro rubbed the back of his head.
"Sheesh, what's with all the questions? Are you with the Spanish inquisition or something?"
"Nobody expects them," she grinned with a wink. "Me, I'm Kazumi Asakura, I'm with the Daily Planet!"
"You're a reporter?" Keitaro asked, feeling a little nervous. His anxiety level went up as she took his arm and began to lead him out of the bank.
"Well, I'm technically an intern, but if you'd give me a minute of your time…?" She blinked, and Keitaro groaned. The press was swarming past the police barricades towards them. Kazumi sighed and shook her head.
"Don't suppose you can fly us out of here?" She said with a wink and grin. Keitaro smirked back and took her in his arms. Asakura gasped as they ascended away from the reporters, cameramen, and police. She wrapped her arms around his neck, making Keitaro blush.
"Well, aren't you full of surprises?" Kazumi grinned. Keitaro shrugged with a smile.
"I'm kind of new at this whole superhero thing," he admitted. Kazumi moved her face closer to Keitaro's with a cat-like expression.
"Oh really? Care to tell me more?" She purred.
Keitaro carried Kazumi to a mountain lookout, gently setting her down on the dirt-covered ground. With a gasp of awe she looked out over the vast city below, spinning around and leaning against the guardrail. She grinned flirtatiously.
"So, tell me about yourself. I mean, you aren't exactly from around here are you?"
Keitaro's face darkened a bit, and he crossed his arms over his chest. He looked away from Kazumi, up into the sky. The redhead frowned, tilting her head quizzically.
"Well… As far as I know, I'm the only survivor of a planet called Krypton."
"… So… You're an alien then?" Kazumi asked with a frown. She got up and circled him, scrutinizing Keitaro so intently he almost felt like fidgeting.
"… You don't have any tentacles that I can see… Not that that would be a problem," she muttered thoughtfully. Keitaro blushed, but managed to compose himself and cleared his throat. Kazumi looked up and smiled innocently, pulling out a notepad and pen and making some notes.
"Okay, go on…"
And so Keitaro told her. About the history of Krypton (an abbreviated version), what he knew about his parents (omitting the parts where Jor-El wanted him to conquer), and some vague references to his life on Earth. Kazumi wrote down notes, occasionally asking questions and directing the rhythm of Keitaro's statements but mostly letting him speak his part.
Leaning against the guardrail, she studied him intently, chewing on her pen.
"Just a few more questions. I guess, the biggest one is… Why be a hero?"
"From what you've told me, you're probably stronger than anyone else on this planet. Easily capable of taking over, ruling over us humans with your powers. So… Why don't you?" She asked calmly. Keitaro shrugged, looking thoughtful.
"To be honest… I've never actually considered using my powers to rule, or for personal gain," he explained. He scratched his head, carefully formulating his answer.
"My parents… My adoptive parents… Told me that my powers were some of my gifts… But they weren't the only ones. They always told me that I could be perfectly normal, and live a normal life, and they'd still love me." A smile came on his face that was both filled with pride and genuine resolution, a sight that captivated the young reporter.
"I can do a lot with my powers… But I can't get love with them. I can't make people love me, care about me for me. And really, even if I did take over the world, what would I gain? I don't want fame, I don't want fortune…"
"Then what do you want?" Kazumi asked quietly. Keitaro smiled.
"To follow my parent's example… Both sets. My birth parents could have saved themselves, but instead they sent me to Earth as their world died around them. My father used his gifts to get me here. My Earth parents loved me and accepted me for who I was. They didn't try to turn me into an experiment or get rich off me. They are genuinely good people, and always try to put others first, to help make others happy."
Keitaro turned directly at Kazumi, and she felt her cheeks warm at the openness, the honesty of his smile.
"I owe Earth my life, my friends and family. And I owe Krypton to do credit to its memory, to live up to my father and mother's expectations. So yeah, that's why I don my costume, and use my powers like I do."
Kazumi furiously wrote this down, before taking a deep breath. There was one last question on her mind.
"So… With that in mind… Just who are you without the costume, anyway?"
Keitaro's smile became a bit sad and slightly strained, and Asakura fought the urge to flinch.
"Sorry, can't tell you… And could you not mention anything related to that?" He asked quietly. Kazumi nodded.
"Sure… I mean… I guess you don't want a billion reporters banging down your door, huh?" She surmised. Keitaro nodded, his smile becoming warm once more.
"So," she said, getting to her feet and walking over to Keitaro. "Care to give me a lift to the office?"
"Sure," Keitaro replied, taking her in his arms and taking off. The sun was beginning to set, but Keitaro's super senses and the city lights guided them to the right building. Keitaro set Kazumi down on the roof, and he turned to go.
"Wait!" She called. Keitaro turned around, aware that everyone in the Daily Planet building was looking at him through the windows.
"Yes?" He replied.
"How do I contact you again? You know, for a follow-up?" Kazumi called out. Keitaro smiled.
"Don't worry… I'll be around," he promised, as he flew off into the night.
At another building in the city, a blond-haired man watch the human figure fly off into the sunset. He smirked and shook his head.
"Always did have a way of exploding into people's lives, Keitaro," Kentaro chuckled, turning back to his desk to resume his paperwork. Even so, a plan was forming in his mind. One that would definitely kill two birds with one stone.
Make Keitaro… Or Superman as some of the talking heads on the news had begun calling him… Into a household name. And assure Kentaro's dominance in Japanese business and politics.
The perfect plan…
DUN DUN DUN!
Yes, Kazumi is from another of Ken Akamatsu's works, Mahou Sensei Negima! Why is she away from the Mahora Academy? It is summer (no school), and she's gotten an internship doing something she loves. Though with her exclusive with Superman, I do believe she'll be getting a promotion.
As to whether or not she'll be a romantic interest? Maybe, maybe not…
Why the Daily Planet? Tradition. That, and no other Japanese newspaper name really leapt out at me. If you'd prefer, I can change the name of the newspaper.
Why not make Naru a reporter? Because she's still studying to enter Tokyo University of course.
Sorry that none of the Love Hina girls were in this one. They will get more coverage next issue.
Next Time: The ramifications from Keitaro's first day as Superman reach the Hinata Sou, and while Kentaro begins his plan the Ronin of Steel meets a few of the local superheroes… And some of them don't take kindly to newbies.