Knights of the Old Order.
Introduction and teaser.
After much deliberation I have decided to set this as a "missing episode" that belongs somewhere in the latter half of Smallville season 4. This will be my first Smallville story but as always, from me, it is a crossover.
Over the years I've been watching Smallville I have also been reacquainting myself with the comics and the movies. With the new film returning the man of steel to the silver screen and so many questions, in what is probably the last year of the show coming up, STILL need to be answered. Many is the time I've wanted to plunge my fist into the TV about Clarks moronic resistance to his "destiny". Another problem I have is that when Jor-El acts it is always to a positive end, until Clark screws it up and ends up behaving like a spoilt brat. Often causing the even more problems. After the first six times you think he would learn the lesson wouldn't you!
Don't get me wrong it's a good show but it does grate after a while, come on how long is it going to take for Clark to grow up? If he is becoming more responsible when will he take responsibility?
And so this idea came to me. Give Clark a villain to face and a challenge to overcome that he cannot rebel against. Something that Jor-El has a hand in but on Clarks side. I could probably bring in Mongol or Deathside or any one of the hundreds of super alien villains in the Superman back catalogue but those people are a threat to a full powered Superman, Clark can't fly right yet! So I needed something else.
Trawling through Graphic Novels and other inspiration I found an opponent that Superman had faced before and won. A challenge to Clark that would need Jor-El's help and someone with enough history and back story to really get the imagination pumping (and boy did it pump!). Yet still keep within Smallville's overall plot. I give you The Predator!
Yes the greatest hunter in the universe is on it's way to Smallville but is it a challenge? Clark is almost invulnerable, bullet proof, super fast, strong and can see through walls. While the Predator has a telescoping staff, gauntlet knives, plasma caster and the ability to be come invisible. Well we know that Clark can be hurt by a Kryptonian knife who's to say the same can't be said about other off-world blades. A plasma caster doesn't use bullets and given that Clark isn't up to full invulnerability yet it could get interesting. Throw in a little history and duty and you've got a story! So, shall we start?
I don't own Superman/Smallville or Preditor those are owned by DC comics/Waner brothers and 20th century fox respectively and while crossover comics also exist I don't own them either. Thats all thanks to Dark Horse comic's work. I just own the plot (if that)/
Teaser (or The History of Krypton)
The History of Krypton was divided into Eight ages by the great poet and historian Vor-Pen thirty years before it's end. The first was the Age of Chaos, the birth pains of a race. Followed by the Age of Reason when the world united under one banner. Then came the Age of Discovery, where the people of Krypton took the first steps into space. Then the Age of War, greed captured the hearts and minds of the most powerful people. The Lost Age was the darkest time in Krypton's long history. The return of Chaos. Finally the Lost Age was ended by the religious leaders who founded the Age of Theology but like all leaders driven by power eventually they sought power for its own ends. Civil War's raged for the shortest of all the Ages but it was amongst the most bloody. The death of a people was halted by what became known as The Accord. The Accord was written by scientist and priest, warrior and poet. From the greatest of all the paths of life The High Council of Krypton was formed and the last age, the Age of The Task, began.
The Task had no other name. Nowhere in the known universe had anything like it been attempted. The Task was to create the Ultimate Man, an avatar composed of all the dreams and ideals of a race. By the end of it the whole council would be unified, related, each generation taught from cradle to grave the duty, honour and values that all civilised peoples hold dear. The blood lines were mapped and graded paired and re-paired until all funnelled into one person. The Ultimate. Eventually the High Council agreed to name him Kal. This name was closely guarded, as was the name of the house that he would be born into the warriors house of El. But it did not end there, Kal-El would not live forever so they planned ahead. The Ultimate Woman would also be bred as Kal-El's wife and on it would go till the end of time.
It was during this era that the people of Krypton truly launched into the adventure of space exploration. In the enlightened age of The Task the greater aspects of the Kryptonian sprit became the code of the Kryptonian Knight's. These guardians became known throughout the civilised universe as warriors dedicated to justice and freedom.
The Knight's Order obliterated the pirates that preyed on the shipping lanes. They guarded the weak from those that would murder and enslave them and in the end they met the Hunters. They had no name for themselves or their world, both long since lost to the ravages of time. As a culture they were the most elemental of all, procreation was dominated by the idea of the strongest mate. The males prowled the cosmos for the strongest, cleverest prey's. One day they would present themselves to the females when the time came to mate. The females would then challenge each other for the right to bear the greatest hunters. Breeding, physical strength and mental abilities were tested until only a handful remained, who would then battle and be entered into a ranking system. one that matched and paired them with the deserving mate.
Legends of the Hunters had permeated the cultures of the galaxy. Almost all save the word of Krypton. The two cultures eventually met in the darkness of space, the results left both sides stunned. In one of the shortest battles imaginable both sides lost. The Kryptonian Knights investigated the battlefield, finding another scout in the wreckage. Before a repeat of the catastrophe the Hunters sent a message, the proposal was so outlandish that the Knights agreed. One orbit of the only inhabitable planet around the closest star later the two fleets met.
For a week and a day the fleets battled, the only inhabitable planet was conquered at least twice a day and the very stars burned. Nether side asked for, or gave, quarter. The end came as night set on the unnamed world. The leaders agreed that the dead lock could only result in the extinction of both. In the hope that the first communication wasn't a one off the Knights broadcast a diplomatic suggestion. To meet on the world at sunrise. They did and The Agreement was reached. It was based on a simple concept, the Knights of Krypton had proven they were the greatest prey in the cosmos. The Agreement was that if a world they protected was to be the site of a hunt they were to fight in it's peoples place. The Knight's protected the innocent and the Hunters got the best prize.
Throughout the aeons both The Task and The Agreement became legends to others and more of a pair of traditions to Kryptonians than a driving force. The High Council who ruled until Kal-El's arrival were more than good enough at the job. The Knight's and the Hunters actually became allies against the darker forces of the galaxies, when they weren't killing each other. Krypton's final age lasted longer than any other and marked the people of Krypton amongst the wisest and most benign of all the peoples in the universe.
It was rather unfortunate that The Task took so long. Damage done to the planet Krypton during the Lost Age had dropped planetary temperatures to the point where ice storms replaced Summer afternoons. The once golden sun of Krypton imploded, becoming a red dwarf star,causing a massive gravitational disruption that forged the weapon of mass destruction, know as the Green Death, that was used during the Civil Wars and near constant wars and low birth rates reduced the population despite their long life spans. The combination of these events caused the planet's outer shell to freeze. A super cold shell wrapped around a super heated core, the result was predictably catastrophic. This destruction shattered the planet Krypton only a year after the first phase of The Task was finished, the birth of Kal-El. With most of the fleet gathered,as always, over the planet and the only colony-city, Argo, on the nearest moon were both presumed destroyed.
Only two people had the expertise and the resources to recognise the tectonic shifts for what they were; Jor-El and his wife Lara. The parents of the baby Kal-El. With little time between the discovery and the event itself the two Kryptonian's wasted valuable time trying to convince a jealous and sceptical council of the worlds fate. In the end they only had the time and the resources for a small ship. Only just big enough to transport their precious gift, the gift of all Krypton, to safety...
As was the custom of all The High Council a member must travel the universe on his own. On his travels Jor-El visited a world similar to Krypton of old on the very edge of the know galaxies, a small blue planet known as Earth. On that world he found the very evolution that had allowed his people to survive the harsh conditions of the reformed Krypton made him stronger and more powerful than any other on that world. Though primitive and still in its Age of Chaos Jor-El, with the teachings of history, knew that through diversity and hope Earth could overshadow the greatest of Krypton's achievements and avoid the older, larger, worlds mistakes.
To this world they sent the hopes, dreams, ideals and goals of a whole race. To teach by example, guide by deed, and guard with strength. They sent Kal-El.