Clark had never called on this much power before. He wasn't jumping or floating, he had thrown everything he had into flying. Whatever fears, concerns or worries he would have had were gone. Just like Smallville.
The only thing he had left was revenge.
Almost everything he had ever loved, ever knew was in that town. Now that was taken from him in one fell swoop. All he wanted to do right now was hurt something. the monster responsible seemed like the best choice.
Every time Clark blinked he saw his mother, he saw the mushroom cloud that was once his home town. He could still hear the screams of thousands of people, Crying for their mothers, fathers, anyone to save them in the brief moments between realisation and their death.
Just up ahead there he was, the purple monster that had killed so many and not even stopped, he was heading towards Metropolis. 'Not again.' Clark growled, pushing himself even faster.
Chloe Sullivan was busy proof reading another obituary page in the basement of the Daily Planet building. She didn't quite believe that it was a step up from editor, even if it was editor of a small high school newspaper. The stories she'd written over the years, what she'd seen and proven. Even in this world of space monsters and transforming cars would never be believed.
Still she was in the Daily Planet building and working her way up, face it she couldn't get any lower.
The doors burst open and the Daly Planet editor threw herself through them. 'Sullivan!' the elder woman shouted.
Chloe jumped, 'Yes?' she asked and bit her lip at the sarcastic comment about where else would she be.
'You from Smallville.' It wasn't a question. 'It's not there anymore, I want you on the roof. Now.'
Chloe blinked before stepping around her desk, somewhere a phone started to ring. 'What do you mean not there anymore?'
'Ask questions on the way or you're fired.' The editor barked, Chloe didn't have to be told twice and followed. Behind her the phone on her desk was picked up by Jimmy.
'Chloe?' Her boyfriend called after her. 'It's some old sounding guy called Jack. I'll tell him your busy.'
Sometimes a reporter had to follow her editor's lead, other times she had her own initiative. This was one of those times; spinning on her heel Chloe dived for the phone, ripping it from Jimmy's hand. 'Jack? What's going on?'
'I was hoping you could tell me. Kent's not answering.' The former General on the other end said. 'Not that I'm expecting him to. The whole damn town's been nuked off the map. I want you to...'
Whatever he wanted her to do he didn't get a chance to tell her. Chloe's editor ripped the phone from her hand and barked down the line. 'Listen, you're about to cost Sullivan her job. Just who are you?'
Chloe winced as all the colour ran from her editor's face. 'Mr President?' She whispered. 'No sir, its just... I had no idea... But what...? No sir you don't...' mutely she handed the phone back to Chloe
The President of the United States paused for a moment. 'Not a problem Sullivan. As soon as you know something.'
'I'll tell you Jack.'
'You better and soon.' he paused for a moment. 'And if your editor give you any grief I'll deal with her.' Before Chloe had a chance to answer he hung up. With a shrug she put her phone down and looked at the shocked faces of the newsroom.
It was Jimmy who blurted out 'You've got the President calling you in person?'
'It's a long story.' They weren't going to accept that and she wasn't going to tell them the whole truth so Chloe decided to give them the cliff notes. 'I got involved in something while trying to get a story. I got hit with a privacy and secret service agreement thing so I can't write it up. Jack thought I might be helpful so he said he'd keep in touch.'
'You call him Jack?' Jimmy still gaped.
That's when her editor shook herself back into action. 'President O'Neill insists his friends call him Jack. We have a lot to talk about but first we've got to get this story.' As she finished the lights above them flickered and dimmed.
'I think the story's just come to us.'
Galvatron could feel raw power flowing through his circuits. He'd never felt such energon, it saturated every system to the brink of overload. He was an agent of destruction and there was nothing that could stand in his way.
The city before him would hear his demands and pass them around the world. They would fight at first, send the Autobots against him. He hoped they would, they would fall before him like protoforms. He was more powerful than he ever was as Megatron.
Stopping above the city Galvatron spoke down to the flesh creatures. 'People of Earth...' he began, only to be hit in the back by something that felt like a high speed kinetic missile. Tumbling in the air for am moment Galvatron re-orientated his flight systems and spun. 'Who dares?'
Ludicrously a flesh insect hovered there. 'You destroyed my home Decepticon. Now I'll destroy you!' Lunging forward the flying human rammed, shoulder first, into Glavatron's abdomen. It was a good blow, doubling him up.
It was only shock that delayed Galvatron's reactions. As the germ bounced off he lunged, catching his leg between forefinger and thumb. 'My turn.' Galvatron grunted and threw the annoyance into a building with a globe on top.
Megatron got where he was by ignoring the humans, unless they served his purpose. That got him scrapped. Galvatron wasn't going to make the same mistake. He waited and was not disappointed when the annoyance not only survived but came back fighting.
Picking up the golden globe from on top of the building the stranger screamed 'You destroyed everything.' And threw it at him.
Brushing the projectile aside Galvatron gloated 'Of course.' he said bringing his cannon around. 'For everything is mine to destroy.'
The purple green blast engulfed the flying man and a portion of the building behind him. The beam scared the sky as it flew off into the clouds leaving nothing behind.
Clark felt the pain of kryptonite. Covering his eyes he was picked up like a leaf in a storm and carried away. Blinding heat gave way to freezing cold as the energy beam dissipated around him.
He was in space, it hurt to move. Clark couldn't breath and not for the first time he felt death creeping up on him. All he had to do was give in. Let the frost slowly cover him and drift forever in space. Lost like the home of his people.
It was so tempting, he couldn't defeat the monster. It had brushed him away like kindling and was powered by the very thing that was his weakness. There was nothing left to fight for. Mom, home, his friends. Only Chloe and Lois were left now and he had failed them as he failed to stop the monster.
In the end revenge really was a hollow thing.
The brittle frost had crept up his arms and was beginning to cover his face. All Clark had to do was move, flex one muscle and it would be gone. Death would have to wait for another day. But that one muscle was a lifetime away and the Grim Reaper's scythe was so close now.
If not revenge what did Clark have to live for. Opening his eyes the last Kryptonian took one last look at his adoptive home. A world of people, a crown jewel of life lost in the black heavens, spinning lazily around a small yellow star. It was a good world, and worth sacrificing his life for.
But he wasn't sacrificing his life. He was throwing it away, letting it slip between his fingers like sand through an hourglass. In a heartbeat Clark swore he wouldn't just throw his life away. If he was going to die let it be screaming, fighting against injustice. His town might be gone but the world remained.
Calling the last of his strength to him Clark pushed himself back to the blue pearl in front of him. A force of will pushing death back the last Kryptonian aimed right back the way he came.
Fists burning with re-entry Clark was like an arrow from the heavens. Aimed right at the Decepticon. He caught him in the jaw, sending the two of them, out of control, into the ground. The Deception demolishing Luthor Tower and Clark into the basement of Daly Planet building.
Throwing masonry off himself Clark felt something give in his wrist. Common sense told him he must have broken it when he caught Galvatron, the Kryptonite really was weakening him.
It wasn't the only injury. He was bleeding from about a dozen other places, including a nasty cut above his left eye and more than a few on his back. Looking around he saw Chloe and Jimmy were pulling a desk off his legs. 'Kent?' the young man asked, as if he couldn't believe what he was seeing. 'What the hell is going on?'
'That won't slow him down for long .' Clark winced as he nursed his hand. 'I've got to lead him away.'
'What's up with you're arm?' Chloe asked.
'I bust something in my hand, it's nothing.' Clark explained standing up. 'I've got to go.'
Chloe jumped in front of him. 'Hang on, how do you of all people get hurt like that?'
'Kryptonite power source. I have to lead him away.'
His small friend looked at him slack-jawed. 'What you have to do is hide. The guy runs on Kryptonite and you've got a broken arm! He'll kill you.'
'Doesn't matter. He levelled Smallville Chloe, I was able to save Lois. That's it.'
His best friend gasped at him; 'God Clark I'm sorry.'
Putting his good hand on her shoulder he tried to keep a poker face but her unshed tears set him off 'Don't be. I won't let it happen here. That means I've got to lead him away.' Stepping back into the daylight Clark felt the sun's rays rejuvenate him.
It had taken a while and a bit of research with the Autobot Preceptor but together they learnt that with enough sunlight there wasn't anything Clark couldn't do. Even at night the energy he stored during the day was more than enough to let him keep his abilities. With the new energy all the cuts and broken bones knitted together, painfully. Clark didn't have enough time to enjoy the experience and took off.
Turning to the ruined tower Clark looked down and saw iron girders rumble and shake as the Decepticon stood up. 'Come on, I've not finished with you yet.'
The alien robot roared as he too flew up. 'You'll pay for that!' His scream was so full of rage it was almost insane, then he transformed. No longer a robot he was now a floating weapons platform of one massive gun. A massive weapon that flew up, higher than Clark. 'As shooting you into deep space didn't work this time I'm going to bury you.'
Clark knew exactly what he meant but it wasn't any good. The robot fired before he had a chance to dodge.
Just like before the Kryptonite infused energy clawed at him. Clark could feel the rock surrounding him but he didn't know where or how deep he was going. The last thing he felt was the pain subsiding and the rough feeling of coarse rock on his back.
Chloe helplessly watched the purple green energy pluck Clark out of the sky. Before today she never even guessed Clark could fly. Sure Kryptonians could but not Clark, for all his hero moments he was still the farm boy she met all those years ago. Losing his home, his mother had changed him. She could see that, she just didn't know if it was for the better.
'So was that what the President asked you to hide. Men that fly?' The editor asked.
'Sort of.' Chloe answered as the Decepticon transformed back into robot mode. She was too worried about her friend to care about her job. Not telling her editor something like this pretty much equalled fired.
The Decepticon laughed into the sky and brought his great orange cannon down and swung it around. Firing.
But instead of the roar of destruction it was somehow hollow. The destructive force seemed to dribble from the barrel and evaporate. 'What?' it growled loud enough to be heard
Hope sprung in Chloe, he had used up all his power defeating Clark. There wasn't enough left to fight with. The Decepticon must have had the same idea, with a massive cry of chagrin he flew away.
'That could have gone worse.' Chloe said in relief before grabbing her coat. 'I've got to go and find him and call someone to pick up my cousin.' The whole city would be looking for Clark, she needed to find him first
Her editor stopped Chloe; 'Every news team in the country is going to be looking for your friend. If he's smart he'll lay low, if he's hurt someone will get help. The best thing for you to do is your job, while you've still got one. I want your write up on my desk within an hour.'
Chloe had to admit she was right, but she had to bargain. 'Hour and a half and you'll have a front page story of the year. I promise.'
'Why the extra half hour?' Jimmy asked
'To get a quote from Jack... I mean the President.' Chloe turned to her editor and bet on one thing. Jack O'Neill's hatred of the press and the fact he'd give her the time of day.
'You've got it Sullivan.' her editor nodded and Chloe lunged for the phone.
Ultra Magus was watching the news. This new Decepticon was one of the most powerful he'd ever seen. Coming out of nowhere he levelled whole towns with one shot and then vanished.
'Telatran two, confirm last report.' Metroplex city's central computer flashed for a moment.
'Report confirmed. No Decepticon energy signatures recorded in the area.' Ultra Magnus winced. Decepticon energy signatures weren't the easiest things to trace, any number of things could interfere or disrupt them. Not to mention deliberately scaling down output, minimising the profile.
Problem was with a Decepticon that powerful he should have set of every early warning detector in the city. Instead there was nothing. No trace in the records anywhere of where he came from or where he went.
His cursing was cut short as Springer ran into his office, there were, after all, some advantages to being city commander. 'Ultra Magnus, President O'Neill's got some information. He thinks the Decepticon was powered by kryptonite.'
His recent talk with his chief scientist practically replayed before his eyes 'Get Preceptor up here, right now.'
Springer nodded and ran for the door.
End Chapter 2