AN: And we have come to the end of the first act. The second story is being formulated so be ready.
Chapter 21 – Fallen
Kal dodged a blow to his face only to take one to the ribs. A punch to the kidneys, a shot to the back of his neck as Rao spun him around, and a stomp to the back of his knee. Rao twisted his arm slamming his knee against his elbow. Kal screamed in pain as he dropped him to the ground. He stepped on his neck standing over him.
"Kara was so much more of a challenge than you," he mocked. "At least she had a modicum of skill."
He stepped off him, marching around slightly.
"Your doll will be such a better tool, she has already been broken by Olympus for me."
Rao stopped, twisted, and kicked him in the ribs.
"You're entire race, I don't know why I created you sometimes. You have failed me in so many ways, unable to remain the good little tools that did what they were fucking told"
Rao snapped back, kicking him in the ribs again. Clark grimaced in pain as he felt his hair being yanked up.
"You thought I would allow your little rebellion to go forward?
He stomped the small of his back, driving him into the ground. A spiderweb of cracks extended out from around him.
"Even with a Star Soul, you should understand your place in this world, you little piece of shit."
He dropped his knee into his back, making him cry out in pain.
"You belong to be. You are mine to do with as I please. You follow my orders without question and I may allow you to keep a piece of your happiness."
He slammed his fist into the back of his head, driving him face first into the ground.
"When I am done here, the first people that I will visit will be your family. I will kill your mother and father just out of pure spite."
Clark twisted his entire upper body. He slammed his elbow into Rao's groin. The god gasped in pain as the boy followed through, bringing him with his elbow. He hit the ground hard. Clark followed with the roll and grabbed Rao by the neck.
"You'll never hurt them!" He started slamming his head back, but Rao simply laughed.
"Is this all?"
He broke Kal's hold by slamming his elbows together. Rao reached into his Star Soul and with a push sent the boy flying through the air.
"You still fight like a mortal, even though your Soul has awakened," Rao shook his head as he watched the boy push up slowly. "You have no idea the power that you were gifted and you don't use it at all.
Red beams lanced out from his eyes, he held his hand out and pulsed a shield of energy only to blink in shock as it shattered. His hand burned and he watched as the flesh he had created was burned away up to the elbow.
The boy seemed to be pushing forward only to be thrown back as two angry red beams came from over his shoulder, breaking the boy's attack.
"I didn't ask for your help!" Rao screamed, willing another arm into existence. "I had this boy where I wanted him."
"You were fool enough to start this with your brothers now free, your father here, and two pantheons united against you," a gravelly voice replied. A thud, another thud, a shadow loomed over them. He looked up at the gray and black form standing over them.
"You should learn your place, Darkseid," Rao snapped. "Even all that is nothing against me."
"Fool," Darkseid grumbled, stepping past Rao and looked towards Kal. "Is that the Last of your Krpytonian brood?"
"The last that was free," Rao said with a shrug. "He got ideas beyond his station and now I am going to have to put him down. Maybe I will free Zod after this and start over with him."
Kal laughed darkly, drawing both their attentions.
"What's so funny, Kryptonian," the one known as Darkseid asked.
Kal choked between laughs. He felt himself pulled from the ground into Darkseid's outstretched hand. The giant began to chook him. "To think I would get a crack at both of you jackasses."
Both of them raised an eyebrow at that.
"You have no idea how grateful I am to my great-grandfather and the rest of those that you helped slaughter," Kal panted, the spite in his voice clear. "They knew your ass would betray us, and they prepared for nearly everything."
"Except your death, Kryptonian," Darkseid only stepped forward only to be stopped by Rao.
"What are you talking about?" Rao demanded. He knew that the boy's father had been working on the God-Killer but had hit a head beyond the first stage.
Kal laughed, a bitter sound. "You know I was prepared to kill you with my Star Soul, because the destruction of Krypton took the other half of the key to the God-killer. But I see now, I had it all wrong."
"What are you talking about?" Rao screamed, starting to back away.
"I am only ashamed, that I can only take one of you with me," Kal spat.
"Let him…" Rao demanded only to be stopped as he felt a pulse of power growing around them.
"Become," Kal gasped. "What you fear!"
The room exploded in white light, engulfing all three of them.
Kara stopped and turned towards the white light. How had Kal been able to do that?
"I thought he was new to his Star Soul," Raiden appeared next to her. "How was he able to do that?"
Kara had no idea either. If the look on the brother's face was right, then there was a chance that Kal-El had done what all the other Gods and Goddesses feared their enemies would do.
"We have to get over there," Fujin said appearing in a swirl of wind. "For a mortal he might be strong, but against Rao and Darkseid. "
The warning was left unspoken. Even if Aphrodite was strong enough to fight Darkseid, she wasn't strong enough to take both Rao and Darkseid, especially after having unleashed most of her power in the domination of Heakte.
"Never approach a battle unwisely," Raiden spoke. He looked at Kara who wanted to punch him now because of that. "Our sister always told us that."
"Meet up with Aphrodite," Kara said. "Between the Three of you, you should be able to drive off Rao and Darkseid."
"Darkseid is still tied to this plane," Fujin said softly. "You can fight him, you can hurt him Kara."
She nodded, thoughts running through her head of how to fight the God of Apokolips.
"Don't over think Sister," Raiden snapped. "We still have a chance, no matter the odds against us."
Aphrodite was near the blast site before the wave of energy had completely cleared. She started looking for Darkseid and Rao, only to be hit with a blast of energy
She phased, letting the beam sore through where she had been and reappeared in his guard. She slammed her energy encased fist into the God of Apokolips.
"Well played, Love Goddess," Darkseid smirked as he stood slowly. "You are far more bloodthirsty than your reputation."
Aphrodite didn't take the bait. She slammed a fist into his jaw, sending Darkseid skidding back.
"Good," Darkseid chuckled. "It's good that you are so willing to give me a fight, girl. It's been a long time since I have met a God or Goddess that could."
His eyes blazed, a beam of energy launched towards her. Aphrodite drew her hands up, erecting a wall of energy that absorbed the beams. She leapt over the wall, landing her heel where his shoulder met his neck. She heard a grunt of pain, but Darkseid grabbed her ankle with his other arm, and swung her into a wall. It collapsed around her.
"I see, Rao was right about you," Darkseid chuckled, rolling his shoulder back into place. "You are the meanest of your pantheon."
"He has no idea," Aphrodite detonated the rubble around her. She was mad at herself, she couldn't believe that she had gotten caught by such a stupid move.
The rubble splashed against Darkseid, who watched with a smile. "Then show me your power, Goddess."
Aphrodite let her arms drop. Her eyes started glowing as she pulled in the energy around her. "Are you really that stupid?"
Arcs of energy gathered around her hands, pulsing like lightning across her body. Darkseid's eyes began to gather energy as well. She knew the power that he held, and even if it was an equal to the Gods she was not going to be beaten, not this day.
She brought her hands up, launching all the energy towards him. His eyes glowed for a moment and then launched two small lances at her. The beams met, tearing apart the ground beneath them.
"Impressive, Love Goddess, but not enough," Darkseid grunted. He let the beam stop, and appeared to phase. She blocked a strike to her abdomen and lashed out with a kick. He staggered slightly, as she suddenly pushed forward with a double palm strike to his sternum. Staggered she pulled back and slammed her fist into his jaw.
"I can see why the Amazons were so willing to follow you," Darkseid chuckled. "Though, I think your power leaves something to be desired."
Aphrodite raised her hands again, forcing energy out. The world around her began to warp.
As soon as she started, she screamed as a wave of energy forced through her shield and ripped through her body.
"You see, Love goddess," Darkseid held her arm tightly, forcing his energy into her. "Even with all your power, you are meaningless in the end."
Bolts of lightning slammed into Darkseid, pushing off the ground and through a wall.
He stood slowly. "Raiden."
"Nice to see you remember me, Darkseid," Raiden smirked. "How is the arm? Able to use it fully yet?"
Darkseid growled, but stopped himself as the girl, Amaterasu, and Raiden's brother Fujin appeared as well.
"Where is Kal-El?" A blonde woman demanded.
Darkseid stepped back and laughed lightly. "It won't matter before long, child."
Before any of them could move, the room filled with green skinned beasts trimmed in gold. They snarled, saliva slipping in thick globs from some.
"Destroy them," Darkseid said, before he disappeared from the room.
"Well, damn," Raiden said with a smirk as he slowly stepped forward. "I was afraid all the targets had actually run away before now."
Rao screamed in rage as he felt his power being changed. He still had the strength he had accumulated over the years, the abilities that he had learned from the countless races that his Kryptonians had destroyed, but it was different.
He was no longer a god. The fucking boy, that worthless little shit had stripped him from the throne of heaven.
He had known of course that the Star Soul could conceivable strip a God of their own Star Soul, but few were willing to use it, and those who were often died horribly not long afterwards. Often other Gods and Goddesses would make sure that the pantheon of the god that dared to commit such heresy would be destroyed. The problem was, that few gods were Kryptonian. Few of them could survive what all but the strongest of Gods could throw against them.
"HOW DARE YOU!" Rao roared. He grabbed the boy by his face and slammed him hard into the ground. "DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE DONE?"
The boy said nothing blood formed where his head had been once and Rao slammed him into the hole once more.
"You worthless, scum!" Rao raged, looking around. "You think that this will stop me? You think that you can stop me from unseating my father"
Rao turned back to him and wanted to kill him, but it wouldn't do well. He could use this worthless scum to break Kara and to break the Doll. A perfect distraction, he would break the traitorous would be goddess of the Japanese, and he would find a way to kill the Goddesses Granddaughter before she became a threat.
He went towards the boy, only to feel something. He looked up as a shadow descended towards him. His eyes widened as a leg shot out, slashing into his head, through it, and into the ground. He slid through the ground and nearly ten meters longer.
Rao blasted the ground away from him, before he forced himself up. Even if he was Kryptonian he was still the strongest of them because of the powers that he had earned over the years. He growled out in frustration as he caught sight of the black clad figure.
"Zod," he said in utter disbelief as he realized who had attacked him.
"It's been a while Rao," Zod said looking towards Kal-El. "I see you had your fun with the boy. I know I could have hoped for better, but he hasn't been trained to fight as we learned how to fight. He only has the memories that machine showed him."
"What are you talking about?" Rao roared.
"Nothing," Zod shook his head. "I guess I have a lot to thank you for. If you hadn't been such a maniacal prick as these humans say, I would never have learned of your deception. I would never have learned of your betrayal."
"What are you talking about, you worthless scum." Rao screamed. "Your entire Race exists to serve me. Nothing more, nothing less."
"I see," Zod said dryly. "You know, when I was imprisoned Jor-El told me something funny. He said that I would never see him again, and I thought that he said my sentence was a lifetime. But he added, you will find your path to serve Krypton even in your sentence."
Zod stepped forward. "I get it now. I didn't get it then, but I do get it now. I am a soldier of Krypton. Whatever else I might have been, I am a Kryptonian General, and even if she is only a memory I will still serve her."
Aphrodite screamed in rage as she sliced through the last parademon. She hated the shock troops of Apokolips.
They had tried to make an incursion into Earth once and she had been forced to slaughter an entire division, after they had killed one of the proto-villages of Ancient Greece. It was one of the few times that all of the Olympians stood united with the other pantheons that stood guard over the Earth.
"Where is Kal-El," the blonde woman asked looking towards her. "Can you still feel him?"
Aphrodite shook her head. The Star Soul that she had felt before was gone, whatever he had done had taken it entirely from him. "Whatever he did, it took away his Star Soul. I can no longer feel his life as I can feel the other gods."
The blonde grimaced before turning to the Japanese Pantheon. For some reason Aphrodite felt that she should know the blonde, but she could not place it.
"Amaterasu," the Japanese god said. "I do not sense Rao anymore, either."
Aphrodite looked in surprise, this was Amaterasu. Amaterasu, the Japanese Sun Goddess, the one who kicked Zeus in the balls and then had the gall to laugh at him as he lay on the ground writhing in pain. Aphrodite almost laughed.
"We have to find him," Amaterasu looked towards her.
"We'll help with that," two figures appeared.
"Diana," Aphrodite said proudly. "Your people?"
"Are safe, mother," Hippolyta said. There was none of the malice that she remembered when she had been revealed.
Aphrodite studied her once daughter turned queen of the Amazons for a moment. Even if she no longer had the body of a god, the soul called forth was still a part of hers. There was a hardness in her eyes, but there was…closure would be the best word to describe it. A part of her had been reclaimed with Hydra's fall.
"Where is Kal?" Diana asked breathlessly.
"With Rao, wherever he might be," Raiden stopped as a boom was heard. He nodded his head in the general direction. "Which I guess might be that way."
Zod growled out, throwing Rao through the air. He trained in yellow sunlight for a hundred years. His skill in combat unequaled by his enemies or his peers, and he would be damned if some God who thought he could get away with destroying his people would be the first one to beat him.
He slid his foot out, striking Rao's shin. The energy blasts were new, but they were anything he could not deal with. He dodged one leapt over took one to the shoulder, and stopped one before Rao could throw it. He grabbed his hand and smashed all the bones.
Rao grimaced in pain.
"The kid is impressive," Zod said with a slight smile. " One as ruthless as he is, could come from the House of El is shocking. They were always so kind hearted of the Great Houses."
"I will kill you," Rao said through gritted teeth.
"Not today, Rao," Zod smiled slightly. He let go of his arm kicking him in the chest, sending him flying. "You lost today, the moment you thought you could simply overpower the boy."
Rao growled out.
"Enough," Darkseid boomed. "We need to leave now. The others have gathered."
"What are you talking about?" Rao snapped.
"Aphrodite, Raiden, and Fujin are here," Darkseid growled. "With what the boy did to you, you are like me. Do you think even with a Kryptonian body that you would be able to overcome all three of them?"
"And how about me," Kara appeared above them. "Been a long time, dad."
"Traitorous little bitch," Rao growled out. He gathered a small sphere and threw it at the body of Kal-El before any of them could react. The boy's entire body leapt about as he cried out in pain.
"Rao," Kara roared, chagrining him.
"Enjoy my treat, Kara," he smirked slightly. "When this is done, I am sure he will be happy to see you again."
Darkseid appeared next to him and grabbed his hand. A loud boomed echoed through the air as the pair disappeared through the door.
Diana was next to him the moment he cried out. She tried to keep him down, but his power, it was overwhelming. She felt her entire body strain as he tried to push her away.
A wind cyclone surrounded him and lifted him from the ground.
"The bastard," Fujin whispered as he looked at the boy. "If we get him to healing soon enough he might be able to survive, but it's not a certainty."
"What did he do?" Diana demanded
"He's trying to overwrite his personality." Raiden said with a frown.
"What?" Diana asked in disbelief.
"There is a reason they call us Gods and Goddesses, girl," Raiden rolled his eyes. "With enough will and power there is almost anything that we can do. In this case, it's a technique developed by a people who the Kryptonains destroyed here on Earth during the civil war."
"It's a mind overwrite," Aphrodite said with dread, looking at her granddaughter. She knew how tenuous the bond was between them. The fight with Hekate and with his own struggles had left little time for them to see if they would truly work. "The Atlantians wrote over the personalities of the people that they conquered or those they deemed to dangerous to let live. It was the worst punishment that they could think of. The Kryptonians, when they learned they hid Hydra, decided to wipe them from existence."
Hippolyta watched the pain in her daughters face. She was so attached to the boy. She wanted to say something, but nothing she could think of would make it any better. Someone she was starting to care for was in dire straight and she had no real healing skill. She looked back to the other two gods and the Kryptonian.
Zod looked at all of them. "We should get him into healing as soon as possible, there is something at the Fortress that might help."
Aphrodite nodded and looked at Kara. "Is there a way that we can get through the mana disruptors?"
Kara nodded. Sol was already in her ear telling her that the mana disruptors were down.
Aphrodite appeared next to her and placed a hand on her shoulder and on the cocoon of wind that protected Kal. Fujin raised his eyebrow slightly as the Goddess took complete control of his wind without him giving her control. Wind was his aspect, there should have been no one strong enough to do that.
The three of them disappeared in a flash of light, leaving the others there standing there. Zod turned and slowly started to walk away. With the battle done, he had no reason to remain. He needed to make his way back to the Fortress and start work with the nano-bot.
"General Zod," Raiden said with a slight smile. He remembered Zod from the Kryptonians first incursion against Earth. "That was the surprise that the boy was preparing?"
Zod nodded. "Those of my army that I think can be useful will be allowed back. Rao and Apokolips will have no idea what is coming."
"Sounds like fun," Raiden chuckled. He wanted a second chance at Darkseid and he would have it. "Do you think we can get in on the fun?"
Zod looked at them and nodded. "Let us talk."
Raiden, Fujin, and Zod disappeared from the battle, leaving Diana and Hippolyta in their wake.
"Our people are safe Diana," Hippolyta said softly, resting a hand on her daughter's shoulder. Diana didn't look at her.
Diana said nothing, simply looking back towards the Fortress. She had never felt so lost.
AN: And Now we reach the end. I thank all those who have followed this far, and I promise you I will be coming back to fully finish this. When I began writing it was always the plan to have Kal-El in this state at the end of this story. I know it sucks, but it has to be done. Have to leave something for the next story after all. See you guys in the next story, tentative title is "Soar Amongst the Stars".