Thanksgiving

Tanzania – East Africa – 5 Years later

The Amazon mission stretched out for miles in every direction. Fields of grain, several varieties were due to be harvested within the week. It was a bumper crop and would help with famine relief all over the continent. It was one of the more successful projects the Themysciran nation had undertook. It was making a small dent in what was otherwise an insurmountable problem. It was a wave of hope against a tide of cynicism.

What first surprised most newcomers was that a man was in charge of it. The Amazons weren't known for having the highest opinion of the male half of the species, so to have one in charge of anything seemed strange. That was true until you met the man and saw his results. Tall, lean and tanned, he was a quiet man for the most part. The locals hadn't known what to make of him when he arrived, but had quickly accepted him and his family into the community. His two young girls attended the local Amazon school along with the rest of the children.

Clark stood alone in the fields surrounded by an abundance of life. In the distance he could hear the laughter of his two young daughters, Lyta and Lara. The company of Amazon guards that watched over them had fallen under their spell and were fiercely loyal to them. They were little charmers he thought with a smile. It seemed each day they grew more like their mother sharing her beauty and her temper. They were little Princesses, literally and figuratively. He was desperately in love with both of them, as he was with their mother, Diana.

As he moved through the fields he stopped on a crest and stretched his arms out wide. He tilted his head back and let the warm rays of the sun soak in. Effortlessly his feet slowly lifted off the ground until he was ten feet in the air. Rotating 360 degrees he let his eyes open and scan the horizons.

His powers were back.

Now he had another choice to make. While he'd helped this small piece of the world bloom, the rest of it had grown darker and harsher. He could see it in Diana's eyes when she returned from missions with the League. Each year the battles got harder and more frequent. It seemed the forces of intolerance, fear and hate were spreading and the darkness with them.

He knew now he couldn't save the world by himself, no one could. What he could do is help. He realized that was something he'd lost along the way, the reason he'd starting in the first place. He hadn't set out to be a hero or any kind of symbol, but simple to help those that needed it because he could. All the rest that had come had obscured that even for him, but now he remembered. The quotation came back to him.

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

He had just wanted to be one of those ripples of hope when he started, to help in some small way to improve the lot of others. His choice now was whether he would continue that here or try and help on a larger scale. Slowly he rotated and looked back towards the house. He watched his two girls running and laughing and he had his answer. A better world had been what he'd been trying for all those years ago. If he didn't do it for himself, he would do it for them and the countless other children like them. He would send his ripple of hope out to join with the others.


Metropolis

The girls were with their grandmother on the island. Diana was leading the Justice League against yet another threat. Clark stood in front of the First Merchant's Bank of Metropolis holding a key in his hand. It was raining and the clouds hung low and gray over the city. He glanced around his former adopted home and noticed the changes. With a sigh, he closed his umbrella and headed inside.

He presented his key to the bank manager, an older man that must have been there for years. The manager looked through his records and then up at Clark in surprise.

"It's been quite awhile since we've seen you, sir."

"Yes, it has,' Clark replied.

The manager nodded and asked Clark to sign a form to check the signatures. They matched so he led him into the vault. Box 714, the manager put in his key and then Clark put his in. They turned keys at the same time and then the box slid out. The manager guided Clark into another room for his privacy and then closed the door as he left.

He stood looking at the long metal box for a moment, remembering the last time he'd been here. He hadn't expected to ever see this again, but the so many things had changed since that day. Lifting the lid, Clark smiled as he saw some old photographs and other personal items. As nice as it was to look at them, what he was here for was folded below. Gingerly he took the material in his fingers and lifted it from the box. He'd forgotten how different it felt from any other fabric. It brought back so many memories, but today wasn't about memories. Tucking it into a plain brown paper bag, he closed the box again.

Back out of the street, the rain was coming down harder. Clark moved along with the crowds, as they rushed to find shelter from the storm. An image caught his attention and he stopped in front of an appliance storm. The news was showing the battle the Justice League was currently engaged in. A smile came to his lips as he saw her. Diana, his wife, was leading them into battle and looked glorious doing it.


New York

The city was covered in clouds and the rain poured down. Diana fought hard, pressing the battle forward. Her team's opponents were brutal and cared nothing of the damage they caused. She caught brief glimpse of the civilians cowering in fear as the battle raged. Increasingly she saw those looks wherever the battles took her. It was as if the people had lost hope and had accepted this was just the way things were. That was the real enemy she knew. When people give up hope then everything is lost. It's what she so desperately fought against.

There was a rumble in the distance, but she was too engaged to see what was causing it. As she deflected projectiles, she noticed a stir in the crowd. Ordinary people were stepping out from their hiding places and glancing up. A ray of sunlight cut through the clouds and she saw people smiling and cheering as they pointed towards the heavens. Then she heard the phrase she hadn't imagined she'd ever hear again.

"Look! Up in the sky!

It's a Bird!

It's a Plane!

It's Superman!"


(A/N – And that's where this one ends. To everyone that read it, thank you. To everyone that read and reviewed it, a special thank you. I did read and appreciate all of them.)