The Last Song of Krypton
I in no way shape or form hope to gain any endorsements, monies, and or monetary recognition from this story.
The attention from the celebration drew in everyone from the surrounding countryside and neighboring cities. The crowds were massive, stretching from the capital crystal towers thru the city great gates. Thousands upon thousands strong, the crystal city on the ice planet Krypton, swelled to compactly as people celebrated in the streets.
The youth frolicked and danced tossing out flowers and garlands laughing merrily, the old amused, remised on the past chuckling with fond nostalgia of times long gone. Young men thru caution to the winds, getting on one knee in abandonment and proposing to their loves. All eyes turned towards the future.
It was a joyous day for the people of Krypton. General Zod and his subordinates had been captured. Declared enemies of the state by the Kryptonian council, they had been sentenced to a place worst then death, where only the most dangerous of criminals are imprisoned, the phantom zone.
Yes life was good, today was a turning point in their world. You could smell the change in the air, not even the ever frequent increasing tremors could dissuade the people of the fact that their future was bright. Yet the tremors came and was ever present, haltingly and increasing, a deadly symphony, that came almost in an ominous song. A foreboding chorus drowned out and smothered in the masses.
And so the people of Krypton laughed and celebrated. The red sun illuminating the city, casting it's failing light upon the council of nine. The council, each of which sat smugly on their thrones, their eyes every so often glancing at the open window of the tallest tower in the city. Hoping to catch the eye of the man who lived there.
Though no one had spoken a word to the man in the ten days he has been exiled. His name had been whispered in in huddled corners, his crime spoken in hushed tones over the dinner table. His tower centered in the middle of the great city, once standing as a pillar of progress, a shining example of Kryptonian technology. Now a looming constant reminder of the fall of Krypton's brightest mind. Jor-El, the greatest scion of the house of El had committed treason.
His greatest triumph, the capturing of Krypton's three most notorious criminals, had also been his greatest defeat. On that day Jor-El had declared the end of krypton. Jor-El had always been a great orator, his skill and ability to lead had always been a great asset. Yet because he had threatened the stability of Krypton and inciting panic, not even his past deeds could save him; the council of nine had no choice but to excommunicate.
And as the nine members of the council seated on high above the people, sat watching the joyous faces of their charges they knew that their decision was right. Nothing could tarnish this day.
Nine old men turned one by one, glaring haughtily at Jor-El's tower. Nine different old men, nine different faces with nine different goals yet in each of their minds was one same thought. "It's been ten days and we are still here, Krypton is still here, Jor El you are a fool"
And so the old men laughed and congratulated themselves, ridding Krypton of three dangerous criminals and one equally dangerous scientist. Raising their glasses and toasting their brilliance as the red sun started it's descent into the horizon the old men gave a wave to the crowd ushering in a bright new future.
The Red sun slowly lowered into the horizon, its light flickering as night began to overtake day bathing the inhabitance in a sea of blood. Like a candle reaching the end of its wick the red light sputtered and spasm, fighting for its life, as if it too knew that it will never again shed its rays on Krypton.
The Sun's light finally disappeared, and the night lights blinked on in their brilliance. As the people roared in enthusiasm another tremor shuddered beneath the cities feet, yet thru the dancing, throughout the music and merrymaking the last Song of Krypton was never heard. ..
Jor-El slammed his window shut angrily. "The damned fools," he whispered fiercely, "They doomed us all"
Jor-El paced up and down his laboratory, his thoughts many. Ten days ago he was a hero. Ten days ago he was the man who had undermined General Zod's plan to usurp the council. Ten days ago his wife had given him an heir to the house of El. Ten days ago his world wasn't about to be destroyed.
Jor-El stopped his pacing, making his way to a large terminal, the young man ran his fingers thru his quickly graying hair. Looking at his reflection in the terminal large crystal screen he gave a grim look at the six grey hairs now sprinkled across his head, that ten day ago hadn't been there.
'Like my father it seems under stress my hair would gray. Would explain the reason why all the men in my family have white hair by the time they are forty,' Jor-El thought ruefully.
Jor-El touched a crystal and the terminal sprung to life. A multitude of lights illuminated the crystal display, and a holographic image of a small space craft hung overhead. He could only save one life and neither he nor Lara could travel in the ship.
Maybe if he had more time. If the council had listen and commission ships. Ten days, with Kryptonian technology a few hundred ships could have been built in that time. If that had happen thousands could have survived now billions will die. Too many ifs.
The council had refused to heed his words, failing to see the truth that was right before them. For three days he had begged, pleaded and cried to council. He had warned them, showed them his calculations, the increasing gravity of the red sun and the building pressure of Krypton's core. Never mind the fact that out of Krypton's entire scientist he was the greatest. Never mind the fact that for generations the house of El had dedicated all of their scientific minds to the betterment of Krypton.
Yet it all meant nothing. Now his race was only literally minutes from extinction, and the fools were celebrating. The crystals underneath Jor-El's fingers started to resonate with a soft hum. Maybe he couldn't save his planet, maybe he couldn't save his people but by The Great Rao his only son shall not perish.
Jor-El worked in a fever the likes of which his laboratory had never seen. The crystals on his terminal flashing and flaring in an increasing brilliance. Seconds turned into minutes and minutes stretched painstaking into hours. Sweat poured down Jor-El face in waves as he moved the last circuit crystal in place.
A small ship slowly materialized above the console, he nodded stoically at his work. The ship was a least thousand years more advance then anything anyone on krypton could build. If not for the impending disaster and his own weariness he would be in a joyous mood.
Jor-El stood up from his chair, looking over critically at the spacecraft. His scientific mind searching for any flaws as he ran his hands up and down the smooth outer shell of the craft. About ten feet in length and three feet high the ship passed Jor-El's terse inspection.
A tremor suddenly shook the ice planet, the building swayed and groaned almost in agony. Kryptonians stopped their merrymaking and looked around in fear as yet another tremor shuddered underneath their feet. The tall building almost seemed to shift and heave. Glass and debris toppled out of broken windows, bathe in the twin moons failing light, appearing like a hailing of falling stars. It was then that the screaming started.
Jor-El ignored the sounds from outside, he built and designed this tower with his father, and it would last long enough. His hands worked furiously inside the cockpit, the life support system required careful configuration.
There was influx of air and the sound of a door sliding open, as Lara glided in. Jor-El looked up from his work and smiled for the first time that day. His wife stepped up next to him as he got up tirelessly to his feet.
Her voice sounded like golden honey to his ears as she hugged a cooing baby swath in Jor-El's red cap, "That was the worst one yet," kissing the child's head, "It's time isn't it?"
The sad frightened look on Lara's face nearly broke his resolve. Taking his son and placing him in the cockpit Jor-El had to fight to keep his voice from shaking.
"Yes it's time; if we wait too much longer then the ship won't escape the blast radius." He refused to cry, not here not now, he must be strong, and a life depended on him. Kal-El giggled happily watching in rapt amusement the lights of the ship powered on its life support.
Lara walked up behind Jor-El, wrapping her arms around his waist lovingly. "It's ok; I've said my goodbye, now it's time to say yours."
He shook his head sadly as if trying to escape the thought. "I choose a planet that supports life," he said, "although a bit underdeveloped the potential of the people are limitless."
Kal-El eyes started to close, the life support placing him in a simulated coma where he will stop aging but keep receiving nutrition.
His son, his only son. Whatever may happen perhaps he may be a light that will shine thru the darkness. A single tear finally made its way down his cheek.
"My son I shall send you to Earth, live as one of them, Kal-El, to discover where your strength and your power are needed. Always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, Kal-El, if they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you... my only son."
A violent tremor thundered his tower and nearly knocked them both off balance. Lara tightened her grip around his waist, burying her head in the nape of his neck.
"Lara," he said reaching into the folds of his cloak, "we have to send him now." Jor-El pulled out a dark green crystal.
"This crystal holds all of Krypton's collective knowledge," placing the crystal in the rear of the ship the craft slowly rose above the ground hovering seven inches. "It holds our life, our culture, and the memories of Krypton, learn well from it my son." If he was right the speed and velocity should get him to Earth at the end of Earths twentieth century.
Lara stifled a scream as a beam fell, the ceiling groaned in protest, as pieces of the roof fell like raindrops.
Jor-El gave one last look at his son, he pressed a single crystal and the small ship roared to life lifting higher up off the ground. Suddenly the crystal terminal shattered as a beam crashed thru the console. Shards of crystal flew thru the air echoing the scene outside.
Lara, covering her face cried out in pain as the shards cut deep into her arms. Jor-El either didn't notice the deadly projectiles or just didn't care as he watch the spacecraft give its final diagnostic before rising towards the ceiling.
Turning to his wife, crouched down with her on their quickly dissolving floor. Parts of the wall gave way and the screams from outside quickly assaulted their senses. The tremors increased violently and Jor-El heard a loud explosion that completely destroyed the building and street over.
Thousands of cracks appeared on the street like a spider's web. And like a prey to a spider Kryptonians fell thru the crack, their howling screams joining the many that so far died.
There was a large tearing sound as a crack snaked it's was diagonally across his floor. Inches before him half his already destroyed tower gave way and opened them to the elements. It was then that he saw the council of nine, still seated on their thrones, mouths agape in untold horror as they witness the carnage before them.
The faces told Jor-El all he needed to know they knew they were wrong and had failed in their ultimate duty passed on to them from council member to council member, untold ages from the time of Rao. He felt neither anger nor sorrow, only a profound regret, regret that he couldn't save them all.
He looked down as Lara pressed closer against him, his arm slung protectively across her shoulder. Their eyes found each other, both vaguely aware that it was the last time they would do so.
The ship exited the destroyed tower in a shower of debris, an orange streak in the night sky, breaking away from Krypton's atmosphere. Two parents watched sadly as their only child disappear and was gone from them forever.
The once beautiful icy planet of Krypton slowly poured liquid fire from its core. Bubbling up from the many cracks Krypton started to burn, and the people not dead from the initial catastrophe scream in a fear. Their screams coupled with the wails of the injured and the silent horror of the dead created a song of the like never before and never again heard.
Jor-El and his wife hugged for the last time. In his desperation, in his greatest hour of need, he did something no Kryptionian had done for over two thousand year, he prayed.
"Lord Rao, I pray to you not for my sake, neither for my wife, whom I love above all others, nor my people" Lara clutched his hand tightly, keeping him steady as the world burned around them. "Although we Kryptonians have forsaken you and turned our backs in the name of science. I ask this of you please protect our child. So that he may live. We El's who are said to be a descendant of your loins I beseech you ease protect your son"
And just for a second the universe stood still, as if to contemplate his words. A quaint pause in the symphony, while the world held its breath. It has long been said that before the technical revolution two thousand years ago that shaped Krypton, and before the Kryptonians cast away their faith at the betrayal of their god. It was believed those of the House of El where able to see into the future.
And for the brief second that the world was silent, in Jor-El mind's eye he saw a figure, a man that stood tall and strong. Clad in red and blue a yellow light shined powerfully behind him. Lara too must have saw because a soft smile played upon her lips, the man turned slightly and the crest on his chest stood out proudly, the crest of the house of El.
"My Kal-El," Lara whispered sadly, tears cascading down her face.
Jor-El smiled proudly, "My son," and the image was gone. He bent slightly and kissed his wife for the last time, "Till we meet again Lara,"
Lara lifted his hand and softly kissed his palm, "to the cradle of Rao we now go, my love," pausing she swept the curl from his forehead, "Until we are together with Kal-El again." She closed her eyes and rested her head on his shoulders feeling content and at peace, she had lived a good life with the one she loved. It was enough.
Jor-El placed the tip of his chin on her head. Even now he was amazed at how her hair, smeared with dirt and grime, always remained so beautiful to him. Possessing one of the most brilliant minds in Kryptonian history it almost struck him as funny that that would be his last living thought.
With that the terrible song began to play again, lashes of flames flailed from deep underground. Hell itself seemed to rise as the last tremor rocked Krypton. The red sun exploded in a flare of light, Krypton and its inhabitants were engulf in a single powerful burst of flame as the red sun slowly died and diffused into nothing. A deadly symphony, a choir of cries, a lamenting of lost, the people sung their deadly song, the Last Song of Krypton.
In the space of the exploding star something shifted and moved. Unseen and non-present a conciseness awoke. Older by far than the universe and the verse that came before that, he was the first the sprung forth from the mating of Fate and Destiny. He had heard his children's cries; felt their pain, unable to help he felt their despair.
He wept for every iced laden frozen grass, he wept for every animal, fowl or fish. He wept for his dead sons and daughters. Now only but one remain, his last scion, his last hope. A prayer he had heard, sincere and in earnest, one he shall heed even if not asked, the house of El shall not fall again.
The spacecraft soared thru space like a beam of light, the slumbering baby within ignorant to the tragedy of what befell his people. Kal-El wrapped in his father's cape and his mother's kiss still lingering upon his brow dreamed peacefully of a man bath in red light, only a silhouette in the amber rays, the figure reached out and stroked Kal-El's cheek softly, "My son, never again fear, I am forever with you, Kal-El, Child of the Stars, my son.