Golden rays bounce off of shimmering red fabric. He shines. The sky is that odd shade between blue and purple, between red and orange. The clouds are light, scattered loosely through the tones of magenta. The sun is large. Round. Burning. That strange type of colour, lost between red and yellow, but not quite orange either. It is dark, and full. An intense colour. His muscles strain underneath the thin fabric of the oh-so-famous costume. He flies as fast as he can, the wind blowing through his hair, against his skin, into his eyes. Making the long cape waver and twist. It feels as if it is twisting around his legs, his knees, his torso and his neck. Crawling past his shoulders, strangling him into submission. The emblem on his back weighs him down as he hurries, trying to escape, knowing he never will.
Superman has never fully understood mankind. He knows them well, yes. He loves them. Years and years of living amongst them, he has grown to love them as if they were his own. To know them well enough to know what they will do, how they will react. But he never understood them enough to know the why. Even so he loves them. He'd do anything to protect them, their planet. But mankind does not love the blue-eyed miracle worker back. Oh no. They adore him. They admire him. They expect him to solve every single little problem for them. But…they know. They know he is not one of them and they know he could crush them. They fear him. More than anything else, humanity fears the day Superman changes his mind, or makes a mistake.
To them, he is a god. And he is. They watch as he soars through the sky, the sun shining behind his back. Untouchable, indestructible. Superspeed and superstrength. He does not age, nor does he get ill. He is immortal. Unless, of course, you have a tiny chunk of kryptonite, and manage to trick the god. No, to mankind superman is a god, and gods are worshipped, and feared, admired and hated, but never loved. They never belong.
His face shows no sign of age as he moves over the clouds, but there are tell-tale signs of wearing. Small creases next to his eyes, showing just how tired the man of steel is. Exhausted. Weary. His mouth is a firm, grim line in the chiseled jaw girls swoon over. His eyes, once bright and cheerful, radiant with hope and good and justice, are now a new shade of grey, cold and sad. He feels betrayed. Abandoned. The wind shows him it's mercy, flowing around him peacefully, while the sun beats down on his back. The sky turns a bit darker, blues turning into purples, pinks into blues and oranges into reds. Time passes, and he flies.
Superman has observed humans well. Years, he lived among them, as Clark Kent. He fell in love, he had friends. But time showed him Superman could have no friends. No love. Superman was a deity, a being too high for true contact. He did everything he could to teach society that he was not a wonder-pill, to be taken to solve every problem. When the arms race began, and he was asked to get rid of the weapons, so no war would break out, he cried out in agonized desperation. He begged people to understand, to solve their own problems. To see that wars were idiocy, to learn how to get along without him as a magical rubber, there to rub out all mistakes. To grow responsible for what they did.
More than anything, he wished they'd see the earth as he did. To him, it was one big planet. Beautiful, united. Humans were all the same. Religions, countries, races…he did not understand why they couldn't see that they were all the same. All citizens of the world. Together. He wished they'd stop destroying one another. Stop hurting themselves so much.
His eyes weaken as he remembers his friends. His colleague superheroes. The sun mocks him, taunts him. He misses them so. Misses what they stood for. Misses how among them, he could nearly believe they were equals. His mouth tightens and he swallows it away. Buries it. He speeds up, the gentle embrace of the wind now cutting into his soul harshly, the cold not doing anything against his perfect skin, but freezing his heart.
After years, the government had decided that they were too much of a risk. A possible liability. They decided that they'd rather have no free superheroes than risk them getting into enemies hands. They were given an ultimatum. Enroll into the military as a special unit, or retire. Some fought. All lost. Most retired. Some died. He couldn't bring himself to abandon his country, his duty. That which he still saw as his home, even if he came from a planet so far away. He watched with horror as after time, he was the only one left. From then on, he became the governments pet dog. A weapon.
His figure looks so big in the vast sky. Even if his stature is small compared to the high heavens, the way power rolls off his body in clear, obvious waves. He is a god. No matter how old he is, his hair flows in the same inky black, his muscles straining underneath his skin nearly threateningly, if it wasn't for the kind, gentle expression his eyes always wear. Except for when he is really angry. Then his eyes gleamed furiously red, his fists trembling with boiling rage. He rarely gets angry though.
He thinks back on Lois, and wonders how many years have passed since his mortal love died. He thinks back on her dark eyes, and darker hair, and wonders whether he was ever truly anything but a cape to her. Mankind's savior. Apparently a quick sidestep to becoming mankind's slave.
His eyes close in frustration as he realizes that even now that he has gone against his old friends, even now that he surrendered his free will, even now that he does nothing but slave for the army, he is still seen as a possible threat. Still treated like an enemy.
The sunlight hits the golden emblem on his chest, the large red 'S' sending shatters of beautifully colored light everywhere, and for a moment his entire figure is cast in a golden hued spotlight as he bursts through the highest layer of clouds, and for just a second, he is free.
Free from Superman. Free from Clark Kent. Free from the endless list of political worries his life has become. For a moment, he remembers the name his parents gave him, galaxies away. For a moment, he is Kal-El.
A bright, blissful smile appears on his face, and all his features relax. He revels in the sunlight, spinning slowly, forgetting everything with heavenly delight. A crackling, mechanical voice in his ear breaks him free from this, reminding him they have him chipped, and under continuous surveillance. Reminding him he has to maintain radio contact at all time. Reminding him he is Superman, USA's number one fool.
The voice inquired why he stopped, and immediately reminds him he must rapidly continue to his destination. Yes.
His face falls back to it's currently normal state, the creases around his eyes return. His mouth is back into a thin line as he lowers to the height his superiors deemed optimal and continues his flight. A nuclear bomb has been sent towards the USA. He warned them. He warned them that if they did not stop, this would happen. They did not listen. Now, they send him to stop the threat.
He wishes they'd stop destroying each other. He wishes they'd stop thinking they were so different. He wishes they'd see that they're so similar. United. All of them. The earth as one. God how he wishes. And he believes, too. Believes that it is possible. Believes that one day they will see…
A small spark in the sky catches his attention. There it is. The man of steel flies towards the rocket, so dangerous for any human. But he was immortal. Practically indestructible. As he approaches it, he notices the radio went dead. As he takes a hold of the rocket he realizes how strange that is, but pays it no mind. It is a carelessness that comes with years of being impossible to harm.
His stomach turns. Blood pounds through his head, resonating through his skull with dull thuds. He feels impossibly weak. Faint. His entire body trembles and he clutches on to the rocket. On which he can now see a small, glowing green rock. No. He was immortal.
Unless, of course, you have a tiny chunk of kryptonite, and manage to trick the god…
Finally, mankind decided he was too much of a risk. Finally, they betrayed him. Finally, his fate was sealed by the same people he had been so desperate to protect, to love. His mouth curls up into a bitter smile as he imagined how stupid his old best friend would've thought he was. The god can barely breathe now, wheezing, his chest heaving as the rocket starts plummeting downwards, towards the desert it had, of course, always been designed to go to.
The sky twirls and spins as his cape wraps around his legs and torso, the sun shining so brightly into his eyes he cannot see, as he falls, falls and falls. Colours spin and blend and twist and turn and everything is spinning around him as he crashes into the ground, his bones screaming in protest as the bomb was triggered.
It is hell. A flaming, burning inferno. The ultimate weapon of destruction churns and rages, destroying everything. He can feel his bones turn to ash, his flesh melting away. Everything is pain. Loud, raging screams echo through his mind, his vision gone. He thinks of Lois, of his friends, of all human beings he has met. He thinks of all the suffering he has seen, all the destroyed lives, all the corpses. He thinks of all the wars, and how they will never end until the people of earth realize. He thinks of all of this, yet he thinks of nothing at all, since all he can feel is the furious, agonizing pain. The fire raging around him as the kryptonite renders him weak enough for the nuclear explosion to slowly destroy.
Golden rays bounce off of raging red flames. He burns. The sky is that odd shade between blue and purple, between red and orange. The clouds are light, scattered loosely through the tones of magenta. The sun is large. Round. Burning. That strange type of colour, lost between red and yellow, but not quite orange either. It is dark, and full. An intense colour.
Superman dies. Clark Kent is betrayed. Kal-El hopes that one day, mankind will forsake countries and races, and become the true citizens of the world.