Jor-El didn't need the soft "beep-beep-beep" of the alarm to rouse him. The rays of the red sun had been gentle enough in that respect. Besides, he hadn't slept well on account of his most recent seismological survey, from which he'd returned home the night before. He turned over, deactivated the alarm, and rolled back over to embrace his still-sleeping wife, who shifted reflexively at his touch. Waking, the former Lara Lor-Van turned her head to get a look at him. "Good morning, my sweet," she said.

He kissed her on the cheek. "I hope it is," he replied with a sort of defeated grin, as he had already surmised what the council would say.

She turned over and caressed his chin. "Don't go to Kryptonopolis today. You need some rest. Stay home. Kal-El and I missed you." A second later, what may very well have been a yapping ball of white lightning in vaguely canine form tore into the room, practically flew onto the bed, and began licking his master's face in a very wet form of, "good morning!"

Krypton's preeminent seismologist started wrestling with the puppy. "Unless I'm mistaken, I'd say Krypto missed me, too." At that moment, they heard Kal-El's telltale wake-up cry.

"Jor-El, I've got someone who wants to say 'good morning' to you," Lara stated in a sing-song voice as she returned from the nursery carrying their infant son, bottle in hand. Reaching out, he grabbed his son and held him close.

"I do wish you'd at least consider staying home today," Lara professed over breakfast.

"You know I can't do that, my love. I have our planet's best interests at heart, and if my hypothesis is correct, it could have serious negative ramifications for all of Krypton."

"Jor-El, I support you heart and soul, it's just that Zod's influence over the council has been growing, and I fear for our family's safety should you ruffle his feathers any more."

From where he sat, Jor-El could see his family's coat of arms: a figure, curved from fighting against the encroaching, diamond-hard walls in spite of the overwhelming odds. The Kryptonian symbol of bravery. "Yes, I heard some of his comments while I was away, mostly because there's little else to do for leisure in the polar regions, but let me tell you, I will serve a millennium in the Phantom Zone before I let any of them come to fruition, and Non is a mercenary, no more, no less."

"But Ursa-"

"-might be a co-conspirator, I grant you, but the evidence is circumstantial at best." Lara shook her head, resigned. Jor-El rose, walked behind her chair, and placed his hands on her shoulders. "Look, I know that you're worried," he kissed her on top of her head, "and I thank you for that."

Later that day, Jor-El presented his findings before the council, a board consisting of the brightest minds on the planet. Behind him was a holoprojection of stars. "This is an image taken from our telescope at the south pole." He pressed a remote control he had in his hands. The stars shifted places, some moved completely out of the picture, while still more new ones appeared. "They should be here." He switched to a new starry image. "This is an image taken from our telescope at the north pole. They should be here." Again, he pressed the remote control, and again the stars shifted. He then switched to a graph of seismic activity, which showed increasing frequency that, while unalarming, was still noticeable. "Esteemed ladies and gentlemen, you know me. You also know that I'm not a man to make large claims without the evidence to back them up. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I make this claim: the poles are shifting, and I suggest we prepare ourselves for the worst seismic activity Krypton has ever seen, and may ever see."

"Preposterous!" shouted General Zod. "This man's main field of research is seismology, not astronomy! Besi-"

"True, it's not my usual field, but I am an astronomer all the same, and I tell you that Krypton's polar axis is one of the most static of all the known worlds, and the Astronomical Institute of Kandor has holographic evidence dating back over two hundred years to back me up."

Ursa spoke up next. "Brainiac would have warned us about any serious seismic activity."

"Brainiac wasn't designed for Krypton's specifications! Lux-Er reverse engineered him after Brainiac's crash. Who knows where he came from?"

Lor-Van, the president of the council, stood. "My son-in-law is right, and has anyone even seen Lux-Er since Brainiac's completion?" No response. "Hmm. I thought as much. It's time to vote on Jor-El's proposal."

"How'd it go?" Lara asked when she heard the door close. Her heart sank as she saw him, his head hung low.

"It was a," he lifted his head, grinning ear to ear, "success."