A woman (Martha) walks into a dining room carrying a birthday cake lit with candles. The lights are off but at the table is a young boy (teenager) and a man (Jonathan) in his late thirties/early forties.

Jonathan & Martha: Happy Birthday, Clark.

Clark: Thanks Ma, Pa. (He smiles.)

Jonathan: Time to blow out the candles.

Martha: In one go. So take a deep breath.

Clark: Ma…it's my fifteenth, I can do this. (He grins at her and she stops herself from ruffling his hair.)

Jonathan moves round to the front of the table with a camera. He positions himself and gets ready to take the picture. Clark takes a breath and blows. The cake flies off the table and hits Jonathan in the chest.

Clark: Oh no!

Jonathan: Well, that adds a new meaning to "super-breath".

Clark: (gets up) Pa, I'm so sorry. I didn't…

Jonathan: Clark, come on. It was an accident. (Looks at Martha) I guess it's a good thing you decided to have this birthday as a family-only one.

Clark: Why's this happening to me, Pa?

Jonathan: Clark…(he sits next to him) at your age we all go through certain changes. (He holds up his hand, stopping Clark from interrupting.) Your changes are…somewhat different but they're following along similar lines. You're a heckava lot stronger than what you were as a child, for example, but almost all kids are as they grow up. It's not like you can bench the tractor or anything.

Your "X-Ray" vision seems to have been a one off. Have you been able to do it again?

Clark: No. But I know I saw through the wall when I found Ma's handbag.

Jonathan: And maybe you just remembered where you'd seen it. We wish we had all the answers (Martha is standing by the door) and maybe one day we will. But your Ma and I do know that you're meant for something more than life on a farm.

Martha: You're a star-child, Clark. You're…like Ishmael. Or Isaac.

Clark: Having twelve kids is a bit much, Ma.

Martha: Very funny.

Clark: "God Hears", huh? (Looks at his parents.) Do you really think He does?

Jonathan: You're proof to us that He does, son.

There's a knock at the door. Martha goes to open it. When she opens it we see a young girl around Clark's age. She has long red hair and is holding a present.

Lana: Hi, Mrs Kent. I know you said you weren't having a party for Clark's birthday but I was hoping I could give him this present?

Martha smiles and ushers the child in. Clark and Jonathan stand up and Lana notices the massive stain and the bits of cream on the floor.

What happened?

Clark: I tripped.

Lana: Clark, you're such a klutz sometimes. Yesterday you broke the door handle to the science lab at school and now…

She smiles at him.

Happy Birthday, Clark.

Clark: (Smiling) Thanks, Lana.

Clark is walking back from Lana's house, she's watching him from her porch. Jonathan and Martha are waiting for him.

Clark: The door was locked. I didn't know and when I went to open it the handle snapped off.

Martha: The handle was probably worn.

Clark: Yeah, probably. Kenny did the same thing just before Lit so, yeah, you're probably right.

They finish clearing everything up and head up for bed. Clark sits at the head of his bed and looks out the open window and up to the stars.

Clark: (Voice-over) Have you ever felt that there was meant to be something more? That there was something missing. Not a "someone" but a "something"…like…a purpose.

God, I love Smallville. The smell, the sounds, the people. This is home but…I think I'm meant to be elsewhere. Sometimes I hear a whisper…like something calling me, beckoning me.

He looks down and we see that he's writing in a journal.

Then I look at Lana and remember…

Fade to a bright day. Camera pans down and we see kids rushing around, some laughing. There are also children holding on to their mothers or fathers. We focus on a dark haired child, firmly holding onto a woman's hand.

Martha: Clark, please. It's only for a few hours.

Little Clark: I don't wanna go school, Ma. I wanna go home.

Clark: (Voice-over) That was the day I first met Lana. She came out of no where and

A little red-haired girl approaches the mother and son. She stands in front of Clark.

Little Lana: Hi, I'm Lana. (She hugs him.)

Clark: (Voice-over) I don't think she ever really stopped hugging me.

Cut to Clark at the window. He looks down at the truck and concentrates on it. We see through his eyes and the truck seems to flicker. The image flashes between the exterior of the truck and what the truck looks like without the body. Each flicker lasts longer until the "x-ray" image is stable. Clark smiles.

Three years later.

Jonathan is standing in Clark's room. The board at the foot of the bed has a hole in it and the top part of the leg has been broken off. He looks at the bedside cabinet and we see that the top drawer has a hole in it which has a "track" going back to the wall. Jonathan moves the cabinet and we see that there is a large dent in the wall. Martha walks in to the room and crosses her arms, biting her lower lip.

Jonathan: I think we need to tell him.

Martha: It was just a bad dream, Jonathan.

She looks around the room and walks over to a trophy shelf. There are trophies and ribbons from track events, boxing, baseball and football.

You think he's been holding out on us, don't you?

Jonathan: We've been holding out on him. He's 18. He needs to know. Maybe he'll have the answers he needs if he knows what we know.

Martha: What if he hates us?

Jonathan: He…he won't hate us, Martha. I think he'll understand.

Smallville High's football pitch.

Commentator This is Smallville's GREATEST year! Clark Kent is running strong for his 10th try of the game. Wait…he's running straight into…HOW DID HE MOVE LIKE THAT?!

Clark slides under two opposing players and continues running in one smooth move. One of the players hits Kenny instead. He reaches the try-line and scores. He looks over to the bleachers and sees his father standing there, frowning. Clark's smile vanishes as he hears his dad whisper:

Jonathan Son, we need to talk.

No…no, that doesn't sound right.

Clark, your mother and I have decided…

God, this is so hard to do. (Jonathan turns around and walks off.)

Player CLARK! C'MON!

Cut to the end of the game. Smallville has won. Everyone's cheering and clamouring over Clark. Clark is grinning and has his arm round Kenny, who is scowling but smiling, reluctantly.

Lana (Holding Clark's hand.) You coming for a celebratory drink?

Clark SURE! (He turns his head slightly as he hears his Dad whisper his name, talking in a way similar to what he was saying earlier.) Um…actually, I can't. Not right now. Have to go talk to my Dad. I'll catch up with you guys in a bit, okay? (He excuses himself from the crowd and rushes off. Kenny and Pete come up to Lana, each takes hold of an arm and they lead her away.)

Lana He brushed me off. Just like that.

Pete Nah, you know he wouldn't do that.

Lana Then YOU explain what just happened. (Pete shrugs.)

Outside the school, Jonathan is sitting in his truck. Clark opens the door and gets in. He's already changed.

Clark Pa? What's wrong?

Jonathan (Looking straight ahead.) You saw me?

Clark I…um…yeah, I saw you and figured you wanted to talk about something, especially considering the way you just walked off.

What's wrong, Pa?

Jonathan I'm…disappointed in you, son.

Clark (Shocked.) Disappointed?! Pa, I won the game almost SINGLE-HANDED and you're disappointed? At least Kenny's Pa celebrates his wins. (He slumps in his seat.)

Jonathan sighs. He looks at Clark who is sitting there with his arms crossed. He grips the steering wheel harder, stares out the window and then nods. He starts up the car.

Clark Where're we going?

Jonathan It's time, son.

Clark Time for what?

Clark and Jonathan are standing by a field. Jonathan opens the gate and leads the way.

Clark Pa, will you PLEASE tell me what's going on? PA?!

Jonathan stops. A shaking hand moves through his hair.

Jonathan: Son…this isn't easy for me, but it IS time for you to know.

Clark: Know what?

Jonathan: There are things you can do that no one else on this Earth can do…well, as far as we know. I don't know WHY you can do what you can but maybe I can give you a start to finding out.

Clark: Pa…it's nothing amazing. I'm a little stronger and faster than the average person but that's about it.

Jonathan: Clark! (He scowls.)

Clark: Okay, I can run real fast. I…wait…did you see my room?

Jonathan: Yes, I saw the room.

Clark: It was just a bad dream, Pa.

Jonathan looks at him.

Okay, I can see things from miles away as clear as if it was right next to me. I can see THROUGH things. It took you and Ma a long time to believe that. I'm a freak. Fine. I get it.

Jonathan Son, you're NOT a freak. But your gifts…your gifts set you apart from us. I…Clark, when I said I was disappointed I…well, I'm…I'm disappointed in the approach you've taken in using your gifts.

Clark The approach? Pa, some of the guys are the team are hopped up on steroids so much that I can't stand the smell of them, how is my using my gifts wrong?

Jonathan Smell?

Clark Yeah…they smell…different, even when they're wearing all that cologne.

Jonathan How strong are you?

Clark What?

Jonathan How strong are you? (Clark's about to speak.) When you were three you fell out of a tree and broke your arm. You fell 50 feet straight down and you had a MINOR fracture. Fifty feet. You healed in less than a week. When you were five you cut across the field in your red jacket. You didn't know the bull was loose. That was one of the most frightening days of my life. When I saw the bull running at you…running over you…I thought I'd lost you. And I ran up to you thinking…knowing I'd see you all trampled and there you were…your hair was a little messed up and your jacket was torn but you were fine.

Jonathan leans against the fence, looking into the distance.

And then there's the car crash. Pete drove into a tree and you…nothing…not even a scratch. Pete and Lana were in the hospital for two weeks. He'd broken his leg and cracked a couple of ribs; Lana had dislocated her shoulder and had whiplash. But you…nothing.

You know, I never told your mother about the incident with the bull. You were safe and sound, that was the main thing. But I couldn't keep it a secret for long. She told me about the truck…how you'd picked it up with ONE hand in order to get the ball.

Clark (Stands next to his Dad.) Yeah…okay…I'm…I'm stronger than I pretend to be. But I'm careful, Pa. I hold back. But…it's not like I'm that strong ALL the time. It comes and goes. Usually…well, usually I'm about as strong as Kenny. Kenny and I are pretty much even in almost everything…strength, speed, stamina. But sometimes, like, when he's ahead of me I sort of…reach in to myself and…find that extra boost…I can find that extra bit of speed to win the race. It's like a burst of adrenaline, I suppose. Or…I know I can do more and going against him provides that incentive to open up more.

Jonathan But what about your other gifts? The things you can see…um…smell, apparently…the things you can do?

Clark (Looking down.) I wish I knew. Sometimes when I'm angry I can feel the heat building up. God, after I set the barn on fire I've ALWAYS been careful.

Jonathan Clark, I TRUST you and I KNOW that you try to do the right thing. I just don't believe that THIS is the right way to use your abilities.

Clark Then what is?

Jonathan I don't know. I don't know and…I also think you're holding back.

They stand there in silence for a few moments and then Jonathan moves into the field. Clark follows slowly, thinking. Jonathan stops and looks down. He sighs.

Clark Pa?

Jonathan This is it. (He points at what appears to be some kind of wooden and metal covering.) I think you're strong enough to move it by yourself now.

Clark looks at Jonathan, puzzled. He doesn't think to use his x-ray vision, instead he reaches down and tugs on it. It barely shifts. The camera focuses on his hand and we see it tighten. He then easily lifts the covering, chunks of dirt breaking away from it as it is raised from the ground. Underneath is the ship. It's still quite clean after all these years.

Clark Pa…what?

Jonathan (Looking away, dejected.) This is how you came to us, son.

Clark You…you said that I was a miracle but…this? I AM a freak!

Jonathan grabs Clark and spins him round, angry. Both are surprised at the sudden strength.

Jonathan You are my SON! Mine and Martha's. You're NOT a freak, okay? Don't you EVER think that of yourself!

Clark stumbles as he reaches down at the ship. He gets woozy. Jonathan catches him and pulls him up. The camera shifts more towards the ship and we see a green glowing rock embedded in it, partially covered by the earth.

Clark All this time…all this time…

Jonathan struggles to push the covering back in place. Clark notices and helps his father, also struggling. He's surprised at this weakness that has come over him. He then pushes it back over the hole and slumps to the ground.

Jonathan (Helping Clark up.) Come on, son. Let's get you home. Your mother'll be worried. You've had more than enough surprises for one day.

As they drive away a figure comes out of the grove of trees at the far end of the field.

The Kent Farm

The truck pulls up near the house and Clark and Jonathan quietly get out and walk to the porch. Martha is standing there, clearly worried…afraid.

Martha: Clark…

Clark: A "star-child"? (He puts his right hand through his hair.) We need to talk. I need to know what happened.

The three of them walk into the kitchen, Jonathan stopping to lock the front door.

Is my birthday the day you…found me?

Martha: Yes…it…I knew you were a "new-born". I don't know how I knew but I knew that when that…egg opened…that was when you were born.

Clark: How did you find me?

Jonathan: The weather report said that a massive storm was coming so your Ma and I had been putting the shutters up, bringing in the animals…

Scene shift

Outskirts of Smallville, Kansas.

The Kents are setting up 'storm guards' at their farmhouse. A bright light heads towards them.

(Voice over) At the same time the Bravermans were on their way to the hospital.

[Cut to - ] A car is stuck on the road. A pregnant woman is in the back. She's going through labour. A rocket streaks past, sending a gust of hot wind.

The rocket streaks over the Kent farm, trailing flames and white smoke. There's a flash and hear a rumble as the rocket crashes into a nearby field.

According to the Bravermans, Amy gave birth a few seconds after the rumble.

The pregnant woman screams in pain moments after the rocket lands. Following the low rumble of the impact there are the cries of a baby. Her husband is breathing heavy, grinning as he holds up the baby boy his wife just gave birth to. She laughs and cries at the same time as he gives her the baby.

Curiosity made me want to investigate and I dragged your Ma along with me.

Martha: And a good thing, too!

Young Jonathan opens the door to the truck and signals to his wife.

Jonathan: Whatever it was, it landed in the south field, Martha. I think we should go and have a look, just to make sure. For all we know, it could well start a fire.

They drive to a field and find a smoking, smouldering trail. They find the ship in a crater, partially embedded. Martha tries to hold Jonathan back but they both slide down to the ship, curious.

Jonathan: It…it seems cool to touch…

He touches the matrix. It shimmers and starts to open. The couple stumble back in shock. The matrix opens and inside is a baby boy, newly born. Martha pushes past the man and crouches in front of the baby. Then she reaches in and picks the baby up.

Jonathan: Martha…what are you…? Martha! (Sharp whisper.) Martha, we don't know what…

Martha: Hush, Jonathan. It's just a baby.

Jonathan: Martha…

Martha cradles the baby, wrapping the child in her jacket.

Jonathan : Martha, we can't keep it.

Martha: (Quietly.) I know, Jonathan. But we can't leave him here.

There is a rumble of thunder. The baby yawns and holds on to Martha. She smiles.

Come on, Clark, let's get you somewhere safe.

Jonathan : What did you just say?

He helps Martha up and they walk away from the ship.

Martha: I'm sorry…I…Clark seems to be right for him. Clark…Kent…

Martha continues walking, talking to the baby in her arms. Jonathan stops and listens to his wife. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a letter. It's from a doctor and it says that Martha is unable to have children. It's a year old. He looks at his wife, she's further ahead now. He turns and looks at the ship, and then looks up at the sky. Snow starts to fall. He looks at the letter again and then stuffs it into his pocket. He then runs to catch up to his wife.

Jonathan: I'll drop the two of you home and then come back to hide the rocket. Okay?

Martha smiles. The baby is asleep.

Clark Kent, huh? It's a mighty distinguished name for a farmer. (He smiles and hugs his wife.) Let's go home.

The Kent farmhouse, evening. Everything is blanketed with snow.

Martha is sitting near the fire, cradling little Clark. Jonathan walks in, stopping as he sees Martha. The baby's eyes are darting around, wide with wonder. Jonathan smiles and steps forward. Hesitantly, he reaches down to the baby, his index finger extended. Clark holds the finger with both hands and smiles.

Jonathan: Quite a grip he has there, huh? (Martha nods, still smiling.) I couldn't dig out the ship so I covered it up for now. The storm's pretty heavy at the moment but I'll figure out what to do with it after it clears, okay?

He looks up at a photo from their wedding sitting on the mantelpiece.

Martha: We've been trying for six years…trying and praying…but I can't have children, Jonathan. I…can't.

Jonathan: Ma…c'mon…

She starts to cry.

Martha: He…he's like a…gift from God…the answer to my prayers…

Jonathan: OUR prayers, Martha. Ours. (And he kisses her.)

Jonathan: (Voice over) The storm kept us on the farm for a couple of months, thankfully we were well stocked with supplies.

Martha: (Voice over) The storm…well, I always thought of it as being God's way of protecting you…His way of allowing others to believe you were ours, His way of hiding the secret.

Three months later.

Smallville General Store.

Jonathan and Martha are surrounded by their friends, some are holding babies of their own, some are pregnant, others have older children but all are happy for the farming couple now proudly presenting their son, Clark Kent. There is another couple who are also celebrating with the Kents, a couple who also have a son, Kenny Braverman, born the moment Clark landed. The family in the car…

Jonathan: Thank you, everyone. It surprised us, too, when we found out that Martha was pregnant. We're sorry for keeping it from you it's just…we didn't want to jinx anything. Ah, listen to me going all solemn. (He smiles and holds Clark's tiny hand.) Our dreams have come true.

Kenny's Dad: (Grins.) I know, John, I know. I'm not afraid to admit I was worried out there on the road when the car broke down. But little Kenny came through strong. We couldn't be happier. (He hugs his wife, who blushes. She smiles at Martha.)

Store owner: Free pop for all! (Everyone laughs and cheers.)

Scene shift

We're back in the kitchen with the Kents.

Jonathan: Your Ma had been depressed after what the doctors had told her so she hadn't been in town for several months before you came. In it's own way, everything seemed to fall into place. No one had seen her so no one could say she hadn't been pregnant and, well, the result was that everyone believed you were our son…and you were. You are.

Martha: Maybe we were wrong in not telling you sooner but we didn't know that you'd develop…gifts…abilities.

Jonathan: (Brushing his hand through his hair.) I figured you were some experiment, either by our government or by the Russians or something like that. And maybe you are. Maybe as a result of your being in space in that rocket it changed you somehow.

Martha: But that doesn't matter. You're our son, Clark.

Clark: What if I'm an alien?

Jonathan: Like your Ma said, son, it doesn't matter.

Clark: (Stands up.) I…I need to think things through. Need to be alone for a while.

He turns to leave but then stops and walks over to his parents and hugs them both. Then he leaves.

Martha: I don't want to lose him, Jonathan.

Jonathan silently puts his arm around Martha and bows his head.

Kent Farmhouse.

Lana and her aunt are round for dinner. Casual talk around the table.

Later, Clark is walking Lana to a truck, her aunt is already in it.

Aunt Kids!

Lana I'll be second, Aunt Ruth!

Clark? What's wrong? You were so quiet at dinner.

Clark Hmm? Oh, nothing's wrong, Lana. I…I just feel like being quiet, that's all.

Lana You'd tell me if there was something the matter, right? Right, Clark?

Clark Who ELSE would I tell?

Later.

Clark is in his room. He's lying on the bed, the lights are off. He's awake…staring at the ceiling. There are tears in his eyes, but they can only be made out by a slight glistening. And there are voices…

Martha He hasn't said a word all day. He…he's not talking to us anymore, Jonathan. We're losing our boy!

Jonathan Hush, Martha. He…he just needs to sort things out in his own time. He needs us to be here for him when he's ready.

Martha I don't want to lose him. I can't. He's our son! He KNOWS that, right? He KNOWS that we love him…doesn't he?

Jonathan He knows, Martha. Of course he knows.

Martha Do you…do you think he can hear us?

Jonathan Martha, we're on the other side of the house, of course he can't hear us.

Martha I wish he could.

Clark lets a tear fall.

Clark is standing at the edge of a massive crater, and old quarry. We hear Jonathan's voice saying: "I think you're holding back". He takes a breath and starts running down the side, faster and faster. The camera pulls back and we see him running around the crater steadily running faster and faster. Camera cuts to Clark, his shirt starts to tear. We hear a "boom" as he breaks the sound barrier. Around him everything is a blur. He stops running. His shirt is in tatters and his hair is ruffled…and his shoes are steaming.

The Kent Farm

The Kents are again in the kitchen.

Martha: So you have…incredible strength and speed?

Jonathan: How strong?

Clark: It's pretty hard to figure out. Each time I thought I'd reached my limit, I suddenly found myself stronger. As if the more strength that was required I would be strong enough for that task. I tried lifting the tractor and could barely move it but when I tried again it was easy…and the third time I was lucky I didn't toss it through the roof.

Martha: So there's no real way of our knowing. Not without revealing you…well, to the world.

Clark: I'm not ready for something like that, Ma. I…don't think I'll ever be. (He drinks from his mug, pauses and looks at it.)

Jonathan: Clark, it's not as if you're always on "full strength" mode. It probably works in a similar way as…well, me for example. I'm not too badly out of shape but I'm not always in hay-tossing mode.

Martha: I think the only…power…that's always on is your invulnerability but there's no real way of testing that because if you knew something was coming then you'd probably instinctively "trigger" your invulnerability.

Clark: (smiles) If it's not always on, of course. But the weird thing is, nothing happened to my socks or underwear. My shirt burned away and so did parts of my jeans. (He holds up a pair of tattered jeans.)

Smallville town. Near the General Store. Clark, Lana and Pete are walking. Clark's looking slightly bigger than before, but he looks sad.

Pete So where did you go after the game? I haven't seen you in weeks!

Silence.

Clark? Yoohoo!

Clark Oh, sorry, Pete. After the game? I was with my Dad. We needed to talk some things through.

Lana About what?

Clark The future.

They walk in to the General Store. Pete rubs the elephant's head and makes his wish.

Pete I wish for a million dollars.

Clark (Smiling.) You ALWAYS make that wish!

Pete (Shrugs.) Doesn't hurt, does it? Man, I would LOVE to get away from here…move to a big city…somewhere like Metropolis. (He holds up a newspaper.) To be like HIM! (He points at the paper. There's a glamorous photo of a man in a dark suit, smiling slightly. The headline reads: LEX LUTHOR TO WED!)

Lana Why HIM?!

Pete D'uh!

Lana Oh! Right. Rich. Famous. Thinks he can get any woman he wants. Yeah, I can see the appeal. (She gives Pete a disgusted look.)

Clark is sipping on a soda, smiling. Lana reaches over for hers. She looks at him in wonder.

Voice Geez, Clark, yer gettin' bigger ev'ry day!

Clark looks over at the table with four men playing cards. He grins.

Clark Thanks. (He looks at the clock and frowns. Then he gets up.) Omigosh! I forgot!

Lana Forgot what?

Clark (Runs out of the store.) Haircut.

Pete laughs.

Clark walks into the barber's. The barber is just finishing up a customer and ushers Clark to sit down. He moves over to Clark and places that cloth thing that barber's have over him.

Barber The usual, Clark? Little off the top?

Clark nods and smiles. Suddenly he can see through the wall in front of him. He can see Lana and Pete in the store, talking. And he can hear them.

Lana Don't you think Clark's acting a little odd?

Pete Not really. It's hormones, I think. (Lana shoves him.) Oh, come on, Lana. He's okay.

Lana Yeah…I suppose so…

The barber combs back some of Clark's hair and opens his scissors. He cuts the hair…but the scissors break. The hair is intact.

Barber What the…?!

Clark snaps back to reality. He looks in the mirror and sees the shocked look on the barber's face. He gets up quickly.

Clark, sit down. I've got more scissors, you know?

Clark I'm sorry. I…I just remembered something important I had to do. Sorry.

Clark rushes off. He runs passed the store.

Pete Hey, where's Clark off to?

Lana and Pete stare out the window as Clark runs off.

There's a train…and a trail of dust. It's Clark. Running. VERY fast. But he looks afraid as he runs faster and faster and then overtakes the train and runs across the track in front of it. He keeps running.

Kent Farmhouse.

Martha is standing on the patio, looking out.

Martha Jonathan!

Jonathan opens the door and approaches Martha who is still looking out to the fields.

He's…he's just standing there…all alone…

Jonathan puts a reassuring hand on Martha's shoulder.

Jonathan It's okay. I'll handle it.

Jonathan walks to Clark as Martha watches on. Clark is just standing there. Nothing is being said.

Clark (Turning to Jonathan.) Pa…I'm scared.

Camera zooms out and looks out at the scene from over Martha's shoulder. Silence. In the distance father and son hug and then Martha breathes a sigh of relief and wipes away a stray tear.

(Flight)

Clark is playing with his dog in what appears to be a field. He's racing with it and messing around. He then "teases" it with a ball and it tries to take it away from him, walking on its hind legs with its front paws on his chest. Clark keeps stepping back, laughing. The camera pans down and we focus on his trainers (pumps? Sneakers?) We can see he is near the edge of what seems to be a ditch. He keeps stepping back and steps off the edge but remains level with the edge. The camera shifts back slightly so we can see his whole body. He's still holding the ball but the dog has now stopped and it sitting looking at him.

Clark: What's wrong?

He looks down.

Oh…my…

He starts to descend.

No…wait… (he rises a little) c'mon, Clark. Believe.

His feet pass the height of the seated dog.

Believe.

He tilts his head back, looking up at the sky, the sun shining down on him, his arms outstretched.

Believe.

He flies. He laughs.

It's slightly later in the day and the dog is barking in the farmyard. Jonathan and Martha come outside, both looking very concerned.

MA! PA!

They look up and both react with shock. The sun is behind Clark and the light breaking around him makes him look like a descending angel with massive wings and a "halo".

Martha: He…an angel…

Clark lands and walks to them. He takes hold of their hands.

Clark: Ma. Pa. Please? You HAVE to come fly with me.

They laugh and hold on to one of his arms and he flies with them.

The Storm.

Trees are bending in the wind. The church bells are ringing. It's a twister; a big one.

On the Kent farm, Martha and Jonathan are rushing around. Chickens are running around. Animals are crying out.

Jonathan: Martha, I've got to get the animals out of the barn! You get down below.

Martha: Clark already did that!

Jonathan: Where's Clark?

Clark is standing in a field, the wind whipping around him. You can see the twister bend towards him and…it picks him up.

Clark: PA! (He's thrown around by the wind. A tractor slams into him and his clothes tear.)

PA! (He's spun around and over and under. Suddenly he levels up and just floats there. Resolute.)

I can handle this. I KNOW I can. Stop holding back, Clark.

Clark looks around him and his telescopic vision kicks in. He sees the gas station. The pipes are spewing liquid all over the place. An attendant is trying to tie things down but is getting drenched instead. The twister spits out a car, throwing it at the station. Clark moves. He rushes towards the station and grabs the attendant.

Got you.

A moment later the car strikes the station and there is a massive explosion.

Cut to Clark covering the man with his body as the flames wash over him.

It's okay. We're going to be okay.

The twister rips the town apart. Buildings fall and trees are uprooted. And the storm passes. Clark slowly gets up. His clothes are torn and his hair is dishevelled.

Mr Klugh, you okay?

Mr Klugh Clark…Clark Kent? My…my head's still spinning. Did you just FLY down and…no…no…the twister picked you up…threw you around like a rag doll…Oh my God, look at the town!

Clark I've…I've got to get home.

Kent farm.

Clark runs to the gate and stops, shocked. The farm is a wreck. The camera pans out and we get an aerial view. A tractor is in the roof.

Clark Oh no! PA! MA!

The storm cellar opens and Martha and Jonathan come out unscathed. He rushes to them and hugs them close.

Clark flies down, the tractor high in the air…he's holding it up with one hand. Martha and Jonathan are watching in awe. Proud.

Clark (Descending.) You should see what it looks like in town. I…I can't help thinking that…that I could have done more…(His voice fades.)

I've been holding back, Pa. The powers…they scared me. I kept pretending to be like everyone else.

Jonathan: (holding Clark by his shoulders) Clark, no one is the same as everyone else. We all have a role to play in this world. Some of us are farmers, some are businessmen, some are…entertainers. And so on. (He directs him towards the farmhouse and the three of them start walking to it.) You have gifts the likes of which I don't think anyone else in this world has. We don't know what role you're supposed to play but I think you know by now that there's a right and wrong in this universe and that distinction is not hard to make.

Martha: You could hide your gifts, deny what you have been given and be the most unassuming and mild mannered man on the planet. Or you could use your gifts, learn about the world and find ways of helping it and us…mankind…and…and become the world's greatest hero.

Jonathan: Clark…son…you…you have to…

Martha: You have to leave, Clark.

Clark: You want me to go?

Jonathan: No! No, we don't want you to go but this is something you HAVE to do. In order to find your role you need to experience life away from the farm. You need to discover the world.

Martha: And yourself.

They've walked into the kitchen by now and are seated at the table.

Clark: You need me here. The farm's a mess. I can't go.

Jonathan: Clark, we can run the farm without you. Yeah, it'll be a little harder not having you around helping out but we can do it. We can pull back, change our produce. We…I'm not going to hold you back any more.

Martha: I always called you a God-send, Clark, and you are, in more ways than one.

Hush. Now listen.

Before you came to us your father and I were going through some hard times with the farm. The farming industry was in a slump and we couldn't afford farmhands and, well, you know how big the farm is. You father refused to sell any part of it, after all the farm had been in the family for more than 5 generations.

Jonathan: It would probably have been easier if Tommy had lived. The farm had always been run by at least two brothers.

Martha: We couldn't do anything for nearly three months after you had arrived. The blizzard lasted for days and every time we thought it was over another would start. A lot of the farms around here lost almost all their crop but, thankfully, government subsidies saw us through it.

Jonathan: Though we had to rely on their help for the next couple of years.

Martha: But then things started changing. Our crop was more fruitful. Even the cows were producing more milk and the hens had more eggs.

Jonathan: And for some reason I was able to work harder than ever before. Within a couple of years our produce was the most sought after in the State. The other farms around here were doing well as well but ours…whoof..

Martha: (Laughs) I don't claim to understand what happened but my instincts tell me it was because you were here. May be one day we'll know why such things happened but they did.

Jonathan: Over the years we realised that you were…well, more. Your Ma made me realise that you're meant for greater things than running a farm in Smallville, Kansas. It took me a long time to admit it, though.

Martha: I didn't tell your father about this until a few years later but I'd started a, well, a "Clark Kent Slush Fund", I guess you could call it.

Clark: You mean my College Fund?

Jonathan: No, Clark. Your travel fund. Though now you can fly you'll save a heck of a lot on plane tickets!

They laugh briefly.

Clark: You're both totally serious about this, aren't you?

Martha & Jonathan: Totally.

Clark gets up.

Clark: There's something I have to do first.

He gives his parents a hug and leaves.

[Tells Lana. Flight?]

Paris, France

Clark is dressed in slacks and a t-shirt is walking towards the Arc de Triomphe. He's carrying a couple of rucksacks and is well-built, 6'4" and with black hair. He looks up at the Arc and the camera pans behind him. We focus on his side profile.

Clark: Well, Clark, you're not in Kansas anymore. (He smiles and carries on walking.)

Clark walks in to a nearby hotel and smiles at the receptionist.

(French spoken, subtitles)

Clark: Good morning. I've just arrived in Paris and was wondering how much it would cost for a room for a week.

Receptionist: You didn't book anywhere in advance?

Clark: Ah…no. It was a last minute decision to come here.

Receptionist: (Raises an eyebrow and smiles)Coming to Paris was a last minute decision?

Are you a student? We give discounts to students.

Clark: Really? That's great.

Receptionist: Your French is very good. You even have a somewhat Parisian accent.

Clark: (Smiles a little more) Thank you. I've got a good ear. (He winks at her.)

Clark and the Receptionist go over the details of his stay. She gives him some leaflets.

[Cut outside] A group of schoolgirls are crossing the road. A car suddenly tears round the corner, its tyres screeching, heading towards them. The girls scream and run. One of them trips. We flash to Clark who turns to see what's happening. He seems to frown slightly in concentration and we see through his eyes as he looks through the hotel wall, out into the street, through the pedestrians (we see muscular and skeletal structures as his vision shifts through the "layers") and into the car where we see the driver is drunk. His vision shifts to the side and focuses on the girl.

Oh no.

He runs to the door but the crowd is quite thick. He tries pushing past them when we hear the crash and screams. There are more screams and cries as people realise what has just happened. Clark finally pushes through and looks through the car. The girls is trapped between the car and the wall (behind her is a lamp post as well) but her chest can't be seen, it's obscured (lead). We then hear a cacophony of noises which are slowly filtered from engines and so forth to a single rapid but quickly slowing heartbeat. The girl's.

Clark then grips the car but scans again and notices that a metallic rod is pinned in the girl's leg. He traces the "rod" and his eyes glow slightly red as he severs the connection of the rod to the car. He then "heaves" and there is a screaming of metal against metal as the car is pulled back.

(voice over) Careful with the strength, Clark. Don't want to freak everyone out.

A couple of other men decide to help and they start to push and pull the car back. Clark let's go and they're all surprised with how heavy the car suddenly is. He takes off his jacket and wraps it around the girl.

(in French) It's okay, sweetie. You're going to be okay. Help's on the way.

Throughout all this we have been hearing the heart beat. It stops.

No. It's not your time yet, okay?

Clark places his left hand over her chest and it seems to vibrate slightly.

(Voice over) Careful, Clark. Concentrate. Please, come back.

We hear the heart beat again.

Thank you.

Clark is on the phone.

She's going to be fine, Ma. The leg's going to take a while to heal but the doctors say she'll definitely pull through.

Yes, Ma. I was careful.

I need to check on something but judging by what happened I don't think I can see through lead. Never really paid attention to it before.

Yeah, I think it's a component in the battery. It stood out like a sore thumb.

I should get going, Ma. Give my love to Pa. Love you.

Clark is walking by the river. In front of him he sees a young man trying to talk to an older one. They're talking in French.

Young man: Monsieur Ducard, please. Just one chance.

Ducard: I told you, boy, leave me be! You're wasting my time.

Clark carries on walking past them and looks across to Notre Damme.

Clark: (Voice over) Did I really wink at the receptionist? (Shakes his head and smiles.)

This city is quite beautiful. I think I made the right choice by starting here.

He uses his x-ray vision and we see that there are parts of the building he can't see through.

It must be lead.

Clark is walking back to the hotel, the camera is following him from behind. He stops and the camera pans round him and we see a figure in the shadows. He pauses for a few seconds and we hear a rapid heart beat.

(voice over) A woman? Why would a woman be following me?

He continues walking to the hotel and the receptionist smiles at him.

Receptionist: (In French, subtitles) Monsieur Kent, how are you finding Paris?

Clark: (Smiles) As beautiful as expected.

Receptionist: If you want to, perhaps I can show you around some of the more local, less touristy spots tonight?

Clark: Th-that would be nice. I…um…well, I don't have any plans for tonight at the moment.

She smiles at him as he makes his way to the hotel restaurant. One of the waiters ushers him to an outdoor seat and Clark orders a coffee. As he drinks the coffee we hear:

Woman's voice: And thus the hero rests.

Clark looks up and we see a beautiful (tanned) oriental woman standing with a camera in her hand.

Clark: "Hero"?

Woman: Well, yes. The little girl? Just around the corner?

Clark: That? C'mon, I just did what anyone else would do.

Woman: Does that include lifting the car, the whole car a couple of inches off the ground? (Looks at her camera.)

It's a shame I didn't have a digital with me otherwise I could have checked already.

Clark: Most probably a trick of the light, ma'am. If you'll recall, there were several of us moving the car.

Woman: And you were the only one who didn't struggle.

Clark: Guess I just wasn't pulling my weight, then. Not much of a hero, huh? (He ushers at the chair opposite him.) Have a seat.

She frowns and looks down at the seat. We cut to Clark's face and his eyes change colour for a moment. She looks at him again and sits down.

Woman: So you're an American, huh?

Clark: Is my accent that strong?

Woman: Actually, no. Your accent isn't very easy to tag. You almost sounded like you were raised in Paris when I heard you speaking in French to the little girl. But you've got the stars and stripes on your bag so I just assumed.

Clark: (Smiles) Would you like a drink, Miss…

Woman: Lemongrass tea.

Clark: That's an…interesting name.

Woman: Funny guy. So how long have you been in Paris?

Clark: Less than a day. I'm staying in this hotel for a week at least and then, well, not sure what I'll do next but I know I'll think of something.

Woman: You're travelling alone?

Clark: Well, the trip was pretty much a last minute kind of thing so, like I said, I hadn't really planned anything.

Woman: Are you travelling alone?

Clark: Didn't I just answer that?

Woman: Nope.

Clark: Well, I don't think I should tell a person whose name I don't even know whether I'm travelling alone or not.

Woman: (Smiles) It's Tammy.

Clark: Pleasure to meet you, Tammy. My name's Clark. Clark Kent