I'm going to get hate mail for this chapter. And I'm okay with that. This is the end of book two. Book three will not be posted in any part until it's complete. In other words, don't expect it for a year. I'm not deluded into thinking that this fic is in any way revolutionary or amazing prose. Hopefully it was readable, competent grammatically, and fun. It was fun to write and share anyway.
With affection and relief,
PS: The song that inspired the Trilogy is posted in lyric form at the end of this book.
PSS: I had no idea that was a cover. Now I need to go listen to the original!
- Epilogue: The Dying of the Light -
Clark draped his formal jacket onto a bale of hay and stepped out to the edge of his loft. Surviving homecoming had turned into an amazing night, a night of firsts. Chloe knew the whole truth, everything about who he was and what had been lost. He felt hopeful that he could protect the people he cared about and fit into the life he'd been given. He could be Clark his way and it could work out.
He felt the tug of Kryptonite sucking at his energy before he saw the other inhabitant of his loft. "Who's there?" Clark scanned the shadows, nervously. Certain meteor mutants drained him like the rocks that had mutated them. Had a mutant entered his hideout? "I don't want any trouble."
"Unfortunately, you've found trouble."
Clark frowned at the familiar voice. "Who?"
"Don't recognize my voice?" An over six foot Clark Kent replica stepped out of the shadows, a grim smile twisting his lips. "You fail at being Clark Kent. The things I've seen in one night horrified me. Lola's gone. There are aliens camped on the farm. Are you even aware that Lex has secured a supply of Kryptonium? Clark Kent loves Lana Lang, not Chloe, not like that.
"It was my mistake, sending you back here with brain damage and minimal memories. I'm sure you did your best."
Clark's heart thudded faster as one of his worst fears stood in front of him, brought to life. The real-Clark had come to reclaim his life from the imposter. But that was impossible, wasn't it? This was his life now. He remembered Chloe's words of encouragement and the muscles in his jaw tightened. "Kal-El? I didn't know you could project your image here. Azar is so far away. What do you want? I'm not you or the Clark that existed before Ascension. Things change. Nothing is wrong here." Nausea choked him and he broke out in a cold sweat as Kal-El moved closer, Krytponite sickness rapidly weakening him.
"No you aren't the Clark this world needs, but I know how to fix things."
The attack didn't take long.
A crude Kryptonite knife slid into Clark's abdomen with minimal resistance. Kal-El jerked the knife up through the diaphragm and into the chest. He pulled back and stabbed again and again, intent on doing enough damage that his doppelganger would die, and be punished for his dismal failure by the pain of that death.
Kal-El stepped back, leaving the knife behind. Blood soaked into the floor, it covered Kal's hands and clothes, it pooled around the shallowly breathing soon to be corpse in front of him. With a glance, over his shoulder Kal smiled to his Eradicator. "Clean the mess, please."
"Yes, Kal-El, as you command."
Emotionless, the Eradicator began the cleaning with fire from her eyes. The hay welcomed her heat vision with vigorous flames that burned orange and red, hungry flames. She sat next to Clark as the fire burned closer, heat and smoke had no affect on her, but would speed the death of the fatally wounded boy she had been ordered to dispose of. She stroked Clark's forehead and waited quietly for the fire to reach them.
He coughed wetly, blood flecking her front, but the Eradicator's expression never faltered. "It won't be long now," she whispered.
Has he lost his mind?
Can he see or is he blind?
Can he walk at all,
Or if he moves will he fall?
Is he alive or dead?
Has he thoughts within his head?
We'll just pass him there
why should we even care?
He was turned to steel
in the great magnetic field
When he travelled time
for the future of mankind
Now the time is here
for Iron Man to spread fear
Vengeance from the grave
Kills the people he once saved
Nobody wants him
He just stares at the world
Planning his vengeance
that he will soon unfurl
Nobody wants him
They just turn their heads
Nobody helps him
Now he has his revenge
Heavy boots of lead
fills his victims full of dread
Running as fast as they can
Iron Man lives again