Another meteor joined the dozens in the sky, burning a bright red and filling the afternoon with a bloody haze.
"It'll be okay," Superman touched a young boy gently on the chin with his left hand, his right supporting a thirty foot section of aluminum alloy wall. He placed the wall firmly into the ground just as the next wave of debris burst down the street, so it cascaded around the survivors he had found so far. Three makeshift walls now surrounded them in an oasis of stillness amidst the winds and stone rain from the impacts.
From thousands of feet away, Kal heard Batman's voice. "Next landing will be at a 78 degree angle; the fallout will land on you if you're not careful. Might want a roof." Superman shot away again, peeling the side off a fallen building which would still be structurally stable, then began melting the sides into his walls to solidify the structure. A moment later he heard struggling breaths and dove into the building to withdraw a handful more workers who survived the fall. Depositing them gently in the midst of his shelter, he flashed off in a blur to the next falling building; easing it gently to the ground as the lower support beams were crushed by another meteorite.
"Diana, we're going to need you to focus on the third quadrant. Break them up before the next few come down." Bruce's voice sounded over the comm; a clearer signal than they'd had in the past. Diana made a note of the success of this project-Clark would be happy that his precision had contributed. Pushing herself from the ground she tossed the lasso of truth toward the largest of the new meteors, and used the grasp it provided to swing herself into the path of a smaller rock, slicing it apart with her sword, then pulling the first toward a third so that each shattered, and her lasso was freed to seek another target. Rock after rock shattered before her, turning her into a veritable shield against the heavens. She moved in an efficient pattern, but against the entire shattered remains of bizarro world it took her entire concentration to keep up with the pace of extraterrestrial jetsam. Batman's direction kept her in the densest areas of meteors nearest the densest areas of population-a calculation she could ill afford to waste time making herself.
A sudden shift in the air currents alerted her to a movement in her blind spot-a sufficiently large chunk of one of the meteors she had destroyed remained intact, and on a dead course for the shelter Kal-el had begun building for those unlucky enough not to have been evacuated.
As she turned and begun to growl at Bruce, she heard his direction. "No. Keep moving forward." It took her half a breath to trust him. Too long. She would have to make up the time.
A blue and red flash flew behind her-it almost looked like a bird perching for a moment, but it was Superman, his frost breath pulling the meteor's energy away and a few delicate blows hollowing the fragment into a dome which he laid quickly but tenderly atop his shelter. As Wonder Woman returned to her work he was already raising further walls, collecting more survivors, keeping everyone safe.
If she had been in charge from the beginning, the League might have defeated Bizarro more quickly. If Batman had made the call, perhaps the planet would not have been destroyed and the current impact could have been avoided. But this had been Kal's call-Clark's call.
The shelter on the ground quickly became a castle. Layers of repurposed skyscraper and fragments of Bizarro's crust built up around the shelter in avenues and promenades. As the protected area grew it incorporated as many murals as could be salvaged and a handful of buildings transported intact into the area. The ground was smoothed out and moments later, once Superman and Green Lantern joined Wonder Woman and diverted the rest of the debris, the shelter roofs and domes began moving to be used as further material for roadways. What might have been a crater instead became a work of architectural art-a mishmash of historical buildings, street art, and elegant walkable intersections. Once construction began and electricity and plumbing could be reconnected, this section would be inhabitable again almost immediately.
Because the task of the Justice League isn't to fight enemies or defend the earth, however much Diana cherished this part. The task of the Justice League wasn't to identify threats or coordinate power, whatever Bruce argued whenever he deigned to show his face.
The task of the Justice League was to let people live their lives.
Superman was already gone, and amidst the survivors Clark Kent mingled, interviewed, administered first aid, laughed with children. High above the Justice League finished the encounter, but Clark Kent didn't publish a story about superheroes. He published a story about reporters, businessmen, politicians, scientists, athletes, families, pilots, police, about survival and about a world that is too big to understand, and about the normal people whose job is to fill that world with life.