Chapter Twenty-Nine: Epilogue
1000 YEARS LATER.
Kara Zor-El, cousin of Kal-El, the hero known as Supergirl, finds herself in the strangest place she ever thought possible. She is in a museum dedicated to her cousin. It is amazing to her that he is still remembered after all this time. It had been many months since she arrived here before the rest of the Legion would let her study history. They wanted to be sure she wasn’t going to change her mind and decide to go back to the past and while she had been tempted to do so so she could see Kal again this was where she belonged now.
Living on Earth at a time when it was, at least compared to Krypton, technologically primitive had been too difficult for her. It was easier for Kal. He had virtually no memory of Krypton having only been a baby when it blew up. She had been 18 years old in human terms. At least here in the 31st century she felt more at ease with the world around her.
“So Kara what are we going to see now?” her companion asks excitedly.
Or she would be at ease if Lightning Lad hadn’t been the one to volunteer to show her around today. Garth, as it turns out, is a Superman fanatic and Kal giving him that damned signed baseball hadn’t helped either. It is almost cringe worthy how much Garth idolises her cousin. He wasn’t that great. Seriously he wasn’t. She was there and he wasn’t this perfect idol that the people of this century have turned him into.
“Am I remembered at all?” she asks Garth out of sheer curiosity. Surely Superman’s cousin must get a mention in the history books.
Garth takes a moment to think about it. “Not sure to be honest but we could look it up. It’s probably in the Justice League archives.”
So they make their way to the wing of the museum dedicated to the Justice League and Kara taps the interactive screen. She scrolls down and spots 2 Kara Zor-Els
“Garth. Why are there two entries of my name?”
“Hmm,” Garth says as he looks over her shoulder. “Oh that other one is Power Woman.”
“Power Woman?” Kara asks totally confused.
“Yeah,” Garth says as he taps on the name and a holographic image of Power Woman appears.
“I never met her,” Kara comments.
Garth shrugs. “Must have appeared after you left and I think she went by Power Girl at first.”
Kara reads the biography. As Lois would put it 'Puh-lease'. Parallel universe? “Is any of this accurate?” she asks Garth.
“1000 years is a long time. Records get lost and destroyed. This is what they have evidence for.”
“But according to this she is basically the parallel version of me.”
“She doesn’t look anything like me,” Kara says as she studies the image. “In fact she looks more like Chloe.”
Garth instantly pays attention at that name. Chloe had been the one they had been willing to kill because there was no record of her but Kal wouldn’t let them. Garth had found it strange how someone Kal obviously cared for deeply could be so completely missing from history. He too studies the image and now hat Kara has mentioned it she does look like Chloe but that’s impossible. “Well she can’t be Chloe. Power Woman was Kryptonian. That fact is undisputed and Chloe was a human being. I know that for certain.”
“How do you know that for certain?”
“I met her.” And in his opinion she was actually pretty cute. Not as cute as his current girlfriend and since Imra is telepathic he better keep thinking that. Otherwise he will be in big trouble.
Kara turns her head to look at Garth. “You went to the past?”
Garth nods. “Yeah. Imra, Rokk and I went way back to before Kal became Superman. The day he destroyed Brainiac. As it turns out Brainiac had taken Chloe’s body over and I helped save her by the way.”
“She was dead by the time I returned to Earth. Killed by Doomsday Kal said.” That is what he said but Kara had the feeling he had been less than completely honest about what exactly happened. He had been too vague with the details.
Garth shudders. “Wow. I’ve heard stories about Doomsday. Everyone has. The being that killed Superman.”
“Kal died!?” Kara exclaims.
“Yeah but he came back somehow. The details are missing from the history files as is his final fate.”
“Final fate?” Kara asks.
“One day he just disappears from history.”
“What happened to him?”
“No-one knows for sure. Some speculate he went to live on New Krypton so he could grow old and die with other Kryptonians under its red sun.”
New Krypton. Kara had heard of that. That is where the survivors of Kandor went to live after Kal freed them. Kara intends to go visit one day. It would be nice to see her own kind again. In the meantime she takes a moment to browse what it says about her in the archives. It seems not too inaccurate from what she reads. Well at least she isn't completely forgotten.
“Come on," Garth says wanting to move on. "There is much more to see. Like Kal’s life at the Daily Planet and his marriage to Lois Lane.”
“What is so funny?” Garth asks.
“Kal would never marry Lois.”
“How do you know?”
“I was there Garth. Sure they liked each other but marriage? I think your historians are barking up the wrong tree. How did they come up with that?”
“It made sense. It is famous. The story of Lois Lane and Superman. Their partnership at the Planet. Marriage was a logical conclusion.”
“Do they actually have any proof?”
Garth shrugs. He doesn’t know the answer to that.
They continue round the museum and Kara looks through the files for proof on this Kal married Lois theory. During that she comes across a photo of the Planet staff and spots someone standing next to her cousin. “Garth.”
“Yeah?” he queries.
She points at a blond woman with glasses. “Is that Power Woman?”
Garth looks at the photo. “Yeah it is. Wow I didn’t know she worked at the Planet as well. That’s a funny coincidence.”
Yes it is Kara mentally notes. She goes back to her research hoping to get some clue on Kal’s fate amongst all this data. As it turns out, as far as Kara could tell, they didn’t have any actual proof of anything on Kal’s fate or what he exactly did during his life. There was just speculation based on stories and myths. Her cousin had become so mythical and his story had been distorted and embellished so often that the facts of his life had almost completely vanished. On Krypton such distortion would never have been allowed. On Krypton you would be presented with the facts and the facts alone.
After touring round the museum Kara finds herself sitting at an outside table of a café. Humans. 1000years later and they still love coffee. Not that Kara has anything against coffee per say. She had ditched Garth needing to be alone with her thoughts. Her number one being what actually had happened to her cousin. On this planet under its yellow sun they could live for centuries, possibly thousands of years. Unless he did go and live on New Krypton he should still be alive. Talking of people who are long lived Kara will have to look up Diana at some point. She must be still around being immortal and all. Maybe Diana knows what happened to Kal. Her thoughts are interrupted by a vaguely familiar voice.
“Ooh coffee!” an elderly lady exclaims all excited. Kara glances at her and an elderly gentlemen out of the corner of her eye. She can see the man roll his eyes at what Kara assumes is his wife.
They sit down at a table and order 2 coffees. Huh they look familiar Kara thinks but can’t quite place it. After the waiter comes back with their coffees Kara watches as the elderly woman sips her coffee with all the reverence one would give something sacred.
“Honestly Chlo. I still can’t believe you love coffee after all this time,” the man says.
“Hey! Give me a break Clark. It is my one vice,” the woman retorts.
Wait a minute Kara thinks to herself. Clark and Chlo…Kal and Chloe! Kara’s head whips round and she looks at them. Really, really looks at them. His hair may have gone white but the eyes, on a slightly age worn but recognisable face, are a dead give away. Oh dear Rao. “Kal!”
Clark turns to the voice shouting his name and sees his long lost cousin. He knew she was in the 31st century but he never knew exactly what date she chose so meeting her here while he and Chloe are out getting a coffee is just the most incredible coincidence.
“Kara!” he says joyfully as he gets to his feet. He opens his arms and Kara rushes over and gives him a hug. “Easy there Kara. I’m not as young as I use to be.”
Chloe snorts. “Ain’t that the truth.”
Clark ignores her. After a thousand years he has gotten pretty much immune to her snarky comments.
Kara looks at him. It is amazing. “I can’t believe you’re still alive,” she says in wonder.
“Some days I can hardly believe it myself.” They are interrupted by Chloe coughing loudly. “Kara you remember Chloe,” he says introducing her.
Kara looks at Chloe and can now see that Power Woman didn’t look like Chloe. She was…is Chloe. “But that’s impossible. You died.”
“Only 3 times which is less than the number of times he died,” she says pointing at Clark with her thumb.
Clark asks Kara to sit with them which she does. “I don’t understand Kal. Garth told me you just vanish from history.”
Clark chuckles as he sips his coffee. “I retired Kara. I think I was entitled to it after 5 centuries of saving the day but I never completely stopped. If there was something that really needed my help I did it but I took more of a low key approach.”
“I can’t believe it. All these people that worship you and you live amongst them day after day without them knowing.”
“Some things never change,” Chloe comments.
Kara turns her attention back to Chloe. “Chloe. It is really nice to see you but how are you alive?”
Chloe looks at Clark. “Do you want to tell her or shall I?” she asks since it isn’t exactly a short story.
Clark shrugs not really bothered. “No I’ll do it. Lets see where to start?”
“Doomsday and the Fortress,” Chloe says giving him a hint.
“Right.” Clark explains the day Chloe ‘died’ saving him and what he did with her body. Even a thousand years later he can remember it with crystal clarity thanks to his eidetic memory which hasn’t failed him yet.
“She was there the whole time?” Kara asks very surprised. She had never known that.
Clark nods. “Yep. Then on my 32nd birthday she decided to wake up.”
Chloe smiles as she reminisces. “Ah memories. Well I don’t really remember anything up to the point I woke up in Clark’s arms.”
“You still do that,” Clark points out.
“So? Some men dream about waking up with a beautiful woman in their arms.”
“I don’t,” Clark says which gets him Chloe’s 1000year old patented glare. Clark smiles gently at her and takes her hand. “I dream of you waking up in my arms.”
Chloe’s glare melts. “You old softy.”
Kara watches the two of them. Wow they really are in love even after a thousand years. That has to be worth of story or two but she wants to get back to the story about Chloe. “So Chloe woke up. What happened next?”
Chloe decides to take up the story because after that nothing much really happened except Clark finally saw the light and realised he loved her. Then there was that night where her super powers first showed themselves.
“It turns out,” Chloe starts to explain, “that when I healed Clark I absorbed some of his DNA.”
“That’s not possible,” Kara states.
Chloe shrugs. “Maybe not but it is what happened. Take a look at my cellular structure if you don’t believe me although the fact I am sitting here still alive should be proof enough.”
Kara does so. She really is Kryptonian.
“Half,” Chloe interjects.
“I’m half Kryptonian to correct what you are thinking.”
“Ok. So you absorbed Kal’s DNA and his powers and became a superhero?”
“Seemed like a good idea at the time and kudos to you for not obsessing on the changes to my physical appearance.”
“Those matter little.”
“That’s what Clark said I think.”
“It was what I said,” he confirms for her. “I told you I would love you no matter what and I have kept my word for 10 centuries.”
“I know you have Clark.”
“So you two had a relationship back then?” Kara asks.
“Of course we did,” Clark tells her like it is the most obvious thing in the world.
“But in the museum it says you married Lois.”
Clark sits back and throws his hands in the air in a gesture of exasperation. “I told you we should have corrected that theory the moment they came up with it,” he tells his wife.
“Why?” Chloe asks pointedly. “Let them have their crazy little theories Clark. It is not for us to write history. Besides I find it very funny and so would Lois.”
“No she wouldn’t,” he argues.
“Yes she would,” Chloe insists.
“Puh-lease Chlo. I did date her for 3 years and I was her friend for over 60. I think I know what she would and would not find funny.”
“And I’m her cousin, her family. Are you saying I wouldn’t?”
“That is not what I said at all Chloe. I just think that on this occasion you are dead wrong.”
“I am never wrong.”
“Yeah sure you’re not Chlo,” he says sarcastically.
Chloe turns to Kara. “You see what I have had to live with for the last millennium Kara.”
“Oh wow poor you. How have you coped?” Clark says in his continued vein of sarcasm.
Kara just looks on totally bemused. How can they have changed so little? This is what they were like when she knew them. Just then her Legion communicator goes off. “Sorry,” she tells them.
“That’s alright Kara. Go,” Clark tells her.
Kara stands up. “How can I find you afterwards?” she asks not wanting to lose touch now she has found them. Clark tells her where they live. “What are you doing tonight?” Kara asks hoping to see them.
Clark looks at Chloe and a little smirk forms on his face. “Gee Chlo what are we doing tonight?”
Chloe arches an eyebrow but otherwise keeps a perfectly straight face. “The same thing we do every night Clark. Try to take over the world.”
Clark and Chloe then burst out in laughter and even Kara can’t stop a small chuckle escaping her lips. “You two are nuts,” she comments before she is off skyward. Clark and Chloe watch her as she flies out of sight.
“Do you ever miss it Clark?” Chloe asks her husband.
“What? Flying off and battling the bad guys?”
“Occasionally,” he admits. “But we’re a little past our prime Chlo.”
“I know. I think we passed our prime a couple of centuries back to be honest.”
Clark stares at his wife of the last 1000years. Her blond hair may have turned white and she has a few lines on her face at the corners of her eyes and her mouth but she is still as beautiful as ever. “I still love you you know.”
Chloe smiles at him. “I know and I still love you Clark.” Chloe goes back to her coffee. God she will never get tired of coffee. “We never got a chance to tell Kara about the kids,” she mentions in reference to her and Clark‘s children who never visit enough for her liking by the way and yes the oldest one of them is virtually 1000years old by now but Chloe can still remember when each of them were born and how much it hurt.
“Oh my God!” Chloe screams as another contraction hits. “I hate you Clark!” she says as she squeezes his hand as tight as she can. She is braced up against him as she tries to give birth to their first child. As Clark had predicted her pregnancy lasted 11 whole months and now the end was here and, hey guess what, invulnerability doesn’t stretch to child birth.
Clark holds on to Chloe and lets her scream at him because it will be worth it. He knows it will.
“I can’t do this,” Chloe pleads to everyone. Everyone being Clark, the doctor helping her deliver and an assisting nurse.
“Of course you can Chlo,” Clark says trying to encourage her. “You can do anything.”
The doctor looks up “Listen to Kal-El. He is correct. You can do this.”
Chloe glares at him. The doctor was in fact from Kandor. Clark had found a way to temporarily restore individuals from the bottled city to their correct size a few months after she became pregnant. It didn’t last more than a few hours before they would shrink back down but the instant Clark found a way he insisted on finding a Kryptonian doctor to assist with the pregnancy claiming, quite correctly Chloe would have to admit, that a Kryptonian doctor would know more than anyone else about how this pregnancy would work.
“Ok Chloe we’re nearly there,” the Doctor tells her.
“Nearly!” she shrieks. To her it had already felt like a lifetime of pain and pushing.
The Doctor remains unfazed by her shrieking. Kryptonians by their nature were generally logical and not prone to emotional outbursts. He knew her shouting was merely a perfectly natural reaction to what she is enduring and besides he had done this hundreds of time in his life.
Chloe grimaces as another contraction hit.
“Ok this is it. Now push Chloe!”
Chloe pushes for all she is worth while gripping Clark's hands as tightly as possible. She hopes she at least breaks one of his fingers then he would at least have some idea of the hell she is going through. With one last ear splitting yell Chloe near collapses but it no longer mattered because she had done it.
The doctor hands over the baby to his nurse so she could clean it up. It was a bit of an honour this really. The House of El was one of the noblest houses of Krypton and now he has ensured its continuation. As for the mother the healing rays of the yellow sun of Earth would heal her soon.
Chloe lets out an exhausted breath. She wishes more people were here with her but due to the limited time the doctor and nurse would remain life sized they were up at the Fortress. Then she hears her baby cry for the first time and tears fill her eyes. “Oh god. Is that my baby?”
The nurse smiles down at the little bundle in her arms. “Yes it is. A beautiful boy of the House of the El.”
Chloe looks up at Clark and can see tears in his eyes too. “It’s a boy Chlo,” he says in a hushed wonder.
The nurse wraps the boy up in a blanket and hands him over to his mother. Chloe takes the little bundle into her arms and looks lovingly down at her son. Her son. Her and Clark’s. “He looks like you,” she says.
Clark looks down and wonders how Chloe can tell that. He reaches down with his finger and to his surprise his son grips it tightly. A huge smile erupts on his face. This is beyond anything he has ever experienced. He feels weak at the knees suddenly.
“Have you thought of a name?” the doctor asks curious since he must return to Kandor soon.
Clark nods. “Yes. He’ll have a human name as well of course but for any record you wish to make his name is Van-El.” Clark chose the same name he had given his son in his Black Mercy induced fantasy. It seemed a good way to remember him. Clark had promised to never forget him and he hadn’t and now he existed in the real world.
Chloe smiles slightly. Clark had told her of his dream ages ago. She knew how much it meant to him and of course how much this means to her. She can barely believe she has a son...
Chloe blinks and finds herself staring down at her coffee at the café. “Yes. What? Sorry. Where was I?”
Clark looks at his wife. She was lost in memories again. He could see that. It happens a lot when you live as long as they have. “You were saying we never got to tell Kara about the kids and I was about to reply with that there is plenty of time for that. After all we still have time left to us.”
“A couple of centuries I think the doctor we saw said didn’t she?”
Clark nods. “Yeah. Are you alright with that? I mean I know you never expected to live this long.”
Chloe cuts him off because sure she never planned or wanted to live this long but that doesn‘t mean she resents it. “Clark. I don’t regret for a second that I got to spend the past thousand years with the man I love. What is a couple more centuries?”
Chloe has a point there. When you have spent the past thousand years with the woman you love what is a couple more centuries? He sips his own coffee.
“What time do you think Kara will come over?” Chloe asks knowing Kara will want to continue to catch up.
“Hard to say. Depends on what type of trouble she had to rush off to. Why?”
“Well I was just thinking that if we have a few hours…” she leaves it hanging suggestively.
“Chloe,” he says a little shocked at her suggestion. “I am 1033 years old.”
“And?” she asks failing to see how his age is relevant.
“And…I can’t think of anything I want to do more.”
“Great!” she says virtually jumping to her feet, grabbing Clark’s hand and dragging him off at superspeed to their home.
“You are a mad woman!” he tells her as they reach the bedroom. He can’t believe she did that in front of all those people. They are suppose to be living in obscurity.
“Yeah. Yeah,” Chloe says as she throws him down on the bed. “You’ve been saying that for the last thousand years. Get some new material.” Chloe straddles him and begins to kiss him.
“I’ve been saying it for the last 1000 years because it is true.”
Chloe is trying to pull his shirt off and finally succeeds revealing his still perfectly defined chest despite his age. “Yet you’re still married to me,” she retorts.
“Well there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for that,” he tells her as he pulls her shirt over her head to reveal a physique that is still beautiful and toned. He has to say Kryptonian genes do keep you looking great even in one’s advanced years.
“Oh. Do tell,” she says as she strips him of his pants.
Clark pulls her skirt off. “I’m still madly in love with you.”
Chloe stops for a second and looks him directly in the eye. “Me too. Can we have sex now?” She only asks because her desire for him still hasn’t lessened any and during the course of a thousand years…lets just say you pick up a few techniques that you wouldn’t even dream of in a normal lifetime.
Clark laughs and grabs her and rolls her over so she is underneath him. “I think I can manage that.”
He had once thought he could happily make love to her forever and you know what. It turns out he was right.
Author’s Note: So when I started this story it was to answer the question why Chloe Sullivan isn’t remembered in the 31st century. My answer is because she became Power Girl and that is how she is remembered. Also I pointed out in this last chapter how sometimes history ends up distorting someone’s story due to lack of facts about their life. The more famous someone is the more that tends to be true and a thousand years is a long time for facts to become lost. So basically Imra’s line in Legion that Chloe’s name has simply been lost is in fact accurate. Since this is the end of this story I will take this moment to thank all of those who wrote reviews.