Lana knew Clark had picked Raya to accompany him to visit Dax-Ur, so they could talk alone about what they had just learned about each other than that he actually needed her to find this other Kryptonian. She was quite tired and she had some questions for Isobel and so headed for Clark's room, after she mentioned to the Kent’s that Kal had told Lex she would be staying on the farm for protection, to which neither objected as they both loved Lana like a daughter.
Chloe and J'onn continued to go through the files they had on the labs, whilst Martha took Jonathan to their bedroom, so that he could rest as well after his surgery. All of them felt that things would quickly spiral out of control, once Clark had gathered his allies and was ready to strike and they all wanted to be ready for it.
Clark and Raya walked into the centre of town in silence and both were deep in thought. Clark was trying to repress the memories of his future self once more, whilst Raya was still trying to think of how to talk to Kal-El about their future.
"There is where the capsule is," Clark said, breaking into her thoughts and she looked at where he was indicating.
She quickly x-rayed the area and noted the mid-sized container where the beacon was. She knew it was to early for them to retrieve it, so she wondered what they would do instead.
"We need to wait until it gets dark before we try and get the beacon, so I think we should head to the fortress for a few things we're going to need and then we'll visit some of the future members of the Justice League," Clark said. "The sooner we gather some allies the better off we'll be to counter the unexpected," he added.
"You expect things to change to how your future memories show them to be?" Raya inquired, as they turned and began to head out of town.
"I do, my future self knew that once I began to change things the less reliant I had to be on them," Clark responded. "Also it never pays to believe things will always go the way you expect or want them to, something my future self learned the hard way," he explained. "His meeting with you Raya pushed him to begin to accept his destiny however your death hit him even harder," he admitted.
"May I ask why?" Raya inquired, intrigued to learn more about Kal-El and the memories he now processed.
"By the time this all came round he was nearing his wits end, the losses he had sustained were taking a toll on him and the knowledge that had he done as Jor-El had instructed, hundreds of innocent civilians would never have been killed by Zod and Brainiac's actions," Clark answered, feeling he could trust Raya not to repeat any of this to the others "When he learned you had survived and was on Earth he felt the first rays of hope that things would get better," he added. "Those few days he and your future self had were some of the best he had experienced, for once he knew what was it was like to spend time with someone who was just like him," he went on. "She began to teach him a lot and she understood how lonely he had been on Earth, even with his friends nearby, none of them could truly understand what it was like from his point of view," he told her.
"It truly must have been hard for you to fit in here," Raya stated, wondering what her future self had thought of her time with Kal-El. "I am sure that had my future self lived she would have stayed with you," she added, not seeing any situation that could convince her to leave Kal-El's side.
"That would have changed a lot of what then happened to him Raya, especially between him and Lana," Clark said, wondering just how things would have changed. "But back to the point when you were killed, he felt like dying himself as it seemed everyone he got close to died or left him and he considered giving up, but he knew that isn't what you would have wanted and so he went on and for a while things began to fall back into place, but as father mentioned. They didn't stay that way," he stopped, as he thought of the challenges his future self went through, even before the war happened and shuddered hoping they could prevent them this time.
Raya took all of this in and came to the conclusion she and Lana had much more work to do than just helping Kal-El keep his future self's memories from overwhelming him. It seemed they would also have to contend with his emotions or at least those generated within his younger self from the memories which would prove more of a challenge.
Emotions, as had already been proven, could be their worst enemy if they allowed them to rule their plans. She would have to talk to Lana when they returned and warn her of this, so she could help keep Kal-El from losing himself. She reached down and took his hand in hers and interlaced their fingers and immediately felt him relax a little, they continued like this all the way to the city limits, before they kicked into super speed and then took to the air and headed for the fortress.
Lex stared out of the window, he was still angry about watching Clark make out with Lana in front of him, a part of him was sure Clark had done that on purpose to provoke him, whilst a smaller part told him they were in love and did that often. He knew if he was ever going to have a chance with Lana he had to get her away from Clark or at least break her confidence in him, but how to go about it, without her learning of it? He felt a slight wince at what he was thinking because he knew if Clark ever learned of this, their friendship would end permanently and if Lana learned of it he would never get a shot at her.
He looked up as someone entered the room behind him and he turned to see his father enter. He looked as if he didn't have a care in the world. Lex frowned and went over what Jason had told him and he wondered if it was true that his father had or at least did have one of the stones.
"Something bothering you Lex?" his father asked, as he went to the drink rack and began to pore himself a whiskey.
"I heard a rumor that might explain why you were attacked," Lex replied, while wondering how his father would react. He put his plans for Clark and Lana aside for the moment, as he focused on something more important.
"I thought I raised you better than to listen to rumors son," Lionel replied with a chuckle and a shake of his head, before he took a deep gulp of his whiskey as he sat down.
"Doesn't hurt to listen, dad," Lex shot back rather than have to remember how he was raised. "Anyway it's been suggested you had or have one of the stones everyone is looking for, including our mysterious new party," he added with a small smirk and watched his father carefully for any signs of a lie.
"I thought I had one of them son, but it turned out to be a fake. The Teague's duped me, when I was busy trying to safeguard your life," Lionel retorted, while taking another gulp of whiskey. "I told you before they are not to be trusted at all," he added and finished his drink. "Now if you will excuse me, I need some rest," he added, left and headed for his room.
Jor-El hoped he had done enough to convince Luthor that everything was fine as far as his father was concerned. Controlling Lionel was beginning to get easier now, as the process of turning him into a full oracle was almost complete. Now the body needed a long rest to recover from the surgery it had undergone.
Lex stared after where his father had vanished, growling somewhat as he had not seen any sort of lie on his face. He wondered once more where his search for the stones would lead him. He had to find them and soon, before anyone else did. He turned and picked up his phone to call one of his labs for a progress report.
(Fortress of Solitude)
Clark and Raya came down just as they reached the opening to the fortress. He was really beginning to like flying again. He had memories of flying as his future self and as Kal, but he hadn't done it except for going to China to retrieve one of the stones. He was still getting over his fear of heights at the time, but this time all he had felt was free. They entered the fortress and headed straight for the control platform.
"Exactly what are we after Kal-El?" Raya inquired, once again feeling a sense of peace flowing through her, as she entered the fortress.
"I need to make some copies of my memories that Jor-El downloaded onto some data crystals with a hook up attached, so normal computers can access them," Clark replied. "I remember my future self using something similar for normal data," he added, as he began to press certain keys relying on his future memories to guide him.
Raya watched and was impressed by the way Kal-El was acting. It was clear that he was trying hard not to allow himself to be distracted by the memories and emotions of his future self, as he had been so far. It showed he had a lot of inner strength and gave her hope for the future. His insistence that they stop what was to come was much how Jor-El had acted during the war, even if it seemed at the moment there was little love between father and son.
"Who are we going to visit?" she asked a few minutes later. "And how are we going to convince them that we speak the truth?" she added, knowing it would not be easy, no matter who these people were.
"For now we're just going to visit three of the future Justice League," Clark answered, as he concentrated on what he was doing. "One is Oliver Queen, he's rich, but has dedicated his life to helping others, either as himself or the Green Arrow," he informed her. "The second is another rich person, but who like Oliver is dedicated to helping people, even if he's a lot more hard edged on how he goes about it. His name is Bruce Wayne, whilst his alter ego is called Batman and he will be the hardest to convince of the truth," he continued.
"The last is Arthur Curry or Aquaman, he's tough and dedicated to stopping the destruction of our oceans, as well as helping people like us who have gifts and have ended up in the wrong hands," he went on. "These three form the backbone of the League in the future, although Batman, like me, was not much of a team player, which is why we ended up losing so badly during the war," he admitted, pausing for a few minutes before going back to his work.
"I take it then that it will be hard to ensure that this time the League, if you can form it, does act as a team?" Raya asked, taking on all the information Kal-El was giving her.
"Sadly yes, some people just like acting alone, thinking it's the best way to get things done," Clark responded, as he finished downloading the data he needed onto three data crystals. "My future self as well as me now have a hard time working with someone else and it will have to change if we have any hope of stopping Luthor, especially if he manages to create his army," he admitted with a shake of his head. "Teamwork is the only way we can do this, which is why I've done what I can to include Lana and Chloe in this as much as possible and not cut them out," he explained, as he led her away after telling Jor-El to inform the others of what they were doing if they were not back by midnight.
Raya could tell that Kal-El was eager to change a lot of what his future self had done, intending to avoid whatever problems his actions had led to, which was a good way to go about changing things. Allowing her hand to be taken by his, they both lifted off from the ground and once again took to the air.
Lana opened her eyes to find she was once again dreaming, as she was in the fortress which was surrounded by a purple hue just like before. She looked around and found Isobel looking at a picture of a man, who looked a little like Clark and she walked over to have a better look.
"Hello Lana," Isobel said without looking at her. "This is Xan-El my husband," she added with a longing look in her eyes.
"He resembles Clark," Lana said softly noting how Isobel was looking at the picture and guessed she missed him.
"He does, doesn't he?" Isobel agreed, finally looking at her. "I remember my first meeting with him as if it was yesterday, just as I am sure you remember your first real meeting with Kal-El," she added with a soft smile, which Lana returned.
"I do: I've viewed it again and again in my head and it surprises me just how quickly we began to trust one another," Lana replied and closed her eyes as she remembered that meeting. "He was upset, although I did not know what about at the time, given what I know now I can guess he learnt the truth about his origins and did not know how to handle it," she continued, opening her eyes to look at Isobel.
"Very good," Isobel said in response. "I am also pleased and impressed you gathered the meaning of my last comment to you in regards to Kal-El and Raya," she added.
"Once I thought it over and then ran the strange connection between Clark and Raya it seemed obvious what you were trying to tell me Isobel," Lana responded. "I know I love Clark enough to share him with Raya, because he is my soul mate," she stated with complete confidence.
"Good because he will need you both to face what is to come," Isobel told her. "He will have a huge weight on his shoulders as a defender of this planet and sometimes he will not be able to save all the innocents out there. No matter how strong he is Lana, he cannot save everyone, even though he will try," she explained. "When that time comes, his worst enemy will be himself and his emotions and you two will need to be there for him and help him through the pain," she continued.
Lana knew Isobel had a point, as one of Clark's worst traits was to take the blame for everything that went wrong and should he become one of the defenders this planet needed, it would only grow worse if he was unable to save someone. Still she would not change Clark for anything and she would not choose anyone other than Clark to spend her life with, she was willing to be his rock during the hard times to come.
"Now we have a lot to go through Lana, concerning what I learned from Xan-El. I also will begin to train you as a witch, so you can access and control my magic without having to rely on me to take control to help you or the group in a dangerous situation," Isobel told her, moving on to the real reason she was visiting her.
Lana had expected to learn about what Isobel had learned about Krypton and its customs, but she was shocked to find out Isobel also intended to train her in the use of magic. She was at first unsure if she was ready for such a thing, before she remembered that Clark had told her that magic could hurt and maybe kill Kryptonians and then she remembered that there were rogue Kryptonians out there, waiting to come here to conquer Earth and kill it's population and she hardened her will and nodded in agreement with Isobel's idea.
"I'm ready to learn," Lana said with a smile which was returned by Isobel who sat cross legged and indicated Lana to join her. Slowly she began to explain what she had learned from Xan-El.