Lana sat down across from Raya wondering what she wished to speak about. Considering that they had already got past the most important thing between them and that was the situation with Clark. She looked the young woman in the eyes and noted that she was concerned about something and she began to feel it had to do with Clark.
"I wanted to talk to you because I believe we face more than one problem in our struggle," Raya said.
"How so?" Lana inquired, as she settled into the chair she was sitting on.
"Kal-El as you know is fighting the memories of his future self, so that he is not overwhelmed by them, however a greater threat lies behind them and it concerns the emotions the memories stir within him, as was seen when Lex Luthor paid a visit," Raya explained. "I believe the longer Kal-El hosts the memories the stronger his emotional reaction to them will be and in some cases that could be very dangerous," she continued.
"I see," Lana said, knowing the other woman had a point, as she remembered how enraged Clark had become when Lex turned up. Never before had she seen him so overcome and then there was how he looked at her when he first recovered from the energy wave, which contained the future memories. "How do you propose we help him stay in control?" she asked after a few more seconds of deep thought.
"I would suggest we download them out of Kal-El's mind, but I doubt he would accept such a course of action as a copy of the memories does not contain everything we need to change the future for the better. Certain memories will trigger a deeper reaction within him and let him know which things need to be changed," Raya responded. "The second option is we pay closer attention to him and make sure one of us accompanies him until this is over, so that we can be there to intercede if needed," she added.
"Is there nothing else we can do?" Lana asked worried by what Raya had brought up as she did not want to lose Clark, especially not to his own future memories.
"I will speak with Jor-El and Dak-Ur on the matter when I visit the Fortress, but apart from that? Not that I can see," Raya responded with a frown, not liking the fact she could see no way to help Kal-El at the moment.
"Wait a second, maybe Isobel might know some way to help Clark," Lana said. Her eyes widened as she suddenly thought of another avenue they could explore that may help Clark. "Clark said magic is very effective against your people, so maybe there is a spell that can help him keep the emotions the memories evoke under control," she explained, when she noted Raya looked confused to what she meant.
Raya was actually impressed by Lana's suggestion and she saw why Kal-El had chosen her as his first lover. She had a keen mind as well as a warm and strong heart. "You may be correct. You should try to meditate to see if you can speak to her," she said in way of reply. "It would be helpful if you had more than one way of contacting her, other than sleeping," she added when Lana looked surprised at her own suggestion.
"I'll try it now and see if it works. Why don't you pay a visit to the fortress and talk to Jor-El and Dax-Ur?" Lana nodded in agreement. "Just watch your back, Clark is beginning to seriously care for you and should anything happen to you could push him close to the edge, which while this whole thing is in the balance is closer than ever," she added.
"I agree, until this situation has been resolved any serious loss could send Kal-El insane with grief and loss," Raya nodded, knowing Lana was correct. "I advise the same to you Lana. Kal-El may care for me, but he loves you and losing you a second time may be all that is needed to push him too far and also remember Luthor wants you for himself, which puts you in more danger than me," she warned her new friend.
Lana could only nod as she took the warning to heart, as she knew just how much Raya was right after listening to Jor-El on how far Lex would go to control and process her. She watched Raya leave before sitting down cross legged. She closed her eyes and began to try and summon Isobel in some way.
She knew it would take some time, but she was willing to try as long as it took, as it was to help Clark and that was all the motivation she needed to push herself. She went over what Raya had told her again and she prayed they found a way of helping to stem the emotional feedback before it was too late and Clark either ended up doing something he would later regret or he would go mad and become lost in his own mind for the rest of his life and neither option was acceptable to her.
(Ghul Mansion, Middle East)
Clark entered the mansion to find Bruce, Talia and Ra in the main living room, discussing their past encounters. He was pleased to see Bruce and Talia were getting along and there had been no problems while he had been away, still that did not ensure Ra would help them and so he decided to stay on his guard. "How're you doing Bruce?" he asked, alerting the three to his return.
"I'm good," Bruce replied with a small smile noting Clark tenseness, which showed he was no fool to just relax just because he and Talia were getting along as everything depended on Ra and what he decided to do. "Welcome back," Ra said smiling as the young man again demonstrated that he had abilities which allowed him to move quickly and in some cases silent which could be very useful in some of his endeavors, but he doubted Clark would agree unless his plans were only to help people, but then again considering the conclusion he had come to after a lot of soul searching it may be possible to get his help in some new plans he had begun to put together.
"Thank you Ra," Clark said, knowing to keep his tone as respectful as he could. His future memories showed Ra could lose his temper quite easily and he had no desire to provoke the man. "Have you thought over what we told you?" he inquired as he sat down, but still kept an eye out for any signs of a trap.
"I have given the matter a great deal of thought Clark. It has forced me to realize that I have reached a crossroad in my life and have to ask the question what is more important to me," Ra responded, his eyes showing how much he had thought over this. "My daughter or my beliefs," he added, as he stood and began to pace a little. "And I came to the conclusion I have lost my way. I never set out to destroy the world, I had only come to that conclusion after Sora's death and my first resurrection," he explained. "I guess the process changed me more than I ever realized and it is time to make up for my mistakes. I will help you and your friends," he told them after a few moments of silence. "For my daughter and any children she has I will help you stop the madness to come," he stated.
Talia jumped up and hugged her father. She was very happy that he was going to help them and allow her and Bruce to be together. She had feared he would refuse them and then she would have to once again make a choice between her love for Bruce and her love for her father only she sensed this time it would be a choice she could never take back. Bruce was shocked to say the least, but he was also relived that he would never again have to face Ra in battle, as he was one of his more clever adversaries. Clark smiled and nodded, pleased to see this Ra had come to the same conclusion as his future self had. Now things were beginning to look up.
"I thank you Ra. We are going to have a meeting at the end of the week with those others I'm recruiting. I would like you to join us," Clark told him as he wrote down his address and handed it to him.
"Do you not think Luthor would become suspicious for you to have so many wealthy guests?" Talia inquired, as she leaned against Bruce still unable to believe she would have her chance with Bruce. "We won't be staying at the farm house, but moving to my main base of operations. The only reason why I've said we should meet at my place is because there is no other way to get to my base, unless you know where it is and although I have told you about it I have not given out its location for obvious reasons," Clark explained with a small smile.
"Wise choice, still I believe it best we lure Luthor away from Smallville whilst this meeting goes on," Ra suggested. "We may be able to do just that if one of our plans is complete before the meeting," Clark said in reply, as he thought over the plan they had to duplicate the stones, as well as the fact Ra and Talia had a point, if Lex learned he had met with people like Bruce, Oliver and Ra he would become even more suspicious and obsessive and they couldn't afford that just now. Things were already heating up faster than he would have liked thanks to Brainiac's interference from the future.
"What are you going to do next Clark?" Bruce inquired, having decided to stay here for a day or two before heading back to Gotham. He had already talked to Dick on his cell and while he and Helena were willing to give the benefit of the doubt now, he knew they were both still skeptical.
"I gotta stop in at home as Lex is supposed to visit, before I head for more of our future allies to recruit them," Clark responded, as he stood and prepared to head out. "One thing you should know is that I think things are going to pick up fast somewhere down the line and you should be on guard. Brainiac is trying to interfere in our plans from the future before a time ripple changes that timeline permanently," he informed them. "We've seen evidence of it already, so keep an eye out for a hit on you. If Brainiac sends information on who will be part of the League he will try and kill them. I should warn Green Arrow and Aquaman as well. I'll see you all later," he continued before super speeding away.
"How does he do that?" Talia asked amazed by what she had just seen as she has missed how he moved the night before.
"He never mentioned where his powers come from, just that he has them," Bruce responded. "He's told us a lot of information, but he is keeping certain things to himself which is wise," he added.
"I agree detective," Ra said with a nod. "Still his warning worries me so I shall alert my guards to be more watchful. I suggest you warn your friends to be on the alert as well," he added as he stood to go and do just that. "Yeah good point," Bruce said as he pulled his cell phone out and called Dick.
Clark entered fast and picked up the red kryptonite ring as the others came in to see who had arrived and noted what he was doing and they all guessed why he was doing it. He placed it on just as they all heard a car pull into the driveway. Kal frowned, knowing they had been lucky to get back in time after warning Oliver and Arthur to be on the alert to face Lex. He worried what he might have done if he believed he was not around to protect Lana.
"May I can come in?" Lex asked, as he knocked on the open door. "Go ahead Lex, what brings you by?" Kal inquired, acting as if he had no idea he was going to show up.
"I wanted to talk to you and Lana about her moving into the mansion again," Lex answered. "And before you get defensive Clark, I'm only suggesting this because I truly believe she is in danger from this new faction that has popped up," he added, cutting Kal off as he went to say something.
"I don't want to move into the mansion Lex and remember, it's already been broken into and your father was attacked, so it can't be that safe," Lana finally spoke up, angered by Lex's attempted manipulation. "I'm very safe here as I know the Kents will make sure nothing happens to me, you should know that already," she added, her smile somewhat cold.
"Lana, as good as the Kents are, I don't believe they can handle the people who may come after you," Lex argued, annoyed they were so difficult about this. "Don't you understand they will do anything for these stones, including maybe killing those close to you?" he pointed out, confident that would weaken her argument, as he knew how much she cared for the Kents.
"We're very capable of protecting ourselves Lex," Jonathan finally spoke up, wanting nothing more than to drive his fist into the man's face, but he kept himself in check. "We've dealt with quite a few dangerous people who have shown up around here in the last few years. Now both Lana and Clark have made their choice and I'll not have you badger her into something, you're just going to have to accept her choice," he stated.
"Mr. Kent I respect what you're saying, but I really don't believe you understand the gravity of this situation or what you maybe dragging your family into," Lex shot back, not yet ready to concede defeat. "I don't want anything bad to happen to any of you," he added now playing up the concerned friend.
"I thank you for your concern Lex really, but I think you may be overstating things," Kal said, barely able to stop himself from striking the man down and he knew if Clark had been in control Lex would most likely either already be dead or in a coma. "They've attack Lionel, which suggest they are more interested in your family and maybe the Teague's as well. I doubt they consider a small town boy and girl much trouble," he added with a smirk. "I mean we don't have huge sums of money to buy the stones and we don't have men who can find the stones and we aren't even actively looking for the stones," he reminded the man. "The only time we got involved in this is when Isobel showed up and she is gone now, so tell me how much of a threat could they possible think we are?" he asked.
Lex stared at Clark really angry now, but he could not fault his friend's logic. He wouldn't consider them a threat if he did not know them or what he suspected they could do. So why should some newcomers believe them to be a threat? He would have to accept things for now, because it was clear Lana would not leave the Kents. He frowned slightly as he began to think of other ways he could convince Lana to move into the mansion, before realizing the group was waiting for his reply. "Maybe you're right, Clark," he finally said. "I guess I've just allowed myself to become a little paranoid," he said with a laugh. "Okay I'll leave it be for now, but I don't want you to get sloppy. They might try and get to you just because you know me," he advised them.
"You got it Lex," Clark assured him with a smile. "By the way did you know your father popped by trying to make amends with us?" he asked, trying to distract the man. "Yeah, he mentioned something about it before he left," Lex responded with a shake of his head, still unable to believe his father could think the Kents would forgive him for what he had done to them. "How did it go?" he inquired.
"Badly," Jonathan was the one who answered. "I don't know how he got it into his head we'd so easily forgive him, but he was not welcome here," he added.
"It's possible the attack has got him thinking about the future, but somehow I doubt it. I'd keep my eyes open around him, my father is not to be trusted," Lex said before he turned and left and as he drove away from the farm he began to plot ways to convince Lana to move into the mansion, not bothering to listen to the voice which was protesting this move.
Kal growled and slammed his hand into the nearby wall, but managed not to smash it. He was beginning to grow a little tired of playing nice with their enemy, but he knew it was necessary for now. He looked at the others and noted they seemed just as angry as he was.
"We're going to have to keep an eye on him for a bit. J'onn, follow him and see what he is up to. Use whatever you have to find out if he plans to try and convince Lana to move in with him," he told the Martian who had come out of hiding alongside Raya, as they still did not want Lex to know about their presence just yet. "Just don't get caught," he added with clear concern.
"I will be careful Kal-El," J'onn responded with a smile. "I shall return tonight," he added before he shot of in a red blur, quickly catching up with Luthor's car and trailed it back to the mansion making sure to stay above the cloud cover so he would not be seen, before settling on a nearby tree which had heavy coverage to hide him and using his super hearing he began to listen in to what was going on inside.
Kal thought a few things through before he removed the ring and allowed Clark to retake control. Clark could sense Kal's frustration at not acting just yet, but he was pleased he seemed to realize it was necessary for the time being.
"Are you okay son?" Jonathan inquired. "I will be dad. I need to talk to Raya and Lana for a bit and then we'll visit another of our future allies," he added, dreading this conversation.
During his trip to meet Bruce he had begun to remember more of the war, he had remembered just how far gone he was by the time they sent the message backwards in time. All of his close friends and family were dead by that point and he had become almost like a shell of his former self. The only reason he had kept going was thanks to the close bond he had formed with Diana Prince, also known as Wonder Woman.
She had brought him back from the brink of self destruction and made him focus on the task at hand. They had grown much closer than either realized and had it not been for his resistance to fall in love again he was sure his future self would have begun a relationship with her. To see her again was going to cause a huge emotional reaction and he was unsure if he would be able to control it. Which was why he had decided to warn Raya and Lana who he would be taking with him to see them on the island of the Amazons, he just hoped they would be understanding about it. He led them to his room and then he began to explain everything he had begun to remember surrounding the war and Diana Prince.
Lex sat behind his desk continuing to go through plans that may make Lana move in with him. He just had to be careful how he went about it, as he knew one wrong step and he would lose both Lana and Clark as friends and then he would never have a shot with Lana in the future, which he was sure he would have when Clark fouled up his relationship with Lana once again by keeping secrets from her.
He leaned back in his chair and took a small gulp of his brandy as he looked over his latest reports from the 33.1 labs, things were progressing well although lately he had to admit he seemed to be coming up with new plans which were not his own. He wondered what was going on before he shook his head and began to make his next moves in first locating the stones and then the new faction whoever they were.
Lana and Raya looked between themselves as Clark finished his explanation then left them to discuss it. They both began to worry about the emotional impact this meeting would have on him. Although it was clear to them both that this Diana Prince could help them a great deal in keeping Clark in check if some of what they had been told is true.
"We'll have to talk to her in private and gain her assistance in keeping an eye on Clark," Lana said finally. "She is obviously a strong woman inside and out and has what it takes to help Clark, especially if we are not there ourselves," she added.
"I agree Lana," Raya said with a nod. "It is clear the emotional attachment to this Diana has come back as did his emotional attachment to me. This may course some trouble later on if they begin to bond quickly," she suggested. "From what he stated it was very rare for an Amazon to take a mate unless it was to produce offspring, but it is clear the future Diana fell in love with Kal-El and he only fought this so he would not have to suffer the agony of loosing someone else he loved, but that does not mean he will not fall for her now as he did for me," she added.
"It's possible we might have to face sharing Clark with her, but somehow I doubt Clark will pursue her," Lana said. "If this Diana comes after him sometime in the future we should just let it be, we know he will not leave us," she stated.
"I agree, we should meet with her in private as soon as we can so we can explain why Kal-El reacts so strongly towards her, the sooner she is aware of the problems we face the sooner she can help us keep him in control," Raya said after thinking it over and coming to the same conclusion as Lana.
"We better go, the sooner we get there the sooner we can move on to the next part of our plan whatever that is," Lana said. "I am concerned about how this Brainiac will change things," she added as she got up and began to leave the room.
"Do not let it bother you Lana, we will deal with whatever changes as it comes," Raya said, gently rubbing Lana's back as they left the room and joined Clark who was talking with Chloe, who would be joining them on this trip as well.