Note: My thanks again to Hawklan
for helping out. By the way… you really should visit his author page. He has quite a few fics of his own you should check out.
(Fortress of Solitude)
“So what do you expect Brainiac will do first, once he reveals himself to Luthor?” Oliver inquired as they all sat down to discuss their next move. “How does this change things?” he added.
“It changes things a lot Oliver, especially if he has all the knowledge of his future self. He can ensure the war starts a hundred ways so no matter what, he has to be defeated,” Kal-El replied. “As for his goal he has only one goal and that is to free General Zod from the Phantom Zone,” he continued.
“Which means he will want to get into the fortress right?” Kara spoke up, disturbed by the A.I.’s presence on earth as it made their job all the tougher.
“Yes he will, by any means possible,” Jor-El was the one who answered. “I have reprogrammed my cyborgs to defend the fortress and I’m now making more. If Zod is freed the war will happen unless we can destroy him,” he added.
“Luckily Raya has the crystal which can absorb Zod’s spirit from whoever he possesses,” Kal-El told them, holding up the crystal. “It was how I beat him in my timeline, most likely Lex will be the vessel and if he is I will kill him this time. I will not fail a second time to stop Zod, he did enough damage because of my weakness in the first time line,” he explained.
“It is not weakness to be merciful Clark,” Martha interrupted, annoyed by his speech and intention.
“No offense mom, but you have no idea of what you are saying. Sparing Lex will never have a good ending. He will keep coming at us and keep trying to rule this world until he his dead,” Kal-El responded. “He maybe human, but he sold his soul a long time ago,” he added.
“I’ll bloody say,” Oliver said. “Even as a kid he was evil and twisted and I watched as he beat his only friend to within an inch of his life. Duncan only survived because my friends and I pulled him off, but he walked straight into the road and was hit full speed by a car, he died from his injuries,” he informed them. “I saw the darkness that lived in Lex upfront and it has never left him. he may have acted like the reformed man when you met him, but I assure you he was properly planning how his friendship to you could benefit him and he was even more likely planning on stealing Lana from Clark early on as well,” he continued to hammer the point home. “My friends and I aren’t blameless for what happened to Duncan, but we never would have beaten him like Lex did,” he finished, feeling the old guilt well up but he pushed it aside.
Martha stared at Oliver in shock and horror as she began to really see who Lex Luthor was. She guessed even with learning all she had about his future actions she had believed the man who had befriended Clark had been a decent person, but it was clear now he had never been decent and she shivered with how wrong she had been. Jonathan wasn’t surprised to learn this, as he had always suspected the truth about Lex, but he kept silent. He noted Lionel looked sad and weary as Oliver finished his speech and he wondered if he felt responsible for the man his son had become.
“No he has to die this time, especially if he becomes the vessel,” Kal-El told them. “There is no other option,” he added.
“What about the plan to banish him and the others to the Phantom Zone?” Donna inquired. “Are we still going to do that?” she added.
“Yes for the most part,” Kal-El responded. “But not Lex, he is just too dangerous to leave in any way alive as should he be freed from the zone it would be chaos,” he told them. “I know for most of you this is hard to hear, but I have seen what he can do and what he enjoys doing and I’m committed to killing him to end the threat once and for all,” he stated. “The others go to the zone and if we can’t reprogram Brainiac he will have to be destroyed or banished,” he concluded.
“And how do we do that Kal-El?” Lana asked feeling depressed at using Clark’s Kryptonian name, but she knew in her heart once all this was done with she would have her Clark back so she refused to allow this to get to her.
“Banishing him is no real problem, but destroying him is. I believed quite a few times I had destroyed him only for him to return to haunt me, but I’m sure Jor-El and Dax-Ur can find a weakness we can exploit with time, although for us time is now very short,” Kal-El answered.
“Kal-El do you think Luthor’s plans or strategies will change with Brainiac now aiding him?” Bruce asked from his bed, still recovering from his wound but listening all the same.
“Yes they will, he’ll become harder to predict and his labs will be cleared out and a new one he has not used before in either time line will be set up,” Kal-El replied. “Chloe, Lana and J'onn will look into this and try and locate it once it is up and operational,” he began to put plans into motion.
“How will we know when he has the new lab up?” Bart inquired from his seat next to Chloe who was resting her head on his shoulder much to his enjoyment
“When we hit one of the labs we already know about which has been cleared out. In fact Lionel you’ll join that team as you know how Lex thinks and even with Brainiac whispering in his ear that will not change much,” Kal-El answered. “We have to be careful now how we move, our families have been put on alert and moved to safer places, but they still might try and track them down so we have to make sure there is no traces to lead to them,” he told them. “Once that is done we will go back to taking out his labs until they are cleared out, then we hold until we find the new lab,” he added.
The others all nodded and began to leave to do as they had been told, none of them wanted their families brought into this as they now knew just how evil Lex could be from Oliver’s tale. Kal-El remained behind staring out into the arctic from the fortress main exit. He was joined a few minutes later by Raya and Diana who both leaned against him.
“You are worried Kal-El about more than what you said, aren’t you?” Raya asked, looking up at him.
“Yes, as I said before I’m afraid of tipping the League to much towards a war footing, but I can see no other way of dealing with Lex and I know Bruce plans to kill Joker and Nyssa, not banish them, our messages have made certain things set in stone,” he responded with a sigh.
“I don’t believe it will turn as badly as you believe if we are lucky, but maybe it is not such a bad thing that you are bringing them more into that mindset, because if the war starts we will need to change our tactics and roles,” Raya assured him. “I’m sure part of what made the war so bad for the League in the original time line is that they were not used to fighting in a war. They didn’t have the mindset for it until it was almost too late, correct?” she asked.
“Yes,” Kal-El reluctantly replied. “It was five years before any notion we were anything but soldiers was pushed home. By then many were dead and we were losing,” he added.
“Then perhaps that will not happen so quickly if they have the right mindset to fight a war now. It may not happen Kal-El, but it can’t hurt in the long run if it does,” Raya pushed him to understand and was pleased when he nodded and leaned down and kissed her before doing the same with Diana who had kept quiet, not really believing she could offer much reassurance on this topic.
They continued to stare out into the arctic as night well knowing in the coming days the future of this world would be decided, they all prayed they would succeed in their efforts.
Lex smiled as he entered his home feeling more alive than ever before as he contemplated his new plans, with the help of Brainiac and his two helpers he would soon gain more power than he had ever dreamed of having and with it he would destroy Clark and his friends and claim Lana once and for all. He would break her if he had to so until she was submissive to him, but he would have her. His smirk grew as he imagined Clark seeing his great love clinging to him and calling him master.
That would be a fitting first step of revenge on Clark for his years of lying to him when he believed they were friends, now he knew what powers Clark had and where he came from and he would destroy him as a threat to his future kingdom. Once they captured the fortress and freed Zod his rule would begin and there was nothing Clark and his friends could do to stop them if they planned their attack right. A new lab was already been built where they could build their numbers up and create more of his altered meteor freaks who were loyal to him and completely insane from the process.
His scientists had found a way to improve their powers and then they injected a chip into their brains which ensured they obeyed him. Some of it had come from his strange dreams, but it had worked and that it was so useful was all that mattered. He sat at his desk and wondered how long it would be before they could attempt to launch their attempt to seize the fortress. If Brainiac was correct the best way to draw all of their enemies away was to dig up the alien Doomsday. One that according to Brainiac had stated was capable of killing Clark and others like him. He had immediately set a team to work making sure to keep it out of sight of the cops. He looked up as the doors to his study opened and sheriff Adams entered with two of her deputy’s and he cursed as he remembered Jackson had warned him she wanted to arrest him.
“Sheriff, how may I help you?” he asked, trying to keep his face neutral.
“I’m afraid Mr. Luthor you’re going to have to come with me to the station to answer some questions. I have evidence that you sent a squad of men to kill Clark Kent and kidnap Lana Lang,” the sheriff replied, keeping a close eye on Luthor. “The men confessed to this just before someone managed to get inside the cells and kill them all. Now I want answers, so please let’s go,” she added. “I also have a statement from your father that seems to indicate you may be suffering a mental breakdown again,” she stated. “If so, I intend to make sure you don’t harm anyone and I will throw you into the nut house myself,” she told him with a tight smile.
Lex almost growled before he pressed a button to inform Jackson to call his lawyers before following the sheriff out of the mansion, knowing nothing could really be brought against him, but if she refused to let him go he was prepared to go on the run and then once he was in power he would make this idiot pay.
Jonathan and Martha sat with Lana and Chloe back at home trying to understand and come to terms with what had happened in the last day and a half. He knew all three women were upset and distressed with the way Kal-El was acting as it was clear there was nothing of Clark left in him. For Martha and Lana this was more upsetting than anything, the explanations as to why this had happened had done nothing to help them come to grips with this change as the three of them were worried Clark was gone for good. He didn’t think this was the case and was more certain the attack combined with all the stress and anger had forced this to happen and he was sure it would wear off.
He also knew Lana was upset by the fact Kal-El seemed to have no real emotional ties to her as from his point of view she was dead and had been for a long time. He was more connected to Diana and even showed more warmth to Raya who was also dead to him and yet that didn’t seem to matter. Jonathan guessed it was because she was a fellow Kryptonian or something along those lines, he sighed and sat back hoping the whole thing was dealt with soon, because since this had begun the emotional upheaval was getting harder to bear especially for them. He felt tired and he knew the others were as well.
“Do you think we can still win what with this Brainiac here?” Chloe asked out of the blue.
“I hope so,” Lana responded, her voice also showing the tiredness he was sure they all felt. “If we can’t we’ll never get our Clark back,” she added frowning
“Don’t give up hope Lana, because if you do then you’ve already lost,” Jonathan cautioned her with a smile. “I really don’t believe we have lost Clark for good, he will be back once this is done with,” he added.
“Do you really believe that Jonathan?” Martha inquired while looking at her husband.
“Yes I do,” he said with complete confidence and belief in his son which calmed all three women because he really did believe it.
Lex kept his silence as the sheriff got more and more worked up as he refused to answer most of her questions except to say that his father was the one who had gone insane and wanted him out of the way because he was fixated on Clark Kent and his family and also that he knew nothing of any attack on the Kent farm. He was finding it amusing to watch the hard edged woman get so worked up. He knew his lawyers would be arriving soon to get him out of here, but for now he would just have to put up with the woman’s arrogance.
A part of him reminded him that he could if he wanted break his way out of this place thanks to the power he had received from the stones and while he was in no way up to taking on Clark he could take on any normal human easily, but he needed to keep his public face as clean as possible so he could use it to turn people against his enemies and of course keep raking in the money Luthor Corp generated until he no longer needed it and was one of the rulers of mankind.
As he smiled at the idea the sheriff seemed to grow more and more annoyed and the only thing that stopped her shouting at him was a knock on the door and the entrance of one of her deputies along with his lawyers who all looked confident, which boosted his confidence he would soon be out of here. He watched them have a quick discussion before the sheriff almost stormed out of the room leaving him to talk to the lawyers as soon as the deputy closed the door.