"Did I manage to do it?" Lana asked, hoping her future self was able to get out from under Lex.
"Not at that time, as Lionel Luthor decided that in order to protect Kal-El, he needed you close to his son and so he used a threat against Kal-El, to force you to go through with the marriage. Only later he did tell you why he did it. Together you were able to learn of some of Lex's more dangerous experiments, which helped save lives, including the life of Lois Lane," Jo-El answered.
"Eventually however you decided to get out completely from both Luthor's and so you faked your death, using a clone Luthor had created of you, to frame him of the murder, whilst you fled to China," he explained, quite impressed by her efforts in the future, even as he knew his son would rather it had never happened.
"The plan worked to a point, but sadly Luthor remained out of prison. You returned to Smallville after a divorce and restarted your relationship with Kal-El once more, however the actions of Brainiac, who returned to harass you and the phantom known as Bizarro, created many problems for you, however that is another story for a later time," he finally finished.
Lana sighed, wondering how it was possible for any of it to have happened, how could she have been so blind, as to allow Lex to get so close to her? She knew that her anger at Clark for keeping his secrets may have been part of it, but she did not believe she could ever be as cold or as hateful to him as Jor-El had implied, at least she hoped not.
She looked at Clark and noted that he looked tired, but he seemed better than he had been, now that everyone knew this part of the story. She shared a look with Raya and noted that she also did not believe that this was the end of the pain Kal-El's future self had endured and they would have to be watchful in the future.
"Sounds like Lex is going to be an even bigger problem that we thought," Chloe finally spoke up, pushing aside the pain she felt for her friends' constant struggle to be together.
"Yes he will Chloe and you will truly come to hate him, but I'll explain that at another time. We have things to do," Clark said, deciding enough time had been wasted in talking and some action was needed now.
"Jor-El, I want you and Raya to take my parents to the fortress. Do what you said you can do to repair the damage to his heart. Lana, Chloe and J'onn you're with me," he stated, as he stood up, pushing aside the pain, guilt and anger he still felt for now.
Jor-El nodded again. Pleased to see his son pushed aside his emotions and focused on the problem at hand. He indicated for the Kent's to follow him and they did so after hugging both Clark and Lana.
Raya hesitated for a moment, not really wanting to leave Kal-El's side, but he quickly smiled at her in understanding and gave her a look, which promised they would talk alone later on. She nodded and followed her mentor's vessel.
"What is it we will be doing, Kal-El?" J'onn finally spoke, having stayed quite throughout the whole story, having already been filled in on all of what Jor-El had learned from the memories, he had extracted from Kal-El of the future to come.
"We need to find out which labs Lex will conduct his experiments in, are active right now. Lana I want you and Chloe to use the computers to pull down blueprints and information on all the addresses I give you, whilst J'onn and I will scout them out and see if they are active," Clark replied, using his super speed to write out four lists of the buildings he knew would one day contain section 33.1 labs. "Once we have our list, we can then plan how to strike them and shut them down, once I have recruited some of the other Justice League members," he stated, handing two of the lists to Lana and Chloe whilst handing one of the others to J'onn, along with a pen. "We won't be making any contact J'onn, get in see if the lab is active and get out and mark down on the list if the lab is active, okay?" he asked his Martian friend.
"Understood Kal-El," J'onn responded, knowing this was important after listening to how bad things would get in the future from Jor-El. He knew they had to move slowly, so that they did not tip off their enemy.
"Clark, what do we do about our meeting with Lex?" Lana asked, pleased that Clark had given her something to do to help.
"We have three hours before we are due to meet with him, so we have time Lana. Don't worry I'll be back for that. Now let's get going," Clark answered with a smile, before swooping down and kissing Lana before he turned and left with J'onn, hoping some action would distract him from the memories of his future self.
Lana smiled at the feelings Clark's kiss gave her and she swore she would not allow anyone to come between them again, although she suspected she would have to make an allowance for Raya. She could see the attraction the two felt for each other in their eyes, as well as what she suspected Isobel's advice last night truly meant. If that came to be, she actually was surprised to find she felt no hostility towards Raya, which was slightly confusing before shook it off and followed Chloe.
Lex looked up as someone entered, only to frown when he noticed it was Jason. Taking his father's advice to heart, he decided not to take the young man lightly. He watched as Jason made himself a drink before he sat down in front of him
"My lead in China gave me a bit more. The guy who took the stone was dressed exactly like Kent dresses, jeans, blue t-shirt and a red jacket," Jason informed him, frowning still hating the fact that he had lost Lana to the farm boy, whilst trying to think of a way to get her back.
"Really?" Lex said leaning back in his chair. "It does indeed sound like Clark, but how could he have gotten to China so fast?" he mused "I went over to see him and Lana today, but he wasn't there. According to Lana they had plans that will keep them busy until one and then they are supposed to meet me here," he told the younger man. "Mrs. Kent said he wasn't there because he had some things he had to do, before he met up with Lana for the day," he added, smirking inwardly at the distaste he could see on Jason's face at the mention of Lana and Clark spending time together.
"Maybe he's on his way back from China right now and won't be back until one," Jason suggested. "Maybe we should see if he is on any plane coming back from China, just in case," he pressed, hoping to get something on Kent before drinking some of his whiskey.
"I guess it's possible," Lex said, knowing his mysterious friend was capable of a lot, but he still did not see how he could have gotten to China so fast, seen as he had seen him only the day before. "I'll look into it anyway, just to be sure," he added, deciding it couldn't hurt. "Anything else?" he asked, looking back at the report he had been reading from his newest lab.
"My mother suspects your father has one of the stones," Jason said, surprising Lex once again. "He stole it from Virgil Swan's assistant, who is now dead," he added.
This piece of news perked Lex's interest and he narrowed his eyes at the idea that his father had been playing him once again. Was it possible that it was that why he had been attacked? It would also explain his rather calm response to learning he had been in a coma for a day and a half, not wanting to let on that there was more to the attack than there seemed.
If his father had one of the stones or used to have one, the question became why had he not gone in search of the other two? Was he just waiting for him, the Teague's or Clark and Lana to find them, so he could steal them later? If whoever had attacked his father now had the stone, it became all the more important to find out who they were and where they were hiding and decided to see what Clark and Lana's reaction to this news would be. Maybe it would give him a clue to what they were truly up to.
He summoned one of his aides and gave him orders to search all incoming planes from China for Clark Kent. If his friend was lying to him about his interest or lack there off in the stones, he would find out one way or the other.
He needed to step up his own search for the stones as well instead of sitting here. Suddenly he stopped and went over what had happened at the beginning of the year, when he had found one of the stones, only for his plane to be attacked on its way back to Smallville by something or someone that had intercepted him in the air and somehow summoned the stone to them. He wondered if they and the ones who had attacked his father were connected somehow.
"I guess I'll be having a long chat with my father when he gets back from whatever business he went to deal with, as he woke up earlier this morning," Lex informed Jason, who looked surprised by this.
"Did he give you any clues as to who had attacked him?" Jason asked, knowing his mother would want to know about this and any information he could gather on this new threat that stood in their way of getting hold of the stones.
"No, all he said was he felt a spasm up his spine," Lex responded, watching Jason closely in case he gave away anything in his facial expression, but could see nothing that indicated he knew more than he stated.
"This is getting very complicated with this new threat Lex. Lana may be in more danger than she knows," Jason suddenly having an idea, which could separate her from Clark. "Maybe if you press this, you can convince her to come and stay in the mansion, where she would be much safer," he suggested.
Lex suddenly began to smile, liking this suggestion because not only would it get Lana away from Clark's influence, it would also give him a chance to get closer to her and let him undermine her trust in Clark. No matter where his friendship with Clark stood, he wanted Lana for himself and he was determined to get her.
"A good idea I think. I'll suggest it later on, when she comes and sees me. I'll let you know how it goes," Lex finally responded. "I am sure she will accept, because she knows this place is well protected," he added, forgetting for a while that his own father had been attacked within its walls, as he mind strayed into fantasy.
Jason nodded before finishing his drink and leaving the mansion. He felt unsettled with Lana being close to Lex the same as he was when she was with Kent, but he thought he could manipulate Lex to do what he want, before he decided to report to his mother what he had learned.
(Fortress of Solitude)
Raya felt a sense of peace fill her, as she arrived in the last safe Heaven of her people. The fortress of knowledge was one of the principles of Kryptonian technology and seeing it, made her feel like she was home. She was pleased to see Kal-El had managed to find all three stones of power and raise the structure he would need, so he could undergo his training. It showed that even though he was reluctant or at least had been to embrace his destiny, he was trying to do what was best for the future.
She watched as Jor-El explained how he would repair the damage Jonathan Kent had sustained, whilst being in possession of the powers of a Kryptonian. She knew humans were not supposed to have such powers, as their bodies were not able to survive the strain for long.
Jor-El would have to make some alterations to his vessel so it could survive longer with the powers it now had access to. She knew, from Jor-El's tale, that Brainiac had prepared Luthor before he became a vessel for Zod in the future, so he could survive having the powers of a Kryptonian.
Thinking of what she had learned so far of what was to come, darkened her mood. Luthor was clearly a dangerous person and a suitable host for Zod, which is why he would be chosen as a host.
Kal-El and his allies had many challenges to face and she was committed to help them as much as she could, even as she wondered if it was possible she and Kal-El could get closer than just friends and forced mates.
Considering the looks he sometimes gave, she believed it was possible. He felt more for her than she at first believed. The changes made to their DNA made it possible for their race to survive by making them attracted to other Kryptonian's, but it also made them care for them, which could lead them to actually develop feelings for one another.
Only two things stood in her way. How Lana would respond, once she learned of the growing pull she and Kal-El felt towards each other and the second one she did not know Kal-El that well just yet. Shaking her head she quickly began to assist Jor-El, as he prepared Jonathan Kent for surgery, she had plenty of time later to think about this.
(Just outside Smallville)
Clark looked at what appeared from outside an abandoned building, but from his memories of his future self, he knew would one day become a lab for 33.1. He saw flashes of himself, Bart, Oliver, Victor and Arthur taking this place down.
That was the birth of the Justice League and their war of Lex's attempts at power. He should have helped them more, but he was distracted by tracking down escaped zoners and trying to save Lana from her choice of being Lex's girlfriend.
He shook his head, knowing he had no time for guilt now. None of that had happened yet and if he was lucky would never happen. Now he just had to continue making the right choices. He could no longer act on just his feelings or his gut instincts. He had to be logical and plan accordingly to the situation, if they were to have any chance of stopping the war that was to come.
As he used his ability of flight to fly up to the top of the building, his thoughts strayed to Raya and for a minute he paused as he felt the same pull he had been feeling ever since the memories of his future self arrived inside his mind. The pull had only grown stronger since he had met Raya in person. He would have to talk to her soon and then he would have to talk to Lana and Jor-El. He suspected what was happening to him and he needed to make sure it did not cause any problems, especially between him and Lana. He sighed, before going back to his attempts to find out, if this building was already a lab for 33.1. Having already discovered two others, whilst he knew J'onn had found three more after they had met briefly to compare notes and he knew he would have to start recruiting the people who would become the Justice League soon.
Lana and Chloe worked side by side, downloading all the information they could find on the addresses Clark had given them, as well as any blueprints they could find. Both knew Clark was slowly working himself up to taking action against Lex and both were concerned how all of this would turn out in the end, but they knew Lex had to be stopped before he brought the war, Clark's future self had seen, down on them.
"Things are going to get bad aren't they?" Chloe suddenly asked, facing her friend and tried not to allow herself to be overwhelmed by her fear of what was to come.
"Yes they are Chloe, but we have a big chance to change it all for the better," Lana said, stopping to face her friend with a small smile. "Think about what we have just learned about the future. It hurt a lot to hear how things could turn out, but I know Clark will do everything he can to stop it from coming true this time, as will I," she added with determination. "Mr. Kent is been fixed up, so he won't suffer that heart attack and we will soon have more allies to help us. We need to have faith in ourselves, as well as each other that we can do this," she advised, watching her friend calm down a little.
"You're right Lana," Chloe admitted. "Any idea what you're going to do about Raya's growing closeness to Clark?" she inquired.
"I won't get in the way of them trying to keep their race alive Chloe, but I will not give up Clark either. I think, I might have to share him with her, if what Isobel told me was anything to go off," Lana replied, after thinking it over.
"Doesn't that bother you?" Chloe asked, surprised by Lana's lack of anger at this.
"Less than it would have before all of this happened, Chloe," Lana told her. "I don't know why, but somehow it does not make me as angry as it would have before. Maybe Isobel is helping me to understand that it's necessary or maybe it's just me, that I am willing to do anything to keep Clark this time," she explained.
Chloe stayed quite this time, knowing she herself could never share her lover with another woman, no matter the circumstances, but she was happy to see Lana was determined to make things work with Clark this time, no matter what.
(Fortress of Solitude)
Martha looked up, as Raya sat next to her after two hours of waiting: she was very worried about how things were turning out and even more after hearing what could happen in the future, not only to her son and Lana, but to her husband as well. She was relieved it seemed Jor-El was trying to undo some of the damage his past actions had brought about and it seemed he truly meant that they were no longer at cross purposes and were all now working for the same thing.
"Is it over?" she asked the woman, who she suspected could become quite close to her son in the future, if what she had seen and sensed was correct.
"Yes Martha Kent it is," Raya said with a smile. "Your husband is recovering, as is Lionel Luthor's body," she added. "They should be able to move in another hour or so, our techniques in this area far outclass yours," she said at the look on the other woman's face.
"Why did you have to operate on Lionel's body?" Martha inquired.
"So it does not suffer the same damage as your husband did, when it had the powers of my people. Humans were never meant to have such power," Raya explained. "The strain is to much on your bodies, but they can be altered, so they can handle the stress longer, which is most likely how in the future Lex Luthor was able to survive being the vessel of Zod and suffer no ill effects," she continued.
"I see, well I am just glad Jonathan is going to be okay," Martha said. "I do not want to see what happened in the future. I could see the toll it took on Clark and the more things we avert the better things will get, especially for him," she stated with a small hopeful smile.
"Indeed Martha Kent," Raya agreed. "Kal-El needs to try and separate the guilt, anger and pain from his future memories as best as he can," she told her. "The more things he changes for better, the more I believe Kal-El will change and begin to fully master himself and become the one defender this world needs," she finished.
Martha decided not to comment on that, knowing that Clark was now determined to embrace his destiny, having seen what had happened by refusing it and whilst a part of her was proud he was taking on such responsibility another part feared where it could lead him.
Clark looked up, as Lana and Chloe returned. Each was holding a file, which he guessed contained all the stuff he had asked them to find. He smiled and kissed Lana, as he met her half way. Chloe went and sat at the table, joined a second later by J'onn, who had just returned from his last location.
"Did you manage to get everything?" Clark asked, as he went to the table and picked up the ring with the red Kryptonite, knowing he would have to use it to survive his meeting with Lex.
"Yeah, we had no problems bar two specific buildings, but we have what you asked for," Chloe responded with a smile. "So how many labs does Lex have up and running?" she asked in reply.
"Seven so far," J'onn answered, as he began to look through one of the files. "Each one holds many meteor infected people, as well as many labs designed to find out how they got their powers and also what is so special about the green meteor rocks and why they can transform people so much," he informed them.
"Sounds like it's going to be tough to shut them down," Lana mused.
"Only until we get some allies Lana. Now we better go and see Lex," Clark responded, before he slipped the ring on and felt it take effect immediately."This should be fun," Kal said, smirking at them. "Baldy won't be getting his way, no matter what he does," he promised, before he led Lana out of the house.
"That is so creepy," Chloe muttered, before she took the other file and began to look through it, hoping that Clark's darker half didn't do anything stupid that could give them away.
Lex was looking out of the window, wondering when Clark and Lana would show up and he was thinking of the best way to go about convincing Lana to stay at the mansion. He had to be careful how he did this or he may cause her to start disliking him, as he had when Clark had found out he had continued to investigate him.
He turned around, as he heard his doors open and Clark and Lana entered, with Clark's arm around Lana's waist and her head resting on his shoulder. He fought down the urge to frown at the look of love in their eyes.
"Lana said you wanted to tell us something Lex, something about our lives being in danger?" Kal said with a smirk, as he sat down yet made sure he kept hold of Lana's hand, which she didn't seem to mind.
"My father was attacked by some unknown intruder. He woke up after a day and a half. I think someone else is after the stones and they are targeting those others who have an interest in them," Lex responded after a few minutes. "I think Lana is especially in danger from these people considering her circumstances. I think it would be best for her safety if she would move into the mansion, where I can keep an eye on her," he told them, before being cut off by Clark.
"Lana is staying at the farm with my family Lex and believe me she is safe there," Kal said, interrupting the man. He could feel the hate and anger from Clark within him and he wanted nothing more than to punch him full power, but he knew he had to keep his cool, which was why Clark had chosen to trust him to do this. "We will keep a close eye out for any strangers. I think you should watch the Teague's more than anyone else," he added, before he and Lana stood up again and began to leave.
"Clark, you wouldn't have been anywhere near China lately, would you?" Lex asked, a little off balanced by Clark's forceful comeback.
"Why would I have any reason to go to China Lex? Another thing to think about is how the hell could I afford such a trip?" Kal said, his voice dripping with repressed anger. "Try and focus on what is actually true Lex, instead of listening to hearsay and flights of fancy," he added, before making sure to kiss Lana for a few long seconds before he and she left arm in arm with each other, whilst Lex tried to stem the anger he felt at seeing them in such a loving embrace.