After spending a few days with Bruce and his family Xander got ready to leave, and consider everything he had learned. Bruce was happy after years of surrounding himself with people that truly loved him, and a few decades of not being the Batman. Bruce had even had a kid with Selina, a kid that was now Batman for a few more years before Bruce’s grandkid took over the mantel.
Dick’s kid was a cop working in the SVU, while her kid dressed up in a bat costume that made Bruce’s original costume look cute and cuddly. Heck the kid was as dark, if not darker than Bruce was in the beginning. Bruce could still crack a smile, or tell a joke back then, but Xander hadn’t seen Cassandra smile once while he had stayed at the mansion.
Well whatever he may think of them, Gotham still had her protectors. That simple statement was more than any other place could claim with the exception of Sunnydale.
It shouldn’t be that way though. Theodore Knight was still alive and living in Opal City, but he wasn’t Starman.
Xander intended to find out why.
The flight to Opal took less time than Xander had expected. It seemed that his powers were still growing.
This was a bit unnerving to say the least. He was already far more powerful than his dad had been at seventeen. If he was completely honest with himself he was almost as powerful as his dad had been when he had died.
If things kept going this way how powerful would he be at thirty, or forty? Was there even a limit to how powerful a Kryptonion could become under a yellow sun, even if they were half human?
He didn’t have any answers, and chances are he never would. If he kept putting on the costume there was a good chance that he would die, just like his father did. The thing was, Xander felt okay with that. He hadn’t expected a long life when he had started to fight vampires, why should he get one as a superhero?
Xander put his personal questions aside as he came to the observation tower that Ted was living in.
“Still fascinated with the stars after all this time,” said Xander as he came in through the roof opening.
The old man that was looking through the giant telescope simply said “What else am I supposed to do? I’m far too old to dress up, and the rod itself is too dangerous to use.”
“Bruce call?” asked Xander as he landed on the floor.
Ted Knight simply nodded and said, “You may be faster than a speeding bullet, but not speed dial.”
“Well not when I’m flying halfway across the country,” said Xander.
“True,” said Ted before he got a faraway look in his eyes. “Bruce said that you have Clark’s memories. Do you remember when the bombs were dropped?”
Xander didn’t need to ask what bombs Ted was referring to. At the end of the war two bombs were dropped. Two bombs that Superman had watched burn women and children in a blaze of atomic fire. It was one of the few memories that Xander wished he didn’t have.
“I remember,” said Xander with a suddenly dry throat.
“What your dad didn’t know, what you don’t know, is that I worked with Einstein and others to make it. I thought that it would be used on well defended German military bases, because the Spear of Destiny negated the powers of the Society. Instead it was used to eradicate two cities. I felt like a fraud playing a hero after that so when America demanded that we stop, I was too happy to do so,” said Ted.
“That doesn’t mean that Starman had to stop fighting. I’m sure you knew someone who would have taken things up for you,” said Xander.
“Oh David was all too eager, and probably would have become Starman if he and Jack hadn’t died in Vietnam. It was probably for the best anyway, the rod is far too dangerous to be used,” said Ted with a hitch in his voice as he mentioned the death of his two sons.
“You don’t believe that,” said Xander in a firm voice. “I inherited all of my fathers’ powers, so I heard your heart begin to beat faster, and I saw what is buried under here. Your cosmic rod looked like a cross between a magic wand and a club, the one that I saw looks like a demented magician’s staff. You have been working on it, improving it, so someone else can use it.”
“No!” shouted Ted. “I don’t want anyone to use it because it doesn’t need to be used! The time for heroes has past, only you and Bruce haven’t gotten the message.”
“Before I got my powers I already knew two heroes that fought things as dangerous and insane as anything we faced alone, or in the Society. The dangers haven’t gone away just because the heroes did Ted, they just didn’t have anyone to drag them into the light. Think about that,” said Xander as he left the same way he came, leaving an old man to seriously revaluate the way the thought.
Xander smiled as he caught up with Buffy on the way to their shared class. It had been depressing to find out that so many of his fathers friends had died, it did his heart good to have physical proof that his were still alive.
“Find what you were looking for?” asked the Slayer.
“Yep, I’m definitely Superman’s kid. I’ll tell you and everyone else just how that is possible after school,” said Xander with a small smile.
“What about the others? Are you going to be the last superhero or something?” asked Buffy. It was something that had been bugging her ever sense Xander and Giles had confirmed that all those heroes had been real. If there were people with that kind of power in the fifties, then why not now?
“Buffy, as long as you are here I’ll never be the last superhero. As for the others, there weren’t many left, and they weren’t that willing to restart the Justice Society. As for new people to help fight, there may be a speedster in Kansas, but that’s it. There are probably more in hiding, or living normal lives, but at the moment I can’t think of anything big enough to bring them all together,” said Xander.
“Sorry to hear that,” said Buffy. “Though on the bright side school is back in session and the teachers wish to punish us for enjoying the Holidays. Joy.”
Xander simply laughed and said, “Yeah, and knowing our luck the Home Ec teacher will give us demons instead of eggs to watch over.”
“Don’t even joke about that,” growled Buffy. “This may be as close as I get, and I don’t want you to jinx it.”
“Don’t worry Buff, I don’t think the Hellmouth is that creative,” said Xander as they walked into their first class.
“I pray to all the Gods of Chaos!” said a man as he knelt in front of an alter that had a corpse resting on it. “Chaos comes from conflict and at the moment there is one who is unequaled in power. I ask that you empower this lowly servant so that he may cause the conflict in a way that will help empower you!”
The request of the man was apparently heard, as a massive amount of energy was suddenly poured into the corpse. Flesh was regrown, though not completely, leaving the body in the half life of a zombie.
Soon the room was filled with the sound of insane laughter, even as the ring on the body cast an eerie green light. The ring wasn’t used to this particular energy source, but it would do.
As all this was happening Ethan was running for his life. His spell would be a thing to behold, but only from a safe distance.