Thanks again to everyone who helped me with the naval details in the first chapter, and with my questions for this chapter. Hopefully the rest won't be quite so problematic.
Part 1 is archived here
Note: Clark thinks of himself as Clark; with the exception of Lois all humans think of him as Superman. The name used when describing his actions below reflects the viewpoint.
by Marcus L. Rowland
Clark looked around, checking his approximate location. He scanned the horizon, couldn’t see anything resembling an aircraft carrier, and flew upwards until it finally appeared over the horizon.
Aboard the USS Seahawk, one of the radio operators said, “AWACS reports high altitude target, speed Mach 18… Mach 3… Subsonic. Sir, it’s come to a dead stop, bearing 053, distance 190 miles, now climbing very rapidly.”
“That has to be Superman,” said the watch officer. “Keep tracking him; let me know if anything changes. Alert air traffic, and pass the word to the Captain, the Admiral, and sick bay.”
Clark accelerated towards the carrier, keeping alert for aircraft and missiles. At five miles he slowed to ensure that they could see him coming, and noticed sailors repairing a wide hole in the flight deck. As he touched down, a group of officers hurried towards him.
“Superman! I’m Captain Owens. Thank you for getting here so fast. The Admiral will be here in a moment.”
“I don’t want to be rude,” said Clark, scanning the ship with his X-ray vision, “but I’m really more interested in seeing my cousin.”
“That’s understandable,” said Owens, “If you’d like to come this way I’ll show you to the sick bay. This was a regrettable accident, we’re anxious to help in…” With a ‘swoosh’ noise Clark vanished at super-speed. A second later he was in the corridor outside the sick bay, where he was challenged by two marines.
“Let’s see some identification, sailor.”
“You’ve got my cousin in there,” said Clark.
“You’re the second guy to come down here dressed as Superman, and it wasn’t funny the first time.”
“Will this do?” asked Clark, floating into the air.
“Uh… Yeah. Sorry to hold you up.” The other guard knocked on the hatch and shouted “it’s the real deal this time.”
“Sorry about that,” said the dark-haired officer who opened the hatch. “Special Agent DiNozzo, NCIS. I’ve been assigned to investigate this incident and supervise the protection of your cousin. Word’s got out, we’ve had four sailors and a reporter try to get in so far. What I can’t figure out is where Midshipman Hayes got the Superman costume…”
Clark ignored his outstretched hand for a moment, concentrating on the slow heartbeat of the blue-costumed girl on the examination table, verifying that she really was Kryptonian, trying to tune out the noise of the monitors that surrounded her, and scanning her body for injuries.
“This is Doctor Nguyen,” said DiNozzo, introducing an older Oriental man in surgical scrubs.
“Examination has been difficult,” said Nguyen, “but I don’t believe she’s injured. I think she’s in some sort of stable trance state, perhaps artificially-induced?”
“It’s possible,” said Clark, most of his attention elsewhere. “What have you done with her ship?”
“It’s still in the mess deck forward,” said DiNozzo, “what’s left of it. There’s a big hole in one side, and a lot of the spikes came off.”
Clark looked forward, mentally winced at the damage he saw, and said “I think you’re right. The equipment that would have revived her has been destroyed.”
“Can you fix it?”
“No. But I have similar equipment; it ought to be suitable.”
“All right,” DiNozzo said enthusiastically, “if you can get it here we’re in business.”
“It can’t be moved easily,” said Clark. “I’ll have to take her there.”
“Can she be moved safely?” Clark thought that there was genuine concern in DiNozzo’s voice.
“I can’t see any injuries.” He gave it a moment’s thought. “Do you have something I can carry her in, a strong airtight container with an oxygen supply?”
“I can’t think of anything,” said Nguyen.
“You need a mobile decompression chamber,” said Tony. “There isn’t one aboard, but oil rigs carry them, or most navy bases will have one. Get a big one so the doctor can ride with her and make sure she’s okay.”
“That ought to work,” said Clark. “I’ll be back shortly.” He vanished as quickly as he’d arrived.
“Are you out of your mind?” asked Nguyen, “you have no idea where he’s planning to take her! I don’t want to fly in a steel cell!”
“My guess is Metropolis; the hospital there treated him for kryptonite poisoning. Look at it this way, if you fly with her the least you’ll get is a few days leave in the good old USA.”
“So who looks after my patients here while I’m gone? These things have to be planned properly.”
“Good point… okay, maybe one of the corpsmen could fly with her?”
“That would work.”
“I’ll let the Captain know what’s happening. You’d better get her ready to travel.” Tony made the call, while Nguyen and his corpsmen moved Supergirl onto a gurney and prepared an oxygen cylinder and other supplies.
Clark returned twenty minutes later, carrying a bulky cylindrical pressure chamber borrowed from a drilling rig in the North Sea. As he approached loudspeakers blared “Attention Superman, please use the aircraft elevator on the flight deck, we’ve moved your passengers to the hanger below.” Clark realised that the elevator was down, which let him fly the chamber straight down to the hanger deck. DiNozzo was waiting for him.
“The Doctor needs to stay aboard,” said DiNozzo, “but Corpsman Wells will ride with her,” he gestured to an attractive red-headed woman wearing Marine uniform and medical insignia, “and I’ll ride shotgun and lend a hand if needed.”
“I don’t think we need a shotgun,” said Clark.
“I’ve got two jobs to do here,” said DiNozzo, “I’ve got to investigate this incident, and I’ve got to make sure nothing more happens to hurt your cousin. The easiest way I can do both is to tag along, make sure that Doc Wells doesn’t go berserk or something, and ask a few questions once sleeping beauty’s awake.”
“All right,” said Clark, “I’ll try to make it as comfortable a trip as I can.”
“We’ve got her strapped to the gurney,” said Cook, “Can you secure it inside there?”
Clark lifted it effortlessly, manoeuvred it through the hatch and into the pressure chamber, and welded it to the floor with quick bursts of heat vision. He repeated the process for the trolley. “Please leave your cell phones, and anything else containing a transmitter, GPS receiver, or camera.”
Tony reluctantly gave his cell to one of the Marines, while Cook handed over one of the radios used for internal communications aboard ship. “Something tells me you aren’t taking us to Metropolis,” said Tony, climbing into the chamber. Cook followed him inside.
“We’ll be coming back that way,” Clark said evasively, “but we’ll have to go somewhere else first. Meanwhile I’d suggest you fasten your seat belts.”
“How long will it take?” asked Cook.
“About half an hour.” Clark closed the hatch and spun the locking wheel.
“Half an hour?” said Cook, “he must be taking us to the Moon.”
“My guess is Mars,” said Tony.
Clark lifted the chamber onto his shoulder and accelerated up into the air and north towards the Arctic, taking care to keep the flight smooth, and to make sure that the capsule didn’t get too hot or cold for its human occupants.
North of the Yukon
Tony and Cook looked around in awe as Superman lifted the gurney out of the pressure chamber and flew it to one of the upper galleries of the Fortress of Solitude.
“This is amazing,” said Cook. “It looks like ice but it isn’t cold.”
“I guess the Kryptonians used these crystals for everything.”
“That’s right,” said Superman, flying down again with a small crystal in his hand. He threw it to the ground, and a graceful crystal stairway grew from the floor. “They knew I’d be able to fly here, so they didn’t bother with stairs. If you’d like to follow me…” He led the way up to the gallery, where the unconscious girl now lay on a slab of blue crystal, and moved to a crystalline console, shaped like a pillar with the top sliced off at an angle, and touched his hand to the surface. A ghostly head appeared, speaking a language Cook and Tony didn’t understand. Superman said “Ehwor Ehngiuo.”
“Very well,” said the head. “English it shall be. I see you have brought guests, Kal-El.”
“Agent DiNozzo, Corpsman Cook, this is a simulation of my father, Jor-El. You might want to think of him as a very advanced artificial intelligence. He’ll be helping with the revival process.”
“Who is the patient?” asked Jor-El.
“I think she’s Kara Zor-El, your niece.”
“It’s possible,” said Jor-El, “a Kryptonian claiming to be your cousin visited Earth seven years ago, but we never met.” Tony thought that he sounded a little annoyed.
“I was away at the time,” said Superman, “she may not have been aware that the Fortress existed.”
“As you say.” Tony stifled a giggle as he realised that the AI definitely sounded peeved.
“I think that she used the suspended animation system you developed for the flight to Earth. Unfortunately her ship was damaged before it initiated the revival process.”
Blindingly bright lines of light criss-crossed her body for a moment, then Jor-El said “That is correct. How do you wish to proceed?”
“I think I need to re-create conditions inside the capsule then simulate re-entry. When the process is complete she should revive automatically.”
“This is going to look a little alarming,” said Superman. “Don’t worry, it shouldn’t endanger her. Initiate encapsulation.”
Crystals began to grow from the slab, surrounding the girl and arching over her until she was hidden completely. They slowly fused together to make a smooth cylindrical shell, which began to sprout long crystalline spikes.
“Lock it down.” Two glowing orange bands appeared around the capsule. “That ought to hold it. Now stand well back over there, this will be rough.” Tony and Cook moved back, and he began to blow on one end of the capsule, his super-breath soon reaching hurricane force. Simultaneously his eyes and the ends of the spikes began to glow, dimly at first then brighter, and the spikes bent back and began to shrivel in the heat. Tony and Cook were standing twenty feet to one side, and even there it felt like the open mouth of a furnace, combined with the blast of a powerful jet engine. The noise was deafening, and they both covered their ears and opened their mouths to prevent deafness. Suddenly Superman stopped blowing and struck the end of the capsule with his fist. The crystal began to crack, the upper part splitting from the lower like the halves of a peanut shell. There was an eerie silence for a few moments. Then a small fist smashed through the upper part, and it shattered into thousands of pieces.
The girl slowly sat up, looking around her. Superman stepped forward and said “Khuhp threv Kal-El.”
The girl looked at him and said “Khuhp threv Kara Zor-El.”
“Do you mind if we speak English? I have guests here. What brings you back to Earth?”
Kara looked around the immense chamber, said “I came to help here. We thought you were dead…” and started to cry.
To Be Continued.
Note: The Kryptonian words in this chapter come from the Kryptonian info web site
I have not attempted to make the language grammatically correct.
Comments please before I post to archives.