"Return to Krypton II, Part Four: Dream's End": Fighting continues on the surface of Krypton as religious zealots clash with the followers of science. And with every moment, Krypton's great sun grows larger in the sky. Looking over the battle, Superman turns to his father and tells him that this
Appearing in "Return to Krypton II, Part Four: Dream's End"
- Brainiac 13 (as an illusion only)
Synopsis for "Return to Krypton II, Part Four: Dream's End"
Fighting continues on the surface of Krypton as religious zealots clash with the followers of science. And with every moment, Krypton's great sun grows larger in the sky. Looking over the battle, Superman turns to his father and tells him that this Krypton was meant to destroy him. While Jor-El questions what he means and Faora questions his ego, Superman tells them that the only way for him to learn the whole truth is to get inside of the Heart Of Krypton. Turning to the giant construct, Superman doesn't know how to explain to his father that it is clearly built from two different technologies, that of Brainiac 13, and of the Krypton that Superman has always known.
Across Krypton, Lara floats protected in a glass tube. As the workers move frantically around her, wondering how they will cope when she goes into labor, she does just that. One man urges Jor-El on, or his child will be born into hell.
At the verge of the Heart Of Krypton, Xon-Ur calls forth another of his followers and pushes the man into the Heart. Like all the others, he is immediately killed by the construct. Xon-Ur anguishes over this. He does not understand why the "holy one" can not see their faith and deliver them the power. Turning back to the cultists, he calls out for another volunteer. One man speaks out. Xon-Ur calls him forward, and then pauses, and strikes at him with his fire sword.
Throwing off their disguises, Superman and Jor-El leap forward and send Xon-Ur leaping back. Grabbing a fallen saber, Superman pushes Xon-Ur back. Suddenly, a huge explosion rocks the chamber. Faora appears, brandishing a sword and a detonator. She urges the two men on while she deals with Xon-Ur. Diving forward, Superman leaps into the Heart of Krypton.
Superman sees himself fighting Brainiac 13 for the first time. After his defeat, Brainiac fled to Krypton of the past. There he attacked Jor-El, but was unable to kill him. He did, however, obtain a copy of his diaries. Then, having learned of the golden age of Krypton via Jor-El, he studied the Eradicator matrix and wondered if it could be used to create life. Inside of the Phantom Zone, Brainiac transformed an inhabited planet into Krypton, right down to the molecule; the perfect trap for the Man Of Steel. It was meant to draw him in and destroy itself, but instead Superman saved the planet and the program continued to run.
Xon-Ur finally reaches into the construct and pulls Superman out. Dazed from his experience, he can only mumble on the floor, until he sees Faora lying broken next to him. Rising to face Xon-Ur, the zealot asks Superman what Rao told him. Superman responds "Love kills". Suddenly, Krypto leaps onto Xon-Ur's back and tears into his armor.
As Xon-Ur prepares to finish the dog once and for all, Superman leaps up and plants a blade into his chest. As the sword detonates and Xon-Ur is left barely alive, Superman lifts Krypto up hugs his friend. Turning around, he suddenly sees his father walking into the Heart. Jor-El turns and says that he was willing to give his soul, so at least he can face the truth.
As Krypton explodes, Superman suddenly finds himself standing atop a building. The landscape around him is completely unscathed from any battle. The sun in the sky is no closer than it should be. Superman suddenly hears his father's voice, and turns to see a floating image of a robotic head. Jor-El tells him that this is a dream. He will maintain the reality. With his influence, Krypton will continue in a golden ago. However, it must completely be sealed off from the rest of the world. Either he must stay, or he needs to leave forever. With a sad look on his face, he thanks Jor-El for being a good father, and touches the energy crystal.
Inside the Fortress, Superman feeds the crystal into the Eradicator, and hopes the truth about the other Krypton can cure his madness. The giant tells Superman that he feels healed and complete for the first time in a long time. He then tells him that the Krypton he saw was one of 80,000 years ago, a period that Jor-El had loved and therefore written about in his journals. Then he tells him that Jor-El had been a perfect match to the real Jor-El, and that only he could have restarted the program. Superman then tells the Eradicator to leave the holograms of both his parents. While they weren't real, he learned more from them then he ever could his "real" parents. Plus, he still has Krypto.
Inside the completely isolated Krypton, Jor-El and Lara sit on a hilltop picnicking, and waving. Across the field, a young black-haired boy waves back as he rides an animal. On his chest is a very familiar pentagon.
- This book was first published on July 31, 2002.
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