"Stormbreaker": Years ago, Lana Lang had packed her bags and was waiting at the bus station when Clark Kent caught up to her, wondering where she was going. In truth, he knew she had already made up her mind to leave [[Smallville, Kansas|Small
- It's a force of nature. But so am I.
- -- Superman
Appearing in "Stormbreaker"
- Superman (Clark Kent) (Flashback only)
- Lana Lang (Flashback only)
- Supremacists (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Stormbreaker"
Years ago, Lana Lang had packed her bags and was waiting at the bus station when Clark Kent caught up to her, wondering where she was going. In truth, he knew she had already made up her mind to leave Smallville and do more with her life, but he'd hoped she would stay and continue their relationship. As much as she cared about him, she knew he was destined for greater things too.
Four years later, Clark was doing greater things, fighting a gang of criminals called the Supremacists in Metropolis. Their goals involved human sacrifices to Fifth Dimensional plasma gods, and the mass murder of undocumented immigrants - a fact which Superman took personally. After giving the thugs a beat-down, Clark realized he was smiling, until the people he had just saved began to run from him in terror. Though he wanted to reassure them, he was concerned with burning down the warehouse they had been trapped in. Watching, one of the Supremacists had begun to cry, and Clark could only laugh. Later that night, though, as he began to write up the events of that day for the Daily Star, he began to feel pangs of guilt and shame. He had punched down that day. With all his power, was he nothing more than a bully?
Overhearing a news report through his neighbour's wall, Clark heard news of a super-storm on its way toward the eastern seaboard. Straight toward Gotham City, in fact, where a total blackout had already sent the city into chaos. The order had gone out to evacuate flood zones, but without power, nobody could be sure the message had gone out. Hearing this, Clark had a stupid idea: he would stop the storm.
Lana Lang, meanwhile, had been working as an electrical engineer on a tanker two leagues off the coast of Gotham, and she knew that the helicopter sent to get them to safety wouldn't have room for everyone on board. Her focus was set on getting the ship's engines started again. Angrily, her captain warned her to get onto the chopper, as it would be her last chance to get to safety - but she refused.
Superman knew his plan was folly, but he intended to create a vortex of wind and water large enough to break the hurricane. In practice, he was elated to discover that it worked - until it didn't. The storm was too powerful, and it knocked him down beneath the violent waves. Forcing himself above water, he spotted the tanker as the storm began tossing it straight at a listing cargo ship.
The cargo ship had been abandoned, but its course would be deadly for the tanker and its remaining crew. Lana's expertise would be needed to get their engine started within the next five minutes, or the hull would be breached, and they'd go down. Desperately, she worked, as Superman sped to stop the collision his way. A powerful clap of his hands together created a sonic blast that knocked the ships apart, but they'd soon be heading toward each other again, with the storm still raging.
Even as Lana got the propellers on the tanker moving again, Clark could see that the ships would crash into one another, no matter what he did. Still, he refused to give up, just as Lana refused to give up. As Clark struggled to force the cargo ship out of the tanker's path, he could feel their hulls grinding together, but he was suddenly thrown back as the ship's cargo exploded, knocking him all the way back to shore, but leaving the tanker unscathed. He had succeeded.
From shore, he listened as the captain congratulated Lana on her success, but she knew it hadn't been her efforts that saved them. Even so, he commended her for her perseverance, without which, they might all have been dead. Nearby, a man on shore called out to Clark, offering him shelter. Knowing that the storm would only get work, he knew they'd need more cover, and began dragging the remains of an up-turned boat to bolster their makeshift shelter. However, even with all his strength, he had been drained by his fight with the storm, and he required help, which his hosts were happy to give.
Appearing in "Lunch Break"
Synopsis for "Lunch Break"
It's autumn in Metropolis, and Superman is on his lunch break when he hears something strange. This is not so unusual, but every year, he has felt his super-hearing increase in strength, which brings with it the dread that one day he will be able to hear everything. Fortunately, today, it is only the goings on in his own city that bombard him with noise. Somewhere, a man with a gun is preparing to commit a crime. A distracted woman isn't paying enough attention to the traffic around her, and a homeless man seeks help and receives none.
Clark is able to help resolve all three situations, but they are only a few of hundreds going on every minute. He tries to do what he can when he can, but he has to let some situations resolve themselves, unless it's something really big. One of those really big things seems to be happening now, though. He can feel it, underground.
- This book was first published on November 6, 2013.
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