Kara immediately sent out word to the League members on all emergency frequencies including Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, the Legion, J’onn and yes, even Clark had to be kept informed of what they were up against. Not only Neutron, but Power Boy was out there somewhere, who apparently had returned from the dead and may have joined forces with Neutron who was out to destroy Superman. Was Power Boy out to destroy me as well? Kara had no answer to that question.
An hour later, once everyone had arrived and were seated at the massive meeting table in the Hall of Justice, Kara called the meeting to order.
“I’m glad everyone was able to attend this meeting on such short notice. All of you are aware of the nuclear energy thefts at numerous power plants across the country. We now have confirmation that the individuals involved have both returned from the dead. They are also former adversaries of Superman and myself and have now joined forces to destroy us. Not only did Neutron attack Superman and leave him powerless, but these energy thefts must be stopped. We don’t want a mass panic on our hands.”
“Who are these individuals and why weren’t we informed about them earlier, Kara?” Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, asked.
“We only today found out who these individuals are … Neutron and Power Boy,” Kara answered.
“I’ve heard of them,” J’onn thoughtfully said eyeing Kara carefully. “Neutron was killed in Smallville, nearly a thousand years ago. Power Boy was also presumed dead, but if my guess is correct, Darkseid probably had something to do with his ‘miraculous’ return. I would not be surprised by this.”
“Darkseid could be behind all of it,” Clark murmured as thoughts of Darkseid’s return to Earth centuries ago and his thwarted mission to destroy it.
“You may be right Clark, but Neutron has always been a loner and Power Boy may be vulnerable to him and his powers,” Kara said and paused for a moment, thinking about him. “He was raised by the new god, but I had hoped that …” She hesitated unable or unwilling to admit her need to save him if she could.
Clark and J’onn exchanged glances. “We know, Kara, but if he is involved with these thefts, we may have no choice but to destroy him as well as Neutron.” Clark paused. “There is no other answer,” he said as he watched his cousin try and come to grips with that news.
Kara realized what was coming. She nodded. “I understand.”
“How will we stop them, Superman, if he’s as powerful as Kara said?” Hal asked.
“Once my powers have returned.” Clark started.
“You lost your powers?” Hal was shocked by this news.
“Yes, but it’s only temporary,” Clark informed him.
“We need a plan, everyone; that’s why I called this meeting. Watch the monitors. I’ve downloaded everything we need to know about these two. I’ll give you all a few minutes and then we’ll plan our next move,” Kara said.
“How will we locate them Kara?” Rokk asked, hoping they could get the jump on them not the other way around.
“I’ll leave that to you Rokk and the Legion. Get back to us as soon as you locate them. It shouldn’t be too hard, right Garth?” Kara asked smiling.
“No problem, right Irma?” Garth grinned at his friends.
Irma stared at everyone then her eyes gravitated to J’onn with a silent question. He smiled understanding. “Together, we will find them, right Irma?”
Irma smiled. “Thank you, J’onn.”
“Excellent, now watch the monitors, everyone. We need to brainstorm and come up with a plan. There can be no mistakes, not with these two,” Kara stressed.
An hour later, everyone agreed to meet at the Hall of Justice later that night around midnight, hopefully with good news from Irma and J’onn.
It was now dawn, Clark’s powers had returned, and after soaking up as much sun as he could, he started his rounds. High above the city, thinking about the League’s meeting, he had to wonder if his powers and the combined strength of his friends would be enough to defeat these powerful enemies with revenge in their hearts. He knew from past experience about revenge and what a powerful ally it could be.
Clark shook his head as if trying to dislodge Jane from his brain, but she refused to leave him alone. He had to know why she had kept this secret from him. He knew in his heart that everything had changed for her since meeting him, and the same could be said for him, but he needed to see her again to get answers.
He called Jane to set up an early morning meeting in the park not far from her office. Jane saw him first, ran to him, gave him a hug and kissed him on the cheek. He enjoyed her embrace for a moment, but couldn’t respond to her.
Jane frowned at his lack of response. “Is everything alright, you don’t look well,” she said and touched his forehead. It did feel warm but not overly so; he was usually warm to the touch.
He closed his eyes for a moment enjoying her touch. “I’m fine, Jane,” he answered but he wasn’t fine, not at all. He couldn’t help it as his eyes wandered over her face. She was as lovely as ever in a dark suit and silk blouse that accentuated her curves. He wanted nothing more than to hold her and kiss her again like he had done last night. It felt like a lifetime ago.
“I lost my powers last night,” Clark stated without preamble.
“What, but how?” She asked shocked.
“It’s a long story, but there is an enemy out there, a very powerful enemy who wants to destroy me and everything else in his path.”
Jane thought about her dream. “He wants to kill you, doesn’t he?” It was more of a statement than a question.
“Jane, it’s not the first time someone has tried to kill me, but I’m still here; I’ll be alright. My powers have returned and my friends and I will figure out a way to stop him. Please don’t worry.”
Jane’s eyes filled with tears as she suddenly pulled him close. “Please be careful, Jonny.”
“I’ll be careful, don’t worry,” he tried to reassure her again and couldn’t help holding her for a moment. It felt good to hold her again.
She pulled away but kept hold of his arm. “Are you hungry, I brought us something to eat?”
“No, we’ll eat in a minute … we need to talk; it’s important.”
She frowned thinking there was more bad news. “Alright, let’s sit down for a minute.”
They sat down together. Clark sat there staring out into space, not seeing anything and tried to think of what to say. “We’ve never talked about your past Jane.”
The moment of truth had arrived. Jane bowed her head and realized where this was going. “You know, don’t you?”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” He turned to her then hoping for an explanation, one that would make sense to him.
She looked him in the eye and tried to explain. “I’m sorry, Jonny. I wanted to tell you but … I was afraid,” she whispered then bowed her head again ashamed.
“Afraid of what, I don’t understand. You know it really doesn’t make any difference to me. I’m around special people all the time.”
“That wasn’t the reason.” She sighed again and realized he should know the truth. “Something happened about six months ago before I even met you.”
“Tell me so I can understand why you kept this from me.” His eyes pleaded with her so he could understand.
“I have dreams, Jonny, dreams that sometimes come true and sometimes they don’t, and I … I had hoped you would never have to know about my dreams.”
She sighed and took his hand in hers hoping he would listen and understand. “In my dream six months ago … you died.”
Clark didn’t know what to say to that as he stared at her.
“Aren’t you going to say something?” She asked worried about him.
“Everyone dies eventually and besides you did say sometimes your dreams don’t come true,” he replied and shrugged his shoulders trying to sound casual about it. He turned away from her. Clark hated thinking about death and what it meant.
“You can’t die Superman, I mean Jonny,” she said lowering her voice.
“Of course, I’ll die; it’s only a matter of time,” he said trying to accept the inevitable, but he hadn’t really thought about it happening to him except after Lois had died and after their brief encounter in the park.
“I know, but …” She squeezed his hand. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” he replied. “You know what, I think I am hungry. Let’s eat,” Clark said and tried to distract his thoughts about death.
Jane was still worried as she stared at him. “Don’t you want me to tell you about the dream?”
“No, I don’t want to know,” he replied as he chewed his bagel and sipped some juice.
“But I could help you, maybe stop it from happening,” Jane pleaded to him. She couldn’t let him die, she couldn’t.
He swallowed his food, furrowed his brow, suddenly understanding her for the first time. “So that’s the reason you came here to Metropolis. Was it to save me?” Clark couldn’t help but grin at that thought.
“Yes, it was, but something happened, something unexpected but no less welcome,” she replied sounding cryptic again.
“What happened?” He asked as he stared into her eyes, his heart pounding.
“I … I,” she couldn’t think when he was staring at her like that. She lowered her eyes.
He touched her cheek softly then raised her chin. “It’s alright … I know,” he smiled at her, leaned down and kissed her sweet lips and she couldn’t help but kiss him back.
They pulled away after a moment, but she had to know. “Am I forgiven for not telling you the truth about myself? I wanted to tell you so badly.”
He thought about it for a moment but he did understand. He smiled. “You’re forgiven.”
She smiled back then glanced at her watch. “Oh, I have to get back to the office. You haven’t seen my office, have you? Would you like to come by for a minute? It won’t take long.”
“Okay, I have a few minutes,” he replied then steeled himself and wondered if he could handle being in a newsroom again. It had been a very long time, but he did want to see where she worked.
Jane watched him for a moment and she knew what he was feeling. She took his hand firmly in her own as they walked the few blocks to her office then entered the building. Clark couldn’t remember spending so much time in the city. Since meeting Jane, the noise and smells of the city began to feel like he belonged down here with everyone again. It was an exhilarating feeling, one he welcomed and held close to his heart.
But as they entered an elevator hand in hand, he closed his eyes and of course the memories of going to work every day with Lois beside him flashed before his eyes. He squeezed Jane’s hand.
“We’re almost there. Are you okay?”
He nodded and tried to smile. “I’m alright,” he replied as the elevator doors opened and they were in the newsroom. It wasn’t as large as the Daily Planet bullpen but it was a newsroom just the same. Phones were ringing, copiers were running copies, people running about making deadlines and sure enough the editor in chief was barking orders to startled reporters, just like he remembered. He felt like he had come home. His eyes watered for a moment, remembering.
He followed her to an office with her name on the door. He was impressed as he watched her locate some notes and searched for a few things on her computer. “You miss it, don’t you?” She asked reading him like a book.
“Yeah, I do,” Clark replied as he looked around her office and the newsroom bustling with staff. He took a deep breath and grinned as the memories filled his mind. He went over to the window and looked out over the city.
Smiling, she watched him for a moment. “There’s a vacancy in the International Department,” Jane told him and waited for his reaction.
Clark was quiet as he thought about it for a minute. “Well, I don’t know …” He said still looking out the window, but just for a moment, he considered her offer.
“It’s temporary, only for a few months until they can find someone permanent,” she continued when it appeared he might be interested in the job. “Just think about it,” she smiled at him then logged off her computer. “I’m ready to go now.”
Clark took her hand but she had to gently pull him towards the elevator because he couldn’t seem to put one foot in front of the other. Once inside the elevator, he closed his eyes again still thinking about Jane’s offer.
He never thought he would ever go back to a newsroom again, but he had done it; he had survived. Maybe he was strong enough after all.
Once outside, Jane had several assignments, so they parted ways with a kiss, promising to see each other possibly for dinner the next evening. But that night, Jane had another dream about Superman, but it wasn’t him at first, it was Jonny she saw.
In the dream they were together, her and Jonny and they were happy, smiling and laughing with each other, but where were they? She couldn’t see anything; it was too dark. Jonny was smiling at her and she smiled back and then he was standing before her as Superman but he wasn’t smiling, he was in pain, hurt, and about to collapse. Then she reached for him, but he was falling away from her, falling and falling until she couldn’t see him anymore.
She awoke mumbling “Jonny, Jonny!” She sat up, looked around and wondered what the dream could mean. He hadn’t died like in the other dream, so maybe there really was a chance to save him. She had to try and wished with all her heart that she could control her dreams somehow, but of course that was impossible; wasn’t it?
Then, an outlandish idea came to her but it was definitely worth a try. Anything was worth it, if it could save him.
She reached for her cell on the nightstand and called him. It was late but she couldn’t wait any longer to tell Jonny her plan.
“Jane, what’s happened?” Clark answered worried.
“Nothing has happened, but …” Jane hesitated.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m fine, but I have an idea and I think it may work.”
“Do I want to hear this? You know I don’t want you involved in any of this.”
“I know, but what if you gave me a sedative, a drug so I could sleep for several hours, and then I could dream … and …”
He didn’t let her finish. “No way, Jane, that’s crazy.”
“Of course it isn’t crazy; it’s been done and it works.”
“What do you mean, it’s been done? Have ‘you’ done it before?”
“No, I haven’t, but a relative of mine did it and it worked.”
“I don’t like it, so forget it. We’re not doing it,” Clark stated firmly unconvinced.
“Jonny, you don’t have a choice. If you come up against this ‘guy’ again, he could kill you, and you know I can’t let that happen. I have to do something to save you; I have to. Please let me do this for you. I’m not afraid.”
Clark had serious doubts about her plan, but she sounded so determined to help him and he suddenly realized that he did need her help.