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The Superman Trilogy, Part I: The Last Son of Krypton — Page 2

Author
Time
 (Edited)

EXT. LANG HOME/FRONT YARD — DAY

We have jumped forward to 1923. Clark and Pete, now in the third grade, ride their bicycles down a gravel driveway to the home of Lana Lang and her parents. Clark has with him a catcher’s mitt while Pete carries a sheathed baseball bat slung across his back. Pulling up to the front steps of the house, they climb off their bikes and go to the front door. Leaning forward, Pete gives the door six solid RAPS with his fist. A stocky man with receding blond hair and a pencil thin mustache answers the door.

PETE: Hi, Mr. Lang.

THOMAS LANG: Boys. What can I do for you?

CLARK: We’re going to the school yard to play some baseball.

PETE: And we need a ball. Can Lana go grab hers and come play with us?

THOMAS LANG: Sorry, boys. Lana’s not here.

CLARK: She isn’t?

THOMAS LANG: She left with the Braverman boy fourteen-odd minutes ago.

PETE: You know where they were off to, Mr. Lang?

Lana’s father shakes his head.

CLARK: Dang….

EXT. RURAL ROAD — DAY

Clark and Pete are making their way back from the Lang home along a long, empty stretch of open road when Lana, on her own bicycle, comes toward them from the opposite direction.

LANA: (raises arm) Hey, guys!

The boys hit the breaks as Lana pulls up alongside them.

PETE: (annoyed) We were supposed to play ball today!

LANA: Kenny found this swell place! You’ve gotta come see it!

CLARK: What place?

LANA: C’mon, follow me.

Putting the pedal to the metal, Lana turns around and goes back the way she came. Exchanging short glances, Pete and Clark quickly follow along after her.

EXT. FOREST — TRAIL — DAY

The two boys and girl ride their bikes along a narrow dirt trail surrounded on both sides by tall trees. Lana soon comes to a stop. Hopping off her bike, she deposits it off to the side of the trail and heads into the trees.

LANA: It’s not much farther now.

EXT. FOREST — CLEARING — DAY

The three children soon emerge from the trees into a small clearing. In the centre of the clearing is a small decrepit shack and the rusting remnants of a moonshine operation. As Lana leads the two boys through this landscape toward the cabin, they take the sights around them in with awe.

PETE: Wow. What is this place?

LANA: Don’t know, but isn’t it the neatest? Kenny found it and brought me out here to see it.

CLARK: Where’s Kenny at, anyway?

At that moment, the door on the shack swings forward on it’s rusted, broken hinges with a large SQUEAK. Kenny promptly steps out.

KENNY: (smiles) Hi, guys! Glad you could make it! (holds up jug) look what I found!

As the others join Kenny, he hands the jug out to Clark. Taking it, Clark holds it up to the sunlight so as to get a better look at the contents nestled inside the brown glass.

KENNY: It’s hooch. My grandpappy down in Tennessee made some just like it.

PETE: What do you use hooch for?

KENNY: You drink it, stupid.

Uncorking the jug, Clark brings the spout up to his nose and takes a few short sniffs. As soon as the scent of the liquid hits his nostrils, he cringes.

CLARK: UGH! It smells real weird.

KENNY: That’s what it’s supposed to smell like. (beat) Let’s taste it.

Raising the jug to his lips, Clark takes a sip. He spits it out automatically.

CLARK: It tastes awful!

Repulsed, Clark tilts the jug over to pour the moonshine out. Horrified, Kenny reaches out to snatch it from him.

KENNY: What the hell are you doing‽

Wrestling with Clark, Kenny manages to pry the jug out of the other boy’s hands. It’s too late, though; the jug is completely empty.

KENNY: (angry) Goddammit!

LANA: (shocked) You took the Lord’s name in vain!

KENNY: Oh, shut up. (hurls jug) That was the only one, too.

A moment of tense silence passes between the four.

PETE: So … there’s nobody using this place, is there?

KENNY: (grumpy) Everything’s falling apart. Nobody’s been here in years.

PETE: Then we should make it our own place. Y’know, our own hangout. (beat) Yeah. All we need to do is clear out the junk, spruce the cabin up a bit, and it’ll be good as gold.

LANA: Hey, that’s not a bad idea.

Leaving the boys, Lana walks up to a tarnished green copper still lying on its side in the grass. Taking its handles, she begins pulling on it; with effort, she slowly begins dragging it to the edge of the clearing. Deciding to help her out, the boys join her, each adding their weight and strength to the endeavour to get it out of the way.

EXT. FOREST — CLEARING — MONTAGE

Over the next couple weeks, Clark, Lana, Pete, and Kenny return to the clearing to work on converting the disused hooch station into their own private hangout. Together, they work to clear out the old stills and other distilling equipment while trying — with limited effect — to shore up the sagging walls of the shack.

As the long days of work finally come to an end, Clark takes a sign that he has made and hammers it down in the earth in front of the cabin. Written on the front of the sign in big, bold, black painted letters is “FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE”.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

INT. SHACK — DAY

Clark, Pete, and Lana sit together in the shack, engaged in conversation.

LANA: (cont’d) Mama and Daddy actually took me to see a movie while we were in Salina.

PETE: (amazed) You actually got to watch a movie‽

CLARK: What was it about?

LANA: It’s about this silly little man with a small mustache who finds an abandoned baby boy and adopts him. They go around town conning people — the boy breaks their windows and the man charges them for repairs, y’see — until the police catch up to them and separate them before they’re finally reunited. They even meet the boy’s mother at the end. (beat) It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life!

CLARK: I’ve always wanted Ma and Pa to take me to see a movie, but Salina’s too far out of the way for us. (sighs) I wish Smallville had its own movie house.

LANA: Oh, we’ll get one, eventually — by 1978 or so.

PETE: We’ll be old men by then!

LANA: (cocks eyebrow) Not me.

CLARK: “I”.

LANA: Huh?

CLARK: The pronoun you’re looking for is “I”, not “me”. You should’ve said “Not I”.

LANA: Well hello, Mr. Fancy Pants English Professor! I bet you don’t even know what “pronoun” means.

CLARK: (smirks) A pronoun is a word that substitutes for a noun.

LANA: You think you’re so smart, don’t you, Clark?

Clark just shrugs, the hint of a smug smile worn at the corners of his mouth. Lana sticks her tongue out at him.

At that exact moment, the shack door creaks open and Kenny steps inside. Moving gingerly, he closes the door and crosses over to the opposite end of the shack, away from the others. Sitting down, we can see he wears a large bruise over the left side of his morose face.

LANA: (concerned) Gosh, Kenny — what happened to your face?

KENNY: (turns bruised side of face away from them) Just had an accident, that’s all. It’s nothin’ to talk about.

Though the three other children have a pretty good idea where Kenny’s bruises came from — that they aren’t just the result of an unfortunate accident — they choose to ignore the elephant in the room, at least for now.

CUT TO

The kids in the shack sometime later.

Clark, Pete, and Lana are currently engaged in a game of strip poker. While Lana has lost only her shoes and socks, Clark has lost his shirt and Pete is down to his underpants. Kenny, having chosen not to play, sits off to the side watching them.

PETE: (frowns) Why did we agree to play this dumb game?

The kids hear a commotion outside the shack.

PETE: There’s somebody outside!

Abandoning their game, the kids hurry to redress.

EXT. FOREST — CLEARING — DAY

There are indeed visitors to the kids’ Fortress of Solitude: Brad Wilson, Whitney Fordman, and Jason Teague, older than when we saw them last. Taking no care to watch where he is going, Whitney trips over one of the old stills that was dragged away to the edge of the clearing and nearly topples over it.

WHITNEY FORDMAN: Son of a goddamn —!

Grinning like the Cheshire Cat, Jason gives Whitney a solid kick in the ass. Enraged, Whitney turns on the other boy and shoves him hard to the ground. Before they can get into a committed scuffle, Brad breaks them up.

BRAD WILSON: Cut it out, dingbats.

INT. SHACK — DAY

Having opened the door a crack, Pete peers out.

PETE: Aw, great — it’s the Three Assketeers!

Pete quickly shuts the door and leans his back up against it, bracing it shut.

PETE: (cont’d) What are we gonna do? They’re gonna run us out of here! I just know it!

LANA: They can’t do that!

PETE: Go ahead, tell ‘em that. See how generous they are.

CLARK: This is our fortress; I’m not gonna let them just steal it from us.

KENNY: They’re bigger and stronger than all of us put together, Clark. We can’t beat them.

CLARK: C’mon, they’re gonna find us in here sooner or later; may as well make it sooner.

Pushing Pete out of the way, Clark pulls the door wide open and steps outside.

EXT. FOREST — CLEARING — DAY

As the Jackass Three make their way into the centre of the clearing, Clark appears before them. Noticing the younger, smaller boy, they come to a halt.

JASON TEAGUE: Well, well, well — if it ain’t liddle widdle Clarkie.

BRAD WILSON: You by your lonesome, Kent, or is the rest of the sissies with you?

Slowly yet surely, the others step out of the shack, joining Clark.

JASON TEAGUE: (chuckles) Nice bruise you have there, Braverman. I hardly noticed it under your black skin!

Kenny recoils, almost disappearing back inside the shed.

WHITNEY FORDMAN: G’wan, twerps, get out of here! This place is ours!

LANA: (angry) We were here first!

CLARK: We spent weeks cleaning this place up! It’s ours by right!

BRAD WILSON: (to Whitney & Jason) Listen to the runts…. (to third graders) Listen, you clear out — and I mean right now — and I don’t send you home in pine boxes, alright? Now go.

Leaving his friends, Clark walks right up to Brad. Looking up at the taller boy, he locks gazes with him.

CLARK: Look, I know I can’t fight you; you’d easily kick my can, okay? So how about we compromise?

JASON TEAGUE: (puzzled) Compromise?

CLARK: Yeah, we reach a middle ground — you get some of what you want, we get some of what we want. (beat) How about this: You guys can have the place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and we’ll get it Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

WHITNEY FORDMAN: What about Sundays?

CLARK: Each Sunday, we’ll flip a coin. Best three out of four wins. (beat) So what do you think? Can we make that work?

Looming in close, Brad seizes the front of Clark’s shirt in his strong hands.

BRAD WILSON: What I think is I’m gonna enjoy feeding you my knuckles, you little turd.

Brad then punches Clark in the gut — hard. Doubling over, Clark doesn’t even have time to register the blow before the larger boy delivers another — this one right to the face. As teeth fly and blood sprays through the air, Clark goes down.

BRAD WILSON: (points at Lana, Pete, & Kenny) This shack is ours — Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — got it? Now pick this ninety-pound weakling up and get the hell outta here before you get the same.

Sitting up, Clark puts a hand up to his split lip and bleeding nose. Eyes aflame with hatred, he stares daggers at Brad.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

Jonathan and Martha are engaged in a game of chess when they hear the front door thrown open and Clark storm in. Turning their attention away from the board, they see Clark — lip swollen, cheek bruised, and frown as deep and dark as a moonless midnight — stomp off to his bedroom.

INT. KENT HOME/CLARK’S BEDROOM — DAY

Entering the bedroom, brimming with rage, Clark throws himself face-down atop his bed. Burying his face in his pillow, he finally allows himself to CRY.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

EXT. ROAD — PASTURE — DAY

Some number of weeks have passed and Jonathan is currently behind the wheel of the Model T, driving out into town alongside a large pasture. Just as he rounds a curve, he spies Clark — returning from one of his jaunts with his friends — crawl under the fence enclosing the pasture and take off into a run through the long grass. Hitting the brakes, Jonathan leans over and puts his head out the passenger side window.

JONATHAN: Clark!

Running remarkably fast for a boy of his short stature, Clark is already out of earshot of Jonathan’s cries. Returning to the wheel, he hits the gas and makes a U-turn.

JONATHAN: Clark!

Hearing Jonathan for the first time, Clark halts in mid-stride and turns around.

JONATHAN: Clark, I’ve told you before — don’t cut across old man McCulloch’s pasture!

CLARK: But Pa —

JONATHAN: No “but pa’s” from you, boy. McCulloch’s prize bull is likely to be out and about this time of day. Now come here; I’ll drive you home.

Jonathan hits the breaks, waiting for Clark to obey him. Sighing loudly, Clark throws his arms up in resignation and begins making the trek over to the side of the road where Jonathan is waiting. Unfortunately, it is at that very moment McCulloch’s prize bull makes its appearance. Noticing the small intruder in its pasture, the ornery ungulate breaks out into a full charge towards Clark.

JONATHAN: (mortified) Clark!

Jumping out of the truck, Jonathan hops the fence in a mad dash to save his son, but he is too far away and too late. As the bull comes upon Clark, the boy can’t even so much as turn around as the animal brings its hooves down on his small back, driving him hard into the ground before finally trampling him underfoot.

JONATHAN: (screaming) No!

As the bull disappears into the distance, Jonathan runs up to Clark, tears streaming from his eyes. He is fully expecting to see Clark crushed and bloody, on his way to death’s door if he isn’t there already. Remarkably, Clark is alive, conscious, and completely unharmed. His hair is mussed, his skin dirty, his clothes torn, and an expression of absolute shock etched into the features of his face, but physically, there isn’t a single scratch on him.

CLARK: (terrified) P-pa‽

JONATHAN: Cl-Clark? (beat) You’re … you’re alright?

Dropping to his knees, Jonathan scoops Clark up into his arms. Hugging the boy close to him, he begins WEEPING with extreme joy.

JONATHAN: Oh God! Oh thank you, God!

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Jonathan and Clark are now in the truck, headed back home.

JONATHAN: Son, what happened in McCulloch’s pasture … we’re gonna keep that between us for right now, alright?

CLARK: We’re not gonna tell Ma?

JONATHAN: I’ll tell her, son … but only when the time’s right. Right now … the time’s just not right. You understand?

CLARK: No….

Reaching over, Jonathan rests his hand on Clark’s shoulder and gives it a short rub.

JONATHAN: (half-smiles) It’s alright, son. It’s alright….

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME — DAY

Pulling up beside the Kent home, Jonathan and Clark get out of the truck and head up the front steps. Martha, who has been sitting out on the front porch reading a novel, leaps up out of her seat when she sees the condition Clark’s in.

MARTHA: (shocked) Land’s sake, Clark! What happened to you‽

Crossing over to her young son, she begins feeling him over for injuries.

JONATHAN: He just got into a little rough housing with the other children.

MARTHA: (nonplussed) A little rough housing‽

JONATHAN: (shrugs) Boys will be boys.

MARTHA: (to Clark) I don’t see or feel any injuries. Do you hurt anywhere, Clark?

CLARK: I feel fine, Ma.

MARTHA: Alright. (beat) Head on inside. You need to get out of those clothes and into a hot bath right away.

Obeying, Clark heads on inside the house. Exchanging one, short, questioning glance with Jonathan, she follows in after him.

INT. BARN/STORAGE AREA — DAY

The next day, Clark enters the barn. Pulling one of the big wooden doors open as far his small frame will allow, he slips inside. Taking one quick glance outside to see if anyone noticed him, he then pulls the door closed. Stepping deeper inside the barn, past the tractor and a pile of wooden boxes, Clark comes to the ladder which leads to the loft above. Looking up, he nervously wipes his sweaty hands off on his pants and takes hold of the rungs. Cautiously ascending the wooden ladder, he looks down upon reaching the midway point — and immediately regrets it.

CLARK: (closes eyes) Don’t look down. Don’t look down….

Fighting his fear of heights, Clark resumes the climb and in short order reaches the top.

INT. BARN/LOFT — DAY

Stepping onto the loft, he looks down; the distance between him and the ground floor is great enough to make the boy swoon. Walking backward, Clark works his way to the back of the loft.

CLARK: I can do this. I can do this. I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to know.

Tensing his muscles, gritting his teeth, young Clark takes off in a sprint. Crossing the length of the loft in seconds, the boy launches himself off.

INT. BARN/STORAGE AREA — DAY

Thrown clear into the air, gravity takes hold and Clark plummets — plummets straight down, hits the tractor, caroms off, and crashes hard into the pile of boxes. Completely unharmed, Clark picks himself up. Dusting his clothes off, he looks himself over.

That’s when a fiendish grin comes to his face.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

EXT. STREAM — DAY

Lana, Pete, and Kenny sit by the edge of a stream. While Pete tries catching some fish using a piece of string tied to the end of a stick, Lana lazily tosses pebbles into the water while Kenny chews at his knuckles. All three are bored out of their ever-loving minds.

Riding on his bike, Clark pulls up beside his friends.

CLARK: Hey, guys! How’s tricks?

LANA: Tricks is bored. (tosses two pebbles in quick succession into stream) Very, very bored.

CLARK: Really? I’ve found this place we can go. It’s bound to be fun.

PETE: What place?

CLARK: I’ll take you there. First, we need to collect some rocks.

LANA: What for?

CLARK: (grins) You’ll see. (beat) C’mon.

Shrugging, the three kids abandon their meagre activities and join Clark in his rock hunt.

EXT. FOREST — TRAIL — DAY

Clark and the others ride along the trail on their bikes, pant and shirt pockets laden with as many stones as they can carry.

LANA: (apprehensive) Where are we going, Clark?

CLARK: I told you — you’ll know when we get there.

LANA: But this trail takes us —

CLARK: (interrupts) Hush up!

Resigned, Lana hushes up. They continue along their route in silence.

EXT. FOREST — CLEARING — DAY

Reaching their destination, Clark hops off his bike. There before them stands the weathered shack they once called home away from home.

PETE: Why’d you take us here for?

KENNY: Yeah, what’s the story?

CLARK: (frowns) We’re here for compensation.

PETE: Compensation? What‽

Guiding his bike alongside him, Clark approaches the shack with single-minded purpose. Stopping some distance away from the decrepit building, he reaches into a pocket and pulls out some rocks. Pulling his arm back, he then hurls the rocks at the wooden shack, each one scoring a direct hit with a solid THWACK.

CLARK: Hey, you in there — open up!

Brad, Whitney, and Jason quickly come out.

JASON TEAGUE: (pulls blade of straw out of mouth) Well, well, well — if it ain’t the Four Musketeers.

BRAD WILSON: What are you stains doing back here? We told you never to come around no more.

CLARK: That’s “anymore”, you dunce!

BRAD WILSON: (sneers) What was that word you called me, pipsqueak?

CLARK: A dunce, Brad. It’s not too big a word; it means the same as birdbrain, bonehead, dimwit, oaf, and idiot.

BRAD WILSON: (points at Clark) I’m gonna feed you your tongue!

CLARK: Watch the birdie!

Fishing out another rock, Clark lets it fly. Whistling through the air, it hits Brad hard in the face, right in the cheekbone.

BRAD WILSON: ARGH! (clutches face) I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you to death!

CLARK: (hops on bike) Catch me if you can, you great big horse’s ass!

Clark takes off on his bike and his friends follow suit. Crossing over to their own bikes, the three bullies hop on and begin the chase.

EXT. RURAL ROAD — DAY

Emerging from the woods, the four youngsters come out onto the open road, pedalling as hard as they can to get away from the Three Assketeers.

PETE: That was stupid, Clark!

LANA: Yeah — what were you thinking? Now they’re gonna pulverize us!

CLARK: No they’re not!

As the four ride on, the three older bullies finally come out of the woods behind them. Clark hits the brakes, skidding to a stop.

LANA: (mortified) Clark!

CLARK: (waves them away) Go! Keeping going!

Bewildered, Lana, Kenny, and Pete take their friend’s advice and keep on pedalling, leaving Clark behind to face the Assketeers alone.

Coming upon Clark, the three older boys surround him, trapping him in a circle.

CLARK: (waves at them; smiles) Hey there, gang!

Jumping off their bikes, the three move in upon Clark. Roughly taking Clark by the front of his shirt, Whitney pulls him from his bike.

BRAD WILSON: (enraged) Over there!

As Jason goes to work on Clark’s bike, stomping on and kicking at it, Whitney and Brad take the kid over to the side of the road.

BRAD WILSON: You’re in for a world of hurt!

As Whitney holds Clark firmly in place, Brad clenches his hands into fists and drives a hard uppercut into Clark’s gut. Clark doesn’t even flinch from the blow.

CLARK: (smirks) I couldn’t quite feel that. May I have another?

Frowning, Brad punches Clark in the gut again.

CLARK: I’m sorry. One more ought to hit the spot.

Uttering a low GROWL, Brad punches Clark in the face — a roundhouse punch from the left; then the right; then an uppercut into the chin. When none of those result in so much as a whimper, Brad finally goes and knees Clark in the groin.

CLARK: (grins) Is that the best you have?

Clark throws his head back, bashing Whitney’s nose in. Blood spurting from his broken nose, Whitney lets go of Clark and drops to his knees, crying out in agony. Turning on Brad, Clark leaps onto him, tackling the larger boy to the ground.

JASON TEAGUE: Hey!

Leaving Clark’s dented-up bicycle, Jason rushes to Brad’s aid. Clark sees him coming and spins around just in time to deliver a solid kick to Jason’s chin which sends him over backwards, knocked senseless.

BRAD WILSON: (horrified) What the hell are you‽

CLARK: (sneers) A ninety-pound weakling, remember?

Clark then punches Brad in the face, knocking his head back.

CLARK: (cont’d) Remember that, Brad? Remember‽

Clark punches him again.

CLARK: (enraged) Then remember this: You’re not gonna bully me again; (punches Brad) you’re not gonna bully my friends again; (punches Brad) you’re not going to tease us; you’re not going to taunt us; (punches Brad) you’re not going to call us names like weakling or twerp or carrot-top or nigger; (punches Brad twice) you’re not going to take our fortress, which we cleaned up, which we put together, and drive us out; (punches Brad) and you’re not going to hurt us — never, ever, ever again!

As Clark prepares to deliver the final blow, a large adult hand reaches out and seizes his arm in a tight grip, stopping him. Clark turns around. Standing over him, shock and disgust evident on his face, is Jonathan.

CLARK: (surprised) Pa!

The assault at an end, Brad — face stained with his own bright red blood and running tears — gets the hell out of Dodge, BAWLING as he takes off in a dead run for somewhere — anywhere — where Clark won’t find him.

Angry, Jonathan drags Clark over to the Model T. Flinging the side door open, he pushes his son inside.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Jonathan sits behind the wheel, a deep frown fixed on his face as he drives along the rural road. Clark sits beside him, arms crossed over his chest, a deep scowl worn on his own face.

CLARK: I hate Brad Wilson.

JONATHAN: You must. Otherwise you wouldn’t have turned his face into ground chuck.

CLARK: He threw the first punch, Pa! He took our fortress from us! He’s big —!

JONATHAN: (interrupts) And you’re invulnerable, Clark; you can’t get hurt. You have to take responsibility for your power; you can’t abuse it.

CLARK: You want me to be a loser and a wimp.

JONATHAN: No, son, I don’t. I want you to use your head instead of your fists.

CLARK: A man stands up for himself.

JONATHAN: Know all about bein’ a man, huh? Does a man hurt people weaker than himself? (beat) Well, boy, does he?

Clark doesn’t answer; his chance to is cut off when Rose Greer dashes out into the road, right in front of the truck.

JONATHAN: (surprised) Holy!

EXT. RURAL ROAD — DAY

Jonathan hits the brakes just in time to avoid a collision. Rose wastes no time crossing over to Jonathan’s side of the vehicle, panic clearly etched across her face.

ROSE GREER: (panicked) Oh God, Jonathan! You have to help me! Please — help!

JONATHAN: (climbs out of truck) Rose! What’s wrong‽

ROSE GREER: The house, Jonathan! It’s the house! The house is on fire and Bud’s trapped! Bud’s trapped inside and I can’t get him out!

Looking into the fields beside the road, Jonathan sees a two-storey house situated in the distance; it is ablaze, a trail of dark gray smoke billowing straight up from it into the clear sky.

JONATHAN: Jesus. (beat) Stay here, Rose. Watch Clark.

Jonathan takes off in a dash for the burning house, leaving Rose and Clark by the truck.

INT. GREER HOME/ENTRANCE HALL — DAY

Bursting through the front door, Jonathan finds the air heavy with smoke. Instantly assaulted by the miasma, Jonathan pulls out a handkerchief and holds it over his mouth and nose.

JONATHAN: Bud! Bud, where the hell are you‽

A WAIL of anguish comes down the stairs from the second storey, where the fire is burning its worst.

JONATHAN: Just hold on, Bud! I’m coming!

Crossing to the stairs, Jonathan dashes up the steps.

INT. GREER HOME/BEDROOM — DAY

Passing through the licking orange flames and greasy smoke, Jonathan steps inside the Greer bedroom. Inside, struggling upon the floor, is Bud Greer. The inferno having compromised its structural integrity, the roof on this side of the house has caved in; a wooden beam lies across Bud’s legs, pinning him to the floor.

BUD GREER: (panicked) Lord help me! AAAAHHH!!!

Coming to Bud’s aid, Jonathan lays his hands upon the beam and tries pulling it up and away from the trapped man.

JONATHAN: (groans) I can’t budge her, Greer! (beat) I’m gonna try to reach underneath and pull your legs out!

Jonathan reaches under the beam and takes hold of one of Bud’s legs and begins working to pry it loose. At that very moment, fiery debris rains down in the hall outside the bedroom. In response, Bud grabs Jonathan, pulling him close in desperation.

BUD GREER: Oh, Jesus! Hurry, Kent! The flames! Please —!

JONATHAN: (grits teeth) Alright, Bud, you gotta let go….

BUD GREER: The flames are getting closer!

JONATHAN: (frustrated) Shut up, Greer!

Pulling at Bud’s legs, Jonathan finally manages to dislodge them. Pulling the man up onto his feet, Jonathan makes haste for the stairs.

EXT. GREER HOME — DAY

Rose and Clark have come down the driveway and now stand at a safe distance away from the house. Rose holds Clark’s hand, both worried as the small building is consumed. Jonathan and Bud then finally emerge from the burning wreckage. Moving away from the intense heat, they drop down into the grass — coughing, exhausted, and dirty, but alive.

CLARK: (concerned) Pa?

JONATHAN: (coughs) I’m okay, son. (coughs) We’re okay.

Clark is amazed by his father’s show of selfless heroism.

CLARK: Wow.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME — DAY

We have jumped forward a year. Jonathan and Clark are now in their front yard, working on repairs to the Model T. A farm jack precariously propping up the rear end of the vehicle, Jonathan lies beneath the vehicle’s undercarriage, working away while Clark sits out before him, crouched down low with a toolbox beside him.

JONATHAN: Alright, hand me the wrench.

Reaching into the toolbox, Clark fishes around until he finds the wrench and hands it to his father. Opening the front door, Martha steps out onto the porch.

MARTHA: Time to get yourselves inside and washed up, boys. Supper’s on.

JONATHAN: (sighs) I guess we’re calling it a night, Clark. (beat) It looks like rain. Pick the tools up and put the box in the cab.

Collecting the loose tools, Clark takes up the toolbox, crosses to the right side of the truck, and opens the door. That action is enough to pop the jack loose. Registering the imminent danger, Clark reacts automatically; in a blur of motion, he dashes over to the back end of the truck, grabs the underside of the bed, and holds it there in place, preventing the vehicle from collapsing onto Jonathan and crushing him.

CLARK: Got it, Pa! (pained) Can’t hold it….

Jonathan scrambles out from beneath the truck, his small son straining to hold up a vehicle the elder Kent couldn’t even begin to lift under his own power. Once Jonathan is clear, Clark lets go, allowing the rear of the truck to slam down. Martha just stands there on the porch, flabbergasted.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — NIGHT

Jonathan sits on the sofa while Martha paces about the room, restless and irate.

MARTHA: (cont’d) For a whole year you’ve known! A whole year!

JONATHAN: I was planning on telling you, Martha….

MARTHA: (stops in mid-stride; faces Jonathan) Really? That date wouldn’t have coincided with Clark’s 18th birthday by any chance, now, would it?

JONATHAN: What should I have said, Martha? “Honey, a bull trampled our son into the earth this afternoon, but don’t you worry, ‘cause our boy’s a modern age Achilles; he got right back up without so much as a scratch on him.”? (beat) I wanted to give it some time, figure out a way to break the news to you gently, to … to avoid a reaction.

MARTHA: (taps foot impatiently) What type of reaction?

JONATHAN: (frowns) This type of reaction, exactly! (beat) I figured on telling you sooner, but I guess the time got away from me….

Sighing, Martha lets her frustration go. She takes a seat beside her husband on the sofa.

MARTHA: But this is the first time Clark … did this?

JONATHAN: He certainly wasn’t a Hercules in miniature last year, I can tell you.

Her features creased with worry, Martha takes Jonathan’s hands in hers.

MARTHA: First invulnerability, then superhuman strength. By God, Jonathan, what if this is only the beginning? What if Clark develops more abilities? What if he becomes … what is our son going to become?

JONATHAN: He’ll be our son, Martha, come what may. Trust in that.

INT. KENT HOME/DINING ROOM — DAY

We have jumped forward to 1925. Martha sets a plate of scrambled eggs and crisp bacon down on the dining room table as Clark hurries past in single-minded purpose for the front door.

MARTHA: Where are you going, Clark?

CLARK: I’m running late, Ma.

MARTHA: (bemused) You surely have enough time to sit down and —

In a blink of an eye, Clark is gone — along with the bacon and eggs which had moments before been resting upon the now-cleared plate.

MARTHA: (cont’d) eat your breakfast. (sighs)

EXT. MAIN ROAD — DAY

A motorcyclist rides along the main road into Smallville. As a railway crossing appears ahead, he notices a locomotive bearing down on it, and so decides to put the pedal to the metal to beat it. As the motorcyclist zooms on ahead, leaning forward into the artificial wind, Clark comes up alongside him. Noticing Clark out of the corner of his eye, he does a double take. Though Clark is only riding his mere bicycle, by pedalling at super speed, he’s able to keep pace with the motorcyclist.

As the two riders close in upon the crossing, Clark puts on an extra bit of speed; like a shot from a gun, he leaves the motorcyclist eating his dust, clearing the track in an instant. By the time the locomotive comes barrelling down the track, forcing the motorcyclist to hit his breaks and wait out the train’s passing, Clark’s already one-eighth of a mile into the distance.

INT. KENT HOME/CLARK’S BEDROOM — DAY

We have jumped forward to 1926. Clark is seated at his desk, doing homework, when Jonathan appears in the door.

JONATHAN: Hey there, Clark.

CLARK: (faces Jonathan) Hey, Pa. What is it?

JONATHAN: I was hoping you’d take some time out of your schedule to help your fool pop find his glasses again.

CLARK: No problem. (looks down & squints)

CLARK’S P.O.V. — LIVING ROOM

The carpeted floor disappears beneath Clark, affording him a view of the floors on the storey beneath him. Zooming it, he focuses in on the living room sofa. The sofa cushions themselves grow transparent, revealing Jonathan’s glasses wedged between them.

INT. KENT HOME/CLARK’S BEDROOM — DAY

CLARK: They’re between the sofa cushions.

JONATHAN: Glasses are more trouble than they’re worth, son. Count your blessings you’ll never have to wear the damned things.

EXT. FOREST — DAY

We have jumped forward to 1927. Clark is running through the woods, blue-merled Shelby — his four-month-old puppy — tagging along beside him. As they emerge through the trees, they come to the edge of a large, deep ravine. Though Shelby stops in her tracks, Clark takes a running leap clear across the ravine.

CLARK: Yahoo!

Landing on the other side, Clark turns to Shelby. The puppy begins BARKING, despondent that she can’t follow her master.

INT. SMALLVILLE HIGH/SCIENCE LAB — DAY

We have jumped forward to 1928. In the lab room, the science teacher sits behind his desk, beady eyes trained on his twelve students.

SCIENCE TEACHER: (cont’d) Twenty-five multiple-choice questions. You may begin now.

As Clark gets ready to start his test, he can suddenly hear the minute sounds all around him, each and every rustle of paper, pencil scrape, bodily function, and shuffle of body parts and clothing amplified to a staggering degree to form a loud cacophony. Narrowing his eyes, rubbing his left temple, Clark concentrates on tuning out the extraneous sounds. Once he has achieved some measure of success, he begins filling out the questions on his paper.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

EXT. KENT FARM — FIELD — DAY

SUPERIMPOSE: SEPTEMBER 1931

Jonathan Kent is out in one of his fields, at work removing a large boulder embedded in the ground. Working with a long pry bar, he struggles to uproot the stubborn boulder. Though a virile man still, Jonathan is beginning to show the signs of age; his blond hair is starting to fade to a pale gray and he now wears his glasses on a permanent basis.

As Jonathan sweats and strains against the boulder, Clark walks up to him, his red-haired dog Rusty — son of Shelby — running circles about his heels. Nearly eighteen years old, Clark has grown into a strapping young man — tall, broad-shouldered, and rustically handsome.

CLARK: Pa?

JONATHAN: (busy) Hrm?

CLARK: Can I help?

Struggling with the pry bar for a few more seconds, Jonathan finally gives the futile effort up. Taking off the hat he’s wearing, he wipes his moist brow, SIGHING with exasperation.

JONATHAN: (steps back) You’re gonna need something for leverage, son.

Stepping up to the boulder, Clark reaches under and uproots it, holding it aloft with one hand effortlessly. This is a Clark who wouldn’t struggle lifting the rear of the Model T now.

CLARK: Where do you want it?

JONATHAN: (smiles) Let’s take it to the barn, around back.

Leaving the field, they take the boulder behind the barn, where Clark gently sets it down on the ground. With a few short whacks, he splits the boulder up into smaller chunks to be hauled away later.

CLARK: Is it alright if I head off to the park? I was hoping to meet the gang there.

JONATHAN: All your chores done?

CLARK: Uh-huh.

JONATHAN: Then what do you need my permission for? (claps Clark on back) School starts tomorrow. Make the most of these precious few hours.

CLARK: (grins) Thanks, Pa.

JONATHAN: Just don’t be late getting back for supper.

CLARK: Am I ever?

Before Jonathan can reply, Clark is gone in a flash. Shaking his head, Jonathan takes his hat and slaps a boulder chunk with it, smiling.

EXT. PARK — DAY

It is a sunny, late Labor Day afternoon. Though most visitors have retired home for the coming evening, several people are still present, playing games, flying kites, talking, reading, or just sitting and milling about.

Dropping out of super speed, Clark arrives on the park outskirts, well out of view of anyone. Checking his clothes over to make certain they are neat and clean, he proceeds onward, walking at a leisurely pace. He soon spots Lana and Pete. Like Clark, they, too, have matured into young adults. Pete is tall, almost as tall as Clark, just as handsome, but lanky in build. Lana, shorter than the two boys but still tall for a lady, is a beauty with large, thick-lashed eyes, full cheeks, and full, pink lips, a large congregation of freckles covering her exposed skin only adding to her natural beauty. Sharing a bench, the pair are deep in conversation, too busy to notice Clark.

CLARK: (waves) Lana! Pete!

Noticing Clark, they rise from the bench. Clark joins them.

PETE: (claps Clark on arm) Glad to see you made it out today, fella.

CLARK: Summer break’s almost over. Like my pa said, “Make the most of these precious few hours.” (beat) Brought the pigskin?

LANA: (brings out football) bien sûr.

Heading out to a clear area on the grass, the three begin playing catch.

PETE: (tosses ball to Lana) Returning to the Torch again this year, Lana?

LANA: (catches ball) Returning to this question again this year, Pete?

Lana tosses the ball to Clark, who tosses it back to Pete.

PETE: (catches ball) Well, yeah. This is senior year. (tosses ball to Lana)

LANA: (catches ball) So? (tosses ball to Pete)

PETE: (catches ball) You’ve been editor-in-chief of the school paper three years straight. Don’t you wanna give something fun a run your final year? (tosses ball to Clark)

CLARK: (catches ball) Working on the Torch is plenty fun, Pete. (tosses ball to Lana)

PETE: You think milking cows is fun, Kent.

LANA: You’d rather I try out for cheerleading? (tosses ball to Pete)

PETE: (catches ball) Getting dolled up in a cute number? Hoofing it for the boys on the field? Flashing those grand gams of yours? A mite niftier than sitting on your keister in a cramped, fusty office, getting an edge off mimeograph fumes, I can tell you. (tosses ball to Clark)

LANA: Sorry, Pete. Tried that freshman year; didn’t take to it. (intercepts ball)

CLARK: Hey!

LANA: (to Clark) Go long.

Jogging out, Clark spreads his arms high. Lana sends the football sailing through the air; Clark just barely misses it. He goes to retrieve the ball.

LANA: (to Pete) Though if you want to admire my grand gams, you need only ask.

As Clark returns with the ball, Lana hikes the hem of her skirt up to her thigh, affording both boys a lingering look at one long, shapely, creamy leg.

CLARK: (drops football) Hot damn!

Flashing a sexy grin, Lana drops her skirt back in place.

CUT TO

A couple hours later.

With the sun beginning to set, the three call it a day. Giving their farewells, they part to return home.

EXT. KENT FARM — BARN — SUNSET

Returning from the park, Clark crosses past the barn on his way to the house.

KENNY: (O.C.) Hey, Clark! Clark, up here!

Stopping, Clark turns and looks up to the barn. He can just make out Kenny standing in the loft’s open door.

INT. BARN/LOFT — SUNSET

Clark climbs the ladder to the loft, where he finds Kenny sitting in a wooden chair by the loft door, casually sipping from a bottle of root beer as he looks out, seemingly a million miles away. As tall as Pete but even leaner, he’d look handsome if he wasn’t so painfully thin.

Turning to Clark, the black teenager hoists up a small carrying case of root beer.

KENNY: Have one.

Clark silently takes one of the bottles. Placing his thumbnail under the rim of the metal cap, he pops it off with one flick of his thumb.

KENNY: I still haven’t learned how you do that.

CLARK: Trade secret.

KENNY: You out with Pete and Lana?

CLARK: At the park, yeah.

KENNY: (looks out loft door) Those were the days, weren’t they? Just us four, running wild all summer-long, day and night. (beat) Your folks always understood. My dad never did.

Clark takes a seat in a second chair beside Kenny.

CLARK: (takes sip) How’s your pa? Doing any better?

KENNY: Worse. A lot worse. (takes sip) I won’t be coming back this year, Clark.

CLARK: (frowns) What do you mean, won’t be coming back?

KENNY: I’ll be needed at the gas station full-time now. I won’t have time for school anymore.

CLARK: Ken, this is our senior year. Graduation’s this spring.

KENNY: And I know you’ll make it — with flying colours. (finishes bottle) Keep the rest. It’s yours.

Morose, Kenny rises and crosses over to the ladder.

EXT. BRAVERMAN HOME/FRONT YARD — TWILIGHT

Kenny arrives home. The Braverman home is a cottage in shabby, weather-beaten, but otherwise alright condition.

INT. BRAVERMAN HOME/LIVING ROOM — TWILIGHT

Within the confines of the cottage living room we finding ROGER BRAVERMAN sitting in a threadbare armchair, a bottle of moonshine cradled in his lap, listening to the Carter Family’s “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes” as it plays tinily from the radio in the room. Eyelids droopy, lower lip hanging low, nose misshapen, chin unshaven, and frame and features positively skeletal, he is a homely man. His bleary eyes are quite yellow, but that could be due to the dirty lighting afforded by the living room’s sole fly-specked light bulb.

As Kenny enters the cottage, he reluctantly steps into the living room doorway and stands there, watching his father for a sign of acknowledgement. Taking a long sip from his bottle, Roger takes a gander at his son. Spitting a stream of saliva through the gap in his bottom front teeth, he returns to watching nothing.

INT. BRAVERMAN HOME/KITCHEN — TWILIGHT

Entering the kitchen, Kenny begins preparing supper. As he is retrieving the cookware, he halts, rests fingers against his mouth, then steps back out of the kitchen.

INT. BRAVERMAN HOME/LIVING ROOM — TWILIGHT

Kenny has returned to the doorway. Roger has slipped into a doze. The bottle, held limply now in his hands, begins to tilt precariously forward, threatening to spill its contents. Kenny strides up to the armchair and stills the bottle. This action is enough to jolt Roger out of his light slumber. Thinking his son is trying to steal his bottle, the ugliness of Roger’s face deepens with a scowl as he slaps Kenny hard against the face. Kenny rears back. Roger stares hard at Kenny for several long seconds, then falls back into unconsciousness.

INT. BRAVERMAN HOME/KENNY’S BEDROOM — TWILIGHT

Kenny enters his bedroom. Unlike the rest of the home, this room is kept clean and relatively tidy, though there are books everywhere, hardcover and paperback, fiction and non-fiction. Closing his door behind him, he strides up to his desk. Opening the top drawer, he reveals the revolver nestled inside.

Withdrawing the revolver, he pulls back the hammer, aiming it at the bedroom door, in the direction of his father. As Kenny keeps the barrel of the gun trained in that direction, his face twists with deep-seated loathing, his hand and arm beginning to violently shake with suppressed rage.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

INT. KENT HOME/CLARK’S BEDROOM — MORNING

Clark, wide awake, clad only in pajama bottoms, sits atop his bed, reading a paperback novel.

MARTHA: (O.S.) Clark Kent, you’re about to miss the bus!

Hearing his mother’s voice, Clark sets down his book and rises. Sauntering over to his bedroom window, he opens it and leans out. Allowing the cool morning air and warm morning sun to play across his bare skin, he closes his eyes, relishing the sensation.

EXT. ROAD — MORNING

Clark — groomed, in fresh clothes, notebooks in hand — comes to the top of the driveway just in time to see the school bus pulling away. He frowns, bemused.

INT. SCHOOL BUS — MORNING

Inside the bus, near the back, Pete and another boy share a seat. Looking behind them, they watch Clark’s diminutive shape recede in the distance.

PETE’S FRIEND: (hands Pete 25¢) I can’t believe you bet against your best friend.

EXT. ROAD — MORNING

Clark stands there, watching the bus shrink into the horizon. With his super hearing, he listens in on the two boys’ conversation.

PETE: (O.S.) It’s a statistical fact: If Clark moved any slower, he’d be extinct.

Once the bus has disappeared from sight, Clark’s bemusement fades, replaced with a wry smile. Breaking into a run, the world slows to a crawl as he attains top speed. In seconds, Clark overtakes the school bus. Twisting around, running backward, he waves to the motionless vehicle and its oblivious passengers. Turning back 'round, he leaves the bus far behind him, eating his dust.

EXT. SMALLVILLE HIGH/ENTRANCE — MORNING

Clark is loitering by the school entrance, back propped against a stone wall, arms crossed in front of him, when the school bus finally pulls up by the curb. Exiting the bus, Pete and his friend come to the entrance, where they find Clark in-wait.

PETE: (dumbstruck) How’d you get here so fast?

CLARK: (smirks) I ran.

Uncrossing his arms, Clark heads inside.

INT. SMALLVILLE HIGH/TORCH OFFICE — DAY

Opening the door, Clark enters the office of the Smallville Torch. Equipped with a pair of desks with a typewriter each, three file cabinets, and a table at the back complete with hand-cranked mimeograph machine, it is windowless, with bare brick walls — quite small, hell in less temperate seasons, but adequate for the needs of a small student newspaper. Lana, present at her desk, is busy at her typewriter, typing an article for the Torch’s upcoming back-to-school issue. Setting his notebooks atop the other desk, Clark comes up behind Lana, leaning over her shoulder to peer at what she’s typed.

CLARK: “Effluvious” has two "F"s.

Pursing her lips, Lana goes for her bottle of correction fluid, but Clark beats her to the quick. Uncapping the bottle, he applies the black fluid to the mimeograph stencil, covering up “efluvious”. Once it has dried, Lana retypes the word with the extra “F”.

Still leaning over her shoulder, Clark looks to Lana, and she to him. Her eyes, hazel, meet his, azure. In that moment, nothing exists for them beyond each other. And then the spell is broken. Straightening, Clark steps back, putting a hand behind his head. Confused, hesitant, Lana turns back to her typewriter. Retiring to his own desk, Clark begins consulting a notebook.

LANA: (faces Clark) Clark?

CLARK: (looks up) Lana?

LANA: (cont’d) Aunt Nell’s back in Smallville.

CLARK: Is she?

LANA: (nods) For keeps. (beat) Her property’s in need of sprucing up. She’s looking for a part-time hand. (beat) You always seem to have time on your hands.

CLARK: I’ll ask my folks tonight.

Lanas smiles tightly, then returns to her article.

INT. KENT HOME/DINING ROOM — EVENING

Clark is with his parents at the dining room table. They are enjoying a dinner of shepherd’s pie with bean salad.

CLARK: Eleanor Winters’ back in town.

MARTHA: Nell’s back? (faces Jonathan) It’s been ten, eleven years since we saw her last?

JONATHAN: (distant) About that.

MARTHA: We should pay the old girl a visit.

JONATHAN: (non-committal) Um-hmm.

CLARK: She’s looking for part-time help. I figured …

This gets Jonathan’s attention.

JONATHAN: You have school work, and chores.

CLARK: Duck soup, pa. (beat) We could use the cash.

MARTHA: It shouldn’t be a problem, Jonathan.

CLARK: It shouldn’t, should it, pa?

JONATHAN: (frowns) It shouldn’t. (beat) No, no, it won’t.

EXT. NELL’S HOME/FRONT YARD — DAY

Dropping out of super speed, Clark arrives at Nell’s home. A two-storey house in fine structural condition, it nevertheless needs new shingles, a fresh coat of paint, and the surrounding yards weeding and mowing.

Climbing the porch steps, Clark KNOCKS at the front door. In moments Nell opens the door. Though her hair has gone salt-and-pepper and her face lined with age, she’s still quite the handsome woman.

NELL: Hello?

CLARK: Clark Kent, ma’am.

NELL: (astonished) Clark Kent‽

CLARK: I go to school with your niece. She told me you were in need of a part-time hand?

NELL: Come right in.

INT. NELL’S HOME/ENTRANCE HALL — DAY

Stepping aside, Nell allows Clark inside. Closing the door after him, she examines him head-to-foot then foot-to-head with her eyes.

NELL: Clark Kent. You were seven years old the last I saw of you. (beat) You’ve surely grown.

CLARK: That I have, ma’am.

NELL: (rests hand on Clark’s shoulder) Will you walk into my parlour?

INT. NELL’S HOME/PARLOUR — DAY

Nell and Clark enter the parlour. Guiding him to a small table surrounded by two padded side chairs, she sits him down in one.

NELL: Would you care for something to drink, Clark? Iced tea?

CLARK: (nods) Thank you, yes.

Nell leaves. Shortly she returns, carrying a metal platter laden with two tall glasses and a full pitcher of iced tea. Setting the platter down on the table, she fills both glasses, then takes the chair opposite Clark. Hiking the hem of her brown paisley dress up, Nell crosses her legs, affording Clark an unobstructed view of them. Shapely gams clearly run in Lana’s family.

NELL: What would you say needs doing?

CLARK: (distracted) Excuse me?

NELL: Around the house?

CLARK: (looks about room) Your home looks quite nice inside. There’s no sign of termites or dry rot.

NELL: (smiles) You’ve quite the peepers, haven’t you, Clark?

CLARK: (antsy) Just my cursory examination, missus. (sips iced tea) The roof needs attending to, and the yard, certainly.

NELL: (nods) How does 10¢ an hour sound to you?

CLARK: It sounds quite fair to me, Mrs. Winters.

NELL: Miss Potter. But call me Nell.

CLARK: Nell it is.

Smiling, Nell fishes an ice cube out of her glass. Raising it to her mouth, she sucks at it. Clark doesn’t fail noticing the fullness of her lips.

EXT. FOREST — SUNSET

SUPERIMPOSE: ELK MOUNTAINS, COLORADO

In the lush, verdant wilderness, a land surveyor stands behind a theodolite on a tripod. Peering through the theodolite, he records his observations in a notebook.

A large fireball comes streaking down from the sky above. The surveyor watches the spaceborne object as it SPLASHES down in the lake.

EXT. LAKEBED — STARCRAFT — SUNSET

At the bottom of the murky lake, mired in the dark mud, is a familiar starcraft, the telltale signs of meteoroid impacts marring its otherwise pristine chrome exterior.

INT. STARCRAFT/COCKPIT — SUNSET

We find the girl in her seat, suit and helmet sealed and unbreached, unmoving.

INT. SPACESUIT

Within the helmet’s confines, we see the girl’s face. Eyes closed, expression placid, her features are unaged and uncorrupted; she looks exactly as she did the day she set upon her forty-two-year migration.

Around her neck, the S-pendant begins resonating a white glow.

INT. KENT HOME/KITCHEN — SUNSET

Clark is with Martha, helping her with the dishes. As she washes and rinses them, he dries them and puts them away.

Quite suddenly, Clark stiffens. A strange expression comes over his face.

MARTHA: (frowns) Clark?

CLARK: Someone just walked over my grave.

He resumes drying the dishes, still uneasy.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I’ve thoroughly re-edited this screenplay. Most of the changes were minor; rewording of dialogue and such. The only significant change I made was to Kryptonian naming conventions.

I decided Kryptonian daughters inheriting their fathers’ surnames was a bit too patriarchal for such an advanced society. I changed it so Kara is now Kara-Ze of the House of Ze instead of Kara-El of the House of El. In keeping with this change, the S-shield is now the crest of the House of Ze; the House of El’s crest is now a stylized sun.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time

Interesting, though where is Superman going to get it from? Will he have an S like early Golden Age looks before meeting Kara and adopting that one?

The Drink in Question

Author
Time

suspiciouscoffee said:

Interesting, though where is Superman going to get it from? Will he have an S like early Golden Age looks before meeting Kara and adopting that one?

The current idea is that Clark adopts the “S” in honour of Kara.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

EXT. NELL’S HOME/ROOF — DAY

Clark is up on Nell’s roof, replacing worn and missing shingles. Though he could do the job solely by hand if he so chose, he works with a hammer to disguise his particular talents.

Clark stops hammering. The sensation he experienced the night before is still with him — something in the atmosphere tugging at the peripheral of his senses.

INT. NELL’S HOME/ENTRANCE HALL — DAY

Hearing a KNOCK at her door, Nell answers it. Clark stands in the threshold, quite perturbed.

NELL: Problem, Clark?

CLARK: I don’t feel well.

NELL: It’s quite warm out. I’m not surprised. (touches his arm) I’ll fetch you some water.

Nodding his thanks, Clark enters.

INT. NELL’S HOME/PARLOUR — DAY

Clark is seated in a chair when Nell comes in with a glass of water in hand; she hands it to him.

CLARK: (accepts glass) Thank you.

Clark swallows the water greedily, but it does nothing to dispel his anxiety. Stepping behind Clark, Nell rests her hands on his shoulders.

NELL: May I?

Clark acquiesces. Nell begins massaging his shoulders and neck.

NELL: How does that feel? Helps.

CLARK: (closes eyes) Hmmm.

Nell continues the massage. There is the trace of a smile on her lips.

NELL: Clark?

CLARK: Yes?

NELL: You needn’t knock, if you want inside. My door is open to you (into his ear) any time.

Opening his eyes, he abruptly rises.

CLARK: I believe I’ll call it a day.

NELL: Are you alright to drive? Would you like a ride?

CLARK: I can manage. Thank you for the … attention, Nell.

Giving him a brief, thin smile, Nell allows Clark to go.

INT. KENT HOME/DINING ROOM — SUNSET

Clark is with his parents at the dining room table. While they enjoy a dinner of roast chicken and sweet potatoes, he just stares at the plate, disinterested.

JONATHAN: You’re not eating.

CLARK: I don’t have an appetite.

JONATHAN: (smirks) You rarely do. Hasn’t stopped you before.

CLARK: I’m sorry. May I be excused?

His parents excuse him. Clark leaves the table.

MARTHA: (concerned) That isn’t like him at all.

JONATHAN: (shrugs) Girl problems. (resumes eating)

INT. KENT HOME/CLARK’S BEDROOM — NIGHT

Clark sits by his open window. Bristling with tension, even the cool evening breeze fails to soothe his nerves.

Turning his head, he looks up, toward the ceiling. Narrowing his eyes, he rises and leaves the window.

INT. KENT HOME/JONATHAN & MARTHA’S BEDROOM — NIGHT

Jonathan and Martha lie beneath their covers, quite asleep. As audible SHUFFLING comes through the ceiling above, they are roused from their slumber.

INT. KENT HOME/ATTIC — NIGHT

At the back of the attic, Clark kneels, riffling through the contents of a large trunk. At the bottom, he finds a small oak box. Lifting it out, he examines it; locked. Using his strength, he forces it open, revealing an S-pendant nestled against the black velvet lining. An exact twin of the one worn by the girl, it, too, glows a bright white. Taking the radiant pendant from the box, Clark holds it to his breast. Relief surges through him.

Hearing a CREAK behind him, Clark looks over his shoulder; his parents stand there. Spying the glowing pendant in their son’s hand, husband and wife exchange glances. A long moment of uneasy silence passes between the three of them.

JONATHAN: Son … it’s finally time to show you something.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — NIGHT

Jonathan is behind the Model T’s wheel, driving through one of their fields. Clark sits beside him.

CLARK: Where are we going, Pa?

JONATHAN: We’re going back in time, son.

EXT. KENT FARM — PASTURE — NIGHT

Jonathan soon brings the truck to a halt. The headlights of the Model T fall upon a barbed wire fence ahead. Emerging from the vehicle, father and son slip under the wire and into the disused pasture yonder, Jonathan leading with flashlight in hand.

JONATHAN: It’s been eighteen years since your ma and me last came to this pasture. I’ve let it lay fallow ever since.

CLARK: This … this is the pasture you told me never to play in, when I was a little kid.

JONATHAN: That’s right. And I posted “NO TRESPASSING” signs all 'round, and put up the nastiest barbed wire fence I could find …

Playing the flashlight beam across the ground, Jonathan reveals a large wood panel set flush into the earth.

JONATHAN: (cont’d) all to hide this. (beat) Lift it away, son.

Reaching under the heavy panel, Clark effortlessly uproots it. Setting the panel aside, he discovers the secret concealed beneath — the pit with the chrome-and-crystal starcraft nestled in its depths.

CLARK: (astonished) Oh my God. P-pa…? (faces Jonathan) What is it?

JONATHAN: This is how you came into our world, son — the day the grandfather of all blizzards slammed down on Smallville. (beat) It’s where your ma and me found you.

CLARK: (flabbergasted) “Found me”‽ You mean … I’m adopted‽

JONATHAN: Something like that. (beat) Yes, “adopted” is as good a word as any.

Clark takes a step back, overwhelmed.

CLARK: T-this is a joke, right?

JONATHAN: We should have told you earlier. Should have told you years ago.

CLARK: (irate) Why didn’t you tell me?

JONATHAN: We wanted to protect you.

CLARK: (angry) Protect me from what‽ You should have told me!

His world turned upside down, Clark doesn’t know what to do, so he does the only thing he can think to do; he leaves.

JONATHAN: Clark! Clark!

But his son is already long gone.

EXT. LANG HOME/BACKYARD — NIGHT

Having gathered pebbles, Clark chucks them at Lana’s window, hoping to draw her attention. After several attempts, Lana fails to show.

EXT. LANG HOME/FRONT YARD — NIGHT

Coming around to the front door, Clark KNOCKS. Lana’s mother eventually answers.

CAROL LANG: (bemused) Clark‽

CLARK: May I see Lana?

CAROL LANG: Have you any idea what the time is‽ (looks to watch; isn’t wearing one)

CLARK: Please, Mrs. Lang. It’s important I see her.

CAROL LANG: (shakes head) Lana isn’t here. She’s sleeping over at Chloe’s. (beat) Sakes alive, Clark. Visit during godly hours!

At that, Mrs. Lang closes the door in Clark’s face. Crestfallen, Clark turns away. As he leaves the Lang property, he looks to the sky. The thick cloud cover which had blotted out the moon has broken, allowing strong moonlight to filter through the tears. Following the rays to Earth, Clark spies in the distance the house of Nell Potter.

INT. NELL’S HOME/BEDROOM — NIGHT

The windows in Nell’s bedroom have been opened wide, allowing bright moonlight inside. It cascades over the bed, over the woman whose curves are only tenuously hidden beneath a thin sheet. A cool breeze seeps in through the windows, rustling the parted curtains and Nell’s sheet. Hearing the sound or feeling the sensation, Nell is drawn from her slumber. Turning over, looking up, she finds Clark standing there at the foot of her bed, ghostly in the moonlight.

Sitting up, Nell pushes the sheet away, exposing the full length of her supple porcelain body, then crosses her arms above her head to afford Clark a strong look at her ample bosom. Leaving the foot of the bed, Clark sits down on the mattress with her. He then examines her, head-to-foot then foot-to-head, with his eyes. Anxious, inexperienced, he doesn’t know how to proceed. Reaching for him, Nell removes his suspenders. Once they are out of the way, she unbuttons his flannel shirt. Pushing it open, she exposes the wiry muscle of his hairless chest and abs. Cupping his pecs, she feels the taut sinews in her palms and under her fingers — experiences them. Then snaking her fingers through his hair, she guides his lips to the nape of her neck.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME/FRONT PORCH — DAWN

Jonathan and Martha sit in the porch swing. Jonathan holds Martha, who fell asleep some time ago.

JONATHAN: Martha….

Hearing her name, Martha is roused from sleep.

MARTHA: (inquisitive) Clark?

Following Jonathan’s gaze, Martha finds Clark coming down the driveway, on his way towards them.

As Clark climbs the porch steps, Martha and Jonathan rise from the swing. Clark stands there, facing his surrogate parents.

MARTHA: Clark, honey … don’t hate us for keeping this secret from you all these years.

CLARK: I don’t hate you, Ma. I could never think badly of you or Pa.

Opening his arms, Clark goes to them. Opening their arms, Martha and Jonathan go to him. They embrace, holding to each other fast, family to the very end.

INT. KENT HOME/DINING ROOM — MORNING

Clark, Jonathan, and Martha sit at the dining room table. In his two hands, Clark holds the S-pendant.

JONATHAN: We think it’s from your parents — your real parents.

Clark runs a thumb over the engraved, glowing sigil.

JONATHAN: (cont’d) I tried for years to trace its origins, but it’s not any symbol known to Man.

CLARK: What are you trying to tell me, Pa? That I’m a Martian?

JONATHAN: I don’t know, Clark. Maybe we just weren’t meant to know. Maybe we’ll never know.

Opening the clasp, Clark fastens the pendant around his neck.

INT. KENT HOME/CLARK’S BEDROOM — DAY

Clark sits behind his desk. Pencil in hand, he writes on a notepad.

CLARK: (V.O.) The pendant drew me to itself; it’s now drawing me elsewhere. I don’t know where I’m being drawn or to what purpose; I only know it’s a call I must answer. (beat) I can’t say when I’ll be back, but I will be back. That’s a promise.

INT. KENT HOME/ENTRANCE HALL — DAY

Keys to the Model T in hand, Clark walks out the door.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Behind the wheel, Clark pulls away from the house.

INT. KENT HOME/DINING ROOM — DAY

Mug of coffee in hand, Martha enters. As she approaches the table, she spies Clark’s notepad atop it. Setting her cup down, she picks up the pad, reading Clark’s note.

Frenetic, Martha bolts from the room to find Jonathan.

EXT. KANSAS TO COLORADO — MONTAGE

Clark makes the trip from Smallville, Kansas to the Elk Mountains, Colorado — by highway and backroad — guided by the silent siren song which beckons him.

EXT. FOREST — NIGHT

Clark now continues on foot, hiking through the dark woods.

EXT. FOREST — LAKE — NIGHT

Aroused by the surveyor’s report, a team of researchers has travelled out into these woods and established a camp by the lake to find out more about the downed starcraft.

Following the team leader’s directions, a photographer done up in a diving suit wades into the dark waters, waterproof camera in hand, while an automated pump supplies him breathable air.

CUT TO

Clark as he reaches the lake, far from the camp.

Stripping down to his underwear, Clark dives headlong into the dark waters.

EXT. LAKEBED — STARCRAFT — NIGHT

The photographer slowly approaches the sunken starcraft. Once close enough to the vessel, he raises his camera and begins taking pictures.

Stepping on a loose rock, the photographer stumbles, nearly tripping. Glancing down, he sees embedded in the rock several chunks of phosphorescent red crystal. Taking a snapshot of the fist-sized rock, he picks it up and deposits it in the string bag at his side.

CUT TO

Clark swimming through the murky waters.

Clark appears perfectly comfortable in this aquatic environ; he cuts through the water effortlessly — without kicking his legs or stroking his arms, as if he were gliding through the deep — and the lack of air doesn’t appear to hamper him any. As he draws near the starcraft, this changes; his limbs go awkward and his lungs start screaming for oxygen.

Moving around the starcraft, the photographer finally spies Clark. He is taken aback at the sight of this half-naked youth sharing the lake with him, so far from the surface without an air supply.

Adjusting to the current, fighting to keep from inhaling water, Clark kicks his legs hard, stroking briskly, until he finds himself positioned over the sealed canopy. Finding no wheel or similar apparatus to open the canopy, he begins punching it; though he doesn’t leave so much as a dent in the crystal, the force of the punches are cause enough to open the canopy.

Black water flooding the cockpit, Clark finds himself face-to-faceplate with the sole occupant. Taking her by the armpits, he tries lifting her free; much of his great strength absent, he finds the girl’s spacesuited bulk quite heavy. Gritting his teeth, he pulls with all the might he has remaining. Finally managing to dislodge the leaden girl from her submerged vessel, sinking to the mud, he crouches down then launches himself towards the surface, the girl held close to him.

All the while, the photographer has been taking photos of Clark’s epic struggle.

EXT. LAKE — NIGHT

Clark breaks the surface. GASPING, he begins swimming for shore.

EXT. FOREST — LAKE — NIGHT

Clark comes up on shore, soaking wet, the girl’s limp form dead weight in his arms. Depositing her on the grass, he collapses to his knees, breathing heavily. He looks at his hands; they are bruised.

Turning to the person in the spacesuit, he unseals and removes her chrome helmet, tossing it aside. Eyes closed, expression placid, the face of the most beautiful woman Clark has ever laid eyes on is unveiled.

EXT. TRUCK — NIGHT

Clark deposits the girl’s dismantled chrome spacesuit in the back of the truck then secures a canvas tarpaulin over the pieces, hiding them from sight.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — NIGHT

Clark gets behind the wheel. He looks again at his hands; though still bruised, they are healing. Starting the ignition, he then turns to his passenger. Now wearing Clark’s red flannel coat over her skintight bodysuit, she is finally coming to. Eyes cracking open, she faces him, still weak.

GIRL: (in alien language, subtitled) You — you are…?

He peers back into her eyes, the same azure as his own. He struggles to find the words.

CLARK: (in alien language, subtitled) A friend.

Swooning, the girl slips back into unconsciousness.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time

Keep up the solid work.

I have a Superman film in my head but I’m afraid no one would watch it! lol

The artist formally known as MrBenja0618.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

The Kents sit by their radio. The radio is on, but they aren’t listening. Worry for their son is clearly etched on their faces.

There is a series of loud KNOCKS at the door.

MARTHA: Clark!

They bolt from their chairs.

INT. KENT HOME/ENTRANCE HALL — DAY

Answering the door, they find Clark and the tall girl on the other side. The girl, semi-conscious on her feet, is braced against Clark’s body, her arm slung across his back.

INT. KENT HOME/GUEST BEDROOM — DAY

Lying in bed, her bodysuit removed, the blond girl has regained full consciousness. Martha ministers to the girl, cleaning her face and shoulders with a warm, wet washcloth.

GIRL: (weak) Ta-khukp nim….

MARTHA: I imagine you have a hundred questions on your mind. We certainly have that many. (sighs) I reckon the answers’ll remain long in coming for us all.

Finished with the washcloth, Martha takes up a towel and gently pats the girl dry. Once that is done, she collects the black bodysuit and goes to leave. The blonde takes her wrist. Martha looks back to her. The girl gives her a nod and smile of thanks. Martha returns the smile, then is gone.

INT. KENT HOME/HALLWAY OUTSIDE GUEST BEDROOM — DAY

Clark and Jonathan are waiting outside when Martha emerges.

CLARK: Can I see her?

MARTHA: She needs rest.

CLARK: I just want to talk with her awhile.

MARTHA: Awhile.

Martha allows Clark into the room, then closes the door after him.

INT. KENT HOME/GUEST BEDROOM — DAY

Clark approaches the girl. She watches him as he takes a seat in the chair beside the bed.

CLARK: (in alien language, subtitled) Ma says you’ll be sitting pretty soon enough.

GIRL: (confused; subtitled) “Sitting pretty”…?

CLARK: (subtitled) In a favourable position.

She accepts this explanation silently.

CLARK: (subtitled) We haven’t been formally introduced. Name’s Clark. (beat) Yours?

GIRL: (frowns; subtitled) You … can’t tell me?

CLARK: (frowns; subtitled) You don’t remember your name?

GIRL: (subtitled) No….

CLARK: (subtitled) What’s the last thing you recall?

GIRL: (subtitled) That woman … your mother?

Clark nods.

GIRL: (cont’d; subtitled) Stripping me naked.

CLARK: (subtitled) You have absolutely no memory of how you came here? Why you came? Where you came from?

A moment of thoughtful silence.

GIRL: (subtitled) I don’t….

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME/FRONT PORCH — SUNSET

Clark is seated on the porch steps, watching the clouds in the red-orange sky, when Jonathan emerges from the house behind him. Clark faces him.

JONATHAN: You shouldn’t have gone off like that.

CLARK: I know. I’m sorry. I just … I was compelled to go. I wasn’t sure you’d let me.

JONATHAN: In this family, we consult one another before committing to a plan of action. (beat) Clark, if you’d come to us with your feelings, we would’ve heard you out; we could’ve made preparations. Instead you went off alone, half-cocked. If someone should’ve seen you….

CLARK: It was the dead of night in the thick of the woods. There was no one else out there.

JONATHAN: You positive?

CLARK: I was alone.

INT. DARK ROOM — SUNSET

The photographer has finished developing his photographs. Each photo’s been pinned to a line to dry. Alongside the photos focused on the starcraft are the ones clearly showcasing Clark rescuing the girl from the submerged craft.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

INT. KENT HOME/GUEST BEDROOM — DAY

It is a new day. The girl stands nude before a full-length mirror, examining herself.

There are two KNOCKS at the door.

MARTHA: (O.S.) It’s Martha.

After some seconds, Martha opens the door. She finds the young woman standing there, not at all ashamed to be caught in the buff.

MARTHA: (eyes girl’s lean musculature) You certainly weren’t raised in the Bible Belt. (beat) Let’s get you decent.

Martha picks up the periwinkle dress she left in the chair by the blonde’s bed. She helps the girl slip the garment on over her head, then ties the sash snug around her waist. The girl touches the fabric, feeling the unfamiliar material, then looks at herself in the dress in the mirror.

GIRL: (faces Martha; grins) Gehd dhoia nahn!

MARTHA: (smiles) It is lovely on you.

INT. KENT HOME/ENTRANCE HALL — DAY

Clark is about to start up the stairs, the girl’s breakfast in hand, when he sees Martha and the girl climbing down. Upon sighting the statuesque blonde in her elegant dress, Clark’s mouth falls agape.

MARTHA: (half-smiles) You’ll catch flies.

The two women reach the bottom of the steps. Clark and the girl make eye contact.

CLARK: (distracted; frowns) Uh … is she…?

MARTHA: Much improved.

As they head towards the dining room, a framed photograph atop a short table catches the girl’s eye. Crossing to the table, she picks the photo up; it’s of a younger Martha standing with another, older woman. Holding the picture out toward the Kents, the girl asks a question.

CLARK: She wants to know who the woman with you is.

Stepping up to the girl, Martha accepts the photo from her. Smiling wistfully, she replaces it on the table.

MARTHA: My mother, Linda.

Clark gives the girl the translated answer. After a moment of thoughtful silence, she asks a second question.

CLARK: She wants to know if it would be all right by you if we called her Linda.

MARTHA: (smiles) Absolutely.

INT. KENT HOME/DINING ROOM — DAY

The Kents and Linda sit around the dining table. Knife and fork in hand, she looks upon the plate before her; two fried eggs, three strips of bacon, and a side of home fries look back at her. As her apprehension would suggest, she is unfamiliar with such cuisine.

Spearing an egg on her fork, she raises it to her eye; yellow yoke oozes from the pierced egg. Repulsed, Linda looks to her hosts. Seeing them partake of the food casually, their own eyes upon her, she stuffs the egg in her mouth whole. Biting through the rubbery white meat, she suppresses the urge to gag as yoke gushes across her tongue. Then the flavour hits her palate. Three seconds later, the remaining egg, bacon, and home fries are gone.

JONATHAN: (to Clark) You don’t eat that fast.

Linda BURPS loudly. Martha scowls deeply. Linda blushes, embarrassed.

INT. KENT HOME/LINDA’S BEDROOM — DAY

A week has passed. Clark sits with Linda on her bed. With the aid of picture and storybooks, he is helping her learn English.

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME/FRONT PORCH — DAY

Lana comes down the driveway on her bicycle. Pulling up to the front, she climbs off. Propping the bike up, shouldering a leather bag, she climbs the porch steps and KNOCKS at the door. Jonathan answers.

JONATHAN: (smiles) Hello, Lana.

LANA: Hello, Mr. Kent. May I see Clark, or is he indisposed?

JONATHAN: Be right back with him.

Jonathan closes the door. Lana WHISTLES while she waits.

INT. KENT HOME/KARA’S BEDROOM — DAY

Jonathan peeks inside.

JONATHAN: Lana’s here for you.

Clark rises from the bed.

CLARK: (to Linda; in alien language) I won’t be a moment.

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME/FRONT PORCH — DAY

The door opens. Stepping out onto the porch, Clark closes the door after him.

CLARK: Lana, hi.

LANA: You’ve been out of school all week; Nell’s been asking after you. Is everything alright?

CLARK: I’ve been down with the flu, but I’m feeling much better. I should be back in class Monday or Tuesday.

Touching Clark’s face, Lana begins feeling around his ears and jaw.

CLARK: What’re you doing?

LANA: Feeling for the edges of a mask.

CLARK: (brushes hand off; laughs) Cut it out.

LANA: (reaches into bag; pulls out paperwork) Here’s your homework.

CLARK: (takes papers) Thanks. (beat) Tell your aunt I’ll be in to see her tomorrow.

LANA: Will do. Hope to see you Monday.

CLARK: (smiles) Bye.

Returning his smile, Lana returns to her bike. She takes off, pedalling up the driveway as Clark heads back inside.

INT. KENT HOME/KARA’S BEDROOM — DAY

Clark returns to find Shelby and Rusty in the room. Shelby sits at Linda’s feet, wagging her fuzzy tail, while Rusty stands atop the bed, slurping Linda’s face. Linda, taking the dog’s slimy kisses in stride, returns his affectionate gesture with vigorous rubs and scratches along his neck and floppy ears.

CLARK: (bemused) Rusty, Shelby, out! Get out!

Obeying their master, the two dogs bolt from the room, scattering books in their wake. SIGHING, Clark picks the books up from the floor at super speed.

LINDA (GIRL): Who girl was at door?

CLARK: My friend Lana, from school.

LINDA: What “school” is?

Clark translates the word for her.

LINDA: (nods) Ah.

INT. KENT HOME/KITCHEN — DAY

It is the next day. Martha is busy washing dishes when Jonathan strides in. He spies a baking sheet of fresh cookies cooling on the countertop.

JONATHAN: Cookies, eh?

As Jonathan goes to take one, Martha flings suds in his face to ward him off.

MARTHA: I’ll have you know I baked those cookies for Nell Potter. Clark will be taking them to her today.

JONATHAN: (disheartened) Ah. For Nell.

Crossing to the icebox, Jonathan fetches a pitcher of milk; lifting the spout to his mouth, he drinks directly from it.

MARTHA: (points at him) Here’s where Clark gets all his bad eating habits.

JONATHAN: (places milk back in icebox) How much more time is our son going to spend with that woman?

MARTHA: A couple more weeks. He can’t very well rush the job, can he?

JONATHAN: (crosses arms over chest) I don’t like the idea of him spending any length of time with her.

MARTHA: (frowns) Jonathan Kent, whyever not?

JONATHAN: Don’t pretend you’re in the dark. She was Mrs. Dean Winters up until she returned to this town.

MARTHA: Whatever her failings, it’s no place of ours to judge.

JONATHAN: I don’t like her, Martha. I don’t like her and I most certainly do not trust her — not where our boy is concerned.

MARTHA: Our boy is a man, and a smart man at that. (beat) Believe Clark will make the right choices for himself if you can’t believe Nell will.

INT. NELL’S HOME/ENTRANCE HALL — DAY

Hearing a KNOCK at the door, Nell answers it. She finds Clark on the other side; in his hands he holds a small wicker basket with Martha’s homemade cookies inside. Clark’s eyes wander over the front of Nell’s black silk robe, which is barely tied closed.

NELL: I told you you needn’t knock.

CLARK: (shrugs) Sorry, ma’am. Old habits. (holds out cookies) Cookies. My mother baked them.

NELL: (smiles) Martha. That dear girl.

Accepting the basket, she turns her back to Clark. Clark steps inside. She closes the door after him.

NELL: My niece told me you were stricken with the flu?

CLARK: I’m much better now.

NELL: Oh, I hope you are. (beat) Let’s step inside the kitchen. I’m just perishing to sample your delectable cookies.

INT. NELL’S HOME/KITCHEN — DAY

They enter the kitchen.

CLARK: I think I can finish the roof today. I could then start to work on the garage, if you’d like.

Reaching into the basket, Nell fishes out a cookie. Raising it to her teeth, she takes a bite.

NELL: Mmm … peanut butter.

CLARK: (smiles slightly) They’re my personal favourite.

NELL: (cocks eyebrow) Would you care to…?

CLARK: (shakes head) Ma baked them specially for you.

NELL: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

When he reaches for the basket, she hides it behind her.

NELL: (wags finger) Ah-ah!

Nell holds out her cookie — the one with the bite taken from it. Tentative, Clark leans forward and takes his own bite. Nell grins, pleased.

NELL: It’s good.

CLARK: (chews & swallows) Quite good.

Nell takes a second bite from the cookie. She doesn’t swallow it; she holds it in her teeth, entreating Clark to take it. Leaning forward, Clark places his mouth over hers. They share the morsel.

CLARK: I should start to work now.

Depositing the cookie basket atop the counter, Nell unties and opens her robe. Taking Clark’s hand, she guides a finger into her mouth, moistening it.

NELL: By all means….

INT. SMALLVILLE HIGH/CLASSROOM — DAY

The school bell RINGS, signalling the end of day’s classes. Collecting his papers and books, Clark rises from his desk.

INT. SMALLVILLE HIGH/CORRIDOR — DAY

Students file out into the corridor from several different classrooms. Clark is soon joined by Pete and Lana.

PETE: The gang’s all headed for the general store. Care to partake in a soda, Clark?

CLARK: I’ll have to take a rain check. Nell’s expecting me by.

LANA: (frowns) Clark….

CLARK: Her back door needs attention.

LANA: You’ve been spending all your free time at Nell’s.

CLARK: (frowns) Have not.

LANA: Her place won’t burn to the ground the day you decide to take the day off. C’mon, Clark.

CLARK: (shrugs) I’m free tomorrow.

PETE: (claps Clark on back) Tomorrow it is, fella. (to Lana) Let’s ankle.

Pete starts on ahead. Lana dallies, staying with Clark a moment longer, unanswered questions lurking behind her hazel eyes. She then quickens her pace to catch up to the lanky blonde, leaving Clark behind.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

INT. KENT HOME/LINDA’S BEDROOM — NIGHT

While most everyone else in the household sleeps, Linda remains wide awake. To pass the hours, she reads from the weightiest text the Kents keep around the house: the Bible. Reclining atop her bed, she holds the tome between thumb and forefinger, handling it as if it were no denser than the thinnest paperback.

Linda rises from bed. Absorbed in the text, she absentmindedly crosses the length of the room. Upon coming to the wall, she doesn’t stop. Indeed, she continues up it, against the pull of gravity. Striding the length of the wall, she continues onto the ceiling, still reading. Reaching the centre, she stops. Standing on the ceiling, suspended upside down with her hair and clothes inexplicably still in place, she turns a page. Leaving the ceiling, flipping over in mid-air, she floats down as softly as a feather back to the mattress.

INT. KENT HOME/DINING ROOM — DAY

Clark has already departed for school, leaving Jonathan, Martha, and Linda at the table. As Clark’s parents finish their coffee, Linda reads through a fashion magazine, taking particular interest in the models’ hairstyles.

LINDA: (touches hair) How would you describe my hair?

MARTHA: (envious) Lush … baby blond….

LINDA: You do not believe it is without poise?

MARTHA: (half-smiles) Two out of three ain’t bad.

LINDA: (shows magazine to Martha) Still, this hairstyle would not be arresting on me?

MARTHA: You want a makeover.

LINDA: (hopeful) It is possible?

MARTHA: You could do worse than a qualified hairdresser … (looks to Jonathan)

Jonathan shakes his head.

MARTHA: (cont’d) but I’m no fledgling with the scissors. I could see what I can do.

LINDA: Splendiferous, Martha. Thank you. (beat) Jonathan?

MARTHA: Hmm?

LINDA: You have all done much for me this past month. I would aid you in your chores, if you would allow me.

JONATHAN: (shrugs) Sure thing.

INT. BARN/STORAGE AREA — DAY

Jonathan and Linda enter. Crossing to a chopping block, Jonathan pulls loose an axe.

JONATHAN: (points to firewood pile) Fetch a piece, Linda, would you?

Crossing to the pile of unchopped firewood, Linda takes up a round and carries it over.

JONATHAN: (cont’d) On the block.

She sets the round down on its side. It rolls off the block.

JONATHAN: (chuckles) Upright.

She sets the round, upright, on the chopping block.

JONATHAN: Stand back.

Linda steps away. Bringing the axe down, Jonathan cleaves the round in twain.

JONATHAN: And that’s how it’s done. (beat) Another.

They continue the process, Linda gathering wood, Jonathan chopping it.

LINDA: “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. (beat) But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

JONATHAN: Luke 6:27-38.

LINDA: (cont’d) “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, ‘Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.’ And Moses spake unto the people, saying, ‘Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the Lord of Midian. Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war.’ So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand. (beat) And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword. (beat) And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire. And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts. (beat) And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho. And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. (beat) And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. And Moses said unto them, ‘Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.’”

JONATHAN: Numbers 31:1-18.

LINDA: The Bible inspires much … ambivalence.

JONATHAN: It does at that.

LINDA: You are a devotee of the Hebrew god?

JONATHAN: I don’t put too much stake in being a churchgoing sort, but I believe in Jesus.

LINDA: How do you harmonize the charity of the Christ with the vehemence of his god?

JONATHAN: When the Lord commands Israel to do the Midianites wrong, that’s the Devil putting words in His mouth. When Jesus commands his disciples to turn the other cheek, that’s the true God breaking through the Devil’s lies. But I’m sure Pastor Nilquist would say different. (beat) How about you give it a try?

Setting down the axe, Jonathan switches places with Linda. Retrieving a round of wood, he places it on the chopping block.

JONATHAN: You don’t need the axe. (nods) Go ahead.

Clenching her fist, she brings it down on the round. Instead of splitting in two neat halves, it bursts into kindling.

JONATHAN: (smirks) Splendiferous.

INT. KENT HOME/KITCHEN — DAY

Linda sits in a chair, a towel draped around her shoulders and over her chest, looking through the same fashion magazine from before. Martha stands behind her, scissors in hand.

MARTHA: Ready?

LINDA: I am.

Taking a lock of Linda’s blond hair in hand, she takes her scissors to it. The blades snap clean off.

MARTHA: Heavens!

LINDA: (frowns) Something the matter?

MARTHA: (irate) I asked you if you were ready.

LINDA: (frowns) I was.

MARTHA: (holds out broken scissors) These speak otherwise.

LINDA: (confused) I do not understand.

MARTHA: You don’t know how to dial back your invulnerability?

LINDA: Dial back my invulnerability?

MARTHA: Clark can make it so scissors won’t break against his hair.

LINDA: Has Clark explained the process?

MARTHA: “Pulling it into himself”.

KARA: I will try….

Closing her eyes, Linda concentrates. Then something unexpected happens. Her hair — long, straight, unstyled — shortens, curls, styles itself. Even the shade changes; it takes on a dark brown colouration.

LINDA: Try again.

Martha’s mouth falls agape.

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME/BACK PORCH — NIGHT

Linda sits in an easy chair. Shelby resting on the porch to her left, the Bible placed down on the porch to her right, she stares into the night sky overhead, pensive.

Clark emerges onto the porch.

LINDA: I am in need of more books.

CLARK: I’ll pay the library a visit tomorrow. I’ll check the Complete Works of Shakespeare out for you.

LINDA: Is Shakespeare voluminous?

CLARK: How much time did it take you to read through the Bible?

LINDA: Three days.

CLARK: I’ll pick you up The Canterbury Tales, too.

Clark follows Linda’s gaze into the sky. The stars are out tonight, twinkling bright against the darkness.

LINDA: I must make a confession.

CLARK: (interested) Tell me.

LINDA: When I regained consciousness to find I retained no memory of my former life, I was not overwrought. Indeed, solace was my one honest sensation. (beat) It was as if a burden had been lifted. In my ignorance, I found liberty. (beat) I have begun to remember.

CLARK: (anxious) What do you remember‽

LINDA: Minutiae. Insignificant. (beat) There are … microscopic machines … in my follicles. They are what enabled me to refashion my hair.

CLARK: What else?

Linda looks to Shelby. The dog is asleep, her head between her paws.

LINDA: There were canines on our world, once. (sullen) I have seen their fossils.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I’m considering revising the beginning. I’ve been feeling lately that it reveals too much of Krypton and Kryptonian culture; perhaps it would be a stronger experience if the reader better shared in Clark’s journey, learning about his heritage as he does.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I went ahead and revised the beginning. Kara is now an unidentified character, and she makes the trip to Earth in a ship, same as Clark; everything with the Phantom Zone has been jettisoned. I’ve begun revising the remainder of the script to bring it in line with the new beginning; everything on page 1 has been updated; I haven’t yet gotten to this page’s entries.

The forthcoming revisions are going to be significant; most everything with Kara’s arrival on Earth and the Fortress of Solitude are going to be overhauled. Also, Brainiac likely won’t figure into the story like I originally planned. With the revisions I have in mind, I simply don’t see a way I can include him without it feeling forced & unnatural. Luthor will be the only antagonist going forward.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I made further revisions to the beginning. Kara & Clark are now part of a larger (and largely unsuccessful) Kryptonian exodus. The reasons for this change will be revealed later.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

The revisions are finished. One notable change is yet another alteration to the nature of the S-shield; instead of being any type of family crest, I now perceive it as either a symbol representing Krypton, a Raoist religious symbol, or both.

I should be getting started on a new entry soon. Luthor’ll likely make his appearance next. I’ve also figured out a way to include Brainiac in the story after all. That’s a good thing, 'cause the ending I have in mind would be difficult to execute if he isn’t involved.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

EXT. LUTHOR MANSION — FRONT YARD — DAY

Beneath an overcast sky stands the Luthor mansion. A prodigious Scots Baronial-style mansion built in the 19th century, it looms large over the grounds, a quiet and observant sentinel over all it surveys.

Entering the main gate, a dark purple Cadillac V-16 sedan moves across the paved driveway toward the mansion. Rounding a large fountain, it comes to the front steps. Exiting the vehicle, the chauffeur walks around to the other side, where he opens the back passenger side door. Stepping out, rising to his full height, is LIEUTENANT COLONEL ALEXANDER “LEX” LUTHOR OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY. A powerfully built 38-year-old man, he stands ramrod straight in his crisp officer’s uniform, the bushy brows set over his humourless green eyes the same shade as his thick, curly red hair.

INT. LUTHOR MANSION/MASTER BEDROOM — DAY

The curtains at the balcony door are open, allowing light onto a regal four-poster bed. LIONEL LUTHOR lies under the blanket. An emaciated 64-year-old man, he almost disappears into the mattress, his bruised skin almost as gray as his beard. Beside his bed stands his executor, Nigel.

Opening the door, a maid enters.

MAID: Your son to see you, sir.

LIONEL LUTHOR: (weak) See him in.

Lex is shown in. Removing his cap, he stands by the door.

LIONEL LUTHOR: You can come closer. Leukemia isn’t contagious.

Lex approaches his father’s bed, posture straight, arms crossed before him, cap in hand.

LIONEL LUTHOR: (cont’d) And you can dispense with the rigid army formality. You’re with your father, not your unit.

Lex retains his stance.

LIONEL LUTHOR: It’s been some time.

LEX LUTHOR: (stoney) Sixteen years.

LIONEL LUTHOR: (looks at Lex’s hands) Still unmarried?

LEX LUTHOR: You wanted to talk? I’m here.

LIONEL LUTHOR: (sighs) Your mother is gone; your brother is gone. I’ll soon be in my grave; there will be no one to inherit my empire once I’m gone.

LEX LUTHOR: There’s always Lucas.

LIONEL LUTHOR: (frowns) You were often a disappointment; that you defied me to play tin soldier was but the final in a series of transgressions. But it cannot be said I’m an unforgiving man. (beat) Nigel?

Reaching into his coat, the executor pulls out a folded sheet of paper and hands it to Lex. Unfolding it, he begins reading.

LEX LUTHOR: “The last will and testament of Lionel Luthor”.

NIGEL: You have been named sole recipient for all of Mr. Luthor’s properties and capital.

Lex reads through the entire document. Once he is finished, he refolds the paper.

LIONEL LUTHOR: What do you say, son?

LEX LUTHOR: This isn’t about forgiveness.

LIONEL LUTHOR: Excuse me?

LEX LUTHOR: (cont’d) This is about your legacy. (beat) You came from nothing. You toiled and sweat and bled to accrue all this. (gestures to surroundings) Of what worth are your achievements once you’re in the earth, food for worms? No worth, not without a son to continue through. But Julian’s dead, and a churchgoer of such high esteem as yourself would never bequeath his wealth to a wop bastard. You’ve only Lex Luthor, the prodigal son.

Taking the will in his hands, Lex tears it clean in two.

LEX LUTHOR: Your empire can follow you to oblivion. I’ve no use for it.

Lex tosses the torn will onto the frail form of his decrepit father. Replacing the cap atop his head, he turns and strides from the room.

EXT. LUTHOR MANSION — FRONT YARD — DAY

Luthor returns to the car. Opening the back passenger door, the chauffeur ushers him in.

INT. SEDAN/BACK SEAT — DAY

Back on the road. The car telephone in front of Luthor RINGS.

LEX LUTHOR: (answers phone) Luthor.

Luthor listens intently to the voice on the other end of the line. As the seconds pass, his brow furrows ever so slightly.

LEX LUTHOR: Another one?

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

EXT. SMALLVILLE — GAS STATION — DAY

Kenny is seated on a bench out front, reading a paperback, when a car pulls up to the pumps. Setting down his book, Kenny rises and goes to his customer.

DRIVER: 16¢ of gas. And give my windshield a wash, if you please.

KENNY: Not a problem, sir.

Cleaning the man’s windshield, Kenny then fills the tank. Once that’s done, the driver pays Kenny.

KENNY: Have yourself a fine day, sir.

Replying with a nod, the man pulls out and away.

Lana, on her bicycle, is riding along the side of the road. Upon nearing the gas station, she gives Kenny a wave. Taking off his cap, he waves back, smiling.

EXT. NELL’S HOME/FRONT YARD — DAY

Lana parks her bicycle at the front step. Taking a leather portfolio up from the bike basket, she goes to the door and KNOCKS.

INT. NELL’S HOME/BEDROOM — DAY

Clark and Nell are together under the sheets. Lying flat on her back, Nell stares deep into Clark’s eyes. He freezes in mid-thrust.

NELL: Why’d you stop?

CLARK: There’s someone at the door.

NELL: (laughs) You can’t hear the door from here.

CLARK: I heard it.

NELL: (sighs) They’ll go away.

Conceding her argument, Clark resumes his stride.

EXT. NELL’S HOME/FRONT YARD

Lana knocks again. When Nell fails to answer the door a second time, Lana tries the knob. Finding the door unlocked, she opens it and slips inside.

INT. NELL’S HOME/ENTRANCE HALL — DAY

LANA: Aunt Nell? Lana. (beat) I have those papers for you….

Lana creeps deeper into the house.

INT. NELL’S HOME/BEDROOM — DAY

The lovers MOAN.

INT. NELL’S HOME/HALLWAY OUTSIDE BEDROOM — DAY

From here, Lana can hear the lovemaking occurring in the bedroom. Curious, aroused, she silently steps down the hall to the bedroom door, which is a crack open.

INT. NELL’S HOME/BEDROOM — DAY

Deep in the throes of passion, neither Nell nor Clark notice the crack in the door widen.

INT. NELL’S HOME/HALLWAY OUTSIDE BEDROOM — DAY

Discretely peering through the gap, the wry smile on Lana’s lips dies as she spies who is with her aunt.

INT. NELL’S HOME/BEDROOM — DAY

Arms and legs wrapped around Clark, Nell climaxes.

INT. NELL’S HOME/HALLWAY OUTSIDE BEDROOM — DAY

Lana steps back, dropping the portfolio to the floor. The door then swings open of its own accord, leaving the two parties in full view of each other.

CLARK: (surprised) Lana!

Shocked, embarrassed, Lana dashes off.

CLARK: Wait! Lana!

Pulling away from Nell, Clark retrieves his pants and struggles to slip into them.

EXT. NELL’S HOME/FRONT YARD — DAY

Hopping on her bicycle, Lana kicks off, pedalling furiously to put distance between her and the cottage. Clark bursts through the front door.

CLARK: Lana!

Not stopping, not circling back, Lana angrily wipes unbidden tears from her eyes.

EXT. KENT FARM — CORN FIELD — DAY

To the back of the tractor has been hitched a reaper-binder. As Martha guides the tractor through the rows, the corn stalks are collected into the binder, automatically tied into bundles, then deposited out the back on the grass.

CUT TO

Some hours later.

Clad in purple flannel shirt and blue overalls, Linda goes about collecting the corn bundles from the ground, using her super strength to handle multiple bundles in both arms at once, using her super speed to stack them into shooks in a fraction of the time it would take a team of humans to complete the task.

As Linda finishes arranging the last shook, she hears a plaintive CRY. Following the sound, she looks up to find a red-tailed hawk gliding through the sky, its wings spread wide. She scrutinizes the raptor. A sense of familiarity falls over her.

INT. BARN/LOFT — DAY

Clark stands by the open loft door, looking out across the property, pensive. Hearing the CREAK of wood behind him, he looks over his shoulder to find Lana climbing the ladder. Reaching the top, she rises, facing Clark, face dark.

CLARK: (uncomfortable) Hi.

Lana approaches him.

LANA: How long?

CLARK: Lana —

LANA: (interrupts) I know what I saw, Clark. Just tell me … how long?

CLARK: Coming up on a month now.

LANA: (nods) She is a handsome woman.

Something catching her attention, Lana glances over Clark’s shoulder. Outside, Linda stands facing the barn. The brunette looks up at them, studying them.

LANA: (frowns) Who’s that?

Clark looks outside.

CLARK: (thinking) My cousin.

LANA: You’ve never mentioned her before. (beat) Where’s she from?

CLARK: Far away. Quebec.

At Clark’s touch, they leave the open door. Deeper into the loft’s shadows, Clark gently takes Lana by the shoulders, gazing into her eyes imploringly.

CLARK: Don’t tell anyone.

Lana studies Clark’s eyes. Closing her own, she leans forward and plants a tender kiss on his cheek. Stepping away without a word, she returns to the ladder.

Clark touches his cheek, feeling the lingering warmth of her kiss.

FLYER’S POV — ARGO (DREAM)

At transonic speed, we fly over Argo’s sprawling cityscape. Under the black sky of night, the crystal of the towering citadels and streets emits a blue-violet glow, bringing artificial, otherworldly day to the alien metropolis.

CUT TO

The flyer, who we can see is Linda, accompanied by her pet prism-bird.

Attired in the bodysuit we first saw her in, her hair once again blond, she soars with her arms out behind her, unassisted by any flying apparatus. As the wind meets her head-on, streaming her long hair out behind her, she grins and turns over, performing a loop-the-loop through the air. The prism-bird is quick to mirror her performance.

INT. KENT HOME/LINDA’S BEDROOM — NIGHT

Linda wakes to find herself floating in mid-air, suspended over her bed. Immediately she collapses onto the mattress, breaking the bed with a CRASH.

Arrivederci.