Categories > Comics > Superman

In the Shadow of Jor-El

by brianleemeyer 0 reviews

In the alternate universe, Jor-El has succeeded in convincing his people to leave Krypton. There is no "Superman," only Kal-El. Wait until you see how Kryptonite is used.

Category: Superman - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Sci-fi - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2018-02-18 - 1209 words

/This is a derivative work of fan fiction/

It was seventy degrees below zero, but none of the students were wearing coats.
They did not need to. Across the bleak, white schoolyard rang a shout.


Two boys were smashing their fists into each other without grace. Many of the students were just released from a class on the history of a deceased planet. The sport was a welcome diversion.

As one the combatants’ feet left the ground. They hovered at first a few feet above the ground, still fighting, their heels level with the chins of their classmates tilted up to observe the spectacle. Then they soared upward, higher than the pinnacle of the tallest building on campus, but low enough not to be lost in the clouds.

They continued pummeling each other, until one of them broke away. He flew above his opponent, intending to smash downward upon him. Instead, the other boy delivered a solid uppercut to his enemy’s chin.

The faculty finally realized what was happening and flew into the air to pull the belligerents to the ground.

Jax whispered, “Kal.”

Kal tore his blue eyes away from the battle to give Jax his attention.

“This is our chance. Let’s go.”

While the teachers were pulling the boys down from the sky, Jax and Kal grabbed their bags and floated away unseen. Kryptonian education is more strict than that of humans, and if spotted the boys would be told to halt. The teachers would eventually notice their absence of course, but could do nothing except tell their parents. They would pay for it later, but for now they could go anywhere in the world.

The planet was their playground.

Their destination was already decided; they would go to Metropolis. Faster than any of the human aircraft could travel, they streaked across the sky. The air was so cold it felt solid, then it warmed as they crossed the equator. While the cold could not hurt them, the warmth was pleasant on the skin. The sun rays were more oblique in New Krypton, and the direct tropical sunlight gave them a buzz of energy.

When they arrived, the city was an odd blend of crystalline structures built using the technology the Kryptonians had shared with the humans, and the old-fashioned buildings made of stone, glass, and metal which they were too nostalgic to tear down. The space between two such edifices created an alley where Jax and Kal could safely land without being seen.

They pulled clothes out of their bags and changed in the alley. They did not want to be seen in Kryptonian clothing. It was not likely, but if the human authorities were told to be on the lookout, it would not do to stand out. Kal was, after all, the son of the man who saved their race.

From a side pocket, Kal retrieved his piéce de résistance, a pair of stout glasses with thick, non-prescription lenses. Jax wrinkled his nose.

“Why do you have to wear those?”

Kal shrugged and used his finger to push them back up the bridge of his nose.

“You never see a Kryptonian wearing them,” he said.

“Yeah, but most humans don’t either,” said Jax.

Kal did not tell Jax the full truth, that he liked wearing the glasses. He liked to look like one of them. They trudged through the street, trying to look like they belonged there.

Wow! It’s so dirty! thought Kal with wonder. He was not repulsed, but excited at the thought of being somewhere so different than the colony. He wondered what his father, Jor-El would say.

No, he already knew. People expected better from the son of the man of his status. But being the hero of New Krypton was his father’s cross to bear, not his.

Jax led Kal into a dimly lit bar. The seedy atmosphere was heightened by the dust motes floating in the sun rays streaming through the window. There was a clacking of billiard balls in the back corner.

“Jack!” greeted the proprietor, a fat man with curly hair.

“Who’s your friend, Jack?” he asked Jax.

“This is Kal.”

He turned to Kal. “Nice to meet you, Kal. I’m Otis.”

Otis smiled, revealing crooked, yellow teeth. His narrow eyes crinkled at the edges. Kal shook his moist hand with disgust. Normally he found the human gesture charming, but he found Otis’ touch repulsive.

“What’ll you have, Kal?”

Jax answered for both of them. “Two beers.”

Weeks ago, Jax had told Kal about this place. It seemed that Otis had discovered a way for Kryptonians to become intoxicated, a substance he called Kryptonite. He laced the drinks with trace amounts, and the substance could weaken a Kryptonian enough for the alcohol to affect them almost the way it did a human.

Beads of condensation wept down the side of the glass pint, chased by runners of foam. Kal felt nothing at first, but as the amber liquid disappeared he felt more at ease. Then the easy feeling gave way to genuine pleasure.

Jax elbowed him. “Does it get any better than this?”

“Oh,” said Otis. “But it does.”

The smile he gave Jax made Kal’s skin crawl, but Jax leaned over the bar in his excitement.

“Did you get it?”

Otis smiled magnanimously. “We just got it perfected. You wanna try it?”

Jax indicated that he did, and Otis led them into a back room. A thin man with a scraggly beard was sitting on the couch. He was pale and unmoving. His mouth hung open. His eyes looked wrong somehow. Kal thought they looked darker somehow, even though his pupils had constricted to almost nothing.

When the door was closed behind them, Otis opened a drawer and pulled out a hypodermic needle, which he filled from a small jar. There was a white and yellow label on the jar, but Kal could not read it from where he stood. The beer (or more accurately, the Kryptonite in the beer) had affected his vision. He could not even see through the walls.

“What is that?” asked Kal.


Heroin and Kryptonite, you mean, thought Kal. His father and the rest of the counsel would not like this. They had already warned everyone in New Krypton to stay away from Kryptonite until they could learn about its long-term affects. Did they know it was being mixed with highly addictive substances?

Jax rolled up his sleeve and handed the man some folded bills. Kal did not know much about human currency, but it looked like an awful lot. Then again, Kryptonite-tipped needles must be expensive. Kal was fascinated at how easily the needle pierced Jax’s flesh. Few things on this planet could do that.

Jax gasped and then he smiled. Otis retrieved a fresh needle from the drawer and turned to Kal.

“Okay,” he said. “Your turn.”


Many thanks to my friend and editor, Tyler Randolph.

If you enjoyed this story, please go to my website: to see my original fiction and get updates on my upcoming novel.

I look forward to your comments.

May inspiration find you with a pen in your hand!
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