DC: Re-Created: Superman #0.1
The wind blew quietly on the tranquil cornfields, gently stirring in the evening wind. Suddenly a more unnatural wind disturbed the peace as two figures blurred by, kicking up dust for miles behind.
Clark eagerly pushed himself to his limit, desperately trying to catch up to the speeding figure ahead. “ I’m gonna catch you, boy!” he shouted ahead. He was met with the reply of a cheerful bark. “Hey, don’t be getting cocky, now, Butch.” Clark joked as he caught up to the white canine, who barked eagerly as he sped ahead of Clark again.
Whilst sprinting, Clark suddenly heard a familiar far-off noise. It gave him an idea. He stopped swiftly to survey the area, his shoes violently spraying dirt ahead of him. He used his telescopic eyesight to spot the approaching train in the distance and smiled. He suddenly felt a furry nudge against his leg as Butch urged him to continue racing. “Butch, go home for now, someone might recognize you” Clark explained as put on his hood, shadowing most of his face, even in the Kansas sun. This was met with a confused look by Butch. “Go on boy, I’ll only be a few minutes.” he assured. Butch reluctantly looked at Clark before thundering into the distance.
Clark stood near the track, waiting for the speeding train to pass. When the moment was right, Clark shot off from the cornfield. Lowering his head, so he mightn’t be seen, he began pushing himself to keep up with the train. His breathing became heavier as his pace slowly quickened, moving him past the front carriages. He gritted his teeth as he strained his body past the driver’s carriage. Finally, he let out a triumphant roar as he raced ahead of the train. He stopped and fist-pumped the air, his mood quickly changed as he caught sight of his watch, “Crap, dinner!”. He began to pace towards the house, again causing the ever-suffering cornrows to be violently thrown around.
“C’mon Clark, your dinner will get cold!” Ma Kent urgently shouted to the approaching hooded figure coming into the dining room. “Sorry Ma, wasn’t minding the time…” Clark reluctantly replied, as he lowered himself onto the dining chair.
The wooden table was sturdy and small, though it was packed with some of Ma Kent’s finest cooking, which Clark eagerly began to collect onto his plate. There were utensils scattered around the often clean, quaint wooden counters, evidence of Ma’s perseverance.
“What were you doing, son?” Pa Kent asked between mouthfuls of beef.
“Walking Butch, Pa” Clark quickly replied as he reached for a roast potato in the centre platter.
“Butch came home 10 minutes before you.” Pa raised the question as he placed his cutlery on the table and stared at Clark.
“He must of being excited to get home or something…” Clark was quickly interrupted by Pa, “Don’t lie to me, boy. You know as well as I do, that dog’d never leave your side, unless specifically told. So I’ll ask again, What were you doing?” Pa interrogated calmly as he rested his arms on the table.
“Pa, don’t. He’s a young adult now, he doesn’t’ need you questioning his every move!” Ma argued as she too stopped eating. “Mary, this ain’t some young fellow who spends too long partying or drinking. This is our Clark. If he ain’t careful, we’ll have FBI, CIA, probably some acronym we never even heard of, kicking down our door, questioning us about alien sightings. So yet again, I ask. Clark, what were you doing?” Pa explained thoroughly.
“Trying to outrun a train…” Clark admitted as Pa let out an audible sigh and massaged his forehead. “…but I wore my hood.” Clark added.
“That mightn’t be good enough to stop the Feds investigating the appearances. You’re a grown adult, Clark, think like one. In the future, Clark, don’t lie to me, otherwise you’ll lose my trust and neither of us want that.” Pa scolded as a silence came, only broken by a ticking clock.
“You always said, if you use your curse to help the world, it becomes a gift. That I was sent here for a reason. That, I have the power to change the world for the better…” Clark debated.
“By racing trains, Clark?” Pa replied, an eyebrow raised.
“What’s the saying? Don’t hide your light under a bushel, let it burn bright. What’s the point of having a talent, if it’s wasted. I can think of a few more” Clark continued.
“Yes, do it in private, don’t try to show off Clark.” Pa replied sternly.
“Not only that, but I’m getting faster, stronger too, the more I train.” Clark remarked eagerly.
“Clark, for all your power, remember your beginnings. Don’t become a false god or beyond us.” Pa spoke abruptly, his voice more serious than usual.
“Pa? You know I’d never be like that?” Clark assured, confusedly.
“You may say that now, but when you are worshipped as a god and have the power to change the world, will you say that then? Power is a drug, Clark, perhaps the most addictive of all.” His voice calm and clear, hoping each word fell on Clark’s sensitive ears
Butch began to bark and whine urgently from his bed in the corner, breaking the room’s tension. Clark tried to focus on the source of the trouble, which was troubling Butch. He heard the panic and hustle of cattle in the distance. His sensitive hearing made it seem as if it was adjacent.
“Pa, something is startling the cattle.” Clark quickly cried.
“What?! Do you know what’s startling them?” Pa declared urgently, as he rose rapidly from the table
“Can’t tell from here. Must be bad, though. Might even cause a breakout.” Clark explained, as he too began to stand. His height meaning he ducked to avoid the low-hanging lampshade.
“You go on ahead and try calm them down. I’ll try catch up afterwards.” Pa replied as he walked to the wall hooks to get the tractor keys and swiped his hat off the counter.
Clark nodded and began to pace out of the kitchen. He walked through the arch into the hallway. He opened the well-worn front door and once out in the open air, he became a blur.
“You’re awfully hard on him sometimes, Reg, maybe you should take it easy. He’s trying his best and he’s a good kid.” Ma Kent remarked suddenly as she peered at the window at where Clark once was.
Pa Kent stopped on his way to the front door and turned to Ma,
“I know, it’s just that I want to keep him on the straight and narrow, I can go overboard sometimes. Plus, I want him to remember what I teach him. People remember a stern word better than a calm compliment. It’s not perfect, but unfortunately it’s how the world works. Evil drowns out the good. Maybe, just maybe, one day, someone will do enough good to be heard above the evil, and maybe, people will listen.”
Clark arrived at the field and was met by the sight of the head of the herd breaking through the fence. He tried to shout at them, to force them to retreat, but they feared something else more. He tried to push against the leader, to push the herd back, but it was too wide. Cows are slow creatures, Clark thought as he began to zoom to each cow at the front, pushing each of them ever so slowly. It still didn’t work, as there was simply too much for Clark to handle. His kryptonian brain began to mentally test out several ideas until it arrived at a conclusion: The fallen tree down by Thomas’ place. Clark sprinted down to Thomas’ place, easily leaping the gently flowing stream, that connected their land, until he arrived at his destination, a recently harvested field, bare except for the fallen tree trunk in the corner and the tiny stubs that littered the field like grass.
Clark quickly ran to the needed item and dug his heels in, as he lifted the tree trunk into his grasp. He ran back to the area of commotion, carefully dodging obstacles with the lengthy object along the way. Upon arrival, he immediately began to use the log to push back the panicked herd. His feet began to push against the soil as he slowly gained inches towards the herd. Maybe, there was even too much cattle for even him. Either way, Clark knew his duties and continued the struggle. He was suddenly surprised by a sonic shout from behind, spraying him in a shower of soil as he felt its force cutting into his back. This startled the already frightened cattle, forcing them to retreat. He soon saw a blur appearing and disappearing around the cattle as Butch shepherded them towards the destination. A laugh came from behind: “Sometimes the indirect approach is more effective, Clark, brute force doesn’t solve everything” remarked Pa Kent as he walked towards Clark from the tractor. Clark felt a smile appear on his dirt-covered face.
Butch suddenly broke the laughter with a bark. Clark turned and noticed the canine’s snout pointed towards a large mound. “Butch must have smelled something…” Pa mumbled. Clark immediately ran towards the mount and examined the area. His face suddenly turned to horror, “Oh no…” he muttered, lost for words. He continued to survey to see the extent of the damage when a cry was heard behind him: “What?! What is it? What is it, Clark…” Pa drifted off as he reached the summit of the mount. A few dozen cattle were dead, scattered around the area, the smell of death was in the air and the only noises were of rushing water and flies.
“No, no, no ,no” Pa babbled as he gripped his neck uncomfortably with his hands. “Clark! This is a good portion of the herd! Do you realize how much money this’ll lost us” he exclaimed. “We’ll never last through the winter!” Pa cried as he kneeled with the shock.
Another bark could be heard, Butch had appeared at the stream alongside the cattle and was smelling it uncomfortably. Clark walked over and gently petted the dog while he searched the water. His microscopic eyesight soon discovered a strange substance running throughout the water. “Pa, it’s the water! Something’s in the water!” he shouted to his father, who was now rapidly pacing, oblivious to all.
Clark knew it was best not to comfort his father until he calmed down. He began to travel alongside the river until a chain-link fence blocked his path. Beyond the fence was a plantation of sorts, with workers, tractors, machines, and buildings scattered over the area, the place was a hub of activity. It was a mass-production farm and Clark noticed the logo of Goodling Wholesale on one of the huge warehouses. But another detail caught Clark’s mind as upon closer inspection of the land. The machines were spraying and pumping various chemicals into the soil and plants. His telescopic eyesight also revealed that any overflow slyly spilled into the stream, a natural dumping ground for the corporation. Clark looked onwards in anger and didn’t notice as the fence post began to twist into an unnatural shape, as his grip squeezed harder.