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WITHOUT permission for NO PROFIT, but rather a strong desire to peer into
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YesterYear FanFiction Presents
A MAN NAMED KENT #1-3
"One Day In April"
written by Tommy Hancock
edited by Erik Burnham
He raised his head slowly at the pleading tone in his father's normally strong voice. His usually crackling blue eyes were now somber with heavy tears. His chest heaved with a massive breath, air whispering from his tightly clenched jaw. He looked around him, the sky gray with grief and storm clouds, the trees bearing the beginnings of spring on their branches, but still dead somehow, and the landscape barren except for trees and the stones planted there by man. No one was there, all of them long gone to the dinner on the ground at the Methodist Church. No one but him and his father.
Standing beside his mother's gravestone.
Clark's shoulders shook with one silent sob as he buried his face in his father's shoulder. A moment later, he raised his head and cleared his throat, saying, "Now what. What will we do, Pa?"
Eben replied, "I'll keep on with the farm. She loved that hunk of dirt, especially when it was all green with life. And you," he managed a smile through all his agony, "You remember when you got out of high school? When we showed you .. what we found you in. You remember that, Clark?"
Clark nodded, thinking of the rocket buried beneath the barn.
Clark nodded, not in agreement, only remembrance. "She told me
no matter where I came from or who my real parents were, that you were
my family and that I had a gift for helping people." He turned away
from his father, his eyes falling on the stone that read SARAH MARTHA
CLARK KENT/MOTHER AND WIFE/ANGEL GONE HOME/1878-1938. "But Pa, I've
been here over two years now, helping you with Ma and the farm. I
don't know that I know how to help anyone out in the world. It's all
so crazy now in the papers and on the radio. And all I've known has
been here in Kansas."
Eben said, "You need to go, don't you? You go on, I'll drive back to the house in a while."
Clark nodded. "I won't be long, Pa. Just have to go into town to
meet that lady reporter, the one who wanted to ask me about that man
we saw around the farm. Shouldn't take too much time." He looked
into his father's eyes. "But that can wait if it needs to."
Clark reached inside his coat again, this time retrieving a pair of glasses. Something his Pa always had him do, just in case he ever decided he didn't want people knowing him if he used his powers. Of course, Clark never really understood how a simple set of glasses could have disguise anyone, but Clark didn't ever argue. "I don't know, Pa. But I won't be long."
Eben started climbing into the truck. "Take your time. You enjoy
What's that reporter's name again, son?"
"I really don't know what to make of you, farmboy."
Clark smiled at the impetuous words of Lois Lane. She was the
epitome of the 'modern woman,' that archetype that so many matronly
sorts in his small home town looked down their noses at, secretly
envying to have her drive to succeed. Her playfully sarcastic words
rolled beautifully out of her lovely thin mouth, her green eyes
sparkling with beauty and little girl mischievousness. She sat across
the tiny table from him, her cup of coffee cradled in her ivory
hands. Clark felt like he did the first time he met her three days
ago. Like every word from her was an invitation, a challenge.
Lois laughed, just a slight chuckle. "I come up here following a
lead for the Daily Planet and hear about some farmer who may have some
information for me. I go to his house, find out his mother has passed
" Lois paused, searching Clark's face for some flicker of
emotion. She found it, a slight wince of his left eye. "Again," she
said, quieter this time, "I am sorry about your loss."
Caught off guard a bit, she continued, "Well, it's just that you
insisted on telling me your story that night. And then I learn that
you hold more degrees than a thermometer, yet you choose to be a
Feeling a barb thrown at her with that statement, Lois ignored it.
"And to top it off, I ask to see you again and you choose today, after
your mother's funeral."
Lois cocked her head to the left, her eyes narrowing. "And what do
Uncomfortable that command of the conversation had been snatched
her, Lois sighed and flipped open her pad. Her pencil already on the
table, she picked it up and said, "Just tell me again what you saw
last week. Don't leave anything out."
Lois, writing furiously, asked, "And that's all? You didn't see
anyone with him? He didn't have anything in his hand? A map? A
Lois nodded. "I may have misled you. I'm here because I'm not so sure anymore that the Bronze Man is as vile as the FBI and other reporters believe. I don't have much in the way of proof, but I believe that this man " she looked down at her notepad, ten back up at him, " whoever he is, is being framed by someone else. But, the evidence against him is very, very damning."
Clark leaned across the table, his curiosity burning. "What sort
Clark nodded. "I heard about both of those things. And you seem
think, with all this, that the Bronze Man is innocent."
I can almost guarantee it."
They both looked up at a rather slender man to have such a resonant
voice. He was all grin, his bony hands out wide to both of them.
Neither Lois nor Clark shook them, but it didn't bother the man at
all. He just kept them out and went on smiling.
Lois started to say something, but Mayor Fredericks cut her off,
blustering, "I knew you'd like her, my boy. Knew it when she called
and told me not to tell anyone but you that she was comin'! The great
Lois Lane of the Daily Planet, here in our town."
Clark smiled. "You noticed that, did you?" Lois laughed, making
Clark's grin grow even wider. She had a pretty smile, he thought,
goes well with the rest of her.
Clark heard the faint sizzling, smelled the strong burning scent,
did not move quickly enough to do anything. The window beside them
shoos as a tiny hole appeared in it and a searing white light ripped
through it, striking Lois hard in the chest. Clark, a split second
late, rushed to her, putting himself between her now limp, smoking
body and the hardly visible light still aimed at her. Elsie Rodney,
the waitress behind the counter, screamed and Doe Harris, the owner
and cook, ran out to see what was happening to his only two customers
Clark didn't move as his coat caught fire. "Lois," he said quietly, but urgently, "Lois, hold on. You'll be all right."
Blood trickling out of the left side of her mouth, Lois coughed, her eyes barely opening. "You're you're on fire, Clark." His coat and shirt were now consumed in flames. He carefully lowered her head to the floor, then ripped the burning clothes off his back with one savage motion. Lois coughed again, choking on her blood and her stilted words. "On..fire..and you don't even sweat. And smart and handsome too You're one..super man farmboy." She gasped, then her head fell back, her eyes still half open.
Later, when Sheriff Boden questioned him about what happened, Doe Harris nervously recounted how he had to practically drag Elsie out the door as young Kent, flames eating away at him, knelt over the dying lady reporter. They had just barely crossed the street, almost over to Hogie's Barber Shop, when they heard Kent scream, Harris said it sounded like a wounded bull, and the tiny restaurant erupted into a geyser of splinters, shards, and nails. Whatever blew up the building was so powerful that it swept Harris and Elsie out of the street and threw them into the barber shop. Elsie swore that she felt someone grab her, but everyone knew she'd always been a little off anyway. That was how what happened immediately after Lois died would be reported and remembered. That a big city reporter lady and Clark Kent, a native born son, died in an unexplained explosion in the heart of town.
Clark cradled Lois Lane in one arm, closing her eyes with his free hand. Setting her down gently, he shouted out a thunderous rage. Death everywhere. Confusion dragging him down. Senselessness ripping the world, his world to shreds. Then he turned, looking over his shoulder out the window, the tiny hole seared in it still smoking. And he saw him. On top of Hogie's Barber Shop. Kneeling, a long silver rifle out of some Saturday afternoon space serial on his shoulder. A man, average build and height, angry, gleefully evil face. And fiery red hair dancing wildly in the April breeze.
He didn't even stand up, only pivoted around on the balls of his feet and sprang forward, his fists out ready to wrap around the distance between him and that murderous bastard's neck. With the force of a summer cyclone, he burst through the wall of the restaurant, shaking the ramshackle building into ruin. His eyes only wavered from the red haired man an instant, long enough to carry Harris and Elsie out of harm's way, out of his way.
With one stomp on the street, he jumped in the air, leaping high with the speed of an out of control locomotive. One hand on the ledge of the shop's roof, he swung over, landing on the rooftop as if he weighed nothing. The red haired man knew he was coming and was already making his getaway. He was at the far side of the roof, the back of the shop that bordered Farnum's Woods on the outskirts of town. His rifle was slung over his back now, a leather strap crossing the gray shirt on his chest from right to left. He had one leg over the side, already wrapped around a rope he had climbed up. Both of them hesitated, Clark out of the sheer weight of frenzy, the assassin because he clearly relished the futility of the moment.
A tiny bound, again with a delicate landing, and Clark had his
massive hand around the man's throat. His features were rugged,
scarred with hard living and age. The wretched smile of perverted
pleasure from his actions remained, even under Clark's crushing grasp.
The thick Russian accent combined with his struggling for air made the killer sound demonically ominous as he rasped, "Walk with Sunlight Stray from the dark to Sunlight or die like all others."
Clark felt something slap onto his chest, something heavy. The red haired man laughed as Clark looked down and saw a small black box, about three by six inches, stuck just over his heart. And ticking.
The maniac's laughing grew louder as Clark let him go and tried to pull the box off. It would not move. With both hands, he grabbed it, turned, wrestled, twisted it, as the killer cackled on and scurried down the rope and into the woods. Clark shouted as he fought with the tiny box, still unable to tear it from his body. Knowing what the ticking meant, Clark jumped from the roof, his arms out at his side, shooting straight up, then turning himself, aiming his body into the midst of Farnum's Woods. He somersaulted through branches and limbs, mangling three trees before the box exploded. And the world collapsed into black around him.
"So," the voice was a gentle rumble carved from a terrible thunderclap and enough to wake Clark from his troubled unconsciousness .along with the high pitched trilling ricocheting inside his head, "You are what all of this has been about."
Shaking off burnt and broken limbs and bark, Clark raised up slowly, his eyes blurry, but quickly focusing on the immense figure towering above him. The one that the trilling was coming from.
Clark fumed, "IT'S YOU!!"
Three feet away from Clark, standing over him, casting a long shadow, was a man. A perfect physical specimen. Muscles rippling like water over his chest. A stern, strong face. An impressive, daunting man. A man of bronze.
Clark lowered his head, adrenaline and rage making it ache as if it weighed a ton on his shoulders. His eyes narrowed, his hand flat on the ground supporting him flexing only slightly, his other one rolling itself into an extended fist. As if fired from the ground itself, Clark shot up, his only intent to knock the Bronze Man's head clean from his shoulders with one bone shattering punch. No morals, no ethics, just a man tired of grief, of anger, of feeling beaten so much in one day.
The grip of sinewy bronze fingers on his wrist was slight, almost
feathers tickling his sweaty skin, but there nonetheless, somehow snatching
him from the split second he traveled in. Gasping for breath to yell,
Clark felt himself slung high into the air, landing on a massive flat rock
behind the Bronze Man. The rock groaned, cracking under Clark's crash.
He charged, the bull's eyes full of red. The Bronze Man tensed,
firmly planted. Clark lowered his head, knowing he could knock a new road
through Farnum's Woods with this man with the butt of his head. What he
learned was just how prepared his opponent was. Clark hesitated, shocked
when arms seemingly cast of bronze itself took hold of his head.
The muscular man winced, his own emotions starting to cloud what had to happen here. "That is because ..I once loved her. And Luthor knew it."
Clark roared suddenly, no explanation in his mind, no reason in his heart. Pure from-the-depths-of-the-soul fury. He threw his head up, his arms flailing trying to snatch the Bronze Man, now in the air still holding Clark's head.
Tossed around as if in a storm, the Bronze Man concentrated,
strength and weight backward, causing Clark to tumble back. Before Clark
could react, the Bronze Man had rolled out from under him and sat upon his
chest. He did not try to grapple him again, only stared at him. With
haunted, but sincere eyes.
His body still tender with passionate, furious grief, Clark did not
back. He could not, not when he saw what was in the eyes of the man who
had bested him. Honesty. Truth. And mourning for a woman he loved.
The Bronze Man nodded, looked at Clark again, studying his
breathing, his very being it seemed, then stood up. "She may have at
first, but I hoped she would learn differently." He lowered his head,
turning away. "Now I wish she hadn't."
Tugged from his private moment, the man turned back around.
he said, unrolling the sleeves of his white shirt, "we share a name.
Clark." He extended his hand. "I am Doctor Clark Savage, Jr."
Clark cocked an eyebrow. "What kind of circumstances make a man
Clark recalled that name, too, whispers of rumors of a lunatic genius who believed it was his destiny to be monarch of the world, a destiny he sought to attain at all costs. "Sunlight. The only one of your enemies you ever faced twice. A man many said was nearly your equal."
Doc nodded once, a glint of admiration crossing his face. It seemed that each of them knew the other quite well despite only meeting moments before. "In my absence, Sunlight has decided that he is more than a man and more than anyone's equal. He spent quite a bit of time in Europe in the last year, wondering through the depravity and devastations of poverty and power hungry men. There he found so many imperfections, so many flaws in the people and the very world they lived in. Priding himself on his ultimate perfection, he began to act as a god, a messiah to these people." Savage paused, remembering the first time he saw Sunlight in Germany after he appointed himself to godhood. "The poor masses devoured the tripe Sunlight threw out. Even many leading minds, many intelligent people, including Luthor, took what Sunlight said to heart. So much so that John Sunlight has become truly deluded, convinced he is Sunlight the Savior."
As Savage talked, Clark noted certain things he had heard on the radio, read in papers, even picked up on at the gossip at the barber shop, about a man who walked the barren wasteland that so many Americans thought Europe was fast becoming and had started up a church, a church intent on taking back what its members felt had been taken from them and on placing their leader, The Savior, in control of all existence. Clark remembered how truly insane and heartless someone had to be to take advantage of a people plagued by so much. Now that he knew The Savior's true identity, he was sure of the extent of his evil.
Savage went on, "When Sunlight learned I was alive and intended, of course, to stop him, he perpetrated an elaborate hoax to incriminate me as a criminal. He hired a man that many believed resembled me and had him commit crimes all over the country. That made it impossible for me to surface publicly. I have been following Sunlight around the world, piecing together his grand plan and hoping to stop it." Doc Savage took a breath, closing his eyes, and said, "Lois learned much of this just before coming here. I tried to warn her, but was captured by Luthor and other Sunlight worshippers just outside her newspaper building. Luthor used a gas of some sort that left me immobile. I awoke in a broken down shack chained to an iron post."
Clark smiled. "The old hunter's shack on Pa's property."
Doc nodded. "Not far from where you saw me. I was still very confused, under the influence of the gas and whatever else Luthor had given me. I apologize for firing at you. I assume they didn't believe me much of a threat after the attack. They left my weapons and equipment on me. I fired at you, then wondered dazed into the trees. It took a few days, but I finally found myself again." His fists balled up, his arms quaking with mournful anger, an anger Clark clearly identified with. Savage said, "But it was too late for Lois."
Clark didn't know what to say. He felt sorrow for Savage, regret for him, but words of that kind did not come easy to him. Not when he felt so much of the same for himself.
He said, "All of that I understand. But why would he come to
What part could this town play in his plans of domination by religion?"
Clark started to say that Savage had to be wrong, but then he
His abilities. His 'birth.' His personal mystery. "Explain," he said.
Clark took a moment, thinking over all he had just heard. He then said, "My parents found me in the wreckage of some sort of ship. They never tried to find out what it was. They, I think, didn't want to know. I've only seen it once, when I was thirteen. It's buried in an old well under Pa's barn."
Savage nodded. "Sunlight has spent the last several years
stories, but only recently did he figure out where the crash may have been.
He acquired a map, apparently drawn by a witness other than your parents.
He's here looking for the baby, now a man, if he survived. He wants you,
Clark. If he can't have you, he'll try to destroy you and take whatever
weapons he believes fell to Earth that night."
Hearing his mother's given name surprised Clark, he'd not heard her called by it often. "Mary. My father called her Mary. From her middle name being Martha, he always said."
Savage tightened his grip on Clark's arm, not a gesture of
one of support. "You have great gifts, Clark, due to your abilities as
well as to the people who raised you. You have to decide the best way to
If the light that had just dawned on Clark had been literal, then he and Savage would have been forever blinded. Like pieces of a puzzle thrown into the air and falling back into their original places, everything was coming together.
Doc Savage felt a ripple of frenzied wrath up his own back, but moreso in the quivering of Clark's arm. Clark jerked away from him, bounding back into town in two large leaps, before Savage could shout, "Clark! Not like this!"
Dailey Fredericks cursed as he slinked out of his coat, the door to
house still standing half open. Ever since Mabel left him three weeks
before, he had told everyone she was visiting a fictional sick sister in
Des Moines, he had come home every day to a dark, empty house, not a place
for a Mayor of anywhere to come home to. Kicking the door shut with the
toe of his shoe, he slung his coat across the room and began his daily
ritual of fumbling for a light or to pull the damned curtains open to let
the fading sun shine in.
Fredericks screamed like a violated woman at the ominous deep voice that seemed to come from all around him. Frantically, he threw open the curtains, the last rays of the day casting a pale light on a muscular man in the shadows of the far corner. He wore a white shirt, the first button undone, and black pants. And a black mask.
Clark moved slowly closer to Fredericks, paralyzed and silenced by
He fought the urge to reach up and adjust what had been his coat, but was
now a quickly fashioned hood, tied around his head and most of his face,
crude eyeholes torn in it, much like he had seen Zorro portrayed in some
book or serial. As he neared Fredericks, he realized that even though he
had little to fear from a weak man like the mayor, his father still had to
live in this town. Taking only a moment, Clark tore his coat into shreds,
using the largest as an improvised mask.
Too scared to even deny it, Dailey Fredericks screamed, "He didn't
he was going to kill her! I swear! He just paid me money to find out when
she would be here and make sure she didn't get too far from town before
he-" The terror in his eyes revealed that he knew had just said too much.
Fredericks scratched at the hand around his neck until it finally loosened enough to let his words escape. "Wanted..her stopped. Then wanted to know about anyone .who had a child around twenty seven, twenty eight years old nearby. I told them there was only one. They paid..me my money not an hour ago then left my office for there."
Clark pressed Fredericks harder, wanting so badly to push him deep
Into the wall of his house. "They left for WHERE?"
Fredericks was unconscious before he ever hit the ground, his body sprawled out under the gaping hole Clark left in his roof as he sprang through it.
Animal rage. He felt it roar through his veins as he pounded the ground harder and harder with each jump, springing higher, farther through the air out of sheer will. Bitter panic. He tasted it on his tongue as it rolled down his face in furious beads of sweat. Frightening confusion. He trembled with it as he moved faster, his feet nearly knocking the tops from the trees along his family's back 40 as he grazed them passing overhead. A handful of days, he thought, his mind racing faster than his body would go. A few days and his entire reality had gone to Hell in a big city handshake, as his Pa would say. Clark did not understand it, could not even begin to conceive why this was happening. Why now? Why would he lose his mother now? Why would the secret that his parents kept from him until he was an adult suddenly be a great American myth? Why was he rushing from the death of a young lady he barely knew to save his own father from being murdered by her killers? Tears bit at his eyes, tears of grief still falling from the funeral, tears of fury welling up. Clark cursed himself under his breath, wishing he could do more than leap like a damned toad, wishing he were faster than the 319, the old train that still thundered through town every Thursday. Wishing he could fly. Then suddenly, he realized that he was. Flying.
"And what are we to do with the old man?" The red headed assassin, Luthor, kicked Eben Kent hard in the gut as the elderly man lay on the dirt floor of the barn, his body still in the awkward fetal position it collapsed into after the last time Luthor hit him. "You are not to beat him any further, Alexei." The resonating, almost regal voice matched very well with the man to whom it belonged. He walked a wide circle around the now motionless tableau that had moments before been a scene of physical struggle. He looked upon it with no particular emotion, simply the bemusement of one removed from such trivial activities. The hem of the flowing ivory robe he wore brushed Eben's aged, bloody face as he walked past him. He paused, glaring down at the pulp of a man, a man not worthy of him, not worthy to touch him or his trappings, then continued to pace. "He is, however, a hypocrite. A blasphemer who supposed he, a simple peasant, could raise, could mold the son of a god into anything other than the avenging angel he was born to be." As he talked, the stately looking man with flowing ebony hair slowly worked himself into a seething rage, his handsome face contorting into a maniacal image of fury.
His muscles tensed, the passionate anger wanting to erupt from them, to punish the mortal for his indiscretions, but he did not. "No, Luthor," he said, obviously struggling to dull the edge in his voice, "His quick death will be suitable enough. As it will be for all who dare to believe they can keep Sunlight the Savior from his only begotten son." Eben Kent gurgled, blood filling his throat, as he fought to stand. "My .boy is no kin of yours."
Sunlight pivoted on his heel viciously, his hands high in the air, his long fingers bent into claws as he ranted, "He is not yours! He is Power from on High, the great bow to be wielded by the archer who can draw him back, who can fire his arrow of strength and destruction at all those who stand against him!" Sunlight clenched his fists, shaking them at the barn roof. "And I am the one who can wield him! I am the Savior! I am Sunlight! I am-" "-a loud fool."
The voice was a deep baritone, an even-tempered rumble, and all of them heard it, even above the great rush of wind tearing through the open barn door. Sunlight had no chance to bellow a response, only enough time to catch a glimpse of the blur barreling toward him before it crashed into him. Sunlight shrieked, his body doubled over, thrown across the barn. Luthor, caught off guard at first, shouted something in Russian, then dropped to the ground, trying to roll out of the way of any other oncoming bolts from outside. Eben Kent raised his head only slightly, a thin smile crossing his cracked lips.
Sunlight coughed, his breath sputtering in and out of his lungs. Shaking his head, he looked up, ready to strike down whoever was impudent enough to attack him so brazenly with a hateful glare. Standing over him was a muscular young man, his black hair wet with sweat, his blue eyes firing shards of vengeance, his jaw clenched tightly, his chest heaving. A veritable engine of rage, powered solely by emotion and wrath. And out for no one's blood except Jonathan Sunlight's. Sunlight smiled widely, holding both hands out. "You!" His voice was a frenzied melody of excitement and anxiety. "You have come! You heard the call, felt the presence, and you came!" When the man offered him no help, Sunlight stood on his own. He reached out for the younger man, his arms wide as if he were welcoming a friend, but the man slapped his arms away. Sunlight winced, feeling the bones in his arms nearly break from the slap.
This made his smile grow even more maniacal. "You
have come, my son. You have come for your father!"
Clark turned, swinging his thick arms wide, knocking Sunlight to the ground again. Clark, his body quaking with grief and fear, knelt beside Eben Kent. Scooping up the man he worshipped in his arms like an old scarecrow broken by a storm, Clark quietly said, "You'll be all right now, Pa. You're going to be all right now."
Eben Kent's eyelids fluttered slowly, his bloodied
mouth trying to slowly bend into words of
encouragement for his son. Clark leaned his face
closer, trying to tell his father not to speak, when
the old man's eyes suddenly came alive, wide and
Clark spun around, trying to push his father out of
his arms, but Eben Kent had other plans. Luthor
stood not five feet from them, a strange gun with a
short, shiny barrel, an emerald energy dancing in it,
aimed at Clark's chest.
Clark caught the shattered, burnt body of the
only father he had ever known as the green energy
faded. Tears poured from his eyes, covering the
charred face of the strongest man Clark thought there
was in the world. In his last moments, Eben Kent
would prove that, struggling to speak to his
son one last time.
Clark buried his head in his father's chest, wailing and sobbing. Sunlight stood silently, watching, knowing that this would be His Son's last tie to his mortal life and all would be made right shortly. Luthor, still bent on killing the younger man, charged him, one of his adhesive bombs in each hand. Before he took three steps, Luthor felt an iron clamp wrap around his throat, yanking him off the ground. Dropping both bombs, Luthor pounded his attacker with his fists, writhing to scream, but only able to wheeze and choke.
The voice rose like a low tremor in a volcano
fighting its own eruption. "You know all I have to
do is twitch my finger like I'm scratching an itch
and your head comes off like a Sunday dinner chicken."
Doc Savage took two large steps into the barn. "And
as always, John, I listened to every word." Savage
turned sharply, moving toward Clark and a nearly
unconscious Luthor. "Clark."
Clark lowered Luthor's limp body enough to see his face. Even unconscious, Luthor's face was lined deeply with fear, with a feeling of violation, with the shadow of near death at another's hand the shadow of murder.
Feeling sick suddenly, Clark opened his hand, letting Luthor fall to the ground into a groaning heap. He bent over, staggering from a sudden wave of confusion, almost nausea. Doc Savage stepped back to give him room, never taking his eyes from Sunlight. Sunlight put his hands out, aching to go to the boy and place hands upon him, to act as a father to the son he knew was sent to insure the Savior's victory. He hesitated, however, when his gaze fell on Savage. "Pangs of conscience from death at your hand will pass, my son. It is your destiny; to lead, to dominate, to kill to get my message to the masses. You and all that fell from the heavens with you are my army, my lineage."
Clark reared up suddenly, his eyes blazing with fury.
Before Sunlight could answer, Clark jumped into the
air, somersaulting high over Savage, and pointed
himself back to the ground, his right fist out in
front of him. He crashed into the ground, ripping
through several old boards long ago covered by dirt.
Sunlight moved cautiously closer to the gaping hole
in the ground. He stumbled back when a rather large,
twisted thing of crimson metal shot from the hole,
Clark pushing it up from the empty well with one of
his magnificent leaps. Clark grunted, shuffling the
object off his hands onto the ground close to Sunlight.
With a closer look, Sunlight realized that the piece
of tangled metal was not all that large, only about
two by five feet, and that it was the wreckage of
some sort of small ship. "Here it is," he said in a
wild whisper. "The very hand from the heavens that I
will smite the world with." He leaned over,
carefully putting his hands on the red metal.
Clark and Savage simply watched as Sunlight caressed
the ship, running his fingers over the dusty
shattered cockpit bubble as if it was the finest silk
to touch. He reached between two twists in the
wreckage, into the cockpit, trying to touch the panel
dotted with only a few colored buttons.
Luthor laughed out loud. "No, Sunlight, I damn yours. To Hell."
Doc Savage started for Luthor, as did Clark, but both
were too late, not expecting what happened. Luthor
slapped the belt of bombs across Sunlight's chest,
the special adhesive coating everyone them bonding
immediately to his white robe. Sunlight, realizing
his own mortality in a terrifying instant, wrapped
his arms around Luthor. Both men toppled over,
falling onto the wreckage of the ship. Doc Savage
bounded backward out of the barn, Clark a few steps
behind, retrieving his father's body first.
Clark nodded, pausing for only a moment. He gently placed his father's body on the ground near the house he built for Clark's mother. Saying a quick silent prayer, Clark wrapped his arms around Doc. He jumped into the air, trying to fly like he did before, but only leaping across the road running in front of the farm. Cursing under his breath, he jumped again. With three leaps, Clark and Doc were nearly three miles away when a brilliant orange glow scarred the sky behind them, rolling thunder following it by mere moments.
"It was just a day ago." Clark and Doc Savage stood on the edge of what had been the Kent farm, the sky heavy with twilight behind them. "Yesterday." "I'm sorry, Clark." Doc Savage put a hand on Clark's shoulder, the comforting hand of a friend who had seen his share of tragedies. "I am sorry."
Clark shook his head. "No need. This is not the way
I wanted things to be, of course, but it has
me with something I needed. A reason to go away. To
Clark turned his back on the charred remnants of the farm. "Out there," he said with a wave of his right hand at the field before them, "the only place I have to look. The only place I'm sure I come from. This land that my parents both loved so much."
Both men stood silent for awhile. The sun finally
surrendered its hold and the night marched in before
Clark finally said, "And you? What will you do now
with Sunlight dead?"
He and Clark searched the crater that had been Clark's family farm earlier that day and found no traces of either Luthor's or Sunlight's remains. Clark believed the explosion had been so massive that they were simply disintegrated. Doc still held the more cynical view. "I already know who I am. I just have to find that man again. And I will not find him here. I have to go back back to where I lost my team. My life."
Clark wanted to say something encouraging, but came up with nothing. He turned to face Doc and extended his hand. "Thank you Clark."
Doc smiled and took the offered hand. "You're welcome..Clark."
Clark smiled, hint of sadness on his face, knowing he would not hear anyone call him that ever again.
"And you say he just ran into that forest fire, Jeb, and yanked those four kids out?"
"Yessir, Sheriff McCloskey, that's exactly what he did. He told us all to stay back and charged right in there as if the fire was going to back out of the way for him. And it damned near did, too."
"And who was this hero, Jeb?"
"Just a man, Sheriff?"
"Just a man?"
"Yessir, a man named Kent."
End of A MAN NAMED KENT-"One Day In April" send any and all comments to Spenser1@cei.net
Doc Savage is © Conde Nast, Inc.
All other characters are DC Comics
This story is © 1998 by Tommy Hancock.